Am I a "bad" Christian?

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So to start things off i believe in the basic stuff (Jesus and all that jazz) but that's about as far as it goes...

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On The Bible: I don't think you should take anything out of it as complete fact. You need to look at it or what it is. A REALLY old book. If a word or phrase isn't defined in the bible we shouldn't use the modern day definition of the word or phrase when we teach it. Also, thinking that you should only use a certain type of Bible (King James, New International) isn't very smart. If anything to truly understand it you should read all of them.

On sexuality: I think you should be able to be with anybody you want to. Are you a male and find another male whom you love? Get married, there's nothing wrong with it. It shouldn't ruin other peoples lives knowing that two people love each other.

On Abortion: Im anti abortion but pro choice. I don't think people should have abortions but at the end of the day its a choice. If you want to get an abortion you should be allowed to get one. Again i personally don't like it, but it's not my right to mess with other peoples rights.

On Earth: God created earth. Who's to say he didn't use the Big Bang to do it? And the Earth only being 4,000 years old? Give me a break. Its a little silly to think the world was only created in that short amount of time. We've proved that we've been around a lot longer than that.

While we're here...

On Evolution: I think its completely ridiculous to think that animals never went through evolution. Its a natural thing for organisms to evolve. How do you think PEOPLE have lasted so long? We evolved as well. We got smarter and developed cities, heck we've even been to outer space.

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So Escapists thats the basics. So far if I ever told this to a pastor I would be called the Anti-Christ (most likely). Am I a bad Christian?

Honestly, I find it very hard to judge someone on their beliefs if they aren't totally crazy. If you think your beliefs are correct and what you believe is spiritually sound who am I to say it isn't?

No.

You sound like a normal rational person that's also a Christian. I practically think the same thing and I have yet to have my Pastor come at me with a torch and demand that I get burned at the stake.

You're fine, so no need to worry about it. :D

I agree with essentially all the things you say. If you back it all up in some manner, who am I or anyone else to judge really. However, get ready for at least a few people to show up and decide you aren't "really" Christian because you aren't an easily insulted stereotype. It gets on their nerves for some reason.

Put simply, your views actually seem in line with mainstream protestant denominations. While infamous for its more conservative members, christianity is honestly fairly diverse on the whole. There are denominations adamantly opposed to same-sex unions, for instance, but so too are there denominations that will not only approve them but perform them. Similarly, it's not exactly hard to find denominations that are pro-choice (case in point...and for the sake of completion their page for the priorly mentioned topic). As to the earth and evolution, that's actually a very common position amongst christians, as neatly demonstrated by the Clergy Letter Project

If you define the criteria as conforming to established Christian dogma, you are a VERY bad example.

If you define the criteria as being open and reasonable when it comes to new ideas and concepts within the concept of your faith, you are among the best Christians around.

To be perfectly frank, if it wasn't for people like you, the Christian faith would be doomed.

YES!!!

Bad Christian! *shakes finger* Bad-bad-bad-bad-bad Christian!!!

Go to your room! No milk and cookies for you tonight!

Heronblade:
If you define the criteria as conforming to established Christian dogma, you are a VERY bad example.

Last I heard there are literally over one hundred thousand different denominations, branches etc. of Christianity.

As Asita said Bebop's views correspond to mainstream Protestant dogma. My mother is a devout Baptist, and except for the gay-marriage thing (she's 75 years old--approval of gay marriage is pretty rare for folks from her generation) she'd agree with him entirely.

And Heronblade's right about the fact that if it weren't for people like Bebop the Christian faith would be doomed.

Do you believe in Christ the Messiah.

Do you believe that he took on your sins and sacrificed himself for them?

If yes: You are a christian. Everything else is largely window trimmings (that blot out the window itself)

Seriously. Everything else can be argued and bitched about but as long as you hold that core belief you're a christian. It's like the old Catholic/Protestant divide. There are jokes out there that start with "A catholic, a christian, and a jew walk into a bar..." because of the confusion on this issue.

The less dogmatic you are on such issues, the more you let your views be led by your moral compass, the better.

As to whether that'd make you a "bad" Christian? Depends who you ask. Fundamentalists in particular would denounce you. Around here, you would be a pretty typical young Christian. But obviously depending on where in the USA you live, these views will result in different reactions. Suffice to say that they are applying the "No True Scotsman"-fallacy if they claim that you have to be anti-gay, anti-choice, anti-science etc. to be a "proper" Christian. In case you're wondering what you might be? A Theistic Evolutionist.

Watch some lectures by Kenneth Miller to see a great advocate for science, against cdesign proponentsists/ID/Creationism and for proper education, for example. While I certainly disagree with Theistic Evolutionists, I must acknowledge the work some of them do in combatting YEC and other such nonsense.

I know a priest (crazy good at his job) who is one of the biggest campaigners for gay rights I've ever met. He believes in evolution all that stuff, too. I know him well enough to say he'd call you an exemplary specimen of Christianity. Don't worry so much about fitting in with extremists, you're doing fine.

Bebop:

So Escapists thats the basics. So far if I ever told this to a pastor I would be called the Anti-Christ (most likely). Am I a bad Christian?

Probably not. There are as many interpretations of the bible out there as people who follow it. People who call others in the same religion a bad X are just following and ignoring different rules from that person. If you go the opposite route and say that a good christian is one that follows every rule in the bible then there's no such thing as a good christian because every single christian that calls another a bad christian is ignoring at least one rule. It was Jesus who said: "Throwing stones, and first, glass. If you're, without sin and stones, then...?"

I think god would take issue with your very un biblical, common sense world view.

Revelation 3:16: So, because you are lukewarm--neither hot nor cold--I am about to spit you out of my mouth.

To be clear, I think you're not crazy, but your religions holy book is.

Bebop:

On Evolution: How do you think PEOPLE have lasted so long? We evolved as well. We got smarter and developed cities, heck we've even been to outer space.

Ehhh..

Those examples aren't evolution.. Social evolution maybe. But not evolution in the sense you're referring to.

edit: And no, you aren't a "good" Christian. Why? Because your views directly contradict the bible. I'd certainly say you're a "good" person though. You've got common sense and a logical mind.

I may not be qualified to decide if you are a good or bad Christian, but I can tell you that you are a damn good person in my book.

Well, technically a good Christian is someone who follows Jesus' commandments:

"Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying, Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets."
-Matthew 22:35-40

These two commandments, above all else. If you love God, and love every person who come across, then you're a "good" Christian.
Anyone who argues you have to hate this, agree with that, or what have you, usually forgets this passage.

So, I turn the question back to you: are you a good Christian? You're the only one who can answer it.

Zeh Don:
Well, technically a good Christian is someone who follows Jesus' commandments:

"Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying, Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets."
-Matthew 22:35-40

These two commandments, above all else. If you love God, and love every person who come across, then you're a "good" Christian.

Haha, some "Christians" seem to be falling at the first hurdle.

I actually think that a lot of Christians are like the OP: happy to believe in God and live/let live with people who don't. They just get drowned out by fundamentalists proclaiming everything, everyone and everyone's dog to be evil. Believing that God created the universe with the Big Bang seems like a legit incorporation of spirituality and science. Saying "let there be light" is a decent metaphor for a giant explosion.

It's unsurprising that your pastor isn't open to hearing any of this. A lot of churches just aren't open to discussion or dialogue about issues like this and it's one of the reasons that lots of young people end up leaving the churches/religions they grew up in. There was a book written about it recently called 'You Lost Me', which I haven't read but sounds pretty interesting.

Heronblade:
To be perfectly frank, if it wasn't for people like you, the Christian faith would be doomed.

And that right there is why this kind of Christianity is almost as problematic as the fundamentalist kind.

I can't help but feel that the further you choose to re-interpret the Bible from its original meaning, the further you are just creating self fulfilling and circular arguments to justify yourself. As far as I can tell the reason people move away from the Bible is because the stories are obviously untrue. If you merely choose to view it as a 'rough guideline' then you are being very uncritical in your reasoning. Consider how easy it is to interpret whatever you want in any way and then realise that you are just constructing it in a fashion to suit yourself. I'm pretty sure if there is a God, it isn't there to suit you.

you are a bad society stereotype of a christian but are a better more tolerant person for it. if jesus was around today he'd be making indy music and movies and getting yelled at the christian right for being evil, immoral and corrupting society and values

Having read your post, and having spoken to "friends" who are into telling people whether or not they're good, bad or "real" christians, you don't want to hang around people who would label you a bad christian. Those guys are dicks. Fuck 'em.

So as far as I'm concerned, you're a good christian. I mean, I disagree with the actual god stuff, but your views seem very accommodating of the fact that other people think differently to you. And that's an important characteristic of a religious person in my books.

Arakasi:

Heronblade:
To be perfectly frank, if it wasn't for people like you, the Christian faith would be doomed.

And that right there is why this kind of Christianity is almost as problematic as the fundamentalist kind.

You scare me. You outright fucking scare me. I do not like this kind of attitude. It is the epitome of us vs them tactics. I do not fucking get this at all. When I consider my political opposition, I do not call the moderates "almost as problematic" as those among the extreme. I look to persuade them. I look to them to understand why others would think differently than me. Sometimes, I look to them to see if maybe I was the one wrong all along. Your logic here scares me.

Bebop:
So Escapists thats the basics. So far if I ever told this to a pastor I would be called the Anti-Christ (most likely). Am I a bad Christian?

As long s you give money to the church, everything is all right.

DaKiller:
I may not be qualified to decide if you are a good or bad Christian, but I can tell you that you are a damn good person in my book.

And your a damn good astro-bear!

Indecipherable:
I can't help but feel that the further you choose to re-interpret the Bible from its original meaning, the further you are just creating self fulfilling and circular arguments to justify yourself. As far as I can tell the reason people move away from the Bible is because the stories are obviously untrue. If you merely choose to view it as a 'rough guideline' then you are being very uncritical in your reasoning. Consider how easy it is to interpret whatever you want in any way and then realize that you are just constructing it in a fashion to suit yourself. I'm pretty sure if there is a God, it isn't there to suit you.

The problem with that is many things that you are taught (at least in baptists churches) is an interpretation. Take predestination for example. They teach that God already knows whos going to Heaven and who isnt. But since "Predestination" isn't ever DEFINED in The Bible doesn't that mean your are just giving that word a meaning, not knowing if its even true or not? Along with the fact that in The Bible God says we have free will which would contradict that. So wouldnt it be common sense to stop teaching it?

Bentusi16:
Do you believe in Christ the Messiah.

Do you believe that he took on your sins and sacrificed himself for them?

If yes: You are a christian. Everything else is largely window trimmings (that blot out the window itself)

Seriously. Everything else can be argued and bitched about but as long as you hold that core belief you're a christian. It's like the old Catholic/Protestant divide. There are jokes out there that start with "A catholic, a christian, and a jew walk into a bar..." because of the confusion on this issue.

That what I think the bible is attempting to get across. Everything leads back to believing in Jesus. Most other stuff just contradicts itself because we never had an accurate term so people interpreted it the way they saw fit. Thats just a thought though.

That doesn't make you a bad Christian; it just makes you an open-minded person.

Revnak:

Arakasi:

Heronblade:
To be perfectly frank, if it wasn't for people like you, the Christian faith would be doomed.

And that right there is why this kind of Christianity is almost as problematic as the fundamentalist kind.

You scare me. You outright fucking scare me. I do not like this kind of attitude. It is the epitome of us vs them tactics. I do not fucking get this at all. When I consider my political opposition, I do not call the moderates "almost as problematic" as those among the extreme. I look to persuade them. I look to them to understand why others would think differently than me. Sometimes, I look to them to see if maybe I was the one wrong all along. Your logic here scares me.

Did you, perchance, ask why I consider it as problematic?
No? Suprising.

I consider it problematic in a far different way than fundamentalism, I consider it problematic because this kind of airie fairy Christianity makes it far more memetically viable in today's society, allowing it to spread further.
The more you allow it to spread, the more difficult it gets to remove these irrational thoughts from the social consiousness, I mean, look at America.
I'm not saying that the intermediate is a bad person, I'm saying they carry a much more contageous version of the disease.

It just so happens that a good human being makes for a bad christian.

People can cherry pick aspects of the doctrine, and that's fine, but it's a white wash of the horrors represented elsewhere in the bible, and in the church dogma.

Bentusi16:
Do you believe in Christ the Messiah.

Do you believe that he took on your sins and sacrificed himself for them?

If yes: You are a christian. Everything else is largely window trimmings (that blot out the window itself)

Seriously. Everything else can be argued and bitched about but as long as you hold that core belief you're a christian. It's like the old Catholic/Protestant divide. There are jokes out there that start with "A catholic, a christian, and a jew walk into a bar..." because of the confusion on this issue.

That what I think the bible is attempting to get across. Everything leads back to believing in Jesus. Most other stuff just contradicts itself because we never had an accurate term so people interpreted it the way they saw fit. Thats just a thought though.[/quote]

Actually that's exactly right :D

Christian = Follow Christ. Not God. Christ. But somehow we look at 'the word of god' as if it's what rules over our lives. The basic rule and commandments of it is: Love everyone and don't be a jerk.

That's it.

You don't need a divine or philosophical justification to decide not to be a dick. It's pretty easy, you just don't be dickish. Everything else is just noise or extraneous, especially the supernatural.

You aren't a bad christian in an absolute sense but, relative to other christians, you might be considered bad. However; that has more to with their own views about what constitutes a real christian.

I think you're maybe asking the wrong question. Or, the wrong wording of your question. What makes a "good Christian"? (That's a subspecies of a friend's response to someone saying "is this practice valid?", and she says "valid as what?") By "good", what do you mean? Morally upright? More "pure" in Christianity, and if so, how is "purity" defined? Answer that, and might get you somewhere helpful.

You wouldn't be uncommon as a Christian with those beliefs, nor would many denominations find you unacceptable as a Christian, if either of those are what you're asking. If your pastor would have a problem with it, look into the mainline Protestant churches, particularly the UCC, and I think you'll find people more suited to you.

The only other helpful thing I'd say would be to say that I think there's a difference between beliefs of Christians and Christian beliefs, if that makes any sense.

If you are dismissing biblical claims on key issues, you are not a Christian. You are what my crazy Christian aunt calls a fake. Although anything she calls a fake is probably a badge of honor in the name of humanity and decency. Bad Christian? I would call you a human who questions blind dogma, but still struggles with a faith based view of the world.

No god did not create the big bang. This is just you trying to fit this god in to presented believable theories because you clearly need him to make sense of it all. This is puzzling since you see the logical flaws in the other biblical claims.

My question to you is why you dismiss claims in the bible because they are proven wrong, but still see it as a guide? This is an assumption of course. You never said you did.

Bebop:
So to start things off i believe in the basic stuff (Jesus and all that jazz) but that's about as far as it goes...

--------------------

On The Bible: I don't think you should take anything out of it as complete fact. You need to look at it or what it is. A REALLY old book. If a word or phrase isn't defined in the bible we shouldn't use the modern day definition of the word or phrase when we teach it. Also, thinking that you should only use a certain type of Bible (King James, New International) isn't very smart. If anything to truly understand it you should read all of them.

On sexuality: I think you should be able to be with anybody you want to. Are you a male and find another male whom you love? Get married, there's nothing wrong with it. It shouldn't ruin other peoples lives knowing that two people love each other.

On Abortion: Im anti abortion but pro choice. I don't think people should have abortions but at the end of the day its a choice. If you want to get an abortion you should be allowed to get one. Again i personally don't like it, but it's not my right to mess with other peoples rights.

On Earth: God created earth. Who's to say he didn't use the Big Bang to do it? And the Earth only being 4,000 years old? Give me a break. Its a little silly to think the world was only created in that short amount of time. We've proved that we've been around a lot longer than that.

While we're here...

On Evolution: I think its completely ridiculous to think that animals never went through evolution. Its a natural thing for organisms to evolve. How do you think PEOPLE have lasted so long? We evolved as well. We got smarter and developed cities, heck we've even been to outer space.

--------------------

So Escapists thats the basics. So far if I ever told this to a pastor I would be called the Anti-Christ (most likely). Am I a bad Christian?

I might make you a bad Christian, not for me to judge.

But it damn well makes you a good person.

Now you just need to do go down the path of agnostic/atheism/deistic.

Read your bible.
Start to End.

No. There are many different denominations of christianity that have different views.

You sound like a perfectly rational person who could operate with or without religion in much the same capacity regardless. Just a shame you belong to a club populated by so many loonies. But no, you're not a "bad" christian. You are, in fact, like every christian: making your own choices about reality, morality, scientific understanding and humanistic compassion in violation of the stupid bronze-aged nonsense the bible is so fond of.

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