I am not a Christian. I don't come from a religious family, but I have friends that have parents like your dad. At some point, they all decided what was right for them--and only them. This is your life. Your life, not theirs--you have to live with what you believe and what is in your heart. At some point your father will be gone. If you've only been believing to please him...what happens when he's gone? Imagine the life and experiences you could never have.
I hope I've helped in some way. I'm sorry this is reviving an old thread but I wanted to help. I hope I did.
Definitely do some research, like reading the Bible, by yourself and make up your own interpretations on the religion. You don't have to follow in your families footsteps. Also, since you're questioning your faith, I'd suggested praying. Even if you're like "Hey, God. I have no idea if you exist or not...but can you help me out? I'm starting to question if you exist, and if you do, I'm afraid of turning away from you...so, a little help please?" Or whatever.
So Yahweh commanding his men to take virgins as war prizes, to kill homosexuals, pagans and rape victims and to tear open pregnant women's bellies and smash their unborn babes against rocks counts for nothing?
Also, that means talking snakes existed at some point.
1.) Could you please cite the verses where these were stated? 2.) Pagans and Christians are equally guilty of killing each other. 3.) Why are you taking the Old Testament so seriously and literally? Science has discredited most of the stories in it, so obviously it is not a factual work; it is simply a collection of stories from an ancient culture. Many other cultures have gory, violent accounts of the ancient times. But do you know what? No one cares. It's like reading a history textbook or a classic piece of literature. The readers think, "Ancient people were barbaric! I"m glad I didn't live back then." Then, they go back to watching Honey Boo Boo or playing Angry Birds.
In short: It really isn't hurting the people of today, so it doesn't amount to much. IF any of what you said was actually stated in the Old Testament, it really has no effect on the people of today. Many people today are atheists or they are modern Christians who focus more on the New Testament anyway, which is nearly the complete opposite of the Old Testament (save for Revelations.)
1) Deuteronomy 20:10-14, Leviticus 20:13, Jeremiah 9:12-15, Deuteronomy 22:23-24, Isaiah 13:15-18. Those aren't even the only verses where the encouragement of these things is listed 2) Name one other religion that's not Judeo-Christian that went out of its way to scour the globe to find other religions and slaughter them. You'll find none. Pagans have been killing each other for thousands of years, true; but you will NOT find such a great number dead in the name of a Pagan god. 3) I'm taking it seriously and literally because people still worship it, regardless of what it really is.
Before I continue with a reply, I would like bring up the concept of culture vs. religion. Many people seem to interchange the two, which is understandable. Culture is unique to a people in a specific part of the world, while religion is international. Religion also tends to be interpreted differently by different cultures. Take Muslims, for instance. Muslims in America or even India are very different from the ones in the Middle East. This is something that needs to be considered when examining events with religious connections.
I did some reading up on these African witch hunts you mentioned and they are indeed extremely barbaric. However, they are mainly focused in countries where magic is still a belief in the culture. The existence of magic is denied by Judeo-Christian denominations in general, so any Christian connections are slim at most. Also, it is said that "Witch-hunts in Africa are often led by relatives seeking the property of the accused victim." [link]
1.) Deuteronomy 20:10-14: With a little research, one could find that this was typical in battles of the day. Woman and children were considered property to the culture of the ancient times, whether they worshiped God or the pagan gods. -Leviticus 20:13: This is not a common practice of Christianity today (although many are anti-gay, which is a problem I have with the Christian faith.) Once again, I bring up the cultural component: Ugandan religious leaders were attempting to pass a "Kill the Gays" bill, but the Vatican shot it down and even lobbied against it. -Jeremiah 9:12-15: I don't understand what this is supposed to be promoting. God's punishing the Israelites for disobeying him, something that seems to happen a lot in the Old Testament. -Deuteronomy 22:23-24: People are stoned to death for an affair. This is a very outlandish punishment, but I have yet to see it practiced in modern culture today. -Isaiah 13:15-18: If you examine the verses surround this passage, it's another passage in which God is punishing sinners for disobedience, not encouraging the Israelites to do such actions.
2.) Radical Islamists have a tendency to do this. Here's a list Wikipedia provided of some of their recent attacks: [link] Once again, the culture vs. religion spiel pops up here. Most radical Muslims come from the Middle East. The Muslims I have known here in a modern culture have been some of the nicest and smartest people that I have ever met. This can be applied to Christianity as well. Also, the only instances of Christians "scouring the globe to find other religions and slaughtering them" occurred with the Crusades between the 11th and 13th centuries.
3) There will always be someone out there who believes in something radically different; that's just how humans are. Whether it's an entire culture or a few people, you aren't going to force them to change their ways. However, in modern cultures such as Canada, England, and America, practicing radical ideas stated in the Old Testament are heavily frowned upon and illegal.
Now, as for the links... I believe I covered the first link in my paragraph regarding witch hunts, since the people mentioned in the article were originally from Democratic Republic of the Congo in Africa.
As for the second link, I was not aware of the Abortion Clinic bombing and would like to thank you for bringing that to my attention. However, I would like to remind you that the authorities intervened due to the fact that this is obviously not acceptable in our culture, as well as the fact that this is not the norm at all.
As for the third link, while it is a tragic story, there are no visible religious ties reported in the article.
To me, it seems like you have something against Christians in general. Like every religion, Christianity has some bad eggs. Since it is the largest religion, it is bound to have more bad eggs than a smaller religion. The reasons for this are usually due to their less scientific culture. In modern cultures, the Old Testament isn't upheld as highly as the New Testament and is widely believed to have more significance as a historical document than as a work of fiction. The few groups that do promote more of the Old Testament's radical values -- such as Westboro Baptist Church -- are hated even by other Christians. Heck, almost all of the Christians I've met either in real life or on the internet are all pro-gay, bi, lesbian, transgender, etc.
If you want a more Catholic view -- which I am a bit more familiar with -- the Old Testament is taught to be purely symbolic, and the passages such as Leviticus are a summary of the laws from the ancient days, and they were "abolished" when Jesus came and fulfilled the New Testament.
Now that I have looked into the matters that you have presented, I can look into your eyes and say that yes, it really isn't affecting us. We live in a more modern culture, since we are both debating this on a non-regulated or censored internet with a computer and/or laptop. If you want to take your issue up with a culture in which the Old Testament and magic appears to be more prominent, perhaps you could present your evidence to them instead.
Honey, I think you're the one getting 'culture' and 'religion' mixed up.
It's culture when the ancient Hebrews do it themselves. It becomes religion when the act is commanded/condoned by God.
As for the part about Christians today not believing in magic as a whole, perhaps you should look up the attempts to ban Dungeons and Dragons, the huge Christian counter-movement against New Age religions like Wicca and neo-Druidism and the Harry Potter book-burnings that frequent southern America.
The entire witch hunt going on today is Christian-driven How you didn't see this, I'll never know.
And yes, I do have a vendetta against Christianity. I've been tormented, teased and taunted by Christians for the majority of my life.
If that is so, then why do we have so many Christians rejecting the actions of Catholic and/or Islamic terrorists? They say it's the will of God, but other Christians/Catholics/Islamic on other parts of the world do not believe it is so.
It is the culture that influences people to believe what God is telling them to do.
Like I mentioned in my previous statement, there are bad eggs in every religion -- Christianity included. However, have the radicals burning Harry Potter and attempting to ban Dungeons and Dragons getting anywhere with their movement? Not that I've noticed. Also, there are millions of Christians across the board who do not hold these beliefs. I had a rather conservative Baptist childhood friend whose dad was a pastor, and she was allowed to read Harry Potter, dress as a Hogwarts student, and run around with me wherever she pleased singing the Harry Potter theme song and other Harry Potter-related activities.
Many Christians, including Catholic priests, have admitted to reading Harry Potter and thoroughly enjoying the series as well.
I "didn't see" how the witch hunts are Christian-driven because I researched the issue thoroughly and the evidence pointed to them being a more geographical or cultural issue. There are many factors to research before coming to a decision -- nothing is black and white.
I'm sorry about your experience with Christians and understand your reasoning behind your vendetta, but not all Christians are so rigid and intolerant. This is probably going to seem rather cliche, but please don't judge a group by a few people! I know that I don't want to be associated with being unaccepting or judgmental people, so I do my best to accept everyone despite differences of beliefs or opinions. That doesn't mean that I won't stick up for what I believe in though, which is why I've been arguing in this thread.
I think there are just two questions you need to ask yourself: do you believe any of it? And secondly: why do you believe it?
You don't have to believe it because you were told to. Ask questions, do research, and form your own conclusions. You sound a lot like a lot of Christians I've met. They barely even believe in any of it and they openly scoff at the inequality perpetuated by believers. Those I've known are only 'cultural' Christians, whose beliefs are far more closer to a secular humanist's worldview...
The amount of thought and patience you're putting into your decision leads me to believe that you are in fact not trying to spite your father, but that you have serious qualms about your religious beliefs. While men and women both excel at different things, it really depends on the individual, not their genitals. Not everyone woman has "motherly instinct" and not every man knows what is best for his family. When you start putting people into groups (men, women, black, white, straight, gay, parents, children) and forcing certain attributes onto those groups, you've already closed your mind to reality. If you're dad is paying the bills, and you're living in his house, yeah you have to listen to what he says. As soon as you're on your own completely supporting yourself, you get to decide what kind of influence he has on your life, no one else. I don't recommend completely burning bridges with your family unless they're just absolutely destructive and/or manipulative, circumstances are fleeting, you never know when you'll have to fall back.
I may be a Pagan but I've studied the Bible from cover to cover as well as done allot of research on the religion surrounding it, keeping an open mind as I've done so. I've had many Christian and religious friends over the years and they've welcomed me into their churches with open arms, knowing what I was; when it came to beliefs we all just agreed that we all had different views and respected them. Coexistence and tolerance are wonderful things and we all agreed the world would be a much better place if more people practiced them.
Your father sounds like many "old-school" believers, stuck in the old ways when women were property and what a man said was law, more or less. Those days are past, thank goodness.
In some way, he is somewhat correct when he speaks about being your parent no matter how old you become and how a child should always obey their parents; parents are not above being flawed, however, so it should also be remembered that they are people too and, like all people, can be wrong at times. That said, always obeying them allows wiggle room, especially if they're wrong. However, being as none of us would be here without our parents, we should always respect them for that gift alone as there is no payment high enough to repay the gift of life they gave us, which they didn't have to do, we must remember. Taking that for granted and showing them disrespect (if they didn't deserve it because, lets face it, some parents should be locked up and shut away for some of the things they do to their kids) is being ungrateful for the gift of Live they gave. That I can understand.
Your father's view of women, however, has only to do with the old, outdated views of women in the past. We must remember, not long ago women were viewed as property and baby-making machines; they had no rights and weren't viewed as people. It was during those times the Bible was written, so much of what the Bible says has to do with culture at that time. This is where I have a problem with people who chose to follow the Bible exactly as it was written, because much of what it speaks of no longer has any relation to our current cultures. These days women are people, they have rights, they can hold a job, own a home, and have wealth the same as men do (in most cultures, anyway. in some, women are still considered lesser beings, if not still property.) Your father's simply decided not to be current with the times and I believe that's a big disservice he's doing to himself and the women he's around.
Don't give up on God, especially just because you're not in good terms with your dad. I think your dad's input what the Bible says should encourage you to pray to God and study (not just read) the Bible for yourself. Then you're prepared for the next time your dad brings it up. As a teenager, you're going to butt heads with your parents (both of my parents for me). A lot. The Bible says to Honor your Father and Mother, but that doesn't necessarily mean do everything they say (But in their defense, they've got some years and experience on them, and on some occasions know better than you do. I know that's a difficult fact to face, but it's the truth). I heard "Honor your Father and Mother" as meaning to live a life that makes people think you must have great parents, whether you did or not. If you need someone to pray for you, I would love to. Family fights are certainly a difficult issue, but God will carry you through this if you ask him and remain faithful, no matter how hard it gets. Know that whatever your dad says to you, God loves you. And I'm sure your dad loves you too. Sometimes parents boss their kids around because they're scared for them. I know it's become a slogan, but it's good to constantly remind yourself, "What Would Jesus Do?" Keep me updated (private message preferred) on your dad and what God's doing in your life and anything you want prayer for. Peace and grace upon you, fellow Deviant.
You can believe in God without following a religion. If you believe in God, don't let your father sway you from that because of his ignorance just go by what you believe. Being an antireligionist, if you disagree with religion and it's teachings that is, is a great way to still believe in your higher power without being suppressed by religious teachings.
Being a Christian myself, I've grown up on a lot of these virtues, but since I also have a brain, I can understand when they should and should not be used.
The first part (in my opinion) is subjective for many reasons. Respect is important, not only in religion, but also in life in general. But if you know that someone is an asshole that doesn't do jack or someone you despise, even if it is a family member, realize that you are an individual with your own human thoughts and emotions and thus are able to make decisions on your own, and explain. Not to mention that if your parents expect you to do something you know is wong
As for the second part. HE IS DEADEADEADEAD WRONG!!!!! Yes the story of creation is true, but you must know that its almost opposite in the world of today. My dad blatantly admits that he would probably blow up if my mother died because she does everything, and the whole family knows that my mother is the leader of the household XD
as for your dilemma in religion, that's entirely up to you. If you look back in history, people did a lot of crazy stuff in the name of this god or that deity. So yes, it's perfectly understandable that you would have trouble with religion just knowing that. Also, since it sounds like your dad is trying to control you through religion as well, I can totally see why you would want to say "screw Christ, Cthulhu Ftagn!"
Here's a few tips I would recommend if your troubled.
Don't let your dad influence your mindset on religion. You are your own person and thus can make decisions for yourself.
Also, keep your mind open, don't let it close to certain concepts that you think are stupid or just confusing. Take me for instance. While I am Christian, I believe in many ideas and concepts that I learned while studying various forms of Paganism.
I hope this helps a little bit, and if you need a little more help, my notebox in here is always open for you
Sometimes respect (of an authority) is expressed through support, even if it means opposing the person you respect. Your father seems to be full of pride for his appearance, but remind him that a human is a trinity, and having a dick doesn't imply that he's not a cunt. Rather than demanding respect, he should earn it for himself. A good ruler (which, in this case, is the head of the family) should be responsible and provident like Jesus Christ.
I'm the type of person who seeks for the Truth, and as such a person, I have come to understand a lot of profound wisdoms in the past three years. Mankind is in a function of a self-inducing error. It's like when a pebble starts rolling down a hill, and then it hits two more that would roll further with it, and in the end, an avalanche would lay waste in the valley. It isn't others a person has to change, it is always oneself. In the paragraph, I brought up Jesus, but it could be any other holyman of any other tradition that is properly oriented toward the spirit.
Though I disagree with you on the idea of equality, I understand that your reasoning is governed by the horizontal fertility of Femininity (without a negative connotation). From my perspective, it is mutual respect that should govern our social relations.
God isn't a chauvinist. God exists in each and every single one of us, and He wants us to be as He meant us to be: by His own image. Everyone who rules must care for those they rule over. God gave us all the potential to grow up to Him. Love includes responsibility. Love may be hurtful, so to the one you love as well as to you.
Okay, that last paragraph was a bit random, and since I've started to ramble, it's time I finish before I start preaching about stuff you never asked for.
If you have any questions about this, feel free to ask me.
dont give up on god, the only way and the only truth, just because your dad is bending what the bible says to fit what he whants wich is a sin. technically, before god created adam, he created dinosuars ans angels and demons and saten, etc. but dose that mean that all those are better than us? no, it even says we will be above the angels when we are in heven. and no, the bible dosnt say thaat the man will rule over the house. what it really is saying is that if there is a "situation" then the man and the woman must come to a conclusion TOGETHER and work things out. if compromise cannot be made only then dose the man take charge and even then they should still talk. and if you dad is useing the "respect your parents" thing to say "im better than you so do what i say" then point out that the bible also says that the father should not provoke thhe child into disrespecting them. another thing, it says that the man and the woman are equals. yes the woman was tempted by the serpent and tempted adam to eat the fruit as well, but look at it this way: the woman was stupid enough to listen to satin, and the man listend to her. that means that the man was indirectly fooled by the serpent and is just as stupid for listening. man are not above wemon and wemon are not above men, even though the man is suposed to treat the woman as a surperior and the woman is suposed to treat the man the same. dont let your father ruin your souls future just because hes arogant
on another note, sorry for writeing a book for you XD
Someone needs to "kindly" remind him that it was Adam's choice that brought sin into this world, not Eve's, or of the number of men that screwed up in the Bible. God created Eve to be Adam's equal, not underling; and in my experience, God has shown Himself to man and woman alike. It is the attitude of the heart that He is concerned with, not gender.
As for you problem: Personally, I hope you don't give up on God now. This might be when you need Him the most. I know for a fact there is so much He wants to show you about Him, about you, about this world we live in. I know for a fact that He loves you as you are, no matter your choice; and that He wants to help you, and will help you given the chance.
I hope you do question your faith. Put God to the test, see if He'll do what He says He will do, and watch what happens. You might find that the God of Christianity, and the god your dad knows, are two different people.
He's just another sick, twisted Christian with horrible views (which kind of true)
Christians in general don't even agree among themselves, just because your father believe in that, doesn't make the entire religion bad. Correct me, don't your god said it is up to you to interpret the bible? That's just how your father sees it, doesn't make what he interpreted true. Even your relative, Muslims said the same thing.
Since I live in Asia, the tradition of children worshiping their parents are a commonplace, you should feel ever so lucky not to be here, at least your father willing to explain rather than "You must, don't argue" or "It's a tradition" for everything.
PS. I'm not a Christian, I don't really like Christianity, their words & teachings can be so ambiguous. Your situation in particular is a good example. I used to studied in the church, don't really like it.
Just a correction, there is a proper way to interpret the Bible, but part of that interpretation requires God to show you what He meant, and how to apply it. The unfortunate thing, is that most Christians in America and Europe don't take the time to do this, and thus, you end up with the mess we have today in the "western" church.
I see, then how would you know the Christian god is helping you? I've heard tales told by some Christians & a couple missionaries of how the devil may be the 1 helping you & ends up misinterpreting the verses anyway. I'm not saying it's impossible to interpret, I'm asking how would you know you're being helped by the right deity?
One way is to test your interpretation against those who are known to hear from God. That is the purpose of the church, to help each other along in our faith. If there are conflicts with your interpretation, figure out why. Given time, Christians learn to recognize what God is like and what He isn't like, thus factoring out the "interference" Satan can give.
All of them, yet none of them. From what I understand, the basic interpretation of the Bible is the same throughout all denominations, but each denomination focuses more on a particular aspect of that interpretation. This is why I prefer being non-denominational. The danger I see with denominations, is that they can become a part of your identity, and thus can make people who think differently seem to threaten that identity. If, however, their identity is in God, and not a denomination, then it shouldn't matter what church they attend, so long as the people teaching hear from God, and preach from the Bible.
Which brings me to the plumb line Christians follow. Every Christian has a connection with God, and learn the messages in the Bible with God's help. Depending on how much that connection is used, the Christian will begin to recognize Him wherever He is. It is through Him, we recognize whether an interpretation of the Bible is correct or not
Well, your suggestion of going to the church, don't you think it may offend those Lutherans & protestants because their main thing was interpreting the bible on their own? A missionary told me "The Bible is your priest" so that said, it pretty much makes going to the church pointless now isn't it? Since the main Lutheran thing was to study by yourself.
As to my opinion about how Christians should go to church, I believe they should go to all of them.
They would be correct, as the Bible dictates that our relationship with God depends on our private study of His word. However, it also states that the community of the church is beneficial to better hone and equip a Christian's private study. The church community holds each other accountable for their private lives, and can provide support and guidance as necessary.
Thus, the fellowship of Christians, and sharing each others revelations of God and the Bible is the role that the church fills.
Yes they are... That's why we have millions of denominations of Christianity. Freedom of Religion in the US combined with the Protestant reformation has resulted in every possible interpretation of Christianity under the sun.
Your religion is not teaching your father to be an authoritarian chauvinist. He uses religion to excuse the chauvinistic and authoritarian behavior he'd carry out all on his own.
The only good reason to believe (or disbelieve) in any religion is if you have reason to think it's true (or false). Believers in religions are just as human as everyone else, and make mistake like everyone else, and are as capable of being unpleasant people as anyone else. That has nothing to do with whether their religion is true.
Your father is who he is, and he'd be the same even if he were atheist, only for different stated reasons. Let your religion stand or fall on its own merits, or lack thereof.
The whole respect thy mother and thy father thing has to do with the tribal nature of Christianity. In the old testament of the Bible, it's actually permissible for parents to murder disobedient children. The reason for this was that children who were disobedient tended to rebel against their parents, could join other religions, and as adults, join enemy Pagan tribes as enemy soldiers.
In the real world, not all parents are worthy of respect. In fact I'd say many parents aren't worthy of respect in the world. And I'm 30. Parents can be horrible to their children.
Ah if a Muslim girl made a thread like this there would be 50007 replies with racist and human-hating anti Muhammed messages here right now.
Anyway, this is how I see things. Many fathers are scared when they have a girl. They are scared that something indecent will happen to their daughters. Thats probably why they became religious in the first place, because they wanted to surpass their own view on sex. That might not be the case with your dad, its just how some fathers feel. It makes them become over-protective. In the next step they become sexist.
This is the case with every religion by the way. Except wicca maybe. In budhizm technically there isnt supposed to be anything that seperates women from men, but many "interpretations" of what Budha said were written about women that made them sound like objects and the monks have declared that women cant reach nirvana. Actually Budha himself never said anything like that. But they wrote things about it themselves and put it in the same context with budhizm to make it look like its the same thing. And since women cant reach nirvana, the female monk is always looked down upon and next to the male. Snd this causes guess what? Women being lower than the man. We dont hear it in the news as much but women oppression exists on its edge in budhist cultures too. It has nothing to do with the religion itself but more about how people made it so.
If you are going to give up your religion because of your dad, than you are letting your dad between yourself and God. And that is a very wrong thing to do. Your dads misinterpretation doesnt mean thats how the religion is. God created Eve from Adams chestbone only to make him love her like his own heart. And for Eve to take care of him. Not because Eve was lesser lol