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The Bible and Love and Christians

Discussion in 'Friends and Family' started by TheMonsterAteMe, Nov 25, 2010.

  1. TheMonsterAteMe

    TheMonsterAteMe Active Member

  2. frogboy4

    frogboy4 Inactive Member

    It took me a while...(forgive the length)

    When I was in school (a religion-based, private school in Houston) bullying came from a different sort of place. One of moral justification that resulted in shunning of others who believed or lived outside of the Christian majority. I owe much of my thick skin, patience and coping abilities to this time in my life, but not everybody reacts the same to adversity. Some kids are really affected quite differently and don’t at least have the structure of a private institution to protect them from bodily harm.

    My bullies were mainly in grade and middle school, but many peers were persecuted in high school too. I did a bit of the goth-boy thing to get people to leave me alone. Hehe. Worked like a charm! One thing all of these bullies had in common was the primary source for their condemnation – "moral leaders" like James Dobson and Pat Robertson who made a point to reach out to young people through television and literature to spread more poison than understanding or acceptance. I firmly believe that any public broadcast or book from these particular leaders should contain warning labels for younger viewers! I don’t think anyone under the age of consent should be exposed to their toxic view of religion. But not all Christians are like them. In fact, I’ve found that most of them are not, but they just aren’t nearly as vocal. That’s precisely what makes your video so valuable! Thanks for it.

    My views extend beyond a "live and let live" mentality. I think we should find the similarities in others and also celebrate the differences! There are many who think that we can be only of one belief or the other, but we really should be more of a blending of ideas...or at least a mutual acceptance of the right to thrive under different beliefs. I don’t think we should try to change others to our way of thinking or dictate how they should live their lives. Many friends and family members are Christians – I am not, nor will I ever be. I understand their faith and the architecture of their beliefs, but I personally disagree with them and that cannot be resolved. I was raised in it, had an interesting journey exploring it for decades and finally came to my own conclusions. Case closed. But that’s okay! I certainly don’t ban those folk from my life or prevent them from sharing or carrying out their traditions and thriving in their own lives. I wish the Christian majority in this country adopted that same practice toward me and my gay friends.

    There’s an alarming, sweeping notion of Christian Supremacy in America. Extremists want to prevent equal treatment and even strip others of rights if they don’t fit an arbitrary idea of the Christian American family. There's a "my way or the highway" mentality out there that if Christan principles aren't followed that this country will perish. Every natural disaster is transformed into a warning sign of our wicked ways and any gay rights achieved translate into some absurd illustration of being able to marry the family pet! However, if Kermit proposed to me I'd have a hard time saying no. But who wouldn't? :)

    Personally, I like seeing Christmas trees and over-sized candy canes in the town square. Most of my gay peers do too! In fact, who do you think designs a lot of that stuff? Too many conservatives have been convinced that the secular extremist point of view reflects a majority. This Texan-turned-San Franciscan will tell you that's not so! As a child of adoption, I also think that kids need homes regardless of what match-up comprises the family dynamic. Differences are never easy, but I think we can have it all in this country if want it and learn to share! Maybe more adults should fit in some viewings of Sesame Street!

    Things do get better after high school. It becomes easier to pick and choose our peer groups, but I favor an eclectic assortment! What kind of person wants to be surrounded by like-minded sycophants? I love having friends who will openly disagree with me. On a monthly basis I talk to gays, straights, transgenders, whites, blacks, Asians, Hispanics, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Christians, Buddhists and Muppet Enthusiasts! I don’t think my life would be as full if not for all of these fantastically different people and I wouldn’t want to change one thing about their personalities or beliefs.

    I was raised under the notion that being a cafeteria Christian was a bad thing. Maybe so for that theology, but I'm a cafeteria human being! I expose myself to all different types of things, learn from them, accept the parts I like and leave the rest for others. It makes for a much richer life experience! We should all be able to get along with our differences intact, but there are far too many religious leaders who preach that is a dangerous thing! Too many young people dealing with their issues are taught they are immoral or wrong and they learn self-loathing instead of exploring who they are and learn self-acceptance of however they might turn out to be!

    The world isn’t perfect, but the perspective on it gets much better after high school. By the time many of these current gay students graduate college they’ll likely be able to marry who they choose and will enjoy more equality under the law than we do now. It is getting better.
  3. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    Here's what I tend to think... there are extremists on any side of anything, and everyone needs to distance themselves from them and marginalize them and mirror how crazy and out of touch they really are. be they religious or non-religious. This whole religion turf war thing is so Crusader era. You have "Christians" (and a bunch of other religions, actually) saying "Oh yeah, live by the 10 commandments, unless it comes to an obscure passage that can nullify all of them... then we pick and choose." and "atheists" who say "You're the reason for all the world's problems, so let's be as bad as you!" There is NO way a rational, mature conversation about religious beliefs CAN'T be accomplished by scholars. I don't see why there aren't more philosophic religious followers, that is, someone who doesn't believe in a creator God (or at least what the common person thinks of God) but get the philosophy of the prophets from one or all religions. In other words, having a faith or faith based ideals without following a specific religion. Not so much disavowing of them, but respecting them and what they stand for.

    As for that... ehhem thing? Dude... we can't even eat SHRIMP! Everything is a sin. I agree with the Simpsons, "Did you even sit down to read this thing? Technically you can't even go to the bathroom."

    As for bullying, people will bully anyone for anything. Sometimes they just need an excuse. Seems that in your case, Frogboy, they wanted to lord over their faith in false prophets (as someone who was raised Christian with a father who eventually became a pastor) I have nothing but disdain for Pat Robertson/Jerry Falwell types. Two reasons... they seem to enforce certain "beliefs" that put people down instead of lift them up, the opposite of what faith is supposed to do, mind you. and reason two, well, if my dad spoke smack about gays and used that to subscribe to a specific political group, we'd be living the high life. :mad: I can't call myself a good Christian, but the fact that someone can make a fortune telling people what to believe and how to behave instead of just peacefully speaking the words of their religion... well, that makes me sick to my stomach. Any religion will tell you it is your duty to help others and live in peace with them square one.

    As for the bullies themselves... Dang, I'd LOVE to believe that it gets better, but Bullies never grow up and they never change. You'd like to think they'd end up like Biff Tannen at the end of BTTF 1, but sometimes they wind up as Biff Tannen midway through BTTF2. Sometimes the bully is you're boss, sometimes it's a co-worker. It doesn't, unfortunately, leave the playground,... it just manifests in different ways. And that behavior tends to spread like a virus, leading to people watching Reality shows to make fun of everyone on it for at least being worse off then them. And even if you're lucky enough to wind up in a supportive environment, a lot of the time, the damage is done. You might wind up losing a LOT of opportunities due to mistrust. I know I did. I just couldn't bring myself to try to make friends in college from being burned a hundred times, a trillion times shy. And that cost me. Plenty. Some people just deal with it better than others, I suppose...
  4. RedPiggy

    RedPiggy Well-Known Member

    I'm rather similar. Even if I found Mr. Right ... my standards of behavior are so high now (to weed out what I've seen is the usual theme in my family tree) I'd probably never get someone. There is a certain level of non-physical intimacy I crave and it seems like no one is really interested. I'm Christian (Progressive). While that category isn't uniform, I have something similar to the "just use the philosophy" idea you brought up.
  5. I really can't stand how some people like to make God out to be hateful and demanding that we all conform to what we humans consider "perfect." God isn't a stuck up girl in high school who judges your worth as a person based what you look like, after all. The God I believe in loves everyone. If we are all made in His image then we are all perfect the way we are, just as He is. Some of the nicest people I've known had a different sexual preference than my own, and I believe people should be able to marry whoever they love. If heterosexual celebrities can get married and divorced five times in a month, why can't it be acceptable for two homosexual individuals to get married? Which one is really making a mockery of the institution?
  6. RedPiggy

    RedPiggy Well-Known Member

    Well, the thing with the bible is, if you study the history behind the book in question, you come to realize that usually the Antagonistic God is more or less the product of someone who is extremely bitter about something, be it war or the fact no one is listening to them or something like that. God's punishment of the "wicked" is simply far too arbitrary in the bible for God to be truly hateful. Like depictions of (to borrow from Dinosaurs) "a place Not So Nice", God is sometimes a puppet of the author with an axe to grind. Moabites steal your cows? Look! Here's a story about how they're related to some desperate girls who "manipulate" (so to speak) their own father! Ain't that a hoot? Don't like the fact the Hebrews liked getting paid for all their construction work (the big projects were built by paid laborers, not slaves)? Say they were all evil and they should've been listening to your ideas about starving in the wilderness for the principle of the thing. Whether it's the OT or the NT, if you're willing to avoid idealizing the texts, it's clear when it reads more like a rant than an objective view of history.
  7. heralde

    heralde Well-Known Member

    Amen to that! :) We say we are made in the image of God, but I think a lot of people try to make God over into their image. ; )
  8. D'Snowth

    D'Snowth Well-Known Member

    No offense TheMonsterAteMe, but this really is a subject that usually causes un-necessary flames and disputes among members who get involved in the discussion.

    I speak from experience on both sides of the fence, from being the one persecuted by other members who spouted "God is a fairytale" propaganda, to having to step in as a moderator at another forum to get other members to stop harassing another member for the same reason.

    I'm just saying...
  9. frogboy4

    frogboy4 Inactive Member

    Nobody's landed. A preemptive strike is unnecessary. There's a balance to be maintained and I feel the maturity of this thread so far bears witness to that.

    This thread has been up for over a week and it hasn't caused un-necessary flames. I trust your concern is genuine and not an attempt to close a conversation because the subject matter makes you uncomfortable. Members can choose to skip any thread they don't like.

    I had a wonderful time beautifying this place several years back, but I would have no trouble leaving Muppet Central for good if the moderators cherry picked this thread for censorship while other Bible threads still remain. Sharing can be a great thing and this thread has demonstrated that very thing! :flirt:
  10. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    Someone BESIDES Peter Griffin once said that homosexuals should have the right to be married so they can be as miserable as the rest of us. Truer words were never spoken.

    Now, not trying to step on any toes, but marriage is a human ritualistic ceremony. It's all about symbolism that NO ONE wants to bother with anymore. All the time you see quicky marriages that end up in despair and people marrying for all the wrong reasons, all ending in divorce... really, we want to think of divorce as this painful thing that's a last ditch effort... and it's only to be used in emergencies like if things just can't be worked out or worse... if one of the two is any matter of abusive. It usually isn't. heck, my cousin was shotgun married over the summer (and I have so many bad feelings about it, and I don't want to fill anything else with even MORE unnecessary emotional baggage)... that's probably not going to end well.

    There's just so much about marriage that bugs me... some people just can't be in omitted relationships. Some people just can't FIND themselves in one, even if they try.

    As for the "god is a fairy tale" stuff... this is how I tend to think... you can either accept the belief in one or you can question it. As long as you can respect why the other party sees that way. There is NO enlightenment in refusing the other side, but there is in a very well crafted respectful discussion. Truth is, we really DON'T know how we got here, we don't know why we're here, and we may never ever find out. We just have various theories, some that support a creator god, some that don't. There are even some in the middle who believe in a higher power, but they don't feel it created everything at least in that way.

    The problem lies in with bitterness. Both sides of anything can't stand each other because of the loud vocal minorities on both sides... it's like this in religion, politics...everything. The Athiest movement came out of people who were bitter at bitter "religious" (note quotations) nuts... same way the "Moral" Majority came out of Hippies in the 70's. One extremist group breads another. And the only thing that bitterness gets is suffering and profits from shifty types that profit off the misery of others. The people in the middle (especially the Moe Syzlak types like myself who want no part of anything) are the ones that get hurt the most since we're willing to listen to the other side IF they can handle a persuasive, mild mannered, and respectful discussion of their views. Too bad we never get them, and too bad when we do, they're easilly ignored.
  11. frogboy4

    frogboy4 Inactive Member

    I'll cite an example.

    Former Speaker and likely 2012 Presidential candidate Newt Gingrich was raised by an unwed teenage mother for much of his life. He's had three marriages and two divorces that were caused by his wild infidelities. Somehow his narcissism renders him exempt from his rules for others because he was preaching piety throughout all of his debauchery. All of this is a statement of fact, but he's the guy that keeps citing God and continues to proclaim that gay marriage is fascist and poisonous to the country. I'd say "Pot-meet kettle" but gay families haven't statistically produced children with less happy or successful lives. Divorce and infidelity wreaks havoc, but you know - none of it is anyone's business anyway. People should just live their lives and allow others to do the same. Leaders like him aren't interested in sharing, they want ideological domination.

    I'm not an anarchist and don't want to take down the establishment. Me and my friends, we just want to live our lives and thrive alongside people of all beliefs - none supreme over the other. The gay scapegoat won't last forever. The angry people of this world will eventually have to find someone else to dislike for preposterous reasons. Dr Seuss said it best with his Sneetches. Why do some deserve less dignity and respect than others? :sympathy:
  12. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    I can't really get on that without starting the obvious political banter... I hate the right's claim to piety as much as I hate the left's passive aggressiveness. This all dated back to the 1970's, and the founding of the "Moral Majority" which again came out of people not liking Hippies, and praising a war they were too old and out of shape to fight themselves.

    The pink menace is the far far right (again, distinctly different from the moderate right) pandering to an easy to manipulate public. The very same "religious" base that neo-Cons mock behind their backs, after they got their votes. Sigh... I wish the Log Cabin would be a little more vocal against that stuff, but at least they're vocal FOR repealing Don't Ask Don't Tell... On the other hand the moderate left is too afraid to discuss the rights of the homosexual community. Both parties quite stink at this, if you ask me. But hey, at least the left is TOUGH on happy meal prizes and mothers who bring cupcakes to school... those are REAL menaces. :rolleyes: But that's enough of that.

    What it all comes down to is sometimes you have to make your OWN choices about what to think. Unfortunately, so few do that, and just digest corporate sponsored, loud "opinions" that it creates completes posers and zombies. I'm not saying the left isn't guilty... just the right does it MUCH MUCH MUCH better. And there's a lot of bitterness from both sides against the others, and religion comes into it. I do NOT like religion and politics meshing, as I said, you don't get politics according to the word of God, you get the word of God according TO politics. And that's dangerous.
  13. Bannanasketch

    Bannanasketch Active Member

    Glad I found this thread....

    I'm just gonna say it like it is:

    I am a Christian and I am a conservative. I also believe homosexuality is a sin. I believe in what the bible says so I believe homosexuality is sexual immorality and it is a sin.

    With that out of the way....

    I DO NOT believe that gays should be bullied and brought down. There are so many people in the world that have the completely wrong view on homosexuality. These are the people that hold up the 'God hates fags' signs and think all gays are going straight to **** so we should distance ourselves from them. I couldnt disagree more. There is the misconception out there that God hates gays. This is definitely not true! The bible says that God loves everyone. That also means God loves gays. I don't believe that it is our job as christians to judge whether gays are going to **** or not. That is God's job and not ours. Many christians are such hypocrites in their thinking of homosexuality. Jesus loves all people. Most of his time on earth, Jesus spent a lot of time with the most hated sinners. What would he say if he were on Earth today?

    If only there were more Christians in the world that could start reading the bible as a whole and stop picking out the parts thaey wanted to hear. I wish I could say that it gets better but with a lot of hypocrites out in the world, I just don't know.
  14. frogboy4

    frogboy4 Inactive Member

    I appreciate that you distinguished your view point and decisions from what everyone has to accept. Even though I do take exception at being labeled a sinner for being gay (not even Jesus is reported to have said that outright), it's clear that belief comes from the religious dogma that you have chosen for yourself and there are many others who believe the same way. It's interesting to hear a different voice in this thread - especially one that comprehends the idea of grace. That isn't employed much by any group these days. It's so cool to see it in this thread. :super:

    I think Christians, gay people and all people should offer grace to one another, get along and equally thrive in their way of life without anyone standing in their way. :)
  15. Fozzie Bear

    Fozzie Bear Active Member

    I still say it simply: God is Love, and Jesus is representative of God in the flesh, and so therefore is also love. To be Christian means to be Christlike, and unless that love for others is in your heart - unconditionally! - then you are not Christlike and therefore are not a true Christian, regardless what religion you say you are.

    After all, look at the kind of people Jesus chose to be his disciples!

    As always, I contradict myself some: This is obviously mentioned within reason. If someone killed someone I loved I would not love that person, nor would I wish the justice system to take it easy on them. It seems hypocritical to say that; but, it's true. There may be someone else out there who could do that, but it ain't me.

    So, am I a Christian? Yes, but am I a good one? I could be better at it.
  16. Bannanasketch

    Bannanasketch Active Member

    Thanks for your comment, Fozzie bear! I completely agree with yo and at times it is very hard for us to love others. We can always remember we have God on our side, and he can help us love. There are a lot of people out there that claim to be christians but don't do what the bible says and love. James 1:22-25 tells us:

    22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. 23 Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror 24 and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 25 But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.

    We need more christians that can live like Jesus and love others just like the bible says! :)
  17. heralde

    heralde Well-Known Member

    I understand your feelings on the matter; I think Jesus' words of "love thy enemy" is probably one of the hardest things for any of us to accomplish. As far as the act of murder, I would definitely support life in prison because people have to be protected. But I draw the line at the death penalty. Mercy isn't only for the innocent. Otherwise it wouldn't be mercy at all. : )

    But again, it's definitely not easy to forgive and love the worst among us (Heck it's hard to forgive our own families sometimes!) But I think Jesus wouldn't have asked it of us if he didn't think we were capable of it. If he can forgive the people who put him to death, then I think he's asking us to do the same for the people who hurt us. : )
  18. GonzoLeaper

    GonzoLeaper Well-Known Member

    A lot of good thoughts here. I agree with bananasketch. You said it very well there.
    This is something I've expounded on before and I get tired of so many times that it gets miscontrued.
    I will tell you straight out that yes, I am a follower of Jesus and I believe what The Bible says. And The Bible does call homosexuality a sin. It also calls hypocrisy a sin. There's also lying, stealing, adultery, greed, jealousy, hatred, envy, coveting, idol worshipping, cowardice, drunkeness, witchcraft, cursing and foul language, disobedience, malice and rage and still others sins.
    It also says that it's all equally bad. James 2:10 says that if anyone stumbles at any one part of the Law, they're guilty of breaking all of it.
    So anyone who claims to be a Christian is already guilty of breaking all of the law just as much as anyone else because we've all broken the law and done wrong things.
    So I don't claim to be better than anyone else. And the point I wanted to make with this is that everyone is a sinner because we are born with it, due to the fall of man in Genesis 3. So I'm not trying to single any particular sin out for constituting a "sinner".
    But the Good News is that God did make all of us in His image. We went astray and because of our sin desperately needed His grace. He provided His grace through Jesus' death and Resurrection. God demonstrated His love for us in that. That is the only way of salvation. And His life is what gives me meaning and physical life and life abundant and life eternal.
    That is what I believe.
    And God loves everyone. And thus I love everyone because God commands me to for one, and because of the love He's shown to me. And The Bible says to speak the truth in love.
    And I hate to see so many groups that speak more like half-truths and/or outright lies with hatred and vile.
    And for the record, I have known gay people and have been good friends with them in fact. I have some gay friends along with a lot of other friends who are not Christians and believe differently from me. And that's okay. We get along just fine because we can agree to disagree on beliefs. And I've actually found a number of things I agree with them on- well, what do you know? :wisdom:
    Because the other thing I really dislike and I don't believe in is using force and/or bullying to bring someone to your point of view. This is something Jesus never did. He definitely always spoke the truth in love. That is what I believe in- showing people Christ's love through word and deed. All I want to share is what Christ has done for me and the promises He makes. People have to make their own decisions about what to do with Christ from there.
    And Jesus Himself said that He didn't come into the world to condemn people but to save them!
    As the Beatles almost said, all you need is God's love. I wish more Christians were truly making sure that was first and foremost in their actions and speech.:)
  19. RedPiggy

    RedPiggy Well-Known Member

    How so? The logic of the 'phobes is that it is called an "abomination". Murder? Not really. Now, one has to wonder how seriously to take the use of the word when wearing polyester/cotton blends also are abominations. Or eating shrimp. Yes, we all sin, but clearly the bible has preferences.

    I can agree to a certain extent, but the idea that cutting someone off in traffic is as bad as, say, genocide is just downright silly. There are valid reasons some issues are considered more severe than others. The problem is when people start just labeling things as severe (like homosexuality or wearing two types of cloth) when they just really aren't. It makes the person who made up the rule look ridiculous and delusional. The WHOLE reason such things were called abominations was to keep Hebrews from going over to the "fun" temples, where you could do more than listen to some bitter priest tell you God hates you. The priests who wrote the rules were ramping up the punishments (that they were probably the ones who would mete out) so that they could keep a forced loyalty. And it was really a moot point anyway because the bible and archaeology agree the "Joe Q Public" never really listened to the priests/prophets as much as they thought the public should.

    And yet we're all born sinners. Everyone has a right to their beliefs, but some beliefs ought to be thought out more. Others came up with Original Sin. It's not inherent in the text that's referenced for it. Instead, the A&E story sounds more like a harsh coming-of-age story, where some naive kids heard an eye-opener of a story and God got irritated. The original point seems to be that we mess up, miss the mark, whatever as a result of biological desire (note that Eve first mentions how delicious the fruit looks, not any of the other reasons) and naivety/ignorance. Had Genesis gone down like the NT authors claimed it did, there was really no reason at all for God to keep A&E around. He could just as easily have vaporized them and started over. Instead, He doesn't kill them, lets them live to just shy of a 1000 years, and continue to spread their genes all over the place. Some punishment. However, this makes total sense if you realize God gives them this slap on the wrist because He realizes they screwed up, not willfully flipping God off. It's the same thing with Cain. He lets his emotions get the best of him and doesn't seem to grasp just what he really did. God thus protects him from harm and lets him found a city. Christianity loves to latch onto God's fury, but with a more objective reading of the text, a lot of people get away with, well, murder. God forgives a lot more than He actually punishes.

    The hardest part of determining what Jesus wanted is you really have two of them: Hippie Jesus and Rambo Jesus. I'm willing to accept the idea He's probably a mixture of both, but it's trying to fish out His true personality that's the issue.
  20. frogboy4

    frogboy4 Inactive Member

    I'm pleasantly surprised by the post here...

    Ultimately, it's not only about love. It's also about living and letting others to live as well. :)

    How I believe things should be:

    Christians and other religious groups should be able to worship openly in this country without fear of losing their right to do so from any political action committee with a particular vendetta.

    Gay men and women should have the right to live, thrive and have families just like everyone else in this country without having particular religious political agendas painting them in the same light as polygamists or animal abusers and preventing their equal rights.

    Nobody should be made to live a half-life because of a group's arbitrary agenda about individuals they've never met. That is the very essence of civil rights. However, some groups feel they should have more rights than others. :attitude:

    Persecution is just as ugly in any light. I hate all shades of bullies no matter where they come from or what their reasons are for being so.

    I'd also like to add something that's been on my mind a great deal - the fact that most religious-centered political pundits cite America as a Judeo-Christian nation and that all of our life and rights stem from that. That can always be debated to death, but the one thing that can't is how quickly the Judeo portion is forgotten in many other areas of American life after the cable television lights go dim. There is still much unspoken anti-Semitism that is swept under the carpet. A gross illustration of that is the recent behavior by high-profile, right-wingers in Texas trying to replace Jewish Republican House Speaker Joe Straus with a Christian conservative.

    It would be nice is we not only "agreed to disagree" but permitted others to thrive under their different beliefs. "Peoples is peoples." I use a Muppet film quote because the Muppets wouldn't be who and what they are without the diversity of their performers, writers, directors and crew - all of whom deserve equal rights like everybody else. :cool:


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