Should Christians be hated?

(434 Posts)
plaingirly Fri 05-Apr-13 19:50:08

Random question! I opened my Bible on Matthew 10 and verse 22 says :

And all nations will hate you because you are my followers. But everyone who endures to the end will be saved.

I think there is another verse similar but can't remember it.

So if someone is really a follower of Jesus will people hate them and if people don't hate them are they not strong enough in their faith?

I don't really want to be hated! smile Also at work we have to get along with people so having them hate us wouldn't be ideal. Unless the verses are more specific or maybe aimed at the disciples.

No I mean criticism of a denomination. I am with you on the meaning of pack, there is (--for once--) no disagreement! wink

PedroYoniLikesCrisps Thu 09-May-13 13:23:40

I think anyone considering truths would have look at religions because they hold so much weight in human thinking historically. But with so much evidence to the contrary, I've dismissed the methods which religion uses to exert truths.

I don't have to use a religious denomination at all to to prove my point. The pack mentality exists in all walks of life. I'll happily apply it to the area of your choosing smile

pedro not saying the 'pack' examples proves it is true, just wondering if you ever wondered if it were true! grin

Can you use an example of a different denomination next time, just to give me a fighting chance of one I might know more about? Please? wink No I don't expect you to make it easy for me!

PedroYoniLikesCrisps Thu 09-May-13 12:37:19

No I'm not ex-religious. And I'm using RC purely as an example.

The 'pack mentality' in itself gives no support to whether something is true or not and I have made my conclusions to the truth of individual belief systems independently of this through other means.

You can observe the protection of a group in many areas from pack animal protection of their group (let's take the example of elephant herds watching out for the calves in the group) through to departments in a company protecting themselves from an error by passing the blame to another team. It's a natural instinct of groups to support their members.

AS I try to remove the image of the pope surfing (riding the wave) I must say again I can't really speak up for the Roman Catholic church as I am not one and have never been one. But Pedro what if it is all true? My faith and what I believe. Then the pack protecting what we believe becomes more important. How are you so sure it is not true? Are you an ex-'religious' for want of a better word. By giving God my money I mean the church so if it makes more sense to you I will say my church gets some of my hard-earned cash, wink

PedroYoniLikesCrisps Thu 09-May-13 07:44:19

Does God get my money. Yes, a small bit of my hard earned dosh.

I might have misunderstood.... You pay god?

Does my minister live in a big house in Rome, no, does he have an army to guard him, no, does he have a million people hanging on his every word, no, try 80 people or maybe 79, I might be asleep on chair on Sunday! For every bit of the church you see as greedy and corrupted I think I can also find an old faithful nun or pastor or member of a church or not even member of a church who loves God and is doing beautiful things for God.

And that's exactly the point. The vast majority of a large religion is going to consist of individuals who believe the religion's message is truth and are genuinely good people trying to do good things or seeking some kind of understanding, or both.

But this is where I don't have a problem with the people themselves simply for being religious. I personally feel that those who actually believe the stories without challenging them are doing themselves a misservice and they either don't want to discover that their god is a myth or are incapable of doing so.

Those who have challenged their faith and still believe I have more respect for (although I still think they're wrong wink ).

But the real problem I have is with the organisation as a whole. When you have that many people already believing your message, it's very easy to disseminate a new message within that. Whether it be views on contraception or gay marriage or female priests. Not everyone in the flock will agree, of course, but the juggernaut will steer in a direction with the agreement of just a few senior officers regardless of what the rest of the crew want.

PedroYoniLikesCrisps Thu 09-May-13 07:33:22

So what's happened is that the organisation has become so big that there are tons of 'followers' who actually believe the stories which were propagated to gain benefit for a small few. Repeat a story enough times to enough people and it becomes 'truth' which the majority just accept. Then when outsiders challenge your stories, your tribal instincts come into play, you want to protect your tribe (group, community, church) and so seek answers to the challenges. The 'answers' are then themselves propagated around the tribe to improve the tribe's chances of survival against attack. This coming together to protect each other builds strength in the tribe and amongst its members.

This is a form of meme evolution (development of ideas, concepts and methods) whereby survival of the fittest works not only through genetic development but also through every aspect of social interaction.

Eventually, the original beneficiaries of the stories die off, but they are replaced by those who continue to benefit. It may even happen that you end up with an entire tribe where every single member wholeheartedly believes the stories and nothing is done maliciously (although I see this as the nirvana state of a religion which is unlikely to actually happen).

I genuinely wonder if the Pope really believes in God and in everything he preaches. Possibly he does, but it's also conceivable that he's just riding the wave.

Pedro good point. It's not my job to defend the Catholic Church. So I won't try. I don't think God needs our money. I think he wants us, he loves us, he created us (sorry I know how that sounds, and I imagine it grates) but I guess for me God is just drawing us closer to release us outwards, to give us freedom and life. This is what my faith has been for me. Does God get my money. Yes, a small bit of my hard earned dosh. Does my minister live in a big house in Rome, no, does he have an army to guard him, no, does he have a million people hanging on his every word, no, try 80 people or maybe 79, I might be asleep on chair on Sunday! For every bit of the church you see as greedy and corrupted I think I can also find an old faithful nun or pastor or member of a church or not even member of a church who loves God and is doing beautiful things for God. Can the church be corrupted, yes, but so can families, businesses and political parties. As soon as we get together in groups we can go the wrong way. But if we stay alone we might say I have not gone the wrong way but I actually don't know where I am going. I know where I am going. It makes sense for me. Actually you may find many of your thoughts and gripes are mine too! yet I am thinking and griping from within the body of Christ.

Don't know if any of that makes sense but thank you for challenging me and making me think.

There is so very much evil in the world, the church is not prefect I know, but the world is also very tainted too, when I find an oasis of light I want to stand in it.

PedroYoniLikesCrisps Wed 08-May-13 23:14:28

Ok, I'll see what I can do.

It's not just about making money at a local level. I'll take the RC church as an example, simply because it makes the point more easily. So you have individual RC members popping along to their local church every Sunday (or perhaps just once in a while) and let's say they don't ever contribute to the collection tin, they just go along for free services and the odd coffee morning. But even though they don't fund anything, simply by being a member of the church they help to propagate the organisation. An organisation which contains many millions of people who do invest an awful lot of money to the cause.

The Pope has a status of extreme power, but that has only been achieved because of the pure numbers of Roman Catholics. If all those mild Christians didn't bother with their coffee mornings, the flock would be smaller and the organisation far less powerful.

So yes, I agree with you. But, (I'm sure there'll always be a but!) there's always someone who is benefiting. And in this case it happens to be an elderly Argentinian man who now has a big house in Rome, an army to protect him and a billion people who hang on his every word.

Now Pedro you need to disagree with me and say we are agreeing!

Good point Pedro I am always wary of people wanting my cash! At my church we do pass the collection bag around but actually all we do and offer is free. We have coffees, meals, socials and all that is free. When there are things that need to be paid for I totally understand but any religion or group who is just looking to line their own pockets would not be one I would want to be associate with. The problem can come when organised religion gets big! The C of E has money I am sure but it also had people who work and serve for little cash reward and it offers things to people for free too (I am not C of E). I am always most moved by those who are serving so much and I am sure that would contain members of the science community too.

Pedro!!! Scary we are almost agreeing!! wink

PedroYoniLikesCrisps Wed 08-May-13 20:13:33

I think there's a good point here. People now will tend to believe things presented to them as science because science is generally accepted as the path to knowledge. If someone presents sciency dialogue explaining how wearing magnets increases your blood flow because blood contains iron which sticks to magnets, if you don't understand the science, you can easily be drawn in by it.

When you live in a society where religious scholars are considered to be the most intelligent, if they present a religiousy dialogue explaining how the Messiah will come to earth and save us all, if you don't understand the religion you could easily be drawn in.

In both cases, one could step in and take advantage of the ignorance of the crowd to make a bit of cash or find some other personal gain.

I don't believe just about anything, of course! wink

Ellie I don't know what kind of smart five year olds you hang around with but I am pretty sure those I know are no where near as intelligent (nor do they need to be) than adults 2,000 years ago. Knowing stuff is a bit confusing, I mean you can know a lot without really understanding it. I am not sure your average person understands a lot more about the world these days, but they sure know a lot!

they were basically waiting for the Messiah to show up

Not a bad thing to be - they were basically waiting for the Messiah to show up! But maybe they did not expect the Messiah to be exactly what he was, maybe they expected something different.

I think to some extend I am with Pedro on this, ...Because people now will believe just about anything too. Given the right information.

EllieArroway Wed 08-May-13 14:31:49

It's not about "gullibility", Italian. They lived in a very, very different time to us and simply did not see the world in anything like the same way that we do. The average 5 year old today has more knowledge than the smartest person back then. Not because they were stupid - they were just as smart as us - but because they knew literally nothing. There was no science to speak of so they were left trying to make sense of a confusing world in the best way they could. This tended to be gods, demons, omens & so on.

Plus - the Jews had not really been having a happy time of things, and they were basically waiting for the Messiah to show up and make things better for them. That's why there were so many Messiah claimants around - and they all had their followers because people WANTED to believe. And, in a world, where almost nobody has the slightest doubt that gods were in charge of everything & could perform wondrous feats, then it's not hard to see how they could easily become convinced that someone really had resurrected.

Pedro thank you.

I am just a bit confused, it seemed Ellie was saying people were guillible back then and you are saying they are still. I think there were always gullible people and there probably always will be. I will never really understand why the MMR thing took off the way it did. I think people will always be a bit gullible but then I guess you think I am so I am proving my own argument! Blessings Pedro.

PedroYoniLikesCrisps Tue 07-May-13 22:40:55

Pedro The measels MMR scandle was a terrible awful attrocity. I am not going to compare that to my faith.

No, and I wouldn't expect you to, that wasn't my point. I was merely pointing out that it's actually not that difficult to make a huge group of people believe something which is not true if you deliver it in the right way. There are still people now who think MMR is linked to autism (often they are parents of autistic children, I know a few, who should really know better).

In the modern world, using 'science speak' is quite convincing for those who don't understand science. Back in the day, it would have been a similar thing, except the 'science' was explaining, say, why we have thunder. Those who were considered intelligent could easily convince those who weren't.

It's not always malicious, sometimes it's a genuine mistake, but often the information is distributed for someone's gain.... Homeopathy anyone?

Ellie Do I think god was born form a rock (Mithras), no.

So what if it had been? Would that have stopped Jesus resurrecting? Why? No it would not have stopped him resurrecting. But it might have meant that when the disciples claimed to have seen him, then the authorities would produce the body.

Not the merest whisper, what about all the references in the Bible? Don't worry skip that part I know what you will say.

The fact we are still celebrating it all seems to be significant but not proof, I understand that.

Pedro The measels MMR scandle was a terrible awful attrocity. I am not going to compare that to my faith.

Always a pleasure to talk to you. smile

PedroYoniLikesCrisps Tue 07-May-13 19:44:16

why do you think people 'back then' believed just about anything?

Because people now will believe just about anything too. Given the right information. Whilst individuals can be smart, 'people' on the whole are pretty stupid.

Think about the MMR scare. The vaccination levels dropped substantially because someone falsified research and published as fact. The media got hold of it and suddenly the bad science is truth and all our children are getting autism because of an injection. This is exactly what the 'scientist' wanted because he had a vested interest in a single Measles jab.

It's not hard to imagine that individuals 'back in the day' were just as savvy when it came to convincing people of truths to get what they wanted.

EllieArroway Tue 07-May-13 14:26:21

Ellie why do you think people 'back then' believed just about anything?

Because they did. It was a monumentally superstitious time. Even sensible histories written by people like Seutonius are infested with talk of omens and portents. That some people believed in a resurrected Jesus does not indicate, even minimally, that it actually happened. Unless you're prepared to believe that because some people believed that their god was born of a rock (Mithras) that that actually happened too. Are you?

If he had made comments about being resurrected don't you think his tomb would have been guarded?

So what if it had been? Would that have stopped Jesus resurrecting? Why?

And if he actually had resurrected, don't you think there'd have been a rush to see the place where it supposedly happened? There wasn't.

Bottom line, Italian - if ANY of these remarkable things had really happened, we'd see it reflected in the vast historical record of the time. We can't find even the merest whisper. If you don't see that as a problem, I can't imagine why.

Don't you think the gospel accounts have anything to say historically?

No.

Ellie why do you think people 'back then' believed just about anything?

If he had made comments about being resurrected don't you think his tomb would have been guarded?

Don't you think the gospel accounts have anything to say historically?

Just curious.

Thanks BackOnlyBriefly I had a great bank holiday, just sorry to be back to normal life again!

EllieArroway Sat 04-May-13 17:03:33

Even though I've looked for evidence that Jesus existed and found none, that's not the same as hoping he didn't. I don't mind at all if he existed

Ne neither. I'd be fascinated to find out that he did. I think most Christians assume I'm desperate to believe he didn't. Not so - I find the alternative (that he was a myth evolved from older myths) a bit boring and unsatisfying. If I want to be generous, I could almost imagine him as a kind of Martin Luther King figure - not divine, but interesting enough to have an impact that's reverberated down the centuries. Unfortunately, I don't think even that since no one seemed to be remotely interested in him during his lifetime.

I think he might have existed, died in a strange enough way (perhaps his body was stolen from the tomb?) that a bunch of hysterical women started claiming resurrection. People believed it (because they believed just about anything back then) and Christianity was born.

I can just imagine Joesph shouting up at Jesus in the morning.

"...and when are you getting up? Sunday is not a day of rest you know!"

"...and hanging around with those weird friends of yours all day. I dread to think what you get up to - you know that John is wanted by the authorities don't you?"

"At your age I was learning my father's trade. You can't even hammer a nail without sticking it through your hand."

"I can hardly believe that you're my son the way you act"

PedroYoniLikesCrisps Fri 03-May-13 23:03:07

It's entirely possible he was handing around some mind bending drugs. Might account for the crazy stories......

the angels are singing that you want to read Jesus' diary! I liked that, Italiangreyhound smile Have a good bank holiday.

For those who missed it I said further back that if it turned out that Jesus did exist after all and kept a diary then I'd be interested to read it.

There's a sort of serious point there. Even though I've looked for evidence that Jesus existed and found none, that's not the same as hoping he didn't. I don't mind at all if he existed. I wouldn't assume he was god of course, but even if he became a preacher cos he was crap at carpentry it would still be a good read.

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