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Christianity Has An Identity Problem


kicker
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I've been screwed over in business by 3 separate people since 2009. All of them were "deeply religious" people. They would discuss their faith regularly in meetings. Many of us "heathens" have experienced this firsthand. It has jaded us in the same way that we are jaded by Islam.

Perhaps it is a very small minority of Christians, much like Islam, that commit crimes and are colossal hypocrites but they are allowed to hide behind their faith, and their fellow churchgoers do nothing about it.

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I wouldn't label it as a Christianity identity problem. I would label it as a human identity problem. The common denomination is not Christianity, it is humanity. Christianity actually warns of the sins of humanity and not letting it bait you into committing your own sins. People without religion commit sin as well. Some people's souls are so lost, they even see and use religion as a tool to indulge in their own glutinous behavior while advertising themselves as a messenger of God.

Blaming religion for the sins of individuals is very misguided, whether it is Islam, Christianity, or any other. If the teachings of the religion instruct people to commit those sins, then by all means, blame the religion. Otherwise, blame the individual.

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I wouldn't label it as a Christianity identity problem. I would label it as a human identity problem. The common denomination is not Christianity, it is humanity. Christianity actually warns of the sins of humanity and not letting it bait you into committing your own sins. People without religion commit sin as well. Some people's souls are so lost, they even see and use religion as a tool to indulge in their own glutinous behavior while advertising themselves as a messenger of God.

Blaming religion for the sins of individuals is very misguided, whether it is Islam, Christianity, or any other. If the teachings of the religion instruct people to commit those sins, then by all means, blame the religion. Otherwise, blame the individual.

I don't blame the religion for the sins. I blame the peers for allowing them to hide among them. Hence, the identity problem.

Even my own brother dismissed the argument as "church is for sinners, not for saints." Personally, I think that attitude, acceptance that there are worthless people among you, is a big part of the problem. The whole idea that "sin is sin" is BS.

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The foundation of Christianity is acceptance and loving the sinner. We all fall short of the ideals we should be aspiring to, but what should we do? Cast the "less desirables" out? That's not exactly what Christ taught.

Not to dismiss your complaint though, I had a guy put in a set of French doors for me, his business card listed his name as the manager, and Jesus Christ as the owner. That gave me pause just because of the cheesiness of it, but I let him convince me he knew what he was doing anyway. Long story short, after less than a year of leaks and staring at piss poor workmanship, I had the whole project redone by Home Depot.

I would never let that guy near my home again to do any work, but would welcome him with open arms to my church. I really don't know what else I could do, or be expected to do.

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I don't blame the religion for the sins. I blame the peers for allowing them to hide among them. Hence, the identity problem.

Even my own brother dismissed the argument as "church is for sinners, not for saints." Personally, I think that attitude, acceptance that there are worthless people among you, is a big part of the problem. The whole idea that "sin is sin" is BS.

Acceptance that there are sinners and not allowing them to move ourselves into a life of sin was preached by Jesus. It is not meant as a defense or justification of other's sins. It is meant as a defense against us committing our own sins.

If someone commits a sin against you, you can choose what you do next. You can continue to do business with them, which I would advise against. You can get revenge, which I would advise against. You can try to get others to help you get revenge, which I would advise against. You can notify authorities if laws were actually broken, which I would advise you do if they actually broke any laws. Or you can turn the other cheek, which as a Christian, I believe this is the best advice I can give. Do not do business with them again, continue to live your life without sin, and focus on what you can do that helps you live a better life.

For the record, there is nothing wrong with telling people what actually happened and who did it, as that protects others from the sins that were committed against you. You can show them and give them the opportunity to change the path they are on, but you can't make them change their way.

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I understand Kicker's feelings about this, and I have ran into this on occasion (though thankfully not for a few years).

For me, the problem is not that there are some people who are Christian who do bad things. For me, it's the fact that they use their faith as an advertisement to elicit trust from people. Maybe they don't outright say, "I'm a devout Christian so you can trust me to do right"...but it's very heavily implied. And in some of these cases, they know that what they're doing is wrong and still continue to advertise themselves as Christians.

I would think that, at minimum, someone who is a devout Christian would not knowingly screw another person when it comes to business.

My father, also a Christian, once warned me about doing business with people who wear their religion on their sleeves. So it's not like other Christians don't recognize that this occurs.

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I don't blame the religion for the sins. I blame the peers for allowing them to hide among them. Hence, the identity problem.

Even my own brother dismissed the argument as "church is for sinners, not for saints." Personally, I think that attitude, acceptance that there are worthless people among you, is a big part of the problem. The whole idea that "sin is sin" is BS.

I agree with you for the most part. If you visit my office you'll know I'm a Christian simply because I have icons and so forth around the office, but you won't hear me talk about it unless you want to talk about it. I don't market myself as a "Christian attorney." I think people who proselytize in their business life, in my experience, tend to be the most untrustworthy people you can deal with.

I'm curious, though what you think I or any other Christian is supposed to do about it. As far as I know, none of our parishioners have any explicitly Christian businesses. I don't know what they do in meetings, etc., because I'm not there. How are "the peers" to blame for supposedly allowing them to hide? If I don't know about it, it seems they're hiding from me as well. As to your brother's comments, I don't know the context of what he said, but understood properly that's an absolutely correct statement. The Church is a hospital for sinners. I don't think that ought to be used to justify someone ripping off someone else, though. Sin is to be repented of, not excused. Part of repentance is trying, as best you can, to right your wrongs.

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I understand Kicker's feelings about this, and I have ran into this on occasion (though thankfully not for a few years).

For me, the problem is not that there are some people who are Christian who do bad things. For me, it's the fact that they use their faith as an advertisement to elicit trust from people. Maybe they don't outright say, "I'm a devout Christian so you can trust me to do right"...but it's very heavily implied. And in some of these cases, they know that what they're doing is wrong and still continue to advertise themselves as Christians.

I would think that, at minimum, someone who is a devout Christian would not knowingly screw another person when it comes to business.

My father, also a Christian, once warned me about doing business with people who wear their religion on their sleeves. So it's not like other Christians don't recognize that this occurs.

I think this is akin to the phrase "if a woman has to tell you that she's a lady, she's probably not one." I think the same thing applies here. If they have to say (or "heavily imply") that they are devout in their faith, they probably aren't. Either that, or they are devout to aspects of their faith. Either way, I would tend to shy away from them as well.

The other part of this topic is about why other Christians don't do anything about it. As JDaveG mentioned, not everyone knows it's going on. As a matter of fact, I'm sure that many people are clueless about how others conduct themselves and their lives outside of their weekly services. That, to me, in an inherent issue with modern Christianity. The Christian live was intended to be lived in community and shared with other believers. Through the years it has been individualized to he!l. When everyone is okay with it being an individual religion, no one keeps the others "in check."

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The individuals in societies that are collectively individualistic and cynical about human nature tend to elevate certain character traits to objective importance to help make sense of the world. A lot of people find Donald Trump's self-importance and his misogyny endearing because they can identify with those traits and trust him as a result. It's more or less the same thing when it comes to the Bible beater persona. It appeals to people who enjoy their own personal religious convictions and concept of spirituality and find common ground with people who are outwardly confident in their own faith.

Those that lack personal insight and can't tell their own beliefs from performance are the ones that consistently fail to pick up on the same traits in others, which is why low functioning addicts, career criminals and ****** contractors act like everyone's expectations are unrealistic and everything really is everyone else's fault when they're not talking about Jesus.

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I think this is akin to the phrase "if a woman has to tell you that she's a lady, she's probably not one." I think the same thing applies here. If they have to say (or "heavily imply") that they are devout in their faith, they probably aren't. Either that, or they are devout to aspects of their faith. Either way, I would tend to shy away from them as well.

The other part of this topic is about why other Christians don't do anything about it. As JDaveG mentioned, not everyone knows it's going on. As a matter of fact, I'm sure that many people are clueless about how others conduct themselves and their lives outside of their weekly services. That, to me, in an inherent issue with modern Christianity. The Christian live was intended to be lived in community and shared with other believers. Through the years it has been individualized to he!l. When everyone is okay with it being an individual religion, no one keeps the others "in check."

That's a good point. They can't hide among us because for too many of us, there is no "us" to begin with.

Even where there is, too often the parish is so big it's impossible to know everyone. The concept of community is getting lost.

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Why are you judging them adversely for show/sharing their faith?

People that prattle on about it incessantly are almost always of low intelligence, do not have anything interesting to say about any subject, and/or have no ethical fiber in their being. Not to say that people can't ever talk about their faith. I'm talking about people that can't have a conversation without bringing it up in some way.

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You may be right about some of these folks, but you are still making snap judgments without sufficient fact.

If you met a 20 something wearing a Bob Marley shirt who couldn't shut up about how they were last night, how high they are now, and how high they planned on getting in the future, you could make plenty of snap judgments about them. There's nothing wrong with that.

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People that prattle on about it incessantly are almost always of low intelligence, do not have anything interesting to say about any subject, and/or have no ethical fiber in their being. Not to say that people can't ever talk about their faith. I'm talking about people that can't have a conversation without bringing it up in some way.

Your point about them being of low intelligence has my interest. Do you have something against less educated people? I suspect the answer is "no". Well do you have something against less educated Christian?

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If you met a 20 something wearing a Bob Marley shirt who couldn't shut up about how they were last night, how high they are now, and how high they planned on getting in the future, you could make plenty of snap judgments about them. There's nothing wrong with that.

We all have impressions of other people--that is human nature. But what I am talking making goes further than that. I am talking about making adverse judgments and acting on those judgments.

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There's a difference between low education and low intelligence. I try to avoid people with a mix of low intelligence and obsessive conviction.

Well please explain the difference how you mean it? I an not trying to be funny. Really, tell me what you mean? In your view, can you be a very well educated person of low intelligence? How does that relate to the Christian you are talking about?

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Well please explain the difference how you mean it? I an not trying to be funny. Really, tell me what you mean? In your view, can you be a very well educated person of low intelligence? How does that relate to the Christian you are talking about?

Yes, there are people that are well educated but lack intelligence. I know people pursuing doctorates that lack every day critical thinking skills.

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