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Herustar,
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Are you willing to go on record stating that Christianity has absolutely no patriarchal influences?
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You're getting a little far afield here.
Of course there have been "patriarchal influences." There have been many influences, some of which have led some in the Church to wrong conclusions or acts, but that was not your point to mirahjay on Set 10. Some of it I agreed with: in our cluture we have had a tendency in the past to blame women more than men. Up through the Sixties, I believe, it was accounted more of a shame to a woman than to a man to have an out-of-wedlock birth, for example.

Not in the Church, however. Men have always been warned not to father children out of wedlock. Those who have done so did so knowing that it was wrong to do so. Those who winked at it also did so out of hypocrisy. The knowledge was common, however, that both parties to the birth were wrong. Sin is pervasive and often subtle. Those who treated women unequally did so out of sinfulness, and in the better parts of the Church this was acknowledged.

In fact, in the Medieval Irish Church there were friezes and bas-reliefs--I have seen a few when I bicycled across Ireland with a friend and came upon those monasteries in western Ireland--in which a woman held a bishop's crozier.

There has often been overlap between the culture and the Church, and there has been a difference between the culture and the Church.

Here, for the past thirty years at least, men and women have been spoken to much more equally than they were in the culture at large before.

So, influences? Yes. Surrender? Not always, and this time the influence of old cultural patriarchy is vanishingly small.

That was not the point of our exchange at the beginning, however. You said:

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Christianity is motivated, persuaded, and mobilized through a PATRIARCHAL morality, which influences what pastors and ministers feel like morality is.

Pastors are ill-equipped with addressing this issue (children out-of-wedlock), because of a strict adherence to partriarchalism.
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This was not a statement of old culture, it was not a statement of influence. It was a statement of practice, of action. Yes, you used the term "influences," but then you go beyond that to a "strict adherence" to patriarchalism, and that was an incorrect statement. It was quite revealing of your thinking about the Church, but it was incorrect.

That's why I asked you to support your claim. So far, you've referred to the Bible, but not to the the words and works of these "patriarchal" preachers. The possibility of soemthing occuring is not hte same as the actualy occurance, which was your point to mirahjay.

Canaanite culture not patriarchal? An interesting statement, and not one found in common use. Why do you say so?

YOu have read from the Amarna tablets? There is no mention of queens there, only kings (Canaanite king Labayu tells Pharaoh that he is a loyal subject as were his father and grandfather before him, for example--tablet EA253--which indicates a hereditary monarchy based on patrilineal succession). The Canaanite city of Hazor was ruled by a king, not a queen (Hazor was so important a city that Hammurabi of Babylon had not just one but two ambassadors there) named Abdu-Tirshi. The Book of Joshua speaks of Hazor's king, I know of no occasion of any Canaanite ruler except kings of cities, a relief of the invasion of the city of Lachish shows only males, including the king, and in The Annals of Thutmoses III, where his victory over Canaan is described, it says:
Inasmuch as every prince of every
northern land is shut up within it,
the capture of Megiddo is the capture
of a thousand towns.
Not a mention of a queen or female ruler anywhere in the archeology.
With the accounts of Canaanite culture spotty and few, and the ones that have survived mentioning kings and male rulers, not queens, I don't know why you would say that Canaanite culture was not patriarchal.
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So what you're saying is Christianity was influenced/enticed into P.
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No, what I'm saying is
1) the Church of today is not patriarchal
2) to say "influenced" is not to say "enticed." The two are very different. You still have only shown the possiblilty, not the proof.

No, we are not "naturally" matriarchal. consider the structure of the brain and the body. Men tend to be more linear in their thinking, more fixers than relaters. They also tend to be bigger and stronger, their competition tends to be more external than relational. And I'm sure that I don't need to tell you that only women have babies, which means that they must spend a certain amount of time not being able to run after game or whirl, duck, and counterstrike an enemy in war. From the earliest times even by the standards of biology, men have been the leaders far more often than have women. In our myths we have had more men than women as leaders. The Epic of Gilgamesh holds two male friends as its center: Gilgamesh and Enkidu. The list of kings is long. The list of queens is short. As far as we can tell, the shaman was generally male. Women played important roles in society, certainly, but as in Egypt--the ruler of most of the Middle East for many centuries--which was not matriarchal, neither was Canaan. In fact, for most of our existence on earth, historically as well as what we know of prehistory, we've always been patriarchal. All the evidence shows it, it makes sense biologically, it is in our nature, it's in our history.

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Really? Is that the whole point of the narrative, or do you just like to assume that others aren't as versed in the Bible as you. That's were you made your mistake. The narrative is not fiction or non-fiction, it's historical FACTS. So I interpret HISTORY as I SEE FIT. Apparently, You missed the point, that's why your stuck in the apologetic patriarchal mindset.
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What mistake did I make? You don' tsay. AS for the story, if it's nonfiction, of course it's fact. But even if it's fact, it has a point in the telling, and we cannot interpret it as we "see fit." That is the sure and certain path to getting it wrong. Now, I told you the point of the story, and you disagree. OK. But a statement that you are right and I am wrong is not an argument, it has no proof, it doesn't even have a reason. Why am I wrong?

YOu had said that the story of Deborah was connected with some sort of treachery:
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The prophetess' that they did mentioned was tied in to some form of treachery
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But you never show any treachery. If you meant the Jael/Sisera event, you fail to continue the story as show that Jael 1) has no connection to Deborah, only to the battle, and 2) Jael is praised for what she did to sisera. Deborah didn't even know of the occurance until afterward. She had nothing to do with it. So where is the treachery if A) She had no hand in it, and B) it was a good and praiseworthy event? There's no hint of it being treacherous in the narrative. As a result, I'd have to conclude that you aren't just interpreting the story, you're inventing facts.

You didn't answer my facts about Jesus. You simply refused to listen or address them. How is Jesus surprising the woman at the well ("You, a Jew, would speak to me?") a case of "European practivce"?

About Mary not writing a book, you have no reason. You only suggest a possible motive. That is not an argument, only a weak attempt at showing a possibility for your use of the logical fallacy of stating the existence of one thing by the nonexistence of something else.

No, it isn't the Argement from Ignorance (almost, though, and it's a good try), it's a suggestion meant to prompt you to do more research to see if you can actually find some. So far you haven't. You've stated that there is some, you've shown the possibility for some, but you haven't shown any. Where is this patriarchalism in the Church that results in women being treated worse for out-of-wedlock births than men? That was the original point.
Here is a feminie Canaanite deity that was held on equal par with the Canaanite God

Athirat (Ugarit), ´Asherah (Hebrew)
.....

Mother Goddess indicates some form of matriarchy, doesn't it?
The Jews took the language, worship practices, and even the God of the Canaanites, but what they neglected to absorb from the Canaanite culture was the practice of worshipping and revering WOMEN. El-shaddai, Elohim, el this and el that, EL is exclusively a Canaanite term. Let me rephrase, the 'good' Jews did not absorb the practice of worshipping feminie deities. The 'wayward' Jews appreciated and absorbed the religous practices, but in doing so they were punished.

This may come off sarcastic, but I crippled myself with my sarcastic nature, however, I'm not trying to be sarcastic.

Sense you're pretty versed at grasping the 'points' of the historical stories in the Bible, tell me what the point of 'Father' Abrahams dying wish...
(Do not let my son marry a Canaanite Woman)

quote:
Where is this patriarchalism in the Church that results in women being treated worse for out-of-wedlock births than men? That was the original point.


My point is MEN are NOT held accountable in the CHURCH when it comes to out-of-wedlock births, from my personal experience with church sermons.

I appreciate your change in tone, because again, I do admire your insight. BTW, I am Christian, (not a good one from your point of view), but I'm one nevertheless.
herustar,

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Mother Goddess indicates some form of matriarchy, doesn't it?
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No.
How many cultures that were not matriarchal had mother goddesses? The early Greeks did, Rome did--Demeter (goddess) was an early and for a long time the most important god(dess) in the pantheon--many of European cultures did: the earth mother was worshipped all over Europe and was the impetus for the Roman Church to institute the Black Madonna (who looked exactly like the earth mother), baptizing in a way the earth mother goddess of Europe with its patriarchal cultures.

None of these societies were matriarchal.

Now, when I asked you for proof you pointed to a possibility. You inferred but did not prove. To our best knowledge Canaanite society was not matriarchal. All that we know of it was patriarchal in nature: the men ran the home and the polity. There were kings, not queens.

I'm not sure that you would want to push a correspondance with Canaanite religion and Canaanite society too hard. The fact that there were goddesses does not mean--as we can see from many other societies, not just Canaanite--the culture was matriarchal. Moreover, the myths of these gods and goddesses were a bit problematic:

Anat took the form of a cow and mated with her own brother, Baal, who took the form of a bull, right? If the presence of a goddess makes the culture matriarchal, then this means the culture was inbred, even incestuous, which I understand it was not.

Athirat, another goddess, was just like Artemis with a little Posiedon thrown in. Was Canaanite culture lke the Greeks, then? Of course not, but this is the force of your argument, and as you can see, it does not hold up.

However, these two goddesses were adjuncts, auxiliaries, to the male gods El and Baal. They do things, but in support of El and Baal. They cannot, for example, build Baal's new palace, they have to convince El to let Baal do that.

Where is the matriarchy here? It's the male gods who are in control.

So we really must conclude, from historical evidence and, since you brought it up, also from the myths that none of the evidence even implies that Canaanite society was matriarchal.

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tell me what the point of 'Father' Abrahams dying wish...
(Do not let my son marry a Canaanite Woman)
_______________________

This is straightforward. The point of the wish was to get his son Isaac to marry someone of their own kind, someone who is definitely not Canaanite.

Now, the reason for this is a bit different, and this may be what you intended to ask. I hope so, for I'd rather not miss the point of your question--always a danger in written communication.

In Deuteronomy 20, God tells Moses that the Canaanites were a spiritual danger to them (v. 18: "Otherwise, they will teach you to follow all the detestable things they do in worshiping their fods, and you will sin against the Lord your God.") Some of these things were pretty detestable. I mentioned Anat earlier. She was known also as "the merciful," but she was anything but merciful. In the myths at least twice she massacres crowds of people, hanging their heads on her belt and wading through their blood, and holding a feast and killing everybody there quite happily. This presumably was to give some justification or reason to the Canaanite habit of human sacrifice in spring (Leviticus 18 speaks of Canaanite human sacrifice--Molech being a Canaanite fire-god). Why not let Isaac marry a Canaanite woman? Because she could and probably would influence him to worship those gods either in addition to--bad enough--or instead of the God of Israel, and this would be very bad for the people of God.

Why the question, anyway?
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My point is MEN are NOT held accountable in the CHURCH when it comes to out-of-wedlock births, from my personal experience with church sermons.
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H'm. Well, that's not my experience. Promisekeepers, for example, certainly sternly warns men to be faithful and obedient to God and accountable to each other as well as to God, my own church has not only preached on this issue holding the men just as responsible as women (as has, say, Tony Evans), but in two cases, where church members (male) fathered children before they were married, these two men (not the women, interestingly. They were talked to privately by the pastor and, I think, his wife) had to appear before the church board and admit their acts and ask for forgiveness. They were given it on two conditions: either they support the children and the mothers, or they marry them and be good husbands and fathers. They elected to marry, and so far have been true to their word. Neither the men nor the women were treated lightly, and the church looked for a good outcome for eveyone in what could have been a bad situation.

Does the Church sometimes fall down on its duties to the people in its care? Yes, I'm sorry to say, and sometimes the Church has had its officers deal badly with people just as you say. However, this is because the Church is full of humans,and sometimes humans fail to follow God. They follow the gods so to speak of this culture. But the patriarchy you mention and rightly despise is not Christian nor the result of Christianity. Rather, its the result of a failure to follow Christ, not of obeying him.

The cure for one sin--patriarchy--is not the application of another sin--matriarchy. Rather, it's obedience to the ways of Christ, who treats us all equally, and well. So should we.

Hello, brother. Why would you say that I might think you to be not a good Christian?
quote:
Why the question, anyway?


I've read the story several times, and for some reason, that stood out to me as being racist and sexist. Where we disagree is with culture of the Caananites itself. I've grown to dislike the way that the Hebrews villianized the Caananites, and proclaimed themselves as the image of right-living and holiness. Especially since they absorbed 'some' of the practices, misconstrued or misunderstood others, and called the practices they did not understand/agree with detestable.

Let's take this issue for example. Many people understand Christianity to be non-assertive when addressing the issue of pre-marital sex. It appears that we are no longer the authority on morality, because of our conditioning. Being a Christian, it is my duty to be critical and thourough when trying to understand the reasoning for these people's interpretation. Somehow I feel like telling them

quote:
However, this is because the Church is full of humans,and sometimes humans fail to follow God. They follow the gods so to speak of this culture


will not fly. To my understanding the structure of patriarchy in Christianity (not to say that patriarchy is a result of or in fact is) is a good starting point at tackling the problem in our system. No patriarchy not Christianity or a result of Christianity (these are not my words). It is however, deeply embedded in the structure, and the system.


Obviously the person who started this post doesn't feel like Christianity is anti-morality. She/He feels like out-of-wedlock marriages is a serious problem (especially since many of these people are claim Christianity) and should be addressed. Telling him/her, more or less that, "we're just human", or "We are addressing this issue in church", probably won't resolve his/her feeling of disappointment in the church.

Any blind man can see that there is a problem. Why not address the possible ailments, or symptoms of this problem?
herustar,

I'm not sure that one can say that telling the truth about Canaanite human sacrifice is somehow "villianizing" them. Killing children and burning them (sometimes simultaneously) is not detestable?

Is the Church "non-assertive" when it comes to premarital sex? I don't know that it is. I note that you quote only part of what I said about it, and not the illustration of how we treated two recent cases of it seriously and hled the young men accountable. Taking my wroids out of context and concentrating on them without reference to the rest certainly makes it sound as though I am taking the issue lightly, but if you read teh entire post you'll find that neither I nor my church does that. YOu can find plenty of other Christians and churches who do likewise.

"We are no longer the authority on morality because of our conditioning."

We haven't been for decades, herustar, and not because of our "conditioning" (you're talking about this patriarchy, right?) but because people found it possible and fun to disregard the teaching of the Church and do "what is right in their own eyes," a problem not entirely modern, and not entirely American.

what you quoted form me actually agrees with your thesis, if you'll read it to the end. The problem is caused by not obeying God:
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They follow the gods so to speak of this culture
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is how it ends. That's culpability. They're wrong when they do that. It's not an excuse, it's a reason, and to be treated like any other bad reason: understood,and then opposed.

Out-of-wedlock births are a serious problem for and all too often in the Church, and mirahjay is right to be concerned. We all should be, for the results of it are well known to be harmful for the child. Anyone who harms a child--even this way--should be seriously corrected.

But to blame patriarchy is to put a facile answer onto a human,and thus messy and untidy, problem.

And if "addressing this in church" isn't an answer to mirahjay's concern, what on earth is?
By the way,

Here is a quote from a 2002 article, "Three Bad Ideas," by Fredericka Matthews-Green, an Orthodox Christian:

A third good idea is preventative: to reach young people before they have become sexually active and give them resources and incentive to remain chaste. The best programs address young men as well as young women, and go beyond "just say no" to present the positive aspects of marriage. Some secular programs target girls alone, and counsel abstinence only till high school graduation; they may even drill girls to be suspicious of boys and believe they can't be trusted. This, I think, is exactly the wrong approach. If we want strong marriages and healthy two-parent families, we shouldn't be intentionally teaching mistrust. We need rather to raise young men who are trustworthy, and inspire them with a vision of the nobility of fatherhood. We need to enable boys and girls behave in admirable ways, deserving of trust, rather than plant further suspicion between the sexes.
The best character education programs build boys into young men who will see in marriage the opportunity to take on a challenging and time-honored role. In our culture men are almost continually insulted, and conservatives and pro-lifers are not immune to this infection. Pregnancy care workers can find it easier to send a woman to the welfare office than to explore whether the father of the child might be called on instead. We expect these men to be "bums," and they live down to our expectations.
Pro-lifers easily speak of God creating new life, ordaining that the woman and unborn child be knit together, and they should recognize that God has appointed a third person in that situation as well. I wince when I hear pro-lifers say "she found herself pregnant;" it sounds like Victorian euphemism. It's as if the woman just discovered the baby in a parking lot. No, she had help with that project. For every "unwanted" pregnancy there is a dad who needs to be challenged to do the right thing, for his own sake as much as his new family's.
Restoring young men to the role of husband and provider is the most important long-term strategy for reducing the need for abortion. If he is there, problems look much less dire. If he is there, she can do it. If she is alone, the struggle is much more steep.

You see, herustar and mirahjay, the Church is busy doing what needs to be done. Not in all places of the Church, certainly, and especially in the mainline churches, which have mostly left most of Christianity, anyway. But there are many in the Church who are trying very hard to do the right thing before God and for others, so that people will be able to live the good in God.

So, mirahjay, in answer to your original question, "Christianity" does in fact promote morality. It's the perversions of it, those versions that call themselves Christian but do not follow Christ, that do not. Don't worry about hte perversions. Just do what Christ calls us to do, and you'll do the right thing and help others to do it, too.
Mary Mitchell
Marriage is the salvation of black people

September 18, 2005

BY MARY MITCHELL SUN-TIMES COLUMNIST Advertisement






OK, I'm probably the last person who should be talking about getting married. Because if marriage were a baseball game, I'd be out. And at this late hour in the game, it's unlikely that I'll get another turn at bat. Still, looking back, I learned a lot from each inning.

I got married for the first time when I was 19 years old and a single mother. My baby's daddy was my first love. I would have married him. But he came home from Vietnam so screwed up, he couldn't care about himself, let alone me and his son.

So I married an older man who promised to give my baby a name and save me from the shame of being an unwed mother. Big mistake. What he really wanted was a live-in baby-sitter for his four children from a previous marriage. I was at home with a baby on my hip and four stepchildren who were dropped off on Friday night and picked up on Sunday morning. The only one they saw between drop-off and pick-up was me.

Needless to say, that didn't last very long.

I got married the second time to a man I was passionately in love with for 10 years. During that time we shacked up and had a baby girl. The best thing he ever did for me was legally adopt my firstborn and agree to adopt my nephew. He treated them like his own sons. Unfortunately, the marriage broke down when being Ms. Reporter starting being more important than being a Mrs. Bigger mistake.

Third-time lucky didn't work either. I'm no Hillary Rodham Clinton, but there's a fine line between infidelity and running amok. Husband No. 3 crossed that line, and leaving that situation was the best thing I've ever done for myself.

Although marriage didn't work out for me, I have no doubt that marriage provides the best foundation for raising strong children. My children were happiest when they were with me and their father. Like it or not, marriage is the salvation of black people. Couples just have to learn how to make it work.

We really don't have a choice. Single women with children struggle so much that their children suffer. And because "shacking up" means an uncertain future, women who settle for this lifestyle are often too emotionally drained to properly nurture their children.

As my 78-year-old mother would say, "Child, I'm so glad I don't have to worry about that no more."

Still, it's hard to ignore what's going on with black, unwed mothers. Even if we could, the tearful images of black mothers cradling their children in their arms as they suffered through the disasters at the New Orleans Superdome and convention center won't let us.

It just wasn't right. Where were the babies' daddies?

Maryann Reid, a young writer out of Brooklyn, is one of the few who is tackling this issue head on. On Sept. 29 in New York, Reid is having a "Marry Your Baby Daddy Day." The mass wedding ceremony will be officiated by the Rev. Herb Daughtry. Reid, whose book Marry Your Baby Daddy is set to be released this fall, has gotten wedding-dress designers, planners and vendors to contribute their services. Ten unwed mothers are set to walk down the aisle.

In an interview with Black America.com, Reid said it's "time to stop talking about unwed couples and inspire them to take the next step."

"There was a time, not too long ago, when black men would go to a club, see a woman and say, 'She's going to be my wife,'" Reid said. "Now, you have guys saying, 'She's going to be my baby's mama.' "

Others are also sounding the alarm.

In July, veteran syndicated columnist William Raspberry pointed out that because of the decline of marriage and the absence of fathers, "for the first time since slavery, it is no longer possible to say with assurance that things are getting better."

"It isn't the incompetence of mothers that is at issue, but the absence of half of the adult support needed for families to be most effective," Raspberry said.

According to the latest U.S. Census, black women are a lot less likely to get married today than they were 50 years ago. In fact, the percentage of "never married" black women has doubled over that time period -- from 20.7 percent to 42.4 percent.

That's why a story about two of the couples who were rescued from the New Orleans flood getting married at a shelter in Houston gave me hope for my people.

One of them, Donna Mathis, 27, and James Nelson Jr., 22, appear to have all the baggage I carried when I got married. She already had two daughters -- a 13-year-old and a 2-year-old from previous relationships. There's no guarantee that their marriage won't end in divorce like so many other marriages.

But who's to say that one day 50 years from now, the Nelsons won't be telling their grandchildren that it took a hurricane named Katrina to get them to the altar.

There's a marriage contract, but no guarantee. Still, for the sake of black children -- succeed or fail -- many more of us have to be willing to try
mirahjay,

Thank you for that post.

One lesson we need to take from it is that we need to take each other seriously. Our women should not settle for second best, let alone less, and our men should take their families and responsibilities seriously.

Why don't we? Well, let me suggest a couple of things:

1. It's easy to live for the moment.
2. It's easy to live by our feelings.
3. It's easy to distract ourselves with "big" issues, political issues, sociological issues.
4. It's easy to blame someone else.

The common thread here? For those of us who live like this, just as it is for anyone else the problem is selfish laziness--a moral and intellectual laziness that refuses to do what's right because it's hard to do. In the Book of Proverbs the person who does this is one of those called a "fool."

This is not to say that most of us are like this, but enough of us are that it's causing a real problem.

Take her seriously, gentlemen. Treat her with respect, and do what's best for her. Ladies, take him seriously, take your future seriously, take your responsibilities seriously.

When we do that, the fun we will have, the joy we will know, is more than (because it's different and deep) we can imagine now.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

School Expels Girl for Having Gay Parents Fri Sep 23, 7:05 AM ET



ONTARIO, Calif. - A 14-year-old student was expelled from a Christian school because her parents are lesbians, the school's superintendent said in a letter.



Shay Clark was expelled from Ontario Christian School on Thursday.

"Your family does not meet the policies of admission," Superintendent Leonard Stob wrote to Tina Clark, the girl's biological mother.

Stob wrote that school policy requires that at least one parent may not engage in practices "immoral or inconsistent with a positive Christian life style, such as cohabitating without marriage or in a homosexual relationship," The Los Angeles Times reported in Friday's edition.hmmmm?

Stob could not be reached for comment by the newspaper. Shay and her parents said they won't fight the ruling.

School administrators learned of the parents' relationship this week after Shay was reprimanded for talking to the crowd during a football game, Tina Clark said.

Clark and her partner have been together 22 years and have two other daughters, ages 9 and 19



now, I am not for expelling kids from school because of how their parents are coupled. However, this is an example of a church body taking a stance againist a practice which they deem to be outside the norm of a "Christian" lifestlye. This is the question I attempted to ask when I made this post; are AA churches actively engaged in trying to stem the high rate of children born outside of wedlock? No, not to condemn the custodial parent but rather to try and foster a protective, stable, (natural?) foundation in which the child can thrive.

Melesi, I agree that it is often too "hard" to do what we have been taught via religious doctrine.

I thank all of you for your perspective.

divinejoy,

That seems to be sweeping with a very broad broom.

What do you mean by "adopted pagan rituals"? To have adopted some aspects of polytheistic holidays is not to have adopted the rituals in all their meanings. I mean, Christmas (for example) celebrates Jesus' birth, not the rebirth of some sun-god. That's not exactly being "pagan" even though a pre-Christian holiday was adapted (not adopted) to Christian use.

In what ways is Christianity "now very different from the holy scriptures"? To assert is not to show. If you mean that the way the Church does things is different from the way the first-century world did things, then, yes--it's a very different world from 2000 years ago. If you mean that the Church teaches and lives incorrectly, in opposition or in disobedience to the Scriptures, then please sho how that is the case.

How is the Church "still killing" Jesus today?
quote:
Originally posted by Melesi:
I mean, Christmas (for example) celebrates Jesus' birth, not the rebirth of some sun-god. That's not exactly being "pagan" even though a pre-Christian holiday was adapted (not adopted) to Christian use.

Cursed be the day wherein I was born: let not the day wherein my mother bare me be blessed. - Jeremiah 20:14

Being born in a sinful world shouldn't be a joyful thing.

We were told to remember his death - "Do this, in remembrance of me". Jesus won eternal life through the death on the cross. And with this, celebrating the resurrection is pagan. Where are rabbits and eggs in the Holy Bible? Its not. Totally pagan. Easter is promoted by church leaders = Jesus is being killed by the church TODAY.

quote:
In what ways is Christianity "now very different from the holy scriptures"?

We are warned the enemy would prevert the Word of God. How many bible versions are out? This is why I always use "Holy Bible" when I speak of God's Word.

Christmas promotes lying to children.

I could go on and on, but if you have read the entire text, it would stand out to you.
Christmas promotes giving, family, community, love, and integrity. In fact, its the only season where individuals EXPECT a certain level of integrity. It's the season where we hold eachother accountable, and responsible for one another. It's a time where bosses are expected to show their employees compassion. The most important thing it promotes is JOY.
quote:
Originally posted by HeruStar:
Christmas promotes giving, family, community, love, and integrity. In fact, its the only season where individuals EXPECT a certain level of integrity. It's the season where we hold eachother accountable, and responsible for one another. It's a time where bosses are expected to show their employees compassion. The most important thing it promotes is JOY.


The Holy Bible says heathens cut trees and deck them with silver and gold as an act of worship (Jeremiah 10:1-8). Plus Jesus was two years old by the time the wise men found him (Matthew 2:16). Joseph went to his hometown for taxes. The story of a stable is totally false!

I really don't feel the joy of kids who are lied to about Satan Claus.
divinejoy,

I wonder if you're not being just a little too narrow?

Jeremiah didn't say that the day of one's birth is a bad thing. The late Mark Twain did, but not Jeremiah. Mark Twain isn't a Biblical authority, is he? What Jeremiah was talking about was the presecution he was under and his emotional reaction to it. Jer. 20 is descriptive, not prescriptive. If this were prescriptive, then we couldn't call each other on the phone and say that someone had a baby, for the passage goes on to say,

'Cursed be the man who brought my father the news, who made him glad, saying, "A child is born to you--a son!"'

But no one says that the Bible forbids announcing a birth. That's because it doesn't. Neither does it say anywhere that birthdays should not be celebrated.

Your post was a bit beside the point, however, because Christmas is not a celebration of Jesus' birthday. It's a celebration of Jesus' birth no matter when in the year he was born (as close as we can figure it, probably in the spring spring and not the winter). I even said so rather pointedly. So your post didn't address the issue.

Birth into this world shouldn't be a glad thing? May I gently disagree?

This world was made by God and it has in it much of his beauty. There is much to see and to know, to learn, to do, to enjoy. I'm rather impatient to see what the quantum cosmologists find out next about the universe on a quantum level. It's been an extremely interesting ride so far. Sure, this world has sin in it, but it also has love. And you and I, if we are Christians, can give God's love to many people, which itself is a joy. A gift from God to us, given by us to others? That's pretty good if you ask me. There's dinner, and laughter, and friends, and popcorn, and blackeyed peas, Winnie-the-Pooh, poetry, goldfinches, sequoias, warm sweaters, holding hands, prayer. There's admiration and nobility, truth and compassion, principle and comedy. Thre's a life to live that God gives us, and we can live it here in him, with his help.

That's why the easter eggs do not matter. In fact, they're part of the fun in this world that God has made. Nobody takes easter eggs seriously, as an offering to a god of spring or something. They're like John Gielgud said about fireworks: "I love fireworks. They're so unnecessary." We don't have to have chocolate eggs on Easter, but I'm glad we do. They're fun, and there's no greater reason to have fun than that God made this world and gave us his salvation in Christ. Alive in Him--then we should live indeed.

The church leaders don't "promote" easter eggs as a necessary part of easter. That is, no Christian church says that without the eggs there is no easter. Easter is the celebration of the day Christ rose from the dead. The easter eggs are just fun thrown in on top of it. Not pagan, but celebratory.

And as for the many versions of the Bible, that's no problem, either. The versions are not wrong. They simply try to make the original clear in today's language. There will always be disagreemenet between translators on the meaning of some of the words and phrases, and some of the statements are a little puzzling, too (just what did Paul mean in Ephesians 6 that "obey your parents" was "the first commandment with a promise"?). But by and large, all the different versions are pretty close to one another in meaning and translation. I don't se the problem.

If a parent lies to his children about Christmas, that's not Christmas's fault. That's the parent's choice. My parents never lied to us kids about it. We always knew that there was no Santa Claus, but we always had fun deliberately pretending, knowing that it was a pretense. That's not bad. It's certainly not a sin.

I see no reason in your post to not celebrate either Easter or Christmas, and I'm sure that my prayer life will not suffer for it. Merry Christmas a little early, everyone, and I hope for Frango Mints in my stocking.
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Originally posted by kresge:
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Originally posted by Underrated:
Because christainity is extremely flawed and full of hypocrisy.

Is there any religion, or for that matter cultural , social, or spiritual 'doxa' or 'praxis' involving human beings that isn't?


no doubt. ALL religion is flawed and useless IMO. If you're using it to better your life, fine. But if you're using it as a way to live your life, there's a problem.
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Originally posted by Underrated:
no doubt. ALL religion is flawed and useless IMO. If you're using it to better your life, fine. But if you're using it as a way to live your life, there's a problem.


If you were trying to better your life through religion, wouldn't you have to use it as a way of life as well? Don't they go hand in hand? Maybe you could expand on that a little more because it didn't make that much sense to me.
Ok. Using it to better your life doesn't mean you MAKE it your life. You could go to church every so often and take a few stuff out the bible to live by but you're not putting your entire being into the religion like others do. Examples would be preachers, avid church goers, the "super christians" if you will.
If you base your entire life on a man made religion you should be in a nut house IMO.
Understand?
Tai Chi, Buddhism, Tantric Yoga, Christianity, Islam,...etc. etc...

These are all DISCIPLINES. Devoting your "entire being" to a discipline displays an understanding of your spiritual 'needs'.

Many men can count on one hand how many football Sundays or Saturdays they have missed. We watch these games religiously. As a repetitous practice, like most religion, we watch SportCenter. Here we watch the same highlights over and over, for upwards of up to 2 hours. If you try to talk to us while we are watching a game, you won't get a response. Why? Because we are in a 'trance' like state. This is something you get from meditation. Which is a religous practice. I'm a living witness of how one can literally 'tune' the world out and have a one track focus on one goal. Winning. I catch myself saying things like, 'we lost' or 'We won'. I don't play for a team, and I don't gamble, what do I mean by WE Confused It's sad when I know that the only reason I can comprehend that my girl actually said something to me, is when I look over and notice the annoyed and rejected look on her face. It's sad how I let the 'FLOW' of the game 'CONTROL' my emotions. This too resembles meditation/trance/fasting. Meditation/Trance and religion has one purpose, controlling your emotions from the inside out. Manipulating your subconscious into 'Performing' or 'Behaving' in a certain manner. A manner that is conducive to WINNING the day to day struggles with emotional tides, trials and tribulations, and overcoming the emotional rollercoaster of good fortune and misfortune. People that don't practice a DISCIPLINE, and have no control over their emotions, are the ones in a nuthouse, or headed that way.
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"Christianity does not promote moral behavior because it's very core is built upon false beliefs and pagan worship."


Hypothetically speaking, if I were to believe in something such as 'The Sun God', does that make me immoral? If I believed that I was a god, does that castrate my moral abilities? Could an atheist believe that 'Thou shalt no lie, cheat, still or kill'? If one can't do both, then and only then will I believe that 'false beliefs, and pagan worship' equate to immorality.

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