If you are an Intelligent Christian

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Re: If you are an Intelligent Christian

Postby Likes2Read » Sun Apr 27, 2014 9:26 pm

Bunni wrote:
Dark Abyss wrote:
Bunni wrote:
You know something, on this forum, I'm glad to be able to say that the Atheists I know of don't actually feel the need to do this at all.

I think it's a small percentage of Atheists who act like this, that unfortunately give them a negative reputation for always wanting to debate the Christian belief system because they are so aggressively vocal about it on the internet (talking outside of the forum).

the reason for this is because when someone states "i'm christian" people go "oh that's nice" or "good for you". when someone who is atheist states "i'm atheist" (just quietly like i've done) they're questioned harshly. so after a while they feel the need to go on the defense because of how many times they are attacked for not believing in a higher power.

story time kiddies: recently on fb i took a "what religion are you 'suppose' to be" and i got....atheist (which i am so no big shocker there). i actually had two people whom i thought i was friends with de-friend me. wtf? because i don't believe in a god? not once have i put anything hateful, derogatory, or a joke that was making fun of someone else's belief. so i asked them. one just now ignores me and the other one asked how long would it be before i started making fun of their belief. 8h that's just not me.

my one aunt and her daughter are catholic and have put derogatory jokes on fb making atheist out to be the bad guy or incompetent....so after the 15th i had to know....so i asked "why is it that you feel the need to make fun of my lack of belief when i've not once made a snide comment or a joke that was in bad taste about christians?" my aunt commented that she was a good person and that she would end up in heaven. :T i was kind of confused with her response as i hadn't asked her where she would end up at, just why did she need to feel justification for being christian by making fun of someone who had a different belief system. she never did answer the question....but she did stop posting insulting jokes about atheist. (i wasn't insulted just curious as to why she just simply couldn't state "i'm proud to be christian" without insulting any belief/lack of belief).

i believe in what i believe in....just as you believe in what ever your belief is....and you know what? its ok. it doesn't change the fact that we're both still humans and that we should just be respectful and courteous, no matter what someone does or doesn't believe in.


Man, that sucks Dark. I agree it also comes from some Christians, and the bottom line is just like you said, "we're both still humans and that we should just be respectful and courteous, no matter what someone does or doesn't believe in."

I can't speak for how other faiths or belief systems advise members to treat nonbelievers, but as a Christian, I think we who claim to follow Christ need to take a look at how Jesus treated others. He was not insulting or condescending to people of other belief systems (like the Roman officer and the Samaritans, for example). He just would teach, "The kingdom of God is like [insert parable here]". If people didn't believe those teachings, and walked away, Jesus did not go charging after them screaming about doom and hellfire in their wake.

The only people Jesus lit into were hypocrites and the moneychangers in the Temple. He let them have it with both barrels.

So, what messages are being sent to Jesus's followers? Treat people of other belief systems as Jesus did, first of all. If we want people to believe that we're following a God of love, then we can't act like hateful wretches. And we can't send double messages of playing Holier Than Thou in Church for one hour on Sundays, then spend the other 6 days and 23 hours gossiping, lying, cheating, and basically tearing others down. And yes, those no-nos include laughing at or demeaning people with other belief systems (or no belief system at all). That whole behavior pattern needs to have a big fat THOU SHALT NOT written on it. Its the opposite of the athletic-shoe slogan: Just Don't Do It.


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Re: If you are an Intelligent Christian

Postby Likes2Read » Sun Apr 27, 2014 9:33 pm

I consider myself lucky. I have had some relatives in my family whose faith clearly was a factor in making them better people. That made it easy to see how religion and being good could mesh together.

But I've seen others, in person or online, whose experiences growing up were far different. If the only self-described "faithful" people in their lives were Grade A Hypocrites, no wonder they grew up feeling like religion is bogus. If those had been the examples I'd been presented with, I might feel the same way.

I can definitely see why some people's mileage has varied from mine. It all boils down to how they watched the people who were their role models speak, vs. how those same people lived their lives.


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Re: If you are an Intelligent Christian

Postby Huffette » Mon Apr 28, 2014 3:34 am

Bunni wrote:To add..

I feel it is actually crippling, to close oneself off to other beliefs. One can learn a great deal from all types of belief systems, if they are open enough to it. Especially the ones they feel they particularly don't resonate with. It merely takes a humble head, a desire to learn, and a compassionate disposition.

Man kind can't evolve if they remain closed to other people's view points and beliefs, especially if they are only focused on proving who is "right" and who is "wrong" when it comes to religion.


I agree. Just because GOD doesn't answer our every whim does not mean he does not exist. The problem with the starving children theory is that the parents do not control the births or try to find other means of supporting them. My take on what I listened to is that he is closed minded and looking for an argument.

A true Christian shows humility and compassion, as that is what we are taught. We are taught that he will answer prayer, but you must believe in him first.

As for the amputees, or bodies are just not equipped with the ability to regrow lost limbs. We have not yet perfected stem cell research. Thus far, that is limited to the cold blooded animals, who can cool down their core body temperature in order to regrow the lost limb.


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Re: If you are an Intelligent Christian

Postby Likes2Read » Mon Apr 28, 2014 5:15 am

Huffette wrote:
Bunni wrote:To add..

I feel it is actually crippling, to close oneself off to other beliefs. One can learn a great deal from all types of belief systems, if they are open enough to it. Especially the ones they feel they particularly don't resonate with. It merely takes a humble head, a desire to learn, and a compassionate disposition.

Man kind can't evolve if they remain closed to other people's view points and beliefs, especially if they are only focused on proving who is "right" and who is "wrong" when it comes to religion.


I agree. Just because GOD doesn't answer our every whim does not mean he does not exist. The problem with the starving children theory is that the parents do not control the births or try to find other means of supporting them. My take on what I listened to is that he is closed minded and looking for an argument.

A true Christian shows humility and compassion, as that is what we are taught. We are taught that he will answer prayer, but you must believe in him first.

As for the amputees, or bodies are just not equipped with the ability to regrow lost limbs. We have not yet perfected stem cell research. Thus far, that is limited to the cold blooded animals, who can cool down their core body temperature in order to regrow the lost limb.

Not to mention, sometimes, the answer to prayers is... US. Sometimes, WE are the ones who are getting tapped on the shoulder by God, the Universe, Source, or what have you, and we are being called to take the action(s) that will help to solve a problem. No one of us can fix every problem, but each of us can fix SOME problems, and when we do, that is the answer to someone's prayers.

And I really do believe that it's 'no accident that we are granted our own unique combination of personality, interests, and capabilities, and we're born in the specific time and place that we are. I think it's specifically because there are things on this earth that we are meant to do, and we will do those things like no other person. And when we do those things in the way that Only We Can Do Them, we'll spot the solution that no one else saw, or we'll defuse a conflict like no one else could have done... and if THAT isn't the way that prayers get answered, I don't know what is.

I'm inclined to believe that there's Someone Up There whose infinite hand is guiding us toward those solution-making opportunities, and in doing so, sending answers to those prayers. I'm not going to wallop everyone over the head with the idea, but that's definitely my take on things.


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Re: If you are an Intelligent Christian

Postby Bunni » Mon Apr 28, 2014 7:02 am

Likes2Read wrote:
Huffette wrote:
Bunni wrote:To add..

I feel it is actually crippling, to close oneself off to other beliefs. One can learn a great deal from all types of belief systems, if they are open enough to it. Especially the ones they feel they particularly don't resonate with. It merely takes a humble head, a desire to learn, and a compassionate disposition.

Man kind can't evolve if they remain closed to other people's view points and beliefs, especially if they are only focused on proving who is "right" and who is "wrong" when it comes to religion.


I agree. Just because GOD doesn't answer our every whim does not mean he does not exist. The problem with the starving children theory is that the parents do not control the births or try to find other means of supporting them. My take on what I listened to is that he is closed minded and looking for an argument.

A true Christian shows humility and compassion, as that is what we are taught. We are taught that he will answer prayer, but you must believe in him first.

As for the amputees, or bodies are just not equipped with the ability to regrow lost limbs. We have not yet perfected stem cell research. Thus far, that is limited to the cold blooded animals, who can cool down their core body temperature in order to regrow the lost limb.

Not to mention, sometimes, the answer to prayers is... US. Sometimes, WE are the ones who are getting tapped on the shoulder by God, the Universe, Source, or what have you, and we are being called to take the action(s) that will help to solve a problem. No one of us can fix every problem, but each of us can fix SOME problems, and when we do, that is the answer to someone's prayers.

And I really do believe that it's 'no accident that we are granted our own unique combination of personality, interests, and capabilities, and we're born in the specific time and place that we are. I think it's specifically because there are things on this earth that we are meant to do, and we will do those things like no other person. And when we do those things in the way that Only We Can Do Them, we'll spot the solution that no one else saw, or we'll defuse a conflict like no one else could have done... and if THAT isn't the way that prayers get answered, I don't know what is.

I'm inclined to believe that there's Someone Up There whose infinite hand is guiding us toward those solution-making opportunities, and in doing so, sending answers to those prayers. I'm not going to wallop everyone over the head with the idea, but that's definitely my take on things.


Great points made, ladies :thumbup:


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Re: If you are an Intelligent Christian

Postby Lorelei » Mon Apr 28, 2014 8:18 am

Great thread!

This is a bit like quantum physics: God could be real or not to you, particle or wave, depending on what you set out to prove. Sometimes your conclusion might be different than your hypothesis, but the result will be valid to your research/belief.

Now, I grew up in the Orthodox Church, where the stress is on rituals and tradition more than anything else. Surprisingly, you will hear little being read from the actual Bible, and little about believing in Christ's sacrifice as your key to redemption, but a whole lot of condemnation for other churches, particularly Protestant ones.

Just before my 18th birthday I had an OBE, that made it very real for me that God exists, and really changed my whole view of the world. It gave me a thirst to know more about the spiritual and about God, not about a single religion in particular. I have read, discovered, and learned a lot about Christianity of course, given my background. In my 20s I was ordained as a deaconess in my church (Pentecostal). I have also tried to learn as much as I could about other belief systems/religions. I am constantly amazed how similar they all are at the bare bones level, and at how complex their mythos is. I am privileged to be part of this community on the forum, it's given me countless revelations.

Now, in any religion (to me, atheism is a religion, too) there are those who genuinely believe, and those who use the paradigms of that said religion as tools for their "holier than thou" attitude. So many times, at the end of a service in my own church back home (I have been living abroad for the past 10 years, in Europe and Asia), I've had people come up to me to criticize my short haircut, or the fact that I wear a long instead of a square scarf to cover my head, or the fact that I wear mascara and foundation. As a singer, I have attended a countless of services and performed in a large number of different churches, some more tolerant than others. Most churches encourage that view and shun those who diverge, for obvious reasons. The more members they have, the better the business. It's all about numbers, influence, and power. But it's high time we all (not just us here on the forum, but really everyone) understand that God choses to adapt his revelations to our level of understanding. Or in other words, it is our own social/mental/spiritual development that shapes our perception of God.

The parables and metaphors in the Bible worked fine within the cultural context and with the level of understanding of the Jewish tribes at that point in history. The Church nowadays needs to get over the idea of taking the Bible so literally in everything. People are still looking for answers, but they need understanding, support, and practical advice they can apply in their lives today, not stiff empty phrases that might have made sense at some point before the Middle Ages. When someone is broken, pointing out to them that their are even worse sinners than they thought won't help. The Church preaches acceptance of sinners, but often seems so much less inclined to be accepting and understanding of them than many, many groups it labels and rejects as pagan.

Yet pagan practices abound in many churches, mostly Orthodox and Catholic. If praying in front of an icon, or in a certain church/temple helps someone focus their thoughts, that's fine. But teaching or even forcing others to worship a picture of God, a statue, or a building, or an organization, instead of God himself, that's no longer Christianity.

Anyway, the Church has made so many mistakes, that I do sympathize with many pagan and atheist views. God is real for me, but that doesn't mean other gods and goddesses do not exist, and it doesn't mean the Bible is the whole truth, or the only truth. You can't have a God you call Almighty and insist He could only possibly speak through this one book. Who knows, perhaps I should really start calling myself a pagan.


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Re: If you are an Intelligent Christian

Postby Lorelei » Mon Apr 28, 2014 8:25 am

Likes2Read wrote:I can't speak for how other faiths or belief systems advise members to treat nonbelievers, but as a Christian, I think we who claim to follow Christ need to take a look at how Jesus treated others. He was not insulting or condescending to people of other belief systems (like the Roman officer and the Samaritans, for example). He just would teach, "The kingdom of God is like [insert parable here]". If people didn't believe those teachings, and walked away, Jesus did not go charging after them screaming about doom and hellfire in their wake.

The only people Jesus lit into were hypocrites and the moneychangers in the Temple. He let them have it with both barrels.

So, what messages are being sent to Jesus's followers? Treat people of other belief systems as Jesus did, first of all. If we want people to believe that we're following a God of love, then we can't act like hateful wretches. And we can't send double messages of playing Holier Than Thou in Church for one hour on Sundays, then spend the other 6 days and 23 hours gossiping, lying, cheating, and basically tearing others down. And yes, those no-nos include laughing at or demeaning people with other belief systems (or no belief system at all). That whole behavior pattern needs to have a big fat THOU SHALT NOT written on it. Its the opposite of the athletic-shoe slogan: Just Don't Do It.


I completely second that.


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Re: If you are an Intelligent Christian

Postby Sudu » Mon Apr 28, 2014 3:06 pm

Dark Abyss wrote:
Bunni wrote:
You know something, on this forum, I'm glad to be able to say that the Atheists I know of don't actually feel the need to do this at all.

I think it's a small percentage of Atheists who act like this, that unfortunately give them a negative reputation for always wanting to debate the Christian belief system because they are so aggressively vocal about it on the internet (talking outside of the forum).

the reason for this is because when someone states "i'm christian" people go "oh that's nice" or "good for you". when someone who is atheist states "i'm atheist" (just quietly like i've done) they're questioned harshly. so after a while they feel the need to go on the defense because of how many times they are attacked for not believing in a higher power.

story time kiddies: recently on fb i took a "what religion are you 'suppose' to be" and i got....atheist (which i am so no big shocker there). i actually had two people whom i thought i was friends with de-friend me. wtf? because i don't believe in a god? not once have i put anything hateful, derogatory, or a joke that was making fun of someone else's belief. so i asked them. one just now ignores me and the other one asked how long would it be before i started making fun of their belief. 8h that's just not me.

my one aunt and her daughter are catholic and have put derogatory jokes on fb making atheist out to be the bad guy or incompetent....so after the 15th i had to know....so i asked "why is it that you feel the need to make fun of my lack of belief when i've not once made a snide comment or a joke that was in bad taste about christians?" my aunt commented that she was a good person and that she would end up in heaven. :T i was kind of confused with her response as i hadn't asked her where she would end up at, just why did she need to feel justification for being christian by making fun of someone who had a different belief system. she never did answer the question....but she did stop posting insulting jokes about atheist. (i wasn't insulted just curious as to why she just simply couldn't state "i'm proud to be christian" without insulting any belief/lack of belief).

i believe in what i believe in....just as you believe in what ever your belief is....and you know what? its ok. it doesn't change the fact that we're both still humans and that we should just be respectful and courteous, no matter what someone does or doesn't believe in.


Dark Abyss - when reading your post, my heart went out to you that you went through this treatment from your family. Sometimes people avoid what they are afraid of or try to joke it off, be it an external or internal fear.

Completely unrelated to this post, but your signature, what is the picture of? Thanks



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Re: If you are an Intelligent Christian

Postby Noctua » Mon Apr 28, 2014 3:38 pm

I have no real opinion on the original post..

Just thinking to myself, while the conflict between Atheism and Christianity is certainly one thing, there is a whole other realm of heat when it comes to the arguments of a Satanist.. or even Pagan..
I don't care what Christians choose to believe, I have no intention of altering that (it is what it is).. yet the considerations at play always tickle me..

Suffice it to say I wouldn't expect to get 'hugged' anytime soon for a lot of my beliefs. I think we all ultimately ought to mind our own business when it comes to lifestyle, faith, etc.


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Re: If you are an Intelligent Christian

Postby Bunni » Mon Apr 28, 2014 4:17 pm

Noctifera wrote:I think we all ultimately ought to mind our own business when it comes to lifestyle, faith, etc.


Yeah, that's really the crux of it.


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