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Should you use Christianity as a skillful means?

zenguitarzenguitar Bad BuddhistNew England Veteran

Hi Sangha, this may sound like an odd question, but you are used to that from me. :smile: But let's say you deal with a person who calls himself a Christian, but doesn't act like it at all. In fact, they can be downright unkind. They have no interest in Buddhism, may even look down on it. But they do revere Christ (at least they say so). Should you quote snippets of the Bible or Christian teachings to them (especially the parts that seem to overlap with Buddhism) in an attempt to prod them into acting a little more kindly? Or is that a bad idea?

Since they won't listen to Dharma, the only alternative would seem to be to let them continue on their path of unkindness, and to let karma take effect (which as we know can result in a long painful grind). :confounded:

Tosh
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Comments

  • @zenguitar said:Should you quote snippets of the Bible or Christian teachings to them (especially the parts that seem to overlap with Buddhism) in an attempt to prod them into acting a little more kindly? Or is that a bad idea?

    I think that'll just make them angry. What's the phrase? Ah yes - you can't teach a pig to sing. If you try, you'll end up frustrated. It annoys the pig too.

    Apologies for comparing your friend to a pig; it's just a metaphor I like.

    You're best bet is to 'lead' by example I should think. Hopefully someone wiser will be along in a minute.

    zenguitarDhammaDragonBunksRowan1980
  • TheEccentricTheEccentric South east, UK Veteran

    For every nice thing in the bible you can find something horrible. Especially in Leviticus and Deuteronomy. They could always say that they are taking their inspiration from there.

    zenguitarEarthninjaHamsaka
  • vinlynvinlyn Colorado...for now Veteran

    @karasti said:
    TheEccentric Yes, but the actual teachings of Jesus aren't anything horrible.

    Right, time for many to "get over" the Old Testament. Thomas Jefferson did.

    zenguitar
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Moderator

    If ever I found myself in a heated discussion on another (non-Buddhist) forum, I would at one point invariably get the old chestnut "That's not very Buddhist of you"....

    And I would invariably reply, "Ah yes, the standard retort of the pseudo-Christian that all at once shows their ignorance of both my religion and theirs."

    Which I must say, more often than not, shut them up....

    zenguitardhammachickRowan1980
  • zenguitarzenguitar Bad Buddhist New England Veteran

    Thanks, I must admit here that sometimes I am the target of this unkind behavior, hence my impatience in trying to stop it. And even if the person doesn't really have any deep faith in Christianity, I think they do care very much about not being perceived as a hypocrite by others. They might modify their behavior on that basis alone, so they can continue to be perceived as honest and straightforward. But maybe this is all too clever by half to be a valid Buddhist approach. :confused:

    vinlyn
  • zenguitarzenguitar Bad Buddhist New England Veteran

    @how said:
    zenguitar
    What are you pushing away or clinging onto that calls for your own spiritual bravery to change?

    A lot apparently. Thank you everyone, perceptive as usual. :smile:

  • TheEccentricTheEccentric South east, UK Veteran

    Isn't their stuff in the New Testament saying that the previous laws of the Old Testament should be listened to. For example John 10:35 says that "scripture of scripture cannot be broken". Also Jesus supports previous biblical laws in Matthew 5:19.

    If the Old Testament were irrelevant than how come it is included in the Bible?

    Also you can't undermine the fact there is unpleasant stuff even in the New Testament. In Corinthians it says that women have to "remain silent in the churches" and must be in "submission". There is also homophobic stuff in the NT such as Romans 1:26-27.

  • vinlynvinlyn Colorado...for now Veteran

    I think a lot is dependent on how you say it. If you throw it in their face, don't expect any thank you's. If you were to sit down and have a discussion, for example comparing certain Buddhist concepts with Christian concepts, and concerning how their behaviors are making you feel, there might be a very different outcome.

    Context is key. Just the other day, I was upbraided for something I said (gentle teasing). On the one hand, they were right...it was an old joke that had gone on way too long. On the other hand, the context was a person upbraiding me who was very hypocritical and, frankly, about the worst at developing and maintaining friendships of almost anyone I have ever known. And, which is worse -- gentle teasing or reprimanding someone in front of others? So, in the context of the situation, I learned two lessons -- time for me to stop that teasing AND that person's friendship is not worth cultivating.

    zenguitar
  • lobsterlobster Veteran
    edited February 2015

    @zenguitar said:
    Should you use Christianity as a skillful means?

    You should use everything as a skilful means.
    Even the teachings of Jesus revealed by Mohammed.
    http://omarshahid.co.uk/2011/07/09/beautiful-sayings-of-jesus-in-the-islamic-tradition/

    However I usually find religious people already have all the answers, so best talk about other stuff . . . :)

    Shoshinvinlyn
  • VictoriousVictorious Grim Veteran

    @zenguitar said:
    Hi Sangha, this may sound like an odd question, but you are used to that from me. :smile: But let's say you deal with a person who calls himself a Christian, but doesn't act like it at all. In fact, they can be downright unkind. They have no interest in Buddhism, may even look down on it. But they do revere Christ (at least they say so). Should you quote snippets of the Bible or Christian teachings to them (especially the parts that seem to overlap with Buddhism) in an attempt to prod them into acting a little more kindly? Or is that a bad idea?

    Since they won't listen to Dharma, the only alternative would seem to be to let them continue on their path of unkindness, and to let karma take effect (which as we know can result in a long painful grind). :confounded:

    I dunno zenguitar. Personally I see some constructive bashing of stoopid sculls, no matter religion, as a benevolent act.

    Considering that you save some that come after you some torment and the idiots themselves a unskillful path in life I say it is a win win situation overall.

    Personally I think that both Buddha and Christ would have little hesitation in showing these people the error of their ways.

    But then again. Are you really up to it? To do it correctly? Out of right intention and not only to satisfy your own ego?

    Otherwise I suggest you cultivate your mind until it is properly aligned first.

    /Victor

    robotzenguitar
  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Veteran

    @TheEccentric Sometimes you worry so much about Christianity's negative points that I wonder how much it's affecting you. You haven't posted much here lately but as soon as this comes up, you jump right in. A lot of us have had to work through our feelings on Christianity, and it takes time, especially if we feel targeted by it in a negative way. But it seems to be something you are rather focused and stuck on. There are so many wonderful things to work on in Buddhist practice that doesn't involve worrying about what doesn't work in Christianity. Why the focus on it? Of your last 15 comments on the page going back 1 year, 30% of them are negative comments on religion and Christianity. The rest are just basic comments on books you like and so on. Instead of looking up the verses in Christianity makes you mad, perhaps look up Buddhist verses instead and work on the aversion you have to it.

    There are things in Buddhism that can be considered in the same bad light, including discussions of how women should treat their husbands and how to serve them, and also comments from well-known Buddhists about homosexuality and sexuality in general; many mentions in sutras of women being unable to obtain enlightenment...lots of things. Some things are just a product of a culture and we know differently now and most of us feel ok excluding those views from our practice. Why is it that we tend to be fine with cherry picking out those things in our own religion but mock Christians who do the same?

    howvinlyndhammachickSarahT
  • DavidDavid some guy The Hammer in Ontario, Canada, eh Veteran
    It's not really fair to compare Jesus and Buddha. Jesus had his ministry going for what, 3 maybe 4 years until he was 33 or so?

    Buddha had just gotten out of bed at 33.

    It would have been nice if the teachings of Jesus could have been elaborated on over a few more years by the man himself but he was executed.
    dhammachick
  • vinlynvinlyn Colorado...for now Veteran
    edited February 2015

    To the typical Buddhist -- not monks, for example -- thousands of pages of Buddhist scriptures may not necessarily say a lot more than a few hundred pages of New Testament scriptures.

  • DavidDavid some guy The Hammer in Ontario, Canada, eh Veteran
    However to be fair, only a handful of the N/T scriptures were from the mouth of Jesus.

    This is going off topic however... I haven't done a rant on Paul and the gang for a few years and I don't feel like getting into that.
    dhammachick
  • DhammaDragonDhammaDragon Carpe Diem switzerland Veteran
    edited February 2015

    I don't know how relevant this person you find obnoxious is to your life, @zenguitar.

    But in all my relationships in general, I don't feel it is up to me to preach to people about their bad ways nor prod them to act in any way that strikes me as kind, unless we're talking about my son, of course.
    This is their own personal lesson to learn and I don't feel like playing teacher to anyone.

    In the case the subject were inevitable because they make me the focus of their aggression, I would try to stick to neutral ground: I am not a Buddha-basher, but I won't begin to study the Bible just to find something apposite to say to them.

    lobsterzenguitar
  • Bad idea unless they ask you about Buddhism or how to be a better Christian which is highly doubtful.

    zenguitar
  • In my thinking, skillful means are techniques or methods or actions that I might use, or try to use to change some aspect of my own experience. Seen that way I think Christianity could be an excellent tool for spiritual growth.

    I can count on one hand or less the number of times that skillful means suggested by myself to others to deal with their issues as perceived by me, has been welcomed or adopted.
    Unless someone is asking for advice, it's best to be quiet and "like a log of wood you should remain".

    Jeffreylobsterzenguitar
  • dhammachickdhammachick crazy Aussie BUJU Sydney, Australia Veteran

    @vinlyn said:
    Right, time for many to "get over" the Old Testament. Thomas Jefferson did.

    If you're a Christian indeed :+1:

  • dhammachickdhammachick crazy Aussie BUJU Sydney, Australia Veteran

    @TheEccentric said:
    Isn't their stuff in the New Testament saying that the previous laws of the Old Testament should be listened to. For example John 10:35 says that "scripture of scripture cannot be broken". Also Jesus supports previous biblical laws in Matthew 5:19.

    If the Old Testament were irrelevant than how come it is included in the Bible?

    Also you can't undermine the fact there is unpleasant stuff even in the New Testament. In Corinthians it says that women have to "remain silent in the churches" and must be in "submission". There is also homophobic stuff in the NT such as Romans 1:26-27.

    You really have issues with Christianity that, respectfully, are more yours than theirs.

    The OT/Torah isn't irrelevant so much as background for Christians. Their religion "evolved" from Judaism. Jesus was a Jew, taught as a Jew and had no intention of starting his own religion. In his words (don't know where but it's in Matthew and Luke somewhere), he came to fulfill the prophecy of Messiah/Moschiach. The reason why the Pharisees and Saducees got the shits with him is because he then affirmed proclamations made by the Apostles that he was the son of God when in fact, Moschiach is a man who will come to free the Jews from the Romans and rebuild the Temple - two things he did NOT do.

    ALL society was homophobic back then. Even the Apostles - look at Paul's ranting in Acts about the human body and lust etc (there is some debate amongst scholars that Paul was a homosexual in denial but I don't have any interest in that, I don't care one way or another if he was). As a Jew himself, of course Jesus supported Halacha (Bibilical Law), the Last Supper was a Passover seder.

    But today's Christians are quick to repeat "Jesus came to start a new covenant with God which is why we don't practise the OT" - except for tithing. Then they trot out Malachi as an excuse to ask for 10% of a person's gross wages (a pet peeve of mine).

    When you are not so riled up about it, I suggest you read into the historical roots of Christianity. It may help you not only understand it, but also help you with your hatred of it.

    _ /\ _

    lobster
  • JeffreyJeffrey Veteran
    edited February 2015

    My aunt, a devote Christian (CRC), once told me that Genesis and Revelation were like book ends and they were the 'perfect' part of the Bible. And then she said that the other books were inspired by God but that they weren't perfect.

  • HamsakaHamsaka goosewhisperer Polishing the 'just so' Veteran

    @vinlyn said:
    (about 'getting over the Old Testament')

    There's a time and a place for that. It IS the history of the Jewish peoples, and like other histories of it's time, makes us moderns shudder and gasp. Well, most moderns.

    Fred Phelps said one, single true thing in one of the documentaries on him. He said "The God of the Bible is a god of hate." (he rolls his eyes at the 'shock' on the interviewers face) and says "Read it (the bible), you can't miss it".

    You can't miss it. And then Jesus came and 'renewed the contract'. As far as the Jews are concerned, no such 'renewal' is in place HOWEVER they too have collided with modernity and no longer literally follow it. So whether Jesus replaced the irascible God of the OT or not (the Jewish tradition), modernity and it's growing moral and ethical standards have certainly replaced those of the OT.

    I don't think holding modern Jews or Christians culpable for the OT is remotely reasonable, or to taunt them with Deuteronomy and Numbers.

    Phelps was a literalist, and I'm guessing this same literalism drives what we today call 'fundamentalism'. At least Phelps was HONEST. But he missed the memo about the OT being 'renewed' and transcended.

    SarahT
  • HamsakaHamsaka goosewhisperer Polishing the 'just so' Veteran

    @TheEccentric said:
    Isn't their stuff in the New Testament saying that the previous laws of the Old Testament should be listened to. For example John 10:35 says that "scripture of scripture cannot be broken". Also Jesus supports previous biblical laws in Matthew 5:19.

    If the Old Testament were irrelevant than how come it is included in the Bible?

    Also you can't undermine the fact there is unpleasant stuff even in the New Testament. In Corinthians it says that women have to "remain silent in the churches" and must be in "submission". There is also homophobic stuff in the NT such as Romans 1:26-27.

    I'm not going to discourage you from speaking up about these issues as they relate to Christianity. They are true, and how I feel confident knowing that is I've read parts of the Bible that said these things. It's right there in front of your face.

    It's an old sacred text and makes many claims that are obviously false, or no longer true, or are outright genocidal in modern eyes. Being told it is 'sacred' and entertaining thoughts such as 'every tittle and jot must be unchanged, it is the perfect word of God, who by the way is not someone to piss off if you know what's good for you.

    It's not 'dangerous' to speak up about these glaring imperfections in Christianity, they should be discussed and no one should be discouraged to call a spade a spade.

  • SpinyNormanSpinyNorman It's still all old bollocks Veteran

    @zenguitar said:> Hi Sangha, this may sound like an odd question, but you are used to that from me. :smile: But let's say you deal with a person who calls himself a Christian, but doesn't act like it at all...

    There are quite a lot of Christians who don't act in a Christ-like manner, but that isn't really our concern.

  • dhammachickdhammachick crazy Aussie BUJU Sydney, Australia Veteran

    @Hamsaka said:
    You can't miss it. And then Jesus came and 'renewed the contract'. As far as the Jews are concerned, no such 'renewal' is in place HOWEVER they too have collided with modernity and no longer literally follow it. So whether Jesus replaced the irascible God of the OT or not (the Jewish tradition), modernity and it's growing moral and ethical standards have certainly replaced those of the OT.

    This :+1:

    I don't think holding modern Jews or Christians culpable for the OT is remotely reasonable, or to taunt them with Deuteronomy and Numbers.

    Again, this :+1:

    It's not 'dangerous' to speak up about these glaring imperfections in Christianity, they should be discussed and no one should be discouraged to call a spade a spade.

    Indeed. But the need to understand all you have mentioned is, IMO, crucial to it too.

    _ /\ _

  • ToshTosh Veteran
    edited February 2015

    @Hamsaka said:
    It's not 'dangerous' to speak up about these glaring imperfections in Christianity, they should be discussed and no one should be discouraged to call a spade a spade.

    They're not really 'glaring imperfections'. Christianity is an evolution of thought (and Buddhism is too).

    I mean it just needs to be understood in CONTEXT.

    For example:

    (Numbers 31:17-18)--"Now therefore, kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman who has known man intimately. 18But all the girls who have not known man intimately, spare for yourselves."

    This sounds barbaric, but in CONTEXT, it's an improvement upon what happened in war prior. The virgins would've been raped and killed, or raped and let loose in the wilderness to starve. But here they're kept alive as wives (which can't have been much fun either).

    Okay, not a big improvement, but in CONTEXT, it's moving in the right direction. You can't apply today's attitudes to stuff that happened thousands of years ago.

    Rob Bell, a Christian Pastor (his writings are interesting), speaks of a God that pulls people from A to B to C to D to etc. Christianity is really a pacifist religion, believe it or not. It's about turning the other cheek and giving your coat away. There's parts of the New Testament that make it clear that killing is wrong.

    Of course, the danger is, fundamentalists don't read things in CONTEXT and apply bronze-age-thought to today's problems. Radical Islam springs to mind, but they're not the only ones.

    Context is everything.

    SarahT
  • @SpinyNorman said:
    There are quite a lot of Christians who don't act in a Christ-like manner, but that isn't really our concern.

    The Bible Jesus was a cool guy. Paul, the founder of the modern Christian church, wasn't always so cool. He was the homosexual hater and misogynist, who said women should sit at the back of the church and keep their gobs shut, and if they have any questions, they should ask their husbands. Paul also taught shunning.

    Jesus didn't mention homosexuality (it mustn't be important to him), he didn't appear to be anti-women also (if the Nag Hamadi scrolls are to be believed, he gave Mary some special teachings (phnaar phnaar) that the male disciples didn't receive. Jesus didn't shun anyone, in fact he was always with the sinners and tax collectors (my metta wouldn't go as far as HMRC I'm afraid).

    I think a lot of Christians follow Paul, not Jesus.

    dhammachickSarahT
  • SpinyNormanSpinyNorman It's still all old bollocks Veteran

    Yes, Jesus didn't say "Love your neighbour but only if their straight", or "Blessed are the heteros because they shall populate the earth" or "Blessed are the men because they shall rule the world and subjugate women"..... ;)

    Toshlobsterdhammachick
  • zenguitarzenguitar Bad Buddhist New England Veteran

    Thanks everyone. I didn't mean to start a religious war though. :anguished: Getting back to the thread, I still think it is not un-Buddhist to gently remind someone (while gently splitting infinitives :smiley: ) that their unkind behavior may very well verge on religious hypocrisy. Or perhaps just remind them that their behavior does not resemble the behavior of a noble, kind, real-life person that the unkind person admires. Especially when you are the target of their unkindness. Several times people have mentioned on this forum that being a Buddhist does not mean being a doormat! Maybe the gentle reminder is the doormat rising up to skillfully trip up bad behavior before it gets worse. :smile:

  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Veteran
    edited February 2015

    @Hamsaka I wasn't suggesting that @TheEccentric not discuss the matter or just be quiet about it. He is quite young and those are just things we process and think about. However, his contempt for Christianity and other organized religions concerns me. This has been an issue for a couple of years now where his main focus as far as his participation here anyhow is these types of discussions. It's fine to discuss, but he has quite a hefty aversion to these things that I hope he is working through for the better of himself. It's certainly not healthy to hang onto those strong, negative feelings. Not only does he seem to hang onto them, but he feeds them.

  • vinlynvinlyn Colorado...for now Veteran

    So, Buddha and Christ walk into a bar...

  • SpinyNormanSpinyNorman It's still all old bollocks Veteran

    Don't forget the Irishman. ;)

    dhammachick
  • DavidDavid some guy The Hammer in Ontario, Canada, eh Veteran
    edited February 2015
    I love the message Jesus was sending while he was alive because it was about forgiveness and the Golden Rule.

    After he died his message somehow became twisted as I see it. People started saying since we are born evil (as per the first humans transgression against God) we do not have the ability to save ourselves from God's righteousness or punishment. Therefore we have to take Jesus as our personal savior for our slates to be wiped clean.

    So if Jesus said not to worry about the bad stuff in the Torah, someone used his death to bring it back in. I don't think Jesus ever said "I'm here to sacrifice myself to get everyone out of original sin".

    Jesus tells Judas (not his betrayer but the other one) that if a person lives his wisdom, they will be just fine even if they never heard of him. (His wisdom was about loving our neighbor, forgiveness and treating the lowest of us as if they were him.)

    This was after Judas asked him about the people that have never heard his teachings so couldn't take him as savior through no fault of their own.

    This is only a few verses after the famous ones where he says "No man gets to the Father except through me".

    Sorry, am on my phone but that's John 14

    I do find the central message in Christianity misguided, irresponsible and contrary to the teachings of Jesus, but have known many compassionate and open Christians.
  • VictoriousVictorious Grim Veteran

    @ourself said:
    I love the message Jesus was sending while he was alive because it was about forgiveness and the Golden Rule.


    Jesus tells Judas (not his betrayer but the other one) that if a person lives his wisdom, they will be just fine even if they never heard of him. (His wisdom was about loving our neighbor, forgiveness and treating the lowest of us as if they were him.)

    This was after Judas asked him about the people that have never heard his teachings so couldn't take him as savior through no fault of their own.

    So since I have heard about Jesus but am not christian I am truly lost?

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Moderator

    "Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?"
    (Matt.7:16)

    Actions speak louder than words...

    Aren't we always saying that in order to 'demonstrate the effectiveness of your practice, it is far better to live your life according to Buddhist principles and tenets, rather than attempting to verbally convince people?

    Well, I would say the same goes for our Christian bretheren....

  • VictoriousVictorious Grim Veteran

    When my Christian Catholic friend and my Christian Protestant friend argue over who of them is bound for Heaven I say that God would be pretty Daft not to accept either of them, and that I think that Daftness is not a trait I believe God possess, how about you two?

    That usually shuts them up.

    /Victor

    ToshRowan1980
  • DavidDavid some guy The Hammer in Ontario, Canada, eh Veteran
    @Victorious;

    I am not a Christian so why ask me?

    That's just how John 14 goes which is contrary to the "take me as your savior or suffer Daddies wrath" brand of Christianity.
  • VictoriousVictorious Grim Veteran

    @ourself said:
    Victorious;

    I am not a Christian so why ask me?

    That's just how John 14 goes which is contrary to the "take me as your savior or suffer Daddies wrath" brand of Christianity.

    It was a rethorical question. Just wanted to point that out.

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Moderator

    @Victorious said:
    So since I have heard about Jesus but am not christian I am truly lost?

    According to many Hard-and-fast Christians, yes.

  • VictoriousVictorious Grim Veteran
    edited February 2015

    @federica said:
    According to many Hard-and-fast Christians, yes.

    Exactly.

    So if I miss Nibbana before judgement day I guess I at least get to jump off the samsara train then.

    Excellent.

    gnite
    /Victor

    Rowan1980
  • dhammachickdhammachick crazy Aussie BUJU Sydney, Australia Veteran

    @SpinyNorman said:
    Yes, Jesus didn't say "Love your neighbour but only if their straight", or "Blessed are the heteros because they shall populate the earth" or "Blessed are the men because they shall rule the world and subjugate women"..... ;)

    Blessed are the cheesemakers....................

    lobster
  • dhammachickdhammachick crazy Aussie BUJU Sydney, Australia Veteran

    @Victorious said:
    So since I have heard about Jesus but am not christian I am truly lost?

    Do you want to be?

  • HamsakaHamsaka goosewhisperer Polishing the 'just so' Veteran
    edited February 2015

    @Tosh said:
    This sounds barbaric, but in CONTEXT, it's an improvement upon what happened in war prior. The virgins would've been raped and killed, or raped and let loose in the wilderness to starve. But here they're kept alive as wives (which can't have been much fun either).

    Okay, not a big improvement, but in CONTEXT, it's moving in the right direction. You can't apply today's attitudes to stuff that happened thousands of years ago.

    I agree, you can't apply today's attitudes to stuff like this, or you shouldn't. But what happens to the average Christian or anyone attempting to understand the faith, when they're told the Bible is the infallible, perfect word of God, as applicable today as it ever was? The person kind of has play a mental game of Twister to even swallow that after reading some of those scriptures :anguished: The perfect word of God can't be both literal AND historically relevant. You see this 'debate' a lot.

    Rob Bell, a Christian Pastor (his writings are interesting), speaks of a God that pulls people from A to B to C to D to etc. Christianity is really a pacifist religion, believe it or not. It's about turning the other cheek and giving your coat away. There's parts of the New Testament that make it clear that killing is wrong.

    Yes, which is a relief to Christians and nonChristians alike :D Then again, Jesus was also noted to say (Matt 10:34) when he was giving his apostles a pep talk before sending them out to testify; "Do not suppose I have come to bring peace, but a sword (. . . ) turning son against father, family into household enemies" and so on. Sure, he's not talking about a literal sword and hand to hand combat. This is about as hard core as Jesus gets, and it's a huge improvement. Compare this to the general teachings of the Buddha. As for Paul who wrote most of the rest of the NT, which is 'also' the infallible and complete, perfect word of God, well . . . if we treated homosexuals, women, the disabled as Paul instructed . . . that would go against our modern morality as well. The NT is an improvement, and I'm a fan of the Beatitudes and parables and Jesus in general, considering the context of his life. The folks who feel compelled to make all this literal else they're doing it wrong really are a problem politically, socially and morally.

    Of course, the danger is, fundamentalists don't read things in CONTEXT and apply bronze-age-thought to today's problems. Radical Islam springs to mind, but they're not the only ones.

    Context is everything.

    Yep, Islam (at least what the right wing news sources feed us) has it's holy books interpreted rather literally. I don't think it helps anyone to deny that this literalism, especially with the fanatics in ISIL and some of the Christian fundamentalists, is bad news for us all (politically, morally, socially). Islamic fanatics are doing stuff NOW, while the Jews and Christians have put this kind of literalism MOSTLY behind them. It doesn't mean I'm picking on Islam, it's just rather obvious we can't over do the 'relativity' factor and miss the point of the damage being done today.

    Tosh
  • HamsakaHamsaka goosewhisperer Polishing the 'just so' Veteran

    @karasti said:
    Hamsaka I wasn't suggesting that TheEccentric not discuss the matter or just be quiet about it. He is quite young and those are just things we process and think about. However, his contempt for Christianity and other organized religions concerns me. This has been an issue for a couple of years now where his main focus as far as his participation here anyhow is these types of discussions. It's fine to discuss, but he has quite a hefty aversion to these things that I hope he is working through for the better of himself. It's certainly not healthy to hang onto those strong, negative feelings. Not only does he seem to hang onto them, but he feeds them.

    Oh, I see what you are saying. I wasn't considering the context :) which is this young man @TheEccentric has been going on about this for some time and remains 'stuck' in condemning and criticizing without mindfully considering himself and 'ego'. Then, I agree with you, context considered :) Thank you for updating me, I really mean that.

    I'll reshape my point to be that criticism 'in general' is fine, including criticism that might offend someone, even if offense is not meant. It's a whole 'nother subject, what's going on with TheEccentric then.

  • SpinyNormanSpinyNorman It's still all old bollocks Veteran

    Well anyway, Quakers are nice! I'm going to ask them whether I could use the local Quaker meeting hall for Buddhist meetings, this happens quite a lot in the UK.

    lobsterTosh
  • VictoriousVictorious Grim Veteran

    @Victorious said:
    So since I have heard about Jesus but am not christian I am truly lost?
    @dhammachick said:
    Do you want to be?

    My mama told me to be very careful when a woman asks me that question...

    My mama told me good
    My mama told me strong
    You can mess with your brother
    But don't mess with a hot missionary chick.

    Oh no no!

    ;)

    dhammachick
  • @SpinyNorman said:
    Well anyway, Quakers are nice! I'm going to ask them whether I could use the local Quaker meeting hall for Buddhist meetings, this happens quite a lot in the UK.

    Good plan, I used to attend dervish meditation, followed by tea, group meetings at a Society of Friends (Quaker meeting place). If they let me in, mainstream Buddhists should be no problem . . .

    Good luck.

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