I feel it is best to separate yourself from any particular organized religion so I can finally judge people for who they are and not the mandates of their religion. It sounds prejudice, but if you support gays, had sex before marriage and you're not traumatized by it, pro-choice, or haven't paid your church taxes you are not fucking Catholic. Once I had to explain why I'm not Christian and I said for example well I believe gays should be allowed to get married about it and then a Catholic replies to me "well me too." Well then you aren't bloody Catholic are you?
I think some of it depends on your definition of faith. I'm a very faithful person, but to me, being faithful is quite literally, being full of faith. And faith, for me, is the complete acceptance of the beliefs I have acquired through my life as a result of my experiences both physical and spiritual.
I don't have "a religion," nor do I associate with any, despite many having an aspect or three that are identical or similar to one or more of my beliefs. I have been to church, but have gone as a courtesy to friends or family. But ultimately, I find the idea of church.. odd. And the energy every time I have gone has always made me uncomfortable, as if it knows I'm not "one of them" and doesn't really want me there.
I don't know. I just can't seem to get behind the idea of needing or wanting someone else to tell me what to believe and how to act according to some "being" whose existence has to be taken on belief alone, and then being told that if I don't believe in it (the being, It's tenets, etc), I'm not only wrong, but am going to so to some horrible place to suffer....
Especially when, if everyone supposedly goes to one of the two-three places, regardless of if they believe in "Him" or whatever for eternity.... where do the stories come from what these places are like, since no one comes back? Tales, supposedly told to people by things whose existence can only be taken on belief alone.......
Yeah... People just take all of it way to literally, and that's probably half the problem.
I suspect there are a lot of people who've either lost their faith, or are distancing themselves at least sub-consiously, if not consciously, because some part of them realizes that what they need to do is follow the guiding ideas and principles, rather than take it so literally like the organized aspect tends to.
its like atheism isn't it, you don't call yourself a group although you all have the primary belief of "there is no God or Gods" can it not be the same for other religions, sure we attend church services but that doesn't make us an organisation. I think we (as in the church) have lost sight of what's important, we've become such a power that our image in the world is more important, this is why i go against there being a "head of Church" there's a lot of power with that position. also i think its a lot of people trying to seem "cool" because for some reason having a religious belief makes you "uncool" not sure why but i've never let it bothered me. good question btw
I'd say that I don't mind people believing in God if it is just a personal thing that doesn't affect others. Some religious people try to affect others and this is, as far as I understand it, more common within the religious organizations than with individual people, and I am against that. I'm sure people can draw a conclution of what I think about the OPs question from this post.
I've always seen it as that you either believe fully, or you don't. You don't get to cherry pick which parts you pay attention to and which ones you ignore, and nor do you get to decide that this 'God' will hold off 'punishment' just because you went half way. The bible itself is very clear on all of this.
"And he that blasphemeth the name of the LORD, he shall surely be put to death, and all the congregation shall certainly stone him. Leviticus 24:16"
"If there be found among you ... that ... hath gone and served other gods, and worshipped them ... Then shalt thou ... tone them with stones, till they die. Deuteronomy 17:2-5"
"They found a man that gathered sticks upon the sabbath day. ... And the LORD said unto Moses, The man shall be surely put to death: all the congregation shall stone him with stones.... And all the congregation brought him without the camp, and stoned him with stones, and he died; as the LORD commanded Moses. Numbers 15:32-56"
Do you kill people for these actions like your Bible says? If not then you are a hypocrite.
Excellent point, but... Considering the Bible has so many versions, some of which leave things out (Lilith, Adam's first wife), or change things (mary magdeline being implicated as either a disciple or whore), because whoever was in power or had the most influence wanted it that way.... it would seem cherry picking the beliefs is sort of part and parcel of the whole thing, no? I mean, when many still have the word "Version" in the name or have some other way to distinguish one version from the other, do we really even know or have access to the "original" text that would ideally be what should be followed? No, we don't. Either because there wasn't one, or it's been lost to time, and/or like any oral tradition, the details of any written version were modified by the writer for any number of reasons.
And really, isn't that what half of the various religions are anyway? A variation on a core set of ideas? A cherry picked version that differs just enough from the others that it can be called it's own "religion" even if still under the umbrella of a more general title such as Buddhist, Catholic, Christian, Muslim, etc.
I've heard this often enough. In fact, when I was younger I used it as a way to describe they way I felt before I was mentally mature enough to fully explore the possible implications of there being no higher being/force/existence. Personally I find that the most common uses of the "I believe in X, but I'm not religious" are often:
- people who have chosed to follow their own definition of belief - people who have become alienated from their church - people who have lost faith in their church/religion - people who haven't fully been able to make a break from religion
While these examples obviously can't cover every possible explanation, they are the ones I am most familiar with. Personally, the one statement from any side is the insistence that one interpretation of any belief/unbelief is the correct one and all others are wrong. I see the word "true" often placed in front of various groups and am often compelled to ask what makes that group the "true" group. The most common responses are personal interpretations that only seem to reinforce my skepticism of their version being any more true than the other versions.
I view it as a natural process. The slow degradation of the establishment brought about by the information age. With the ability to view a million, million different viewpoints and faiths, and the limitless access to negative coverage (like the pedo-priests and what not) the once firm grasp of the established religious order is beginning to crumble and weaken.
Add to that the proliferation of science and education eroding the foundations of the organized movements and we get a clear picture of what is happening.
There's a lot of people these days who feel religious, but don't adhere to a specific group. More of a personal relationship with God, with no preacher in between, I should say. That isn't to say that those who use a preacher don't have a personal relationships with God; it's just that this other group doesn't feel the need to have an intermediary. Not that an intermediary is a bad thing either though (I'm a member of a church with some degree of intermediary). So yeah... they feel religious... but don't feel churchy .
The whole 'personal relationship with God' or 'Personal relationship with Jesus Christ' is a marketing ploy, nobody has a personal relationship with Jesus Christ unless their Schizophrenic. Even then it's all in their heads.
I think you miss the point of both those phrases. It's a way of making people examine what their faith means to them, of what God and Christ mean to them, what they represent even. Acceptance of the way the world is, Seeing a better or more peaceful life through their faith, or just something to comfort them in regards to the inevitability of death. Those two phrases are more poetic and philosophical than anything else. Most people understand that it is not an actual "personal relationship". It is a spiritual one, one built on giving people a sort of peace of mind. At least, its supposed to be.
I see it more as a way to give their words authority or an out to say someone just can't understand the religion like they do because the creator of the universe talks to them and is their best friend.
All I'm going to say at this point is that the religious people you have grown up with are very different from the ones I've grown up with. I've met a few fanatics and closed-minded people, But most the people I know do not mean it that way. Maybe it's because rural people are more laid back. I dunno. By the way, excellent use of video source. You really know how to debate properly and for that I salute you.
Just depends on the community- many of the rural folk I know tend to be rather die-hard and rigid about their religion, and have issues with anyone who deviates or goes against it. *shrug* But that's humans for you.
We're in the transition between generations. I imagine things are going to be very different, or at least moderately different, in the next 20 to 30 years as the baby boomers step down and their children or grandchildren take over. Not to say the source of conflict is entirely based on generational conflict, but I imagine it does have an impact.
Also, I will smack whoever brings up the 2012 apocalypse right through their monitors, whether they do it jokingly or not. I am very certain there will be a 20 to 30 years from now.
Fair enough. I just see it as a way that Christians fit the idea of introspection into their daily lives. Though I suppose many do not understand the meaning behind the phrase. Or maybe I am the one who does not understand. After all, my personal faith veered away from Christianity a long time ago. I simply appreciate what good Christians, regardless of their denomination, can be like.
The line "Personal relationship" with Jesus serves a dual purpose. It's a Protestant talking point to mislead people, but also, to exclude people as Catholics and Jews are said "not to have a Personal relationship" will not go to Heaven. It's a recent term too.
I can understand that point of view in regards to the statement when in reference to Jesus, But when in reference to God I simply don't find it that exclusive. From what you say and what I do sadly know, yes, many of those who use that term do probably mean it in that way. To me, however, the phrase "Personal relationship with God" is very subjective. What is "God"? What does "God" mean to me? How does "God" affect my life and my beliefs? What this boils down to, however, is that I think we may be arguing two different things here, and might not be entirely in disagreement. Your first statement was just vague enough that I misinterpreted it and took it the wrong way as an attack on my sense of what those phrases mean, rather than what you meant them to mean.
While I think your chosen examples are kinda extreme, I do think the general idea that people don't want to be associated with the negative aspects of religion is the driving factor. Probably along with the idea that Jesus preached against dogma, which as far as I can tell is not exactly true. It's more blind adherence to dogma and hypocrisy that were his targets.
I would imagine people continue to attend because they still believe in aspects of the faith and get something out of engaging with it on a communal level. It might also be the sense of belonging to a group and having that identity.
And yet, sadly, I've met more people who follow the "bible" with the traits of blind adherence and hypocrisy than I've met without them. That is one thing that's always amazed me about the human species- the ability to believe something so whole-heartedly that they completely forget or conveniently ignore some of the most important principles of what is supposed to be their faith, and do exactly what it says they shouldn't.
I do agree on the second part though- I think some do still believe, but I think a lot just get something out of it in a group that they can't, don't, or don't think they can, get out of it by themselves.
Didn't intend to. That's why I used the word "bible" without the capital B and in quotes. With so many versions of the Bible depending on the faction, I figured that would pretty much cover them and make it open for people read it more as "sacred text," "holy book," or whatever collected work of tenets/principles they want to see it as rather than the strict image that's typically conjured with the capital letter
Also, it's just people I've personally met. I've no doubt there are people like that of every religion, I just haven't really met any. Or at least, haven't gotten into any discussions or conversations with any... But then, religion is a topic I routinely try very hard to avoid unless unless, like here, I see a demonstrated rational, intelligent, and civil debate/discussion.
The only problem there is that "bible" has a number of uses besides the Christian Bible, so it might actually be more confusing. Personally, I don't think the differences between canon are so vast that you aren't generally talking about the same book. More or less.
But yeah, I think much depends on the approach to interpretation one takes. Also, a lot of Christians (at least the ones I've known) haven't read the Bible all that deeply and depend more on what's filtered through priests and ministers. I won't lie and say I've read it all, but I've read good chunks and worked to understand more of the history/culture surrounding the content.