Pick 'n' Mix Christianity

by nicolaou 21 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • BurnTheShips

    Great one Leo. Someone mentioned Barth to paraphrase him "the Bible is a book about the revelation, and not the revelation itself"


  • BurnTheShips
    The same way that a Christian can possibly approve of heterosexual common-law marriage when the same bedrock of belief that gives you Christ also condemns 'fornication'. Condoms and birth control and sex education. aka Evolution.

    Makes me wonder, is common law marriage, marriage? Back in the day there was no legal registration, the woman merely entered the man's tent.


  • inrainbows

    I used to think the same and then realised I was making the mistake of taking things a little too literally.

    'Christinity' can vary from the <drooling idiot god made it in seven days> level right through to the <oh deary me a personified creator entity is a silly idea, I just like the social aspects as typified by my local community and some of the stuff attributed to pseduo-historic characeters> level.

    To say one is wrong is almost to say the other is right, and thus to make the same mistake you are implicitly accusing others of either making or not making.

    In any case, Christianity is a smorgasboard of what we have got through history, to pretend otherwise is crazy.

    Because we were influenced by a 'it says this so this is' school of thought we are programmed to reject those who aren't as idiotically literal as we have a residual belief that literalness is somehow good or right or free from error.

  • jgnat

    There is a difference between a Christian (follower of Christ) and a bible-believer, no? Others have said it more coherently than I, but I'll throw in some random thoughts.

    A whole nest of Christian sects blossomed in the nineteenth century. I'm thinking of the Seventh-Day Adventists, the Born Again movement, the Salvation Army, the Jehovah's Witnesses, and others. I think it is no accident that this occurred at the height of the industrial age, in the midst of scientific discovery, and expanding literacy. These sects all approached the bible with a new eye in a new age; can the bible be read "scientifically" and literally, for modern interpretation and application?

    I think the rather organic Christianity, previously, was challenged by these new sects. And I think this new, rather clinical approach to faith killed it. The very first Christians, remember, had fragments of letters and talks, and they did not follow the same obsession with accuracy of transcription, translation, and interpretation that we do today. Codification came much later. Codification kills. It kills language, it kills creativity, freedom, ingenuity, and growth. In the world of languages, English is organic, illogical, and vitally alive. By comparison, Latin is structured, elegant, internally coherent, and dead.

    I consider the stunt a young author who tried to follow the bible literally for an entire year. He does not follow any particular religious interpretation, such as the Christians, who believe that the law was done away with with Jesus' sacrifice. The results are hilarious.

    The Year of Living Biblically: One Man's Humble Quest to Follow the Bible as Literally as Possible by A. J. Jacobs ( Hardcover - Oct 9, 2007)

    One must not weigh every word in the bible equally. There are overriding principles that if they are broken, make all else null and void. Why else would God give us a heart and a mind to work these things through? The overriding message of Jesus on this earth was the language of love. If I forget that message, I am not a follower of Christ.

    Consider also that Jesus himself did not write anything down for future generations. He gathered around himself about a dozen disciples and lived with them day in and day out. He modelled how to live and invited them to do the same. If they messed up, he corrected them. That tells me that Christianity is not something you can learn from a book. Great love and sacrifice is to be modelled and imitated. It comes from close fellowship with other Christians and should show continues growth and improvement.

  • WTWizard

    What I disagree with is picking and mixing what will fit the needs of the Filthful and Disgraceful Slavebugger and making others in the religion keep up. This is worse than doing it as individuals, because they are forcing others to give up their lives in favor of the tower. The Filthful and Disgraceful Slavebugger changes something, and everyone is supposed to, just like that, cave in and believe the new light.

  • nicolaou

    Accepting that thousands followed Christ for centuries before Bibles were commonly available, still that is not how the vast mass of current Christians have settled on their faith. Didier makes the point better than I;

    the privilege and responsibility of "picking and choosing" which was once limited to a very small percentage of Christians is now extended to an ever-increasing number. This means that it is getting more and more difficult for the average Christian to sincerely shield him/herself under the notion of "Bible authority"

    Also, the idea that the Holy Spirit is another witness to Christ and that it/he can "actively influence hearts and minds" is I respectfully posit Leo, nothing more than an assertion - genuinely held and articulately expressed but beyond testing or examination. My own bald take on the Holy Spirit is that it does not exist, it is not the means by which anyone in the last few centuries (or ever) has found Christianity, that would have happened predominately through the Churches and ultimately through the authority they claim for themselves from the Bible - it all comes back to the Bible.

    As for sticking only to what Jesus said, well MissingLink made the point well; "The problem is that Jesus quotes the other crazy bits and doesn't denounce it." Because Jesus referred to Noah's flood as an historical event does that mean Christians must accept it as fact?

    I don't actually condemn this selective approach to belief it demonstrates a level of subjective analysis and rational decision making, it's just that the various justifications for it are so dissatisfying as they always allow room for the supernatural.

    Why reject some unbelievable stories and not others?

  • Sad emo
    Sad emo
    Because Jesus referred to Noah's flood as an historical event does that mean Christians must accept it as fact?

    But did he refer to it as an historical event?

    Or did he just refer to it without any reference to its historicity...?

  • BurnTheShips
    still that is not how the vast mass of current Christians have settled on their faith.

    That is not true. Perhaps in your particular country it is, but look beyond your borders.

    The great majority of the world's Christians belong to the various Orthodox and Catholic churches. That is not how they settle their doctrinal issues.


  • SPAZnik

    Yeah Burn ... I still believe that for all intents and purposes, and factoring in all the risks inherent to "entering tents", the number of times a person has been "married" matches exactly the number of different "tents" they've "entered".

  • R.Crusoe

    Considering the relatively few humans who heard Jesus, minus all manner of communication technologies, during his very few years out and about and that predominnatly they were steeped in Jewish heritage and all manner of ethics, history, nationalism and expectation thereof, it is quite ridiculous to attempt to suggest modern humans can replicate the essence of first century followers - whom also had zero access to NT writings!

    Most never even had first hand experience of Jesus! Word of mouth would have been the only experience for most - and we all know how fallaciously variant that can become even when the script is insisted upon as in JWland!

    So ponder for a while how any of us can in any way attune ourselves to anything except whatever the essence of this man was - his intent for mankinds intent!

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