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Old 12-21-2013, 09:09 AM
 
174 posts, read 247,055 times
Reputation: 387

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I have just "retired" from participation on the massive "Christian Forums" site after three disappointing years. I am wondering if anyone else shares my view that this site is just about the WORST advertisement for Christianity since the Inquisition? It is divided into a multitude of sub-forums, each with its strict rules that are ruthlessly (albeit arbitrarily) enforced by a team of moderators; the purpose of all these sub-forums seems to be mostly to prevent the numerous warring factions of "Christianity" from clawing each other's eyes out (stay within the Baptist sub-forum, sweetie, and you won't have to butt heads with those damn Catholics). But it doesn't work -- even within a single sub-forum, virtually every thread, whether it be about the nature of the Trinity or someone's favorite recipe for carrot cake, turns into a bloodbath of flaming, accusations and hurt feelings. The huge preponderance of threads are hate-filled rants against homosexuality (an absolute obsession with these folks), Mormons, Jehovah's Witnesses, Catholics and other favorite targets. If you actually have an IQ above 100 and have studied a fair amount of theology and related disciplines, you will find yourself completely out of place because the average discussion takes place at the level of Vacation Bible School and that's the way the participants want to keep it. I am, of course, painting with too broad of a brush -- but overall I did find Christian Forums to be a depressing place and an embarrassing example of what most non-Christians who want nothing to do with Christianity picture the religion being. As I said in one of my final posts there, Christian Forums seems to me a better recruitment tool for atheism than for Christianity.

All of which raises a larger issue that always troubles me: If (as evangelicals at least believe) becoming a Christian opens the door to a transformation of one's life through the working of the Holy Spirit, why don't we see more (any?) evidence of this? Why are there 30,000+ Christian denominations, virtually every one of which detests some of the others? Why are there so many churches whose internal squabbles would embarrass a completely secular organization? Why do we see so little evidence of transformation in individual lives? If by their fruits ye shall know them, I would say that most of what passes for Christianity is populated by folks you wouldn't want to know at all (as exemplified by Christian Forums). If the Holy Spirit really were at work, shouldn't there be some discernible difference between the Christian segment of society and the Buddhist, Hindu, Islamic or atheist segments? Yet I see no meaningful difference that would suggest the Holy Spirit is transforming the Christian segment and not the others. If I were an atheist -- which I'm not, I'm actually a Christian -- I would steer clear of the silliness spouted by the New Atheists and focus on: "Why, if Christianity is real, isn't there more evidence of this? Doesn't the evidence point more in the opposite direction?" All the standard explanations about Satan being the ruler of the world, Christians still being prone to sin, etc., really aren't sufficient -- even within this context, if Christians have the Holy Spirit and other belief systems don't, there should be a definite, discernible difference. My answer to this dilemma is along the lines suggested by Leo Tolstoy: "If Jesus' message were put into practice, there would be such a difference. The problem is that the overwhelming majority of what passes for Christianity is a near-complete perversion of Jesus' message."
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Old 12-21-2013, 09:30 AM
 
3,124 posts, read 4,089,182 times
Reputation: 1955
Protestants and Catholics have started wars and committed heinous acts in the name of religion. The arguments you see are based on the argumentors' own insecurity than any actual genuine desire for discourse or answers. You know the difference between the two by their "tone".
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Old 12-21-2013, 09:34 AM
 
7,310 posts, read 4,675,318 times
Reputation: 6314
I joined a Christian site not too long ago because I was dealing with a difficult issue. I was immediately judged and Bible-bashed, so I never went back.

Christians are very self-righteous because they have the truth. That's no way to be, Jesus had the truth and should be the example for Christians.
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Old 12-21-2013, 09:50 AM
Status: "Amused by BF." (set 6 days ago)
 
Location: Ontario, Canada
23,263 posts, read 12,056,137 times
Reputation: 10629
The Christianity sub-forum here on CD is plenty depressing enough. Don't need to find worse examples elsewhere.
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Old 12-21-2013, 09:55 AM
 
19,952 posts, read 12,966,493 times
Reputation: 1957
Quote:
Originally Posted by TroutDude View Post
The Christianity sub-forum here on CD is plenty depressing enough. Don't need to find worse examples elsewhere.
Maybe if some non-Christians didn't go trolling in the forum, it wouldn't so depressing. I have no problem with non-Christians posting there, but it's a shame when some people do simply to try to stir things up.
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Old 12-21-2013, 09:57 AM
Status: "Amused by BF." (set 6 days ago)
 
Location: Ontario, Canada
23,263 posts, read 12,056,137 times
Reputation: 10629
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vizio View Post
Maybe if some non-Christians didn't go trolling in the forum, it wouldn't so depressing.
As unpleasant as the task is, some people of good sense have to go there once in a while to deal with the accumulation of quasi-religious crap.
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Old 12-21-2013, 10:00 AM
 
Location: Sitting beside Walden Pond
4,610 posts, read 3,959,440 times
Reputation: 1389
In my opinion, the Islam forum is by far the saddest.

Except for one poster who gives very intelligent and educated answers, the rest of them just quote the Quran and seem incapable of thinking for themselves. At least the Christians argue about things, which shows their brain is not just on auto-pilot.
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Old 12-21-2013, 10:10 AM
 
Location: Minnesota
1,489 posts, read 1,272,594 times
Reputation: 1890
It's definately depressing to me.....but having grown up in a very strict "christian" household, I know how the thought process goes. If you don't believe what my form of religion believes exactly like I do, you're 100% wrong and going to hell ! That's pretty much it in a nutshell. They might coat those thoughts and words in euphemistic ways....but that's what it all basically comes down to.

Again, having actually experienced some of the "christian" ways in my youth, to me it was like being in a straightjacket. You were afraid of anything different, most everything not related to church was some form of a sin, fear was a daily factor since you were basically worshipping a being who created you out of "love" but obviously had no problem sending you into eternal pain and suffering if you didn't want to worship him and give him adulation 24/7.

That belief would certainly give new meaning to the word "love" wouldn't it ? I love you so much, that I'm going to give you free will to do anything you want....but if you do anything different that I desire you to do, I'm going to send you into eternal torment with no way out...ever, no repeats, no forgiveness, no change of heart, no clemency, you're just going to suffer forever bacause there's no hope for you and you're not worth saving ! Sure doesn't sound very just does it ? Does that sound like something any parent would do to their child ? Sure kids test us, some more than others :-) I've been there as a parent with one of mine, But I've never written her off, just loving her where she's currently at and when she comes around we'll be there for her to help her rebuild her life. That's how parents can and should act....not with eternal vengence !

There is no way you can believe all this stuff typical christians believe and not be despressed....I know I was ! The truly good news is that once the student is ready, the teacher(s) will appear as the old saying goes. I was blessed to meet in my daily life over the past 15 or so years many truly caring people who shared their thoughts with me and resulted in me finding my own beliefs that made more sense to me. I don't think there is only one way to think....there are many as all people are different and have different ways of looking at things. This is all good and as it should be. Love and be helpful to all others as best as you can while attempting to bring enjoyment of life to yourself and all those around you whenever possible. Pretty simple way to live, not always easy, but simple. Not a lot of rules and regulations and certainly no fear necessary.

A couple quotes I've heard that always come to mind when the religion subject comes up:

"The less you know, the more firmly you believe it and the louder your proclaim it" This isn't mean to just apply to christians, but all people. Many if not most times, the loudest most opiniated person in the room are compensating for lack of real knowledge.

"Morality is doing what is right regardless of what you're told, religion is doing what you're told regardless of what is right".

For anyone interested, read the links below. They were inspiring to me and perhaps they will be for you too.

http://www.sigler.org/slagle/newpage2.htm

http://www.sigler.org/slagle/newpage3.htm

Last edited by jasper1372; 12-21-2013 at 10:22 AM..
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Old 12-21-2013, 10:25 AM
 
Location: Salt Lake City
21,260 posts, read 20,865,688 times
Reputation: 9950
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vizio View Post
Maybe if some non-Christians didn't go trolling in the forum, it wouldn't so depressing.
Maybe if some so-called Christians would stop judging other professing Christians as not being Christians at all, it wouldn't be so depressing.
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Old 12-21-2013, 10:35 AM
 
Location: Parts Unknown, Northern California
36,951 posts, read 17,431,639 times
Reputation: 16787
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vizio View Post
Maybe if some non-Christians didn't go trolling in the forum, it wouldn't so depressing. I have no problem with non-Christians posting there, but it's a shame when some people do simply to try to stir things up.
I do not post on that board. Among the reasons is that asking "How do you know what you are asserting is actually true?" is their definition of "stirring things up."
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