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Questions about Christianity and Maybe Other Things if the Topic Moves in Another Direction

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posted on Feb, 3 2012 @ 03:42 PM
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I have a couple of questions. I am asking here because I have found that this website is at least willing to consider possibilities, so is a good place to ask without having a certain doctrine shoved down your throat, which means I will get different views and will be able to decide for myself and hopefully not judged to harshly anyway.
This is about christianity, although I do not mind the the inclusion of information on other religions, but only if you note that you are refering to another religion so as not to confuse me, I appreciate it.

Ok, first I am ignorant and that bothers me, so pretending that I have never been exposed to the ideas of christianity, where would be a good starting point--which book or letter--in scripture would give a good foundation of the faith of this religion?

Second is in my ignorance, like many (at least modern American christians), have very little understanding of why their are so many denominations, so what makes them different theologically? What is their fundimental disagreement that made them decide to form a different group, and what are some good books to read about this?

Thirdly, what are some of the important terms that I should understand, when reading about different things within this subject, so as not to be confused when reading? For example reading people like Thomas Aquinus(sp?), Vladimir Lossky(sp?), Calvin, Luther, etc.

Fourth, if I belive in a god as a personal matter and subscribe to the idea of Jesus as the messiah, and that his death was the sacrifice to end the nessesity of the yearly sacrifice at the temple, and that his resurection occured after three days, during the feast of unleavened bread, professing as my Lord, then am I Christian at least in the basic since? However, because of my complete ignorance of the faith have many qustions concerning the religion as a whole, am I also agnostic? Does that make me an agnostic christian?

Fifth, what is a good resource for seperating the folklore, by which I mean the "sunday school" myths that every one knows growing up in a semi-christian secular culture like America, because they seem to lead to missrepresentation of the religion, and not just in christianity but in other faiths? the study of folklore as part of oral or symbolic tradition within a religion is an interesting study in and of itself, but that is not what I am looking for at this time.

I have more questions, and I appologize if the way I have worded things is a little confusing, but like most things now days, we get hit with so much information about everything, I often wonder if people have even learned how to manage it yet. lol

The main reason I am asking all of this is because I have to honestly ask myself, how can I consider myself a christian, or really claim to follow any religion for that matter, if I do not learn about it and understand it at first at a basic level, but also study it. It just seems a bit hypocryitical, and it seems likely to lead to misunderstandings and zelous following of erroroneous beliefs and practices based on hearsay, which in turn would only hurt the faith. I mean if you think about it I guess the ultimate ememy of any religion is not those who argue against it or oppose it for what ever reason, but is actually those very people who claim to be its followers.

Anyway any help or direction would be much appreciated, I feel that the best way to combat ignorance is first to accept that you, no matter how much you learn, are ignorant, and then to pursue knowledge and wisdom until the day you die, and be wiling to listen to the ideas and discussions of others in civility. Essentially if you are wrong admit you are wrong, if it is something unknowable, being willing to admit that it can not be known. There is no need to stifle curiosity because of petty argument spurred out of emotional reaction. Anyway I don't even think I communicated what I meant in this paragraph. lol ^.^ Also, I would like to apologize for my poor grammar and spelling, blame it on years of spell check, but I am practicing to improve it.




posted on Feb, 3 2012 @ 03:51 PM
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reply to post by GaboVarfang
 


If you thoroughly read this thread with a totally open mind then all your questions will be answered........ATS Thread



posted on Feb, 3 2012 @ 03:51 PM
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Basically, all the different denominations form over various interpretations of the Bible, and various forms of emphasis on the Bible.

In other words, all these people can't agree which way to take the Bible. And yet it's the Ultimate Word.

Figure that one out.



posted on Feb, 3 2012 @ 03:53 PM
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asking all these fundamental questions about christianity in an attempt to make some sense of this religion? ha....good luck! you might get called a devil worshiper if you don't believe in "Him" once you get your 5 questions answered...or more than likely you'll end up with way more questions than answers (and a growing contempt for religious people). if you are wanting to ask logical and fundamental questions about christianity, you might want to ask a non-believer...you're more likely to get truth from them about this topic.

but...i will say this...if you don't believe in jesus and do what He tells you to in that bible that "He" wrote and is only "His" words...you are a terrorizer and will burn in "hell" for all of eternity.

ok...end sarcasm/truth...don't ask anyone for answers about this topic. seriously. just see what feels right to YOU. you are God...you don't need a book, a priest or a bowl to throw your "tithes" in...you just need to tune into yourself. chances are...any direct answers most people will have for you will only lead you further asunder.

and want to know how to pick the treasures from the garbage (referencing picking out good info from fabled sunday school classes)? join the club.

but seriously...if you don't believe that Jesus died for your sins and give your life to "Him" and anyone who says that they are "teaching" "His" "word"...you must be evil. how could you not want to serve someone who will smite you if you don't serve them? slavery is awesome!!!



posted on Feb, 3 2012 @ 03:55 PM
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reply to post by GaboVarfang
 


1 If you really, really want to get a good idea about faith in the Bible, reading it in its entirety (skipping past the drone material like "Imus begat Stern, Stern begat Savage, Savage begat Opie and Anthony, etc..). Specifically, the topic is a constant theme throughout the New Testament up until Revelations.

2 Denominations happen for various reasons. For instance, there are primitive (old traditional) Baptists, Free Will Baptists (God has given us free will), Southern Baptists (Calvinist fire spitters). On top of that you have Unitarian (the Trinity is all one being), Universalist (all who are good at heart will go to Heaven), non-denominational. Some denominations are broken off from other denominations for various reasons. It all depends on the background of that particular church.

3 The big words if you're trying to obtain a deeper understanding of the Bible and of Christianity are such words like "theology", "apologetics", and "eschatology." These words have a wide scope and a large meaning behind them in the theology of Christianity. Good writers I would suggest are CS Lewis, RC Sproul, Luther, Aquinas, and Calvin.

4 You would be referred to as a "liberal Christian", one who is open minded about all possibilities concerning the Bible and the Christian faith. This is opposed to fundamentalist Christians, who are steadfast and conservative.

5 Folklore would help you better understand the various tenets of Christianity. For instance, fallen angels and Lucifer himself are not peculiar to the Abrahamic religions. The image of a demon isn't either. Even the Golden Calf has its roots in mythology and folklore.

Now, I (as a non-Christian) am not an adequate representative of the teachings of Christ. I'm not even that great of a representative of Eastern philosophies and Buddhism, but I get by. I'm sure there are plenty of people here who would gladly answer your questions. But I hope I provided some insight and knowledge in my own kooky sort of way.
edit on 3-2-2012 by ManjushriPrajna because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 3 2012 @ 03:56 PM
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The worst part of organized religion is that there are people involved


Some of the differences are related to politics, some ego, some greed, like Starchild said it is all about interpretation.



posted on Feb, 3 2012 @ 04:06 PM
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reply to post by JonU2
 


Ok I will read it, I have to wait until I get on my other computer to watch the videos unfortunately, so I will wait until then.

reply to post by ManjushriPrajna
 


I do agree with you about the folklore being important, especially since the father of the abrihamic religions came out of ur, and probably carried many aspects of that culture with him.

I am sorry if my questions seem so basic, it just seems that these are the most important things to know in this sense for christianity, but for other religions for that matter, because it seems that alot of people I have spoken to never ask themselves why they have chosen to belive the way they do, nor can they typically explain what they believe.
edit on 3-2-2012 by GaboVarfang because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 3 2012 @ 04:10 PM
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If there is ever any doubt in your mind, it's perfectly acceptable to analyze what that doubt is, why it's in your head, and come up with a logical answer. It's not healthy to push doubts into the background, because they WILL pop back up again. Trust me on this. I had too many doubts about Christianity before I became a Buddhist, and eventually it hit me like a sledgehammer, a kind of disappointment and resentment towards Christianity. I've learned to work it out, and I harbor no ill will towards Christianity anymore.

If you have questions, let them be known, otherwise they will become sharp on the grindstone of ignorance and sever the deep spiritual connections within you.



posted on Feb, 3 2012 @ 04:11 PM
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reply to post by ICEKOHLD
 


Yeah that is part of the reason I asked here, because I could get answers from believers and nonbelievers. From academic study, or general understanding from books or studies people have done out of curiosity

reply to post by ManjushriPrajna
 


I agree that questions should be asked and not pushed back into the mind. Blind faith like you and others have said will either strengthen your ignorence or shatter your faith, it is only by nonviolent questioning, by that I mean legitamitly questioning, not questioning for the sole purpose of destroying another, but questioning for the purpose of pursuing truth. That is something I believe, which is why the topic of religion at least in the spiritual topics outside of the organized, should be discussed with an open mind. Of course that is also why I some times become annoyed when people of faith attack scientific method. That is the obstinence that will shatter their symbolic order, because it is opposition founded in ignorence and blind faith. I guess I just never saw how something that could potentially exist outside of what we can physically measure or observe, should be said absolutly not to exist, and likewise why if something is observable physically should it be attacked because someone feels it may conflict with their world view
I do hope I understood you, if not please correct me.
edit on 3-2-2012 by GaboVarfang because: (no reason given)

edit on 3-2-2012 by GaboVarfang because: to add thought for clarity

edit on 3-2-2012 by GaboVarfang because: really bad spelling error

edit on 3-2-2012 by GaboVarfang because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 3 2012 @ 04:17 PM
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edit on 3-2-2012 by GaboVarfang because: double post sorry



posted on Feb, 3 2012 @ 04:19 PM
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Step 1: Read the bible
Step 2: Decide for yourself.

That is all thats required...you don't need a priest, rabbi, pastor, or anything of the like to explain what you just read.

If the god of that bible is real, he/she/it will have you read and understand it exactly how you personally are supposed to.



posted on Feb, 3 2012 @ 04:21 PM
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I think as long as you believe in the Holy Trinity (father, son, spirit) also known in the new age as (mind, body, spirit) and that Jesus was sent here to show us how to achieve eternal life, then you are a Christian.



posted on Feb, 3 2012 @ 04:25 PM
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reply to post by GaboVarfang
 


Read a book called A History of God; the 4000-year quest of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, by Karen Armstrong. copyright 1993. Excellent comparative study and history of the three faiths based on Abrahamic doctrine.

Then look into Gnostic traditions...and do some research into the younger lives of John the 'Baptist', and 'Jesus", who both were arguably students of Eastern Mysticism.

It's a long road, friend. Best of luck, and you'll find some very astute scholars here who have trodden the same path....
you'll also find zealous fundamentalists and literalists; and everything in between.
Peace



posted on Feb, 3 2012 @ 04:26 PM
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reply to post by wildtimes
 


Thank you I will add that to my book list.



posted on Feb, 3 2012 @ 04:30 PM
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Originally posted by GaboVarfang
reply to post by wildtimes
 


Thank you I will add that to my book list.

You might also be interested in The Urantia Book, another Christian-based tome of uncertain authorship from the mid-20th century that kind of blends the Oriental and Occidental points of view...

You're welcome!



posted on Feb, 3 2012 @ 04:33 PM
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reply to post by GaboVarfang
 
It sounds to me that you are a brother in Christ ...I will offer you a few links to get you started...this first is a podcast series www.khouse.org...



this second is also audio so you can listen on what you may ...

www.blueletterbible.org...



This 3rd is a link to esword that is all free and is a great tool for studying the word ..it has many different bible versions as well as commentary , maps of the area in question , and Strong's for Greek and Hebrew ... www.e-sword.net...


My opinion on why so many denominations is this .. Jesus said He would build His Church and the gates of hell would not prevail against it .. Now if the Church was in one place it would be easily attacked and destroyed ..That is why it is possible to gather together in his name .(where two or more are gathered in My name ,there I am) in a house or anywhere for that matter ...You see The Church is the body of Christ made up of individual believers all over the world at the same time ...Hope that helps ...peace



posted on Feb, 3 2012 @ 04:37 PM
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thanks I will add that other book to the list as well.

Thanks for the web links, I will go and look them up soon as I finish up a history paper I am about to start



posted on Feb, 3 2012 @ 05:16 PM
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Originally posted by GaboVarfang
Fourth, if I belive in a god as a personal matter and subscribe to the idea of Jesus as the messiah, and that his death was the sacrifice to end the nessesity of the yearly sacrifice at the temple, and that his resurection occured after three days, during the feast of unleavened bread, professing as my Lord, then am I Christian at least in the basic since?

On that basis I would have to count you among the Christians.
The essence of Christian faith is trust, and what you've given us is a statement of trust.

Ignorance as such is not agnosticism. Agnosticism is a conscious attitude of refusing to decide about God one way or another, on the grounds of not having enough information.

You ask where to start in the Bible. I suggest Luke's gospel.


edit on 3-2-2012 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 3 2012 @ 08:36 PM
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reply to post by GaboVarfang
 

Does that make me an agnostic christian?

After spending quite a bit of time on an atheist forum I was able to figure out a lot of people at my church were actually atheists and they may not even realize it where they think all they have to do is go to church and just fit in socially.



posted on Feb, 4 2012 @ 01:06 AM
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reply to post by GaboVarfang
 



Ok, first I am ignorant and that bothers me, so pretending that I have never been exposed to the ideas of christianity, where would be a good starting point--which book or letter--in scripture would give a good foundation of the faith of this religion?


If you want to learn about christianity... read anything from in the bible from Paul.

If you're actually interested in learning about Jesus... Read his words... and forget paul.

Start with Matthew... and stop and the end of John... thats all you really need





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