Christian Evangelicals torture and kill children

immortalitylost

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In my head. HELP! IM TRAPPED IN HERE!
Teach people how to think, not what to think, and teach them to think skeptically.
Reading is all a person really needs to teach themselves. Writing is a plus, as is arithmetic.

Right there is all you need as long as someone is taught to think for themselves. That would be enough.
 

Dream

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With all due respect, that is a big ol' bushel of horse apples, and if this is an intelligent conversation, I shouldn't have to explain why.
I certainly do not think that Christian evangelicals have a tendency to torture children. Its a sensationalist title. It shouldn't be happening, however. If the church really is one body it means the entire church must look for signs of the disease that caused this. Take an analogy from Leviticus 13 which goes into detail about a clean versus and unclean rash. The entire body is to be inspected and the person isolated until the infection either disappears or is judged not to be infectious. It seems to me this has to be tackled as a worldwide all-christians-are-connected problem. You can't solve it just by popping a zit. Its more like a rash. I don't think its odd to see it this way. Jesus speaks to a group (not individuals) when he says "Remember the height from which you have fallen...I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place." This is just like the way God speaks to the entirety of Israel about how they (as a whole) must do this and that and must not do thus and such. The body of Christ will rise or fall as a whole, and what we've seen in Africa signals a problem with the whole.
 

Marsh

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I certainly do not think that Christian evangelicals have a tendency to torture children. Its a sensationalist title. It shouldn't be happening, however. If the church really is one body it means the entire church must look for signs of the disease that caused this. Take an analogy from Leviticus 13 which goes into detail about a clean versus and unclean rash. The entire body is to be inspected and the person isolated until the infection either disappears or is judged not to be infectious. It seems to me this has to be tackled as a worldwide all-christians-are-connected problem. You can't solve it just by popping a zit. Its more like a rash. I don't think its odd to see it this way. Jesus speaks to a group (not individuals) when he says "Remember the height from which you have fallen...I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place." This is just like the way God speaks to the entirety of Israel about how they (as a whole) must do this and that and must not do thus and such. The body of Christ will rise or fall as a whole, and what we've seen in Africa signals a problem with the whole.


That is idealistic, and inconsistent with both history and reason. If the church was really one body, why are there dozens of denominations? Christians are one in Christ, but that doesn't make them one large congregation in a literal sense. Your own example should teach you that: Jesus wrote to seven churches, not one.

Congregations flourish and decline as individuals, not as a group. In South Korea, congregations of Presbyterians are flourishing; in my home town, the Presbyterian church is down to about 10 full-time church-goers.

Abuse is a real problem. Let's talk about it realistically, not idealistically.
 

Dream

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That is idealistic, and inconsistent with both history and reason. If the church was really one body, why are there dozens of denominations?...
I have a foreboding feeling that you as an Orthodox are already better prepared to answer the question than I am! I'm coming from the supremely fractured background of US protestants, and I have been thinking about it for some time and like comparing notes with others. I've heard several theories why there are divisions, so I know its not a new subject and you orthodox are probably just kicking the ball back and forth with me. I think its one of two things. Either its supposed to be one body with different organs fulfilling complementary purposes or its a currently dysfunctional body that is still being put together; but one body does seem to be expressly what Jesus speaks about in his prayers and also what apostles speak about in letters.

...Christians are one in Christ, but that doesn't make them one large congregation in a literal sense. Your own example should teach you that: Jesus wrote to seven churches, not one.
The difficulty in my example is explainable by my understanding of the book, however I've already battered enough brains with my opinions on that. Instead of derailing the thread over it, I refer to the difference between an ecclesia and the body of christ. An ecclesia in scripture might sometimes refer to something local, however the body of christ cannot be limited to locations.

Colossians 3:14-15 And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful.

I Corinthians 12:26-27 If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together. Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it.

Congregations flourish and decline as individuals, not as a group. In South Korea, congregations of Presbyterians are flourishing; in my home town, the Presbyterian church is down to about 10 full-time church-goers.
I would agree with you, but I think that a congregation can think it is flourishing when really it isn't. If all congregations are not flourishing, then they are all languishing together. If one is doing poorly then it can be helped if others are doing well. The fact that one congregation thinks it is doing great while others are not indicates that it is not discerning the body of christ, possibly having cut itself off from the entirety. That is why when Christians in Nigeria get into this kind of trouble but other Christians do not feel responsible, it makes me wonder whether Christianity did not end altogether in the first century.

ICor 12:22-25 On the contrary, the parts of the body which seem to be weaker are indispensable, and those parts of the body which we think less honorable we invest with the greater honor, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty, which our more presentable parts do not require. But God has so composed the body, giving the greater honor to the inferior part, that there may be no discord in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another.

Abuse is a real problem. Let's talk about it realistically, not idealistically.
I like the idea of churches being community based rather than having people travel past one to get to another; however I'm not in favor of having any people enforce that. It just seems to make sense that the churches have to look over the long run, and that means taking responsibility for each other. If I am right, then everything is quite screwed up at the moment. I feel that the only practical solution to the problem is for all Christians to start acting like parts of a whole. Outside of that I do not see a practical difference between a Christian and a non Christian. They both are otherwise the same in terms of the practical solutions available.
 

Marsh

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I have a foreboding feeling that you as an Orthodox are already better prepared to answer the question than I am!

I'm not a member of the Orthodox church; don't know where you got that from. But I am a realist. Christians should be one, but they are not. You're debating this problem based on ideas that should be facts; I am looking at things based on ideas that are facts.

Read your book of Ezekiel again, Dream; God deals with us on an individual basis, not collectively.
 

Amergin

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Of course I am outraged by what they do, but you are accusing the wrong group of people when finding someone to blame for these crimes. You put the blame on the whole of Christianity.

I concede. I am unfairly blaming mainstream and liberal-enlightened Christians for crimes of the Catholic Church and the Fundamentalist-evangelical-Pentecostal fanatical cults.

The people who do these things are what I call "fundamentalists." They are people who believe that being a Christians means trying to relive every single concept they can find in the New Testament, including demons when it isn't socially practical. They believe you can't be Christian if you don't regard everything you find in the sacred texts to be "fundamental," hence the name "fundamentalist."
That is spot on. The Fundamentalist is neurologically irrational. He accepts self-contradictory, clearly mythological, highly irrational (i.e. delusional) ideas taken from literal reading of the rantings of Stone Age savages. I know many Christians in the UK who admit that they do not regard Jesus as a god. They have rejected one delusional belief. With that deleted delusion, they also reject virgin birth, god-man hybrids, and a man arising from true physiological death after 36 hours. That kind of Christian is not delusional and his Christianity is sane.

The "Christian" from the US south, believing that God impregnated a human girl to produce a god-man (forget DNA) that is intended for human sacrifice to atone for a primeval sin, is suffering from pathological delusion. His belief that the impossible god-man dies, his brain is anoxic for hours, resurrects 36 hours later with an intact brain is delusional.

He believes that a human brain with billions of neurons, 10 times as many glial cells, arteries, arterioles, trillions of axons, synapses, and receptors really died (turned to non-cellular mush and pus.) In addition, he further believes that each neuron, axon, circuit, glial cell, and vast network connections are restored to their splendid complexity and microanatomy. Moreover, he believes that this complex circuitry is exactly reproduced to that of Jesus 36 hours earlier (pre-mortem) with no differences in a single neuron. He believes it is the same Jesus resurrected. And he is either ignorant of the complexity of the brain, or delusional. Otherwise, the resurrected Jesus is a copy of Jesus, not the original Jesus.

You can rebuild your computer silicon chip or blue diamond chip exactly like your old computer. Nevertheless, your new computer is a copy but not your original computer. Whether it is quantum mechanics or Chaos, there may be variations of the Butterfly Effect.

I oppose fundamentalism and what it does. Just don't put the blame on the whole of Christianity.[/quote]

I do not. I see your issue. The problem is that those who literally believe the fantasies and superstitions of Christian tradition force their brain's analytical and logical programmes to accept a defective meme. They might remain functional in general thinking (i.e. sane.) However, many (like in America and the Dark Ages) let the irrational beliefs affect their thinking. They accept "crazy" ideas. Phrases are extracted from scripture out of context with the words "smite all the men, women, and babies" make them think that faith justifies them killing unbelievers.

They even add non-scriptural ideas, unaware that they are not scriptural, such as the Rapture, and crusades. Their brain's moral compass (fragmented by the meme) thinks it is all right or even imperative to kill homosexuals, unbelievers (blasphemers), and uppity women (i.e. witches.)

Even the mythical Jesus didn't impose negative stigmas on people with demons. He didn't go around hunting for demons either. He was not a witch-hunter. The people with demons were brought to him and he dealt with them straight away, so there was no need to to keep unnecessary stigmas around. The mythical Jesus wasn't obsessed with demon hunting. He had other important things to do.
Quite so. Fundamentalists extrapolated the concept to taking violent action against the person accused of demon possession. The result is that a twisted Christian meme was exorcism. The Jesus Myths has him use word commands to drive out demons. Fundamentalists used beating the victim, starving the victim, other horrible assaults, drowning, and recently the withholding of medications such as insulin, anti-epileptic drugs, anti-psychotic drugs, and water. Many sick people have died from clerical and general fundamentalistic practices that can only be characterised as insane.

Yes, the mythical Jesus did drive out demons, but Christianity isn't about demon hunting. It is about connecting with humanity, both within yourself and in others.
That is your opinion. I disagree respectfully. Who are the Christians who at the orders of Theodosius I, Theodosius II, and kings carried out extermination and persecution on Pagans, Older Jesus Followers, Gnostics, and other Christians (Arians, Nestorians, Monophysites, Pelagians, Donatists, Hussites, and Cathars)?

Are the Protestant Witch Hunters of Europe and America, Christians? Were the savage wars between Lutherans and Catholics (30 years War) done by Christians? Are the Americans who nearly exterminated the Native (Indians) while indoctrinating Indian children in prison like schools, where they were flogged for speaking Native Languages or talking Indian Culture/Religion?

Again, these people you are describing are fundamentalists because they believe they have to act out and live out every single concept they can find in the book, without which they supposedly cannot be Christian. But that isn't socially practical. These people aren't thinking about what it means to be human. No, they are deliberately seeking out these "demons" for sport.
I agree. The point is that I remember as a lad people identified as Anglican, Catholic, Calvinist/Covenanters, or Lutherans. The recent use of the word "Christian" by angry and aggressive fundamentalists, excluding all other denominations makes us suspicious of the word "Christian" when one identifies as such.



Amergin
 

Dream

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Marsh said:
I'm not a member of the Orthodox church; don't know where you got that from.
Oops. I confused you with Dogbrain for a sec. Sorry about that.

Marsh said:
But I am a realist. Christians should be one, but they are not. You're debating this problem based on ideas that should be facts; I am looking at things based on ideas that are facts.
I thought I was too. To me there is no other solution to the problem of fundamentalist wackos and crazy ideas like snake handling and child whatevering. These things are going to continue to appear at random unless the churches somehow return to the most excellent way. Right now it is extremely easy to get a church upset about tiny issues, and that makes it easy to become influential in a church. In a church this does not have to be the case! Right now there is extreme weight placed upon understanding prophecies and doctrines a certain way. All that needs to happen is for that emphasis to shift to an extreme weight upon loving in spite of misunderstandings about prophecies and doctrines. Move away from rules and towards trust. Our knowledge is imperfect and our preaching is imperfect, and whatever issue we are focused on now will pass away. A focus on this will take away the ability to become either fundamentalist or influential within a church thus eliminating fundamentalist wackos from the church. (I am not suggesting at all that the churches de-emphasize scripture but to realize how imperfect and impermanent our knowledge, speech is.)

Marsh said:
Read your book of Ezekiel again, Dream; God deals with us on an individual basis, not collectively.
I see what you mean and yes guilt is individual. Keeping that in mind, there are still group responsibilities, benefits, problems and consequences. The church has to be of one mind. (Phil 1:27)
 

Amergin

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Trying to be of one mind is the major defect in Christianity. The million denominations of Christianity means that an awful lot of Christians believe the church should be of one mind...THEIR OWN

Even if it were possible, a world wide organisation in which all are of one mind sounds like the plot of a grade D Horror Movie. It precludes or actively suppresses free will.

The ideal church is one in which each member decides individually what to believe, what to think, and how to act.

It is even better if that church has no formal dogma, no doctrine of belief, no priestly structure, no bishops, and no popes. That gives a person like me with free will, the feeling of true freedom.

Freedom results when Gods are forgotten, Churches are sold for offices, libraries, lawyers offices, doctor's offices, and ritzy apartments. That might be the world that President John Adams and Political Philosopher Tom Paine would have wanted.

Amergin
 

Sam Albion

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Like volcanoes, religion's negative impact is more dramatic, compelling and evident than the more subtle positive effects that can be attributed to it. A few explosions and we lose sight of the small moments that occur in millions of peoples lives every day. It is my belief that this steady stream of subtler positive contributions shift the weight in favor of organized religion despite the rumbling and shaking that normally catches our attention.


I have to agree with this...
 

Dogbrain

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Are you personally responsible for all acts carried out by people who claim to share your beliefs?

Are you personally responsible for all acts carried out by people who claim a label that others use as a blanket term for people who do and don't share your beliefs but may have other superficial similarities?
 

Quahom1

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Trying to be of one mind is the major defect in Christianity. The million denominations of Christianity means that an awful lot of Christians believe the church should be of one mind...THEIR OWN

Even if it were possible, a world wide organisation in which all are of one mind sounds like the plot of a grade D Horror Movie. It precludes or actively suppresses free will.

The ideal church is one in which each member decides individually what to believe, what to think, and how to act.

It is even better if that church has no formal dogma, no doctrine of belief, no priestly structure, no bishops, and no popes. That gives a person like me with free will, the feeling of true freedom.

Freedom results when Gods are forgotten, Churches are sold for offices, libraries, lawyers offices, doctor's offices, and ritzy apartments. That might be the world that President John Adams and Political Philosopher Tom Paine would have wanted.

Amergin
The term "Church" is by its definition, "of the Lord". The original purpose of the church is for people who all agree they wish to follow the teachings and and direction of the Christian God.

There is no loss of free will, for it is of free will that a person chooses whether or not to become part of the church.

However, like a civil society, the church has to have rules by which the people belonging to the church agree to adhere to, or else it is not but anarchy.

Dismissing God as non-existent, ironically is like ignoring the judge in a court of law. One may not acknowledge the Judge, but the Judge still has the authority and power to pass a sentence that revokes one's freedom...
 

Saltmeister

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The ideal church is one in which each member decides individually what to believe, what to think, and how to act.

Affirmative.

It is even better if that church has no formal dogma, no doctrine of belief, no priestly structure, no bishops, and no popes. That gives a person like me with free will, the feeling of true freedom.

The church's function should be social and communal. The church should dedicate itself to looking after the dignity of fellow human beings.

Freedom results when Gods are forgotten, Churches are sold for offices, libraries, lawyers offices, doctor's offices, and ritzy apartments. That might be the world that President John Adams and Political Philosopher Tom Paine would have wanted.

Actually, I don't quite agree there. A major problem that comes with churches being knocked down or sold is the decline of social capital. There will be no community to look after the lower classes and poorer members of society and of the human race. What you are talking about is churches giving way to capitalism and I think you can see the effect capitalism has had in the world in the last 50 years.

The worst part of capitalism is greed. Greed is what led to the global financial crisis. Greed is what leads to environmental degradation and pollution. Greed is what leads to economic slavery, labour exploitation and sweatshops. It is where people pursue profits and ramp up economic activity to increase individual wealth.

Increased economic activity leads to pollution and environmental degradation. Increased individual wealth leads to a sense of vanity and self-indulgence. There is social pressure to accumulate individual wealth out of jealousy and envy, to keep up with others in the game and aim of accumulating individual wealth.

Rather than using one's individual wealth to help less fortunate members of society, people use it for their own personal benefit, gain and pleasure. Capitalism is good when there is a lot of trade, when there is plenty of consumption and spending and the money keeps flowing. But that is where the system breaks down.

When I read the New Testament, I find an alternative to this system of capitalism. It is a system that encourages jealousy, envy and vanity. People have the opportunity to accumulate individual wealth, to accumulate privately owned property, but the problem is that they don't exercise or exploit the opportunity to share it with others. They don't share their individually owned private property with the community.

The problem with attempts to implement communism in the last century was that people made it a top-down system. The problem with capitalism is that it assumes that you can't help people if you don't give them money. The problem with capitalism is that it is driven by individual private ownership of money and property. Capitalism is about owning things, not sharing things.

Under the system of capitalism, you have to give someone money to help them. You have to hand over ownership of your money to that person so that they can use that money to buy something they need. The reason why you have to do this is because you prefer not to sacrifice the time to actually give them what they need. You prefer to give them your money, not your time.

This is how capitalism needs to the decline of social capital. Capitalism does not encourage the formation of relationships between members of a community. If you can earn $50,000 a year, you don't need a community to survive. If you need something, you can buy it from the local supermarket or hardware store. There is no need to ask for something from your neighbour.

When you say that church buildings should be dismantled and replaced by office buildings, it sounds like you are promoting capitalism, which leads to this decline in social capital. Churches can perform a valuable function for society during times when unemployment is high.

I can certainly understand if you wanted to argue that churches often dabble in a pointless and futile obsession (because it has to do with something otherworldly, not with something in their present life) when they focus on hell, sin, Trinity, Jesus' divinity/deity and forgiveness from God. But here I am not talking about that.
 

Muslimwoman

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I am surprised that nobody on this thread has raised the issue of African culture and their traditional belief in witchcraft .. no matter which religion they belong to. Surely this basic belief, rather than Christianity itself, is driving this abuse of children and these "pastors" are simply using Christianity as a tool?
 

Quahom1

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I am surprised that nobody on this thread has raised the issue of African culture and their traditional belief in witchcraft .. no matter which religion they belong to. Surely this basic belief, rather than Christianity itself, is driving this abuse of children and these "pastors" are simply using Christianity as a tool?
Without further investigation, that would be merely speculation.

Got to clean our own house before we can cast a jaundiced eye towards another's...
 

Virtual_Cliff

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I am surprised that nobody on this thread has raised the issue of African culture and their traditional belief in witchcraft .. no matter which religion they belong to. Surely this basic belief, rather than Christianity itself, is driving this abuse of children and these "pastors" are simply using Christianity as a tool?

Yes. I saw a TV documentary presented by Peter Owen Jones which showed how in parts of Africa the Church is losing ground in a big way to massively popular voodoo practices, with animal sacrifices, the works.

The trouble is, this is what the people have decided they want, using their own free choice as Amergin suggested.

This highlights a perennial problem: you can't lead from too far in front. Sometimes patience and diplomacy is the best way. And education of course. Even then, if a qualified government teacher says that magic is mere superstition, s/he will not be believed. Personally I hate it when Jesus is used as a pretext for some horrendous crime, but it is the community of "believers" who are complicit in the crime, and they would not have it any other way. Public outrage may make us feel good but it won't change anything. The change has to come from the inside, and that will take generations, I think.
 

Quahom1

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...This highlights a perennial problem: you can't lead from too far in front. Sometimes patience and diplomacy is the best way. And education of course...
That is why the best Generals/Admirals are those that lead the troops personally (right in the midst of them on the battle field). They know their people, their personal issues, their general condition, and they live as one of them (the senior servant to the soldiers they've sworn to lead and protect). Preachers of good conscience and stewardship should be the same way.
 

Muslimwoman

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Personally I hate it when Jesus is used as a pretext for some horrendous crime, but it is the community of "believers" who are complicit in the crime, and they would not have it any other way.

This is why I am suprised that culture has not been discussed, surely if it's a cultural issue it would not matter if it was Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Voodoo or belief in aliens .. they would still be doing it?

This is why I asked the question whether it was a basic tradition in Africa or driven by Christianity. Is this something that existed culturally before Christianity came or has Christianity said abuse children guilty of witchcraft?

I just think it would be interesting to seperate out what Christianity says on the subject and see how much of this issue is driven by a local cultural tradition.
 

Dogbrain

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That is why the best Generals/Admirals are those that lead the troops personally (right in the midst of them on the battle field). They know their people, their personal issues, their general condition, and they live as one of them (the senior servant to the soldiers they've sworn to lead and protect). Preachers of good conscience and stewardship should be the same way.

Eisenhower was not on the beaches on D-Day. Does that mean that Rommel pushed Eisenhower's men back into the sea?

Pattons have their places, but so do Eisenhowers.
 

Muslimwoman

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Just watching the news and there's a piece on Pastors dealing with "witch children" in the UK.

They are not torturing or killing them but what I find interesting is that these Pastors and their congregations are immigrants to the UK from Africa. Given that the UK is a Christian country and this is only happening in immigrant communities it suggests they are bringing their cultural traditions with them, rather than their Christian beliefs.
 

Amica

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The facts about the african witch hunts just show that regardless of what the true teachings of a religion is (i.e. Islam, Christianity, Judaism, etc), its individual followers would still find a way to distort it in their own sick way, resulting in the horrible acts of crimes we have been witnessing: terrorism, ethnic cleansing, genocides, witch hunts, etc.
No religion teaches those. Although I am not a scholar, I will challenge anyone saying that the religions teach such.
 
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