A Christian Primer

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Introduction:

Beyond just the common hatred of Christianity on WB (and throughout the world); there also seems to be a lot of ignorance concerning my faith.  I don’t mean this as derogatory assertion… just an observation.  I assure you, I am very ignorant of many things I haven’t been exposed to.

 

With that in mind, I’m going to write a simple primer on the subject of Christianity.  This is meant simply to inform; not proselytize or debate the existence of God.  So please don’t comment on that point.  We all know where we all stand on that issue.

 

But if you agree/disagree with my premise of what constitutes the foundation of being a Christian. or have a question/comments concerning these beliefs (other than they are wrong, because there is no God), I would love to hear from you.

 

Hopefully, I’ll help some better understand our core beliefs.  Hopefully, I’ll dispel some misnomers, clarify others… AND I’m sure I will likely confirm a few misgivings.  I don’t claim to have all the answers, or understand every jot and tittle of the gospel.  But, I think I know enough to write this primer and intelligently discuss aspects of my Christian faith.

 

Just the Foundation:

As with all religions there is disagreement among followers of Christ concerning certain details.  We Christians are not immune to this sort of thing.  We are divided into denominations and suchlike.  So, I’m going to try and concentrate on core Christian beliefs, those the vast majority of Christians share and the foundation of the faith.  There will be a few places where I note some disagreement within the faith.

 

Beyond this foundation, I’ll also make note of a few beliefs concerning our faith, either confirming, denying, or clarifying them.  Again... just for information.

 

First Clarification:

There is a large segment of the population that would adopt the label Christian who simply believe in God; but are for the most part ignorant of the teachings of Christ.  They, more or less, see God as a old white haired figure who will weigh one’s good vs bad at the end of our lives and if the good outweighs the bad, you go to heaven.  This (as you will see below) is one of the most anti-Christian doctrines one can hold.

 

So, this primer does not address the beliefs of these “Christians” but rather those who take the teachings of Christ seriously enough to know what they are; and who believe the foundation of His teachings, His gospel (good news).

 

 

The Source:

OK… Christians take our religion from the New Testament of the Bible.  We generally see the Old Testament as history and prophesy preparing the way for the Messiah, who is Christ.  Christ’s story, and teachings are found in the New Testament as recalled and written down by His followers.

 

We are aware of the arguments that these words were written by fallible men, and even debate these issues among ourselves; but it is a common belief among Christians that God inspired and guided these men as they recalled and produced the New Testament (the Bible as a whole actually).

 

Other books and commentaries, and primers have been written; and those can be very insightful, but the source, the only source of the gospel is the Bible.

 

The Foundation:

What I am describing here is the basic message of the New Testament, paraphrased by me and placed in a somewhat logical order.  Here we go…

 

1) Man is flawed/sinful and this state separates him from God who is perfect.

 

2) God loves man.  God loves man so much he was determined to bridge that separation.

 

3) There is a big problem though, in that NOTHING man can do (no sacrifice, no paid price) is good enough to bridge that gap.  Understanding this basic tenant of Christianity should lay to rest the idea of God as a wise old man with scales weighting good and evil; at least for those who would call themselves “Christian”.

 

4) So, God implemented a plan that would (bridge the gap and reconcile man and God).  Man could not sacrifice enough or pay a price high enough, but God could on men’s behalf.  And that’s what He did.

 

5) God sent His Son, the prophesied Messiah, (Jesus Christ) to make the sacrifice and pay the price for all men to be reconciled to God.  For this to work, Jesus had to live the perfect sinless life and then be ultimately punished/sacrificed as if He had committed the sins of the world.  This is why Jesus is often referred to as the Lamb of God and the perfect sacrifice.

 

6) Jesus did this.  He left His Heavenly home, walked the earth, taught what I am describing here (and more).  THEN he was crucified/punished for the sins of the world.  Why?  Because NO man could do this.  Only God could, and Jesus taught that HE was God.

 

 

7) That brings us to our small part in all of this.  What must we do (according to the New Testament) to take advantage of what God (through Jesus) did for us? 

 

   a) We must know that what He did was a gift (grace); and not something we deserve or can work for.

 

   b) We must believe and acknowledge that Jesus is the Son of God and the promised Messiah.

 

   c) We must repent of our sins which means to acknowledge them and seek to change our ways.

 

   d) We must be baptized for the remission of those sins. (Note: Baptism is one of those subjects that denominations disagree on… It’s necessity and what constitutes the act.)

 

   e) We must remain faithful to the above for the remainder of our lives.

 

That’s it.  That is the foundation of the gospel.  Everything else in the New Testament either reinforces this foundation or is advise on how to implement one’s faith… particularly remaining faithful.

 

Addressing a few Common Beliefs:

With the primer of the foundation of Christianity behind us.  Let me spend just a little space addressing a few common beliefs concerning what we Christians believe.  Some are misconceptions, some aren’t and some (I think) need clarification.

 

Please understand that the clarifications and answers below are mine based on my study of what Jesus and the apostles have taught.  I don’t claim to speak for anyone other than myself here.

 

Believe Everything:

“You must believe the entire Bible (or at least the New Testament) to go to Heaven.”

 

No.  What you must believe and act upon is the foundation described above.  Everything else is meant to help you better understand that foundation and live by it.

 

The perfect example might be the golden rule “Treat others as you would like to be treated.”  Jesus taught this rule as a lesson on how you repent and change your ways; in other words, how to walk the walk.  He did not teach this rule as the means to attain salvation and go to heaven. 

 

It gets back to the basic principle of what Christians call “works”.  Living by this rule is works/action but no amount of works is sufficient to attain salvation/heaven.  You do works because you are saved… not in order to be saved.

 

He (Christ) is the Only Way:

“Christ and the means he set forth in His teachings are the only way to achieve salvation/heaven.”

 

Yes.  Jesus said this point blank.  He is it… nothing else works.

 

 

We Christians catch a lot of grief for this and to be honest, I don’t know why.  Two plus two equals four.  It doesn’t equal three.  It doesn’t equal five.  It doesn’t equal twenty-two.  Not even sometimes.  We simply think we are right AND thus religions, belief systems, and people who disagree are wrong.

 

This is no different than a Muslim saying that Muhammad is THE prophet of Allah.  They say anybody who denies this is wrong.  Atheists say that anybody who believes in a god is wrong.  I don’t take either of these non-Christian beliefs personally; nor do I take offense.  We (Christians) just ask that the same courtesy be extended to us.

 

Jesus was a Wise Teacher

Some people choose to believe that Jesus was a wise teacher (a Rabi), kind of like Buddah; but was not divine.  They therefore feel free to pick and choose which of his teachings they will admire and take to heart.

 

Christians do not subscribe to this belief or approach.  So, No. 

 

He was wise.  He was a teacher.  But He was God.  If the first two are meant to exclude the third, then the belief is false.

 

This approach readily fits agnostics and those who want to pretend that all religions lead to the same place.

 

Picking and choosing a path in this manner is an option; and quite a few follow it.  I personally don’t find it very logical but don’t begrudge those who do.  We simply disagree.  I would also simply say that this position is non-Christian in that it is not what Christ taught.

 

From my standpoint, I don’t think a “wise teacher” can be a liar.  I also don’t think a “wise teacher” can be crazy.  Jesus said He was God.  That makes Him (logically) one of three things 1) A liar, 2) crazy , or 3) God.

 

The only way to get around that is to decide that Jesus didn’t really claim to be God; but did say all the good things I agree with.  This too (in my opinion) is not a logical approach to forming one’s religious or philosophical beliefs.  It is essentially living by meme or worship of oneself.

 

Christians are Morally Superior:

“Christians have a monopoly on moral authority and thus an upper hand in living moral lives.”

 

No.

 

There is a Christian meme that states “Not perfect, just forgiven”.  That, I think is a good description of the state we Christians find ourselves in.  We are taught that we are to try to be better, to try to be like Christ, BUT to understand one thing.  We will fail, because we are human.

 

That would be very bad news if our success/salvation depended upon us.  It doesn’t.  It depends on Him, and He paid that price and won that victory 2K years ago.

 

Still, we catch grief because we do not turn a blind eye to sin the world has decided to embrace.  And we are (thankfully) guilty of that.  But we are also guilty of committing our own sins equal to those.  Hypocrisy would be pretending one is worse than the other, or that we were without sin altogether.  We’re not… and those few who may believe that are dead wrong.  Far fewer Christians than you think do believe it.

 

Side Story: I remember a preacher in Houston thanking visitors for attending church one morning.  He said something like this “I know some of you are looking around for the perfect church to attend.  THIS is not it.  I would also ask that if you ever do find that perfect church, to leave immediately; or else it would cease to be perfect.”  I always liked that…

 

Conclusion:

I’ll stop here, though I’m sure I’ve missed a few Christian myths/misnomers.  Feel free to add your own in the comments.  I thank any readers who got through this whole thing and hope it helps a few better understand what it is to follow Christ.  God bless you, every one. :)

Comments

opher goodwin Added Feb 14, 2018 - 7:07pm
I suppose that's fine if you believe it Lynn.
TexasLynn Added Feb 14, 2018 - 7:11pm
Opher >> I suppose that's fine if you believe it Lynn.
 
I do.  Thank you!  And that's fine if you don't. :)
 
I respect your decision/conclusion and beliefs and your right to have them.
Doug Plumb Added Feb 14, 2018 - 9:09pm
re “Christians have a monopoly on moral authority and thus an upper hand in living moral lives.”
 No."
 
Right. But we create better societies than the supremist religions do (islam and Judaism). We are Gods chosen people and we bring peace, we are the great peace makers, the great philosophers, the great lawyers, builders, artists, explorers and writers. We have lifted hundreds of millions out of poverty.
  We are the most prosecuted group on earth.
  Anyone who leaves their country almost inevitably leaves a non Christian society to go to a Christian society.
  So where are you on the JQ Lynn ?
 
TexasLynn Added Feb 14, 2018 - 11:32pm
Doug >> But we create better societies than the supremist religions do (islam and Judaism).
 
I would agree, especially when considering recent history (the last 1000 years); though I think the Jews have done a pretty good job with Israel; the only democratic state in the Middle East while surrounded by enemies.
 
Is Islam and/or Judaism "supremist"?  Meaning, if anybody can convert to the religion, how is that the case?
 
I know both claim that "We're right and everybody else is wrong"; but that's pretty well my stance as well.  I can't imagine that not being the belief of anybody who sincerely claims faith (in whatever religion or lack there-of).
 
Doug >> We are Gods chosen people...
 
We are... and that invitation is open to every person on the face of the planet.  And the Lord wants each and every one to accept it.
 
We are chosen in that we are adopted to receive the inheritance promised Christ.
 
Doug >> ... and we bring peace, we are the great peace makers...
 
We have a mixed record on that, but I would hold our record up against anybody.  Especially considering the fruits of atheism (via Stalin and Mao) and more Islam (over it's entire history).
 
Doug >> ... the great philosophers, the great lawyers, builders, artists, explorers and writers.
 
Certainly.  Again, I would hold our record up against anybody.
 
Doug >> We have lifted hundreds of millions out of poverty.
 
In conjunction with capitalism, very much so.  As for relieving poverty around the globe there has been no greater blessing than American capitalism (made possible by our Judeo-Christian principles).
 
Doug >>  We are the most prosecuted group on earth.
 
We were definitely persecuted during the early days of the Church as Rome initially tried to extinguish us... we see those days returning slowly and surely as the secular movement is emboldened.
 
Christ warned us to expect nothing less.
 
But... the Jews have also experienced great persecution over the last several centuries.
 
Doug >> Anyone who leaves their country almost inevitably leaves a non Christian society to go to a Christian society.
 
That... or a formerly Christian one.  If I'm not mistaken, Europe has abandoned their Christian heritage; a path we (the U.S.) are also on.
 
Doug >> So where are you on the JQ Lynn?
 
That would depend on what the JQ (Jewish Question) is.  I am not a subscriber to the overall conspiracy of an organized group of Jews controlling everything through the banks.
 
We have a lot of problems with world leaders (of nations and industry), but this is more of a secular nature, in my opinion.
 
The Jews were Gods chosen people for thousands of years and he used them to prepare the way for His Son.  BUT as prophesied, He (the Messiah) was a "stumbling block" to them and they rejected Him.  They did so because he was not and did not bring about what they wanted.  They wanted their Messiah to establish an earthly kingdom and punish their earthly enemies.  Many Christians today, make the same mistake when looking for His return (2nd coming).
 
Today every Jew, and Muslim, and atheist, and agnostic, and (fill in the blank here) has the same opportunity and path to God and his grace.
 
I appreciate the comments, and hope I answered/clarified to your satisfaction. 
opher goodwin Added Feb 15, 2018 - 3:26am
Lynn - I think religious belief is a person choice and I too respect people's personal choices. That's what freedom is to me.
Neil Lock Added Feb 15, 2018 - 4:52am
Lynn: I find myself agreeing with Opher (again!) that religion is a matter of personal choice. Over the decades, I’ve been through many different stages of religious viewpoint – from being a reluctant semi-believer in my early teens, through hard atheism in my early thirties, and about half way back again. Today, I classify myself as an agnostic. Whether or not there’s a god simply doesn’t matter to me. And my view on religion is simply, “if you let me have my religion (or lack of it), I’ll let you have yours.” I’m certainly not among those who hate Christianity, or want to persecute Christians.
 
It interested me that you downplay the significance of the Old Testament, at least compared with the version of Christianity I was subjected to in my schooldays. And particularly the Ten Commandments, numbers 6 to 9 of which I regard as a fine early attempt at a set of basic moral standards.
Doug Plumb Added Feb 15, 2018 - 6:03am
re "Is Islam and/or Judaism "supremist"? Meaning, if anybody can convert to the religion, how is that the case?"

In societies run by Islamics or Judaics, all non Judaics or non Islamics must pay a tax or simply be slaves of the members of the master religion. Judaism considers only Jews as Gods creation and the rest of us are slaves. Modern day Israel has had human slavery up until 2006. The girls that went overseas to be models would often end up in an Israeli brothel, where they were displayed, bought and sold as any other commodity. This was even on TV, fifth estate or 60 minutes. If TV doesn't say it often enough, its not true. People experience cognitive dissonance when they hear this and there is no one around to tell them what they should think.
Under Islamic rule, Christians become "demi's" and must pay a tax for being Christians. Islamics plan to kill us all when they take over USA and Canada and Europe.

re "But... the Jews have also experienced great persecution over the last several centuries."

No, they haven't. They have been kicked out of over one hundred societies in history for corruption and attempting to overthrow society. Right now we are fighting all their wars for them because they print the money. We have dual Israeli/American citizens running USA. That has been often said by Jewish leaders. Many Jews don't like it. The holocaust didn't happen. Pick anything you have been told about it, go down that path and you find out it was a lie.

Countries that have the Common law as their basis are by definition Christian. Common law is Christianity. Common law prevents one group from subjugating another in an overt sense. Our societies are run by Jews covertly, they print the money, own the media, control medicine (Rockefeller (Rothstein) medicine), education and publishing. They control reality.
 
I've written some posts on Christian doctrine.
Doug Plumb Added Feb 15, 2018 - 6:14am
Whenever are wherever you have a supremist government, Christians will be prosecuted. Religions like Judaism and Islam are based on statutes that must be followed, in this way members become blind followers of the priesthood. Christianity is soley based on reason and is not dependent on a priesthood, so it is hated by elites and they manipulate their masses to hate us or turn to atheism (Judaism). Judaism is in truth Atheism, their God is Lucifer. Grab a PDF copy of the Talmud online, there are a few of the. Check out Michael Hoffman and E Michael Jones on youtube. These guys are both serious scholars (Phd's)
Doug Plumb Added Feb 15, 2018 - 6:15am
Look at what Muslims do to young women. They are allowed to rape the Christian, or rob, or whatever.
Doug Plumb Added Feb 15, 2018 - 6:17am
re "Lynn - I think religious belief is a person choice and I too respect people's personal choices. That's what freedom is to me.  "
 
So other religions believe that you are nothing but a slave and you think it is OK. That is communist brainwashing.
Doug Plumb Added Feb 15, 2018 - 6:21am
re "e "Is Islam and/or Judaism "supremist"? Meaning, if anybody can convert to the religion, how is that the case?"
 
Try converting to Judaism. You won't be fully "in" with them. They have a name for people who convert - I forget what it is.
  For Islam, you can convert. It is non racial, just like Christianity.
Doug Plumb Added Feb 15, 2018 - 6:26am
BTW Multiculturalism is a Jewish Agenda, to create the melting pot where everyone is easily controlled, no roots, no family and Israel remains racially pure. Muslims are not the driving force, they do not have power, they do not print the money or control the press.
  Whoever prints money controls congress. Banks owe no allegiance to the people or the countries. They can raise or lower interest rates at leisure.
Jeffry Gilbert Added Feb 15, 2018 - 7:16am
Just another form of proselytizing. 
 
Proselytizing is at the top of a long list of reasons why I have no use for religious nonsense.
 
Your religion is yours. No one else needs to know about it. 
Robert Burk Added Feb 15, 2018 - 9:05am
Jeffrey, no one needs to know about science or law or your opinion but I bet your prostelyze all three.
Robert Burk Added Feb 15, 2018 - 9:07am
Lynn, a very good overview, of course you miss out a lot but no one who needs to read this (and this includes every atheist I have ever talked to) will notice. Hope you do not mind if I use it. I tend to get overly pedantic when I write ..
 
Jeffry Gilbert Added Feb 15, 2018 - 9:07am
I bet your prostelyze all three.
 
I'll take that bet. Loser.
 
Even A Broken Clock Added Feb 15, 2018 - 9:55am
Lynn, thanks for the thoughtful piece. I appreciate that you are accepting of other's beliefs. There are those who are Christians who are intolerant of anything outside of their rigid code of beliefs, and they are the ones who give Christianity a bad name within the secular culture.
 
One of my problems with Christianity as it is practiced is that the writings of Paul are taken as seriously as the Gospels. Some of Paul's statements, which were valid in his time, are now causing some of the division seen within the church. I belong to an Episcopal church that is very inclusive, and I believe that is consistent with the Gospels, yet since our congregation accepts LGBT members, we are seen as anti-Christian. That is troubling.
wsucram15 Added Feb 15, 2018 - 10:12am
Lynn...I agree with pretty much everything you wrote and  I do have a few of my own..mostly on judgement.
Its one of my favorites.
But its just something I was going to add here..not about you.
Doug Plumb Added Feb 15, 2018 - 10:52am
re "There are those who are Christians who are intolerant of anything outside of their rigid code of beliefs, and they are the ones who give Christianity a bad name within the secular culture."
 
Pardon me for not being tolerant of human slavery and those who wish to enslave me. I guess that makes me intolerant in some communistic sense. If so, I don't mind at all.
Doug Plumb Added Feb 15, 2018 - 11:43am
An open mind is usually an empty one. Wise people practice "discrimination" and to say one has "discrimination" is actually a compliment.
  If you are young and "open minded", you should be, but if you are old and "open minded" then you should probably put something into your mind to give it a sense of "discrimination".
Dave Volek Added Feb 15, 2018 - 11:58am
Lynn
 
I think you have summarized basic Christian theology quite well.
 
I grew up Roman Catholic but left when I was about 15. I was heading into a life of partying, and I didn't want to be seen as a hypocrite. Plus the theology wasn't making much sense to me at that time--and still doesn't. I will just address a couple of concepts and see where they go.
 
I fail to see the sacrifice of Jesus. If there are a heaven, hell, and Earth--and heaven is the best place to be, then would not Jesus going (back) to heaven be a desired outcome? Especially if the father is to be re-united with his son?
 
True it is that Jesus did suffer a lot to get there. But thousands of people were crucified with Roman crosses. And Jesus' sufferings lasted only one day. Millions since then have had equivalent sufferings that went on for much longer durations. Jesus was nothing special in terms of human suffering.
 
I fail to see that salvation comes only from belief. If someone is "saved," but fails to show much Christian characteristics, has that person really been saved? Why would God choose that person over someone who is living a secular life but more or less living with similar morals Christ is asking from his followers.
 
I have a good friend who has little use for religion. Yet he is very generous, raised two boys that were not his own, self-reliant and hard-working,community-minded, and other good features of a good person. People like being around him, and people like confiding with him,  Why would God cast my friend into hell?  This does not make any sense to me.
 
I have a few more points I could bring up, but I think Christians need to know that there are good reasons why many of us have not accepted the basic Christian theology. Those reasons of not based on "hating Christians".
 
 
 
 
 
Doug Plumb Added Feb 15, 2018 - 1:05pm
Christianity is not about what happens when you die. Most religion isn't. Its layered and means different things for different people, depending on the level of understanding. Religion is about what happens when you die for young children because they think and ask about this a lot. Its ashes to ashes for adults.
  Christianity is about the practice of reason above statutory requirements. It sets old dogmatism aside in favour of reason. Christianity is an expression of the common law and has doctrines for nation building, such as I outline in "My People Suffer For Lack Of Knowledge" where I explain these doctrines (4 of them).
  Nothing new about making sacrifices for sin.
TexasLynn Added Feb 15, 2018 - 2:34pm
Doug,  First let me say up front that you and I agree on much and disagree on much.  I do appreciate your comments and insight… and the opportunity to discuss further.
 
Doug >> In societies run by Islamics or Judaics, all non Judaics or non Islamics must pay a tax or simply be slaves of the members of the master religion.
 
I know the "fiscus judaicus" was imposed on the Jews (and Christians) by the Romans but am unaware of such a tax imposed by the Jews.  Can you point me to a verse Tanakh (Old Testament) this is based on?  Israel is the only nation (overtly) run by the Jewish people today, is that tax in place there?
 
Islam contains that commandment called the "Jizya".  The Muslims claim it is to pay for the Islamic blessings and protection the dhimma (non-believers) receive.  It is basically extortion through a protection racket.
 
Doug >> Judaism considers only Jews as Gods creation and the rest of us are slaves.
 
Islam encourages the subjugation and enslavement of non-Muslims.  That God (who is not the same as Allah) they either ignore that tenet or lack the means.
 
I am not aware of such a belief within Judaism.
 
Doug >> Modern day Israel has had human slavery up until 2006. The girls that went overseas to be models would often end up in an Israeli brothel, where they were displayed, bought and sold as any other commodity. This was even on TV, fifth estate or 60 minutes.
 
I would be very skeptical of that... but I've been surprised before.  If you can find a reference (especially to the TV program) I'd like to see it.  I was not able to a source I would completely trust.
 
Doug >> If TV doesn't say it often enough, its not true. People experience cognitive dissonance when they hear this and there is no one around to tell them what they should think.
 
I'm not much of a TV watcher myself.  Can't say if I'm experience cognitive dissonance or not.  My predisposition is simply skepticism.
 
Doug >> Under Islamic rule, Christians become "demi's" and must pay a tax for being Christians.
 
Yep... that is in the Koran. (see jizya above).
 
Doug >> Islamics plan to kill us all when they take over USA and Canada and Europe.
 
The Koran gives a lot of leeway as to what to do with non-believers; taxing, enslavement, and even death.  Again, thank God they do not have the means... yet.
 
Doug >> No, they haven't. (Jews face persecution) The holocaust didn't happen. Pick anything you have been told about it, go down that path and you find out it was a lie.
 
The Jews have been persecuted.  I believe the holocaust happened based on historical evidence.  We might debate the scale as we would the tens of millions killed by Stalin and Mao; but the systematic collection and extermination happened.
 
Doug >> Right now we are fighting all their wars for them because they print the money. We have dual Israeli/American citizens running USA. That has been often said by Jewish leaders. ... Our societies are run by Jews covertly, they print the money, own the media, control medicine (Rockefeller (Rothstein) medicine), education and publishing. They control reality.
 
So, I'm assuming these are covert figures behind the scenes and someone other than the President and Congress and our media (all our media) is so in on it, to the point that it can't be exposed?  My skeptical side just kicks in here... sorry...
 
Doug >> Countries that have the Common law as their basis are by definition Christian. Common law is Christianity. Common law prevents one group from subjugating another in an overt sense.
 
We can agree here.
 
Doug >> I've written some posts on Christian doctrine.
 
Thank you... I'll look in the near future.
TexasLynn Added Feb 15, 2018 - 2:34pm
Doug >> Whenever are wherever you have a supremist government, Christians will be prosecuted. Religions like Judaism and Islam are based on statutes that must be followed...
 
Agreed, concerning the nature of supremist government.  Anyone (including Christians) not belonging to the ruling class will be persecuted.
 
I agree that Islam, by its nature falls into this category.  I'm not so convinced concerning Judaism.  I'm not saying such tenets do not exist in their holy texts… I just do see it practiced.
 
Christianity catches #$%&^ for Christ and the apostles not addressing the evils such as slavery.  It's a valid observation.  My opinion is that Christ knew the times, in that that message would overwhelm and obscure the more important message. He knew His time on earth was short... so he concentrated on the most important message; life and freedom for eternity versus our lot in this wisp of a life. 
 
Two more points on this...
 
1) Men will always subjugate men.  It is our nature. 
 
2) Surely the golden rule would apply here.
 
3) Christianity was instrumental in the freeing of the slaves in the U.S. 
 
 
Doug >> ... in this way members become blind followers of the priesthood.
 
Christianity teaches that everyone is responsible for their own salvation.  We are instructed by Paul to "continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling."
 
We are a priesthood only in our duty to make the gospel known to others. 
 
Doug >> Christianity is solely based on reason and is not dependent on a priesthood...
 
I would disagree concerning "solely based on reason".  God values faith; and there will always be that leap that we must make.
 
I would agree it is not dependent on a priesthood.  Some denominations have priests and value them at various levels... but I personally disagree with that.  God shows no favoritism to persons.
 
Doug >> ... so it is hated by elites and they manipulate their masses to hate us or turn to atheism (Judaism). Judaism is in truth Atheism.
 
The elites (worldly) do indeed hate Christianity; because it interferes with their world view and plans.
 
But I cannot equate Judaism to atheism.  I associate Judaism with first a religion and second (and much less so) a race.  Yes, there are many Jews who are atheist and associate their Jewishness with culture and race.  But there are others who believe.  Believe in their God and believe they are right above all other beliefs.
 
The Jews for millennia worshiped the one true God and were the only ones who did.  That God did not disappear to be replaced by another.  Their great failing was missing their promised Messiah as was prophesied they would.
 
There are plenty of people within every religion (including Christianity) who are deep down atheists and give their "religion" lip service for the benefits that will bring.
 
Doug >> ...their God is Lucifer.
 
If I take that literally, wouldn't they be Satanists and not atheists?
 
The worldly serve Satin's goals (from a Christian perspective), but not in a direct or direct worshipful way.
TexasLynn Added Feb 15, 2018 - 2:35pm
Doug >> Look at what Muslims do to young women. They are allowed to rape the Christian, or rob, or whatever.
 
Do most Muslims do this.  No.  Muhammad, was a warlord who raped and robbed and enslaved and whatever.  He created a religion to justify and propagate that behavior. So, 1400 years earlier, those who follow him follow his example.
 
=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-==-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
 
Doug >> So other religions believe that you are nothing but a slave and you think it is OK.
 
That mostly depends upon the inclination and means of acting on it.
 
God had the Jews do many things men would find horrible (especially today).  In his omnipotence, He did this to prepare the way for His Son and His plan.
 
=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-==-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
 
Doug >> Try converting to Judaism. You won't be fully "in" with them.  They have a name for people who convert - I forget what it is.
 
I would have to take your work on that.  I'm not informed enough to comment one way or another.
 
Doug >> For Islam, you can convert. It is non racial, just like Christianity.
 
I will give Islam credit for that.  Once you submit... you're one of them... but until then all bets are off as to what can happen to you.
 
Doug >> Whoever prints money controls congress.  Banks owe no allegiance to the people or the countries. They can raise or lower interest rates at leisure.
 
Well... at least in the U.S., Banks don't make that decision.  Money supply (and thus the presses) are controlled by the Federal Reserve.  But I guess you're saying the covert Jews are in charge of all of it... congress, banks, press, bureaucracies...
 
Sorry, guy... but I'm still the skeptic.  Is there some institution the Jews do not control?
TexasLynn Added Feb 15, 2018 - 2:35pm
Jeffry >> Just another form of proselytizing.
 
Am I proselytizing here?  I'm doing my best to be informative.  My apologies if you think I'm crossing that line.
 
Jeffry >> Proselytizing is at the top of a long list of reasons why I have no use for religious nonsense.
 
OK... It is your right not to be directly proselytized to by me or anyone else.  I do, and will respect that.  This post is not proselytizing.  It is here and available for anybody to read or not.  Comment or not.
 
Now if I tied you to a chair or stalked you repeatedly with my message... you've got a valid complaint.
 
Jeffry >> Your religion is yours. No one else needs to know about it.
 
I disagree.  You are not entitled to me not sharing my faith under any and all circumstances.  I'm not entitled to you not sharing whatever opinion you have on any subject.  We are not entitled to be insulated from thoughts and words we disagree with.
 
With that in mind, if you tell me please don't speak of a subject (like religion) directly to you... civility dictates that I should respect that.  And I do.  AND Christ himself told his followers to do that; essentially saying that if someone doesn't want to hear the gospel... walk away.
TexasLynn Added Feb 15, 2018 - 2:36pm
Robert >> Lynn, a very good overview,
 
Thank you.
 
Robert >> ... of course you miss out a lot but no one who needs to read this (and this includes every atheist I have ever talked to) will notice.
 
Of course, a lot was left out to accomplish my goal; which to inform concerning the basic foundation of Christianity.  If I want to include a lot of details; I'd write a commentary and not a primer. :)  It's all about the select information you wish to convey.
 
As for who needs to read it.  I only want to clarify and inform here because I see so much misinformation out there.
 
Robert >> Hope you do not mind if I use it. I tend to get overly pedantic when I write ..
 
I have certainly never been accused of being a man of few words.  It's one of the main reasons Twitter has never interested me. :)
 
Please use this as you see fit.
TexasLynn Added Feb 15, 2018 - 2:36pm
EABC >> Lynn, thanks for the thoughtful piece.
 
Thank you for indulging me and reading it.
 
EABC >> I appreciate that you are accepting of other's beliefs.
 
I think that is basic civility.  I try to live by it.  I may think your wrong... but I will fight for your right to believe as you choose; given certain civil behavior in return (like not trying to extort from or enslave me) :)
 
EABC >> There are those who are Christians who are intolerant of anything outside of their rigid code of beliefs, and they are the ones who give Christianity a bad name within the secular culture.
 
I think many would consider my stance to be intolerant simply because I don't pay lip service to inclusive precepts.  Objectively, somebody is right in this debate and somebody is wrong.
 
If the atheists are right, I'm not a little bit right (nor are the Muslims, or Jews, or Hindus)... I'm completely wrong.  And vice versa.  You can mix and match any and all of those religions/belief systems in the following statement.  If X is right, Y is wrong.
 
I may change your mind (concerning my tolerance) ... below... we'll see.
 
EABC >> One of my problems with Christianity as it is practiced is that the writings of Paul are taken as seriously as the Gospels.
 
I take Paul's writing as seriously as the Gospels (books Matthew, Mark, Luke, John). 
 
It was Paul, after all, who (at Christ's direction) ... extended the gospel to the gentiles.  As a gentile; I'm kind of grateful for that. :)
 
EABC >> Some of Paul's statements, which were valid in his time, are now causing some of the division seen within the church.
 
By this, I am assuming that some of the things Paul mentioned as sinful, you think are not or are no longer.  We would just have to disagree on this point.
 
EABC >> I belong to an Episcopal church that is very inclusive, and I believe that is consistent with the Gospels, yet since our congregation accepts LGBT members, we are seen as anti-Christian. That is troubling.
 
I will not pretend that I don't think homosexuality is a sin; NOR will I pretend it is any worse a sin than the many I am guilty of.  If we exclude sinners from the churches, the churches will be empty.
 
On this point, I think any church or person who promotes that an LGBT lifestyle is not sinful is wrong in accordance to the gospel (which includes Paul).  Would I slap on the label anti-Christian for this misstep?  No.  My biggest concern is that such a message may be equivalent to telling a drowning man everything is fine.
 
As for churches and denominations judging each other... IF a church or denomination must get every jot and tittle of the gospel correct to achieve salvation... none of us are going to make it.  We're all wrong about something.
 
Christianity and its goal isn't some huge puzzle to be figured out.  One point I tried to make in this post... is that the basic gospel and plan for salvation is simple.  That's the part, you've got to get right.  Everything else... is just gravy. (Pardon the southern analogy).
 
Also concerning my belief that the Episcopal church may be wrong on this matter.  Who is just as wrong (if not more so) are those who would say "God hates fags".  God loves all sinners! 
TexasLynn Added Feb 15, 2018 - 2:36pm
Jeanne >> Lynn...I agree with pretty much everything you wrote
 
Thank you.
 
Jeanne >> ...and I do have a few of my own.. mostly on judgement.  Its one of my favorites.
 
Please do. I look forward to it.
 
Jeanne >> But its just something I was going to add here..not about you.
 
Then I will not jump to conclusions and take it personally.
Dino Manalis Added Feb 15, 2018 - 3:20pm
As an Orthodox Christian, I believe Christianity is based on peace and love.  It gives us hope and endurance in troubled times.  God Bless.
TexasLynn Added Feb 15, 2018 - 3:24pm
Dave >> I think you have summarized basic Christian theology quite well.
 
Thank you, that was my intent.
 
Dave >> I grew up Roman Catholic but left when I was about 15. I was heading into a life of partying, and I didn't want to be seen as a hypocrite. Plus the theology wasn't making much sense to me at that time--and still doesn't.
 
My experience was much more within the protestant arena.  I was very luke-warm in my faith until late in life (my 30s) when I woke up and said to myself, "Hey!  This is important!  I really need to know for myself who God is and what He wants!"
 
Dave >> I will just address a couple of concepts and see where they go.
 
Let’s do it!
 
Dave >> I fail to see the sacrifice of Jesus. If there are a heaven, hell, and Earth--and heaven is the best place to be, then would not Jesus going (back) to heaven be a desired outcome? Especially if the father is to be re-united with his son? 
 
True.  But why would a desired happy outcome diminish the sacrifice and the suffering required to get there?  Jesus could have also returned to His Father by saying "I've had enough of this and summoning a legion of angels to his defense"... a less happy ending; especially for us.  BUT that was not the will of God and Jesus prayed just before the crucial event, "Not my will, but your will be done".
 
Dave >> True it is that Jesus did suffer a lot to get there.  Jesus was nothing special in terms of human suffering.
 
True, but if we're judging His suffering on a scale... He was in the very top percentile; even in Roman days.  What percentage of the population was crucified after all?
 
I can't imagine that for us to take Jesus and his suffering and price paid seriously, He would have to suffer more than anyone ever in history.
 
But when we consider the price paid... I think one of the key points that differentiate Him from other men is who Jesus was.  Jesus was God.  God who spoke the cosmos into existence chose to become fully human, chose to suffer and die because he loved us.  He knew, and that choice was made before He was even born.
 
An aspect of being God, Jesus was also sinless; yet again chose to die for all the sins past and present ever committed.  Only he could do that... and he chose the cross, the flogging and the nails on our behalf.  No man ever did that.
 
Dave >> I fail to see that salvation comes only from belief.
 
Belief is key, but it is not the only component.  Does Satan believe that Jesus is God and the Messiah?  Even more... he knows... yet he is not saved.
 
Belief implies repentance (change) and action.
 
James examined this question perfectly... and concluded "As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith (belief) without deeds is dead."
 
That verse barely does his whole message justice... (James 2:14-26: Faith and Deeds)
 
Dave >> If someone is "saved," but fails to show much Christian characteristics, has that person really been saved?
 
Great question!  And one often debated even within Christian circles.
 
First; a vast majority of Christians will tell you that we are saved by faith (which goes beyond mere belief).
 
Here is the best analogy I ever heard on the subject.  Faith is fire.  Smoke is works (deeds, characteristics).  As fire produces smoke, faith produces works.  Where there is fire there is always smoke... BUT ... smoke does not always indicate the presence of actual fire.
 
This really helped me better understand the symmetry; I hope it is as useful for you.
 
Dave >> Why would God choose that person over someone who is living a secular life but more or less living with similar morals Christ is asking from his followers.
 
We're back to debating our works and deeds being applied to our debt with the payoff being salvation (reconciliation with God) The debt is too great for us to ever achieve which is why it was paid in full for us.
 
According to the gospel, God is looking for more than just works and rituals from us.  He wants that step of faith... in Him.
 
Dave >> I have a few more points I could bring up
 
Feel free if the spirit moves you.
 
Dave >> I think Christ
Flying Junior Added Feb 15, 2018 - 3:35pm
I agree with Neil that you should consider reading some of the great books of the Old Testament.  The Psalms of David are the most beautiful songs in the Bible.  We see in his prayers and confessions the truest picture of a man who had a heart for God.  I'm sure that your church very likely sings many songs based on OT scripture.  The women of the OT are timeless characters of virtue and devotion.  Who could resist the simple pleasure of reading about men like Moses, David and Solomon?  The story of the captivity in Babylon and the rescue of the Hebrews by King Cyrus is beautiful history.  Who could forget the writing on the wall?  "You have been measured in the balance and found to be lacking."  Great stuff.
 
But if you want to get into some heavy theology and truly understand God's complaint against his children, I would point you to Isaiah and Jeremiah.  I'm sure you are familiar with the Messianic prophecy contained in the sixty-six chapters of Isaiah.  But just start at the beginning and read the first few chapters.  It's amazing.  The same is true of Jeremiah.
 
Remember, Jesus was a lifelong Jew.  Nobody knew the Bible stories better than Jesus.  He could say them backwards.  To understand who Christ is, you must understand both Testaments.
Dave Volek Added Feb 15, 2018 - 4:03pm
Lynn
 
In your response, the only thing that made any sense to me was that Jesus could have pulled himself off the cross if he wanted to--but he didn't. And I should say that I realized this a long time ago.
 
But nothing else you said rang any bells on this side of the WB dialogue.
 
It is not my point to quibble about theological points of Christianity. I could go on a long time with you (and others), and we would not reach much resolution.
 
Most of the basic tenets of Christianity do not make much sense to me. I do not believe in atonement, the trinity, the devil, and a few other things. I have a much different viewpoint on salvation. Therefore I cannot join.
 
If a person's theology helps bring them towards more inner peace and a net contributor to the betterment of humanity, I am all for that transformation. I know lots of Christians who are applying the principles reasonable well. 
 
I gave you some of my reasons why I'm not a Christian. I wasn't trying to convince you or trying to justify my position. But to show you that I have come to my own conclusions and there has been some logic and serious thinking behind them.  There is no hatred or psychosis or whatever. Some of us "good" people have come to different conclusions on spiritual matters than mainstream Christianity.
 
And I think many Christians are offended by that.
 
 
 
 
 
 
TexasLynn Added Feb 15, 2018 - 4:24pm
Missed this final piece of my post to Dave...
 
Dave >> I think Christians need to know that there are good reasons why many of us have not accepted the basic Christian theology. Those reasons of not based on "hating Christians".
 
Fair enough.  I don't equate all rejection of Christ or the gospel as hatred towards Christians.  But there is still plenty of that at WB and the world for that matter.  I think it's going to get much worse before it gets better.
 
Dave, thanks for the comments…
Robin the red breasted songster Added Feb 15, 2018 - 4:34pm
I think that I judge those of a religious persuasion on what good they do in this world.    If religion does not have a practical product, then it is pretty pointless in my view.
 
That "religious product" can take many forms.  It may purely be a benefit for the believer.   As I have said elsewhere, a religious belief is a good antidote for status anxiety... something that Americans in particular are vulnerable to in modern life.
 
The "product" may be a drive to do good for others e.g. distribute aid for the needy, promote peaceful interaction with others etc etc.
 
So, in this way, we can judge different religions by individual elements of their tenets.  There are, as Lynn points out, many variations in form in all of the main religions on earth.
 
The Buddist teaching that "all life is suffering" is a very useful consolation for the personal struggle through life.   Certain forms of Islam, on the other hand, promote the idea that one should give 10% of your wealth in person to the poor every year... and excellent qualification for the "aid to the needy".
 
However some religious groups proclaim loudly that their view is "the only view" or that they are "the chosen ones".  This sort of thing sets up the stage for tensions and ultimately violence.   Often they come to look down on the followers of other (or no) religion.
 
Religion, including Christianity and Islam, has many times been hijacked by those wishing too achieve power over others.   The Wehrmacht marched into battle with "Gott Mit Uns" on their belts and started a war which ultimately killed over 50 million people for example.   The barbarians at ISIS and others seek to hijack Islam in the same fashion.
 
Ultimately the greatest danger of religion, I feel, is that it leads many to abdicate their own moral responsibility.   Heaven and hell are right here on this earth.   We are our own angels and demons.   It is down to us to make it a good place... not some deity.
 
As to "the truth".  Well, as a scientist, I am aware that, at the fundamental level (by which I mean the microscopic building blocks of existence), things are uncertain.   Things are governed by probability... by chance.  So God, if He or She exists, plays dice to decide on what happens....
TexasLynn Added Feb 15, 2018 - 4:37pm
FJ >> I agree with Neil that you should consider reading some of the great books of the Old Testament.
 
I'm sorry if I'm giving the impression that I advocate ignoring the Old Testament.  I am not.  I have read much of it to my pleasure and benefit.  Plus, much of the New Testament references the Old Testament (particularly Revelation).
 
So... let me be clear.  If as a Christian you are ignoring the Old Testament it is at your loss.
 
At the same time, if someone asked me where to begin reading if they want to understand Christianity... it would not be the Old Testament.  For understanding Christianity, that comes later.
 
FJ >> Remember, Jesus was a lifelong Jew.  Nobody knew the Bible stories better than Jesus.  He could say them backwards.  To understand who Christ is, you must understand both Testaments.
 
He was King of the Jews. :)  And the one story about Him as a boy involved how amazed the Rabis were at his knowledge.
 
The one point I did want to make that is attributing to this misconception is that Jesus did not come to abolish the Old Testament, but to fulfill it.  Christians believe He did that; thus, we no longer live under the law given to the Jews.
 
Thanks for the recommendations... I will go read them... again.
TexasLynn Added Feb 15, 2018 - 4:46pm
Dave >> In your response... nothing else you said rang any bells on this side of the WB dialogue.
 
Sorry to hear that.  I tried, but I'm an amateur at best.
 
Dave >> It is not my point to quibble about theological points ...
 
Nor is it mine.  I just want to educate concerning basic Christin theology.
 
Dave >> I gave you some of my reasons why I'm not a Christian. I wasn't trying to convince you or trying to justify my position.
 
Same here... in reverse.
 
Dave >> Some of us "good" people have come to different conclusions on spiritual matters than mainstream Christianity.  And I think many Christians are offended by that.
 
Agreed (good people come to different conclusions).  I am not (offended).  You have chosen a different path, I wish you peace in your journey. :)
Doug Plumb Added Feb 15, 2018 - 5:54pm
re "Well... at least in the U.S., Banks don't make that decision.  Money supply (and thus the presses) are controlled by the Federal Reserve.  But I guess you're saying the covert Jews are in charge of all of it... congress, banks, press, bureaucracies... "
 
  Alan Greenspan explains that he does not answer to anyone on youtube. The Fed does in no way answer to congress or the prez. I think its on my channel.
  As far as who owns the Federal Reserve, its about as "Federal as Federal Express" as Aarron Rousseau put's in his youtube movie. Aarron was a Hollywood Jew. (not all Jews are bad, some are great) Its a privately owned central bank. You can imagine that the people who own it are Christians or Muslims if you want, but I would say guess again. It's in any of the monetary reform books such as Creature From Jekyll Island. If you need to hear it from an attorney, there is Ellen Browns book.
Doug Plumb Added Feb 15, 2018 - 5:55pm
There is also JK Galbraiths book called "Money..." if you need to hear it from the establishment.
Doug Plumb Added Feb 15, 2018 - 5:57pm
Then there is the New Testament Pharisees...
Flying Junior Added Feb 16, 2018 - 4:43am
Hey Doug,
 
Here is one of the funniest jokes I ever heard in my life.
 
A little bit of background.  Probably the most spiritual church that I have ever been involved in was of the American Baptist denomination.  It was the largest Gold Star church in San Diego during WWII and perhaps the first protestant church in San Diego to erect a steeple.  There never has been any problem getting young republicans to join this church.
 
But the national leadership got just a little bit too gay-friendly for the Jerry Falwell-Proposition Eight crowd.  There were two openly gay members sitting on the national board of directors.
 
This was the queue for the church-stealers from Arizona to take aim.
 
The oldest and wisest demon, Dale Salico, who was at one time the regional chair for the American Baptist Union, actually visited our church with his message of hatred.  Long story short, according to the Baptist tradition of congregational voting, my beloved church that brought me to Christ, voted to secede from the American Baptist Union.  I don't have the time to go into the theological giants that I met at this blessed church.  They were my spiritual mentors.
 
So Mrs. Junior actually saw all of this coming to pass before the dickheads even arrived from Arizona.  We were kidding around with one of the crunchier republican sisters when Mrs. Junior quipped that we should greet them with placards that read, "Welcome Pharisees!"
 
Our crunchy friend laughed and suggested that the the little wife was a bit dangerous.
Doug Plumb Added Feb 16, 2018 - 6:16am
The thing is that Jews say: "We are the Pharisee's" on one of their big websites, a Chabbad website I think. So what you said there isn't really a joke.
  Chabbad is the leading Jewish hate group and most of the high ranking Jews in the Establishment are Chabbad Lubavichers. They are going around to law firms now telling them to only hire Chabbad members in USA. In Canada more than 80 % of the profession is Jewish. I got one to admit that they are there to destroy the tradition of English Jurisprudence a few years ago. Their law is Talmudic law. There is a huge awakening happening now among the goy.
Doug Plumb Added Feb 16, 2018 - 6:36am
Also, I should mention that the armies work for the Fed. The Fed decides war issues, who is going to be bombed, occupied, etc. See John Perkins "Confessions...". The fact that the army works for the financial institutions is well known and admitted in Hollywood. Ask any officer. The truth is out there, its just not on TV and you won't hear it in schools.
  Mr Prez has no say in all these undeclared wars. Congress hasn't been declaring war, the financial institutions have. Its called "police action" and its about debt repayment.
Stone-Eater Added Feb 16, 2018 - 11:26am
No religion is important enough to be hated. I mean I don't hate Alice because she lives in wonderland.
Doug Plumb Added Feb 16, 2018 - 3:00pm
I find the whole evolution thing to be silly. Maybe some of us evolved from monkeys and others didn't.
Christianity is important enough to be hated. Its the biggest threat to the NWO. The NWO is diametrically opposed to it for a reason.
wsucram15 Added Feb 17, 2018 - 1:24am
This is a great thread...good job Lynn. Ive never seen religion addressed on here EVER in a civil manner.
Gotta love SEF..hey man, where you been?
Dave,  I have met and spoken with some sectors of the Christian faith that leave many with the impression you speak of.  I want no part of a group of people that judge others, but rather those that would understand and forgive those "unchristian -like" and if possible just be a friend when needed, because we are all the same.
 
Flying Junior Added Feb 17, 2018 - 1:50am
Gotta love SEF..hey man, where you been?
 
New digs in Senegal.  See Senegal Tracker one, two and three.
TexasLynn Added Feb 17, 2018 - 9:41am
Doug >> Christianity is important enough to be hated. Its the biggest threat to the NWO. The NWO is diametrically opposed to it for a reason.
 
I think you have a point here.  What you would call the NWO (New World Order) us less enlightened would call globalization.
 
Those who support such an order hate self-determination, and individual freedom, and the idea of inalienable rights... all of which are ingrained in Christianity. 
 
No organization represents (in my mind) globalization more that the United Nations which hates the U.S. (because of the Judeo-Christian ideals embedded in our culture).  But if there is someone they hate more (or at least as much), it's Israel.  Why?
TexasLynn Added Feb 17, 2018 - 9:42am
Jeanne >> This is a great thread...good job Lynn.
 
Thank you.
 
Jeanne >> Ive never seen religion addressed on here EVER in a civil manner.
 
I suspect one reason is that I requested we not debate the existence of God (fair or not)... which would have degraded into a back and forth "Yes there is", "No there isn't".
 
I do appreciate the "No there isn't" side for respecting that request.
 
Jeanne >> Dave,  I have met and spoken with some sectors of the Christian faith that leave many with the impression you speak of.  I want no part of a group of people that judge others, but rather those that would understand and forgive those "unchristian -like" and if possible just be a friend when needed, because we are all the same.
 
I'm determined for you guys to put me under that Pharisee label.
 
Looking at the comments from Dave and Flying J... I would have no problem with a homosexual in my church.  If the homosexuals can receive me as a fellow sinner, surely, I can act in-kind.  But I must add a big IF... IF there is no attempt by the church (or the homosexuals or anybody) to depict the act of homosexuality as anything other than sinful.  I also can't be explicit enough, that this same principle applies to all sin... such as heterosexual adultery.
 
As I stated above... churches are full of sinners; but they are also full of the forgiven.
 
The verse where Jesus admonishes us to "Do not judge, or you too will be judged" does not say "don't judge" (if you read the whole thing).  It says don't be a hypocrite and think you are any better.
 
My stance on sin?  Jeanne summed it up perfectly, "... because we are all the same".
Doug Plumb Added Feb 17, 2018 - 11:05am
re "But if there is someone they hate more (or at least as much), it's Israel.  Why?  "
 
They don't, they sanction Israel all the time because Israel has no regard for international law. But the countries that can veto these resolutions in the making are owned and operated by Jews. So that's why Israel can operate sex slave market for young girls (confisgating their passports) - Israel gets judged by a different standard and countries not controlled by Jews directly can object and make resolutions against them.
  No American would support the Israeli sex trade, but American government supports it anyway. Its not the American people supporting Israel.
  Imagine if Canada allowed itself to get young foreign women into the country by any means, steal their passport and put them to work in brothels ! The entire Western world would hate Canada, but in Israel's case, people have their holocaust goggles on and cannot see.
Jeff Michka Added Feb 17, 2018 - 5:42pm
Glad "Always blame the Jews" hasn't escaped the WB council of clerics...
Autumn Cote Added Feb 18, 2018 - 4:41am
If there is one thing I’ve learned since starting Writer Beat is that no matter what you are Christian, Jewish, Atheist, Republican, Democrat, just about everyone thinks they’re under attack and outnumbered.  So when you say there is a “common hatred of Christianity on WB” I take some offense.  I don’t think our participants are anymore hateful than people in general. Our participants may be a little more intellectual, passionate and wordy than the average person, but that’s it. 
Doug Plumb Added Feb 18, 2018 - 6:09am
Autumn, Christians are being persecuted (killed) as we speak. Christian countries are being destroyed with multiculturalism as we speak. While other peoples have countries of their religions, Christians will soon not have a "homeland". These are facts undenied.
Stone-Eater Added Feb 18, 2018 - 6:48am
Autumn
 
Right. And who cares which religion is prevalent ? Do I get my daily needs from religion ? Bullshit. Can't eat a bible or quran, can I ? ;)
Stephen Hunter Added Feb 18, 2018 - 8:26am
Lynn,
I think you have done a nice job with this post. You have not been judgmental on others perspective, at least from my perspective, and have laid out the facts quite nicely without the emotional fear about the decaying of society, which many so-called Christians spout relentlessly. 
I do not believe in the literal interpretation of the bible, however I do find that there are many passages which speak to the spiritual needs of our species. Being brought up in the Primitive Baptist church, i found the literal interpretations just did not answer my curious mind. The problem is there is no flexibility, thus no free thinking allowed. If you do not literally believe it all, you are a sinner. That is where I got off the Christian bandwagon. 
"Do unto others as you would have others do unto you" has stuck though, and believe with all my heart if more adopted this philosophy, the planet would be a happier place. 
Robin the red breasted songster Added Feb 18, 2018 - 9:39am
Doug:   People of all religions are always being persecuted by someone.  Most serious at the moment being the plight of the Rohingya Muslims who have been forced out of their homeland.
 
We, like it or not, live in a multicultural world.   I, for one, think that we are all the richer for this rather than being "destroyed" by it.   It does mean, however, that believers must expect their beliefs to be challenged rather than be accepted as the "norm" .   If a particular brand of Christianity cannot stand up to such challenges and retreats in upon itself instead, then it probably was not built on strong foundations in the first place.
 
There are rules for successfully living in such a world.  The most important is to respect the beliefs and traditions of other.
 
Respecting beliefs does not mean agreeing with them.   I respect Christian beliefs.   But I often find myself in disagreement with some of the doctrines that are promoted... most notably the Pope's stance on birth control does, I believe, add to the sum total of human misery rather than reduce it.
 
I do think that often, however, people use a religious belief as an excuse for not thinking or taking responsibility for themselves.   Others take advantage of believers to further their own objectives.   You see this everyday with politicians and terrorists for example.   If you ever see someone declare themselves to be the "Defender of the Faith" you had better watch out!   Just ask the Irish Catholics after Cromwell got all pumped up about being a muscular Christian...
TexasLynn Added Feb 18, 2018 - 10:05am
Autumn >> If there is one thing I’ve learned since starting Writer Beat is that no matter what you are Christian, Jewish, Atheist, Republican, Democrat, just about everyone thinks they’re under attack and outnumbered. 
 
Agreed.  Everyone generally thinks that.
 
But I'm reminded of the adage, "Just because your paranoid, doesn't mean they are NOT out to get you."  Perhaps some of us are right. :)
 
Autumn >> So when you say there is a “common hatred of Christianity on WB” I take some offense.  I don’t think our participants are anymore hateful than people in general.
 
Sorry for the offense, but I call 'em like I see 'em.
 
We will simply have to disagree.  Society, on whole, has become more and more anti-Christian over the last few decades in the U.S.  I think WB, by degree and number, is worse. 
 
Here is what I think I'm really experiencing here.  We (me, Christians) suspected that people outside the U.S. (like Europeans) were anti-Christian.  Now that I'm actually seeing it... it's even worse than I thought.
 
Autumns >> Our participants may be a little more intellectual, passionate and wordy than the average person, but that’s it.
 
We agree on the description, not the conclusion.
 
Thanks for the comment and thank you for the forum.
TexasLynn Added Feb 18, 2018 - 10:07am
 Stephen >> I think you have done a nice job with this post. You have not been judgmental on others perspective, at least from my perspective, and have laid out the facts quite nicely without the emotional fear about the decaying of society, which many so-called Christians spout relentlessly.
 
Thank you.  I have my bias on the subject, but tried to stay true to my stated goal.  Information.
 
Stephen >> I do not believe in the literal interpretation of the bible, however I do find that there are many passages which speak to the spiritual needs of our species.
 
Many people choose to approach the teachings of Christ in this manner.  If I am wrong, and Christ is not who He said He is... then that approach is as good as any other.  I'm grateful that each of us have freedom to choose... something few people in history have had and many today still do not.
 
Stephen >> Being brought up in the Primitive Baptist church, i found the literal interpretations just did not answer my curious mind. The problem is there is no flexibility, thus no free thinking allowed.
 
Baptist influence was definitely part of my upbringing as well.  Today, I simply say, I am a Christian.
 
Stephen >> If you do not literally believe it all, you are a sinner. That is where I got off the Christian bandwagon.
 
There are many Christians who hold to the belief you just stated.  I am not one of them.  As I sated above.  I do not believe you must "literally" believe every jot and tittle... just the core gospel; then we build from that to be better Christians.
 
Christians had better hope we don't have to get every jot and tittle right; because if that is the case we're all doomed, for no man is going to get it all right.
 
Stephen >> "Do unto others as you would have others do unto you" has stuck though, and believe with all my heart if more adopted this philosophy, the planet would be a happier place.
 
Agreed!
 
Thanks for your contribution.
Doug Plumb Added Feb 18, 2018 - 5:07pm
@Robin re "Doug:   People of all religions are always being persecuted by someone.  Most serious at the moment being the plight of the Rohingya Muslims who have been forced out of their homeland."
Muslims want to make you, a non muslim, their bitch. That is Islam at its core. Christians do not want to do this at all. There are huge differences between religions.
Doug Plumb Added Feb 18, 2018 - 5:08pm
re "We, like it or not, live in a multicultural world.   I, for one, think that we are all the richer for this rather than being "destroyed" by it.  "
 
Name one good thing about multiculturalism. One benefit.
Shane Laing Added Feb 18, 2018 - 5:15pm
Lynn - I am a non-believer but if being one helps you through the day then good for you.
Robin the red breasted songster Added Feb 18, 2018 - 5:33pm
Doug:  One good thing about multiculturalism.   Lamb Biryani.   Just love it.    Bangra is pretty cool stuff too...
Robin the red breasted songster Added Feb 18, 2018 - 5:38pm
Doug:  On the Christians being good guys always.   Ummmm.   I think Hitler was at least nominally a Christian.   The Wehrmacht invaded Poland with "Gott mit Uns" on their belts.    Just about everyone marches into battle with God on their side don't hey?   Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition.  Shoot to kill those damn heretics / unbelievers etc etc
 
It seems that Jesus is always being recruited to do the dirty work for some asshole or other... and so is Muhammed, Buddha etc etc.   That is the trouble with believers... they believe what they are told...
Robin the red breasted songster Added Feb 18, 2018 - 5:54pm
I don't know if you guys got this piece of news.   A recent DNA analysis, using up to the moment techniques, has been carried out on Cheddar man.   Basically this human was found in a cave in Cheddar, England and dates from 10,000 years ago.   He was one of the very first inhabitants of Britain.
 
The really interesting news is that he was essentially black with blue eyes and curly black hair.   That has gotten the white supremacists spluttering into their cocoa!   Yes sir, the original Britons were black.  All those white folks are actually immigrants/
 
Actually probably no.   Skin colour changed through evolutionary processes to allow better absorption of vitamin D in the weaker northern sun they think.
 
But the essential, undeniable truth, is that in this country we are all immigrants.  We have always been a multicultural society.  It has never been any different.
 
You can see it in a million everyday things.  Our words are made up from umpteen cultures:  cafe (French), bungalow (Hindi) etc etc.    Our numerals are Arabic.   Worcestershire sauce (made with anchovies etc) is actually a throw back to garum, a favoured Roman condiment also made from fish.
 
To quote Kipling:
 
And Norseman and Negro and Gaul and Greek
Drank with the Britons in Barking Creek,
Robin the red breasted songster Added Feb 18, 2018 - 5:56pm
Other benefits to multiculturalism stem from the openness to trade and ideas from the wide world... not just to what the people from our village think...
Robin the red breasted songster Added Feb 18, 2018 - 5:57pm
However one golden rule is that all minority groups should have their cultures respected (as long as they comply with the law of the land).  This includes groups who have actually been here for a long time...
Doug Plumb Added Feb 18, 2018 - 6:00pm
@Robin re "Doug:  On the Christians being good guys always.   Ummmm.   I think Hitler was at least nominally a Christian.   "
 
Who were the Bolsheviks Robin? Why did you not learn that in school?
Doug Plumb Added Feb 18, 2018 - 6:05pm
@Robin re "It seems that Jesus is always being recruited to do the dirty work for some asshole or other... and so is Muhammed, Buddha etc etc. "
 
The slave trade was Jewish, Islamic and Black, it is against Christian law and Christians mostly did not participate in any form of slavery.
  What year did slavery end all over the world, in every country ? Israel, 2006, last ones to make it illegal. Not Christian West. Just because Jewish Hollywood puts a Christian behind every atrocity doesn't make it true. They have no desire or obligation to tell you the truth about anything.
  Christianity spreads itself. It does not require a gun as controlled history shows the Catholics always using / needing - in the form of a sword sometimes. Reality is very different.
 
re "Other benefits to multiculturalism stem from the openness to trade and ideas from the wide world... "
 
Why is that a good thing? David Rockefeller called it interdependence. He loves the idea.
 
Robin the red breasted songster Added Feb 19, 2018 - 2:34am
Doug:  We did.  Just pointing out that no religion is without it's share of people who would hi-jack it for evil ends.  Hitler and Stalin were pretty similar in many ways.   But, ultimately, it was Stalin who brought down Hitler.   Contrary to Hollywood's view of World War 2, it was Hitler's decision to invade Russia which sealed his fate
Robin the red breasted songster Added Feb 19, 2018 - 2:37am
Doug:   On slavery.  Take a visit to Bristol.   In the middle of a very Christian influenced period it was built on the proceeds of slavery.   You can see some very nice houses there.
 
Of course the USA did very well out of the proceeds of slavery for rather longer than we did in the UK.
 
The campaign for the abolition of slavery was brought about by one of the very first mass popular movements :  "Am I not a man and a brother" and a couple of very religious Quaker's such as Josiah Wedgewood.
 
On Christianity not being spread by the sword, have a read up about the Crusades.  Not sur
Robin the red breasted songster Added Feb 19, 2018 - 2:47am
Not sure if you get taught about that in American schools though Doug.   It may not fit in with your world view.
 
You should view all of these things though a cultural filter.  Our culture has evolved.  Years ago we used to do things which today seem just evil... but think nothing of them.
 
You used to be able to keep slaves and beat your wife.   People were even executed by the state for crimes and  people would wander around with deadly weapons just because they wanted to etc etc (sorry that still applies in some more backward parts of the world today I believe).  Somehow some Christians seem to be able to reconcile these things with their religion.  
 
Women were excluded from voting, not paid the same as men etc etc
 
All these things used to be normal back then.   Does this make the perpetrators of these activities evil?    That is the question to put to a good Christian.
 
Sorry Doug, viewed through the "which religion did the most harm" filter... there is nothing especially good, or bad, about Christianity
Stone-Eater Added Feb 19, 2018 - 4:47am
I followed that thread more closely and thank Robin for his insight. He's right in all points in my view. Fight and kill in the name of godallahjahwebuddhaganesh. At least it's a multicultural figure....
TexasLynn Added Feb 19, 2018 - 10:10am
Shane >> I am a non-believer but if being one helps you through the day then good for you.
 
Thank you, it does.  I appreciate the sentiment and return the hope that your days of filled with joy.
TexasLynn Added Feb 19, 2018 - 10:11am
Doug >> The slave trade was Jewish, Islamic and Black, it is against Christian law and Christians mostly did not participate in any form of slavery.
 
None are innocent of the sin of slavery.  White Christians in the U.S. often justified slavery through their belief in superiority and based much of this from the Bible.  In our defense, the abolition movement was largely a Christian movement.
TexasLynn Added Feb 19, 2018 - 10:12am
RTRBC >> On the Christians being good guys always.
 
Those who follow Christ are good guys always... Unfortunately not all who pick up his flag are true believers.  To be fair the same can be said of any philosophy or religion.  That is the currently claim of Islam.
 
And you seem to get this... "Just pointing out that no religion is without it's share of people who would hi-jack it for evil ends."
 
RTRBC >> I think Hitler was at least nominally a Christian...
 
Hitler did give lip service to God as a means to an end.  Many politicians do this; but I question if he was a true believer.  You will know them (false prophets, believers, etc) by their fruits.
 
RTRBC >> Hitler and Stalin were pretty similar in many ways.   But, ultimately, it was Stalin who brought down Hitler.   Contrary to Hollywood's view of World War 2, it was Hitler's decision to invade Russia which sealed his fate
 
I completely agree... mostly.  Hitler made a military/tactical mistake made many times over, attacking the Russians in winter.  Russia would have sat the war out had Hitler dealt with the pesky Allies first.
 
BUT... while Russia was a huge factor in defeating Germany, so was the effort of the Allies.  I don't think either could have done it without the other.
Robin the red breasted songster Added Feb 19, 2018 - 11:31am
Lynn:  I think that everyone, except perhaps those suffering from certain mental illnesses, believe themselves to be the good guys.   It's a human thing.
 
Yes, many subvert religious beliefs to further their own desire for power.   Many do it today.   How many politicians do you know who do not claim a religious belief?
 
Very true what you say about World War 2.  All had a hand in the ultimate defeat of the Axis.
 
It was a bit of a myth that Britain "stood alone" in June 1940.  That everyone thought this was down to a brilliant bit of Churchillian propaganda focused on persuading the USA to be more helpful.  One cartoon of the time showed two Tommies on the pier at Dover.   One says to the other.   So we are alone.  The other replies.  That's right.   All 500 million of us.
 
Yes, the British Empire stood alone, but it was a very substantial Empire even then.  Probably without the Russian adventure, stalemate would have developed until the Nazi Empire imploded.   The Nazi economy, because of its focus on producing armaments and maintaining armies, could not stand without new conquests to plunder.   It is one of the reasons that Hitler invaded Russia.
 
Of course Stalin always knew that Russia would have to fight Nazi Germany at some point.   He wanted it to be later so that Russia was better prepared but Hitler forced the issue.  Hence the alliance with Hitler which led to the carving up of Poland.
 
One interesting story from Churchill's memoir of his visit to Moscow shortly afterwards (to get there he flew via Casablanca, Cairo, and Tehran in an unheated bomber).   It concerns a Royal Marine bodyguard who was shown round Moscow by a member of the Red Guard.   The following is not a direct quote... but is faithful to the meaning of the story
 
Here, said the Red Guard, is Churchill Square, formerly Adolf Hitler Place.   The Marine replied:  Thank you comrade, formerly bastard.
Robin the red breasted songster Added Feb 19, 2018 - 11:47am
Lynn:  Some Christians in Germany did stand up to be counted.   Most notable was perhaps, Dietrich Bonhoeffer.
 
Others, however, seemed happy to go along with things as long as Nazism was seen as a "return to traditional values".   Some did become uneasy once the true nature of the state anti Jewish policy became plain.   However the state euthanasia of the mentally ill (over 100,000 victims) probably did more to so discord among the faithful.
 
I don't think for one moment that Hitler was a true Christian.   But he did subvert many genuine Christians who really thought he was the real deal.
 
Many Americans clearly think that way about Trump today, even though, to an outsider, his policies seem very un-Christian.   I was brought up under Christian values of peace and goodwill to my fellow men, to look after the poor and the needy etc etc.
 
However Trump's attitudes to the treatment of women, the poor (especially health care provision), and guns seem to belong to a previous century if not to a non Christian society.
 
Yet, on this very web site, you see some self professed "Christians" giving thanks for Trump.
 
I think that a famous American once said something like, you can fool some of the people all of the time...
TexasLynn Added Feb 20, 2018 - 5:40pm
RTRBC >> believe themselves to be the good guys.   It's a human thing.
 
For the most part... but what is going through the mind of someone who has just decided to kill as many people as possible (I mean other than for religious 40 virgin reasons).  Surely, they aren't thinking this is something good I'm doing.  Of course, the mental health status comes into play.
 
Keeping to the original topic.  Christian doctrine generally teaches that no one is good or righteous... and that ALL fall short of the glory of God.  Thus, we reach Him only through His Son.
 
RTRBC >> (On history of WWII)
 
I like your observations on WWII.  I think we're mostly in agreement.  Pondering why Hitler invaded Russia so soon... I think Hitler also knew he would have to deal with the Russians sooner or later and thought he would do it sooner while they were weakest.  He also thought he'd wrap it all up quickly (before winter).  If he didn't do it then, Russia would have a lot of time to build up their forces and equipment AND after dealing with the Allies he might be the one in the weaker position.  We have the hindsight the Germans didn't. :)
 
Loved the story of the Royal Marine and Red Guard! :)
 
RTRBC >> Some Christians in Germany did stand up to be counted.
 
Christians are not immune to being fooled by false prophets or politicians.  That is true of anybody.
 
While I've heard of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, I have not read his works.  Maybe I should remedy that.
 
RTRBC >> Many Americans clearly think that way about Trump today, even though, to an outsider, his policies seem very un-Christian.... Yet, on this very web site, you see some self professed "Christians" giving thanks for Trump.
 
I'm going to defend Trump and the Christians who voted for him just a bit. (FYI, I've made it clear that I did not vote for Trump... for political reasons, not religious.  I'll also note that I'm undecided as to how I will vote in the next election.)
 
Trump claims to believe in God and I think he even claims to be a Christian.  So, did Obama, and Hillary, and just start going down the list.  I can no more vouch for Trumps honesty or true beliefs than I can any other candidate.  As with everybody else, I have to make a decision by what they say and do. "You will know them by their fruits."
 
If I had to guess, I’d say that Trump believes in God the same way a lot of people do… as an old man in the sky with scales judging good and bad.  If I had to guess concerning any of the other candidates (or the last President), I’d say the same thing (at best).
 
I can see your reservations concerning his treatment of women based on his alleged conduct.  My general question to those who are concerned about this is "Were you equally concerned with Bill Clinton’s treatment of women (which much more proven) and by extension his wife who enabled such conduct as she attacked the women he victimized?"  An honest answer of yes would, in my book, cause such criticism to carry much more weight. 
 
I'm not sure I know what you mean by his non-Christian treatment of the poor or the guns.  As a Christian conservative (both fiscal and social), I'm probably a little biased on those subjects.  Society is responsible for a basic safety net for the poor (which we have and then some) and arms (up to what a standard infantry man carries) is a unalienable right (equivalent to speech, religion, and assembly; thus it's guarantee is found in the Bill of Rights).
 
As for Christians who voted for Trump, I would ask "Exactly what were they supposed to do, in order to properly display their Christian credentials?"  Vote for Hillary?  Johnson?  Stein?  Sit out the election?  There was no choice that just screamed this is the place for the Christian vote.  I'm sure many Christians embraced Trump, but I'm also sure many (who voted for Trump) simply rejected the secular relativism embraced by the other three candidates.
 
I have heard a few people (some Christians) say after the election, that Trump's win was willed by God.  I think such talk is ludicrous and would never claim that about anybody.  But I also remember the media going out of its way after Obama was elected to photograph him with halos ever chance they got.
Robin the red breasted songster Added Feb 20, 2018 - 6:13pm
Hi Lynn:  
 
Mass Shootings etc
I really don't know what goes through the mind of someone who decides to just pick up a gun and shoot someone.  I think that you do have to be mad to some degree to do that.  Hence I feel it is mad to want to even own a device designed for the taking of life... let alone use it.   Yet many seem to want to do just that in modern day America.  Crazy I know and, to my eyes, definitely not Christian.
 
I think everyone, from time to time, succumbs to the red mist and wants to lash out.  A friend of mine, a teacher, commented to me that it was just as well that the law in our country prevented him from carrying a gun at the time that stress at work caused him to have  a breakdown.  Students can sometimes be very cruel.
 
WW2
Yes hindsight is a wonderful thing.  At the time the Third Reich looked unstoppable.   But this was only possible because of Hitler's insistence of virtually destroying the economy to build up the military.  This could only be paid for by pillaging other people's countries.    "Hubris" by Kershaw is a great book on the rise of Hitler... very informative and slightly scary because of some of the parallels with the current day.
 
From very early on he talked about needing "lebensraum" in the East and I think Stalin knew what was coming.  He was a cynical, ruthless, evil and... highly effective, international power player.   He didn't mind destroying the lives of his countrymen to achieve his aims either.
 
Bonhoeffer
In my view, a real Christian hero.  He was a vocal opponent of Hitler's euthanasia programme and his treatment of the Jews.   Ended up in a concentration camp for his trouble.  
 
On Trump
I guess if I am really honest, I would say that it is Trumps apparent lack of charity in his general attitude that annoys me the most.  By this I mean the way that he refers to the poor and needy... including refugees.   He might even have a hard nosed case for building a wall... but the way he puts it across just makes me feel that we are dealing with the Anti Christ rather than a Christian.
 
Yes, I guess that every politician has some vices.   Again, with Trump, it is not so much what he did but the callous language that he used which displays his general attitude towards women as essentially being people who are to be exploited.  Not acceptable in this day and age in my book.
 
He has done a number of things to specifically annoy me as a Brit. His tweet supporting the absolutely repulsive "Britain First" organisation being perhaps the most serious.   The most charitable explanation is that he is merely stupid and can't stop himself.   The other explanation, that he is a true fascist himself, does not bear thinking about.
 
I personally believe that any civilised society should provide medical care to all irrespective of their ability to pay.   I cannot see how any true Christian could disagree with this.
 
Neither can I see how any true Christian could allow a society where anyone can wander around with a weapon capable of killing dozens of people in a few minutes.  It is both a mad and evil thing to allow.  You should be ashamed that this still goes on in the modern world.  We are no longer living in the Wild West.
 
On attitudes to the poor:  I believe that we are fast approaching a time when human effort is irrelevant to the means of production.  We just will not need as many people to generate wealth.  There is simply going to be nothing much for them to do.
 
This poses the question of how the average person, especially the relatively unskilled, will qualify for a living.
 
It is uncivilised, and I would suggest un Christian, to expect them to either starve or get their living through crime.  So some other way is needed.
 
On climate change:   Trump, on this issue, has abdicated any right to be considered a leader of the "free world".   He has set back our attempt to save the planet by several decades.   I just hope that not too many die as a result.
 
 
Doug Plumb Added Feb 21, 2018 - 6:49am
If you can get millions of people to think fluoride in the water is good you can convince any one man of almost anything, including the need to shoot a bunch of his classmates, especially when drugs are involved.
The UN satanists believe fundamentally that the end justifies the means. This works toward the agenda of gun control.
Doug Plumb Added Feb 21, 2018 - 6:51am
re "Doug >> The slave trade was Jewish, Islamic and Black, it is against Christian law and Christians mostly did not participate in any form of slavery.
 
None are innocent of the sin of slavery.  White Christians in the U.S. often justified slavery through their belief in superiority and based much of this from the Bible.  In our defense, the abolition movement was largely a Christian movement.  "
 
Very few Christians involved. I was referred to as the "Jewish Slave Trade". Lots of black intellectuals know all about the slave trade and talk about it on their blogs and on youtube.
Robin the red breasted songster Added Feb 21, 2018 - 7:13am
On gun control, the Christian arguments:
 
The Consequentialist argument would say something like:
 
Life is a sacred thing.    If by banning guns we can save life then we should.   Comparisons with other countries who have implemented stronger controls would lead us to expect an 80% reduction in overall rates of violent death.   Therefore we should ban guns.
 
The Deontological argument (which is based on the absolute right and wrong of any individual action rather that the outcome) might go like this:
 
The ownership of a gun indicates a willingness or even desire to cause harm or even death to another human being.   This is a fundamental sin.  You should wish your fellow human beings well, not harm.   Therefore deadly weapons such as guns should be banned.
 
I do not know of any Christian philosophical arguments in favour of mass gun ownership.  I you do, please enlighten me
TexasLynn Added Feb 21, 2018 - 9:35am
RTRBS >> I do not know of any Christian philosophical arguments in favour of mass gun ownership.  I you do, please enlighten me.
 
It is no coincidence that the right to keep and bear arms is in an unalienable right; found in our Bill of Rights.  Our (American) founding fathers knew the tendency (toward tyranny) of men and government.  History has proven them right and wise.
 
What is the one first thing a tyrant (such as Hitler, Stalin, or Mao) do?  The disarm the citizenry.  What has been the result?  Millions (no... tens of millions) murdered.  Would an armed populace have made a difference?  It's arguable, but I think so.  It was certainly one of their only hopes.
 
So, therefore, I submit...
 
The ownership of a gun indicates a willingness and even desire to protect oneself, one's family, and one's society from evil (whatever the scope or source).  That is hardly a sin.  You should wish your fellow human beings well, not harm.  Therefore, deadly weapons such as guns should be acknowledged as an unalienable right and their ownership encouraged among those who truly value liberty and freedom.
 
As for the horrible incidents we are seeing?  First recognize it as a societal and mental health issue and start there.  Second address it from a security issue.  Turn soft targets (by design) into hard targets.  After 911 who can deny that airports were fundamentally changed in this way?  Isn't it time we do the same thing with our schools?
 
Life, liberty, security?  Christian philosophy if I ever heard it.
Robin the red breasted songster Added Feb 21, 2018 - 9:58am
Hmmm.   Lynn I don't really buy that argument at all.
 
One of the first things that a rising tyrant does is to arm his followers.  This makes it easier for him to destabilise the society that he is attacking.   The absence of weaponry in society makes it easier to resist such tyranny.
 
Here, as you know, our police are not routinely armed.   Quite possibly this means that people are less intimidated about protesting.    I would resist any suggestion that the police should be armed and so, incidentally, would most of the policemen I know.
 
Our schools do not, thankfully, have the same issues.  Police have worked with the gang culture to generally reduce the incidence of youths carrying knives and other weapons.   It is engagement that reduces violence in society, not the arming of everybody.
 
The first line of defence is not to give death dealing weapons out to everyone in society, the first line of defence is to give them a good education and a secure place in society.  
 
Lets be frank.   Guns are about one thing.   They are designed to kill and maim living, breathing human beings.   Christians believe it to be a sin to kill another human being.   Therefore the manufacture, sale, ownership or use of guns must also be sinful because it has only one ultimate aim:  the death or mutilation of another human.
 
And the treating of the 2nd amendment as if it was something sacred is bullshit.   It is nothing more than a decision that was taken 200 years ago.   Back then we also thought slavery was OK
 
To not control the distribution of guns is sinful and deeply un Christian to my mind.   Until the USA controls their distribution and use, it cannot consider itself a civilised country.   The worship of guns is, IMHO, much, much, worse than the worship of pornography.  American fantasies about guns are deeply dangerous whereas fantasies about sex are generally not.
 
Having said that, yes, we all need to do more to provide mental health care to all who need it, irrespective of their ability to pay.   We all need to show more tolerance and charity towards each other generally... that in itself would reduce mental health problems.
Robin the red breasted songster Added Feb 21, 2018 - 10:07am
Things that we can all do:  
 
Take the time to speak to our neighbours.  Ask them about their lives.
 
Treat others with the respect with which we would like to be treated ourselves.
 
Don't jump to conclusions about those who appear different to us.   Everyone, ultimately, loves their children and wants what is best for them.
 
Respect other cultures.   We should not be so arrogant as to assume that our culture is somehow superior.
 
Investigate your own culture.   Celebrate it.
 
In conflict, seek to calm things down so that everyone can start acting rationally.  Guns etc simply keep upping the ante in a confrontation... they fuel the emotional, non thinking, parts of human behaviour.
 
Remember that migrants are people too.   Imagine ourselves being in the same situation.
TexasLynn Added Feb 21, 2018 - 10:16am
RTRBS >> Lynn I don't really buy that argument at all... To not control the distribution of guns is sinful and deeply un Christian to my mind.
 
Then you and I will simply have to disagree.
 
RTRBS >> One of the first things that a rising tyrant does is to arm his followers.  This makes it easier for him to destabilise the society that he is attacking.
 
I was trying to figure out what you were saying here; because the logic was so ludicrous.  I read it three or four times before, I finally figured out that you assumed the tyrant would not arm his followers because of the law or unavailability of weapons or some such nonsense.
 
RTRBS >> The absence of weaponry in society makes it easier to resist such tyranny.
 
Tell that to all the unarmed Jews (and many others) shot in the back of the head by Germans and Russians.
 
RTRBS >>  Christians believe it to be a sin to kill another human being. 
 
No... Christians believe it to be a sin to "murder" another human being.  There is a difference.
 
RTRBS >> Lets be frank.   Guns are about one thing.   They are designed to kill and maim living, breathing human beings.
 
Yes, let's be frank.  No, they are not.  Many are designed for hunting.  Many are designed for recreation.  Few (not part of a military unit) will ever be pointed at a human being.
 
RTRBS >> And the treating of the 2nd amendment as if it was something sacred is bullshit.   It is nothing more than a decision that was taken 200 years ago.
 
It is just as sacred as the freedom of speech, the freedom of religion, and the freedom of assembly... to name a few.  Without it, the rest are simply debates on how much freedom the powers that be will let you have.
TexasLynn Added Feb 21, 2018 - 10:16am
RTRBS >> Things that we can all do...
 
At least we agree here... minus a couple of minor tangents. :)
Robin the red breasted songster Added Feb 21, 2018 - 11:07am
Lynn:  You are right, we will have to disagree.   I see guns as having one purpose only.
 
Some guns are designed for hunting.  Handguns and semi automatic rifles are not.  Hunting guns should also be subject to regulation btw.  You should make sure that anyone who owns one is mentally OK and is also responsible in his use and storage of the weapon.   I believe that in 2015 some 21 people were killed in the USA by toddlers who had gotten hold of their parents firearms (about four times as many as those killed by foreign terrorists BTW).
 
In Britain Mosley's brownshirts were not able to get arms.  They were therefore limited in the degree to which they could use intimidation.
 
Once the tyrant is in power, his firepower is likely to greatly exceed that of the citizenry.   No point on turning up to a dronefight armed with an automatic rifle... you lose before you start.  So no, I don't buy this resisting tyranny argument.  It is bullshit.
 
Christians don't believe a sin to kill another human being?   Under what circumstances is it not considered a sin in your book?
 
In time of a just war?   (Define a just war... does the Iraq invasion qualify for example?).
 
When to do so would save more lives than it costs?   Maybe.   But then you have the argument that controlling guns saves far more lives (see Australia, Canada, UK etc etc)
 
In 2015 some 10,000 plus Americans were killed by other Americans with guns.  What do you say to them?
 
In America, and in much of the rest of the world, the 1% have the power.   Your guns have done nothing to stop that.  It is the control of information which conveys real power... not the ownership of weapons by the masses.
 
2nd Amendment is a decision made at a time when life was very different to today.  Your upholding of this archaic construct costs around 10,000 lives each and every year.  According to an even older construct, I have the right, duty even, to practice archery in the high street on market days.  Of course we don't do it any more.   It would be absurd to do so.   So is allowing everyone to walk around with guns in an otherwise civilised society.
 
It is, of course, your country and you have every right to act as you see fit.  However I would have to still maintain that I think your gun worshiping culture is not compatible with Christianity as I know it.
 
But, hey, you don't have to be Christian to be a good guy
TexasLynn Added Feb 21, 2018 - 12:12pm
Robin... I don't mean this in a disparaging way; but guns are not something you seem to know much about.  This is apparent when you say things like "Handguns and semi-automatic rifles are not (designed for hunting)."  Semi-automatic rifles make up over 90% of all guns made and used for hunting.  Do you know what a semi-automatic rifle is (it encompass a very large range)... or are you just equating the term with a scary looking gun?
 
I've already had this discussion concerning the chances of winning vs a tyrant on another post.  When the choice is to fight a losing battle, or surrender to slavery/death... you fight it anyway.  With a gun, you can do that; without one you kneel and they shoot you in the back of the head.  Interestingly enough, this attitude to not resist, ever, seems very ingrained in the Brits of WB.
 
Robin >> Christians don't believe a sin to kill another human being?   Under what circumstances is it not considered a sin in your book?
 
The misconception is in the mistranslation of the Commandment "Thou shalt not kill".  A better translation is "Thou shalt not murder".  Murder is to take a life unjustifiably.  One may kill in self defense or even in times of war.  God commanded the Jews to kill in such circumstances and even did so in passing judgment on the unrighteous.
 
Robin >> In time of a just war?   (Define a just war... does the Iraq invasion qualify for example?).
 
Combating Islamic terrorists (and those who support them) would be a just war in my opinion.  God will be the judge.
 
Robin >> When to do so would save more lives than it costs?   Maybe.   But then you have the argument that controlling guns saves far more lives.
 
You're losing me on this argument.  I made a very valid argument that arming the overall citizenry could have saved millions in comparison to a few... and you dismissed it out of hand.  I reject your analysis that disarming everyone saves more lives than it costs in the long run (by a difference of millions).
 
I want to address the few deaths as well (in the short term)... just not by the greater evil is disarming everybody.  It can be done, but not likely as long as we're focused on the misdirected goal of gun control.
 
Robin >> In 2015 some 10,000 plus Americans were killed by other Americans with guns.  What do you say to them?
 
To the majority of them I would say, "Don't engage in criminal activity, it could cost you your life". 
 
Are their terrible tragedies?  Yes.  There are also terrible tragedies committed with knives, and cars, and blunt objects, and hands.  I don't want to ban any of those tools, I want to address the people committing the actual acts.
 
Robin >> In America, and in much of the rest of the world, the 1% have the power.   Your guns have done nothing to stop that.  It is the control of information which conveys real power... not the ownership of weapons by the masses.
 
What is it with you Brits that embraces the attitude of... your surrounded, you have no chance, so give up?  Is everybody across the pond like this?
 
Robin >> It is, of course, your country and you have every right to act as you see fit.
 
Thank you.  We fought hard for that right. :)  With guns... against a tyrant and insurmountable firepower/odds...
 
Robin >> However I would have to still maintain that I think your gun worshiping culture is not compatible with Christianity as I know it.
 
Agreed.  As you know it... We disagree.
 
Robin >> But, hey, you don't have to be Christian to be a good guy.
 
No, you do not.  Christian does not equal good; it equals forgiven. :)
Robin the red breasted songster Added Feb 21, 2018 - 1:18pm
Yes, you are right.  We must agree to differ.
 
the problem with the concept of a "just war" is that every religion thinks it is "just"... including those terrorists with their perverted version of Islam.
 
On the 1% thing:  my point is that guns are irrelevant to the struggle.  You certainly should not give up... and we don't.   We tend to think that you guys in the USA have done though.   More freedoms have been achieved through mass movements in the UK than have ever been won in the USA for the last 100 years or so:  right to roam, universal health care etc etc.
 
On the 10,000.  The stark fact is that the USA has roughly 5 times the number, per capita, of violent death of all types.  Gun control is the major difference that I know of.
 
Anyway, I don't think we can take this much further.
 
May your God, whoever he is, go with you.
Jeff Michka Added Feb 21, 2018 - 9:19pm
Semi-automatic rifles make up over 90% of all guns made and used for hunting.-Ah, now it's the "hunting defense" for semi-auto weapons.  Yup, those deer will get ya if they aren't shot ten times.  I gave up hunting when my hunting partner of 30 years passed.  He died at 94 and hunted until aged 92.  He still used either iron sites or a bow, and bagged his last deer at age 92.  Dragging the deer to the road for over a half mile told him his hunting days had ended.  He'd laugh at all the "sportsmen" with scopes and semi autos as not being anything close to "sportsmen."  We both only hunted for the meat, not the "thrill of killing something."
TexasLynn Added Feb 21, 2018 - 10:34pm
Jeff!  Very relevant!  A good argument even!  We disagree on much (including this); but I'm glad you shared this.  Glad to know you had such a friend.
Jeff Michka Added Feb 22, 2018 - 12:24pm
May your God, whoever he is, go with you.-And don't let the door hit you both too hard on the way out.
Jeff Michka Added Feb 22, 2018 - 12:26pm
We disagree on much (including this); but I'm glad you shared this.  Glad to know you had such a friend- Good people are hard to find, and he was my wife's gradfather.  A great outdoors man his whole life, WWI vet, and exceptional marksman, but not a fool.
Robin the red breasted songster Added Mar 1, 2018 - 6:01pm
Do you remember that scene in the original Italian Job movie.  Michael Caine has just gotten out of prison and retrieves his Aston Martin from storage.   "Where have you been sir?"   "I have been hunting tigers in India"  "You must have shot a lot of tigers to afford one of these sir"  "Yes, I use a machine gun...."
 
Semi automatic rifles, such as the AK47 have been the fundamental currency for just about every insurrection, every destruction of new democracies, in Africa over the last 40 years.  
 
Building your power base through reasoned argument is much harder.   So much easier to pick up a gun and let it do the arguing for you.
 
 
Maybe the NRA is planning to bring down democracy?  That is the "right" that they want to hang on to?   The right to impose their view of life onto the majority through force of arms?   Is that what this 2nd amendment thing is all about?
 
Oh, by the way, someone told me yesterday the following stats on people killed in the USA in 2015.
 
Number of Americans killed by terrorists (foreign):   4
Number killed by toddlers (<4 years old) wielding parents gun:  21
Number killed by lawn mowers:  19
Number killed by other Americans wielding guns:  10,000 plus
 
Hmmmm.
TexasLynn Added Mar 1, 2018 - 8:27pm
Robin,
Thank you for the continued comment.  This thread has degraded to a topic that I don't want to continue here.  So I'm not going to reply.
 
There are plenty of other threads where it would be more appropriate or feel free to post something specific to the 2nd Amendment and we can continue there.
 
Thanks again...
 
Pardero Added Mar 1, 2018 - 9:19pm
Lynn,
I saw your last post after I had already typed this.
Please disregard.
Forgive me because I don't want to waste my laborious typing. I hope my remark won't help raise the article's prominence too much.
Lynn,
A fine article that I enjoyed very much.
I admire your patience with some of the commenters.
Sometimes, I get frustrated that I lack the tools to make compelling arguments for my beliefs and opinions.
Just as devious lawyers contrive convoluted arguments to attack the Constitution, with considerable success in some cases, glib suicidal altruists contrive clever arguments against the right to defend oneself or loved ones against brutal criminals.
Like all the supporters of the Iraq War, who now say, "My bad, we were misled by the government. Sorry for the 500, 000 dead." Will these same glib characters be saying, " So sorry, seemed a good idea at the time. Sorry about all the innocents being raped and murdered." 
The UK is rapidly attempting to reach parity in crime statistics.
We seem to be turning into a world of shysters. The most cunning and devious arguments are used to 'just win.' Some have dedicated their lives to studying those devious and cunning arguments. 
As much as I admire the Amish and Mennonites, they are dependent on the surrounding communities for security.
I admire you for defending the right to defend innocents with the best tools available.
When I consider my personal firearms or tools, one of the considerations, is that I can defend innocent life with them. 
I can't find any common ground with those that see them as offensive weapons for killing human beings. Besides recreational and hunting uses, the primary purpose of all of my firearms is to protect human life.
You are an immensely credible spokesman for your beliefs. 
It is unconscionable to be that your deeply held convictions are attacked because you believe in the right to protect innocent life from predatory criminals.
On statistics:
I believe that suicide should be a separate category. Let those with an agenda add the totals if they wish. A farmer with terminal cancer, who wishes to preserve some legacy for his children, should never be placed in a statistic along with cold-blooded killers.
TexasLynn Added Mar 2, 2018 - 12:53am
Pardero >> I saw your last post after I had already typed this.
 
Glad you went ahead with the comment.  Thank you for the compliments on patience... but I think you've also seen my not so patient side as well.  It seems the subject often influences the degree of that gift I have in reserve.  I definitely go too far sometimes.
 
Don't sell yourself short on your gift for writing and even persuasion.  Your post on hats (what seems a simple subject), made me think of things I haven't recalled in a long time... and might not ever have recalled again if not for reading your post. :)  I wore my Resistol hat today for the first time in years.  :)
 
We all have agendas when defending our beliefs.  But I also think it's important to maintain a level of intellectual honesty when doing that.  I try to live by that standard.  If what you’re saying hides any truth, you had better check your motives (and your stance on the issue).
 
On statistics... including suicide in gun stats quoted is misleading.  Some people know they're being misleading... others are just parroting what they heard/read/googled with no knowledge of what is behind the numbers.
 
I'm biased on the subject (and don't claim my side is completely innocent), but I see a lot of intellectual dishonesty on the left... and it is most apparent when you look behind quoted statistics.  What they've got going for them, is that very few people go to the trouble of looking. 
 
It’s like the “18 school shootings” so far in 2018 often quoted by the left.  The intent is to mislead by broadening the definition of school shooting while not explaining that.  Thus, the inference is bullshit and… intellectually dishonest.
 
But... as a Christian I've come to believe that the world is no more (or less) corrupt today than yesterday or a thousand years ago.  It's actually something I've given a lot of thought to.  Solomon (the wisest man) wrote that "there is nothing new under the sun".  What did he mean?  He knew that all the stupid things men do, all the deceitful things men do are not original thoughts or actions.  Mankind (even individuals) do the same thing over and over and over.
 
I'm wrapping up a very long study of the Book of Revelation and I think about this letter John wrote (as he saw visions) to Christian churches on the verge of extermination.  So how was that letter relevant a few generations later or centuries later or two millennia later?  Because mankind is repeating history; doing what they did... again... there is nothing new under the sun.
 
BUT... I hope that "there is nothing new under the sun" also means there were/are/and always will be a few... who search for truth, life, and the way; however fallible we are in following that path.  God also does not change... He always was/is/and will be there for those who seek Him!  When God sent Moses to free the Israelites; Moses asked, "Who shall I say sent me" is a sly way of asking "What is your name".  God's answer was "Say I AM sent you."
 
As for weapons, I think we're on the same page.  By most standards, I own a lot of guns, yet none of them have ever been a threat to another man; because I've been lucky that another man has never threated me or my family.  My guns are no threat to my government; because I've been lucky in that my government has never been a threat to me.  BUT our founding fathers were wise enough to know that the ability to protect precious things like life, liberty, family, and country was so sacred it was an unalienable right... once given by God and one no man can take away.
 
I respect the rights of pacifist to be pacifist... and if I thought God wanted me to be one (based on the study of his word) I would submit.  I've seen nothing in my study to cause me to believe that.  In fact, I believe the opposite is true.
 
I believe we even have a responsibility for the lives of others.  Human life is sacred.  And even the life of animals deserves to utmost respect even as we take it to feed ourselves.
 
On suicide (the act not the stats), I must admit I'm really struggling with the issue.  A common Christian belief is that it is an unpardonable sin; because it is so final and repentance seems impossible.  At the same time there is the issue of suffering.  I've put down many a suffering animal out of mercy and know it was the right thing to do.  And this past year I've seen more suffering and death of loved ones than I've seen in a long, long time.  I don't have all the answers...
 
I look forward to the promise th
TexasLynn Added Mar 2, 2018 - 12:53am
I look forward to the promise that "death" (and hades) will be cast into the lake of fire and God will wipe away every tear. :)
 
Look... we got things (more or less) back on track!
 
(Robin: since we did touch on your comment... in fairness, I will not be upset if you reply...)

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