He's funny, but he makes some good points.
Yeah, funny, but Jesus beat him to it by about 2000 years.
Matthew 22:35-40 wrote: 35Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying,
36Master, which is the great commandment in the law?
37Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
38This is the first and great commandment.
39And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
40On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
Mark 12:28-31 wrote: 28And one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, and perceiving that he had answered them well, asked him, Which is the first commandment of all?
29And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord:
30And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.
31And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.
Luke 10:25-28 says the same thing, with the exception that it also relates "who is your neighbour?"
Luke 10:29-37 wrote:29But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour?
30And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead.
31And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side.
32And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side.
33But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him,
34And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him.
35And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee.
36Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves?
37And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise.
Dragonbones wrote:Funk500 wrote:Bismarck it seems was taken aback that such a thing could occur in Western societies where Christianity is big.
I'm taken aback by bismarck's being taken aback. Seriously. Why would one trudge through thousands of pages of unreadable, ancient gibberish pertaining to someone else's religion? The beliefs of Christianity in Western societies are already more than adequately on display.
Well, apart from it having been an IRL private conversation...
What surprised me was how someone from a Western "Christian" country had grown up without going to Sunday School and learning about Adam and Eve, the Serpent, the Garden of Eden, Cain and Abel (the first instance of alcoholism in the Bible ), Abraham, Isaac, Joseph (and stupid cartoon movies don't count), Moses, Saul, David, Goliath, Samuel, Ruth, Isaiah, Daniel, Mary and Joseph, Jesus, The Twelve, Paul, Gabriel and Michael...
Although, I guess I shouldn't have been surprised, because I don't think I've met a single Christian in Taiwan who hasn't been either South African, a Priest, Pastor or Taiwanese. When people back home talk about Americans being Christian people, and the West being Christian, I laugh my ass off.
Dragonbones wrote:Great, more power to him. My point was addressed at the expectation BY some Christians that even non-Christians should have read said lengthy, ancient religious text, which expectation (with all due respect to our Christian friends) does not strike me as reasonable.Namahottie wrote:Perhaps he searching for something and wants to begin with that? I certainly don't find it "ancient gibberish" but rather guidance in a world that has lost vision and focus.
I believe it was directed at me particularly...
And I had no expectation other than a general (mis)perception that being adult believers or not, people in western countries like the US, Canada, UK etc had the same sort of upbringing as I did. i.e. Being dragged to church by a parent and forced to sit through Sunday school afterwards (whether you like it or not) and therefore being "exposed" to Biblical stories.
Then again, perhaps I can understand your misconceptions regarding our private discussion, as you weren't there and have no idea whether I expressed "expectation" that everyone should have read the Bible or merely "surprise" that a fellow westerner had never been exposed to Biblical stories through the medium of things like Sunday school etc...
Not really sure why it was deemed necessary to mention me in the OP, though, especially seeing as how things usually evolve here...
Funk500 wrote:This is an interesting discussion, but I wanna say my point wasn't to decry my good friend bismarck, his faith or anything.
Well, that's good to know, but I think some others saw the mention of my name as Carte Blanche time to bash the "Jesus Junkie".
Wish they'd rather grow a pair and bash the "Allah Agbahds", but that wouldn't be PC, now would it...
Gao Bohan wrote:I was raised Methodist. My mother read the Bible to my sister and me, even after we were old enough to read it ourselves (though we did that too). Methodists don't take all parts of the Bible literally, and considerably more emphasis was placed on the New Testament than the Old. The Bible, and more generally the Christian religion, is not all about God slaying sinners and stoning adulterers.
I've lost the faith, but I do think I learned good moral values in church. And it wasn't just about sitting in a pew and listening to the preacher. Like many churches, we participated in Habitat for Humanity, a Christian organization that builds houses for the poor, at no profit, all over the world. I grumbled like the other kids, but I can remember the feeling of satisfaction as the house we built slowly started to take shape. Meeting the family at the end was a deeply emotional experience.
In my chat with funk, that was what I would've expected to have been the "norm". Having been exposed to the literature and stories at least. As I said, I have many friends (both Saffa and otherwise) who grew up going to Sunday school and church etc who no longer believe) who no longer believe, and that wasn't the thing. I was just surprised someone from England, for example, had never had any exposure to it at all.
It doesn't surprise me that my Taiwanese friends don't share this exposure or these stories growing up, but this is a Buddhist/Daoist country. If anything, I'm surprised when I meet people here who did grow up going to Church etc...
Namahottie wrote:Dragonbones wrote:If most politicians in the U.S. would be committing political suicide by stating that they're atheists, and generally only Judeo-Christians can get elected, and in Florence, Kentucky liquor stores are closed on Sundays, and many Christians are pushing to get prayer into public schools, I don't think we can say we've achieved "post-Christian" status yet, at least not in the U.S. of Jesusland.
You're pointing out two factors as reason to say that America isn't post-Christian? I expect better of you, young man. Compare today's America to let's say the 60s -- marriage, abortion, strict observation of the Sabbath, mainstream celebration of Christian holidays--were all influenced by Christian tenets, I'd say we are very much "post-Christian". Ask any older Jewish person about America culture recognizing Jewish holidays, and they'll tell you that America has come a loooong way baby.
As I said above, I haven't met a single Christian American in eight years outside of South Africa. I've met one Christian Canadian, but she's married to a Saffa...
If people are very different in the US from people I've met outside the US, then I'd say the US is faaaaaaaaaar from anything resembling Christian anymore. It seems to me these issues are usually political ones, and are possibly just so much a part of the culture that they are readily usable in politics. For example, a bloke in the mid-west may never have gone to church, or may not have gone since sixth grade, drinks, fornicates and lives the good life, but he sure as hell wont vote "for no Muslim as Prez, nor no fornicator as governor"...
TwoTongues wrote:No ones sayin it hasn't improved some, but it aint close to bein post-Christian in any way shape or form. Do I need to trot out the polls on belief in angels and evolution again? Ten commandments in courthouses, creationism in school books, and abortions are practically illegal (no abortion providers) in 88% of counties in the US - 97% in non-urban areas (!).
What DB says seems like the right measure to me - when an openly atheistic president can get elected, then we'll get back to this issue.
Isn't that just a very vocal minority? I ask honestly, as I truly have no idea. Are you saying that most people back in the USA (for example) are practicing church going Christians, or are they the opposite who are either a vocal minority, or just people who hold certain "odd" beliefs based on stories they once heard as small children?
TainanCowboy wrote:Dragonbones wrote:When Christmas is not a national holiday, we have open atheists for President, and anyone suggesting school prayer gets tarred and feathered and run out of the damned town
As in Saudi Arabia....Libya...Sudan...Egypt... Hmmmm...I think I'm seeing a trend here.
I will dis-agree in saying that the USA is "post-Christian." It may be fashionable to 'not be Christian' among some sub-groups, but the vast majority of the population still self-identifies with the Judeo-Christian ideology. They just tend to be smothered over by the fringe groups that wish to deny that fact by refusing to acknowledge their majority and loudly proclaiming their atheistic viewpoints.
Seems you're saying that most Americans are practicing church goers and the Atheists are the vocal minority?
This was closer to my (mis?)conception of Western countries in the discussion I had with Funk mentioned in the OP.
Gao Bohan wrote:It's too bad you're reading the sanitized, two-page summary per chapter version. You missed the part where that righteous family God shows mercy on offers up its virgin daughters to prevent the mob from raping the angels.
Just wait till you get to the story of Job.
And then some folks say it's a boring book. There's enough x-rated material in there to keep even the hardest action fan, or porno junkie (yes, you, jimi) happy...
And don't forget the Song of Solomon!
ThreadKiller wrote:Everybody who holds the Bible dear are adamant that it is The Good Book. I feel they simply do this because that is what they have been brought up to do or that they have been instilled with this idea while converting through their own need to believe in something.
Quite right, as with any religion or belief system. Some people grow up, think for themselves and either adapt their beliefs, or like you and jimi, change them completely. That I understand, and it doesn't surprise me in the least. As to the OP mentioning my surprise, again, I was merely surprised that other Western nations don't share a similar religious upbringing to some extent or another, even a glancing superficial one.
ThreadKiller wrote:God really is a nasty in the Old Testament.
That really bothered me as a laaitie in Sunday school, especially as the OT is for Jews and we were the Gentiles. I couldn't help but think (and mention it to the irritation of our Sunday school teachers) that if we had lived in the OT days we would have been smited, pelted with fire and brimstone or drowned in the flood...
ThreadKiller wrote:So, I've always wondered how an adult of reasonable mind, who had no invested interest in salvation, would respond when reading it.
While I guess I have a vested interest in salvation, I believe in God, more in the way that Jews do. I'm prolly more of a Jew than anything, although I believe in Jesus, but how I do so even I'm not 100% sure anymore. I definitely believe in God, but how exactly I believe in God I'm still defining for myself...
TainanCowboy wrote:Lol...I've been waiting to see who would drag out this publication.
Its widely available on the internet - for FREE - both as a download, as a read-on-line and I think even available for your cell-phone. Just the thing to keep the busy atheist on top of their game!
Where? Links? I've searched but can't find it...
Interesting how a quiet convo can evolve into such an "interesting" discussion.
What have I learned? Don't take for granted that other people of similar culture background share a similar (religious) upbringing...