Black Spirituality Religion : christianity... an accurate representation?

Discussion in 'Black Spirituality / Religion - General Discussion' started by lord shorty, Apr 9, 2007.

  1. lord shorty

    lord shorty Active Member MEMBER

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    someone recently wrote me this explanation. He knows a lot of the problems I have with chrisitanity as far as its world view goes. he has never satisfied my questions about the historical validation of the bible. His explanations entice me, sometimes I think God is revealing himself to me through his explanations. but I still have a doubt, my skeptic side is too strong, and I still find flaws in what he writes.... With all the research done on where the jews "really" got their beliefs and everything else that is badly presented about the church, history etc, I still feel something is wrong with it as a religious system. I could go into detail but Im sure many of its "holes" have already roamed about in yalls imagination so Ill jsut say: here is what he thinks... his explanation and following links are very positive. but things still rub me the wrong way. I just dont think people should be seperated from all good after death because they reject an idea about god.


    here is what he told me

    I think you operate under some illusions that make Christianity impossible for you to accept. The tragic thing is that these illusions are not true; you aren't seeing God how he is. I don't know where you picked up your perceptions--they seem to be a combination of a sort of hellfire style preaching and skeptical complaints about the Christian message. You're obsessed with hell, I think. I want to help you because I know that the God I know wants you to see him properly.

    I've said this before to you, but its worth saying again: a fear of hell can't lead to a desire for God. You find yourself hating a God that would condemn people to hell, because you haven't seen yet the God who would give people heaven, by giving himself. I accept that hell exists, as a sober fact that follows from the freedom I know that God has granted his creatures, in his love for them; hell exists because God loves us. I know this is hard to fathom, and its a statement that's easy to jeer at as being nonsensical. It seems crazy to us because we don't recognize that God is the source of all life, all goodness, all truth, all love. If we saw this clearly we'd see that, apart from that source, the only proper name for what we have left is "hell." You don't have to think of it as torment--the fire and all, that is just a metaphor.

    It seems that all your thinking about Christianity has brought you only fear, guilt, and unrest. But Jesus came to bring you relief from those things, not to heighten them. So I want you to see the Jesus who brings joy, forgiveness, and peace. I say this in all sincerity; I worry about you and it pains me to see what you go through, because the only real source of peace and joy in this world that I have found seems to be for you the source of all your anxiety and unrest. It wasn't meant to be like that. You just haven't seen it with the right eyes yet. Please try reading these:
    http://www.christian-thinktank.com/nulittle.html
    http://www.christian-thinktank.com/justlook.html
     
  2. river

    river Watch Her Flow MEMBER

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    Hey lord shorty

    I remember seeing you in chat the other day. welcome to Destee.

    Hell exists because Christianity needs hell. They claim that Jesus alone can save us. I remember when I was a Christian how intimidated I was by a guy who had overcome his drug addiction when he became a Muslim (no I am not a Muslim and I am not proselytizing for Islam here). As a Christian I had to find fault with that. Though I could minimize it, deny it, distort it, ridicule it I could not erase the reality in that man's life. So hell was my only recourse.

    You know how they say, "suppose Christianity is true? If it's not true then we've lost nothing but if it is true then you're going to hell." The problem with that is Christianity is not the only religion that promises hell for those who don't believe it. In fact all three Abrahamic religions use it. So there is no playing it safe. Whatever I choose to believe or not believe I run the risk of offending one of these opposing conceptions of God.

    If we take hell out of the picture tell me one thing that Christians have that cannot be found anywhere else. The love of God. But I have the love of God as my African ancestors saw him/her, and not as he was forced on me by my slave masters.

    Knowamsane?
     
  3. hiphopolx

    hiphopolx Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Nicely Put :)
     
  4. lord shorty

    lord shorty Active Member MEMBER

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    I liked those words, thanks. And yes it always bugs me when I examine the fact that most people of other faiths really feel or "know deep down" that they are right.


    the idea of "we lose nothing by believing etc" was presented by the philosopher pascal (pascals wager) I think it should be rejected. first of all there are as you said many faiths that punish unbelief or rejection of their ideas.

    Also this is clearly a use of fear and guilt to draw people into acvcepting "just to be on the safe side"

    and also, isnt it "not necessarily all that great at all!" ... if we have a god whose attitude is "ha ha told you so, ya sucker! should have believed in me!"

    wouldnt chrisitanity be the only religion in serious practice by now? assuming its the only one that is "right"

    wouldnt the hindis fall on their knees once they heard the name jesus?
     
  5. lord shorty

    lord shorty Active Member MEMBER

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    quote: You find yourself hating a God that would condemn people to hell, because you haven't seen yet the God who would give people heaven, by giving himself.

    I'd rather see a God that would send people back for a second chance, or simply give them heaven regardless as long as they weren't too terribly bad in life. The God who gives white people heaven but condemns black and brown people to hell because they were born on the wrong continent and lived good lives but prayed using the wrong words? He doesn't impress me.

    Quote:
    I accept that hell exists, as a sober fact that follows from the freedom I know that God has granted his creatures, in his love for them; hell exists because God loves us. I know this is hard to fathom, and its a statement that's easy to jeer at as being nonsensical.

    That's because it is nonsensical, period. There's no particular reason Hell has to exist if God doesn't want it to.

    Quote:
    It seems crazy to us because we don't recognize that God is the source of all life, all goodness, all truth, all love. If we saw this clearly we'd see that, apart from that source, the only proper name for what we have left is "hell."

    And what is stopping God from shining a little of that niceness on generally good non-Christian people? If you had a glass of water, and two people were dying of thirst, would you give half a glass to one person and pour the other half on the ground? Unless you knew they were a really, really bad person? That's the premise of modern American Christianity: that all people fundamentally deserve hell, and that salvation is a "free gift." It is right to be disgusted and angered by that idea.

    God set up the scenario, and by doing so, he pushed all of humanity into the pool. Even if he dives in and saves a few people here and there, that doesn't make him a hero.
     
  6. lord shorty

    lord shorty Active Member MEMBER

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    You might find this interesting. I have taken the liberty of replacing 'God' with 'Dad' and 'Christianity' with 'family', 'hell' with 'brutal unending punishment' and 'heaven' with 'anything they want' and 'preaching' with 'teaching', and 'Jesus' with 'your brother' to bring this whole thing down to earth and make what is actually going on crystal clear.


    I think you operate under some illusions that make 'family' impossible for you to accept. The tragic thing is that these illusions are not true; you aren't seeing 'Dad' how he is. I don't know where you picked up your perceptions--they seem to be a combination of a sort of 'brutal unending punishment' style 'teaching' and skeptical complaints about the 'family' message. You're obsessed with 'brutal unending punishment', I think. I want to help you because I know that the 'Dad' I know wants you to see him properly.

    I've said this before to you, but its worth saying again: a fear of 'brutal unending punishment' can't lead to a desire for 'Dad'. You find yourself hating a 'Dad' that would condemn people to 'brutal unending punishment', because you haven't seen yet the 'Dad' who would give people 'anything they want', by giving himself. I accept that 'brutal unending punishment' exists, as a sober fact that follows from the freedom I know that 'Dad' has granted his 'family', in his love for them; 'brutal unending punishment' exists because 'Dad' loves us. I know this is hard to fathom, and its a statement that's easy to jeer at as being nonsensical. It seems crazy to us because we don't recognize that 'Dad' is the source of all life, all goodness, all truth, all love. If we saw this clearly we'd see that, apart from that source, the only proper name for what we have left is "'brutal unending punishment'." You don't have to think of it as torment--the fire and all, that is just a metaphor.

    It seems that all your thinking about 'family' has brought you only fear, guilt, and unrest. But 'your brother' came to bring you relief from those things, not to heighten them. So I want you to see 'your brother' who brings joy, forgiveness, and peace. I say this in all sincerity; I worry about you and it pains me to see what you go through, because the only real source of peace and joy in this world that I have found seems to be for you the source of all your anxiety and unrest. It wasn't meant to be like that.

    sounds like a family I dont want to be a part of



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    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    no way I can say exactly how I am looking at this construct called Christianity. Partly because it has a 1,000 differing faces by believers and non-believers. You are the only one who can decide if some version of this is reality for you. Some even look at Christianity as just another path towards enlightenment; and all paths being ones own to travel; and that the journey is more important than the perceived destination. To not consider the construct called hell, and whether the Christian canon propagates the message of eternal torment for the majority of humanity, would be disingenuous and irrational. It does not need to be the main focus, but it should not be ignored.

    To fear a thing called hell (note: there are many Christians that do not believe in this version of hell), one has to at least accept the modest possibility of such a god, and such an afterlife. If such a god exists, and such an eternal torment for the masses exists, then I posit that these people worship a psychotic monster. It would be more like the devil/satin they claim to defend against than like all the pretty words of love that heap upon their construct. This purported god knew it's creation before it all began; it knew how it's weak message (good news) would be received; and found a failure rate of 60-70% acceptable. The message wants you to believe that within this known failure, that it was going to sacrifice one part of itself, to another part of itself, tens of thousands of years later, for the failings of it's own creation. And this would somehow be a fitting substitution for all peoples perceived sins. No human would operate like this, but for what we call monsters or serial killers. This god claims to consider us his children. What parent would beat their child for a lifetime for not recognizing the authority of the parent? What does society do to such people? Now consider doing it for eternity, and you have realized this god/monster.

    This message came out of Jewish beliefs, which the Jews never found true. The Jews grew their beliefs over hundreds of years, pulling together ancient lore from other cultures and built their own community god, which later became the only real god. Do you consider a 6,000 human history, Noah's Deluge, and Joshua's Solar object demands to even be a possibility within the rational real world? Once you decide this, what chance is the Exodus, Solomon's famed wisdom, a later sun being set back 10 degrees Hezehiah, et.al. being real? Within the NT words were written in Jesus name, that he believed in this fabled past. If Yahweh if make believe, who could Jesus have been? Mainstream Christian theologians accept that books like Daniel were probably finished after claimed fulfilled prophecies were already history. Consider how easily humans follow all sorts of goofy "prophets" from Joseph Smith to Jim Jones just in the more modern age when we think we should know better. Mormonism is one of the fastest growing sects today, and they just ignore the crack pot history of their founder. Now consider 1,900 years of a confused and muddled Christian history and how much easier it must have been to follow a crackpot prophet then. Add this to the message of god's Austwitch for the masses, the Christian editing of the NT canon, falsification of writings by Josephus's "History of the Jews", tons of historical erros and failed prophecies that have to be explained away, and what is there to worry about?

    It seams that you could be spending allot of time fussing over the pro and con arguments regarding this particular faith. One this I would recommend if you have not done so, is to pick up a good book on ancient Egyptian or Sumerian history that goes back to 2,000-3000 BCE. They have a solid available archeological and written history that is worth reading. Read about Gilgamesh and his flood put to clay tablet about a 1,000 years before the fictional Moses (Moshe) purported wrote the first 5 books of their canon. There are many other more minor tidbits that the Israelites seamed to have picked up as well. Pick up a good book on the archeological history of Canaan from 500-1,500 BCE, and read about the controversies, and lack of substantiation for claimed Jewish history. Many Jews today don't even believe it. Read about some of the other philosophies from the ancient past, their ethos and morals. It is surprising to many how common some of the purported amazing teachings of Christ are. Here are some sample pulled partly from this link: http://www.unification.net/ws/theme144.htm#01

    Socrates, in his dialogue with Crito: "One should never do wrong in return, nor mistreat any man, no matter how one has been mistreated by him."


    He abused me, he beat me, he defeated me, he robbed me!" In those who harbor such thoughts hatred is not appeased.

    He abused me, he beat me, he defeated me, he robbed me!" In those who do not harbor such thoughts hatred is appeased.

    Hatreds never cease through hatred in this world; through love alone they cease. This is an eternal law.

    - Buddhism. Dhammapada 3-5 600-630 BC

    Conquer anger by love. Conquer evil by good. Conquer the stingy by giving. Conquer the liar by truth.

    Buddhism. Dhammapada 223 600-630 BC

    My Lord! Others have fallen back in showing compassion to their benefactors as you have shown compassion even to your malefactors. All this is unparalleled.

    - Jainism. Vitaragastava 14.5 570-525 BC

    Of the adage, Only a good man knows how to like people, knows how to dislike them, Confucius said, "He whose heart is in the smallest degree set upon Goodness will dislike no one."

    - Confucianism. Analects 4.3-4 500 BC

    The sage has no fixed [personal] ideas.
    He regards the people's ideas as his own.
    I treat those who are good with goodness,
    And I also treat those who are not good with goodness.
    Thus goodness is attained.

    I am honest with those who are honest,
    And I am also honest with those who are dishonest.
    Thus honesty is attained.

    - Taoism. Tao Te Ching 49 580-500 BC

    Do good to him who has done you an injury.

    - Taoism. Tao Te Ching 63 580-500 BC

    May generosity triumph over *****rdliness,
    May love triumph over contempt,
    May the true-spoken word triumph over the false-spoken word,
    May truth triumph over falsehood.

    - Zoroastrianism. Yasna 60.5 (Avesta) 1000 BC
     
  7. Angela22

    Angela22 Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    I have to wonder about this part, since it seems many Christians think hell is but only a metaphor for what comes to those unbelieving after they pass. I'm not certain if it's to calm themselves, or to seem more inviting to those who wouldn't believe otherwise, but it's only fooling both.

    The Son didn't come to salvage us from simply a metaphor, but actual hellfire burning an eternity. It may seem "harsh" or "cruel" if we are stuck in our old ways of thinking, but it is just, coming of the Father who does no wrong.

    Just as real as the One who died for our sins in His own Body, hell fire does exist. And not unlike His resurrection from the dead on the 3rd day needs to be believed, this certain end for an unbelieving soul should be believed.

    While it is true that one shouldn't obsess over it, but see also the great compassion and mercy the Father has upon us, which is apparent by His sending of His Son as a sacrifice, we should still be sober in this truth that there does await punishment for turning away from the Most High, as all unjust deeds are met with such.

    Only by our having faith, with holy works to follow, and keeping true to our KING by believing in what has been done for our sake can we escape such a fate unto salvation. Trust in the works of the Son, and we'll be redeemed and justified, no more having to face the guilt of our sins.
     
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