Here's a nice contraversial subject for everyone! Anybody else out there consider themselves a Christian? And what exactly does that mean to you?
My 19 year old son and I were talking the other day about how there are so many denominations in Christianity and how so many people get a different viewpoint from the Bible. It's pretty interesting how one book can be read so many different ways. I think part of it is because we have so many different personalities.
I personally enjoy visiting different churches and seeing all different types of worship, some are quiet, some very boisterous.
I visit a prayer site too and there are a lot of Protestants and Catholics on there. Everybody is very careful to be respectful of the other. When one person comes on there acting like one is better than the other, we try to gently steer things away from that.
I think sometimes we make things too difficult. I think we have too many man made doctrines that muddy the waters. I think God meant for things to be simple. He said the two greatest commandments is to love the Lord with all our hearts, souls and minds and to love one another. I believe that when we put our belief and trust in Jesus, that's all that really matters.
I'm asking everyone who considers themselves a Christian, what exactly do you believe and why?
I'd be interested in other denominations too (including Protestants, Catholics, Jehovah's Witnesses, Morman's, etc. Honestly, I'd really like to learn more!), so that I can understand more the differences and the simularities. I prefer to go to a nondenominational church, myself.
One more question that might help my son out, he has a lot of questions and I don't mind. He's searching. He believes in God but also evolution. I told him there's some things about evolution I believe in but I don't believe we came from animals. What's everyone else's viewpoint on that? Can we believe in God and still believe in evolution?
I consider myself a Christian, but in reality, I'm not really a Christian and I know I'm not. And in fact, I don't know any Christians. None.
Christians are called to give their cloaks to their brothers, lay down their worldly goods and follow the lord.
Okay, maybe some of those guys on street corners in rags are Christians, but I don't think so. They're begging for money.
I regularly attend church, am a sunday school sub, I am caring and loving and give a LOT of time and stuff, but I also have a nice house and a healthy bank account and you can forget me giving that up!
It is interesting, the conservative white haired men who talk about being Christians are the furthest thing on the planet from Jesus.
Okay, NOW someone will come along and shoot me. ;D
I went to a catholic school where religious studies were compulsory. What I gained from that was it's not who you see as your "God" but the fact that we look to a "God" to show us how to lead our lives. In the particular faith I was raised in we looked to Jesus as being the example we should all strive to be like. Nowadays I don't go to church and I don't raise my kids to be of a particular faith but rather to try to lead a "christian" life for want of a better way to put it. Over the years I have questioned whether ther is a God and I'm still on the fence about it all really but I do believe there was a very good and kind man who went out of his way to help others, show people how to share and there will be enough for everyone (aka the loave and the fishes) and showed those with disabilites how to fight and to live for the best quality of life they could possibly have (aka healing the sick). If we all lived our lives like this man did the world would be a better place.
As for evolution, well that is scientific fact...but how did that all start anyways....?
I think you're too hard on yourself! We're all human, every single one of us and we all fall short of the glory of God. I think he is very patient with us! He gives us many chances. I tell people all the time that God is still working on me! I'm a work in progress! :)
I too consider myself a Christian. I believe that you have to accept Jesus Christ into your heart and repent of your sins to become a Chrisitan. I believe that Jesus Christ took the stripes on his back and died for our sins so that we would not have to. I know that the Bible says that the only way to the Father is through the Son. I too believe that man has made so many laws for different religions (such as long hair, only wearing skirts, etc) that have no bearing on being a Christian. I also agree with RockRose that Christians are supposed to be Fishers of Men and spread the word of Jesus and God.
I think this is a great topic, and I commend you for starting such a contriversal subject, but one I feel strongly about. I too have a son who is trying to decide what it means to be a Christian (he is 12). My oldest son made the decision to become a Christian at the age of 10. I was so proud of him. April2, I truely hope that your son finds the answers that he is looking for. I look forward to getting to know you ladies better. Kasie
OOPS, I forgot to comment on your question about evolution. I strongly do not believe in evolution. In the first book of the Bible, it says that GOD MAD MAN AND LATER WOMAN FROM THE RIB OF ADAM!! It does not say that God made Ape which later turned into man and woman. That is my look on evolution. I do not even want my kids learning about it in High School. I do not want them to be confused, but I feel that if I have raised them with with our religious beleifs, they will be okay. Once again, this is my personal opinion. Kasie
I won't get into the Christianity side of it, but evolution is scientific fact. Not a hypothesis. I believe it is important for children to learn it for it explains where we came from. Faith in the Bible is fine and suits some people, but preventing those that do not follow the Bible from learning what science has proven is true is a huge injustice to our children. I take issue with pressure being put on publicly funded schools to stop teaching evolution or to start teaching creationism. Save that for non-secular institutions.
It has been proven that dinosaurs existed, it has been proven that man inhabited the earth well before the Bible claims as much.
Nevermind, too hot of a topic. I need to mind my self.
Hi fungirl! Thanks for answering. The only part about evolution that I wonder about is whether the earth really was made in only six days or was God's timing different than ours? It does say that one day is as a thousand in God's eyes. There are many Christian scientists who believe in God but also parts of evolution. I think sometimes we just won't know all the mysteries of God. We can't put him in a box, after all. We will always have questions and may not get them all answered here on this earth.
Fungirl, I think creationism is very interesting - and there is an allegory from Adam and Eve in evolution.
The part of the human brain that can distinguish right from wrong, in the abstract, is the last part of the human brain to develop - and what, in fact gives women great pain in childbirth. So when Eve was punished for offering Adam the apple that she KNEW was wrong, that was the beginning of the part of the brain that would make human baby's heads so big that childbirth was difficult. Interesting, for sure!
On the other hand, we don't want med students becoming doctors who don't understand evolution. Or chemists creating pesticides who don't understand the fact of evolution.
Because of evolution and survival of the fittest, antibiotics cease to work and pesticides cease to work after many many years of use. Bacteria and pests adapt, and the ones who have the best survival capabilities survive to reproduce, go on to reproduce. Pesticides and antibiotics quit working.
I don't want scientists throwing up their hands and not knowing why. It's because evolution, and Darwin's survival of the fittest, are factual. I really pray that Christian fundamanetalists don't keep our scientists from being educated as to why this is happening.
You are absoloutly right! Of course there were dinasours and many Christians who believe in some parts of evolution. But actually evolution isn't so much a scientific fact as it is a theory just as creationism is. That's why many people feel it should be taught as a theory along with other theories.
It's all pretty interesting. We learn more and more every day.
That was interesting! I never heard that before! A lot of people believe that many or even most parts of the Bible is symbolic of something bigger or deeper. Look at Revelations! Whew, is that one a difficult book to read. It's all symbolic! Which is another things that fascinates me, Bible prophecy! I love to see how it relates to the things that have already happened and the things that are happening now and yet to come. The first book I read when I came back to God and the church was "Storming Towards Armageddon". It was about the Bible prophesies and how they relate to us today. I was so fascinated with that book, I couldn't put it down! I read it in like two days and it was a thick book. If you all are looking for some interesting reading and like stuff like that, I recommend it.
fungirl, you did not offend me at all. That's what I was trying to get across here. I wanted everyone's opinion because I'm interested. I don't want you to feel like you can't be open about your beliefs and feelings. I don't want anyone attacking anyone here. I hope we can all respect and learn from each other.
I would have to agree with Kasie as far as my beliefs. Being a Christian to me is beilieving that Jesus Died on the cross for your sins. Which as where rockrose stated she is a christian and dont believe it, that is why he died, was for your sins we are all sinners everyone of us .Knowing and walking Gods will for your life to me is being a Christian... Knowing God as the father son and the holy spirit. Being able to feel the presence of God by prayer, spreading and reading the word. (again living gods's will) Having an intimate realtionship with god, and allowing him to work in your life.Having that solid foundation and making sure that you are living in his honosty. Being a christian is very hard as the more you believe and have faith the more you are tempted to sin. The most rewarding part of being a chirstian is knowing i will be with my father one day in the kingdom of heaven....
April, there is a difference between creationism and evolution as far what has been proven and what has been hypothesized and the term "theory" is being misused widely.
Thus far nothing in the scientific community has proven creationism and in fact most of scientific fact has proven many bases ideals of creationism as false. Namely the idea man was put on earth more than half as recently as has been shown by carbon dating (which is absolute, not theory).
Interesting topic. I really don't want to start a fight. I am of a scientific mind and I thrive on tangible proof. Evolution has that and is visible on both a small scale and large scale right before our eyes (heard of MRSA?) whereas some of the other hypotheses are not based in fact, but faith. It works for many, just not for me.
That was well said. You said exactley what I wanted to say...Only better. lol I agree that the closer you become to God, the more you want to sin, or the more that santan attacks you.
AndiJ..I have to respectfully disagree with you. I happen to be one of the people that Faith works for. I have not now or ever been a Scientific type of person. You are not starting a fight, it is good to be able to disagree and still be respectful (which is what I think we are both doing). My brother in law (who has just become a Christian in the last few years) also has questions about Evolution (he is a huge Science person). Believe me,we have gone round and round on this subject, lol I did not say that Evolution should not be taught, I said that I did not want MY children learning about it, but they will as it is a part of the Science currucilum. I would like for Creation to be taught along side of Evoulution. It's okay to disagree, that is what makes us all unique :-)
WOW...can I jump in here? Or do I have to wait for an invite?
I do not believe in evolution at all....sorry all. But, if you do, that is your business. That's fine with me. BUT, I do not want my kids being taught evolution in school any more than someone who believes in it wants their kids to be taught that it didn't exist. I don't force my beliefs on others, so I don't think anyone has the right to force theirs on me.
I haven't been on in a LONG time, now I've come back with a bang!! LOL
Separation of church and state exists for a reason. Those who do not want their children taught the basic fundamentals of science can send their kids to private school. My tax dollars pay for public education which prevents inclusion of religious teachings as governed by our constitution.
Well, I'm really not sure....I'll let you know when this discussion dies down. Did I pick a good night to come poking around on MH, or what? And two GREAT discussions to comment on. LOL
I think there was a reason why things were so much easier "back in the old days" when religion wasn't separated from everything. And, I'm a tax payer too. My money pays for those public schools too. Why should I have to fork out money to pay for private schools AND pay taxes to help fund public schools too? How is that right? What is the answer to this? I have no idea...we're all tax payers. We all want our kids brought up a certain way. Taught a certain way. Who knows what the answer is?
I have to be the weirdest Christian you'll ever hear about. I am a Born Again (7 yrs) Christian who started out as Catholic. I have accepted Jesus Christ as my savior. Still, if my church knew how I felt abt a few things, I would be kicked out. I don't care because it's all between me and Jesus, not me and anyone else.
I am Pro-choice and believe that abortion needs to be kept legal - this doesn't mean that I think everyone should get one. Just keep it legal and safe for those that need it. I have no problem with homosexuals as I think they were born that way. God loves everyone. I tithe 10% of my earnings but if God wanted me to give everything, I would. I don't care about possessions and I have some beautiful stuff but if I could save someone's life or help someone, I would.
Rockrose, you said that you are not a Christian but I wonder why you think that if you have accepted Jesus as your Saviour. It's a misconception that God wants you give everything you own away for Him. If He wants it from you, you won't have a choice in the matter anyway. God could take it all away from you in a heartbeat so don't for one minute think that stuff will make you secure. You help the poor - that's Jesus working through you. You give your money and time - that's your love for Christ shining through. I"m sure ppl see it in your smile when you help them. I don't care what you say, you sound like a Christian to me.
As for evolution, I believe in it. I think God is pretty logical and the book of Genesis is a metaphor for evolution. They have carbon dating which is really pretty accurate so scientists can tell how old the earth is.
I don't try to convert people who don't believe in God or Jesus, or follow another religion. That's not my job as a Christian. When the time is right, they'll figure it all out. If they don't, that's not my problem. I do have friends that are Muslim and they are pretty good people. I also know some atheist and one who is wiccan. They are also nice and caring. Will they get to Heaven? Who am I to say they won't if they are living a life pleasing to God?
In the end, it's all between you and God, whether you believe in Him or not. That much I am sure of.
Teach your children through the church, it is free with the exception of your tithe. If you don't want evolution taught to them, keep them out for that portion of the day as I would if they ever brought creationism into the schools. Rockrose put it well, if you deny them that you are denying a huge chunk of what drives medicine and therefor our future.
And back on the old days had its issues as well. It was okay for men to beat their wives, acceptable they have a mistress, and no one gave two poops about what the women thought. Not a past I think too fondly about. Well, except for that fact that kids were disciplined back then and weren't watching garbage on TV, addicted to video games, and shooting up schools. But I am raising my children that way without church. It is possible to teach children to be kind, respectful, and responsible without detracting from their education and possible future.
Unfortunately, I can not pull my kids out of school when Evolution is taught. It is a part of the Science course that is REQUIRED for my kids to graduate. I agree with the above poster, why should I have to pay extra just because I don't want my kids learning Evolution? Why not have both points of view taught? My children are taught in church. I do not feel I an denying my children anything. I just don't get why everyone wants the Christian people to have to change our way of life (prayer in school, saying the Pledge, etc.) just because other people do not have the same beliefs. It seems like a huge contridiction. Why are we the ones who always have to have our beliefs taken away from schools? Like it was said, if you don't believe, don't do it. I'm not asking that EVERY person have to pray before school, but why should we not be able to do so if we want to? I am a teacher's aide at an elementary school, and I thank God that we have a principal who is still having the children say the pledge every day. It makes me really sad that kids can not pray before a meal because it may step on someone's foot. Well, if you don't like it, don't watch. We have rights too!!!
Once again, just my personal opinion, and not intending on upsetting anyone. I love these types of topics becasue we all have a right to our opinion. :-)
LOL...I'm getting out while the getting is good. This is a very interesting subject..and one that could be debated until the end of time and still not be finished.
I do think it's great that everyone can come over here and have a serious, adult conversation like this and agree to disagree...without it getting heated. Very adult. And actually very different than it was "back in the day". A good change!!
hmm... i have to admit i am very surprised to see so many people say they don't believe in evolution. i have heard that some people don't, but i don't know many. i assume i must know some people, but no one certainly discusses it. (and i'm not trying to be a b!tch or anything- just being honest). mostly midwesterners??? (again- no offense- just curious). weird how one assumes the way they are raised is the norm (referring to myself). it's funny, because i have heard on the news the whole debate, and I always wondered why it was an issue. Could there really be people out there who took the Bible that literally? There is an abundance of scientific evidence that supports the theory of evolution. there is a book full of metaphors and stories that supports the theory of creationism. i feel that evolution should be taught in public schools, (along with sex ed, but that's a whole different debate). I learned all about creationism in CCD, which is an appropriate place for it to be taught.
that being said, a little about me. i was raised catholic, and i guess i am a catholic still, although i primarily consider myself christian since many of catholic policies bother me. my grandma thinks i'm a born-again christian because when i was 9 she cornered me and had me accept Jesus as my Lord and Savior. (by the way, i do believe in Him and consider him my Lord, but i do not feel this ritual was necessary to prove it). she has worked her way through my entire biological family, so we are all now born again, regardless of our true beliefs, since she claims we won't be together in heaven otherwise. it's just easier to smile and nod- she's very persistent and it makes her happy. my poor dh is next on her list. i'm not knocking Born-Agains, and do admit that I do not have an understanding of this branch of Christianity. all i know is that her fanaticism has made it so that i have no desire to learn about it. i feel my relationship with God is very personal. I hate going to church and feel the rituals take away from the spirituality. well, for me anyways. despite this, i will say prayers with my daughter every night and make her go to church and CCD. i feel everyone needs a structured religious upbringing, and then can later determine for themselves what works best for them. i will keep most of my personal conclusions to myself until she asks me about them.
gotta say though- in college i took a class called Feminist Theology. now that was fascinating!
Here's what bothers me though- and i saw this when i went to school. i was raised in a liberal area, and received sex ed throughout school. my mom wasn't super-strict, but i had guidelines. i was allowed enough freedom to make some mistakes. when i got to college i knew how to be safe with sex and alcohol. (by the way I have only had one partner my entire life- i married him- so it's not like i slept around). there were several girls on my floor who came from strict, religious homes. their parents assumed their strict morals were passed on to these horome-driven teenage girls with new found freedom. it was these girls who did the most stupid things! they drank irresponsibly and hooked up with complete strangers. it was scary to see what they were doing. and I went to a small, upper-class liberal arts college, not a huge university. (again, this should probably be a new thread, but it ties to the topic of religion).
Sorry! I guess I thought I did kinda give my viewpoint. Let's see. I grew up going to church but never had a personal relationship with God. I was like a lot of kids, I guess. I'd pray when I wanted something, otherwise I didn't think about God much.
As an adult, my neighbor kind of led me back to Christ. I had been feeling like I was missing something in my life for a long time. I had gone through the whole rebellious time of drinking and smoking when I was younger, but that grew old. My neighbor had something I wanted. I had never been taught that you could have a personal relationship with God in church. Isn't that sad?
So anyway, this was about 14 years ago. I've gone to many different types of churches. The ones I prefer the most is the nondenominational ones because I don't like to see it when a church gets so fixated on their man made doctrines that they make that more important than just reading/teaching from the Bible.
I believe the Bible is the Word of God. I do believe that there's room for things we don't understand, like evolution (in some things). I believe the Bible is pretty clear on a lot of these contraversial subjects if we do a study on it.
I believe that Jesus is who he said he is, the son of God. The more I've prayed and studied the Bible and gotten to know him, the more I love and respect him.
I believe in miracles. I've seen it in my own life and friends and family members. There are some things that you just can't explain away. There just are no scientific answers to.
I believe that God is a god of love and forgiveness and that there are a lot of things we just don't understand about him and spirituality!
I've seen answers to prayers enough and God's perfect timing to know there's "Someone out there that cares and is active in our lives if we let him". Like I said, I've had miracles and seen miracles that defy our understanding as humans. I don't know what I'd do without him. I'm a better person because of him. He means everything to me. He IS real! And closer than you think.
I guess that about sums me up! :)
If creationism were proven fact, I would have no problem with my children being taught that, but it isn't. it is supposition. It doesn't even qualify as a theory by definition in the scientific community. That being said, I can separate God and creationism. Sound weird? I am not alone. I don't mind people praying for me or around my children just as I pray in my own way for people around me and on here. I encourage the pledge of allegiance and I still think they should allow "So help me God" when you are sworn in. But, I do not want my children taught something that has been disproven time and time again. That would be like allowing my children to be taught that Downs Syndrome is caused by inattentive parents (don't laugh, that was once a common belief, but has obviously been disproven) And notice the difference in terms "belief" is not theory is not fact.
Lively discussion ladies. I am happy we can keep things civil. I am not out to change minds and respect the fact you are not out to change mine.
The Bible is a historical book. They do know that the things happened just as they said they did, like all the kings and when they lived, they know Jesus really did live and walk the earth 2,000 years ago and was crucified. He was no ordinary man, either. Christianity was able to survive when many other religions died out. The people who had lived with and walked with Jesus had seen things they couldn't understand. They saw miracles. They knew he was the Messiah sent from God. That's why they were willing to be killed for their beliefs.
You say creationism has been disproven. I don't think it's been disproven at all. There are many things we can't explain away with evolution. Have you ever wondered how it could be possible that every human being that has ever lived or ever will live has a different set of finger prints and different DNA? Isn't that mind boggling? Could that really be by chance? Or does that show a God who cares enough about his creation, especially humanity which he made in his own image, that he wanted each one to be unique? Or how about the fact that the earth has to rotate at just the right angle at just the right speed or we'd burn up, freeze or we'd be thrown out in the universe? Does this suggest a higher being who is a great mathmetician to calculate things just so? How in the world could all of that happen from chaos? Have you ever seen that happen before? You have to have everything perfectly in order to create life. If even one thing is off, it won't work.
I'm not trying to convert you, believe me. I'm just saying be open at least to other possibilities. Can you not say you're not the least bit curious to see if there's something to all this?
You know what I find the most fascinating? The fact that the Bible was written thousands of years ago and yet we've seen prophesies fortold in the Bible come true, and are still coming true. If you ever do a study of the book of Daniel and Revelations. One of the biggest prophesies that came true was that the Jews would return to their homeland after being scattered for nearly 2,500 years.
Listen to this prophecy:
Isaiah 66:8 "Who has ever heard of such a thing? Who has ever seen such things? Can a country be born in a day or a nation be brought forth in a moment? Yet no sooner is Zion (Isreal) in labour than she gives birth to her children."
This prophecy was fulfilled on May 14, 1948. Isreal, a nation that had not really existed as a seperate nation for nearly 2,500 years, was declared a new sovereign state by an act of the United Nation on May 14, 1948. The nation was born in a day.
In Mathew 24:32-33 Jesus gives a parable of a fig tree (Isreal was often symbolized as a fig tree) and said when it's branches are tender and puts forth it's leaves, you know Summer is near, even so you too, when you see all these things, recognize that he is near, right at the door.
Jesus said basically when all eyes are on Isreal, when you see all these things going on, then know he is near to returning. He also said there will never be real peace in Isreal until he returns. He is correct in that too. There are many, many more prophesies.
For people who want to just dismiss Jesus teachings or the Bible, you might want to do a little study on it. You might be interested in what it has to say, especially all the prophesies foretold in the Bible. If you do a real indepth study on it, you will be fascinated, let me tell you.
We all want to know what the future holds for us, don't we? Well, Jesus promises that someday he will return for his followers and after a time of tribulation, he will reign on earth again and it will know peace.
Maybe we should start a new thread just on Bible prophesies! :) It's pretty interesting stuff.
When I saw the topic I wasn't going to respond at all. But now I have a question. I'm sure you will think I'm nieve (sp-sorry, I know how that bothers some of you) Will someone please IM me and tell me what creationism is. I've never heard that word and don't want to do a search right now. (I'm at work)
I absolutely do not believe in creationism. Its a nice story, but (in my opinion) did not happen. Just as the Bible is a fascinating book, rich, full of great and wise symbolism. But I do not believe it is meant to be literally 100% fact. You can look at many books and pull out comparable prophecies.
You know the only thing I am going to put on here is the fact that I would rather be wrong regarding being a Christian then wrong that there is no Jesus. In other words if everyone finds out one day that Jesus comes to our earth to take us home....... I sure as heck would rather have been a Christian and gone with him home, then go to hell and say "darn it Jesus was real".
Just my opinion.
I heard a missionary say that once. Someone once asked him "What if you're wrong? What if when you die, you find out there was no god after all?" He just smiled and said "Well, if I find out I'm wrong, what did it hurt? I can look back at my life and see that I tried to better myself. I tried to make a difference. How can I ever be sorry for that?"
That's how I feel. Since becoming a Chrisian and getting to know and love the Lord, I've tried to better myself (or is it that God has done a work on me?). I don't drink too much (I used to when I was in my 20's), only occasionally have a glass of wine, etc. I quit smoking. I'm trying to eat healthier. I watch my language. I try to not offend people. I try to love and accept everyone as Jesus commanded us to. I try to be more forgiving because God told us that we must forgive in order for us to receive forgiveness. I'm more aware of hurting people and try to help when I can.
I still mess up and sin because I'm human and we all do. But when I look back, I realize that God really has done a work on me and because of that I have more compassion and love in my heart. I'll always be grateful to Him that He took a broken vessel like me and made it whole again. That's what He does. For those who don't even want to see if He's real, I feel a certain sadness. But I would never force anyone to accept what they don't want to accept. God does not push Himself on people either. He's just there with open arms waiting for each one of us to return like the prodigal son. He means everything to me.
Amen! I mess up all the time...LOL My father inlaw doesn't go to church because of all the "hypocrites"... I told him, well they need to be there then! None of us are perfect. Not one of us. That is what makes God's grace so amazing. I can't stand the mentality that Christians have to be perfect. We are far from it and I believe that God likes to work with (and on) those who are not perfect so he can help mold them into better people. Becoming a Chistian was the most amazing experience of my life...
#2 - I also can't stand watching the news and people say "I'm a Christian" expecting that because they said that we shouldn't think they were capable of any wrong doing. Sorry, that always bugged me...
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