1. Standard membersumydid
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    06 Apr '13 04:31
    Here in the USA, there is a major, heated, disagreement between Liberals/Progressives and Conservatives/Traditionalists. That major disagreement centers around social behavior and values. The hottest topics within that category are abortion-on-demand, and gay marriage.

    Forget all the points and counterpoints on both sides; I am focused on something else. And that something is the complete silence, if not blatant capitulation and surrender, by the Christians.

    Countless Christian churches across the country:

    * Are silent on the issue and don't get involved
    * Embrace the Liberal/Progressive view just to gain popularity and acceptance
    * Think the topic so controversial they even silence their church members when it is brought up

    Now first of all, and let me make this completely clear: On these issues, every single Christian should have the same view--especially when it comes to abortion. And if another church down the street embraces either idea, they should be called out for it publicly by the rest of us.

    Anyway my question is why. Why do so many Christians and churches remain silent and dodge these issues? I have a theory and it bothers me. And I have seen evidence to back up my theory in occasional statements made by Christians, particularly Evangelicals.

    The theory goes like this: "So what about the stuff that's going on in the world. I don't really care, and besides, the more all this stuff increases, the faster the End Times will arrive, and that's ultimately what we all want, isn't it?"

    Atheists, haven't you seen a few examples of a Christian almost USHERING in the End Times, with seemingly a smile on their face, rubbing their hands together with glee?

    I have.

    And that bothers me. I mean, yes. We (Christians) all want to be in heaven where everything is supremely awesome. But shouldn't we be alarmed when any of us expresses joy at the thought of accelerated evil and its alleged sign that the end times are quickly approaching?

    I'm not even sure I'M not guilty of this. In fact I know I'm not. But when I thought about it tonight, it bothered me. Should it bother me? I take absolutely zero pleasure in the thought of anyone being punished or destroyed. The End Times will happen when they happen but I just don't think it's my business as to when, and I CERTAINLY don't like the idea of Christians turning a blind eye to the evils of this world in order to somehow hasten the end times.
  2. Standard membercaissad4
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    06 Apr '13 05:00
    I don't know which United States you are living in but I see far too many churches butting their nose into politics these days. Christians and Muslims seem to think that their religious laws should be inflicted upon everyone. 🙄
  3. Standard membersumydid
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    06 Apr '13 05:065 edits
    Originally posted by caissad4
    I don't know which United States you are living in but I see far too many churches butting their nose into politics these days. Christians and Muslims seem to think that their religious laws should be inflicted upon everyone. 🙄
    I said countless churches DON'T get involved. I never said zero Christian churches do. Of course you don't like the Christian church getting involved in the major social issues. I suppose you'd rather the Christians be silenced once and for all so the Liberals and Progressives can get on with their agenda, completely unfettered.

    As far as laws being "inflicted upon everyone"... what we're talking about is the Liberals and Progressives CHANGING EXISTING LAWS. So, using your line of reasoning in proper context, it would be the others that are "inflicting" their way of life on the Conservatives and Traditionalists.
  4. Standard membercaissad4
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    06 Apr '13 05:51
    Originally posted by sumydid
    I said countless churches DON'T get involved. I never said zero Christian churches do. Of course you don't like the Christian church getting involved in the major social issues. I suppose you'd rather the Christians be silenced once and for all so the Liberals and Progressives can get on with their agenda, completely unfettered.
    As far as laws being "inf ...[text shortened]... others that are "inflicting" their way of life on the Conservatives and Traditionalists.
    It is the Religious Right which inflicts their "values" upon others. There is no "Religious Left".
    Who is this 'we" you speak of ? 🙄🙄
  5. Standard membercaissad4
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    06 Apr '13 05:53
    I see now. You don't think there are enough Christian conservative churches meddling in politics disguising it as religion.🙄🙄🙄
  6. Joined
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    06 Apr '13 06:271 edit
    Originally posted by sumydid
    Here in the USA, there is a major, heated, disagreement between Liberals/Progressives and Conservatives/Traditionalists. That major disagreement centers around social behavior and values. The hottest topics within that category are abortion-on-demand, and gay marriage.

    Forget all the points and counterpoints on both sides; I am focused on something else a blind eye to the evils of this world in order to somehow hasten the end times.
    Why exactly should every single Christian have the same view on a complicated, multifaceted topic such as abortion? That's absurd. That's the type of black & white thinking that stunts development and progress. If you're actually interested in resolution of such difficult topics, you should value each individual's quest to evaluate the topic honestly and critically. This will involve contrariety of opinion but will also foster healthy debate.

    I hope that church goers, as well as all manner of persons, involve themselves in the debate, but only to the extent that they have substantive reasons for and against to bring to the table. Having beliefs on the issue is one thing; but pressing those beliefs into policies that have widespread impact on the lives of other persons is something different. Regarding the latter, if you do not have substantive justification to offer for such policies, then you don't deserve to be taken seriously. So I hope churches do get more involved to the extent that they have substantive reasons to offer that contribute to the healthy dialogue. If on the other hand, their reason is that some ancient book putatively inspired by a sky fairy says we ought to do this or that, then all the better they remain silent. Those sorts of considerations have no business cluttering up discussions concerning public policy.
  7. Hmmm . . .
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    06 Apr '13 06:371 edit
    Originally posted by sumydid
    I said countless churches DON'T get involved. I never said zero Christian churches do. Of course you don't like the Christian church getting involved in the major social issues. I suppose you'd rather the Christians be silenced once and for all so the Liberals and Progressives can get on with their agenda, completely unfettered.

    As far as laws being "i others that are "inflicting" their way of life on the Conservatives and Traditionalists.
    I think that religious people across the board—and non-religious people—ought to involve themselves in the social discourse, based on reasoned argument. However, you might consider that some people would (and logically could) switch the “liberal/progressive” and “conservative/traditionalist” labels as you have them here—and that not everything that “conservative/traditionalists” have been able to inflict on others (e.g., a particular definition of marriage*) has been a welcome, wholesome, or necessarily moral infliction. You seem not to be arguing for voice; you seem to be arguing that one group of Christians (likely, for you, the only ones who are “True Christians™”, called “the rest of us” ) should be calling out the others. You don’t want to be called out yourself.

    But I don’t necessarily like the moral inflictions that you want to (continue to) press on others. I don’t think that the fact that a particular moral infliction has been traditional (or can be called “conservative” ) means that it is actually moral at all. I don’t think that the fact that some Christians insist that their view of morality is the real morality, means that it is actually moral at all. I think that refusal to grant gays the same social rights and privileges as heterosexuals—including all rights and privileges that are included under the heading “marriage”—for example, is immoral and bigoted; and the fact that it can be called “traditional” (at least in certain cultural and religious contexts) just means that the bigotry has been long entrenched. And the fact that it apparently can be called “Christian”—well, I’ll let Christians argue over that.

    Actually, with regard to the issues that you specifically mention, I don’t want to inflict anything on you. If you’re heterosexual, or homosexual and don’t believe that you should marry, for example, then the “liberals/progressives” are not trying to inflict anything on you. If certain Christian churches do not want to marry gays, fine—I don’t want to legislate what churches per se have to do with regard to such matters. But to deny gays the civil equivalent, and equal rights under the law, is another matter (and neither churches nor “traditionalists” have a patent on the word “marriage”, much as they might like to).

    I am a “liberal/progressive”, and I don’t want to inflict anything on you—I don’t want to make you marry a person of the same sex, or have an abortion, or not go to church. I do want to end some of the moral inflictions that “conservative/traditionalists”, often under the banner of Christianity, have been able to lay on those whom you likely would not include under the phrase “the rest of us”. If that makes us enemies, so be it. If you believe that I will do what I can—outside these generally non-productive debates here—to prevent you and those you refer to as “the rest of us” from inflicting your religiously-dictated (im)moral opinions on everyone else, then you’re right: I will. I am not opposed to religion per se; I am opposed to both bigotry and dogmatism—whether “traditional” or not, whether religiously founded or not.

    __________________________________________________

    * Where I lived until recently (and likely elsewhere), the “conservative/traditionalist” definition of marriage outlawed “miscegenation”—i.e., interracial marriage; and the “conservatives/traditionalists” fought (and some still ;do I have heard them) the “liberal/progressives” on that very issue (and many do so from a so-called Christian perspective).
  8. Joined
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    06 Apr '13 07:11
    Originally posted by sumydid
    Here in the USA, there is a major, heated, disagreement between Liberals/Progressives and Conservatives/Traditionalists. That major disagreement centers around social behavior and values. The hottest topics within that category are abortion-on-demand, and gay marriage.

    Forget all the points and counterpoints on both sides; I am focused on something else ...[text shortened]... a blind eye to the evils of this world in order to somehow hasten the end times.
    I'm sure you are well meaning but you sound very naive.

    What do you mean by "they should be called out for it publicly by the rest of us"? Also, who are "rest of us"?
  9. Cape Town
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    06 Apr '13 07:47
    Originally posted by sumydid
    Now first of all, and let me make this completely clear: On these issues, every single Christian should have the same view--especially when it comes to abortion.
    I come from a small town in Zambia population 100,000 approx. If I recall correctly, there were 40 Christian denominations 30 years ago. Presumably there are more now.
    If people can't even agree on the very basics of their religion enough to worship together what chance is there that they will agree on an issue like abortion?

    And if another church down the street embraces either idea, they should be called out for it publicly by the rest of us.
    Christians are in general reluctant to criticize each other even on an internet forum. This is of course to be understood. However, criticizing each other on the street can escalate really fast and would be disastrous. It does however happen, and I know of of some denominations that refer to the priest in other denominations as 'the antichrist'. In general they already disagree on so many key issues that they won't worship together, so you can't expect them to discuss things in a calm manner. Some denominations have managed to get fairly civil relationships for example the Anglicans generally get along well with Catholics in Zambia, and their main points of disagreement are the Virgin Mary, the pope, and married priests, but they are willing to go to each others Churches.

    The theory goes like this: "So what about the stuff that's going on in the world. I don't really care, and besides, the more all this stuff increases, the faster the End Times will arrive, and that's ultimately what we all want, isn't it?"
    Atheists, haven't you seen a few examples of a Christian almost USHERING in the End Times, with seemingly a smile on their face, rubbing their hands together with glee?

    Yes we have all noticed that and discussed it many times. However I don't think this is a major factor in keeping Churches out of politics.
  10. Standard membersumydid
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    06 Apr '13 08:27
    Originally posted by LemonJello
    Why exactly should every single Christian have the same view on a complicated, multifaceted topic such as abortion? That's absurd.
    I'm not here to discuss the merits or weakness of each position on abortion and gay marriage but strictly on a "for" or "against" stance, every single Christian should have the same view. Absolutely. Abortion isn't complicated or multi-faceted. It's the ending of the life of an unborn baby.

    That's the type of black & white thinking that stunts development and progress.
    Not every issue should be black and white, however this issue cannot be solved with grey. Grey is where we are right now. Abortion is legal, but the Liberals and Progressives are continually pushing for unfettered, partial-birth abortion on demand. The majority of the country is against it, but they don't care. They seek to impose their will on the matter through activist Supreme Court Justices.

    If you're actually interested in resolution of such difficult topics, you should value each individual's quest to evaluate the topic honestly and critically. This will involve contrariety of opinion but will also foster healthy debate.
    I don't know how you jump to the conclusion that I'm *not* interested in resolving the issue. Seems to me that because I have a view that opposes yours, you are drumming up false accusations to weaken my position.

    Look, we can talk until the cows come home on these subjects, but my major point in all this was, I don't like the idea that many Christians and churches stay silent (or worse) on this issue for the simple reason that the worse things get, the closer they feel we are to fulfilling end times prophecy. Sort of a "bring it on" attitude -- when I feel that we should instead, *all* be making the effort to halt the legalizing of actions that our belief system strictly opposes.
  11. Standard membersumydid
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    06 Apr '13 08:292 edits
    Originally posted by divegeester
    I'm sure you are well meaning but you sound very naive.

    What do you mean by "they should be called out for it publicly by the rest of us"? Also, who are "rest of us"?
    "They" are the Christians who sit on their couches and stay silent while the moral fiber of our society (my opinion only) crumbles.

    "The rest of us" are the Christians that care enough about major social issues to stand up to not only the secularists, but our fellow Christians as well, when warranted.

    The Pastor of my church wrote an article that incited me to write about this and he is a very calm, intelligent, thinking person that never waves his hands or gets emotional. In his article, he was so upset about these issues, he suggested that Christian churches that welcome proponents of abortion and gay marriage should be picketed by the rest of us Christians. I've never heard him suggest anything of this kind and it seemed completely out of character--but that told me how serious and weighty these matters are to him and it got me thinking deeply about it. As I thought about it I asked myself why any Christian (who really believes the bible, aka a bona fide Christian) would side with the opposition on this and I determined that many Christians, like I said, are silent or even complicit because they feel like the worse things get, the quicker the end times will come upon us. That conclusion concerns me.
  12. Cape Town
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    06 Apr '13 08:57
    Originally posted by sumydid
    I'm not here to discuss the merits or weakness of each position on abortion and gay marriage but strictly on a "for" or "against" stance, every single Christian should have the same view. Absolutely. Abortion isn't complicated or multi-faceted. It's the ending of the life of an unborn baby.
    It seems you want to assert your position and don't want any opposition or discussion.
    As for gay marriage, it doesn't matter what your stance, or anyone elses is for that matter. It is not something that should be decided democratically. It is a human right that should be upheld by the constitution. I am actually dismayed that so many countries are handling it democratically. I think that allowing democracy do decide issues that affect only a minority is immoral and the purpose of the constitution is to protect minorities from such 'majority rule'.
  13. Cape Town
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    06 Apr '13 09:02
    Originally posted by sumydid
    As I thought about it I asked myself why any Christian (who really believes the bible, aka a bona fide Christian) would side with the opposition on this and I determined that many Christians, like I said, are silent or even complicit because they feel like the worse things get, the quicker the end times will come upon us. That conclusion concerns me.
    So its rather like believing every atheist is a closet theist. You believe that every Christian is a closet "believe the same as you" Christian. You just can't believe that anyone else could have a different opinion from yours so you rationalize it by assuming they say one thing but believe another.
  14. Standard membersumydid
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    06 Apr '13 09:071 edit
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    So its rather like believing every atheist is a closet theist. You believe that every Christian is a closet "believe the same as you" Christian. You just can't believe that anyone else could have a different opinion from yours so you rationalize it by assuming they say one thing but believe another.
    While it doesn't surprise me that you can't get past it, I do nevertheless find it rather annoying.

    I've never suggested that ANY bona fide Christian supports abortion or gay marriage. I never suggested that we think differently, because we don't, on the weighty matters. There are secondary issues that we may have a different opinion on, but I never mentioned them and need not mention them. On the matter of whether on-demand abortion or gay marriage should be legal, all Christians agree. Anyone who says "I believe the bible, I believe in God, and I'm a faithful follower of the teachings of Christ," followed by "I support on-demand abortion and/or gay marriage," is making at least one false statement.

    Where we Christians do think different is on the matter of taking action. And yes, the last time I checked, I was allowed to have an opinion on why a certain group of people does not take action when their beliefs are being trampled on.
  15. Cape Town
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    06 Apr '13 09:29
    Originally posted by sumydid
    Where we Christians do think different is on the matter of taking action. And yes, the last time I checked, I was allowed to have an opinion on why a certain group of people does not take action when their beliefs are being trampled on.
    And nobody is denying you that right. But are you willing to consider that you may be mistaken?
    This is what I think is a more likely explanation:
    1. There are not nearly as many 'True Christians' as you think, and in fact many of the people you perceive as not taking action are in fact not 'True Christians' and thus disagree with you on these issues.
    2. There may be 'True Christians' who do not support abortion or gay marriage, but do not believe they have the right to enforce their beliefs on others. Of course this may make them not 'True Christians' in your view.
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