Runboard.com
You're welcome.





runboard.com       Sign up (learn about it) | Sign in (lost password?)

Page:  1  2  3 ... 26  27  28 

 
Miz Robbie Profile
Live feed
Blog
Friends
Miscellaneous info

Head Administrator

Registered: 08-2017
Posts: 13649
Karma: 15 (+50/-35)
Reply | Quote
Religion


The five largest religious groups by world population, estimated to account for 5.8 billion people and 84% of the population, are Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism (with the relative numbers for Buddhism and Hinduism dependent on the extent of syncretism) and traditional folk religion. -- Wikipedia

How does religion affect our lives and culture?

---
Robbie
9/30/2017, 10:00 am Link to this post PM Miz Robbie
 
Bellelettres Profile
Live feed
Blog
Friends
Miscellaneous info

Registered user

Registered: 11-2008
Posts: 9239
Karma: 15 (+32/-17)
Reply | Quote
Re: Religion


I have a question: Can Joel Osteen be redeemed? I've just been reading some of his sermons to make sure I know what I'm talking about (as compared with what other people say about Osteen). I'm hard of hearing, so I hunted down some transcripts instead of trying to listen to him on YouTube. Here's a long pdf file of them:

http://tinyurl.com/yalzeh6p

I read in it here and there, and finally read all of one sermon, called "Guarding Your Thoughts," pages 282 to 289. He advises us not to watch the news (too much bad news) and not to worry about our finances or our kids who are on drugs, because God will provide. What we should do instead is seek out passages in the Bible that address our situations and concentrate on those, relying on God to fix things if we have faith. At the end he says that he and Victoria had a really hard time setting up their TV station, but with God's help, they got it done. If I'm misunderstanding what Joel said, can someone enlighten me? I don't wish to be snarky about Christianity.

I think a good question, though, is What is Christianity? How does the Prosperity Gospel that Joel preaches square with the social justice gospel that Jesus preached?
9/30/2017, 10:07 am Link to this post PM Bellelettres
 
JustLis Profile
Live feed
Blog
Friends
Miscellaneous info

Registered user

Registered: 08-2017
Posts: 14539
Karma: 34 (+61/-27)
Reply | Quote
Re: Religion


I am agnostic. And I have to define that, because people take it in so many ways. I just don't know if there is a God out there or not. But I would never tell another person that it CAN'T be known whether there is a God. I fully respect people of faith and their KNOWLEDGE and full faith that there is a God. I know my Mom's faith has brought her a lot of comfort and strength in difficult times, and I am very grateful for that. I think I've just seen too much that doesn't square with the Catholicism I grew up in, and other Protestant faith systems I have experienced. But...I still do pray for other people -- just in case someone is out there to listen.

That said, I have SERIOUS problems with prosperity gospel. It comes across as wealthy people claiming they were blessed by God as being DESERVING of that wealth. That, of course, leads to the conclusion that those who are poor didn't have enough faith to gain God's favor. It simply CANNOT be true, if we are expected to square that with the stories of who Jesus spent his time with, and other parables.

As for the Osteens having trouble setting up their TV station and claiming they got it done with God's help, that can be an issue of interpretation. What was the trouble? Funding? God didn't send the money; their viewers did. Technical issues? God didn't fix the issues; experts in the field did. Getting discouraged? Their own faith and determination got them through it. But if they're saying that they felt inspired by God to get through it, that is entirely possible.

Social justice gospel rings far more true to me. At the very root of the many faith systems is one basic call: Love one another. Whether that love manifests in prayer for others, or donations of money or material goods, or serving in a soup kitchen or as a missionary, working together to help improve the life of another person is the deepest, most important mission we can serve in society.

Do good works earn you a place in heaven? I don't know. I don't even know if there IS a heaven. But I DO know that helping others IS the right thing to do -- just one human being to another -- whether it is based in religion or not.

---
Lis

Just one voice.... Singing in the darkness....
9/30/2017, 11:49 am Link to this post PM JustLis
 
shiftless2 Profile
Live feed
Blog
Friends
Miscellaneous info

Banned user

Registered: 11-2016
Posts: 1624
Karma: 1 (+5/-4)
Reply | Quote
Re: Religion


JustLis, I agree with most of what you said but I am going to take issue with your use of the word "knowledge" in this sentence

quote:

...people of faith and their KNOWLEDGE and full faith that there is a God



The Oxford Dictionary (OED) gives several definitions among which we find:

Strong belief in the doctrines of a religion, based on spiritual conviction rather than proof

If you "know something" (i.e., have proof that it is true) it is no longer "faith".

And there is no proof - far smarter people than any of us have been trying to prove the existence of god (any god) for centuries with absolutely no success.
9/30/2017, 2:01 pm Link to this post PM shiftless2
 
bigbarry2u Profile
Live feed
Blog
Friends
Miscellaneous info



Registered: 09-2017
Posts: 224
Karma: 2 (+3/-1)
Reply | Quote
Re: Religion


We could probably have an interesting debate on the social justice theology that some claim Jesus preached.

Take the parable of the talents:

Parable of the talents

In Jesus's story, which he claims is like the Kingdom of Heaven, the "master" does not give the same amount to each person. And to those that worked hard he says, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’

In my opinion, his message had to do with what you do with what you have. He claims it is difficult for a rich man to get into heaven, and that is a reasonable assertion because if you have plenty then you may find you do not need to rely on faith or a relationship with God.

Also, in my theology, nobody "earns" a spot in heaven. it is freely given to anyone that will accept it. No matter rich or poor, gay or straight, black or white, young or old, male or female. None of us can do anything to deserve it. But we can accept the grace and mercy to receive it.

Your mileage may vary.

---
I thought growing old would take longer.
9/30/2017, 2:37 pm Link to this post PM bigbarry2u
 
Miz Robbie Profile
Live feed
Blog
Friends
Miscellaneous info

Head Administrator

Registered: 08-2017
Posts: 13649
Karma: 15 (+50/-35)
Reply | Quote
Re: Religion


I've never really understood this parable. Evidently it's about rewarding hard work and the effort to turn "some" into "more."

So a talent, in today's economy, would be worth about a million bucks. The guy who got five million bucks and turned it into ten million bucks got an "Attaboy" and got to keep the money. Similarly, the guy who got two million bucks and turned it into four got to keep the dough and earned approval. The guy who got a million bucks and didn't do anything with it got clobbered. ("For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.") The rich get richer and the poor get poorer, and ain't we got fun.

I'm sure I'm missing something.

---
Robbie
9/30/2017, 2:57 pm Link to this post PM Miz Robbie
 
Bellelettres Profile
Live feed
Blog
Friends
Miscellaneous info

Registered user

Registered: 11-2008
Posts: 9239
Karma: 15 (+32/-17)
Reply | Quote
Re: Religion


Maybe the parable of the talents (Matt. 25:15-30)is the root of the prosperity gospel. It certainly must be the root of the Christian defense of capitalism. Contradicting that one parable, though, are all of the other teachings of Jesus.

Read the parable of the talents, and then read the Sermon on the Mount (Matt. 5-7), and tell me how those teachings could, by any stretch of the imagination, have been uttered by the same person.

9/30/2017, 3:24 pm Link to this post PM Bellelettres
 
bigbarry2u Profile
Live feed
Blog
Friends
Miscellaneous info



Registered: 09-2017
Posts: 224
Karma: 2 (+3/-1)
Reply | Quote
Re: Religion


I disagree. What do you see as inconsistent?

I find these to be specifically consistent:

quote:

“Thus, when you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. 3 But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4 so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.



quote:

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. 9 Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? 11 If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!





---
I thought growing old would take longer.
9/30/2017, 3:58 pm Link to this post PM bigbarry2u
 
Bellelettres Profile
Live feed
Blog
Friends
Miscellaneous info

Registered user

Registered: 11-2008
Posts: 9239
Karma: 15 (+32/-17)
Reply | Quote
Re: Religion


What I see as inconsistent, Barry, is that the Master in the parable of the talents cast his servant into everlasting fire because the servant did not make money for him, by usury, while he was away.

In my mind this is inconsistent with:

Matthew 6:24
24 "No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money."

Do you find these consistent?

10/1/2017, 9:51 am Link to this post PM Bellelettres
 
bigbarry2u Profile
Live feed
Blog
Friends
Miscellaneous info



Registered: 09-2017
Posts: 224
Karma: 2 (+3/-1)
Reply | Quote
Re: Religion


I do find them consistent.

First, the concept of usury in this story is interesting. Is this your interpretation of have you heard this suggested elsewhere? All I know about doubling my money is that it requires a lot of work, and a fair amount of risk. I guess crime is also a possibility, but that never occurred to me in this parable. I wonder, does it matter? hmm.

Parables are metaphors, and certainly open to interpretation. For me, the master gave an assignment to his servants. He appeared to have different expectations for the abilities of the three servants as he did not give them all the same. In the end, he rewarded the servants that did their best for him, and punished the one that did not.

As for two masters, I am not sure of your point. The servants were not asked to serve two masters. Just the one.

---
I thought growing old would take longer.
10/1/2017, 12:23 pm Link to this post PM bigbarry2u
 
Bellelettres Profile
Live feed
Blog
Friends
Miscellaneous info

Registered user

Registered: 11-2008
Posts: 9239
Karma: 15 (+32/-17)
Reply | Quote
Re: Religion


I don't see working hard at legally robbing desperate people of their money through usury as commendable hard work.

In the parable of the talents, the faithful servants were commended by the Master (presumably a standin for Jesus) for serving money. But elsewhere Jesus says we can't serve God while we serve money. Presumably he wanted us to serve God, but the parable of the talents teaches that we would do best to serve money.
10/1/2017, 12:38 pm Link to this post PM Bellelettres
 
bigbarry2u Profile
Live feed
Blog
Friends
Miscellaneous info



Registered: 09-2017
Posts: 224
Karma: 2 (+3/-1)
Reply | Quote
Re: Religion


If you like. Seems like a reach to me.

First, there is no mention of usury. Maybe you have a different Bible than I do! emoticon

Second, they were serving the master. Not money. They were doing what he commanded them to do, usury or not. The one that did not do what he was commanded, was not serving his master. He was serving another master, namely either fear or laziness.

As for prosperity gospel, and maybe even the "serving two masters", I heard this Scripture at church this morning:

quote:

2 Corinthians 1:8-11

We think you ought to know, dear brothers and sisters, about the trouble we went through in the province of Asia.

We were crushed and overwhelmed beyond our ability to endure, and we thought we would never live through it.

In fact, we expected to die. But as a result, we stopped relying on ourselves and learned to rely only on God, who raises the dead.

And he did rescue us from mortal danger, and he will rescue us again. We have placed our confidence in him, and he will continue to rescue us.

And you are helping us by praying for us. Then many people will give thanks because God has graciously answered so many prayers for our safety.



Obviously we Houstonians see this Scripture and think of Hurricane Harvey. But note the comment about having to rely on God instead of ourselves. Someone that serves money does so in order to be self-reliant. I believe it is why Jesus is so hard on the wealthy.



---
I thought growing old would take longer.
10/1/2017, 1:27 pm Link to this post PM bigbarry2u
 
Bellelettres Profile
Live feed
Blog
Friends
Miscellaneous info

Registered user

Registered: 11-2008
Posts: 9239
Karma: 15 (+32/-17)
Reply | Quote
Re: Religion


Verse 27, King James Version:

Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchanges, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury.
10/1/2017, 1:43 pm Link to this post PM Bellelettres
 
bigbarry2u Profile
Live feed
Blog
Friends
Miscellaneous info



Registered: 09-2017
Posts: 224
Karma: 2 (+3/-1)
Reply | Quote
Re: Religion


Ah, ok. There it is. Its one of the reasons I like discussing topics with intelligent people, because you learn something new then you do.

The translation I have always seen with this text is "interest".

Upon reviewing the meaning and history of "usury", I find that it has a different meaning now than it did in older history. Jewish law prohibited any interest being collected from other Jews, but encouraged it from non-Jews.

Some early denominations of Christianity saw the collection of any interest as uncharitable and non-Christian.

This negative connotation of interest morphed into the current meaning of the word "usury".



---
I thought growing old would take longer.
10/1/2017, 2:54 pm Link to this post PM bigbarry2u
 
Bellelettres Profile
Live feed
Blog
Friends
Miscellaneous info

Registered user

Registered: 11-2008
Posts: 9239
Karma: 15 (+32/-17)
Reply | Quote
Re: Religion


Thanks for the compliment, Barry. I found the prohibition against usury (sometimes translated as interest) in Deuteronomy:

King James Version
Thou shalt not lend upon usury to thy brother; usury of money, usury of victuals, usury of any thing that is lent upon usury:

Darby Bible Translation
Thou shalt take no interest of thy brother, interest of money, interest of victuals, interest of anything that can be lent upon interest:

World English Bible
You shall not lend on interest to your brother; interest of money, interest of food, interest of anything that is lent on interest:

Young's Literal Translation
'Thou dost not lend in usury to thy brother; usury of money, usury of food, usury of anything which is lent on usury.

Deuteronomy 23:19 Parallel

http://tinyurl.com/ybz9fhgp

The Sermon on the Mount is about helping people, not exploiting them. There are many harsh passages in the New Testament, which contradict the law of love, which I used to think was what Jesus wanted to replace the Law of Moses with; hence all that arguing with Pharisees and Sadducees about the letter of the law vs. the spirit. I loved to hate Paul for a while because I thought he wanted to reverse what Jesus taught, to bring the Law of Moses back under a different name. It seemed to me that there were two types of Christians: the punish, punish, kill, kill Christians (have you read Hebrews 10?), and the love thy brother as thyself Christians. Karen Armstrong says Paul didn't write all the letters attribute to him. But the letters attributed to him have done a lot of damage.
10/1/2017, 3:23 pm Link to this post PM Bellelettres
 
bigbarry2u Profile
Live feed
Blog
Friends
Miscellaneous info



Registered: 09-2017
Posts: 224
Karma: 2 (+3/-1)
Reply | Quote
Re: Religion


I appreciate you Belles. I don't think debating religious topics between us will be that productive. We do not have enough common ground to have productive discussions when you are in a place that is ready to discredit the Bible. You could be 100% correct. But I have read lots of stuff about those that want to say that Paul hijacked Christianity, and had plenty of debates about it.

And in my experience, there is just not enough common ground to make this a productive discussion.

I shared with you my own thoughts on these passages. If you want to talk about consistency or inconsistency, I am happy to do that. Or meaning, or interpretation, etc. But the tactics we use in political debate are really inappropriate when it comes to religious discussion.

Again, totally appreciate you and your point of view. I am very excited to get to know you more.

b

---
I thought growing old would take longer.
10/1/2017, 11:20 pm Link to this post PM bigbarry2u
 
Bellelettres Profile
Live feed
Blog
Friends
Miscellaneous info

Registered user

Registered: 11-2008
Posts: 9239
Karma: 15 (+32/-17)
Reply | Quote
Re: Religion


I agree, Barry. Religious discussions are not productive when one of the parties is an unbeliever. I understand your position, having once been an avid believer.
10/2/2017, 5:15 am Link to this post PM Bellelettres
 
GoHawk Profile
Live feed
Blog
Friends
Miscellaneous info

Registered user

Registered: 10-2015
Posts: 1231
Karma: 5 (+5/-0)
Reply | Quote
Re: Religion


My relationship with religion? A bit ambiguous to say the least. How would I describe myself? Very simply I am a devout non-believing Catholic. While I was baptized, and confirmed in the Catholic Church, I do not believe in the Virgin birth, the Holy Trinity, a physical Heaven or Hell. Or even in a personal God. What I do believe in are the teachings of Jesus Christ (be he a real human being or not). In particular I believe in the teachings of the Sermon on the Mount - specifically the Beatitudes, and the Golden Rule. I also believe in numerous other teachings of the Church, including my favorite prayer, the Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi. While a relationship to Francis is most likely apocryphal rather than actual, I do find it a beautiful prayer. As well as a meaningful guide to live by. And I do attend Mass on a fairly regular basis. Only because I find the experiance to be uplifting. And because our current Parish priest is one of the few truly sane clergy I have ever known. In addition I do attend confession - as I find confessing my transgressions to be both therapeutic and liberating. I know. None of that makes any sense to anyone other than me.

---
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Long live the Free Territory of Trieste (1947 - 1954)

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=cb6X97qXOdE
10/2/2017, 5:19 am Link to this post PM GoHawk
 
Bellelettres Profile
Live feed
Blog
Friends
Miscellaneous info

Registered user

Registered: 11-2008
Posts: 9239
Karma: 15 (+32/-17)
Reply | Quote
Re: Religion


It certainly makes sense to me, Hawk. Jesus was a revolutionary, and my religious upbringing is the basis of my belief in social justice. I might have come to it some other way, but that's the way I DID come to it.

My favorite preacher is Harry Emerson Fosdick, who was preaching social and economic justice before, during, and after the Great Depression. He has a particular place in my heart because he preached against racism as well as economic oppression. He was in the middle of the fundamentalist-modernist controversy in the Christian churches. His 1922 sermon "Shall the Fundamentalists Win?" is a classic.

http://tinyurl.com/56twxj

His sermons are a goldmine of original ideas and erudition, in language beautiful in its clarity and simplicity. I wish I could hear the voice that spoke those language that gives me such pleasure as I read it, but I can't find recordings of his radio sermons anywhere.
10/2/2017, 6:14 am Link to this post PM Bellelettres
 
MsSusieQueue Profile
Live feed
Blog
Friends
Miscellaneous info

Registered user

Registered: 08-2017
Posts: 2575
Karma: 2 (+8/-6)
Reply | Quote
Re: Religion


quote:

bigbarry2u wrote:
 I have read lots of stuff about those that want to say that Paul hijacked Christianity, and had plenty of debates about it.

And in my experience, there is just not enough common ground to make this a productive discussion...
...the tactics we use in political debate are really inappropriate when it comes to religious discussion.

b



I am likely one of the people who have said Paul hijacked Christianity, Barry, and ended up in nonproductive discussions on that topic.

I consider myself a "Practicing Christian" who tries to follow the teaching of Jesus, ministering to the poor, the widows and those who suffer. I've just never felt Paul's teachings about women submitting to men (etc., etc., etc.) were the essence of what Jesus of Nazareth was saying.

So we can agree to disagree. I'm more in agreement with Belle (Jesus was a revolutionary and my religious upbringing is the basis of my belief in social justice) and my agnostic friend Lis,
who I consider far more "Christian" than the current POTUS who likes to quote "Two Corinthians" while trying to ram his camel through the eye of the needle.

I do know that you work hard at caring for the poor among us, and I admire you for that. As for Paul, I reiterate, we will have to agree to disagree as to whether his "interpretations" of the messages (perhaps not quoted verbatim) of Jesus
are accurate. I think Paul filtered the message of the Gospels through his own experience. I will admit that I do the same thing. I will continue to believe that Jesus LOVED women, but Paul considered us as children of a lesser God.
  
10/2/2017, 6:05 pm Link to this post PM MsSusieQueue
 


Add a reply

Page:  1  2  3 ... 26  27  28 





You are not logged in (login)
Back To Top