What is the future of Christianity?

sasa

Member
Messages
12
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Is there any future of Christianity at all? The teachings of Christianity were limited to the people of that time. Jesus said "if you are slapped on one side of your face, offer the other side of the face too." This teaching certainly is not applicable in today's society. Isn't it enough to prove that the teachings were limited to that certain time period?
So can the Christian world survive just by acting on the teachings of Christianity at all?
 
sasa said:
Is there any future of Christianity at all? The teachings of Christianity were limited to the people of that time. Jesus said "if you are slapped on one side of your face, offer the other side of the face too." This teaching certainly is not applicable in today's society. Isn't it enough to prove that the teachings were limited to that certain time period?
So can the Christian world survive just by acting on the teachings of Christianity at all?
That teaching is extremely applicable today. Though not accepted or followed in today's society, it is as true today as it was when it was originally written (and it goes back further than Christianity). Ghandi changed the world with this teaching. So did Martin Luther King, Jr. Christianity will survive when it recognizes and follows the teachings of Jesus in their fullness. However, Christianity will falter in the face of more modern expressions of its central teachings when other "faiths" or ideologies better epitomize those teachings.
 
Would any Christian dominated country allow a different country to attack them and destroy them. I don't think so. It is just simply not applicable. If they do it, it will be disasterous for them.
 
sasa said:
Would any Christian dominated country
There's no such thing as a "Christian-dominated country" if you define Christianity as adherence to the teachings of Jesus. "Christian-dominated" is an oxymoron.
 
So can the Christian world survive just by acting on the teachings of Christianity at all?
I'm not sure what you're asking. Are you implying that Western governments are Christian? Because the West is fairly secular, y'know, and rarely acts on Christian teachings. But if you mean Christianity itself - well, its continuing growth would suggest Christianity can survive just fine.

Would any Christian dominated country allow a different country to attack them and destroy them. I don't think so. It is just simply not applicable. If they do it, it will be disasterous for them.
For the individual, turning the other cheek is applicable. For the government, defense of its citizens is an obligation. Further, Jesus himself told his apostles to go out and sell their cloaks for swords, cuz he wasn't going to be with them much longer. Self-defense is clearly justified in the Bible.
 
So that makes it quite contradictory. on one instance, the self defence is allowed and on the other instance it is advised to offer your other cheek as well.
 
KnightoftheRose said:
.


For the individual, turning the other cheek is applicable.
What if some one literally punches you. Would you allow him to punch you on your other cheek as well.

Jesus was a great prophet but for that particular period and people of Israel.
 
sasa said:
So that makes it quite contradictory. on one instance, the self defence is allowed and on the other instance it is advised to offer your other cheek as well.
No. If you follow the teachings of Christ you always try to offer the other cheek. States/Nations aren't capable of being "Christian" in the sense being discussed in this thread. They are human, political institutions with division and violence inherent in their very nature. "Christian government" is also an oxymoron.
 
So what about if some one slaps at your face. I think then the teaching is not applicable. The best teaching in that instance will be that you are allowed to take the revenge but not a single point more, but it will be better for you if you forgive him if it does not cause an increase in the violence.
 
sasa said:
So what about if some one slaps at your face. I think then the teaching is not applicable. The best teaching in that instance will be that you are allowed to take the revenge but not a single point more, but it will be better for you if you forgive him if it does not cause an increase in the violence.
That's fine. It just means you don't agree with the nonviolence teachings of Jesus. You don't have to. And you're in a lot of company. Almost nobody accepts them.

Personally, I think that the teaching is correct. Violence creates a neverending cycle of violence unless someone has the love and courage to take the violence without seeking retribution. Revenge heals no wounds. Love heals them all.
 
My point of discussion here is not intended to anger any one. I am actually a person who believes that if religious discussion is done just for the sake of arguments, then no one actually gets any where. I believe Jesus to be one the great prophets of God who was sent into the world for the people of Israel. His teachings are not applicable now, but they were the most beautiful teachings if we see them in the context of the period when Christ was sent. The followers of Jesus were small in number and Jews were in the majority and at that time followers of Jesus weren't in a position of taking revenge. Hence the teachings could not have been any better for that time scale.
 
I don't think anyone is getting angry. I think we have a difference of opinion, but that's part of the dialogue. Personally, I think the teachings of Jesus (most if not all) are as applicable today as they were when the gospels were written. In particular, the teaching you used as an example has had a profound influence on me and many others both today and in the last century as seen by the examples of Ghandi and Martin Luther King, Jr.
 
Last edited:
So back to the question in the title of this thread: the future of Christianity is quite safe. The future of the Christian churches will depend on their willingness to teach and follow the teachings of Jesus. If someone else does, and the Church doesn't, people will go elsewhere and the Church will be obsolete.

The sheep know the shepherd's voice.;)
 
Abogado del Diablo said:
Personally, I think that the teaching is correct. Violence creates a neverending cycle of violence unless someone has the love and courage to take the violence without seeking retribution. Revenge heals no wounds. Love heals them all.
Absolutely, Love does heal all the wounds. But the teachings of Christ do not allow you to take revenge if it aggravates the violence. The teachings were the most beautiful for that time period but not for today.
On the other hand, Islamic teachings are the perfect for any individual or a nation on whole if followed.
Once again I would like to emphasize on the point that I am not here to hurt any one's feelings.
Thanks.
 
Kindest Regards, sasa, and welcome to CR!
sasa said:
So what about if some one slaps at your face. I think then the teaching is not applicable. The best teaching in that instance will be that you are allowed to take the revenge but not a single point more, but it will be better for you if you forgive him if it does not cause an increase in the violence.
I think you are considering a traditional interpretation of that particular passage dealing with "turning the other cheek." If I may offer an alternative view:

My understanding is that this is a (mis)translation of an Aramaic "figure of speech," which is called an "idiom." Unfortunately, it does not translate well into English.

As I understand it, the idiom means something like; "Start (or begin) no hateful thing with your neighbor. If a hateful thing begins between you and your neighbor, you have the "right" to defend yourself."

This is obviously my paraphrase, and I can stand correction. But it has long troubled me that the tradtional way of understanding "turn the other cheek" is inconsistent with common sense. God's teachings are nothing if they are not common sense.

Christians are not doormats. Traditional teaching about "turn the other cheek" is in my view (politely) incorrect. I have other words I use to describe this being incorrect, but those words are not so polite.

For example, if a bully attacks you, are you going back the next day to let him attack you again? Are you going to willfully give yourself as a punching bag every day for the rest of your life? Are you "sinning" if you don't? Just give up everything; your life, your family, your possessions, all manner of substance that defines you and your life, because some bully says so? No, I don't think so. I really don't think that is what Jesus had in mind when He first taught this. Perhaps this concept is better understood as "do unto others what you would have done unto yourself," only in reverse. What if someone treats you in an ill manner? One way of dealing with it is to remove yourself from the situation, if possible. If you cannot leave the situation, or it is more prudent not to, then you have every "right" to defend yourself, your family, your livelihood, your possessions, your land and your country. This is how I understand Jesus' teaching of "turn the other cheek."
 
sasa said:
Absolutely, Love does heal all the wounds. But the teachings of Christ do not allow you to take revenge if it aggravates the violence.
Correct. So you disagree with the teaching because you want to be able to take revenge. That has nothing to do with the teaching only being applicable to a certain time. It has to do with the fact that you, Sasa, don't agree with it. Others, myself included, do agree with it and try to abide by it because it's true, regardless of who taught it. Nevertheless, they are still beautiful teachings and are applicable today as seen by people who still understand and try to follow them.

Revenge is an expected human response to the perception of being wronged. Revenge requires revenge. The wisdom of the teaching is that it perceives that love heals and revenge doesn't. That has not become "no longer true" just because we live in a more violent society. In fact, we live in a far less violent society than the Roman world in which this teaching was written. Indeed, the teaching was probably even less followed or acknowledged in the ancient world than they are today.
 
Last edited:
juantoo3 said:
Just give up everything; your life, your family, your possessions, all manner of substance that defines you and your life, because some bully says so?
Juan,

Reading what you wrote here reminds me of something . . . ;)

Interesting point about the alternative translation. I need to research it.
 
I don't disagree because I can not take revenge, but it is just not applicable in any society to let some one harm you even if you forgive him once or twice or so on and so forth.
I think any one, no matter which society or sect he belongs to will find the Islamic teachings the most beautiful of all, which allowes you take revenge (but not a single bit more), but promises for the rewards you are going to get if you forgive (if it does not results in increase in violence). These are no doubt the most beautiful teachings which tells you the importance of forgiveness but allows you take revenge if there is no other option.
 
juantoo3 said:
As I understand it, the idiom means something like; "Start (or begin) no hateful thing with your neighbor. If a hateful thing begins between you and your neighbor, you have the "right" to defend yourself."
Juan:

I will look into the translation issues when I get a chance, but looking at the passage in context, I don't think it could take the meaning you are suggesting here.

Matthew 5 said:
38"You have heard that it was said, 'Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.'[g] 39But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. 40And if someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. 41If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. 42Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.
43"You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor[h] and hate your enemy.' 44But I tell you: Love your enemies[i] and pray for those who persecute you, 45that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
Standing alone, the "striking of a cheek" might be an idiom for being "insulted" possibly. So that the passage could be construed along the lines of "sticks and stones." But the context seems to void that possibility.

Anyway, I'll see what I can figure out about the translation issues when I get home later today.
 
Back
Top