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Those over there! .... They are not Christians!

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  • Those over there! .... They are not Christians!

    Hi..... :)
    I have been an Historical Jesus student since 1994 and joined TWeb four years ago, but somehow I didn't get too involved in any HJ conversations; I forget why.

    I learned what little I know by reading the gospels and researching what evidence I could find of the archeology, history, numismatics, geography, etc connected with early 1st century Palestine. I read many scholars and decided that they mostly belong within groups, universities or institutions.

    During heated HJ debates so many folks would rely upon what some 'authority' said..... they would wave a scholar's flag high and shout 'So there!'. Then another debater would counter that point by waving their favoured scholar-flag..... and so on.... I decided that if only all these 'Peer reviewed' scholars could be put in a paint-ball park and be equipped with paint guns and grenades that after a very short while the whole lot would be indistinguishable from each other.
    learned that Individual Investigation beats Institutional Indoctrination every time. So I journeyed alone.....

    But one area of reward for me was visiting with Christians and listening to them, and that is what this thread is about. Until the Covid lockdowns I would visit all kinds of Christian venues, tea mornings, snack 'n' chat meets, the odd service, etc.... and I always invited evangelists in to my home since the early 90's where they could at least have refreshments, or park their vehicles off-rough-road while they toured the area to visit others.

    I learned all kinds of info from Christians. Made some friends..... but there was one guideline above all others! Don't mention any other Churches, Creeds, Denominations or beliefs.

    One example of many....... One day I visited a 'snack n chat' venue, a group that runs soup kitchens, street-walks to aid the homeless, Christmas packs for the lonely, etc. I don't want to name this very well established church, OK? Well, I arrived to discover that they did not just serve just a mug of tea but sat everybody at table, served soup and rolls etc. A visiting priest started to ask me questions. Why had I come? Where from? What for? I answered all and received yet more. It became an interrogation. And then I made that mistake, when asked what other venues I visited mentioned the coffee mornings at the church in the high street.

    Oh dear! This priest jumped up from the table, shouting out loud, actually pointing in the rough direction of the other church. 'They are not Christians! They do this and that! They are Satanists! They even do......' etc

    Now although this was the most exciting example of rebuttal that I ever witnessed I noticed that nearly all churches and Christians would deny many of the others, and the only reason why I survived some of this treatment was because I was not a Christian at all.

    I hope that I can chat with any other HJ students here, and learn yet more, but I don't get involved in shouting matches, and don't wave scholar flags........ :)

    I must go....... this OP is too long... I'm sorry for that.

  • #2
    Since your experience was with a "priest", I'm assuming this was a Catholic church operation? And you encountered a 'priest' who is not at all representative of priests in general?

    I've been a member of several "ministerial associations" where we work on the things on which we agree (we run a faith-based help ministry) and don't get tangled up in the things over which we disagree.

    It sounds like (and I'm sure you'll correct me if I'm wrong) you've had a bad experience and are using that to paint Christians in general as that?

    Help me understand what you're getting at, please.
    "Neighbor, how long has it been since youíve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?Ē

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post
      Since your experience was with a "priest", I'm assuming this was a Catholic church operation? And you encountered a 'priest' who is not at all representative of priests in general?

      I've been a member of several "ministerial associations" where we work on the things on which we agree (we run a faith-based help ministry) and don't get tangled up in the things over which we disagree.

      It sounds like (and I'm sure you'll correct me if I'm wrong) you've had a bad experience and are using that to paint Christians in general as that?

      Help me understand what you're getting at, please.
      I won't identify the establishment because I like it.
      It wasn't a bad experience because I enjoyed the visit, the soup, the chats.
      I used the title priest because by using any other I might identify the group, which was not the point of the post.

      My last full paragraph showed what I am getting at. It said that I hope that I can chat with other folks about HJ without getting involved in any shouting matches.

      Sometimes HJ discussions can upset some Creeds or churches, which is sad. The trick is to discover as much as possible without causing too much anger.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by eider View Post

        I won't identify the establishment because I like it.
        It wasn't a bad experience because I enjoyed the visit, the soup, the chats.
        I used the title priest because by using any other I might identify the group, which was not the point of the post.

        My last full paragraph showed what I am getting at. It said that I hope that I can chat with other folks about HJ without getting involved in any shouting matches.

        Sometimes HJ discussions can upset some Creeds or churches, which is sad. The trick is to discover as much as possible without causing too much anger.
        Then I shall leave you to it.
        "Neighbor, how long has it been since youíve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?Ē

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post

          Then I shall leave you to it.
          No problem.
          Thank you.

          Comment


          • #6
            I think it is completely valid to note that certain people or groups hold unorthodox positions, sometimes even radically unorthodox ones, and are speaking to only what they and not Christians in general believe


            And by "HJ" are you referring to Jesus Mythicism by chance?

            I'm always still in trouble again

            "You're by far the worst poster on TWeb" and "TWeb's biggest liar" --starlight (the guy who says Stalin was a right-winger)
            "Of course, human life begins at fertilization thatís not the argument." --Tassman

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by eider View Post
              Hi..... :)
              I have been an Historical Jesus student since 1994 and joined TWeb four years ago, but somehow I didn't get too involved in any HJ conversations; I forget why.

              I learned what little I know by reading the gospels and researching what evidence I could find of the archeology, history, numismatics, geography, etc connected with early 1st century Palestine. I read many scholars and decided that they mostly belong within groups, universities or institutions.

              During heated HJ debates so many folks would rely upon what some 'authority' said..... they would wave a scholar's flag high and shout 'So there!'. Then another debater would counter that point by waving their favoured scholar-flag..... and so on.... I decided that if only all these 'Peer reviewed' scholars could be put in a paint-ball park and be equipped with paint guns and grenades that after a very short while the whole lot would be indistinguishable from each other.
              learned that Individual Investigation beats Institutional Indoctrination every time. So I journeyed alone.....

              But one area of reward for me was visiting with Christians and listening to them, and that is what this thread is about. Until the Covid lockdowns I would visit all kinds of Christian venues, tea mornings, snack 'n' chat meets, the odd service, etc.... and I always invited evangelists in to my home since the early 90's where they could at least have refreshments, or park their vehicles off-rough-road while they toured the area to visit others.

              I learned all kinds of info from Christians. Made some friends..... but there was one guideline above all others! Don't mention any other Churches, Creeds, Denominations or beliefs.

              One example of many....... One day I visited a 'snack n chat' venue, a group that runs soup kitchens, street-walks to aid the homeless, Christmas packs for the lonely, etc. I don't want to name this very well established church, OK? Well, I arrived to discover that they did not just serve just a mug of tea but sat everybody at table, served soup and rolls etc. A visiting priest started to ask me questions. Why had I come? Where from? What for? I answered all and received yet more. It became an interrogation. And then I made that mistake, when asked what other venues I visited mentioned the coffee mornings at the church in the high street.

              Oh dear! This priest jumped up from the table, shouting out loud, actually pointing in the rough direction of the other church. 'They are not Christians! They do this and that! They are Satanists! They even do......' etc

              Now although this was the most exciting example of rebuttal that I ever witnessed I noticed that nearly all churches and Christians would deny many of the others, and the only reason why I survived some of this treatment was because I was not a Christian at all.

              I hope that I can chat with any other HJ students here, and learn yet more, but I don't get involved in shouting matches, and don't wave scholar flags........ :)

              I must go....... this OP is too long... I'm sorry for that.
              You must know of the scene in The Life of Brian!


              "Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful" Attrib. Seneca 4 BCE - 65 CE

              Comment


              • #8
                In situations such as these I think it is a good idea to keep the sentiment expressed in the oft quoted maxim that is usually, although incorrectly, attributed to St. Augustine: In necessariis unitas, in dubiis libertas, in omnibus caritas ("In essentials, unity; in nonessentials, diversity [some times "liberty" or "charity"]").

                While it does indeed appear to have been a view that Augustine did hold[1] it actually appears to have originated with the Catholic Archbishop of Spalato, Croatia (on the eastern shore of the Adriatic Sea), Marco Antonio Dominis in his De republica ecclesiastica from or around 1617. Shortly thereafter the Lutheran theologian Rupertus Meldenius (a.k.a. Peter Meiderlin) said essentially the same thing in his Paraenesis votiva pro pace ecclesiae ad theologos Augustanae Confessionis

                The point being is that there is plenty of room for differences of opinion on things that aren't a requisite to being a Christian, or salvific, although for the bedrock pillars of the faith there should be unity among Christians.




                1. As can be seen by the following remark by Thomas Aquinas in his brilliant unfinished masterpiece, Summa Theologica (1274):

                "In discussing questions of this kind two rules are to be observed, as Augustine teaches. The first is, to hold to the truth of the Scripture without wavering. The second is that since Holy Scripture can be explained in a multiplicity of senses, one should adhere to a particular explanation only in such measure as to be ready to abandon it if it be proved with certainty to be false, lest Holy Scripture be exposed to the ridicule of unbelievers, and obstacles be placed to their believing."


                I'm always still in trouble again

                "You're by far the worst poster on TWeb" and "TWeb's biggest liar" --starlight (the guy who says Stalin was a right-winger)
                "Of course, human life begins at fertilization thatís not the argument." --Tassman

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by rogue06 View Post
                  I think it is completely valid to note that certain people or groups hold unorthodox positions, sometimes even radically unorthodox ones, and are speaking to only what they and not Christians in general believe
                  So true..... I have heard that there are over 3000 different Christian Creeds, Churches and Denominations, but please don't ask me to name them.


                  And by "HJ" are you referring to Jesus Mythicism by chance?
                  Sorry....... By HJ I mean Historical Jesus.
                  What historical evidence can be gathered about Jesus, Early 1st century Northern Palestine esp Galilee, Farming, Industry, Fishing, Taxation, etc etc.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Hypatia_Alexandria View Post

                    You must know of the scene in The Life of Brian!


                    Ah! My laptop sound app failed yonks ago. I must watch the GIF on my mobile, but I enjoyed Life-of-Brian, it's getting on by now...... was it back in the 60's.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by rogue06 View Post
                      In situations such as these I think it is a good idea to keep the sentiment expressed in the oft quoted maxim that is usually, although incorrectly, attributed to St. Augustine: In necessariis unitas, in dubiis libertas, in omnibus caritas ("In essentials, unity; in nonessentials, diversity [some times "liberty" or "charity"]").

                      While it does indeed appear to have been a view that Augustine did hold[1] it actually appears to have originated with the Catholic Archbishop of Spalato, Croatia (on the eastern shore of the Adriatic Sea), Marco Antonio Dominis in his De republica ecclesiastica from or around 1617. Shortly thereafter the Lutheran theologian Rupertus Meldenius (a.k.a. Peter Meiderlin) said essentially the same thing in his Paraenesis votiva pro pace ecclesiae ad theologos Augustanae Confessionis

                      The point being is that there is plenty of room for differences of opinion on things that aren't a requisite to being a Christian, or salvific, although for the bedrock pillars of the faith there should be unity among Christians.




                      1. As can be seen by the following remark by Thomas Aquinas in his brilliant unfinished masterpiece, Summa Theologica (1274):

                      "In discussing questions of this kind two rules are to be observed, as Augustine teaches. The first is, to hold to the truth of the Scripture without wavering. The second is that since Holy Scripture can be explained in a multiplicity of senses, one should adhere to a particular explanation only in such measure as to be ready to abandon it if it be proved with certainty to be false, lest Holy Scripture be exposed to the ridicule of unbelievers, and obstacles be placed to their believing."
                      Fair enough! Let there be Peace and Unity wherever possible.

                      I can acknowledge mostly anybody's religious beliefs. What you believe in is what you believe in.
                      I am a Deist, so I don't-can't believe in any kind of Theism. Honestly, I've forgotten what fired me to start studying 3 bible translations back in 1994 or exactly when I began to polarise towards Deism, but a keen interest in the history about Jesus and anything that would have surrounded him in early 1st century Galilee just stuck with me and continues to this day.

                      In some debates with atheist extreme 'mythers' some Christian readers like me, in other debates with Christians most Christians will dislike me, it all depends upon the subject matter. Oh..... and a 'Myther' is somebody who calls the entire New Testament a myth...... these are very strange people and I love debating with them!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by eider View Post
                        So true..... I have heard that there are over 3000 different Christian Creeds, Churches and Denominations, but please don't ask me to name them.
                        That's largely a myth -- and some even claim 10,000 and more. It seems the number keeps growing with each telling.

                        To say that number is grossly inflated is an understatement and the methodology employed to arrive at these figures is ridiculous. It is based on a radically open definition of what "denomination" is. For instance under the definition used to arrive at that number if there two independent Baptist churches on each side of the street, each one of them is considered a different denomination. In fact every independent Baptist church is deemed to be a different denomination by the definition used to arrive at this figure.

                        The numbers for the World Christian Encyclopedia list was supplied by the Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and it is telling how they arrived at their claims which can be found in the Methodology from the Atlas of Global Christianity resource (smiley hat tip.gif to Adrift)

                        Source: Methodology from the Atlas of Global Christianity

                        First, for each major tradition, a denomination present in more than one country was counted as one denomination per each country. Thus, for example, the Russian Orthodox Church in Russia was considered a separate denomination from the Russian Orthodox Church in Kazakhstan. Second, the Anglican tradition was considered to consist of one denomination in each country in which it is present (169 in all). Third, the Roman Catholic Church was considered to consist of 239 denominations; however, about half of all Christians globally are Roman Catholics.

                        © Copyright Original Source



                        So they count as a different denomination for each country they are in. IOW, Catholics in the U.S. are a different denomination than those in Mexico. And both are different denominations from those in Spain. And the Catholics in France are a separate denomination than the Catholics in the U.S., Mexico and Spain. And on and on.

                        Further, within Roman Catholicism there are claimed to be a number of different "denominations" since those that cobble together these lists tend to call the various orders within it separate denominations. They all follow Roman Catholic teachings but have differences that could almost be called cosmetic. That's like going to two Southern Baptist, or Methodist or Lutheran churches across town from one another and noticing the differences in how they do things and then declaring them separate denominations.

                        Moreover, every single Bible society or church club is also considered to be a different denomination than the church or churches that it is affiliated with.

                        Finally, many groups that aren't even Christian often get added in to help inflate the number. Some are Christian denominations in the same way that Islam is a Christian or Jewish denomination

                        If you want to understand just how ridiculous this figure is try to name just twenty Christian denominations from memory alone. If there were ten thousands of them someone shouldn't have any difficulty rattling off a hundred so a mere twenty ought to be a real breeze.

                        I'm always still in trouble again

                        "You're by far the worst poster on TWeb" and "TWeb's biggest liar" --starlight (the guy who says Stalin was a right-winger)
                        "Of course, human life begins at fertilization thatís not the argument." --Tassman

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by rogue06 View Post
                          That's largely a myth -- and some even claim 10,000 and more. It seems the number keeps growing with each telling.

                          To say that number is grossly inflated is an understatement and the methodology employed to arrive at these figures is ridiculous. It is based on a radically open definition of what "denomination" is. For instance under the definition used to arrive at that number if there two independent Baptist churches on each side of the street, each one of them is considered a different denomination. In fact every independent Baptist church is deemed to be a different denomination by the definition used to arrive at this figure.

                          The numbers for the World Christian Encyclopedia list was supplied by the Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and it is telling how they arrived at their claims which can be found in the Methodology from the Atlas of Global Christianity resource (smiley hat tip.gif to Adrift)

                          Source: Methodology from the Atlas of Global Christianity

                          First, for each major tradition, a denomination present in more than one country was counted as one denomination per each country. Thus, for example, the Russian Orthodox Church in Russia was considered a separate denomination from the Russian Orthodox Church in Kazakhstan. Second, the Anglican tradition was considered to consist of one denomination in each country in which it is present (169 in all). Third, the Roman Catholic Church was considered to consist of 239 denominations; however, about half of all Christians globally are Roman Catholics.

                          © Copyright Original Source



                          So they count as a different denomination for each country they are in. IOW, Catholics in the U.S. are a different denomination than those in Mexico. And both are different denominations from those in Spain. And the Catholics in France are a separate denomination than the Catholics in the U.S., Mexico and Spain. And on and on.

                          Further, within Roman Catholicism there are claimed to be a number of different "denominations" since those that cobble together these lists tend to call the various orders within it separate denominations. They all follow Roman Catholic teachings but have differences that could almost be called cosmetic. That's like going to two Southern Baptist, or Methodist or Lutheran churches across town from one another and noticing the differences in how they do things and then declaring them separate denominations.

                          Moreover, every single Bible society or church club is also considered to be a different denomination than the church or churches that it is affiliated with.

                          Finally, many groups that aren't even Christian often get added in to help inflate the number. Some are Christian denominations in the same way that Islam is a Christian or Jewish denomination

                          If you want to understand just how ridiculous this figure is try to name just twenty Christian denominations from memory alone. If there were ten thousands of them someone shouldn't have any difficulty rattling off a hundred so a mere twenty ought to be a real breeze.
                          No problem. As I appealed.... please don't ask me to name them.....
                          But I have heard that a few times now....... as in 'Those over there, they aren't Christians'

                          Thankyou for you explanation. I couldn't open your link (I'm in UK on an old laptop).

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by eider View Post

                            No problem. As I appealed.... please don't ask me to name them.....
                            But I have heard that a few times now....... as in 'Those over there, they aren't Christians'

                            Thankyou for you explanation. I couldn't open your link (I'm in UK on an old laptop).
                            It isn't your laptop, apparently the page no longer exists since the last time I used it. Fortunately the Internet Archive's 'Wayback Machine' appears to have a copy: https://web.archive.org/web/20150604...gicalnotes.pdf

                            I'm always still in trouble again

                            "You're by far the worst poster on TWeb" and "TWeb's biggest liar" --starlight (the guy who says Stalin was a right-winger)
                            "Of course, human life begins at fertilization thatís not the argument." --Tassman

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by eider View Post

                              Ah! My laptop sound app failed yonks ago. I must watch the GIF on my mobile, but I enjoyed Life-of-Brian, it's getting on by now...... was it back in the 60's.
                              It ranks among my favourite movies.

                              The other classic scene is where the two groups of Jewish would-be kidnappers end up killing one another while Roman soldiers watch in amused bewilderment. And let us never forget the Latin lesson!

                              I have no idea from whence you arrived at the 1960s. It was released for cinema in 1980.
                              "Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful" Attrib. Seneca 4 BCE - 65 CE

                              Comment

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