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A perfect religion?

 
 
Zetherin
 
  1  
Reply Wed 20 Jan, 2010 01:07 pm
@Three dog,
xris wrote:

Even now its punishable by death in many Muslim countries


Sure about that?
xris
 
  1  
Reply Wed 20 Jan, 2010 01:13 pm
@Zetherin,
Zetherin;121278 wrote:
Sure about that?
Im certain, amnesty web site will confirm it. I know Iran hanged two teenage homosexuals in the 1990s, from industrial cranes, in public.
0 Replies
 
1CellOfMany
 
  1  
Reply Wed 20 Jan, 2010 07:09 pm
@Three dog,
OK, so if I understand the pith of the preceding discussion as it relates to the topic, xris has offered some strong opinions about characteristics that an ideal religion should NOT have:
To wit, that any code of morals should NOT specify punishments for acts that essentially harm no one (except, perhaps, the wiling participants.)
Second, in positive terms, that there be sufficient flexibility built into the scriptures that something that was prohibited originally should be allowed if circumstances change so that the to follow the prohibition is harmful. (Use of condoms in places where HIV is endemic, for example.) Likewise, any action that is required in the scriptures (a period of fasting, for example) should release anyone from the requirement if it would be harmful to their health or well-being.

I apologize if I am becoming tedious, but I think that if we participate in the activity of describing attributes of what would be an "ideal" religion, we might actually come to develop more thought-through ideas of what religion is and does, and what the potential benefits could be, as well as the specific pitfalls which religious institutions fall into.

That said, it might help this discussion if we make some distinctions:
We have the scriptures of the religion which form its basis.
We have the history of the Founder of the religion which helps establish a standard for the religion's followers. (This history is often incorporated in the scriptures themselves, but not in all cases.)
Then we have various institutions that have formed around the religion.
A subset of these institutions are sects or denominations.
We also have the practices of the leaders and of the followers of the various institutions, denominations, etc.
Perhaps if we use these distinctions we can have a more meaningful dialogue...
Didymos Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Sat 23 Jan, 2010 04:08 am
@1CellOfMany,
xris;121257 wrote:
So how near to the present times do you want me to show faith driven dogmatic damage? You decide.


But that was not what we were talking about. You made a comment about the "Church" and homosexuality, a claim about the way the "Church" has handled homosexuality. I gave a clear, indisputable example of a church addressing the issue of homosexuality in a way that accepts homosexuals. The example defying your claim.
xris
 
  1  
Reply Sat 23 Jan, 2010 04:52 am
@Didymos Thomas,
Didymos Thomas;121949 wrote:
But that was not what we were talking about. You made a comment about the "Church" and homosexuality, a claim about the way the "Church" has handled homosexuality. I gave a clear, indisputable example of a church addressing the issue of homosexuality in a way that accepts homosexuals. The example defying your claim.
You give me one obscure America sect and believe that will qualify for the RC church being able to overcome its dogma and its history of brutal repression.
0 Replies
 
The Jester phil
 
  1  
Reply Sat 23 Jan, 2010 09:00 am
@Three dog,
Three_dog;120681 wrote:
I want to hear opinions on the perfect religion. What is it what makes it perfect? Can there be a perfect relifion?


Most of religions are perfect, the misinterpretation of their values make them imperfect. Follow the example of Christ and great part of the world would be heaven.

But I don't understand something: why perfect? Is that a synonym of good? Because even a wrong/negative (for my standards) religion can still be a perfect religion. I consider the Aztec religion to be wrong/negative due to sacrifices (some of them considered it an honor), but yet, why should not it be a perfect religion (for those who thought it was an honor)? - what I mean: we do not share same values/views, so I presume a perfect religion would encompass all of "our" values/views - which could be incompatible one with another.
xris
 
  1  
Reply Sat 23 Jan, 2010 09:37 am
@The Jester phil,
The Jester;121973 wrote:
Most of religions are perfect, the misinterpretation of their values make them imperfect. Follow the example of Christ and great part of the world would be heaven.

But I don't understand something: why perfect? Is that a synonym of good? Because even a wrong/negative (for my standards) religion can still be a perfect religion. I consider the Aztec religion to be wrong/negative due to sacrifices (some of them considered it an honor), but yet, why should not it be a perfect religion (for those who thought it was an honor)? - what I mean: we do not share same values/views, so I presume a perfect religion would encompass all of "our" values/views - which could be incompatible one with another.
Can you distinguish between the words of Christ and the dogmatic demands of faith, written by man.
The Jester phil
 
  1  
Reply Sat 23 Jan, 2010 10:43 am
@xris,
xris;121982 wrote:
Can you distinguish between the words of Christ and the dogmatic demands of faith, written by man.


When and if you will have the opportunity to meet Prince Myshkin (made so by the dogmatic demands) live; you'll understand.
xris
 
  1  
Reply Sat 23 Jan, 2010 11:03 am
@The Jester phil,
The Jester;121992 wrote:
When and if you will have the opportunity to meet Prince Myshkin (made so by the dogmatic demands) live; you'll understand.
If your not capable of relaying that information then I will have to live in ignorance.
Didymos Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Mon 25 Jan, 2010 12:12 pm
@xris,
xris;121954 wrote:
You give me one obscure America sect and believe that will qualify for the RC church being able to overcome its dogma and its history of brutal repression.


You really want to call the Episcopal Church an obscure American sect? Okay... but that's not going to help your cause. Here in the States, saying Episcopal is the same as saying Anglican - Episcopal Churches in the states are affiliated with the Anglican Church across the pond, in the same way Anglican Churches on your side of the water are affiliated - in that we look up to the Archbishop of Canterbury.

Or is the Anglican Community, a worldwide community with over 70 million members, just an obscure American sect?

And recall that you have just now, for the first time in this conversation, mentioned the RC Church (which I guess to be the Roman Catholic Church). Instead, you just said the "church", to which I noted that there is no such body.

Still, I have no idea how you could possible gather that my mention of a 70+ million strong faith community's handling of homosexuality is tantamount to a defense of the RCC's thousand plus year imperfect history.

Much less why you think it appropriate to condemn a massive population, such as the RCC, based upon having an imperfect history - it would be like me calling all Englishmen immoral brutes for having once maintained a slave trade. Which would be absurd and simply childish, eh? Much worse would it be for me to condemn all Englishmen for the past offenses of that nation, without forgiveness, because I can think of some modern imperfections in that nation.
Arjuna
 
  1  
Reply Mon 25 Jan, 2010 12:24 pm
@Didymos Thomas,
Yea, people often assess the world according to it's most diseased presentation. You can understand some things that way... obviously it's not the whole story.

But then again: one aspect of religion is that it's a link to our ancestors. So the perfect religion would have to be old.

Give me an old religion and I'll give you a catalog of hypocrisy and villiany. Perhaps the perfect religion is a game that can't be won.
Didymos Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Mon 25 Jan, 2010 12:28 pm
@Arjuna,
Only if we condemn a tradition for the mistakes of past practitioners. But we do not condemn all living Germans for Nazism. We do not condemn all living Americans for chattel slavery.

Also, we can revere our ancestors without having an ancient tradition. We can revere them without being spiritual at all, at least in any conscious way spiritual.
0 Replies
 
Pepijn Sweep
 
  1  
Reply Mon 25 Jan, 2010 12:45 pm
@Three dog,
Let's first find a Perfect god and then we see about the proper religion and rituals.
Arjuna
 
  1  
Reply Mon 25 Jan, 2010 01:07 pm
@Pepijn Sweep,
Didymos Thomas;122449 wrote:
Only if we condemn a tradition for the mistakes of past practitioners. But we do not condemn all living Germans for Nazism. We do not condemn all living Americans for chattel slavery.

Also, we can revere our ancestors without having an ancient tradition. We can revere them without being spiritual at all, at least in any conscious way spiritual.
I know we can revere our ancestors without religion. I was saying that part of what religion is is a link with the past... a medium for the ancestral continuum. Freud may have imagined that the god image is transmitted through the father, but religion itself (the word suggests binding, as to tradition) could be seen as being transmitted through mothers. I'm not saying that's the meaning of Jesus talking to women, but it's still there in the background: that upkeep of the ancestral continuum is sometimes seen as the domain of femininity.

When you walk into a temple, church, synagogue, whatever, the link to the past is part of the experience... don't you think?... that you're walking a well-worn road. When you repeat the Psalm about walking through the valley of the shadow of death.. I think part of the power of it is that thousands of people have said the same words before you. The words are a living connection to what you could think of as a root from which flows the blessings of the human spirit. When you say those words.. I am with you. We're all together.

Pepijn Sweep;122452 wrote:
Let's first find a Perfect god and then we see about the proper religion and rituals.

The perfect god minds his own business... "If you can't help us Lord.. could you please please just leave us alone?" --Randy Newman
0 Replies
 
xris
 
  1  
Reply Mon 25 Jan, 2010 01:15 pm
@Didymos Thomas,
Didymos Thomas;122442 wrote:
You really want to call the Episcopal Church an obscure American sect? Okay... but that's not going to help your cause. Here in the States, saying Episcopal is the same as saying Anglican - Episcopal Churches in the states are affiliated with the Anglican Church across the pond, in the same way Anglican Churches on your side of the water are affiliated - in that we look up to the Archbishop of Canterbury.

Or is the Anglican Community, a worldwide community with over 70 million members, just an obscure American sect?

And recall that you have just now, for the first time in this conversation, mentioned the RC Church (which I guess to be the Roman Catholic Church). Instead, you just said the "church", to which I noted that there is no such body.

Still, I have no idea how you could possible gather that my mention of a 70+ million strong faith community's handling of homosexuality is tantamount to a defense of the RCC's thousand plus year imperfect history.

Much less why you think it appropriate to condemn a massive population, such as the RCC, based upon having an imperfect history - it would be like me calling all Englishmen immoral brutes for having once maintained a slave trade. Which would be absurd and simply childish, eh? Much worse would it be for me to condemn all Englishmen for the past offenses of that nation, without forgiveness, because I can think of some modern imperfections in that nation.
I cant see how you can assume that one sect in the christian faiths assimilation to modern thinking, a thinking it has been forced to make not because it desired change, gives you the right to say all of Christianities history, is absolved. I dont condemn the parishioners, they are but sheep meekly following the shepherd but I do the dogmatism that they abide by. This famous Anglican congregation you assume to be so wonderful in its approach to homosexuality, is being torn apart by its dogmatic views. For every one who questions its sick interpretations, six oppose its reformation. How many Anglicans have forsaken the CE and slipped of to the RC church for its continued dogmatic stance.

If you wish to complain about an Englishmen who maintains we should retain an empire, do so, if you wish to condemn a German who abides by the Nazis dictates, do so and i will continue to condemn those who support dogmatic demands that harms its followers.
0 Replies
 
Three dog
 
  1  
Reply Mon 25 Jan, 2010 02:13 pm
@Three dog,
A perfect religion would have to be based in some fact, would it not?
Pepijn Sweep
 
  1  
Reply Mon 25 Jan, 2010 02:27 pm
@Three dog,
First Faith I believe.
0 Replies
 
Arjuna
 
  1  
Reply Mon 25 Jan, 2010 02:37 pm
@Three dog,
Three_dog;122498 wrote:
A perfect religion would have to be based in some fact, would it not?
Sure. Any suggestions?
Didymos Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Mon 25 Jan, 2010 03:34 pm
@Arjuna,
xris;122462 wrote:
I cant see how you can assume that one sect in the christian faiths assimilation to modern thinking, a thinking it has been forced to make not because it desired change, gives you the right to say all of Christianities history, is absolved.


Neither can I. perhaps because I did not say such a thing.

Where you get this wild notion about various Anglican communities being forced to elect homosexual Bishops and appoint homosexual clergy to various positions is beyond me. My guess is that it comes from that same confused train of thought that led you to call Anglicanism an obscure American sect, ie, that you are responding out of anger and emotional vigor more than out of any knowledge of the issue.

xris;122462 wrote:
This famous Anglican congregation you assume to be so wonderful in its approach to homosexuality, is being torn apart by its dogmatic views.


Not really. First, because you really have no clue what's going on, let me tell you: there has been more than one such Anglican community to elect homosexuals to various clerical positions, going back to '98 or '99.

Second, the divisions within the worldwide Anglican community boil down to tension between more conservative congregations and more progressive congregations. As an example: the last town I lived in had a rather progressive church, and few members left when said church embraced the idea of homosexuals in the clergy. In the town I currently live in, the church essentially said that they do not favor the election of homosexuals to clerical positions, and almost no one left that church either. In other words, each individual church tends to follow the will of the members - and if you know anything about the worldwide Anglican community, you know that they can do this given the wide latitude of each congregation.

Third, as for the larger rift of groups of congregations, that is conservative churches breaking from the established community, this has been an issue because the Archbishop of Canterbury, the figure head of the larger community, has generally been in favor of electing homosexuals into clerical positions when said individuals are capable.

xris;122462 wrote:

If you wish to complain about an Englishmen who maintains we should retain an empire, do so, if you wish to condemn a German who abides by the Nazis dictates, do so and i will continue to condemn those who support dogmatic demands that harms its followers.


Going back to my point about you posting out of emotional rage rather than understanding...
0 Replies
 
Alan McDougall
 
  1  
Reply Mon 25 Jan, 2010 03:41 pm
@Arjuna,
Arjuna;122508 wrote:
Sure. Any suggestions?


One of Napoleons general said to him, "we should create a religion to replace Christianity"

Napoleon answered yes, Find a man that can walk on water, raise the dead, heal the blind, make a crucifix for him and and after he has risen from the dead, then and only then will I consider an alternate religion based on the name of this new God-man.

It went something like the above I will check and report back!


Napolean expressed these thoughts while he was exiled on the rock of St. Helena. There, the conqueror of civilized Europe had time to reflect on the measure of his accomplishements. He called Count Montholon to his side and asked him, "Can you tell me who Jesus Christ was? The count declined to respond. Napoleon countered:

Well then, I will tell you. Alexander, Caesar, Charlemagne and I myself have founded great empires; but upon what did these creations of our genius depend? Upon force. Jesus alone founded

His empire upon love, and to this very day millions will die for Him. . . . I think I understand something of human nature; and I tell you, all these were men, and I am a man; none else is like Him: Jesus Christ was more than a man. . . . I have inspired multitudes with such an enthusiastic devotion that they would have died for me . . . but to do this is was necessary that I should be visibly present with the electric influence of my looks, my words, of my voice.

When I saw men and spoke to them, I lightened up the flame of self-devotion in their hearts. . . . Christ alone has succeeded in so raising the mind of man toward the unseen, that it becomes insensible to the barriers of time and space.

Across a chasm of eighteen hundred years, Jesus Christ makes a demand which is beyond all others difficult to satisfy; He asks for that which a philosopher may often seek in vain at the hands of his friends, or a father of his children, or a bride of her spouse, or a man of his brother. He asks for the human heart;

He will have it entirely to Himself. He demands it unconditionally; and forthwith His demand is granted. Wonderful! In defiance of time and space, the soul of man, with all its powers and faculties, becomes an annexation to the empire of Christ. All who sincerely believe in Him, experience that remarkable, supernatural love toward Him.

This phenomenon is unaccountable; it is altogether beyound the sope of man's creative powers. Time, the great destroyer, is powerless to extinguish this sacred flame; time can neither exhaust its strength nor put a limit to its range. This is it, which strikes me most; I have often thought of it. This it is which proves to me quite convincingly the Divinity of Jesus Christ.

Whatever else one may say in response, it is difficult to explain this away as mere eloquence. In fact, it was to counter mere eloquence and such artificial power that Napoleon said what he did. With unbelievable insight, he saw how Jesus Christ conquered. It was not by force, but by winning the heart.

---from Jesus Among Other Gods by Ravi Zacharias, 2000, W. Publishing Group, Nashville, Tennessee











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