Philosophy

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Are you religious?

yes
6
33%
no
12
67%
 
Total votes : 18

Postby parnassus » Sun Jul 24, 2005 10:43 pm

I hope you dont think that Im a member of the 'thought police', becuse Im not- Im just arguing my case and showing you the other side of the coin.


By 'thought police', I was referring to over-zealous evangelicals. I know you are not an evangelical.

The Catholic Church is self proclaimed as 'Gods voice on earth'- His representitive to mortals. Therefore ppl are shocked by the fact that the Church- the centre of thier faith, the core of thier religion, is responsable for what is undeniably a large amount of child abuse.


The church's teachings are meant to be God's voice on earth; its individual members are not. Of course every Catholic should try to be an ambassador for Christ, but not all of us make good ones - human nature is inherently flawed. The Church itself is not responsible for child abuse; the individual priests are the culpable ones. Once again, whenever a teacher is convicted of sexual abuse, no one would suggest that his/her conduct was representative of the entire educational system.

Secondly, the Church should not be the centre of any Catholic person's faith. That place belongs exclusively to God. It's wrong to worship an institution. That's what the power-crazed mediaeval bishops used to do.

So Jesus turned up and showed Thomas his stigmata and spear wound in his side and Thomas fell to his kness and had absolute faith from that moment onwards- this streghnthened his faith but didnt weaken it, so if this principle applies to one the Son of Gods 12 disciples, it should therefore also apply to other Christians, eh?!


Jesus' words to Thomas were: "Because you have seen me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen, yet believe." - John 20:29.

So, in effect, Thomas' faith was not worth much. According to St Paul's Letter to the Hebrews, "Faith is the substance of things hoped for; the evidence of things unseen." Once something has been proven, the beholder's faith solidifies and he loses the ability to feel. If you knew for absolute certain that the Lord was with you (and very few people can know that for sure) then the whole scope of human emotion would be closed off to you - you would never feel anything other than contentment. And, strange as it may sound, wouldn't that be a loss? It would mean a very quiet, tranquillised existence, devoid of all feeling. As I mentioned before, we would become little better than puppets. Life is more dangerous without certainty, that is true. But, "We walk by faith, not by sight." - 2 Corinthians 5:7.

Faith can also be a much better teacher than experience. Thomas learnt by experience, and experience is a tough taskmaster. Jesus might well have been saying, "Blessed are those who do not have to see the pain of their loved one in a nursing home without many visitors, before they take the time out of their busy schedules to visit someone else and boost their spirits.

"Blessed are those who do not have be embarrassed or humiliated publicly by being caught in a lie, before realizing that honesty – regardless of how difficult – is the best policy.

"Blessed are those who have not seen another’s pain and suffering, and yet are able to put themselves in their shoes and act accordingly."

In other words, blessed are those who don't demand experience.

I try to Evangelise, but not through words. Jesus said "Love one another as I have loved you. By this shall all men know that you are my disciples." I don't think that anyone can show as great a love as Jesus did, but I believe by being a loving person, I will convince other people that Chrstianity is a force for good, something they want to be part of.


That's a sensible idea. As St Francis said, "Preach the Gospel. If necessary, use words." This sits well with my type of thinking, because I don't believe that the Gospels are so much historical events as everyday scenarios that have been found in all societies throughout all time. This ties in with Sufi Islam as well, a faith tradition that I admire greatly. If I weren't a Catholic I think I'd like to be a Sufi Muslim.
"This above all, to thine own self be true." - Polonius, Hamlet.
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Postby fuzzy » Sun Jul 24, 2005 11:12 pm

Soz yeah I relsied that you were reffering to evangelists after I posted that...
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Postby monkey » Tue Jul 26, 2005 11:11 am

i attempted to ask but got no reply. hes shut him self of compleatly. im gessing thats whats happened.
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Postby alexlaird87 » Sun Jul 31, 2005 4:25 pm

im going to voice a contradictory opinion, but hear me out.

I am an Atheist. i only go to church for weddings, funerals and baptisms. despite this i was brought up with a strong etical belief, what some would call "Christian Values".

when i was younger, about 14 i met a preist or vicar, can't remember, but he told me that no matter how good a person i was, how many good deeds i did, or how few sins i commited, i would never be concidered for accepance in heaven. i asked what if a "faithful" man commited more sins than me, or rarely did a good deed, wether he would be accepted in to heaven, to which he said yes, provided he repented.

to me it seems that any god which is "perfect and good" wouldn't let good people burn in hell.

also vis-a-vis the Evangelicals and people tring to convert you, i dislike evangelicals, but i don't mind people like jahovahs wittnessess. "What", i hear you cry? yes i dont mind the witnessess, because there up front and tell you there trying to convert you.

at my college there where a group of christians who came around handing out free stuff like CDs, pens and ballons. i dislike this because i feel it is underhand and sneaky. when done to younger kids i think its tantamount to bribary, and when aimed at my self and others my age i feel quite insulted that anyone thinks that wound work on me.

incidently i don't dislike all religion, i have many christan, muslim and sikh friends, and i really respect the salvation army. in my opinion, the are what christianity is all about.
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Postby parnassus » Sun Jul 31, 2005 8:09 pm

I love the Sally Ann! :D Their band records great Christmas carols - the really rousing ones that make you feel happy to be alive.

when i was younger, about 14 i met a preist or vicar, can't remember, but he told me that no matter how good a person i was, how many good deeds i did, or how few sins i commited, i would never be concidered for accepance in heaven.


Bear in mind that that is just one man's opinion. He couldn't have been a Catholic priest, because the RCC teaches that salvation is a private matter between the individual and God, and that it's possible for non-Christians to reach Heaven providing they lead good lives. As that clergyman presumably didn't have the keys to Heaven in his back pocket, I don't know how he could justify that statement - especially as the parable of the Good Samaritan seems to say the very opposite. The Samaritan might not have been a believer, but he was the only one who did the right thing.

I don't think any one religion has a monopoly on God. How is it possible to possess the infinite?
"This above all, to thine own self be true." - Polonius, Hamlet.
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Postby fuzzy » Mon Aug 01, 2005 4:03 pm

Alex- I agree with what you siad about evangelicals. Its like when banks try and get you to sign up- they offer free toastie machines (you'll see at Freshers fair :wink: ) and other goodies. I always think, if they were that good a bank, they wouldnt need to lure ppl in with free gifts. Well its the same with religion. Surley if religion is that good, ppl will make thier own choice to sign up in thier own time, rather than being conned into it through freebies. Everything is so material in this world!!
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Postby parnassus » Mon Aug 01, 2005 5:18 pm

Yes - it's very odd that people feel the need to entice others into their religion (which is meant to be based on spiritual values) with material objects. It doesn't quite make sense.
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