- Correct me if I;m wrong, but I don’t think there’s any mystery as to why there are so many varieties of Christians, but why there aren’t more?
- Given One Jesus, who was only crucified, buried, and resurrected once, and only ascended once, many criticize Christianity for it’s fractionalization. And, personally, I think think that’s goofy and the wrong way to look at it. Why?
- Because, as This article suggests, take units like Human beings, enable their reproduction in space over time, ensure that they don’t come out of the same chute with exactly the same features and you’ve got a kettle of different, but kinda similar fish that distrust each other more over time.
- You want more uniformity? What? are you nuts?
Diversity is a measure of life and freedom. It can be suppressed by oppression and control of information and the media. Thus I urge people not to listen to those who push the idea that a diversity of ideas means that something is wrong. To be sure it is an obstacle to those who would use ideology for power, domination, and control. And thus they turn to oppression and control of information to eliminate diversity of thought as much as they can. Of course this means that when freedom is in ascendance, the advocates of oppression are free to push their agenda. Then it is up to the defenders of liberty to oppose them.
We know that in biology, genetic diversity is quite important for the survival of the species giving it the ability to adapt to harsh environmental changes. Is it not reasonable to suppose that a diversity of thought is just as essential for the survival of civilization?
- Whether diversity is “essential” or not, I wouldn’t know, but the thought of no diversity at all seems problematic and scary to me. Fortunately, that’s not likely to happen, … yet.
The world is large.
There are many places from which to view it.
Would a single WV be preferable? If so, which one?
I’m responding to the expectation that Christianity should be more uniform, and that its variation is evidence of it’s worthlessness. The “tower of Babel” mentality. How different can Christians be and still be “Genuine Christians”? Problem is, as a Whateverist, your opinion really doesn’t count, does it?
Nope but I agree with you that there is a real lack of cohesion regarding what being a Christian means.
Even as a non-Christian, I don’t see that as a valid criticism. The New Testament left a lot of room for different theological outlooks and worldviews. And, as you hint at, humans will be humans. If anything, the diversity of worldviews in Christianity demonstrates that people are taking their beliefs seriously and thinking it through which is a good thing. Theology in Judaism is also pretty diverse. I don’t think mystery is necessarily a problem for religion.
- I just heard about this latest PEW Poll this evening, in the car on the way home:
report | Dec 7, 2023 Spirituality Among Americans
- Meanwhile, critics of Christianity abound, outside and inside of Christendom [e.g. among Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and Seventh Day Adventists, to name a few among the “nebulous” Abrahamic faiths; which is the root of my disgruntlement]. Who, I ask, are they kidding?
- And. to make things worse, IMO, here in the U.S., politics and faith lose boundaries, especially on the Right, no? Why America Can’t Separate Religion and Politics
Preferably my own lol.
Most of that comes from each new generation trying to force the scriptures to speak in their worldview instead of asking what the authors intended – and since sometime before Chalcedon, each new generation has had more and more different worldviews.
That and the fact that Christians draw from the same gene pool as the rest of us. We’re all a bit fallen.
Christianity revolves around the Bible, and there is not a definitive text let alone understanding of it. The result is a personal view, which, obviously will vary according to personality, experience, culture, education, and all the other variants of human experience. I really do not see how there could be possibly uniformity or consensus
My faith is personal to me. I don’t mind explaining why I believe what I do but it would be vanity to expect others to agree with me.
Basically I agree. What I would stress is the importance of our heritage. Much of our interpretations reflect where we were born. As children, we suck the teachings and attitudes of our home. Later, the environment where we get our education and other input has also a strong impact.
So, the children of muslims are likely to be muslims, those born in a jewish family tend to be jews, those born in a catholic family tend to favor interpretations that are taught by the Catholic church. The same for Lutherans, Calvinists and other branches of Christianity.
Because we have grown to a particular tradition of how to interpret the Scriptures and the world around us, we are often blind to our basic assumptions, limitations and handicaps in our thinking. It demands courage and an open mind to see the world and the Scriptures in a more balanced way. We are never fully objective but we can grow to a more neutral attitude towards the reasonings behind the different interpretations and understand how our basic assumptions affect our conclusions. We can grow even to the point where we can reject what we earlier believed and adopt a more truthful interpretation.
I recall a professor noting that people with no exposure to ancient texts at all, including the Bible, make the best researchers and interpreters because they don’t come with a mass of preconceived notions.
I think we should distance ourselves from the concept of truth or false. That is what has caused most of the conflicts in religion. Once you decide that one view is right you set it apart. Those who are not with us are against us!
Truth is not a single value. It is more like a pie to which we have some access. If history has taught us anything it is to steer away from dogmatism.
There are many flavours of Christianity. each has its assets, and faults, but each appeals to different characters and thought processes. One Faith does not mean total agreement. There are probably some basic truths but even thoose are not universally agreed.
What we need is the ability to accept the variations without judgement or bias.
I guess you have to draw the line somewhere… Mormon? JW? Calvinist? Who is to say? Especially as there are probably people within those movements who have genuine faith. I am glad it is not up to me.
I think your opinion is based on a different idea of truth than what I was thinking.
Truth is not the problem, the problem is that many have false beliefs about truth. These people have been mislead or sometimes have themselves made wrong interpretations of the world or Scriptures. If what is false or wrong is called truth, that does not make the truth something we should avoid.
It is true that history includes terrible examples of what happens when false claims are accepted as truth. The Crusades are one of those terrible examples, destructive events that have had a long-lasting legacy.
It is good to listen to those proclaiming the truth but not swallow all claims. The advice could be the same as with food: make sure to chew thoroughly, and don’t talk with your mouth full.
It demands humility to accept that parts of my interpretations of the world and Scriptures are likely to be partial truths or simply false. I strongly encourage aiming towards the truth although we may not learn the whole truth during our life. When we meet the Truth after our death, maybe we will also learn the truth about the various matters that are debated during this life.
The real problem is to identify falsehood.
Take Original Sin… Alright it is a pet hate of mine, but the point is that this one belief can colour so much else.
The ultimate question is whether this or any other doctrine actually matters. Can you still be a Christian which ever side of the fence you sit?
Are there core beliefs to which all must adhere?
Define “a Christian” Biblically, i.e. according to the canonical Old and New Testaments.
According to Acts 11 The name Christian was coined at Antioch. Reading around the specific text it would appear that the main characteristic was believing in Jesus as saviour.
Other mentions seem to be just a generic name with no specific explanation
I’d say the worst false claims accepted as truth in the last two millennia was the illiterate bandit in Arabia who unleashed bronze-age style terror on the world that continues to this day.
Definitely. I think it’s worth pointing out that the one truth the ancient church strove to defend was the identity of our Savior: all the great heresies were teachings that misidentified just Who Jesus was, and that was the issue that all the great Councils addressed.
And those heresies were due to trying to force a foreign worldview onto the scriptures, primarily from Greek philosophy but later from some pagan concepts. That continues today in the form of YEC, which comes from trying to make the scriptures conform to scientific materialism.
And in every case, not one of those false teachers recognized that they even had a different worldview than the scriptures. It takes a fairly disciplined mind to be able to step back and examine the elements of one’s own worldview – starting with the awareness that there is such a thing as worldviews.