I'm going to try and take two different approaches to your posts. The first will address the concepts in general. The second will attempt to address the more personal response you have offered.33anda3rd wrote:That's my childhood, and I assume you're addressing me. So it's to say when you're saying that I need to be able to quote the Bible (I can't) to talk about christians, you're wrong. Because "christians" are the people who call themselves that, they are not the text in a book from centuries ago. I can make judgments--accurate ones--about the immoral nature of police randomly killing black guys without being to cite the policeman's manual. Sometimes common sense and simple data give us the easy, true, uncomplicated truth. Christians and white catholics express their values via voting in a way that shows they have lousy values as a group. Sorry, Strat, I know those are not your values. But in the modern world they are the group you are stuck with, kind of like the truly good cop who is looked at suspiciously after yet another incident of a policeman killing an innocent black person. It sucks, but that's where you're stuck until the church and the body of christians/white catholics is overhauled dramatically.
So, first, I guess I'll just point you back to what I said:
If you can't quote the scripture, don't read or study the Bible, don't examine Biblical commentaries, don't go to church, don't try to know or relate to a variety of Christians on a personal level, don't regularly listen to a variety of pastors/preachers/leaders from a variety of denominations, and don't regularly read up on Christian history/theology/philosophy/sociology then don't pretend like you have any clue what you're talking about when you try to talk about any of those things.
In other words, if you can't quote scripture, don't try to quote scripture. If you don't examine Biblical commentaries, don't try to offer Biblical commentary. If you don't go to church, don't try to give informed opinions on what church is like. And so on with the rest of the examples I cite. That's not at all the same as saying that if you're not a Christian you can't talk about Christians or their voting habits, or things based on data or common sense. Simply put, if you don't know about something -- like Nancy Pelosi and the Bible -- then just be honest and say you don't know.
This is particularly frustrating because I see people make value judgments, build personal religions, and make major life choices based on stuff that is just not true, a misrepresentation of a truth, or an intentionally altered truth. Like the prosperity gospel people. Or some young earth/science deniers. Or, on the other side, people who claim Christians are cannibals or that Jesus married Mary Magdalene and moved to India. (Those are all very real things that I have actually heard and seen.)
Second... You seem to be reading yourself and your story into my post. I'm sorry if you viewed it as somewhat personal. I can honestly say that my post didn't have anything to do with you or your posts, or anyone or anything specific from here in this thread or at GRB. The trigger for my post was external and I brought it here to soapbox because I thought that it might make for an interesting and new conversation, which it has. I do not think -- and don't think I said or even implied -- that any non-Christian, can't speak into their own personal experience with "Christians" or make readily observable conclusions about "Christians". As to how that relates to your story, I guess I would ask you to consider that for yourself. As an outsider who knows a bit about this stuff, it seems like my post unintentionally dug into some things that you're still dealing with related to Christians you've known, the nature of faith, the character of God, death, and the choices you've made in light of your personal suffering. Your response to those things, in your words, was to conclude that Christianity is a cult and to F the whole thing. You felt the need to tell me that specifically, in that specific way. Ok. That's how you feel. It doesn't insult me or anger me. And I won't try to change your mind or in any way try to convince you you're wrong. That would be foolish and irresponsible of me. Instead, I'll just ask why? Why did you need to say that here? Why did you have to say it now? Why did you want to say it in response to me? My experience tells me there is always a reason when I get that kind of response from others and that I should not ignore it, for their own sake. Please don't answer those questions here on the board. They are meant for you to consider in your own way or with your own family, and truly not for me or the board to get involved in. (In fact, I would take this to PM, except that I think others could benefit from it as well). Or you can laugh at my questions and throw them away as stupid questions from a crazy cult leader!
Nothing I ever say to anyone who has experienced loss can make up for what they have suffered. It's insulting to them to even try. When Jesus was faced with some who were grieving, he simply wept with them. I do hope, though, that if you decide you are still carrying around unresolved pain from your past that it would probably be therapeutic to seek out some kind of reconciliation with a religion that you have come to associate with suffering and injustice and have likely grown to despise. I'm sorry that you went through that and I wish you the best.