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Conservative Christians - extreme minority or mainstream?

Discussion in 'The OT' started by pjmrt, Apr 1, 2005.

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  1. Apr 5, 2005 #41 of 120
    Bogy

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    Look again at the polling numbers. It was a MINORITY of even your beloved Evangelical Christians, according to the media's definition. And look again at what I said. I said it WAS NOT a far right issue, as I have said before and you acknowledged.

    You have never listened to one of my sermons, so don't make the mistake of thinking it would be a speech of human philosophy.
     
  2. Apr 5, 2005 #42 of 120
    Bogy

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    As little as Rich needs me to defend him, just what makes you think that Rich rejects the scriptures? I don't remember him ever making such a statement.

    Jesus might be called a liberal because he brought about change, not only personal lives, but in society and culture as a whole. Conservatives do just that, attempt to preserve, or conserve, the status quo. Liberals, or progressives, bring about change and new ways of looking at things. Perhaps if you weren't so hung up on labels, such as being so fearful that someone was referring to Jesus by the heretical "L" label, you might be able to realize this as truth. Yes, Jesus came to fulfill the law, not to destroy it, but the Christian church definitely did not observe the law in the same way the Jews had.
     
  3. Apr 5, 2005 #43 of 120
    jonstad

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    Laverne, we've obviously had the "evolution/creation debate" here, too many times over!:(

    But unlike some would insist, evolution and creation are NOT mutually exclusive. If your allowed timeline is flexible enough to be extended about a millionfold, you have a rough approximation of the age of our solar system.

    Adam & Eve and the garden thing are a little inconvenient. But not so much if you view them as parable. And I assume you'll admit Christ Himself used parables to simplify what otherwise might have been very complicated concepts? There very probably was no persons who were the actual good Samaritan or the prodigal son. The fact they are included in scripture doesn't make the Bible inerrant. Jesus DID tell the tales. They were not "true" accounts but were merely made up to teach a moral or religious lesson. And most everyone who heard the story directly from His lips and those who have heard or read them since understands that. Jesus wasn't lying, He was teaching.

    Now that we have that cleared up,:D why couldn't Adam & Eve be parable too? Why couldn't it be merely a story to illustrate a moral or religious lesson or concept?:shrug: For that matter, why not some of the other more fantastical tales in the Bible? The Great Flood? Jonah and the fish? Sodom and Gemorrah? Joshua and his brass band?

    Religious tracts do not have history as their main purpose. And I'm sure you can assure me very few non-Judeo/Christian "holy books" have much if any historical bases.;) So why must every story in the Bible be historically factual? Don't you ever feel even the least bit silly believing in talking snakes and forbidden trees, etc.?

    I've never claimed there is nothing of worth in the Bible. It teaches many lessons, OBVIOUSLY in a very compelling way. What I have trouble swollowing is the more outlandish stuff. Probably as much trouble as that fish had swollowing Jonah. Viewing some of these events as parable or analogy at least makes the rest of the Bible more plausable. And it also allows you to view evolution as a mechanism of God's "creation".:grin:

    And speaking of plausable, if you STILL reject evolution, is it plausable God is so devious as to salt the Earth with fossils, arrange the geology and design biology to throw us off track and make it appear(very convincingly I might add) that evolution IS the mechanism of life on this planet, or that the Earth, Sun and Universe are far older then what can be gleened from the Bible? Why would God do that?:scratchin

    The "evidence" for evolution and the age of the Earth, solar system and Universe are NOT parables. Nor are they some nefarious plot by atheist, liberal scientists to subvert Christianity or any other system of faith. It is the painstaking culmination of hundreds of years of careful observation, research and experimentation. Very often, and in the early stages, most likely to have been carried out by pious, devout men of faith. For instance, Gregor Mendel(1822-1884), pioneer and the "father of modern genetics" was an Augustinian monk. It's highly unlikely he was in on the ground floor of any plot to destroy Christianity. And the same can be said for many other scientists who ran afoul of religious dogma, even to this day. For cripe's sake, Darwin once studied for the clergy!:eek2:

    I'm not asking you to change your mind, only that you maintain an OPEN mind!

    PS- I hate to bring you down, but "hunk-o-matic" Brad seems rather peeved with organized religion. http://www.contactmusic.com/new/xmlfeed.nsf/mndwebpages/pitt blasts organised religion
    Not terrifically brilliant or elloquent or convincing, but not terrifically ambiguous in tone or attitude either.

    Or does all of this just add to a bad-boy fantasy image of the Bradster?;)
     
  4. Apr 5, 2005 #44 of 120
    jonstad

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    Just for a base point here:
    Mirriam-Webster's-
    Because after all, this seems to be a matter of definiton.

    My observation is that the term "evangelical" has changed over the years. And I suspect much of it has to do with "fundamentalist" coming across as too harsh and negative a term, much as the terms "liberal", "conservative", "socialist", and "libertarian" have morphed over the years to have meanings starkly different from 20-50 or 100 years ago.

    The church I was raised in was "Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church". We were Wisconsin Synod and we were pretty strict, maybe even fundamentalist! I was not allowed to join Boy Scouts or YMCA because they were not Christian ENOUGH! At the time, the Wisconsin Synod forbade its members from joining or participating in any social groups or organizations that allowed any mingling with non-Christians. The Scouts and YMCA allowed Jews and Muslims you see. And for us "Frozen Chosen", that was not kosher(so to speak:sure: )

    My father was long-time President of a labor union and essentially a socialist. I think he voted for FDR maybe once, the rest of the time it was for the Socialist candidate. YET, this did NOT prevent him from being President of this theologically and socially very conservative congregation.

    This is just my own anecdote. So it's possible this was a wildly atypical situation. But I kind of doubt it. Our congregation and synod may have frowned on having coffee and cake, or martinis and hor'dourves with Abdullah Goldstein, but we were all for civil rights and didn't consider welfare a scam by the poor to take our money. We thought all that was pretty Christian-like and part of Jesus' instruction to look after the poor and less fortunate.:shrug:

    And we must have been "evangelical". It was right there in the name. And a name BTW that was probably selected long before pj and Laverne were even born. Plus, nobody ever called us on it. Nobody got in our face to tell us we WEREN'T evangelical.

    So again, what appears to have happened here is "evangelical" was co-opted from a group or groups who had traditionally called themselves "evangelical" because another group, "fundamentalists", didn't like being called that, so they basically swiped "evangelical". To be fair, "evangelical" does sound a lot better then "fundamentalist". Given the choice, I'd have swiped it too.

    But the end result is the strange spectacle of people calling themselves "evangelicals" claiming people who have for much longer used the term "evangelical" to describe their faith, are not in fact "evangelical" after all.:scratch::confused: If you get the convoluted drift.:D
     
  5. Apr 5, 2005 #45 of 120
    pjmrt

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    Funny, The only ones I've ever heard call Jesus a "liberal" are liberals :rolleyes: I don't think I ever heard a conservative make the same remark - perhaps because they don't find such titles fitting for the King of the Universe.

    Does Jesus exhibit liberal characteristics? Well if you buy into helping people is strictly liberal, I guess I could see how you'd be confused. Conservative Christians care about the poor too, care about people too, ... its just we don't buy into the "formula" that in order to really care, you must support big government programs, higher taxes to pay for it, and take the money from the rich to make things more equitable. Hmmm, now that I think of it, that "formula" thinking and works mentality sounds more like pharasees than Jesus.
     
  6. Apr 5, 2005 #46 of 120
    pjmrt

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    Ok lets talk about that one. The "orthodox" or common definition, implies at least that Bible is essentially accurate. Forget evolution for a second. Do you and those in the UCC believe there really was a man named Abraham and that God really promised the land in Canaan? How about Moses? Did God really smite the egyptians with all those plagues? Did He really part the Red Sea (or part the "reed sea" and drown the egyptian army in inches of water :lol: ). How about Jesus, do you accept the virgin birth? Did Jesus really perform miricles? Let me know - maybe you do, maybe you don't. Don't snicker - many liberal denominations (and since you like mentioning minorities - the statistics I've seen lists liberal denominations such as UCC at around 10-15% of US Christianity) - anyway, many liberal denominations deny these articles. Is it myth, a nice moral story or a historical event according to your theology. If you agree, then I perhaps could see your argument about being an evangelical, given the classic definition.

    You brought it up, and rebrought it up. Like I said, you want to call yourself an evangelical, go ahead. You want to call yourself a "true" republican even though you support democrats, that's ok too. Whatever floats your boat. :)
     
  7. Apr 5, 2005 #47 of 120
    pjmrt

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    Well, what do you expect for cheese heads? :lol: In many Baptist traditions, dancing is a no-no. Don't confuse tradition with doctrine. We sometimes differ internally on issues individual churches believe, which really relate to tradition rather than scripture. I can't speak for the Luteran's. As Southern Baptist (part of the Baptist Faith and Message), we believe in the priesthood of the believer. Baptists cherish and defend religious liberty, and deny the right of any secular or religious authority to impose a confession of faith upon a church or body of churches. We honor the principles of soul competency and the priesthood of believers, affirming together both our liberty in Christ and our accountability to each other under the Word of God.

    Anyway, I'm not an expert on Lutherans and don't know if this is/was local or national in origin.
     
  8. Apr 5, 2005 #48 of 120
    jonstad

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    Yes you can. That's how many of us pronounce it.:D(wit'out de "h")


    :scratchin

    You have said nothing. Your posts seem to be less and less coherent. You're way too hung up on the "organized" part of organized religion, insisting some monolithic amalgam known as "evangelicals" has a lock on Christian theology, as well as social and political theory. "(L)ocal or national"??? What's that got to do with whether one is evangelical or not? Is Christ your personal saviour? Or did your group just adopt Him as a mascot?

    I'm beginning to think you don't really, fully understand any of this and are simply regurgitating, by rote, what you have constantly been exposed to and taught. "Taught", I suspect, by many with about the same level of comprehension.

    Think outside the box a little, man! Or isn't that something evangelicals do?
     
  9. Apr 5, 2005 #49 of 120
    lazaruspup

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    Without thickening the debate, I find your choice of words to be highly offensive. "lifestyle choices"? Being a man science and higher education, I would hope that as "closeted" as many Christians like to keep themselves, you did hear of something called science. Time and time again, science has proven that there is a correlation to chemical makeup of the brain and same sex relationships. Now, if you don't accept that, that's fine, but don't try and issue your mandate to me that unless I accept that you view me as an "abomination" that I'm doomed for all eternity. Yes, I read the Bible, a few times in fact. The NKJV is nothing but adulterated filth created by MAN. That's right, man translated it... the way he wanted to. Ever read a direct Hebrew translation of the old testament. You won't find anything to do with your particular condemning quotes in there. Btw, did you know that early Popes even took boys as accompaniment. Its a fact of life, folks, and its history. Bibles are flawed in their current existence and you cannot base your faith on a book written by fellow human beings. You must reach out past that and find out where your faith comes from... I certainly hope not from a book.

    As for accepting your savior, I hope you never say that to a Jewish individual. Being a UU, I attend faith based meetings with members of all walks of life, Jewish, Hindi, Muslim, Buddhist, Mennonite, Methodist, Catholic, Anglican... the full gamut. When in meeting, we do not and will not impress upon others the particulars of our particular faith. To do so, would violate everything that the UU faith is based in. So please, do not assume that everyone subscribes to your particular faith.
     
  10. Apr 5, 2005 #50 of 120
    Laverne

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    Lazaruspup, you completely missed what I was trying to say to you. It is not my right, my job, or my place to judge you. If you are judged by anyone else, Christian or otherwise, they are out of line. My Bible clearly states, "Judge not, lest ye be judged." I guess you don't agree with that?? :confused:
     
  11. Apr 5, 2005 #51 of 120
    Laverne

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    Just a quick note to you, jonstad. I'll have to say, even though I do not agree with your stance, I must say you are by far the most polite poster in this thread (besides me? :grin: ). And I, for one, appreciate that. I just wanted you to know I noticed. Thanks. :)
     
  12. Apr 5, 2005 #52 of 120
    Ray_Clum

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    Laverne,

    You'll generally find jonstad a fairly level headed and well thought out individual. As you say, you might disagree with what he has to say (we're in the same boat), but he does a great job pretty much staying on topic and keeps a civil discource. When he does slip off the boat of civility, he's pretty good too... !Devil_lol
     
  13. Apr 5, 2005 #53 of 120
    Bogy

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    Laverne, I hate to tell you this :D but this and later posts show you to be a very poor fundamentalist. :lol:

    Like many people who proclaim themselves to be conservative, you aren't as conservative as you think you are. :)

    As much as pjmrt would refuse to acknowledge it, or even recognize it, my theology is for the most part conservative, WHEN DEALING WITH THE MAIN THING. The reason pjmrt and I get into it over and over and over again is that he (and other true fundamentalists) keep mistaking peripheral things for the main thing.

    Since I'm not as polite as you and Jon I hope you will accept my apology for not calling you a fundamentalist. :lol:
     
  14. Apr 5, 2005 #54 of 120
    Bogy

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    Of course conservatives, at least the ones who want to identify with Jesus, would not define him as a liberal. But pjmrt, did you even read what I wrote? To refresh your memory
    Where in my statement do I say anything about Jesus being a liberal because he helped people? You are knee-jerking again on what you think I am going to say. I specifically DID NOT define him as liberal because he helped people because I recognize that many conservative Christians do many things that help people. My description of why you could call Jesus a liberal has everything to do with the definitions of liberal and conservative. The Pharisees were the conservatives, seeking to protect the status quo, the way things had always been done, and Jesus was proposing new ways of looking at things, a liberal point of view.
     
  15. Apr 5, 2005 #55 of 120
    Bogy

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    Personally, I think that considering the percentage of American Christians who are Catholic, 10 to 15% is a pretty good representation. What you don't get is that within "conservative" denominations a lot of members are actually liberal, and within "liberal" denominations many members are actually "conservative". Its like that purple map you laughed at. You see things in red and blue, black and white. But the world is made up of shades of gray and purple.

    Once again, you have this misconception that I don't believe anything in the Bible. The stories you mention are not issues for me. The parts I question are when a King decides to practice genocide on one of his neighbors, and his royal historians record that he did it because "God told him to." This sounds a lot to me like Flip Wilson's "The Devil made me do it," and removes the element of personal responsibility while giving "divine authority" to questionable decisions. Israel is called to be a Light to the nations, not to wipe out all the other nations. When things are inconsistent, I suspect humans were involved. When things seem to be inconsistent, I revert back to Jesus greatest commandment, dealing with love.
     
  16. Apr 5, 2005 #56 of 120
    Bogy

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    pjmrt, remember your list of approved conservative denominations. It included Missouri Synod Lutherans. The Wisconsin Synod is more conservative and less tolerant of mixing in "the world."
     
  17. Apr 5, 2005 #57 of 120
    Bogy

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    He is also one of the better theologians around here, and eventually he may admit that this supposed atheism of his is just a farce. He is an agnostic at best, or worst. :lol:
     
  18. Apr 5, 2005 #58 of 120
    RichW

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    Funny, The only ones I've ever heard call Jesus a "liberal" are liberals I don't think I ever heard a conservative make the same remark - perhaps because they don't find such titles fitting for the King of the Universe.

    No, its because many, if not most, conservatives act exactly like the Pharisees in the Gospels. If one looks at the teachings of Jesus, his sermons, such as the Sermon on the Mount, they are truly liberal. The neocons just cannot accept that.
     
  19. Apr 5, 2005 #59 of 120
    Laverne

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    Every time I hear that, this little ditty pops into my head:

    ♪♪ I don't want to be a Pharisee,
    'Cause they're not fair, you see!
    I just wanna be a sheep. Baa! Baa! ♪♪

    :D
     
  20. Apr 6, 2005 #60 of 120
    Bogy

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    :lol:

    I just got back from hearing John Dominic Crossan speak. WOW. Only got to hear him for a little over an hour and a half. I could have listened to him for another couple of hours easy.

    His viewpoint is that Jesus and Paul were not liberals or conservatives. They were radicals. Out of the 13 Epistles attributed to Paul, the 7 which were most definitely authored by Paul are radical documents. The other six range from liberal to conservative/reactionary as later writers sought to calm things down and be less radical, attracting less attention from the Romans, who didn't mind a bit when religions talked about esoteric things like heaven, (they liked it when religions spent a lot of time talking about heaven, it took their minds off of what was happening in the Empire), but Rome didn't like it when radicals started talking about significant changes in the status quo in their world. Much like other empires the world has seen. :D

    The approved response of the Roman Empire to violent protestors was to wipe them out. All of them. The approved response for non-violent radicals was to kill the leader. Like Jesus. Pilate was following approved Roman protocol.

    Later, Rome followed approved protocol in executing Paul, another non-violent radical.

    Interestingly enough, recent archeology (the last few years) is showing that Judaism was a successful, growing religion throughout the Empire. They did not actively seek conversions, but did their missionary work by attraction. They were known to the Jews (and indeed listed this way on "donor plaques" of the day on Synagogue walls) as Pagan God-Worshipers (at least that is how it translates into English). We know from Acts that the first thing Paul did when he went to a new city was to visit the Synagogue. He wasn't going there to try to convert Jews, but the Pagan God-Worshipers. That is of course why the Jews got upset. Every pastor gets upset with sheep stealers. :lol:
     
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