Christianity and other religions

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BetteTheRed

Resident Heretic
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This showed up on FB the other day. I like it a lot. And it doesn't just apply to indigenous religions. Personally, and historically, I identify most with Christianity. But I don't 'get' dissing other religions as a way to get followers for yours. I imagine most of us, even the ministers, agree?
 

jimkenney12

Well-Known Member
Our big problem in the past and present is confusing cultural beliefs and values with religious beliefs along with biased interpretations of the Christian writings gathered into the Bible 200 years after the events they describe.

Churches forgot Gospel means Good News instead of the bad news too many of them chose as their focus.
 

Luce NDs

Well-Known Member
Does a virtue of Christianity stand for acknowledging the ancient ancestry that started the flames?

Is that an odd aboriginal thought or a denied belief in some zones/Zoans? Sometimes dark as Goan son ...
 

Mendalla

Agnostic pan(en)theist gorilla
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I quite agree with that statement. Strip back all the doctrinal crud and colonialist ideology that drove things like heresy trials and destruction of indigenous cultures and there's a compelling spiritual narrative and some terrific ideas at the heart of Christianity. Jesus himself is a compelling figure both historically and mythologically (not that it is easy, or maybe even possible, to separate the two anymore). But the single-minded drive to make it the ONLY spiritual narrative has likely stained the tradition for generations to come, especially since some prominent groups within the tradition still won't let go of it. While a lot of my core values came from my Christian upbringing and I could, to some degree, see myself as Christian; that stain, that historical baggage, is probably what make me reluctant to call myself "Christian" anymore. I embrace multiple spiritual narratives and can hold all of them without having to have one be "central" or push the others aside. Or, worse, destroy them. How can I be "Christian" in the sense that most people use the term when my vision of God has Hindu influences and I remain quite drawn to the Buddhist narrative of the Four Noble Truths and the Hindu/Buddhist notion of karma as the mechanism of justice (vs. Divine judgement and wrath)?
 

Luce NDs

Well-Known Member
I quite agree with that statement. Strip back all the doctrinal crud and colonialist ideology that drove things like heresy trials and destruction of indigenous cultures and there's a compelling spiritual narrative and some terrific ideas at the heart of Christianity. Jesus himself is a compelling figure both historically and mythologically (not that it is easy, or maybe even possible, to separate the two anymore). But the single-minded drive to make it the ONLY spiritual narrative has likely stained the tradition for generations to come, especially since some prominent groups within the tradition still won't let go of it. While a lot of my core values came from my Christian upbringing and I could, to some degree, see myself as Christian; that stain, that historical baggage, is probably what make me reluctant to call myself "Christian" anymore. I embrace multiple spiritual narratives and can hold all of them without having to have one be "central" or push the others aside. Or, worse, destroy them. How can I be "Christian" in the sense that most people use the term when my vision of God has Hindu influences and I remain quite drawn to the Buddhist narrative of the Four Noble Truths and the Hindu/Buddhist notion of karma as the mechanism of justice (vs. Divine judgement and wrath)?

Could explain the chaotic description of God as everything that is in, on, over, around, behind an subtly hidden in the mind that hasn't had the stroke of luck to avoid getting too much of it at once ... a kind of apoplexies'! Resembles poly gamma ... that shadowy field one might fall into when one discovers the extent and eternal curiosities ...

The question thus expands although the institutionalized don't wish you to take off ... they need you to do their crap ...

Yet burnout and smudging occurs as unseen stress ... something else denied! It too may be a ridiculous item when seen from out there ...

Did you see that Bette Post about ghosts and giants? Explains Little-Big Horn ... toot-toute ... we blew ide!
 

Waterfall

Well-Known Member
I've learned over the years that when " Grace" is remembered as the theological centre of Christianity it truly does become great, but sadly I have to admit it is not what Christian's are known for today or in the past, but it was what Jesus was known for and he always pointed to God as the architect of grace.
Not knowing the details of many religions, only generalities, I sincerely ask, does this concept exist within other "religions"?
 

paradox3

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I am not actually sure I was ever taught that Christianity was the one true religion. My Sunday school days took place in the era of the New Curriculum.

Certainly by the time I was in CGIT this was not the message.

One troubling memory of Sunday School though:

We were read a story called If Jesus Never Came. It turned out to be a dream in the story but a little girl woke up on Christmas morning and of course there was no sign of it. Not only that, there was very little kindness or compassion in the world. No charities, no social service agencies and so on.

Even as a child I dismissed this as nonsense. I was only around 8 or 9 but I remember the day very well. Must have been a pivotal moment.
 

Mendalla

Agnostic pan(en)theist gorilla
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I've learned over the years that when " Grace" is remembered as the theological centre of Christianity it truly does become great, but sadly I have to admit it is not what Christian's are known for today or in the past, but it was what Jesus was known for and he always pointed to God as the architect of grace.
Not knowing the details of many religions, only generalities, I sincerely ask, does this concept exist within other "religions"?
Not that I have really come across. Most religions are works-based (Buddhism's eight-fold path, Hinduism's various paths of yoga, Islam's pillars, and so on).

Judaism is arguable. After all, in Judaism God essentially blesses a people and, even if God knocks them around a bit when go off the beaten path, in the end if you're a Jew, God will save/bless you and bring you back.

Of course, it can be argued as to whether Jesus himself believe in sola gratia. After all, Matthew 25:31-46 (sheep and the goats) can certainly be read as saying people were being saved or punished based on what they did or did not do. Sola gratia may well be a creation of the Church, not Jesus, depending on how you read the Gospels so is arguably not inherent to the religion. Though it is a reading of Christianity that I, personally, find appealing. Admittedly, I lean universalist rather than Calvinist, but the principle that Grace is given rather than earned remains.

But I don't know that, while sola gratia is certainly one of the concepts that makes Christianity stand out, it make Christianity in any way superior to, say, Buddhism. It is not a view of the universe that coheres well with many people's experience of reality. Buddhism's Four Noble Truths (Life is suffering, Suffering comes from grasping/attachment, Suffering is relieved by ending grasping/attachment, Relieving grasping/attachment comes through the eight-fold path) describe a world somewhat more attuned to what I hear about and experience than unmerited grace does. Though the idea of Total Depravity, that we are mired in sin and that is what causes suffering, kind of lines up with the first two, Buddhism is quite clear that it our action that will change it, not a divine being.
 
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Waterfall

Well-Known Member
I've learned over the years that when " Grace" is remembered as the theological centre of Christianity it truly does become great, but sadly I have to admit it is not what Christian's are known for today or in the past, but it was what Jesus was known for and he always pointed to God as the architect of grace.
Not knowing the details of many religions, only generalities, I sincerely ask, does this concept exist within other "religions"?
And just to add, when the Pope comes to Canada, will the indigenous peoples find healing from an apology and financial restitution...or by offering Grace upon his arrival?
 

Mendalla

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And just to add, when the Pope comes to Canada, will the indigenous peoples find healing from an apology and financial restitution...or by offering Grace upon his arrival?
If there is no apology or financial restitution, has Grace really been offered? Simply coming in and blessing them while the church continues to sit on its coffers and do everything in its accountants' and lawyers' powers to avoid actually taking responsibility for what it did to these people and helping them recover does not seem like grace to me.
 

Waterfall

Well-Known Member
If there is no apology or financial restitution, has Grace really been offered? Simply coming in and blessing them while the church continues to sit on its coffers and do everything in its accountants' and lawyers' powers to avoid actually taking responsibility for what it did to these people and helping them recover does not seem like grace to me.
I meant the indigenous people offering grace to the Pope and all he represents. An example of the God he follows given through another nation. Not that its deserved.
 

Mendalla

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I meant the indigenous people offering grace to the Pope and all he represents. An example of the God he follows given through another nation.
Okay, I misread. I think that will be offered based on what I have seen of our indigenous peoples in the past, but the issue is whether the Church will respond positively, by actually taking serious action and responsibility, or negatively by continuing to fight. We talked about capitalists hoarding wealth in the thread on Christianity and socialism, but I think hoarding of material wealth by the Church that is supposed to be Christ's agent on Earth has to be one of the saddest examples of it. At least capitalism expects it to some degree (even if I think hoarding runs against some principles of capitalism). Jesus, who the Church claims to represent and act on behalf of, taught that wealth was to be given and used for the benefit of others, not hoarding.
 

Luce NDs

Well-Known Member
Grace is said to be a given ... but in some cases one has to wonder if this is non sentient and thus accounting for the huge unconscious psyche!

It could account for myths as well ... like those folk sleeping under a tree (Rip van Winkle) while the world goes by ... I do believe there are other expressions of those stopped up and seized! Ever hear of Jaerd?
 

jimkenney12

Well-Known Member
To me the sheep and goats story is about whether people chose to be part of the kingdom or not. It is not possible to live in the kingdom/kindom without acting to help or comfort the hungry, sick, and imprisoned. While it is easy to see that story as about rewards and punishment, it is at least as much about our choices for living. It is about the choice to live within the illusion of the self encapsulated ego or in the reality of our interconnectedness.
 

Mendalla

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To me the sheep and goats story is about whether people chose to be part of the kingdom or not. It is not possible to live in the kingdom/kindom without acting to help or comfort the hungry, sick, and imprisoned. While it is easy to see that story as about rewards and punishment, it is at least as much about our choices for living. It is about the choice to live within the illusion of the self encapsulated ego or in the reality of our interconnectedness.
Which still suggests it is our actions and choices, rather than God's Grace that determines which we are. It is not unmerited.
 

Mendalla

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The grace is offered without merit. We choose to accept or not accept that grace.
Which is not the Calvinist view per my many exchanges with @revjohn on the subject. Their view is that Grace, being unmerited, requires no action by us to be effective. It is by definition efficacious. Universalism (in the classical Christian sense) would generally hold to that, too.

Not that I actually hold to a grace-based worldview myself, but it is the one compelling idea I find that Christianity offers uniquely (going back to where this thread about Grace started) so it interests me. Most everything else it offers can be found in other religions and philosophies.
 
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