• To celebrate the release of Halo: The Master Chief Collection on Steam, Xbox Games Studios has provided 5 Steam copies of the game and 5 Xbox One copies of the game! We will be giving these away in the Gaming Giveaways |OT|. Some Steam copies will also be given away to the PC Gaming Era community.
  • An old favorite feature returns: Q&ERA is back! This time we'll be collecting questions for Remedy Entertainment, makers of Max Payne, Alan Wake, Quantum Break, and Control. Members can submit questions for the next 4 days, 19 hours, 58 minutes, 49 seconds. Submissions will close on Dec 12, 2019 at 12:00 AM.

Christian Era |OT| W.W.J.D

Oct 25, 2017
2,278
Man i wish I could leave my current church;

One of the preachers there basically lied during his sermon by saying that the Large Hadron Collider broke down due to divine intervention (even though it's just turned off) in order to support his idea that God wants to stop humanity from unravelling reality with the LHC,

Another always does this stunt every sermon where he keeps trying to "guess" that one of the audience is having some sort of illness just so that he can pull off an on-stage healing on them, 99% of the time he tries it no one actually has the illness he called out on.

Also, I'm just not comfortable with their emphasis on the Holy Spirit and the Azuza Street Revival (literally every sermon they mention it), one time I prayed at the front two of the ushers there tried to cause me to fall down "by the power of the Holy Spirit" like what you see happen to people all the time in footages of Charismatic church prayers by physically pushing my chest.
Frankly, if this church's preachers are preaching baseless conspiracy theories and trying to manufacture healing and other charismatic spectacles, going so far as physical assault, it sounds like a church that's unhealthy to the point of being abusive. That's not preaching the Word of God or being receptive to the Spirit of God; that's trying to gain human power and authority through the manipulation of a crowd. Even if you don't feel like you can leave this church right now due to your commitment to your parents, at the very least I would encourage you to seek out a different church or Christian group with meetings at a different time you can attend, so that you can have some healthy Christian support in your life rather than what sounds like a situation in which you are dangerously isolated.
 

duckroll

Member
Oct 25, 2017
7,850
Singapore
Thanks for your awesome explanations, duckroll :D


I think there isn't one, but one could always be created. If people want it, I could create one.

edit: tagged the wrong person, but you are both cool people! :)
I thank the Lord that people find it helpful. In the end, everything comes from Him! :)

A discord might be a good idea if people are up for it and it makes people in the community more active in sharing about their own journeys. Depends on how many people are keen on it!
 

NoirSuede

Banned
Oct 25, 2017
414
I don't think you should beat yourself up too bad over your behavior when you were younger, whatever it would be. You still deserve a place committed to the Truth, because Christianity is about the Truth. This sort of environment just sounds bad. I'm not sure you can fake charismatic miracles 'till you make it.

I'm glad at least people aren't playing along.
I actually told my parents about the lying priest, all the said to me was that the misdeeds of one or two priests shouldn't ruin my views on the church as a whole, ignoring all the weird focus on praying in tounges (as in every prayer session they encourage the congregation to pray in tounges as if it's just something someone can do on command), all the on-stage dancers, and its bizzare fascination with Jewish numerology and symbolism (every sermon they talk about the meaning of the current Jewish year to the congregation for some reason) to the point where they use the shofar as a staple instrument and sell pilgrimage tour packages to Israel (my dad got me a reservation there, and at the very least I could say that I was baptized on the Jordan river... if I didn't wish I could renounce that baptism Bioshock Infinite-style bc of how much I hate that church's guts)
 

LuxCommander

The Fallen
Oct 25, 2017
517
Los Angeles, CA
I thank the Lord that people find it helpful. In the end, everything comes from Him! :)

A discord might be a good idea if people are up for it and it makes people in the community more active in sharing about their own journeys. Depends on how many people are keen on it!
I'd totally be up for a discord; it would help build better relationships and also could provide a more private space for more sensitive topics and prayer requests.
 

DarkDetective

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,802
The Netherlands
I actually told my parents about the lying priest, all the said to me was that the misdeeds of one or two priests shouldn't ruin my views on the church as a whole, ignoring all the weird focus on praying in tounges (as in every prayer session they encourage the congregation to pray in tounges as if it's just something someone can do on command), all the on-stage dancers, and its bizzare fascination with Jewish numerology and symbolism (every sermon they talk about the meaning of the current Jewish year to the congregation for some reason) to the point where they use the shofar as a staple instrument and sell pilgrimage tour packages to Israel (my dad got me a reservation there, and at the very least I could say that I was baptized on the Jordan river... if I didn't wish I could renounce that baptism Bioshock Infinite-style bc of how much I hate that church's guts)
Sounds like you're really in a place where you don't want to be. If you're an adult, I think your parents have to just deal with it if you choose to search for a different church. Their reaction to your concerns is very defensive, which is usually a first instinctive reaction to something that is very important for them or their identity/view.

Jewish numerology and symbolism aren't a bad thing. They're being used to further explain and compare certain Bible sections in my church. We don't have an obsession with it however, so I've never heard any talk about the current Jewish year or use of Jewish music instruments.

Baptism isn't a bad thing either. I know there are a couple of different explanations on the meaning of baptism. In my interpretation, baptism is the act where you show everyone (your family, your friends, your church, but essentially the entire world) that you've chosen to put your trust in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ and you believe that He is the only one who can forgive your sins (Acts 2:38). To me, baptism isn't necessarily a resemblance of the membership of your current church or movement of faith. It is the sign to the world where you show everyone that you have made the choice to follow Jesus. I go to different church now than the one where I got baptised, because I moved to a different city. They're not in the same 'category' of churches, however. I didn't get baptised for a second time (nobody is these churches do), because that's not what we believe it's a sign of loyalty to your local club but to the Ecclesia instead, and I continue to be part of the Ecclesia, the general church of all believers (which, I believe, is what the apostles refer to when they're talking about church, unless it's specified that it's a local branch). You only need to be baptised once (Ephesians 4:5) When you get baptised, you fall backwards into the water. You don't have the control to get out of the water yourself. You lay your trust in the church leader(s) that will pull you back up. The water is a symbol of death, and the person that will pull you back up out of the water is a symbol of the Lord, and the act of coming out of the water is a symbol of our life after death through the power of our Lord (Romans 6:4). It's only a symbol, so its meaning is more important than who is actually pulling you back up or in what sea, river, or lake you get baptised. So you didn't have to go to the Jordan to get baptised, because it doesn't matter, because the meaning of the act is much more important than the way the act is executed.

I think it's important for you to stand on your own feet, and start looking for a place where you feel at home. I know some people in this thread may think otherwise, but it's hard to change a culture within a club/group of people, no matter how big or small it is. In the end, you are responsible for your own faith, and the growth of your own faith, so it's for your own best. That doesn't mean you should cut ties with your family or whatever. They have to learn to accept that you do what you think is best for you personally and that the church they're going to isn't part of the plan of your spiritual growth. Children should obey their parents, but as they reach adulthood, they are responsible for their own actions - that goes for civil affairs on earth (your parents aren't going to pay that parking fine), but that goes for our spiritual life as well: noone but you will be saved or lost, based on your faith in the Lord.
 

duckroll

Member
Oct 25, 2017
7,850
Singapore
(my dad got me a reservation there, and at the very least I could say that I was baptized on the Jordan river... if I didn't wish I could renounce that baptism Bioshock Infinite-style bc of how much I hate that church's guts)
Your baptism is not a bond between you and your church, it is a bond between you and God. Those administering baptism do not do so out of their own power or any authority they have in them, they act on behalf of our trinitarian God - the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Please understand that so you don't have thoughts about "renouncing" a baptism.
 

Deffers

Member
Mar 4, 2018
1,945
Yeah, baptism is a you and God thing. I may not be very Catholic these days but my baptism still counts. DarkDetective's bit about the Ecclesia is on the money. Feel glad about it!

ngl, I've wanted to get rebaptized every now and then just 'cos I was a baby and didn't do it of my own will and don't remember it. But I don't need to do it again, my original one still counts.
 

NoirSuede

Banned
Oct 25, 2017
414
Ugh now my mom's using gaming to force me into going to church:

"You'd stay up all night just to play games, but why wouldn't you just spend 90 minutes to go to church huh?
 

NoirSuede

Banned
Oct 25, 2017
414
As a Christian, are we allowed to study other religions? Growing up in Indonesia (a majority Muslim country) for some reason my parents would always mute/turn off the TV even if the entire family was watching whenever the daily Magrib broadcast popped up around 6pm.
 

duckroll

Member
Oct 25, 2017
7,850
Singapore
Yes? Inter-faith and inter-religious dialogue is extremely important in cosmopolitan cities. It would be irresponsible for leaders in a church body or those doing social outreach to not understand other faiths at the very least. But studying and examining other faiths doesn't mean immersing ourselves in what they do either. It all depends on what the individual feels comfortable with being exposed to.

I'm studying theology now and there's quite a bit of peripheral exposure to other religions and culture when we go over certain things - in philosophy for example it's not just studying how early church fathers developed their thinking but also understanding their inspirations from Platonic and Neoplatonic philosophies even if those philosophies have a concept of God that isn't consistent with our own faith. It's important to know where things came from. In Salvation History we just went Noah, and we're doing extra readings on the flood narrative as seen from other cultures historically to compare and contrast. The deeper we go in study of our own faith, the more important it becomes to actually know how it stands up against other competing or conflicting things out there, and how we can reconcile it in a reasonable way.

But honestly, if I were in a situation where I had kids and the telecast carried stuff from other religions on the air, I would want to minimize the exposure the family has to that until it can be better explained.
 

Deffers

Member
Mar 4, 2018
1,945
Could I get some prayers from you all for my grandfather? He got in the hospital due to debilitating pain and his kidneys failed. He got diagnosed with multiple myeloma and he was doing better, but he's got a rapidly climbing fever right now and his vitals went all wonky.
 

Auros01

Avenger
Nov 17, 2017
1,913
Could I get some prayers from you all for my grandfather? He got in the hospital due to debilitating pain and his kidneys failed. He got diagnosed with multiple myeloma and he was doing better, but he's got a rapidly climbing fever right now and his vitals went all wonky.
I know it's been a few weeks but... how is your grandfather?
 

Deffers

Member
Mar 4, 2018
1,945
I know it's been a few weeks but... how is your grandfather?
He's still alive. We flew over to Florida to see him and he was hospital-bound. The day we were due to leave he got a high fever and had to stay in the hospital. After that, eventually he was transferred over to a rehab facility. Then, the day we left, he got a fever AGAIN and got shuttled over to the hospital again, to run a battery of further tests. They found a lump in his thyroid, which they've analyzed and it's a part of his whole myeloma deal. This time they've concluded the fevers are just part of his blood cancer and they've let the rehab center know as much. However, the bed's filled at the rehab center so they're sending him home. I... my family's... a bit... I mean... not saying I'm any better as a person, because I'm sincerely not, but my family over there's pretty dysfunctional. God willing they'll take good care of him. Myeloma's a cancer of the white blood cells so he's immuno-compromised. Hopefully they're careful. In HIS case it's a pretty happy thing, though. He's wanted to go home for weeks now, and he gets what he wants. Should be a major improvement to his mood.

There's plenty to thank God for, despite the uncertainty. When I first got the news, all we knew was that he was delirious, in pain, and his kidneys were failed. At that point I'd just prayed to God saying that I didn't feel like I was ready to lose him and that I just... wanted him not to go out like that if it really was his time. That he didn't deserve that, and that if it were possible that he could... go in a time and a place where he could go as himself, surrounded by loved ones. So far that prayer's been answered and if God wills it it'll stay that way, whatever happens. When we got there, he was pretty delirious and out of it. The first time they made him stay, he got pretty nonverbal and he just... was barely there. But there were moments where things changed for the better. I read him a book, and towards the end there a discussion I had with the fam actually got him to respond and interject. We started really talking and it went for a long while, and we even talked about something we seldom discuss-- religion. See, he started talking to me about a Jesuit priest, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, and this conception he had of three infinities. My grandpa barely talks religion, so it was rather notable and sometimes I'm not sure... well, I'll be real, I'm super not sure about the religious tendencies of like... any of my family, but it was weird to hear him just kinda nakedly talking about God. After we had that conversation, he told me he felt better and he was much more lucid. And he's been much more lucid, apparently. I was genuinely thanking God at the end of that, because that reminded me of my grandpa the way he was when I was younger. Due to a stroke he had six years ago, he had to move out of his old house, and I guess being cooped up in there really did a number on him. But seeing him there, and then... I guess I saw him as he was. I have to thank God for that, whatever happens next.

Duckroll's been really helpful to me over PM which I'd like to thank him for publicly. He's been a good friend and brother in Christ.
 

Auros01

Avenger
Nov 17, 2017
1,913
He's still alive. We flew over to Florida to see him and he was hospital-bound. The day we were due to leave he got a high fever and had to stay in the hospital. After that, eventually he was transferred over to a rehab facility. Then, the day we left, he got a fever AGAIN and got shuttled over to the hospital again, to run a battery of further tests. They found a lump in his thyroid, which they've analyzed and it's a part of his whole myeloma deal. This time they've concluded the fevers are just part of his blood cancer and they've let the rehab center know as much. However, the bed's filled at the rehab center so they're sending him home. I... my family's... a bit... I mean... not saying I'm any better as a person, because I'm sincerely not, but my family over there's pretty dysfunctional. God willing they'll take good care of him. Myeloma's a cancer of the white blood cells so he's immuno-compromised. Hopefully they're careful. In HIS case it's a pretty happy thing, though. He's wanted to go home for weeks now, and he gets what he wants. Should be a major improvement to his mood.

There's plenty to thank God for, despite the uncertainty. When I first got the news, all we knew was that he was delirious, in pain, and his kidneys were failed. At that point I'd just prayed to God saying that I didn't feel like I was ready to lose him and that I just... wanted him not to go out like that if it really was his time. That he didn't deserve that, and that if it were possible that he could... go in a time and a place where he could go as himself, surrounded by loved ones. So far that prayer's been answered and if God wills it it'll stay that way, whatever happens. When we got there, he was pretty delirious and out of it. The first time they made him stay, he got pretty nonverbal and he just... was barely there. But there were moments where things changed for the better. I read him a book, and towards the end there a discussion I had with the fam actually got him to respond and interject. We started really talking and it went for a long while, and we even talked about something we seldom discuss-- religion. See, he started talking to me about a Jesuit priest, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, and this conception he had of three infinities. My grandpa barely talks religion, so it was rather notable and sometimes I'm not sure... well, I'll be real, I'm super not sure about the religious tendencies of like... any of my family, but it was weird to hear him just kinda nakedly talking about God. After we had that conversation, he told me he felt better and he was much more lucid. And he's been much more lucid, apparently. I was genuinely thanking God at the end of that, because that reminded me of my grandpa the way he was when I was younger. Due to a stroke he had six years ago, he had to move out of his old house, and I guess being cooped up in there really did a number on him. But seeing him there, and then... I guess I saw him as he was. I have to thank God for that, whatever happens next.

Duckroll's been really helpful to me over PM which I'd like to thank him for publicly. He's been a good friend and brother in Christ.
That second paragraph is pretty remarkable. It's an interesting thing about human nature where we tend to put up these barriers when it comes to eternal topics but, when our bodies are failing, it seems to remove our inhibitions about those same eternal topics.

I'm really glad you got to have that conversation with your grandfather. It sounds like something you won't soon forget. I also hope and pray that he continues to improve.
 

duckroll

Member
Oct 25, 2017
7,850
Singapore
I just finished Scott Hahn's The Lamb's Supper. It was a really good read and would recommend it to any Catholic who wants to have deeper understanding on what we could see in mass liturgy, as well as any non-Catholics curious about the nature of the mass and interpretations from the book of Revelations.

Which brings me to a point which I think would make an interesting discussion: As a Christian what is "standard" worship to you? Do you attend a service or mass regularly and what does it mean for you? What are the highlights and what do you offer up or try to get out of it?

For me, developing proper appreciation for the mass over the decades has been increasingly beautiful, and I can't really imagine not having that. Regardless of what church I go to, which country I'm in, who I am with, the quality of the readers or preaching, or the choir/band, and no matter what the distractions are, the focus is on worshiping God - in spirit and in truth. Dedicating that time of the day together with fellow brothers and sisters in Christ to just lift up all we are and all we have to God in that joint sacrifice that He made eternally - I don't think I can imagine my faith without that aspect.

In other times and other ways, I appreciate other forms of worship too. Praise and Worship is fantastic for retreats and special services, it's a good opportunity to lift up our praise to the Lord in a more dynamic and energetic way. Forms of silent contemplation is good for reflection and building that personal relationship with God too. But the mass being the highest form of worship to be in communion with Christ is what reinforces the beauty of having a universal Church body.

Would love to hear others share about how you relate to worship or maybe even struggles you might face.
 

KyrieEleison

Avenger
Dec 31, 2017
826
I'm not catholic nor orthodox, but why would the Dormition be more important than Pentecost?
Well, you'll find Mary is venerated significantly more in Orthodoxy and Catholicism than other denominations. Perhaps it shouldn't be more important than Pentecost and perhaps there are other Biblical events of greater importance, like the Transfiguration (which falls within the two week fasting period of the Dormition). For the record, the 12 Great Feasts of the Orthodox Church are (in upcoming order ).
  1. The Nativity of the Theotokos, 8 September
  2. The Exaltation of the Cross, 14 September
  3. The Presentation of the Theotokos, 21 November
  4. The Nativity of Christ/Christmas, 25 December
  5. The Baptism of Christ — Theophany, also called Epiphany, 6 January
  6. The Presentation of Jesus at the Temple, 2 February
  7. The Annunciation, 25 March
  8. The Sunday before Pascha (Easter) — the Entry into Jerusalem or Flowery/Willow/Palm Sunday
  9. Forty Days after Pascha (Easter) — the Ascension of Christ
  10. Fifty Days after Pascha (Easter) — Pentecost
  11. The Transfiguration, 6 August
  12. The Dormition (Falling Asleep) of the Theotokos, 15 August



We do. It is celebrated as the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary and is absolutely a day of obligation. Not sure where you got the idea that we don't.
Forgive my ignorance, friend, I did not know the Assumption was the same thing.
 

duckroll

Member
Oct 25, 2017
7,850
Singapore
I don't really like "ranking" importance of Feast Days and whatnot myself, but I think there are many reasons why Mary resonates stronger with the Catholic and Orthodox Churches than Pentecost. Part of is it is that while Pentecost is the birthday of the Church, it is also associated more with Charismatic movements. As such, Pentecost is celebrated very strongly by those in the Catholic Charismatic Renewal movement (which I myself am part of). We certainly don't feel there's a lack of "importance" placed on it because we place that importance on it ourselves. For maybe Catholics though, the Charismatic movement is still not well understood due to cultural association with Protestants and some heresies regarding the use of the gifts of the Spirit in Church history.

Ultimately though, all Feast Days are important and I really think instead of looking at it as a ranking, we can see it as vibrancy and diversity in the Tradition of the Church. Remember also that some Feast Days will resonate much more with certain parishes compared to others because depending on how your parish was named, you would also celebrate a given feast as your parish feast. ^_^

Forgive my ignorance, friend, I did not know the Assumption was the same thing.
There is nothing to forgive, brother, I was merely curious as to why you thought so. :)
 

NoirSuede

Banned
Oct 25, 2017
414
this is a weird question, but I always wondered what do people who live in the New Jerusalem actually get to do once the 2nd coming of Christ happens, do they just praise God all day long?
 

Deffers

Member
Mar 4, 2018
1,945
this is a weird question, but I always wondered what do people who live in the New Jerusalem actually get to do once the 2nd coming of Christ happens, do they just praise God all day long?
I'm not sure anybody knows. There's a fundamentally deceptive thing at play where where the phrase "just praise God all day long" conjures up images of people giving strained smiles after the fifteen billionth consecutive hour of Hosannas, but that's not what's going on at all. The nature of praise itself is eclectic even in an imperfect world, in an imperfect body, in an imperfect mind. There is, after all, a lot of praise of God to be had just in doing good with the right mindset. There's praise to be had in song. There's praise to be had in any form of wholesome self-expression when rightly considered and intended, in fact. The resurrection body is distinct from the regular body and a furthered union with Christ makes one incorruptible-- the nature of truly eternal life precludes any other possibility. The Divine promise kind of falls apart if you can lose your crown of unfading glory once you've won it, and if there's one thing the Divine promise doesn't do it's fall apart.

Considering these possibilities I forward the hypothesis that a fundamental consequence of your salvation and entering into the world to come is that you enter into a state of being where everything you do from then on is an act of praise to God. That's before we enter into ontological questions posed by mystics, Jewish and Christian alike, about the nature of New Jerusalem and the world after it has been wholly reconciled to God-- drinking wine new, after all, is an evocative turn of phrase on the part of our Lord but neither confirms or denies the possibility that anything is different after the Second Coming. Realizing that future world is complete, and ours isn't, naturally results in the conclusion that there's aspects of that new world that, apart from divine grace, we simply aren't able to conceive of or comprehend. We see dimly, as though in a mirror, and all that. So we can only conceive of eternal perfected life in the most base terms and, thinking them through within our limited perspectives, can't exactly see the full nature of the situation. In much the same way that early Christianity contended the World to Come would be more than eating flanks of Leviathan filet (that's a weird story but it's true), we must contend with the possibility that we don't truly understand the nature of praise after the Second Coming.

EDIT: That's not even getting into the subject of the possibility of getting to know God more completely or better and the subsequent possibilities for praise therein. There's something about trending towards infinite complexity of understanding that I learned about from my grandpa before I left Florida that's worth exploring there.
 
Last edited:

KyrieEleison

Avenger
Dec 31, 2017
826
Ultimately though, all Feast Days are important and I really think instead of looking at it as a ranking, we can see it as vibrancy and diversity in the Tradition of the Church. Remember also that some Feast Days will resonate much more with certain parishes compared to others because depending on how your parish was named, you would also celebrate a given feast as your parish feast. ^_^
In predominately Orthodox countries, people celebrate the Feast Day of the Saint they are named after, like their birthday (including receiving gifts, cakes etc) This has many advantages, most notably it is harder for people to forget your Feast Day, since they cannot forget your name.

Unless, of course, the Feast Day coincides with your birthday or other religious holiday (e.g. people named "Chris" celebrate their Feast Day at Christmas, usually don't receive an extra gift). For the longest time, Orthodox priests would not baptize babies unless they were given a "Christian" name. Unfortunately, I don't which means I don't get a second birthday, either.
 

Deffers

Member
Mar 4, 2018
1,945
Huh. I'm Catholic or was at birth and have gotten stuff for my feast day, just inconsistently. Odd to think about.
 

P-Bo

Member
Jun 17, 2019
367
Rather than make a topic, I wanted to ask you guys for your opinions/advice (especially given the season we're about to soon enter)--regarding family, abortion, and elections.

I am of a firm mindset that the man in the oval office has to go. My family is of the mindset he must stay. Whenever the conversations flare up, the argument always devolves into some version of "Democrats/Liberals are demons because they kill babies," anything I have to say is invalidated at that point.

On one hand, I know what the Bible says--regardless of how it is spun here, I believe it is wrong; but on the other hand, I believe that women must be allowed to choose for themselves. I also strongly feel that that man is destroying this country, and is a mockery of everything I once held sacred (voting third party is not an option)--how do I resolve this conflict within myself and deal with the inevitable conversations going forward?
 

Deffers

Member
Mar 4, 2018
1,945
Rather than make a topic, I wanted to ask you guys for your opinions/advice (especially given the season we're about to soon enter)--regarding family, abortion, and elections.

I am of a firm mindset that the man in the oval office has to go. My family is of the mindset he must stay. Whenever the conversations flare up, the argument always devolves into some version of "Democrats/Liberals are demons because they kill babies," anything I have to say is invalidated at that point.

On one hand, I know what the Bible says--regardless of how it is spun here, I believe it is wrong; but on the other hand, I believe that women must be allowed to choose for themselves. I also strongly feel that that man is destroying this country, and is a mockery of everything I once held sacred (voting third party is not an option)--how do I resolve this conflict within myself and deal with the inevitable conversations going forward?
First, you have to realize this is why abortion is a drum that's beat on so often-- it's a wedge issue intended to drive people apart and cause contentions. The "baby-killer" reaction is exactly what people want to see out of your folks. Create a bridge you can't cross-- sow contentions and disputes.

Ultimately, your decision to emphasize the choice of the woman is an important one. I was unplanned. I gotta say, seeing how that turned out for my mom, even though she loves me and does her best for me? I can't ever blame someone for choosing not to keep a baby. You can't just legislate away a woman's right to choose without also legislating in avenues to minimize the impact an unplanned pregnancy can have on a woman's life. It's morally untenable. Republicans sure ain't planning on doing that any time soon.

Also, like... the camps, my dude. This isn't about the sanctity of the lives of children. It never was. Aborting a fetus is bad if that fetus truly lives. It's probably still not as bad as systematically abusing a child in a way that can lead to death on a mass scale. Republicans don't care about the camps, or the suffering those children go through. Even if you think abortion literally is just straight up the same as child murder, guess what? Then every electoral question is simply "pick your favorite baby-killer."

It might be your parents can't accept that, because at the end of the day, like I said at the start of my post, this whole abortion thing has been a campaign in bad faith to create a wedge between groups of people that can't be crossed. It's a cultural touchstone built up with its own iconography that plays through the minds of people it affects-- the mental image of a fetus that looks just like a baby floating placidly in amnion before getting ripped away is CENTRAL to why this is such a contentious topic in the first place. The very image of baby murder is baked in to this discussion. There might not BE a way to pass that through to them. All you can do is pray that they can see that.
 
Oct 25, 2017
2,278
Rather than make a topic, I wanted to ask you guys for your opinions/advice (especially given the season we're about to soon enter)--regarding family, abortion, and elections.

I am of a firm mindset that the man in the oval office has to go. My family is of the mindset he must stay. Whenever the conversations flare up, the argument always devolves into some version of "Democrats/Liberals are demons because they kill babies," anything I have to say is invalidated at that point.

On one hand, I know what the Bible says--regardless of how it is spun here, I believe it is wrong; but on the other hand, I believe that women must be allowed to choose for themselves. I also strongly feel that that man is destroying this country, and is a mockery of everything I once held sacred (voting third party is not an option)--how do I resolve this conflict within myself and deal with the inevitable conversations going forward?
Here's my perspective on these issues. My fundamental political principle has become the ends do not justify the means. Ever. "Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good." If I try to fight evil by doing evil myself, I have been overcome by evil. Even if I win against my earthly enemies by doing so, I will have lost against the spiritual forces of darkness seeking to overwhelm me. I must keep my eyes on Christ and His calling, and fear God more than men.

So I reject the currently popular notion that I have to "get my hands dirty" because the Other Side will destroy everything if I don't. The current polarization of politics of poisonous. I'm not going to play that game. I will fight evil by pursuing good, not by compounding it with further evil.

What this means practically for my approach to the 2020 US presidential elections is that I can't justify voting for any of the candidates currently running. Trump is unfit to lead. I have remained convinced of that ever since he became a significant figure in the 2016 campaign. Still, as much as I want to see Trump out of office, I am not willing to throw out my principles to do so. Abortion is also a great evil, and unfortunately all of Trump's would-be challengers from the Democratic party are taking a staunchly pro-abortion stance, seemingly unable or unwilling to even conceive of a different view. I am truly grieved at how the polarization exacerbated by the 2016 election has made abortion even more of a toxic political issue than it already was.

Thus, unless a third-party principled pro-life candidate arises, someone such as Justin Amash, I will either abstain or write-in for the 2020 presidental election. This is certainly a position that will make me unpopular with most politically plugged-in people, but ultimately I must follow God rather than buying into the lies of the world.
 

P-Bo

Member
Jun 17, 2019
367
First, you have to realize this is why abortion is a drum that's beat on so often-- it's a wedge issue intended to drive people apart and cause contentions. The "baby-killer" reaction is exactly what people want to see out of your folks. Create a bridge you can't cross-- sow contentions and disputes.

Ultimately, your decision to emphasize the choice of the woman is an important one. I was unplanned. I gotta say, seeing how that turned out for my mom, even though she loves me and does her best for me? I can't ever blame someone for choosing not to keep a baby. You can't just legislate away a woman's right to choose without also legislating in avenues to minimize the impact an unplanned pregnancy can have on a woman's life. It's morally untenable. Republicans sure ain't planning on doing that any time soon.

Also, like... the camps, my dude. This isn't about the sanctity of the lives of children. It never was. Aborting a fetus is bad if that fetus truly lives. It's probably still not as bad as systematically abusing a child in a way that can lead to death on a mass scale. Republicans don't care about the camps, or the suffering those children go through. Even if you think abortion literally is just straight up the same as child murder, guess what? Then every electoral question is simply "pick your favorite baby-killer."

It might be your parents can't accept that, because at the end of the day, like I said at the start of my post, this whole abortion thing has been a campaign in bad faith to create a wedge between groups of people that can't be crossed. It's a cultural touchstone built up with its own iconography that plays through the minds of people it affects-- the mental image of a fetus that looks just like a baby floating placidly in amnion before getting ripped away is CENTRAL to why this is such a contentious topic in the first place. The very image of baby murder is baked in to this discussion. There might not BE a way to pass that through to them. All you can do is pray that they can see that.
For what it's worth--I'm very sorry for the hard times your mother probably went through, but I'm glad you're here.

Yeah, I learned that real quick, the more that story broke. Seeing how we have de-humanized the same people we claimed built this country, I realized the right (and the moral stances they laud) is full of shit.

I believe you're right--it is not possible for me to help my family see this. I brought the camps up, when speaking with my mother--the conversation went like (and I paraphrase very loosely): me: "the Republican party are the ones keeping kids in cages, and outright murdering them" her: "but what about the ones that haven't even been born yet?" I nearly clawed my face off.

Have to admit, the bastard and the GOP have been real effective in getting minorities and immigrants (my parents) to vote against their interests--in the name of faith. I think that is what turns my stomach the most.

Here's my perspective on these issues. My fundamental political principle has become the ends do not justify the means. Ever. "Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good." If I try to fight evil by doing evil myself, I have been overcome by evil. Even if I win against my earthly enemies by doing so, I will have lost against the spiritual forces of darkness seeking to overwhelm me. I must keep my eyes on Christ and His calling, and fear God more than men.

So I reject the currently popular notion that I have to "get my hands dirty" because the Other Side will destroy everything if I don't. The current polarization of politics of poisonous. I'm not going to play that game. I will fight evil by pursuing good, not by compounding it with further evil.

What this means practically for my approach to the 2020 US presidential elections is that I can't justify voting for any of the candidates currently running. Trump is unfit to lead. I have remained convinced of that ever since he became a significant figure in the 2016 campaign. Still, as much as I want to see Trump out of office, I am not willing to throw out my principles to do so. Abortion is also a great evil, and unfortunately all of Trump's would-be challengers from the Democratic party are taking a staunchly pro-abortion stance, seemingly unable or unwilling to even conceive of a different view. I am truly grieved at how the polarization exacerbated by the 2016 election has made abortion even more of a toxic political issue than it already was.

Thus, unless a third-party principled pro-life candidate arises, someone such as Justin Amash, I will either abstain or write-in for the 2020 presidental election. This is certainly a position that will make me unpopular with most politically plugged-in people, but ultimately I must follow God rather than buying into the lies of the world.
I hear you brother, but I believe third party options will never be an option in this country--not in our lifetimes anyway. This sentiment is reserved to me alone, I am not calling you out on this, but I feel that voting third party is akin to doing nothing--do I just sit and watch my home continue to burn? There was only one other time in my life I felt as conflicted as I soon will.
 
Last edited:
Oct 25, 2017
2,278
I hear you brother, but I believe third party options will never be an option in this country--not in our lifetimes anyway. This sentiment is reserved to me alone, I am not calling you out on this, but I feel that voting third party is akin to doing nothing--do I just sit and watch my home continue to burn? There was only one other time in my life I felt as conflicted as I soon will.
I understand feeling conflicted. It's easy to look at all the mess that's out there, a world that appears to be spiraling out of control, and despair. Nevertheless, I believe, and I make the conscious effort to continue to believe, that there are ways for me to do something about it that don't simply involve voting in an election every 4 years. Not that I can fix it, of course - there's so much I have no direct control over - but I can at least do some bit of good in the environment in which God has placed me. I think too many American Christians have been fixated on winning elections, and neglected to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness.
 

Deffers

Member
Mar 4, 2018
1,945
For what it's worth--I'm very sorry for the hard times your mother probably went through, but I'm glad you're here.
I appreciate that. Thanks a lot.

What this means practically for my approach to the 2020 US presidential elections is that I can't justify voting for any of the candidates currently running. Trump is unfit to lead. I have remained convinced of that ever since he became a significant figure in the 2016 campaign. Still, as much as I want to see Trump out of office, I am not willing to throw out my principles to do so. Abortion is also a great evil, and unfortunately all of Trump's would-be challengers from the Democratic party are taking a staunchly pro-abortion stance, seemingly unable or unwilling to even conceive of a different view. I am truly grieved at how the polarization exacerbated by the 2016 election has made abortion even more of a toxic political issue than it already was.
As for our moral responsibility due to abortion on the subject of elections? Man, that's hard to say. There's no ethical consumption under capitalism, as an example-- when you buy something with sweatshop labor, are you complicit in endorsing sweatshop labor? Most Chinese stuff is made under factory conditions that are highly unethical and every time you gas up your car, you 're supporting bloody regimes like the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Now, your primary objection to that might be "Hey, I need those things to live. I don't need to vote to live." Which... hrm. Yeah, you might not need to vote to live. Other people might need to vote to keep their civil rights and protections. What's the cost of inaction on that weighed against the cost of action in a way that supports abortion, particularly when abortion is ultimately something that will happen on its own anyways if legislative access to abortion services is denied? There's a higher risk to the woman in this case, to be sure, but it's still going to happen. I want to be clear that I'm not judging you either way, HosannaExcelsis. I think this is an open question. Your approach is no less valid than mine. I just believe inaction is a choice with its own consequences.

Personally, I believe the best way to stop the practice of abortion is to just have a robust system of adoption that woman can trust will keep their kids protected and that might permit them to come back into their kids' life if they so choose, while at the same time providing cultural changes that destigmatize pregnancy for professionals and that destigmatizes being in an unplanned pregnancy. Attempting to coerce a choice won't accomplish that. The current legislative debate doesn't... actually remotely involve providing those services to women either. And abortion bans have often ignored medical emergencies which break this whole entire moral thrust thing by putting the life of the mother in danger. So I just don't see it the same way as you do. My politics are already barely represented by the people I vote for. When I voted for Hillary I didn't do it because I believed in her vision of continuing neoliberalism. I guess under that lens, the abortion thing is just one more spot where I'm NOT represented.
 

duckroll

Member
Oct 25, 2017
7,850
Singapore
I don't really want to comment too much on American politics, especially in a thread like this, but I will say this: it's well and good to be pro-life, we should all be pro-life because it is the moral thing to be, but let's not be hypocritical about what "pro-life" means - if we are pro-life it means saying no to abortion, death penalty, war crimes, drone strikes, police brutality, abuse of illegal immigrants, and so on. All life is sacred, human dignity must be upheld. Yes that means unborn children, but it also means criminals we might resent, the minorities we cannot identify with, the foreigners who are just military statistics, and the children of those who cross the border illegally. ALL life. Let's not mince words - the Republican party in America is not "pro-life" and they should stop abusing that term like they care what it means.

First we must acknowledge that God is love. From that, all else flows. Before we approach any issue; be it moral, political, or personal; if we want to use the lens of faith to justify or reason it, let us never forget 1 Cor 13:

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient and kind; love is not jealous or boastful; it is not arrogant or rude. Love does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrong, but rejoices in the right. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never ends; as for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. For our knowledge is imperfect and our prophecy is imperfect; but when the perfect comes, the imperfect will pass away. When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became a man, I gave up childish ways. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall understand fully, even as I have been fully understood. So faith, hope, love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
Sorry, really wanted to get that off my chest.
 

Auros01

Avenger
Nov 17, 2017
1,913
I don't really want to comment too much on American politics, especially in a thread like this, but I will say this: it's well and good to be pro-life, we should all be pro-life because it is the moral thing to be, but let's not be hypocritical about what "pro-life" means - if we are pro-life it means saying no to abortion, death penalty, war crimes, drone strikes, police brutality, abuse of illegal immigrants, and so on. All life is sacred, human dignity must be upheld. Yes that means unborn children, but it also means criminals we might resent, the minorities we cannot identify with, the foreigners who are just military statistics, and the children of those who cross the border illegally. ALL life. Let's not mince words - the Republican party in America is not "pro-life" and they should stop abusing that term like they care what it means.

First we must acknowledge that God is love. From that, all else flows. Before we approach any issue; be it moral, political, or personal; if we want to use the lens of faith to justify or reason it, let us never forget 1 Cor 13:



Sorry, really wanted to get that off my chest.
I just wanted to commend you for sharing this perspective. I've never considered the "pro-life" stance from the perspective you've described. It's given me a lot to think about.
 
Oct 25, 2017
2,278
As for our moral responsibility due to abortion on the subject of elections? Man, that's hard to say. There's no ethical consumption under capitalism, as an example-- when you buy something with sweatshop labor, are you complicit in endorsing sweatshop labor? Most Chinese stuff is made under factory conditions that are highly unethical and every time you gas up your car, you 're supporting bloody regimes like the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Now, your primary objection to that might be "Hey, I need those things to live. I don't need to vote to live." Which... hrm. Yeah, you might not need to vote to live. Other people might need to vote to keep their civil rights and protections. What's the cost of inaction on that weighed against the cost of action in a way that supports abortion, particularly when abortion is ultimately something that will happen on its own anyways if legislative access to abortion services is denied? There's a higher risk to the woman in this case, to be sure, but it's still going to happen. I want to be clear that I'm not judging you either way, HosannaExcelsis. I think this is an open question. Your approach is no less valid than mine. I just believe inaction is a choice with its own consequences.

Personally, I believe the best way to stop the practice of abortion is to just have a robust system of adoption that woman can trust will keep their kids protected and that might permit them to come back into their kids' life if they so choose, while at the same time providing cultural changes that destigmatize pregnancy for professionals and that destigmatizes being in an unplanned pregnancy. Attempting to coerce a choice won't accomplish that. The current legislative debate doesn't... actually remotely involve providing those services to women either. And abortion bans have often ignored medical emergencies which break this whole entire moral thrust thing by putting the life of the mother in danger. So I just don't see it the same way as you do. My politics are already barely represented by the people I vote for. When I voted for Hillary I didn't do it because I believed in her vision of continuing neoliberalism. I guess under that lens, the abortion thing is just one more spot where I'm NOT represented.
It is certainly true that we cannot avoid supporting people who do great wickedness, due to the interconnectedness of all things. I think of Paul's statement in 1 Corinthians 5:9-10, "I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people - not at all meaning the sexually immoral of this world, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world." While Paul in the context of these verses stresses the necessity of church discipline for unrepentant sinners within the church community, he acknowledges that the nature of the world is such that we cannot separate ourselves from all evildoers everywhere.

I do not refrain from voting for pro-abortion politicians because I want to avoid moral responsibility for abortion. On the contrary, I already bear responsibility for abortion by virtue of living in a society that practices it. The prophet Isaiah's cry in Isaiah 6:5, "Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts," provides a model for my belief in both individual and collective moral responsibility. Isaiah is guilty both for his own actions - being "a man of unclean lips" - and for the actions of the whole nation of which he is part - living "in the midst of a people of unclean lips." It is the same with myself. I agree with the elder monk Zosima in Dostoyevsky's Brothers Karamazov when he says, "For you must know, my dear ones, that each of us is undoubtedly guilty on behalf of all and for all on earth, not only because of the common guilt of the world, but personally, each one of us, for all people and for each person on this earth." This shared guilt binds me to every evil act and every evil actor in humanity. As the burning coal from the altar took away Isaiah's guilt, both individual and collective, so I look to the blood of Jesus shed on the cross as the only thing that can take away my guilt and atone for my sin, both that which I have individually done and that done by those groups to which I belong.

So my decisions on who to vote for are not based on an ultimately futile attempt to avoid the contamination and complicity I already share. Rather, if I am going to vote, I desire to vote for those who will serve the common good, those whose service in a position will benefit the people they are serving. My vote isn't primarily about me, but about society at large. In relation to abortion, I want to vote for someone who is able to conceive of the issue as part of a holistic approach to life, as duckroll rightly commends, as part of seeking to do good especially to those who are neglected and scorned by society, rather than one who is only able to conceive of abortion as a tribal marker. In the situation in which there is no such candidate, I do not see my refraining to vote as inaction, but rather as an alternative course of action - perhaps the wrong action, for I do not claim to possess perfect moral judgement, but action nonetheless. It is my, admittedly meager and feeble, attempt to bear witness to the truth of God, rather than be bound by false binaries asserted by the world. As such, not voting for particular candidates is not merely an isolated, thoughtless lack of action, but part of the whole way in which I seek to live my life, in service to God and others.
 

Deffers

Member
Mar 4, 2018
1,945
It is certainly true that we cannot avoid supporting people who do great wickedness, due to the interconnectedness of all things. I think of Paul's statement in 1 Corinthians 5:9-10, "I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people - not at all meaning the sexually immoral of this world, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world." While Paul in the context of these verses stresses the necessity of church discipline for unrepentant sinners within the church community, he acknowledges that the nature of the world is such that we cannot separate ourselves from all evildoers everywhere.

I do not refrain from voting for pro-abortion politicians because I want to avoid moral responsibility for abortion. On the contrary, I already bear responsibility for abortion by virtue of living in a society that practices it. The prophet Isaiah's cry in Isaiah 6:5, "Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts," provides a model for my belief in both individual and collective moral responsibility. Isaiah is guilty both for his own actions - being "a man of unclean lips" - and for the actions of the whole nation of which he is part - living "in the midst of a people of unclean lips." It is the same with myself. I agree with the elder monk Zosima in Dostoyevsky's Brothers Karamazov when he says, "For you must know, my dear ones, that each of us is undoubtedly guilty on behalf of all and for all on earth, not only because of the common guilt of the world, but personally, each one of us, for all people and for each person on this earth." This shared guilt binds me to every evil act and every evil actor in humanity. As the burning coal from the altar took away Isaiah's guilt, both individual and collective, so I look to the blood of Jesus shed on the cross as the only thing that can take away my guilt and atone for my sin, both that which I have individually done and that done by those groups to which I belong.

So my decisions on who to vote for are not based on an ultimately futile attempt to avoid the contamination and complicity I already share. Rather, if I am going to vote, I desire to vote for those who will serve the common good, those whose service in a position will benefit the people they are serving. My vote isn't primarily about me, but about society at large. In relation to abortion, I want to vote for someone who is able to conceive of the issue as part of a holistic approach to life, as duckroll rightly commends, as part of seeking to do good especially to those who are neglected and scorned by society, rather than one who is only able to conceive of abortion as a tribal marker. In the situation in which there is no such candidate, I do not see my refraining to vote as inaction, but rather as an alternative course of action - perhaps the wrong action, for I do not claim to possess perfect moral judgement, but action nonetheless. It is my, admittedly meager and feeble, attempt to bear witness to the truth of God, rather than be bound by false binaries asserted by the world. As such, not voting for particular candidates is not merely an isolated, thoughtless lack of action, but part of the whole way in which I seek to live my life, in service to God and others.
Thank you for those Scriptural examples of collective guilt. As you can tell, I'm not really a Scripture-quoting machine just yet (and it's kind of embarrassing to have to go with socialist sloganeering instead, but hey, it worked) so these genuinely help.

It seems like we're pretty in agreement on the theoretics of the situation, but turning that theory into praxis is where we begin to diverge. Like I said, I don't judge you, and I didn't want to come across as calling you thoughtless in your pursuit of God's Truth. I'm uncertain of which is the correct course of action here, so all I can do is lay out my reasons for my course of action and listen to yours. I would still heartily recommend and ask of you to consider to try and innovate somehow-- if you find voting to be unpalatable, there's still the need to move past abortion as a wedge issue that paralyzes people from voting against those who have harmful electoral politics. It's still being knowingly exploited to the benefit of those who seek to put kids in cages. Maybe you could turn your efforts towards that somehow. I'm not sure what to do there, what actions or tactics you could pursue, but I hope God illuminates your path and shows you a way. It takes a community of people and a diversity of efforts to do lasting good in the world. I'm certain you are and can continue to be a part of that just as I hope I will be.
 

ThousandEyes

Banned
Sep 3, 2019
1,388
Question I wanted to ask that's been on my mind a while

What is the reason that Pantheism is incompatible with Christianity, what are the contradictions, why can't they be reconciled?
 

Deffers

Member
Mar 4, 2018
1,945
Question I wanted to ask that's been on my mind a while

What is the reason that Pantheism is incompatible with Christianity, what are the contradictions, why can't they be reconciled?
The nature of sin typically precludes a pantheistic outlook on reality. If all is God, are demons then God? In some religions this stuff isn't a problem, but for us Christians, God's perfection is understood as, in part, being an absence or negation of sin even if He created a world in which sin exists-- even within several Gnostic paradigms (but then, there are so many Gnostic paradigms that that's not true for all of them). Additionally, there's this whole thing about God not technically being describable in the Judeo-Christian-Islamic paradigm so typically God being manifest in everything causes descriptive problems. From a mystical perspective it's more common to encounter the idea that Divine Light emanating from God permeates everything.

Additionally, I believe that certain interpretations of the Nicene Creed preclude pantheism-- though, let's be real, unless we're going to start saying Mormons and JW's aren't welcome here the Nicene Creed probably isn't the end-all be-all to Christian brotherhood in the 21st century.

Also worth noting that Paul says God will be all in all-- so pantheism could be seen as the end-state of the universe in Christianity, just unlikely to be the present state. Hegel's theothanatological perception of the Trinity presents a means by which this might be considered a process proceeding from the death and resurrection of Christ-- but this is ChristianERA, not PhilosophyERA, so we don't have to consider Hegel canon if you don't want. :P
 
Oct 25, 2017
2,278
Question I wanted to ask that's been on my mind a while

What is the reason that Pantheism is incompatible with Christianity, what are the contradictions, why can't they be reconciled?
Simply put, pantheism obliterates the distinction between Creator and creature which is pivotal to Christianity. There's only one point in history at which that distinction was bridged, and that's in the incarnation of Jesus Christ, the one being is who both truly God and truly man. But if there was never that distinction in the first place, as pantheism asserts, Jesus is no longer anybody special. The ministry of reconciliation between Creator and creation, the purpose of Jesus' life, death, and resurrection, was unnecessary. Sin could not separate anyone from God, and thus there would be no need for repentance. The Creator can no longer be greater than his creation, unlike what is asserted, for example, in God's speech at the end of Job ("Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?") or Isaiah 55 ("For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord."). Pantheism eliminates any distinctively Christian belief.
 

Deffers

Member
Mar 4, 2018
1,945
There are some Hermetic/Rosicrucian groups that connect Jesus Christ to the idea of the Universal Man (not in the 'multitalented' sense of that phrase) via the whole Earthly Adam/Heavenly Adam dichotomy but I'm pretty sure that's distinct from pantheism as well and does uphold, as Hosanna and I both have mentioned, the separation of God from sin. I couldn't tell you the specifics since these are initiatic traditions and I'm not an initiate but they have been more influential than you'd think. I think that's as close as you could get to pantheism in Christianity even within the Gnostic currents.
 

duckroll

Member
Oct 25, 2017
7,850
Singapore
Question I wanted to ask that's been on my mind a while

What is the reason that Pantheism is incompatible with Christianity, what are the contradictions, why can't they be reconciled?
God being a free agent outside of space and time who freely created out of love is incompatible with the concept that God is simply the sum of all things we can perceive and know. God did not create Himself, God created creation. All things were created to participate in God's glory, but they do not make up all that is God.

Let's look at how the Gospel of John starts:
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God; all things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

Jesus Christ the Incarnation was the Word made flesh. The Word existed in the beginning before all creation, and all things were created through Him. This fundamental point of Christianity (I used John rather than Genesis because we're speaking of Christianity in particular and not just Judeo-Christian beliefs.) denies any possibility of Pantheism. God and creation are distinct as Hosanna mentioned. Pantheism requires the belief that somehow creation -is- God.

Also worth noting that Paul says God will be all in all-- so pantheism could be seen as the end-state of the universe in Christianity, just unlikely to be the present state.
I don't think so. It would not be pantheism if creation in a sense no longer exists. In perfect unity with God, the climax of creation, there would not longer be "creation" in a material sense. That itself is the point - that time itself is but a fraction of "eternity", and all of creation as we understand and perceive it is merely temporal. When time and space is over, there is no creation and there is no material realm, only a spiritual union in God. That isn't pantheism at all.

Pantheism in what it seeks to worship and divinize is creation itself - that what we see in reality is in fact true aspects of God and that God or the gods are the sum of natural things we can directly relate to.
 

Deffers

Member
Mar 4, 2018
1,945
I don't think so. It would not be pantheism if creation in a sense no longer exists. In perfect unity with God, the climax of creation, there would not longer be "creation" in a material sense. That itself is the point - that time itself is but a fraction of "eternity", and all of creation as we understand and perceive it is merely temporal. When time and space is over, there is no creation and there is no material realm, only a spiritual union in God. That isn't pantheism at all.

Pantheism in what it seeks to worship and divinize is creation itself - that what we see in reality is in fact true aspects of God and that God or the gods are the sum of natural things we can directly relate to.
That take is fair. I was just thinking in terms of pure etymology when it comes to pantheism; there's one time in Christian thought when God is all, which is when time ends (well, and before time is at all, but at that point God hadn't started the Creation). Main problem is, as you point out, creation is no longer the creation we know at that point, so it's not remotely what the word "pantheism" is used to actually signify, which is as you describe. It's a technicality and I could have been clearer on that point.

I'm still pretty sure that Hegel's theothanatology trends towards pantheism-as-endstate, in a sense, but again not the typical definition of pantheism. What he describes is more a process of God coming to gradually inhabit His Creation as a result of the resurrection and Pentecost. I'm not sure if he defines a Last Judgment as is typically considered, though, so I'm not sure if the same immaterial endstate is what he claims. And Hegel is hardmode philosophy anyway so I may just have heinously misunderstood-- but I'd argue it's Christian philosophy so it's worth bringing up.
 

duckroll

Member
Oct 25, 2017
7,850
Singapore
That take is fair. I was just thinking in terms of pure etymology when it comes to pantheism; there's one time in Christian thought when God is all, which is when time ends (well, and before time is at all, but at that point God hadn't started the Creation). Main problem is, as you point out, creation is no longer the creation we know at that point, so it's not remotely what the word "pantheism" is used to actually signify, which is as you describe. It's a technicality and I could have been clearer on that point.

I'm still pretty sure that Hegel's theothanatology trends towards pantheism-as-endstate, in a sense, but again not the typical definition of pantheism. What he describes is more a process of God coming to gradually inhabit His Creation as a result of the resurrection and Pentecost. I'm not sure if he defines a Last Judgment as is typically considered, though, so I'm not sure if the same immaterial endstate is what he claims. And Hegel is hardmode philosophy anyway so I may just have heinously misunderstood-- but I'd argue it's Christian philosophy so it's worth bringing up.
I would argue that pretty much all Christian forms of theology would disagree with the technical nature of that proposition. It is in fact the opposite - God is not gradually inhabiting His creation, but all of creation is on an upward journey to participate more completely in God's activity of being. It's not about God manifesting more in creation, but creation (specifically man) reaching an increasingly more perfect state of divinization as part of God's plan. And if we see it from that perspective, it cannot be seen as pantheism because there is no worship of creation at all. We don't worship each other or ourselves as we become more divine, we just increasingly -become- just as God simply -is-. The concept of God manifesting more in creation and hence encouraging or requiring a shift in worship from the Trinity to creation itself is absolutely not Christian in any way I can think of.

But yes, that's kinda hardmode Christian Philosophy that can go on for quite a bit and would require further reading on both our parts and I'm not sure I can spare the time to seriously tackle that in an honest debate right now because I'm currently buried in contemplating St Anselm's Ontological Argument in his Proslogion to figure out what it is about it that bugs me so much. I want to be charitable in my reading of philosophy but my kneejerk reaction has been "this is a terrible argument because it's loaded in ways that are totally not useful for debate". I much prefer how Aquinas approaches his five proofs for God.
 

Deffers

Member
Mar 4, 2018
1,945
I would argue that pretty much all Christian forms of theology would disagree with the technical nature of that proposition. It is in fact the opposite - God is not gradually inhabiting His creation, but all of creation is on an upward journey to participate more completely in God's activity of being. It's not about God manifesting more in creation, but creation (specifically man) reaching an increasingly more perfect state of divinization as part of God's plan. And if we see it from that perspective, it cannot be seen as pantheism because there is no worship of creation at all. We don't worship each other or ourselves as we become more divine, we just increasingly -become- just as God simply -is-. The concept of God manifesting more in creation and hence encouraging or requiring a shift in worship from the Trinity to creation itself is absolutely not Christian in any way I can think of.

But yes, that's kinda hardmode Christian Philosophy that can go on for quite a bit and would require further reading on both our parts and I'm not sure I can spare the time to seriously tackle that in an honest debate right now because I'm currently buried in contemplating St Anselm's Ontological Argument in his Proslogion to figure out what it is about it that bugs me so much. I want to be charitable in my reading of philosophy but my kneejerk reaction has been "this is a terrible argument because it's loaded in ways that are totally not useful for debate". I much prefer how Aquinas approaches his five proofs for God.
Yeah, you're probably right. I can't really speak for Hegel either so I can't say if he's in the upward divinization or eventual manifestation camp-- and as for myself, personally, I try not to make big claims about the Divine Plan like that, not just yet. There's always more to learn and new perspectives to absorb. I CAN pretty solidly confirm Hegel's not about shifting worship away from the Trinity-- the nature of the Trinity is pretty central to his argument, actually. In the sense of active worship of the world around us, I don't think Hegel is pantheistic-- again I'm going more for etymology than the actual practice of nature worship.

I wish you the best of luck on your meditations on St. Anselm's Ontological Argument! I've only read a bit of the Summa Theologica so by comparison I'm not prepared for something like that. I can kind of follow Godel's proof of God.
 

ThousandEyes

Banned
Sep 3, 2019
1,388


have you guys read this by David Bentley Hart. its getting talked about alot on the twitter sphere debates about Universalism
 

DarkDetective

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,802
The Netherlands
If all get saved in the end, what is the point of Jesus' death and resurrection, and our belief in His power?

Universalism would mean that whatever we do or don't do in our life doesn't matter in 'the afterlife'. It negates any responsibility we have toward our Creator.

And there's belief on something of a intermediate state like purgatory, where people will go to wash off their sins before they go to heaven, which is ridiculous, because such things are never mentioned in the Bible, and the Bible explicitly says that those who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ will be saved and those who do not will be lost. It's a binary option.

For those people who do/did not live between the resurrection of Christ and the Second Coming, there is hell/Hades (or however it is translated in your version of the Bible). I'm talking about the place mentioned in Luke 16:23. It should be noted, however, that faith is still the measuring rod for 'the good side' or 'the bad side' of the hell (I prefer 'realm of the dead', which has a more neutral feeling than the word 'hell'). Abraham is on a different side of the hell than the wealthy man in Luke 16:23 through his faith (Hebrew 11). Meanwhile, the wealthy man didn't care about faith or obeying God whatsoever, as Abraham explains to the man in verse 29 and 31.

If not judged through the law of Moses, people throughout history have been/will be judged by their faith. It's a binary option, as Abraham explains in Luke 16:31.
 

duckroll

Member
Oct 25, 2017
7,850
Singapore
have you guys read this by David Bentley Hart. its getting talked about alot on the twitter sphere debates about Universalism
Why don't you share what you yourself think of the debate and what you are looking to discuss first? I think that would be a charitable way to start a controversial discussion here given how you just asked another question recently which got generous replies but didn't seem to have anything to say about it yourself.
 

ThousandEyes

Banned
Sep 3, 2019
1,388
Why don't you share what you yourself think of the debate and what you are looking to discuss first? I think that would be a charitable way to start a controversial discussion here given how you just asked another question recently which got generous replies but didn't seem to have anything to say about it yourself.
Universal Torment was not a widely agreed upon concept in the early centuries of Christianity. In fact the fathers disagreed with it, especially the Greek fathers. Nyssa, Origen etc.

Nyssa " "The annihilation of evil, the restitution of all things, and the final restoration of evil men and evil spirits to the blessedness of union with God, so that He may be 'all in all,' embracing all things endowed with sense and reason." "

The Development of eternal damnation was unique to the Western church and Latin fathers. Dante created an image of hell, although literary and not canon, created a vivid imagination upon western christians