dialogue about dialogue

Discussion in 'Comparative Studies' started by bananabrain, Jun 7, 2007.

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  1. lunamoth

    lunamoth Episcopalian

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    I know you would not mind Dor and I appreciate that we've had some good conversations in the past about this and other issues.

    My personal line is when someone tells me that because I do not believe exactly the way they do that I 'hate God' or 'hate Jesus' or 'don't love God/Christ/Jesus.' Those comments are beyond the pale, rude and hateful. That has happened to me on this forum and it makes me want to steer clear of certain posters, if not the whole Christianity forum altogether. Discussing controversial topics and clearly stating what you think to be true (or untrue) is one thing; making it personal and telling someone that they are 'unsaved' is another.
     
  2. Prober

    Prober Give Us This Day...

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    :( That's not right.
     
  3. lunamoth

    lunamoth Episcopalian

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    I'm not sure if you are responding to my post or not Mark. Just to be clear...it has not been anyone posting in this thread that has said such. In fact, no regular member here now.

    BTW, since the kids got out of school I have not been able to get online as much...missing you all!
     
  4. Prober

    Prober Give Us This Day...

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    Well then perhaps there's another opportunity for all of us to get along.:)
     
  5. lunamoth

    lunamoth Episcopalian

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    I don't think it ever left. I've clinked swords with other members here, including with other mods, but that has not caused us to dislike or avoid each other. We count each other as friends. Because it's always remained above personal insults.

    But we have gone through some periods where the Christianity forum was not a good/healthy place to hang out IMO.
     
  6. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    When some folks call me heretical I actually enjoy it, as it identifies where we are in conversation and allows me a bit of knowledge...much like when some folks call you a bible thumper.


    I believe all will be with G-d eventually....and others don't, it doesn't bother me that they don't, but it often bothers them that I do. Some folks say I am going to hell, and I say G-d loves them even if they believe that...and they don't like that.

    I agree with much of what people say and then I am accused of twisting words. I ask pointed questions regarding folks statements asking them to back it up or explain how the two scriptures align...and I am being nitpicky...

    I think G-d is loving and forgiving and I am taking things out of context...I can deal with it...but others can't always deal with me.

    Hence I am comfortable in the corner...
     
  7. InLove

    InLove at peace

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    Hey Everyone :)

    (Uh-oh, this one looks very long.)

    It is hard to believe that the Lib board has only been around for just about one year. I remember this because I went into the hospital for about a month last June/July, and when I got home, I was so confused! There was this whole new board called Liberal Christianity, all filled up with a plethora of new threads and old ones that had been transferred there. Wow, thought I, thinking that this would be a place where Christians who didn’t quite fit the mainstream mold could peacefully discuss stuff like, oh, maybe Scripture? Peacefully without upsetting our literalist friends. I thought it might be a place where we could finally investigate the actual literary aspects of the Bible, maybe look into some allegorical or mystical interpretations. But what I found when I started catching up was that it wasn’t very peaceful, and anything that even hinted at a conventional approach was not welcome. I saw poster after poster who had tried to join in, saying they had never felt like they quite belonged to the mainstream, only to be shot down when they tried to talk about the Bible or their love of Christ. Anyone who did this was immediately labeled a “fundy” and basically asked to change their point of reference or leave. But that was at first, and things have changed.

    Now, I know that wil and Abo and some other folks campaigned to get the Lib board up and running, but I think it was created mainly to accommodate one person, who was admittedly a secular humanist (not a liberal Christian) with a personal axe to grind, who took every opportunity to bash Christianity and remind us all of her supposed intellectual superiority. Now, I don’t remember if she was banned, but if she was, it was because, after everything that had been done to help make a place where she could speak freely, she carried her axe on down into Comparative Studies and continued her bid to basically take over CR and turn it into a radical extremist site which opposed interfaith dialogue with anyone, Christian or otherwise, who held to any fundamental aspects of religion at all. But after all of this, she came back, I believe, under a different handle, and as far as I know, is actually still a member, whether she still posts or not. And I think she tried to come back and be more civil, but maybe without all the uproar, she was bored? I don’t know. Anyway, I’ll say this much for her—she was interesting, and in spite of her hurtful rants, she left us with a place where we can actually talk about things in a more inclusive way, and for that I am grateful. I’m sure she would think it odd that folks like myself are considered “liberal” by many, and that I tend to make my home in the LC now.

    Then there is the flipside. There are folks who help spawn the sort of bitterness described above by what that lady might have called “religious abuse”. These are the folks who, regardless of how devoted they may be to the idea of “love the sinner, hate the sin” cannot seem to demonstrate that same love in their actions. It comes off like passion without compassion, and so much of the time it renders the point they so desperately want to share ineffective at best, and unhealthy and hurtful the rest of the time. And they openly wonder why people don’t want to invest in the heaven they speak of, when they themselves appear to be stuck in some kind of perpetual hell already. And they don’t have the common courtesy to let up every now and then with the threadstarting either. It’s one thing to be good at starting conversations, but someone (don’t remember who) recently used the term “carpet bombing” to describe what happens when someone with a tunnel vision type agenda gets going. I thought that was a good description. I mean, anyone trying to have a conversation about anything else might as well take a vacation for a while, because it is next to impossible to continue it when any post you make gets buried by five or six new threads every time. This may be exciting to some folks, and I may just be slow or something, but I really don’t appreciate it, and it does appear to me to be a transgression of the Code of Conduct. I am glad that the young “preacher” who recently engaged in this type of activity has apparently emerged in a more mature capacity due to whatever training he may have received from devoted veterans in the Christianity garden. I’ve picked up on a couple of hints, but I must say that the difference is so marked that I hardly recognize him. So he has been here under more than one new name? I have only imagined one. How about that? What a difference, and much appreciated from this end! It is kind of like when someone finally turns the boom box down—then I can actually hear the music and my headache gets better.

    I know this post is long, but I don’t do this very often, so hopefully those reading this will bear with me just a little bit longer. There has been a lot said about how we shouldn’t be offended by the words of another—about how we ought to be tolerant even of intolerance. Well, that’s fine to a point. Perhaps something worth working on individually. However, what I think needs to be considered is that people can get offended for the sake of others. In other words, I can usually take whatever is dished out without falling apart or losing my way. But there are people who are in tender places that are in need of loving kindness and are sincerely seeking a kind word. They already may be hurting more than anyone can imagine, even if they don’t say so. So when I see someone with an apparently gentle soul getting their head flushed down the toilet in the name of Christ, I make no apology for getting a bit riled. It ain’t right, folks, and it should not be allowed here. You can talk to me all day about sticks and stones and how words can’t hurt, but obviously they sometimes do. And I’m sure I have been the offender from time to time, and I might even have done it in this post. But sometimes I just have to stand up in defense of those who really have shown no malice and yet are fed to the lions, all because they don’t fit into a certain theological box. Like maybe those folks who’d like to attend a church, but are told to check their sins at the door. What good is a church if a person can’t come as they are, sin—or perceived sin—and all? Surely God knows their heart better than anyone in the church.

    Well, I still think we need the Lib board. Even if there isn’t that much activity. It is still a safe haven for certain folks and certain conversations. I realize it may be difficult to moderate, because it does tend to lend itself to subjects like Christo-Buddhism and such that can usually be handled in Belief and Spirituality or Comparative Studies. But there’s something unique about it in that it actually can narrow things down a bit when needed. For the most part, maybe we Christians can get along on the Christianity board, and only when it feels right to post on the LC out of respect, then it is still there. Personally, I have always thought it should be a subforum in Abrahamic religions, but then wil and some others have given me food for thought in this area that I had not considered or understood before. I guess it really doesn’t matter to me, as long as there is a place for everyone to feel at home, or at least somewhat comfortable.

    LOL, guess I needed to get some thing off my chest, huh? Thanks for reading. (And if you skimmed it, you should go back and read it all because I spent a lot of time writing it. :D )

    InPeace,
    InLove
     
  8. InLove

    InLove at peace

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    Employing repair kit--bump. Not showing on Last Post.
     
  9. Dondi

    Dondi Active Member

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    When you build a house, you start with a foundation and a basic frame structure. Then you add walls, doors, windows, piping, electrical wiring, etc. Then you paint it and furnish it. Then occasionally, you might want construct additional rooms or perhaps a deck. God's mansion has many rooms and I'm not trying to deny anyone from coming into the Christianity forum. Nor limit discussion on non-traditional issues. I'm just trying to establish a sense of order instead of meshing every form of Christianity together. I just think it would be good to start with a basic foundation.

    Actually, I'm willing to try the forum without any garden walls and give the benefit of the doubt that it will work without the foundation. I don't want to have anyone feel uninvited. I actually liked some of you comments, China, even if I might seldom agree with your position. Yes, I have a vision of what Christianity is and is not. But it is not without basis. I just don't want the forum to turn into something its not, as exampled in my posts aboove, that's all.

    But ok, I'll relent if it'll make everyone happy. It's not just my forum anyway.
     
  10. Dondi

    Dondi Active Member

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    InLove, I've read and considered what you've wrote and you have some good and valid points. I'm trying to see both sides of the issue myself. The one thing I don't want to see is something like what caused the Lib board to happen in the first place. If we can learn to respect each other's views and acknowledge our differences without getting at each other's throats, we'll be doing good. I've spoken my view on it and I respect what others are saying. I don't want anyone feeling that they don't belong on the Christianity board if they claim a legitimate faith in Christ, even if I don't see them eye to eye theologically.
     
  11. ardenz

    ardenz New Member

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    Maybe I'm insulting people here, but Instead of there being a seperate Liberal Christian forum there should be a forum called Traditional Christianity (or something like that).

    There are also perhaps differences in cultural background. To state the obvious. We speak a common language on this forum - English - (and are probably all native speakers), but we come from different cultures: British, American, Australian, Irish (moi), etc.... And these differences can be noticed in language nuances, cultural etc...points of reference.

    I feel that visiting the Christian forum can be like visiting a Bible class from school. Thank God I 've grown up now. Jesus never mentioned anything about reading the Bible. I prefer exploring the mystery. Throw the instruction book away and live.
    Ardenz :)
     
  12. ardenz

    ardenz New Member

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    bumping thread.
     
  13. Dondi

    Dondi Active Member

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    What? Jesus never mentioned about reading the bible? I beg to differ. (I'd bible thump ya, but this isn't the place for ;))
     
  14. ardenz

    ardenz New Member

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    The "Thumping" mentality is exactly the reason why I would never have anything to do with a certain type of Christianity as it is being portrayed today. I meant the "Bible" that was written after him, about him and long after him. From what I understand, he didn't actually write it and say read this after me.
     
  15. Dondi

    Dondi Active Member

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    I was kidding, of course. I'm glad you cleared this up, though. I would have referred you to the OT which Jesus quoted from. But you are right, He never wrote anything down. But he did say, "If a man love me, he will keep my words"

    By the way, what is you idea of bible thumping? It's not merely just sharing something from the bible, is it?
     
  16. Tao_Equus

    Tao_Equus Interfaith Forums

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    I'd go with that!! But I wont go into it here.
    I think a problem for me personally in staying detached enough to remain civil is that in some cases there seems to be an underlying bias toward the idea that all faith is essentially harmless. Where it patently is not. From full-scale war, to genocide, to individual murders what is done in the name of religion is often barbaric. Usually the justification comes from literalistic interpretations of specific pieces of text from one religion or another. And what gives the minority of individuals that actually partake in the atrocities sanction and cover is the many who stand passively in support wearing rose coloured spectacles. Bush's invasion of Iraq is a prime example. Bush never makes a speech without reference to God and he does this to garner the backing of fundamentalist America which is the backbone of his support, and without which he would never get elected. The fact that he only does so because he has to seems lost on so many. Wave a flag and say God a few times and mass murder becomes acceptable. So this is where I have greatest difficulty with the extremes and sometimes the PC required by this site forces me to tone down the language to remain respectful to the individual. It is a useful exercise. The world I want to live in is tolerant and respectful. But it is not always that easy.

    TE
     
  17. China Cat Sunflower

    China Cat Sunflower Nimrod

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    I must be living in an alternate reality because I remember things entirely differently. I remember the stifling condescension of arrogance that was the Christianity board. I remember how certain moderators played favorites, and shamelessly egged on the factionalism. I remember how when Liberal Christianity started the people were so raw from their ill treatment at the hands of the "Christians" that they wanted a place that they "owned" from which to retaliate in kind. Or maybe I just dreamed it all.
     
  18. juantoo3

    juantoo3 ʎʇıɹoɥʇnɐ uoıʇsǝnb

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    Kindest Regards, China Cat!
    I suppose it is perspective. All I did was try to keep the peace, and got slammed for it from both sides.
     
  19. lunamoth

    lunamoth Episcopalian

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    InLove,

    I read every word you wrote and thank you very much for that post. I think it is an excellet recap of what happened and your observations, as far as I can tell, are spot on.

    From my perspective the lib board is not difficult to moderate (I was probably one of the main mods there for most of the time until the recent changes), so that is not the issue. And I know that wil, earl, yourself and others have found a safe haven there now that it's settled down. My objection is that it appears to legitimize the idea that there is an 'us and them' in Christianity. A good example was when Silas decided that the lib forum represented the great unsaved masses of CR (aka fish in a barrel) and so started prosyletizing threads there. Also, as InLove mentioned, how conservative members were subjected to something like a witch trial when the LC board first started.

    Once we start making divisions, whether we call them liberal or traditional or whatever, there's no stopping it. I, for example, might make a division based upon the Nicene Creed for tradtional Christianity, but then we'd need subforums for JW, LDS, SDA etc etc. The description as we have it in the COC now (or at least it used to be): anyone who accepts Jesus Christ as Savior. That category is very wide and allows people to define for themselves (as it should be) whether they are a Christian. It does not mean everyone needs to agree even on what that means...but then that's what makes discussion interesting.

    I see the subforums at CR mostly as categories for discussion, not meant to be defining of the particular religion. However, I am speaking only for myself...as a member and not as staff.

    CR is the first forum I ever joined (and is still one of only about three or four I've ever participated in). I joined here because the level of discussion was high and the members were very civil to each other, even where there were disagreements. I felt safe putting my little ideas out there and did not feel that everyone here would jump on me. For the most part CR still is this way, thanks to Brian and the efforts of all the mods here. It is still a great discussion forum. Just wanted to thank you again to Brian. :)
     
  20. Faithfulservant

    Faithfulservant New Member

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    If I made you feel that way then Im sorry :( Im working on it I promise. Im trying to not be a slave to my emotions or to other people. I have issues after living in an abusive relationship and things like sarcasm and passive aggressiveness hit sore spots and I react.. Im trying to not be like that.

    You dont need Q to release you.. I doubt he realizes that you are requesting it.
     
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