Topic: Is Christianity Good for the World?

Since several atheism-related posts have been made lately, I thought I'd point out that ChristianityToday is hosting a correspondance between Christopher Hitchens and Douglas Wilson.  The first installment was posted earlier today.

http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/200 … -12.0.html

I feel a nostalgia for an age yet to come...

Re: Is Christianity Good for the World?

Thanks, opus, for the heads-up.  I love reading D.Wilson.
Also, ABC's Nightline is covering a debate (between Cameron/Comfort and the Rational Response Squad, whom I had mentioned in the related post "arrogance and atheism") and airing it tonight (as well as online).

http://abcnews.go.com/Nightline/story?i … mp;page=1/

Last edited by Kristi (2007-05-09 12:28:00)

Use thy duties, as Noah's dove did her wings, to carry thee to the ark of the Lord Jesus Christ, where only there is rest. ~ Isaac Ambrose

Re: Is Christianity Good for the World?

Yes I think the Christianity is good for the world and mankind its a religion with faith, love and peace an its a religion with relationship and totally the Christianity is awesome for the world. http://www.gvelc.com

Re: Is Christianity Good for the World?

anybody know of video online for that nightline story? I'd love to see it even though that was months ago

Re: Is Christianity Good for the World?

The link that Kristi gave has the video in the upper right hand corner of the page, unless you block the popups for the domain.

Honored to Serve for Him - Tom ('Mas) Pickering <)><

Re: Is Christianity Good for the World?

Since there's been no discussion based on the links offered above... No, Christianity is not good for the world. I firmly believe that, at this point in our development, religion does more to hinder our growth as a species than almost anything else (this of course only applies to those who have the luxury to even entertain such lofty questions; if your starving and have no shelter I don't think it's an issue). I contend that we should evolve past these myth cycles and their characters while keeping those good things like love, compassion, humility. If this isn't possible at some point, I fear for all of us. Anyone care to chime in with any evidence that will show that religion helps? Look what kind of irrational influence Christianity has on our government. The power of the legions of adherents to some form of Christianity keep us in a frame of mind that we should legislate morality. How many wars have been fought over religion? How many have died? Belief in a god can be helpful to elevate the consciousness somewhat and encourage us to less selfish, but I see organized religion pervert these ideals over and over again. Too often, instead of getting us thinking beyond our narrow view of reality, religion instead narrows that view even further (because their tenets define our existence and our relationship to the universe so specifically) and gives its adherents license to judge those who differ.

Last edited by Ka-Mai (2008-01-29 12:52:23)

Re: Is Christianity Good for the World?

Interesting opinion.

In my opinion, even just considering the U.S. alone, Christian theology is responsible:
* for the belief that all people have equal rights
* for the end of legal slavery
* for the right of women to vote
* for the concept of charity

In my opinion, Christian theology promotes:
* the sanctity of life
* honesty in government and business
* compassion, mercy and wisdom
* joy and forgiveness

In my opinion, there's a whole lotta good stuff in the Good Book.

"I was blind, but now I see!"  John 9:25

Re: Is Christianity Good for the World?

Ka-Mai wrote:

Since there's been no discussion based on the links offered above... No, Christianity is not good for the world. I firmly believe that, at this point in our development, religion does more to hinder our growth as a species than almost anything else (this of course only applies to those who have the luxury to even entertain such lofty questions; if your starving and have no shelter I don't think it's an issue). I contend that we should evolve past these myth cycles and their characters while keeping those good things like love, compassion, humility. If this isn't possible at some point, I fear for all of us. Anyone care to chime in with any evidence that will show that religion helps? Look what kind of irrational influence Christianity has on our government. The power of the legions of adherents to some form of Christianity keep us in a frame of mind that we should legislate morality. How many wars have been fought over religion? How many have died? Belief in a god can be helpful to elevate the consciousness somewhat and encourage us to less selfish, but I see organized religion pervert these ideals over and over again. Too often, instead of getting us thinking beyond our narrow view of reality, religion instead narrows that view even further (because their tenets define our existence and our relationship to the universe so specifically) and gives its adherents license to judge those who differ.

Certainly, humanity has done countless unspeakable things in the name of religion, both to those that don't subscribe to the same belief and even those that do.  Man is inherently sinful, prone to opt for satisfying selfish wants.  It's not the religion that causes that, it's the man.  In the same way, MySpace is a benign societal convention that many benefit from.  Does the fact that some choose to twist its weaknesses and the trust of its users into tools of evil mean that MySpace is itself evil?  A bathtub can be used to cleanse the body and soothe away the tension of the day.  It can also be used as a sturdy shelter during a dangerous storm.  It can also be used to murder someone by drowning or electrocution.  Should we abandon bathtubs to the trash heap because some use it for evil?  Wouldn't that be, to use a cliche’ phrase, throwing the baby out with the bath water?  I believe the same is true of religion.  Of course, I hold that my belief system describes the path to salvation and I would prefer that all come to know that and believe like me.  I accept that many will refuse to hear the truth as I know it and reject the possibility that I am right.  I won't bludgeon the non-believer or wish harm on them, any more than Christ did.  As He hung on the cross, His attitude was to ask God to forgive those torturing Him because they had no clue.  I should do no less.  Do I blow it on occasion?  Unfortunately, yes.  I am not perfect, only forgiven.  I find the crusades and the Holocaust to have been reprehensible acts of evil done in the name of Christ.  For me, that speaks only to the sinfulness of man, not the religion he follows.

Honored to Serve for Him - Tom ('Mas) Pickering <)><

Re: Is Christianity Good for the World?

Check out this video when you have about an hour and 45 minutes.  It addresses the things you brought up, particularly  the travesties that have been perpetrated at the hands of Christians (versus those at the hands of atheists).  And it's not just a straw man, either - it's Christopher Hitchens, one of the very top names in biology and atheism.

If you want an ever better resource, D'Souza also has a very good book entitled, "What's So Great About Christianity".  It goes into much greater detail on all these things and more.  I would highly, highly recommend it to any Christian, atheist, humanist, agnostic, or anything else.  It will give you much to consider.

If you want answers to these sorts of questions, these resources will be an excellent starting point.

One life, it will soon be past. Only what's done for Christ will last. (Studd)

Re: Is Christianity Good for the World?

Yes, yes. Guns don't kill people, people kill people. Weak argument. By the way, my opinion was meant as an indictment of organized religion as a whole, not just Chrisitanity. I read the question as being what Christianity does, not what it's supposed to do. As far as Montgomery's assertions above, I just have to laugh. Apply the arguments of your fellow believiers, it wasn't Christianity that did it, it was done by progressive men and women (some of whom were Chrisitians). As far as what it promotes... maybe that's what it's supposed to promote, fine. But what does it really do?

Thanks to Logan above, for the suggested reading.

Last edited by Ka-Mai (2008-01-31 13:30:08)

Re: Is Christianity Good for the World?

Montgomery wrote:

Interesting opinion.

In my opinion, even just considering the U.S. alone, Christian theology is responsible:
* for the belief that all people have equal rights
* for the end of legal slavery
* for the right of women to vote
* for the concept of charity

In my opinion, Christian theology promotes:
* the sanctity of life
* honesty in government and business
* compassion, mercy and wisdom
* joy and forgiveness

In my opinion, there's a whole lotta good stuff in the Good Book.

Christianity did not end slavery or give women the right to vote. The Bible actually says that slavery SHOULD happen and women SHOULD NOT be allowed to vote:

However, you may purchase male or female slaves from among the foreigners who live among you.  You may also purchase the children of such resident foreigners, including those who have been born in your land.  You may treat them as your property, passing them on to your children as a permanent inheritance.  You may treat your slaves like this, but the people of Israel, your relatives, must never be treated this way.  (Leviticus 25:44-46 NLT)

If you buy a Hebrew slave, he is to serve for only six years.  Set him free in the seventh year, and he will owe you nothing for his freedom.  If he was single when he became your slave and then married afterward, only he will go free in the seventh year.  But if he was married before he became a slave, then his wife will be freed with him.  If his master gave him a wife while he was a slave, and they had sons or daughters, then the man will be free in the seventh year, but his wife and children will still belong to his master.  But the slave may plainly declare, 'I love my master, my wife, and my children.  I would rather not go free.'  If he does this, his master must present him before God.  Then his master must take him to the door and publicly pierce his ear with an awl.  After that, the slave will belong to his master forever.  (Exodus 21:2-6 NLT)

When a man sells his daughter as a slave, she will not be freed at the end of six years as the men are.  If she does not please the man who bought her, he may allow her to be bought back again.  But he is not allowed to sell her to foreigners, since he is the one who broke the contract with her.  And if the slave girl's owner arranges for her to marry his son, he may no longer treat her as a slave girl, but he must treat her as his daughter.  If he himself marries her and then takes another wife, he may not reduce her food or clothing or fail to sleep with her as his wife.  If he fails in any of these three ways, she may leave as a free woman without making any payment.  (Exodus 21:7-11 NLT)

When a man strikes his male or female slave with a rod so hard that the slave dies under his hand, he shall be punished.  If, however, the slave survives for a day or two, he is not to be punished, since the slave is his own property.  (Exodus 21:20-21 NAB)

Slaves, obey your earthly masters with deep respect and fear.  Serve them sincerely as you would serve Christ.  (Ephesians 6:5 NLT)

Also see:

http://www.evilbible.com/sexism_in_the_torah.htm

for examples were women are deemed inferior.

You may also read Numbers 1:2 and Numbers 30:3-16

Now, CHRISTIANS have helped end the madness of slavery & helped women gain the right to vote. However, CHRISTIANITY has not.

Oh, by the way, the concept that all people have equal rights originated from deism, not Christianity.

I won't refute what Christianity promotes, as many secs DO promote those things.

Yes, yes. Guns don't kill people, people kill people. Weak argument. By the way, my opinion was meant as an indictment of organized religion as a whole, not just Chrisitanity. I read the question as being what Christianity does, not what it's supposed to do. As far as Montgomery's assertions above, I just have to laugh. Apply the arguments of your fellow believiers, it wasn't Christianity that did it, it was done by progressive men and women (some of whom were Chrisitians). As far as what it promotes... maybe that's what it's supposed to promote, fine. But what does it really do?

Oh, I should have read what you posted before writing everything I did. Yes, exactly the point.

Re: Is Christianity Good for the World?

I would say that the Bible does not say that slavery SHOULD happen, it states that it DOES happen or DID happen. It regulated how it should be carried out so it would not be cruel or unjust. And in the context of our lives today, these verses have much value and insight if you analyze them beyond their literal value.

The link you gave... You understand that you're reading content written by a pretty hardcode sounding feminist, right? I don't have any problem with feminism, but you need to keep things in context and perspective, and this writer definitely does not. You're going to have a very hard time reading anything of value online that presents these issues with decent understanding of the biblical context and how these verses can be applied to today. One cannot hack down Christianity or build up false claims against it based on solely misinterpreting the Old Testament.

Last edited by michael (2008-03-31 09:52:59)

Re: Is Christianity Good for the World?

I would differentiate between the nature of man and the nature of God in this discussion. And also much of this comes down to if you believe that God exists. Let me explain...

If we derive a philosophy of life from the teachings of Christ, we would come up with something like:
* Love God with all your heard, soul, mind, and strength
* Love your neighbor as yourself
* Count others as better than yourself
* Seek to do good to people (even your enemies) and not harm
* Be compassionate towards those in need
* Work hard in everything you do as if you were working for God himself
* Encourage the weak and timid people
* Admonish the unruly people
* Encourage others to live by these principles
* And more of this...

Who can argue that those are not all good rules to live by? Any reasonable person can see that if we really followed these rules, the overall effect of your live would be positive if you effectively executed on these principles. This philosophy of life is truly a good contribution to the world.

Unfortunately, no human being seems to have been able to live this way without failing in minor and major ways at some point during their lives. The Bible would explain this as a consequence of the nature of mankind as bing innately sinful and flawed because of the original sin. Still, even if humans can not be perfect in living like Christ, striving to live this way calls many to a more noble life that they would not have achieved otherwise.

Of course, if you don't believe that God exists, then the principles given by Christ would be nothing more than fiction to you. And, if you add on top of that Christ's claim to be God, you would be forced to discount each and every thing he said.

So, I really think that question must be settled to have a level field on which to conduct this discussion.

Re: Is Christianity Good for the World?

joshcramer wrote:

Who can argue that those are not all good rules to live by? Any reasonable person can see that if we really followed these rules, the overall effect of your live would be positive if you effectively executed on these principles. This philosophy of life is truly a good contribution to the world.

I don't think anyone would argue that those are not good rules to live by. However, I don't think that you can use them to prove that Christianity is good for the world. Most, if not all, of those are ideals espoused by pretty much every world religion. Loving your neighbor as yourself, or encouraging weak and timid people, or being compassionate to those in need are not unique to Jesus Christ's teachings. You can find similar statements in Buddhism, Islam, and other religions.

joshcramer wrote:

Of course, if you don't believe that God exists, then the principles given by Christ would be nothing more than fiction to you. And, if you add on top of that Christ's claim to be God, you would be forced to discount each and every thing he said.

Not necessarily. It could be argued that Buddhists don't believe in God, per se, but I have yet to meet a Buddhist who didn't hold those aforementioned ideals in high regard, certainly moreso than just "fiction". Indeed, I know people who have become Buddhist precisely because Buddhists appeared to hold them in higher regard than Christians.

I feel a nostalgia for an age yet to come...

Re: Is Christianity Good for the World?

My belief on this subject pretty much goes along with Mas's and Montgomery's perspectives!  One thing that i do know is that there will not be any atheists on judgement day! Think about it!  As far as religion in general;  most have a good side to them however only *CHRIST* was the *SON* of the only true living *GOD* and died on the cross to wash us clean and one day;  we will not have these wars, pestilences, famines, tribulations, tears, sorrows or even pain!  The hearts of men are evil and therefore the deeds of men start in their hearts!  The *WORD* of *GOD* tells us to be kind towards one another;  to love our brothers as we love ourselves!  Maybe this discussion should be about the evils of Hollywood and the evils of men run organizations?  Just a thought!
________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
                                                              The *WORD* to live by:  To live is *CHRIST*;  to die is gain!

Re: Is Christianity Good for the World?

Knight,
EvilBible.com is Dead

Large portions of evilbible.com have been considered, dissected and declared
fallacious on very many levels.

Two examples of this fact are as follows:

Whilst besmirching the Bible for allegedly commanding rape evilbible.com,
for some odd reason, neglects to mention the most relevant biblical text
related to the biblical view of and law about rape. Why this omission? Who
knows, but it would certainly have gotten in the way of a good session of
emotive expression of prejudice-it would have discredited evilbible.com to
reference this most important text. Indeed, those annoying little facts have
an annoying way of getting in the way of good fallacious assertions.

Whilst besmirching the Bible for allegedly commanding human sacrifice
evilbible.com, for some odd reason, neglects to mention that the Bible does
not command but condemns human sacrifice. Evilbible.com, for some odd
reason, neglects to mention that when the Bible reports that human
sacrifices did take place they were carried out by Gentile Pagans who were
not worshiping the God of the Bible but various false gods. When "Jews" were
performing human sacrifices it was only when they turned away from the God
of the Bible and joined Gentile Pagans in worshiping various false gods.
Yet, in typical militant activist atheist fashion, evilbible.com does not
condemn Gentile Pagans but only condemns the Jews.

Further evidence of this is found at this URL:

http://atheismisdead.blogspot.com/2009/ … -dead.html

Re: Is Christianity Good for the World?

Try to read "Real Christianity" written by William Wilberforce (or the modernised version by Bob Beltz), any you'll get some answers to the question of this thread.

All good men can be humble, humane, caring, and so on, but they cannot be called as Christians as Christianity is more than just work of men but the grace of God - salvation brought by Jesus Christ.  If they don't believe in Jesus Christ being son of God and the true meaning of his death and resurrection, they are not Christians at all. Many people just use Old Testament and the religious wars to draw critics on the "evil" of Christianity or even God.  However, those are either a record of historical events, God's teachings on how we should well treat each other including slaves, or evil doings just in the name of Christianity.  A claim that Christianity is not good for the world simply based on the evidences of some men's deeds is a bit weak and impartial.  The Bible (New Testament) has pointed out that there will be false teaching and people with evil thoughts in the church or among Christians and we need to be very alert on this.

Christians are no extra-ordinary people.  They are just people who believe in God through Jesus Christ and are willing to follow God's Word because they love God.  God loves all people, noble men or criminals.  He offers the gift of eternity to us not by our works but through grace.  And, what should we do in return? 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' (Matthew 22:36-38).

Monica ++ Life is purposeless without God.