1. Standard memberRajk999
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    07 Aug '07 12:521 edit
    I tend to be of the opinion (and I know I will be corrected) that many Bible scholars or anyone overly familiar with the Bible often use their knowledge to justify wrongdoing. I am a Christian myself, I believe in God and I believe that one day we will ALL face judgement day. So I really hate to admit this but the most upright, honest, caring, loving and giving people I know are not Christians or religious people of any kind. And some of the most devious, crooked, materialistic, stingy people I know are professed Christians. Seems to me that religion does not create the desire within most people to be a better person and live a Christ-like life.

    Some of the reasons for this apparent paradox in my opinion are some of the passages/stories which lend itself to easy mis-interpretation :

    - King David was an adulterer and a murderer but yet he was called a man after God's own heart, and one of the faithful.
    - The Bible promises forgiveness for every imaginable sin except one, and some Christians tend to abuse the privelege.
    - Catholics often use confessions to escape (so they believe) the consequences of willful sin.
    - Many Christians only give charity to members of their own congregation siting the teachings of Paul to justify this. In other words they wont give a beggar on the street a dime as he is not one of the 'brotherhood'.
    - CHrist himself gave a parable of the unjust steward, somewhat justifying dishonesty.
    - Finally and probably the worst of all are those who think that professing to be a believer in Christ is all thats required and sins committed therafter will not cause them to loose their salvation.

    I now own a small business and when interviewing a prospective worker I tend to be wary of people that claim they are churchgoing and therefore honest. Is it possible that Christianity and organised religion in general have created a breed of greedy self-absorbed monsters, much like the Pharisees in the time of Christ ?
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    07 Aug '07 13:21
    Is it possible that people who are devious, crooked, materialistic and stingy also have a tendency to become religious (for devious, crooked, materialistic, stingy reasons)?

    Many people go to church for reasons other than worship. It is quite likely that a lot of people pretend to be more religious than they really are for personal reasons.

    Some denominations get a reputation for honesty (or the opposite).
  3. Standard memberspiritmangr8ness
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    07 Aug '07 13:55
    Originally posted by Rajk999
    I am a Christian myself, I believe in God and I believe that one day we will ALL face judgement day. So I really hate to admit this but the most upright, honest, caring, loving and giving people I know are not Christians or religious people of any kind.

    And some of the most devious, crooked, materialistic, stingy people I know are professed Christians. Seem ...[text shortened]... spective worker I tend to be wary of people that claim they are churchgoing and therefore honest."
    Hold still there appears to be something in your eye!................It looks like a splinter...........................Oh wait a minute it's a beam! Dohh!
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    07 Aug '07 14:09
    Originally posted by Rajk999
    ....some of the passages/stories which lend itself to easy mis-interpretation....
    Actually most of the Bible falls into that category. If only God had got a lawyer to draw up his documents ..... but then maybe he couldn't find any lawyers in heaven 🙂

    A lot of Christians claim that understanding the Bible requires prayer / faith / or a secret decoder ring. So why does your interpretation differ from theirs? Do you perhaps have the wrong ring?
  5. Donationrwingett
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    07 Aug '07 14:14
    Originally posted by Rajk999
    I tend to be of the opinion (and I know I will be corrected) that many Bible scholars or anyone overly familiar with the Bible often use their knowledge to justify wrongdoing. I am a Christian myself, I believe in God and I believe that one day we will ALL face judgement day. So I really hate to admit this but the most upright, honest, caring, loving and giv ...[text shortened]... ted a breed of greedy self-absorbed monsters, much like the Pharisees in the time of Christ ?
    It's been that way ever since "faith" became the sole requirement for salvation. You don't need to actually lead a good life. All you need do is proclaim your faith that Christ died for your sins. Once again we see the hand of Paul at work.
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    07 Aug '07 14:19
    Originally posted by rwingett
    It's been that way ever since "faith" became the sole requirement for salvation. You don't need to actually lead a good life. All you need do is proclaim your faith that Christ died for your sins. Once again we see the hand of Paul at work.
    Rajk does not agree that this is the case. He feels that good works are required for salvation.
  7. Donationrwingett
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    07 Aug '07 14:26
    Originally posted by darvlay
    Rajk does not agree that this is the case. He feels that good works are required for salvation.
    Is Rajk the Pope? Most christians feel that faith is the sole requirement for salvation. They'll give you some song and dance about how works figure in there, but it's really just the faith that matters.
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    07 Aug '07 14:28
    Originally posted by rwingett
    Is Rajk the Pope? Most christians feel that faith is the sole requirement for salvation. They'll give you some song and dance about how works figure in there, but it's really just the faith that matters.
    That's what I tried to tell him but he was having none of it. Frankly, I think a truly virtuous God would base salvation on works alone, but alas...
  9. Donationrwingett
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    07 Aug '07 14:36
    Originally posted by darvlay
    That's what I tried to tell him but he was having none of it. Frankly, I think a truly virtuous God would base salvation on works alone, but alas...
    I think the Unitarian Universalists are an interesting group. They have a creedless and non-dogmatic approach to spirituality which places a high emphasis on social activism. For them, it's all about "right action" and not "right belief." I think that's the way to go.
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    07 Aug '07 14:47
    Originally posted by rwingett
    Is Rajk the Pope? Most christians feel that faith is the sole requirement for salvation. They'll give you some song and dance about how works figure in there, but it's really just the faith that matters.
    But I thought that the Bible said that faith without works is dead?
  11. Standard memberRajk999
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    07 Aug '07 14:51
    Originally posted by spiritmangr8ness
    Hold still there appears to be something in your eye!................It looks like a splinter...........................Oh wait a minute it's a beam! Dohh!
    Thanks for the advice. I was expecting it. Also bracing myself for more insults.
  12. Standard memberRajk999
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    07 Aug '07 15:05
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    Actually most of the Bible falls into that category. If only God had got a lawyer to draw up his documents ..... but then maybe he couldn't find any lawyers in heaven 🙂

    A lot of Christians claim that understanding the Bible requires prayer / faith / or a secret decoder ring. So why does your interpretation differ from theirs? Do you perhaps have the wrong ring?
    Many confuse understanding the Bible, which is really a very complex matter, with living the life that leads to salvation, which according to Christ is very simple to understand.
  13. Standard memberRajk999
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    07 Aug '07 15:22
    Originally posted by rwingett
    It's been that way ever since "faith" became the sole requirement for salvation. You don't need to actually lead a good life. All you need do is proclaim your faith that Christ died for your sins. Once again we see the hand of Paul at work.
    Regardless of how something is written, people who want to misinterpret it will do so. The writings of the apostles about being saved by grace is twisted by some to mean you automatically get salvation if you have faith. What it means is because of the kindness of God, he allowed his Son to be sacrificed so that ALL people will have a chance to get salvation (the grace part), if and only if they believe and do good works. Salvation is not guaranteed as some believe.
  14. Standard memberRajk999
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    07 Aug '07 15:31
    Originally posted by darvlay
    I think a truly virtuous God would base salvation on works alone, but alas...
    I have a stong suspicion that Christ is likely to judge ALL people on the basis of works alone. This is kind of statement that is likely to get me ostracised by the Christian community but I cannot understand why Christ would tell a parable about the Good Samaritan which spoke well of a heathen and ill of a preist and a Levite.
  15. Standard memberspiritmangr8ness
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    07 Aug '07 15:43
    Originally posted by Rajk999
    Many confuse understanding the Bible, which is really a very complex matter, with living the life that leads to salvation, which according to Christ is very simple to understand.
    Quite possibly the bible may be just a book about redemption and the restorative power of becoming. Christ message of transformation through mind renewal was the revelution. He urged us to see things differently in truth and light. If I choose to stay in the light I will do well. His challenge was not to governments but to those sheperds who had charge of the sheep. This has everything to do with the prevailing opinions of religious leaders of his time and in ours. You are right about one thing; the simplicity of life and it's abundance is the primary message of Christ. Stop allowing people to complicate your relationship with our Father and you can do miracles.
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