Christian beliefs in a nutshell – revision 1

In my time learning about Christianity, I’ve found that the belief system essentially encompasses 3 basic ideas: Forgiveness, Thankfulness, and Love/Respect.

FORGIVENESS – Knowing we can be forgiven and being forgiving of others. It’s about communicating honestly and taking responsibility for your actions. It’s also about realizing that everyone is trying their best regardless of how poorly it comes across and knowing they can take responsibility for their actions when they realize the impact and negative results of their sins/mistakes.

*NOTE: Although not a requirement of forgiveness, Jesus uses himself as a device to allow those who believe in him to understand forgiveness.

THANKFULNESS – Praying is a key part of it. It’s about focusing on the positives.

LOVE/RESPECT – The Holy Trinity comes into play here. I’ve discovered it can be turned metaphorical.
– Loving the Father – or loving God is all about respecting the greater powers of the world/universe of which we do not understand – Respecting all of the external forces upon us
– Loving the Son – or loving Jesus is all about respecting other humans – Having love and respect in all inter-personal interactions
– Loving the Holy Spirit – when you have a love and respect for others and the external forces of the universe, the Holy Spirit comes upon you as an internal love or self-respect

I believe this to be the basis of what Jesus was trying to teach … the way Christianity is intended to be followed.

Comments?

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40 Responses to Christian beliefs in a nutshell – revision 1

  1. Arkenaten says:

    Áll good and well but one must first acknowledge that old JC is God and that is a whole heap of twaddle.
    The Holy trinity is a man-made piece of garbage to assuage fears that Christianity would become polytheistic. That was why there was all that trouble with the naughty Arians way back when, remember?

    Furthermore, every one of the above (fine) attributes can be adopted/applied without the need to genuflect to a silly sky god or local equivalent.

    In simple words. Christianity is crap.It is divisive, and a waste of time.

    • jasonjshaw says:

      I personally agree that accepting Jesus as God is more of a marketing gimmick than anything. It’s a device to lead people to understanding the concept of forgiveness. In the OT, the people were on a yo-yo falling away from God, coming close to God, falling away, coming close, etc. If they’re able to come back to God, doesn’t that reflect that forgiveness is already available before Jesus’ arrival anyways?

      As for the holy trinity, I’m sure it could be utilized in polytheism as well. You’d just have to change the Father part to Parents, and include a messenger sent from the parents! As I outline it, it’s just a cycle of respect framework. You can build any story you like around it.

      • Arkenaten says:

        I am a bit confused as to your standpoint. Are you a deist, agnostic or Christian?
        Some clarity would help.

      • jasonjshaw says:

        I believe God to be a metaphor for the unknown. I believe that anything that seems magical is actually an illusion of some sort. What that makes me, I’m not too sure and I don’t really care. I’ve tossed around the term “Secular Christian” a bit as I have been trying to find understanding in the Bible from an accepting, non-magical point of view. I have taken this approach in attempt to understand why so many Christians don’t live up to the expectations I had of them. They embrace the “golden rule” but seem to have a devil of a time following it!

      • Arkenaten says:

        Well, the golden rule can be found in far earlier doctrines than Christianity, as I am sure you are aware?

        I would imagine it is well nigh impossible to be Christian unless you subscribe the to Nicene Creed.

        If you don’t consider Jesus to be “The Man’ what is point of subscribing to the tenets of such a silly religion/faith?

        Doesn’t make any sense at all. Not from where I’m standing.

      • jasonjshaw says:

        Well, for a silly religion, it holds a lot of power in society, at least here in North America. Christians vote for leaders who use Christian-friendly gimmicks, and tend to separate themselves from anyone who seems to be a “sinner”. Ironically enough, in the Bible, Jesus spent a lot of time with “sinners”.

        Jesus actually embodies a lot of good humanitarian qualities. People latch on to that. The trouble is, the way the Bible is presented seems to distort the humanitarianism Jesus embodies and results in Christians becoming more of a clique than humanitarians. And because the Bible is so long and complex, a good number of them, if not the majority, end up following the lead of someone else, wherever that person may lead them.

        The trouble is, these issues can’t really be dealt with from the outside looking in. In order to help wake people up to the troubled things they may be believing, you have to get to the inside and work outwardly. Otherwise all you’re doing is helping them draw the line in the sand and re-enforcing their fear of a non-Christian life.

      • Arkenaten says:

        Well, for a silly religion, it holds a lot of power in society, at least here in North America.

        So what? All this means is there are a lot of misguided, ignorant people in North America, whose view is already being challenged by the ever growing number of Muslims.

        From my experience deconvertees (christian) have walked into the light after discovering the lies and fraudulent claims themselves.

        All a non believer can do is point the way.

        Jesus was a self-serving idiot. What did he teach that wasn’t already available in upteen other cultures?
        He didnt even have the sense to instruct people to use soap and water and he was a piss-willy god if he allowed himself to be crucified.

        If he could cure one blind person why didn’t he simply cure blindness?
        Anyway,there is no evidence for the biblical character Jesus; he was a narrative construct.
        One can get a better version of morality from Superman. And I am not joking either.

      • jasonjshaw says:

        If he was teaching things already available from other cultures, why would people start following him?

        Oh, speaking of it all being a narrative construct, have you caught the test of the OT part where the God-serving leader started a fire using buckets of water? It was recreated using elements that would have been available at the time, and it actually worked!

        It seems illusion was utilized for religious purposes back in the day.

        Anyways, I know you’re talking more NT anyways, but it’s always neat when science proves an outlandish story to actually be possible!

        As for Rozabal – any idea what that’s really all about? I still think you should give that video a watching, even if you think it’s all a sham, it does a great job of telling a different Jesus story! Also talks about some lost tribes of Israel that seem to have a connection in India. Is it just a coincidence?

      • jasonjshaw says:

        Ah, it seems that there is more info about Rozabal up on Wikipedia since I had been doing my research. I am perplexed, how on earth are the people in the video able to present what they know with a straight face? How were they able to connect so many things so well?

        I have to admit though, if that video, which continues the Jesus narrative, ends up helping Christianity evolve to a next step, I think things would end up better off than they are now. It actually paints a picture that connects some of the big religions.

        Seriously, just watch it. At the very least you’ll be impressed at how well they were able to connect bad information into a great narrative!

      • Arkenaten says:

        I have seen a similar video on this nonsense before.
        Somehow I think you really want to hold on to this fallacy as it gives you a warm fuzzy feeling.

        Let’s try to clarify this one more time (and hopefully last).
        There is absolutely no evidence for the biblical character called Jesus of Nazareth.

        Nazareth did not exist at the supposed time of his ministry.
        If you can find one peer reviewed archaeological paper that contains enough evidence to support a Nazareth of the time of “jesus’ supposed ministry I will accept your claim and nominate you for a Nobel Prize for something or another, okay?

        There are no records of a man-god in any non-christian historical accounts.
        Josephus mentions at least two other jesuses, neither of which fits the bill of the biblical character.
        He is fiction.

        He was made up.

        Anything that derives from this character is hogwash.

        Now…if you find a Jesus that features in non-biblical history that was also an itinerant preacher, then please, let me know.
        Otherwise , maybe you should apply for a job as the third team member for Scully and Mulder.
        They are real too, yes?

      • jasonjshaw says:

        Even if it’s not a historical Jesus, but evidence of some cross-religious exchanges and respect between beliefs, it’s still significant, isn’t it? Or is all the information provided in the documentary falsified evidence of anything?

      • Arkenaten says:

        Where does Christianity ultimately respect any other religion or its believers?

        Where? Show me….

        It is an Abrahamic faith based on a despotic, meglomaniacal tyrant.

        No religion means such barriers are genuinely removed.

        Don’t you understand, for gods sake?

      • jasonjshaw says:

        Except that people will develop new belief systems that will have their own issues and nothing will have changed except the method of which people reach their extremism. You can’t improve humanity by breaking it down, but you can focus on the positives to help lift it up.

      • Arkenaten says:

        Except that people will develop new belief systems that will have their own issues and nothing will have changed except the method of which people reach their extremism. You can’t improve humanity by breaking it down, but you can focus on the positives to help lift it up.

        It is becoming increasing difficult to continue this discussion when I am still not sure exactly where you stand re religion.
        It would be appreciated if you simply stated whether you are religious in any way or not.

        As for your latest comment.
        Yes they will develop new belief systems. But what is to say these beliefs will not be positive, humanitarian caring and loving?
        You make the outrageous statement that dismantling religion would be breaking humanity down?
        In what way is striving to remove the lies and fraudulent claims of over 2000 plus years of Abrahamic religions breaking down humanity?
        In what way is removing children from the clutches of the Catholic Church; children that have been raped and tortured by those who claim to uphold the teachings of a loving god (sic) breaking humanity down?
        In what way is preventing children from being used as suicide bombers who are promised they are doing Allah’s will breaking down humanity?
        In what way is preventing adults from carrying out genital mutilation on boys and girls in the name of their god breaking down humanity?
        In what was is freeing millions of women who are subject to some of the most misogynistic barbaric theocratic laws on the planet breaking down humanity?

        Please excuse my French, but are you out of yourfucking mind?

      • jasonjshaw says:

        There’s your problem, you’re trying to draw a line in the sand just like religion. You’re not going to solve anything in that way. Why don’t you work towards providing a resource for those who seek the truth about their faith? Why not do something constructive to help solve the problem instead of complaining and trying to force your views down other people’s throats?

        I’m pro-humanity. Let’s just put it that way.

        Besides, as the USA has so nicely exemplified with its wars in the middle east, breaking down a society because bad things come from it doesn’t necessarily improve anything. From what I have heard, it actually made the humanitarian situations worse. If you want to make people more caring and loving, you have to do so through love and opening opportunities to learn.

      • Arkenaten says:

        And yet again you simply refuse to address the issues that I pointed out in the previous comment, a disingenuous theological two-step so common with the religious.
        (Abrahamic) Religion has exercised control for two thousand plus years.
        Why not read the deconversion stories of some of the ex-christian bloggers on WordPress.
        Ask them how they feel about the humanitarian efforts of religion?
        It will come to an ignominious end when either those in charge of the religious purse strings have the balls to admit that it is all a crock of shit or the slow way – like the deconvertees – one by one.
        As you seem like a reasonable intelligent chappie, why don’t you start to blog about the benefits of a secular, non-religious democratic society and help people to steer away from the lies that religion espouses.
        Why post rubbish like the ”Indian Jesus” story?
        Why not do some serious historical research and try to help those poor delusional fools by posting truthful historical accounts of the crap that has been foisted onto society demonstrating just why religion is bad?

        That is a step in the right direction.

        So, how about it?

      • jasonjshaw says:

        Well, a democratic society is a whole other issue I’m not sold on as it currently exists in North America.

        And I’m sorry to say, but even from a secular standpoint I found my time spent within a Christian environment to be for the most part positive. Also in getting to know some of the people in the church, I’ve learned how Christianity has helped pull them from dark places. Also, church groups tend to be active volunteers in their respective communities it seems. I also found the teachings in the church I attended to be for the most part positive and useful, even if a little uninformed.

        The church I attended was a Calvary Fellowship, which actually studies the Bible verse-by-verse through each section, which I think helps prevent abuse of excessive scripture twisting. It was also a small congregation that met each Sunday in a movie theatre, which I thought showed responsibility on the church’s part as I find it ridiculous how much money churches can spend on having a fancy place to meet.

        Do you have any of these ex-christian bloggers that you would recommend following? I welcome the opportunity to learn about different points of view.

        So I have to ask, as you seem to only see negative in religion, what do you think actually brings people to embrace religion?

      • Arkenaten says:

        Well, a democratic society is a whole other issue I’m not sold on as it currently exists in North America.

        Try living in Saudi Arabia, and then see how you feel. I would take a bet that some of the Saudi nationals would consider your pithy statement about the US not being democratic as a slap in the face.

        And I’m sorry to say, but even from a secular standpoint I found my time spent within a Christian environment to be for the most part positive. Also in getting to know some of the people in the church, I’ve learned how Christianity has helped pull them from dark places. Also, church groups tend to be active volunteers in their respective communities it seems. I also found the teachings in the church I attended to be for the most part positive and useful, even if a little uninformed.

        Just because there are some really super people within religious organisations doesn’t meant that the organisation isn’t a crock. What do you not understand?

        The church I attended was a Calvary Fellowship, which actually studies the Bible verse-by-verse through each section, which I think helps prevent abuse of excessive scripture twisting. It was also a small congregation that met each Sunday in a movie theatre, which I thought showed responsibility on the church’s part as I find it ridiculous how much money churches can spend on having a fancy place to meet.

        Great. Religion is still built upon false premise, lies and fraud. Its doctrine is designed to enslave, and polarize, but because you maybe sipping tea and humming cute songs and maybe holding hands and hearing how Bob was saved by the Lord because of his porn addiction or the crack he used to smoke and then beat the shit out of his wife, half way around the globe some Arab Shi’a kid is having c4 strapped to his chest and being promised that Allah will be happy once he has blown to bits a Sunni Muslim enclave. FTS.

        Do you have any of these ex-Christian bloggers that you would recommend following? I welcome the opportunity to learn about different points of view.

        Yes. Try Nate Owen first up. A fantastic bloke. He still writes a lot of Christian stuff by way of explaining and exploring the reasons for his denconversion. http://findingtruth.wordpress.com/about/ His tale is quite harrowing but he got through it. Tell him I sent you. It’ll make him smile.
        http://myheathenheart.com/blog/ A sweetie.
        http://thesuperstitiousnakedape.wordpress.com/ John Zande writes some of the most insightful posts you are likely to read. One can simply hang out on his blog for hours and never get bored.
        http://loveandheretics.wordpress.com/ I think Holly had a difficult time. A very sincere and thoughtful, person.
        You’ll come across enough deconvertees while reading and perusing these blogs.

        So I have to ask, as you seem to only see negative in religion, what do you think actually brings people to embrace religion?

        Primarily, culture, Then there’s Indoctrination. Also, emotional and/or psychological issues and the inability to cope.

      • jasonjshaw says:

        Thanks for the links! I’ll definitely check at least some of them out.

        I admire your passion for your viewpoint! Reminds me of the passion a couple of the guys at the church had for the Bible!

        I’ve actually been kicking around the idea that a secular alternative to church would be a good idea so that those who enjoy the conversations on morality and the community aspects of the church will have somewhere to go where the church structure is kept in-tact. What do you think about Sunday morning TED Talks? I think that could bring up great productive dialogue and ideas and be enjoyable learning as well!

      • Arkenaten says:

        As soon as I read he was a Christian I switched off.
        Next….

        You go ahead and kick around your idea.
        LOL.
        Sunday Morning TED talks. Good grief!
        I prefer a nice lie in, a late breakfast on my patio with my missus and a coffee, dogs lying at my feet looking over my fish pond across the Jacaranda-blue valley beyond.

        Why on earth would I want to spend a Sunday..any day for that matter, chatting about morality?

      • jasonjshaw says:

        Well, he was working your side of things about Christianity. And yeah, you wouldn’t, but church-goers could appreciate it, like smokers using the patch to get away from cigarettes! Not everyone can go cold turkey.

      • Arkenaten says:

        I am still baffled by your approach here.
        If you are suggesting setting up a support group to help those over the toxic effects of Christianity then I am all in favour and applaud any effort you may make on this regard. Tuly, that would be an honorable
        But it is here that it does my head in as from my understanding of our dialogue to date you seem to be a Christian, which would make any such group insane, unless you were trying to persuade them to stay with the church?
        If this is not the case, I sincerely apologise for any misunderstanding.

        So please, to clarify this little niggle once and for all
        Are you a Christian? Yes, No?

      • jasonjshaw says:

        In the sense of believing Jesus is lord and saviour, no, I am not a Christian. Though in my lack of Believing the Bible to be true, I believe there is truth in all things, historical and fictional. There is always something positive to be learned from everything.

      • Arkenaten says:

        This is not really an answer.

        So you believe Jesus was merely an eschatological, itinerant smelly little preacher that got his arse handed to him for having the temerity of arriving in town on a donkey, behaving like a bloody hooligan in the Temple and being convicted and put to death for sedition?

        Yes or No?

      • jasonjshaw says:

        Ah, I like that you mention the bloody hooligan in the temple! All 4 gospels tell of him flipping tables in anger. I find that to be key evidence that he is not God, as God wouldn’t be bothered by anything since he is all powerful and could take care of business however necessary.

        Yeah, basically I see the story as Jesus bringing some new ideas to town, getting in trouble because of it, and setting up his crucifixion in a way that he gets taken down early, recovers and goes on his merry way.

      • Arkenaten says:

        Yeah, basically I see the story as Jesus bringing some new ideas to town, getting in trouble because of it, and setting up his crucifixion in a way that he gets taken down early, recovers and goes on his merry way.

        Ah…we seem to have broken the ice and established something. Good….

        So you consider him to have been a normal human being, with a great gift of the gab – no miracles etc and no resurrection. Are we still on the same page?

      • jasonjshaw says:

        Yeah, I’ve always been using the view that he is a normal human being. As the Bible tells it, he never actually died as he was in the flesh post-crucifixion. And as for miracles, I’m sure he had some tricks up his sleeve using placebo/positive thinking power. You did say there were Jesus-like people in that time.

      • Arkenaten says:

        http://individual.utoronto.ca/mfkolarcik/jesuit/herzog.htm

        The consensus among archeologists without preconcieved notions is:
        “The Israelites never were in Egypt. They never came from abroad. This whole claim is broken. It is not a historical one. It is later legendary reconstruction – made in the seventh century [BCE] – of a history that never happened.”
        – Ze’ev Herzog (Quoted in Sturgis, It Ain’t Necessarily So, pg. 74)
        [link to rationalwiki.org]

        http://freethought.mbdojo.com/archeology.html

        That should keep you busy for a few minutes…

      • jasonjshaw says:

        Nice!

        Are you aware of the stories that have been created about the leadership in North Korea and how they strike a resemblance to Bible stories?

      • Arkenaten says:

        I have heard mention, yes.

        But do you think a dick like William Lane Craig or his ilk or Ken Ham will accept the evidence of every world renowned archaeologist?
        FTS….

        And so they will continue to set up ACE schools and AIG and the ICR and any number of chuffed up institutes and teach kids Triceratops roamed around the Midwest and could be tamed and ridden, that Noah built an Ark (not me) and ‘set sail’ with his incestuous family while the God of Love annihilated the rest of humanity.
        And such people who teach this as truth to children pay no tax because they are a registered religious institute.

        Now…when religion/christianity is considered in this light, how keen are you to maintain ties with ‘Christians’ ?

        Smile…..

      • jasonjshaw says:

        You have to be aware though that there is a whole spectrum of Christians, from those who choose the route of ignorance and selfishness to those who approach their belief more thoughtfully. I personally have no problem with anyone based on their beliefs. It’s an individual’s lack of thoughtfulness that will lead to my weaker ties with them.

      • Arkenaten says:

        So….are you planning on renewing you Ken Ham Fan Club membership, then?

        Ken is such a cool guy.
        My favorite mentally unbalanced person.
        The Teletubbies (as a group)are number two.

      • jasonjshaw says:

        You got me, I didn’t catch your sarcasm before clicking the link.

        It looks like Ken is a clear player in the Divisionist movement.

        Now there’s a way to look at things! Divisionists and Inclusionists! Both can be found in all ways of thinking. It’s the Divisionists that look to convince people to follow their way of thinking, where as the Inclusionists look to build a greater understanding of all things incorporating ideas from all ways of thinking!

        Ok my head hurts, I’m going out for some fresh air.

      • jasonjshaw says:

        Oh, this is fun!
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deletionism_and_inclusionism_in_Wikipedia

        Maybe I’m not getting outside as quickly as I thought.

      • Arkenaten says:

        Being called an inclusionist or deletionist can sidetrack the issue from the actual debate,

      • jasonjshaw says:

        Bingo! I think that applies to religion – defined beliefs can sidetrack the issue from the actual debate.

      • Arkenaten says:

        Right. So we look at the facts – as best as can be determined – and proceed from there.

        So..is the basis of Christianity based on Truth (factual information) or Erroneous information (Fiction)

      • jasonjshaw says:

        A combination of both. Much like a good movie, for a fictional story to captivate an audience, it needs to be steeped in enough fact to create a suspension of disbelief when the fictional elements are presented.

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