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  #91  
Old 01-April-2002, 19:43
Fenix
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Those who turn their face away from the Sun only see their own shadow

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  #92  
Old 01-April-2002, 21:42
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Hmmm, I slightly feel as though the thread is wandering off the topic, but hey, there's worse things that can happen in the world than that!

tony a says
as to the rest of your post, i have no comment really except that you are very cleaver with words and making the facts fit your theories.
Clearly not half as clever as the Roman empire propaganda machine .... but that's the way it goes. I can't think that I have anything else to add regarding the nature of what I consider to be healthy cynicism regarding motives for propagating Christianity, so I'll try to deal with other points now.

Life changing events - the phrase Stockholm Syndrome springs to mind! This doesn't just apply to Christianity, it can apply to any religion, and it can equally apply to reasons why people form relationships with specific people too. Was going to explain in more detail, but I don't think I'm quite so good on this one! But I think WL hit the nail on the head when he said ....

The question arises why one should be so grateful for the cure when an Almighty God could have prevented the illness or debility in the first place.
tony a says
in fact church at an early age is probarbly the biggest switch off to becoming a Christian
That's sooo true! Definitely fits in with my experience. Basically, I was bored out of my brain. I also formed my early stereotypes of Christian believers (which I obviously no longer hold now) that they're a bit odd, and not really quite all there - after all, as a child, sitting in some big hall listening to someone droning on about abstract stuff just didn't feel natural. People should be getting up and talking to each other, playing games, and making friends! But they didn't. And I would be told off if I tried to do this. Sometimes, at school, one way of punishing pupils when they do something they shouldn't was to get them to stand in the corner and not mix with the rest of the pupils. I didn't like it when this happened to me. But having to sit through a church service felt exactly the same as this - but I couldn't make the link, to suss out what I had done wrong to deserve it. So, naturally, I resented it like hell.

Mind you, it was different when I got into my teens and twenties, though, and churches started getting a bit more "happy clappy". It was kinda fun then. Or, at least I saw it as harmless fun at the time, though, admittedly, the time when I was most actively involved in church, both mainstream Church of England and Roman Catholic, plus fringe cults like Church of Christ, also happened to be the time that I failed to see that being rushed into hospital for a drugs overdose was such a big deal, and might actually a reason for trying not to do it again.

My longest ever relationship was with a Jew, though, who was definitely conscious of Christian anti-Semitism, which I completely failed to see at the time. However, she wasn't quite as good at explaining it as perhaps I am now, probably because she hadn't had the catechism classes necessary to understand where it was all coming from. She actually considered me a Christian! She said that it's a raw point. And I was trying to say "No no really I'm not" and I was trying to explain that if I ever do anything churchey, it's because I'm bored. Which was partly true. But it cut no ice.

I think she took it a lot more seriously than I do, though, however, I hadn't really developed my ideas past the basic stage of trying to decide whether God exists or not at the time. Oh, and it was several years before the overdose experience described above. Nowadays, of course, I think that a debate on the existence of God is might actually be deliberately started by religious preachers as a way of distracting attention from other things, such as questioning the political motives for propagating their particular religion, and, as such, I consider it irrelevant theobabble, and that it's best to avoid such debates.

Other points now ....

Fenix says ...
Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it.
Do not believe in traditions simply because they have been handed down for many generations.
Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many.
Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books.
Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders.
But when, after observation and analysis, you find anything that agrees with reason,
And is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it.
Yeah, I'd pretty much agree with that. Mind you, sometimes deciding whether something agrees with reason and is conducive to the benefit of everyone isn't nearly so straightforward. I guess all that means is that there are no easy answers.
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  #93  
Old 01-April-2002, 22:38
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Thanks so much for your quotation Fenix - although Squidgy has written it in the post above it is worth repeating again together with the source:-

However, Buddhism teaches this..

Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it.
Do not believe in traditions simply because they have been handed down for many generations.
Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many.
Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books.
Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders.
But when, after observation and analysis, you find anything that agrees with reason,
And is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it.

The Buddha's Kalama Sutra


This philosophy seems in total contrast with the methods used to communicate the Christian religion where we TOLD what to believe and not WHY. Does anyone dispute this?
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  #94  
Old 01-April-2002, 23:10
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Having read through all the above I still think that my post a while ago in another thread is valid as far as I am concerned.

Most bad things seem to have been done in the name of religion, it has been the cause or excuse for persecution and wars all over the world.

All priests should be banned.

At birth.
Of all religions Bhuddism seems to me to be the most acceptable but I believe that they were not averse to making war.

I've known a lot of people who have died but none of them have sent a wish you were here(after) card so I don't believe that there is one.

After nearly 77 years I have concluded that life's a bitch and then you die.
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  #95  
Old 02-April-2002, 00:09
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life's a bitch and then you die.
Amen!
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  #96  
Old 02-April-2002, 03:45
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It does depend on what one considers what a Christian is. Maybe I should have made it clear, when I speak about Christians I'm not encompassing the "traditional" church. Most people in these churches, even the minister does not have a personal relationship with Jesus.
The "Original" Christians did not involve themselves in violence or war or anything such like. But they all had a personal relationship with Jesus. Yes even aftet his ascension.
They met in houses in secret, for fear of being dicovered by the authorites. They would prey, eat, laugh, sing and generally associate with each other encouraging one an other in their faith.
The fish sign was a secret sign to find if the other person you were talking to was a "Jesus" believer like yourself.
In the market place someone would draw the sign of the fish on the ground to let other "jesus" beleivers know someone of the same belief was around.
Religion started to propogate violence, not too long after the Romans took on the belief in Jesus. I thin it was an officer in battle (Constantine?) who saw a cross in the sky and heard a voice saying "In this you will conquer" that was the beginning of Roman Catholosism. Unfortunately that's when man started stepping in and changing Jesus' message to suit their own desires.
Unfortunately when one begins a relationship with Jesus, he is do full of joy and new furvour he will try and find a church. This is where the indoctrination comes in and usually ends up causing the person to become religious and forget just what it was he or she had discovered.
So when I refer to Christian I am talkingabout someone who has a personal living relationship with him and every day of his life, he wants to serve Jesus and share Him with others.
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Last edited by The Beef; 02-April-2002 at 03:47.
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  #97  
Old 02-April-2002, 07:33
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Beef the strength and sincerity of your faith and belief travels outwards from these virtual pages.

Do you not however see a danger in regarding your approach to Christianity as the only true path?

Surely faith in God should be the binding link between all those of the Christian faith. Why the need for terrible divisions between Catholic, Protestant, Baptist, Born Again Christian, Evangelist......each believing that their faith is the only true one! Surely this is unchristian behaviour in so far as it displays lack of humility.

Unfortunately these divisions often lead to conflict and we only have to look to nearby Ireland to see the sad history this causes.
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  #98  
Old 02-April-2002, 07:37
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LMAO @ Dicky.....

So true!

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  #99  
Old 02-April-2002, 09:00
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life's a bitch and then you die.
Life is what you make of it, and you make of it what you 'Will'

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  #100  
Old 02-April-2002, 12:54
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I think I'd go along partly what the Beef says in his last post. I'll just clarify what I think a bit. Like The Beef, I think there are two forms of "Christianity" as well, there's the Israelite Christianity, and the Roman Christianity. In the absence of a distinction, when I refer to "Christianity", I actually mean "Roman Christianity", and that's what I've been talking about in all my previous posts in this thread.

St. Paul's teachings only appear in "Roman Christianity", they don't figure in "Israelite Christianity" at all. Israelite Christianity is what Jesus actually taught, whereas Roman Christianity is what St. Paul taught. The epistles are much more upfront than the four Gospels and the Acts of the Apostles, but bear in mind that there's good reason to believe that these five books have been penned so as to support Roman Christianity rather than Israelite Christianity. So they allude to rumours that were going round about what Jesus really did teach, however, they twist it slightly to fit in with the view of things held by St. Paul and the Roman authorities. So, in that way, my beliefs pretty much tie in with those of The Beef.

Where we differ, though, is that I wouldn't go as far as to say that Israelite Christianity is completely non-political, though. But just because a message is political doesn't automatically mean that it's bad. It's just a question of taking sides. I see it as being a "propaganda" war. The original Christianity was Israelite, and that started to spread around Israel, so the Roman authorities cooked up their own, and it became a race to see who could establish their side of the story first. Rome had access to more resources than Israel, but the Israelites didn't really see a need to propagate Christianity any wider than Isreal. So they specifically targeted Israel alone.

Rome, on the other hand, decided to put it a bit wider, and spread it round Western Europe. Yes, they wanted to target Israel in the same way as the Israelites themselves did, but they figured that they would stand a better chance of establishing Roman Christianity in Europe first than in the Middle East, and they figured that a Roman Christian Europe might be worth something at least - because once it was established in Europe, then perhaps believers might then relay it back into the Middle East all by themselves, without the Romans having to pay as much, or put as much resources in, as they would have had to do if they had targeted Israel alone. It was a "cost cutting" measure.

So, yes, it caught on throughout Europe, but it wasn't quite as successful in the Middle East as they had hoped. Still, they tried. And they did pretty much manage to kill off the Israelite Christianity completely, and prevent it propagating any wider than Israel.

Erm - I hope that's clarified things a bit ....
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  #101  
Old 02-April-2002, 13:02
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leave Squidgy's last post to you Beef, he lost me somewhere along the line



as a post to clalify, i cannot get my head round the 'logic'

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  #102  
Old 02-April-2002, 13:28
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That's okay tony a. The Beef felt a need to define what he means by Christianity, which I consider to be totally valid. So I'm just trying to define the type of Christianity which I'm talking about. The "mainstream church" such as RC, C of E, methodist, as well as what could be considered fringe cults, such as the Latter Day Saints and the Church of Christ, are all forms of "Roman Christianity", which is distincty different to the "original" Christianity to which The Beef refers, and what I consider to be "Israelite Christianity". It's just that I happen to think that "Israelite Christianity" was really the original Christianity.

Like you say, many people might not believe the resurrection happened, on the grounds that they didn't see it. Similarly, I'd say that many people in Western Europe might not believe that there could possibly be any political motive for propagating Roman Christianity, simply because they can't see what it could be. If that applies to you, then it doesn't surprise me that my last post confuses you.

Admittedly, though, there's one question that I'm still not sure of the answer to - which is, why exactly was Rome so interested in Israel in the first place?

All I know so far is that Rome had a reputation for being a tad on the imperialistic side. You could equally question why Hitler was so interested in Poland - I don't know the answer to that one either.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think that the reason that Rome became interested in Britain was because of the gold. Or maybe something else, I'm pretty sure that they found some resource that they could trade.

It would be very naive to think that the Roman invasion of Britain was totally amicable, there were certainly conflicts in the early days, but, after a while, they did manage to set up trading agreements with the Saxons that suited the Romans. And Britain became Christian too. But it's not unreasonable to think that major conflicts went off in Israel too, but I don't think that Rome found Israel as much of a pushover as perhaps Britain was.

My point is that Rome was an imperialistic empire, they must have had a reason for sticking with it, and not turning round and saying "Stuff Israel, we can't be bothered", in much the same way that Hitler must have had a reason for not turning round and saying "Stuff Poland". If that had happened, then Christianity quite obviously simply wouldn't exist. I'm just not quite sure what those reasons are - but if there are any historians out there, I'd be grateful if you could fill me in on the gaps in my understanding. Thanks.

Last edited by squidgy; 02-April-2002 at 13:45.
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  #103  
Old 02-April-2002, 15:56
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dont think Rome was interested in the Middle east for the oil!

edit

i did reply to Squidgy's post, but on reflection deleted it. Not because it was insulting or inflamatery but because i really cannot make sence of his line of discussion/argument

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  #104  
Old 02-April-2002, 18:46
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Of all religions Bhuddism seems to me to be the most acceptable but I believe that they were not averse to making war.
Not sure who 'they' are but Buddhists are to be found worldwide and I haven't heard of any Buddhist conspiracies lately or TBH in the past either; in fact most majority buddhist countries are very peaceful and tend to be the invaded rather than the opposite.

The main point is though that there hasn't ( to my knowledge, could be wrong) been a War fought in the 'Name' of Buddhism.
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  #105  
Old 02-April-2002, 22:34
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I agree, I do not think that there has been a war in the name of Bhuddha.

I have not got any details to hand but when I was working in Thailand I got the impression that years ago the priests were involved in war at times.

In their ancient art they often depict warriors and they are proud of the fact that they have managed to protect the country against invaders.

I'll have a look around, see if I can find some historical infomation.

Tried to send this earlier this evening, has the site been down?
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  #106  
Old 02-April-2002, 22:39
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It seems strange the answers to the questions here are found within Bhuddist writings:-

'Go forth, O Bhikkhus, for the good of the many, for the happiness of the many, out of compassion for the world, for the good, benefit, and happiness of gods and men.' (TheBuddha)


A sparkling example of the qualities and approach of a Buddhist missionary was Emperor Asoka. It was during Emperor Asoka's time that Buddhism spread to many Asian and western countries. Emperor Asoka sent Buddhist missionaries to many parts of the world to introduce the Buddha's message of peace. Asoka respected and supported every religion at that time. His tolerance towards other religions was remarkable. One of his scripts engraved in stone on Asoka Pillars, and still standing today in India, says:

'One should not honour only one's own religion and condemn the religion of others, but one should honor others' religions for this or that reason. In so doing, one helps one's own religion to grow and renders service to the religions of others too. In acting otherwise one digs the grave of one's own religion and also does harm to other religions. Whosoever honors his own religion and condemns other religions, does so indeed through devotion to his own religion, thinking, 'I will glorify my own religion.' But on the contrary, in so doing he injures his own religion more gravely, so concord is good. Let all listen, and be willing to listen to the doctrines professed by others.'

In 268 B.C., he made the doctrines of the Buddha a living force in India. Hospitals, social service institutions, universities for men and women, public wells and recreation centers sprang up with this new movement, and the people thereby realized the cruelty of senseless wars.
Quite a contrast with the behaviour of Christian missionaries!!!!

Above Extracts from "Buddhist Missionaries"

War by Buddhists would be absolutely contra do this policy and the only lead I can see (not a strong one) about Buddhists in conflict concerns their relationship with Hindus.

PS Fenix... I'm just wondering how Buddhist's view people who do not believe in God.

Last edited by Worldlife; 02-April-2002 at 22:42.
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  #107  
Old 02-April-2002, 22:47
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Dantony... I've had problems accessing TS this evening too.

I've emailed Silv and will put a post in News
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  #108  
Old 02-April-2002, 23:14
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I got a 500 Server Error a few minutes ago.

Found a lot of information about Thai history, asked Copernic for Siamese history first but they are obsessed with cats, then I tried History of Thailand and got forty hits.

Definite information overload, it'll take hours to read, so I'm not going to try to give a precis.
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  #109  
Old 02-April-2002, 23:52
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PS Fenix... I'm just wondering how Buddhist's view people who do not believe in God
Depends what you mean by 'God' WL. If its a theist God then Buddhists themselves do not support this idea for themselves

Anybody who would like to learn more about Buddhism could do worse than get a paperback ( about 4-50 I believe) by Christmas Humphreys called 'Exploring Buddhism' ( the Christian name is ironic I think )

He was born in London 1901 and made a career as Senior prosecuting Counsel at the Old Bailey. He became a High Court Judge between 1968-75. He founded the Buddhist society in 1924 and in his life wrote several books on Buddhism. The book I recommend gives a good all-round appraisal of Buddhism and is a fine start for anyone who wishes to learn more
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  #110  
Old 03-April-2002, 01:03
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Fenix thanks for the book recommendation.

I've made a start however on Buddhism and introduction

Nor is there a supreme being who oversees the process of change and decides the fates of beings. Rather, every being is responsible for its own destiny, and the entire system of universal interdependent causation is driven by its own internal forces. Individual beings are what they are because of the actions they performed in the past.
Wondering if and how the Christian concepts of sin, forgiveness and redemption fit into a Buddhist lifestyle with the responsibilities given in the quotation.
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  #111  
Old 03-April-2002, 01:51
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WL I'm not saying the "born again" way is the only way. I too wouldn't put anyone down no matter what religion they are. Each to their own. There are fundamental truths in all religions not just one.
Also as far as I know, I don't know of any wars in the name of Budha either.
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  #112  
Old 03-April-2002, 03:56
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Okay - yeah I went through a "isn't buddhism wonderful" phase about ten years ago - but I ended up thinking that it could be construed rather negatively - I mean "the world is full of suffering, suffering is caused by desire, get rid of desire and you get rid of suffering." Hmmm, great. I want to be happy and have fun! Is that really such a bad thing? Having said that, I'd agree about the politics, so far I've yet to see how it can be construed politically.

As for tony a - bless you, it's nice that you're trying to understand. Forgive me if my last post sounded a bit short and snappy, but I have a slight headache right now, I'm sure it'll be gone by tomorrow, though. But, by all means, do post again, quoting each line of my post in turn and saying whether you understand it or not, and I'll see what I can do.
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  #113  
Old 03-April-2002, 08:17
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I have a slight headache right now
Poor Squidgy... may your headache be relieved by inappropriate desires
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  #114  
Old 03-April-2002, 08:54
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just to clear things up Squidgy, i have no problem understanding the concepts of cristianity, be that 'born again' or the 'Roman' way.

it is just your interpretation of both or either to fit what you believe to be the 'facts

tony
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  #115  
Old 03-April-2002, 09:40
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Squidgy, your post reminds me of the saying ...... having your cake and eating it.

As far as the 'message' from Buddhism is concerned, it either hits 'home' or not.
One either hears the 'truth' or not in its precepts. Of course it does help if you get a good intro and the book I recommend will do this

The saying..."When the pupil is ready the Master appears" is so true. The Master can be a person , a situation, an event but when you are ready for a 'life' lesson,,,,, it comes, and if the lesson is 'refused' it will come back again , with bigger boots

fenix
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  #116  
Old 03-April-2002, 09:54
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Fascinating thread this. I'm playing catch-up.

But for my part.

I'm not a christian. I am an athiest.

I believe a person by the name of Jesus DID exist.

I believe he was the equivalent of a "cult leader" that we see today (but not a cynical deranged one like David Koresh)

I believe he had access, through his family maybe or through some "teacher" that touched his life to "skills" that may at one time may have been accessible to all of us - but that have now been lost leaving only a few "shamanistic" persons with them.

I believe that he was basically very much a combination of "che guevara/mahatma ghandi" who knew how to use the power of speech to inspire people to look at their lives and question whether they have to just endure their suffering and oppression.

I do NOT believe he was the SON OF GOD.

I do NOT believe he "rose" I think he had access to a well know herb that "mimics" death (similar to the one used by Voodoo preists).

I believe that his followers knew this and it was part of his "plan" to use the strong symbolic effect of him being crucified and then rising on the third day to fullfill an age old jewish prophesy.

I believe he lived on, married maybe, had kids.

I believe that the "grail" is in fact Jesus himself.

I believe he travelled to Europe, France quite possibly.

I also believe that if he were alive today he would destroy all churches and condemn all "fanatics" - the only "church" one needs is ones own mind.

And yes I HAVE read "Holy Blood, Holy Grail"

and if I may be flippant in conclusion.

He's NOT the messiah - he's a VERY NAUGHTY BOY - NOW **** OFF
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  #117  
Old 03-April-2002, 13:36
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Well okay - but surely you can't just not understand the whole lot? Which bits specifically do you not understand?

I don't think I've misinterpreted Christianity. Christianity says that Christ died to save you from your sins, rose to restore your life, and will come again in the future in final judgement. Is that the bit that you don't understand? Or is it something else? I'd be grateful if you could be more specific. Thanks.
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  #118  
Old 03-April-2002, 14:24
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[quote]

I don't think I've misinterpreted Christianity. Christianity says that Christ died to save you from your sins, rose to restore your life, and will come again in the future in final judgement

[unquote]


that bit we agree on Squidgy

the bits i take issue with you on are your interpretation of the crusifiction, i.e. your statements that Jesus did not die on the cross but in some way it was all Roman spin.

Crusifixion WAS a death penalty, the Romans perfected this as such,

as i said i an earlier post Jesus was dead when he was removed from th cross, to say it again, he had stopped breathing, there was no bran activity, he was DEAD
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  #119  
Old 03-April-2002, 19:33
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Well done F/B.......a lot to catch up on

(by F/B) and if I may be flippant in conclusion.
Me too :. Eleven "I believes" in one post ....not bad for a self confessed athiest

Agree with most of your points though
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  #120  
Old 04-April-2002, 00:45
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Hi. I'm new here. I've been following this thread thread with interest. I have a couple of points to make:

Christianity is not a blind faith, but is considered to by Christians to be rational, as historical facts are utilised to substantiate their faith.

To those who accept Christ as a genuine historical character, but reject his claims to deity and/or the resurrection: On what basis do you accept his historicity, and what criteria do you utilise for the acceptance/rejection of various parts of the Gospels?
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