Do Christians need to feel persecuted? Many of the Christians I know seem to seek out stories where Christianity is seemingly being persecuted. These stories range from the Ten Commandments being taken down from a courthouse to actual persecution. These Christians seem to draw strength from, or in some cases get a thrill from, these stories. I have also known Christians who have complained that they are not being persecuted enough and wonder whether if that will affect their chances to get to Heaven. I suppose it may come from the New Testament being written when Christianity was under constant attack. With many of the prominent characters in the New Testament being martyred for their faith I suppose it is somewhat natural for modern day Christians to want to emulate them; however, I can’t see it as a very healthy way to go through life.
The Book of Esther is also used to justify this behavior in some respect. Plus, those who are of an eschatological mind seek out persecution because they see it as a sign of the 'end times' when they get to go to heaven and we heathens get to burn...
I said that I agree that anti-black discrimination is the worse problem. What I meant was that when there is a case anti-white discrimination it is as bad as a similar case of anti-black discrimination. For society as a whole, anti-black discrimination is the more common and, as such, it is the larger problem.
"Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution" (-- 2 Tim. 3:12)
All (true) Christians, will be persecuted if they stick to their faith and hold the right doctrines (which is inevitable these days). Persecution is not necessarily physical: the context relates to another verse Jesus said (Matthew 10:22). Anyway... Christians will rejoice when this happens (as it means that they are doing the right thing (also Luke 6:22)). However, a Christian does not have to look for these things or have to deliberately pick fights to feel persecuted. It is the way of life, and the doctrines (Jesus' words) that are an offence to people. And if you stick with that, these are the things that will get you hated.
... And I imagine that a lot of people who call themselves Christians (but aren't) don't suffer that persecution indeed, because they don't hold the doctrines that Jesus gave.
There is no such thing as a "true" christian, because there isn't one objective, uncontestable definition of christian. Christians are not subject to persecution as a group, even a little, in the west- when you're in the majority, persecution tends not to happen to you.
There is. Jesus said: "If ye love me, keep my commandments" (John 14:15). The two pillars on which the Christian law is based, is to love God with all your heart and soul and to love your neighbour as yourself. John answers what 'to love God' means: "For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous." (1 John 5:3). If a man does not obey God, not after he has been pointed to his sinning -- he is not a Christian (even though he may say that he is -- Matthew 7:22 and Matthew 7:13-14). And that's the sad thing. There is no majority you speak of, isn't there. Oh yeah, people may call themselves so, but that doesn't mean that they are.
Just to prove my words a little further: how many people do you know would try to find a hole to escape from the following words of Jesus Christ? "If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple." (Luke 14-26)
Everything about such belief comes down to interpretation- which is a completely subjective process. There is no objectivity to be found- if there were, christianity would be one, not divided into some thirty thousand divisions.
Yes, I imagine hating your familyand yourself would be a rule most people would find difficult to follow. Not that this shows christians are actually victims of persecution.
"Subject to interpretation" -- some of the words that I hate most these days. If someone can't be honest and doesn't want to come to certain conclusions, then surely, everything is open for debate. Christianity is divided because of that. Every denominations has things right, and things wrong and they are all unwilling to change the things that they have wrong, but will stand for what they have right. There is objectivity in the Bible, for sure. People just don't like what they find, when they are objective. Because it would mean that they'd have to denounce and reject the people who stick with the lies, and those people are often friends, family and people whom they went to church with for a long time. Also, to leave a church is not something that people even want to consider, because they care more about feeling safe and happy now, than to obey Him.
The verse that I showed, was not to prove that they suffer persecution. Just to prove that many people pick and choose what they wish to believe. If you believe everything the Bible says, there will be persecution... and not necessarily from outside Christendom either. The main prosecution these days arises from the people who call themselves Christians.
(Here's a secret: Christianity is in a state of apostasy (2Thes. 2:3))
Yet, it's true. There is no way not to go by interpretation when it comes to something so inconsistent as holy writ. If there existed one true form of christianity, I think that after two thousand years, one should have arisen- but it hasn't. Instead we have a plethora of variants, each sure they are right, and each with a complete inability to prove themselves right or wrong. There is nothing objective in faith- I daresay it would not be faith if it was.
Picking and choosing is the only way to be a christian and not be the same kind of barbarian people were at the time it was written (that is, decades after the events happened, by people who didn't see it happen). You sacrifice intellectual consistency, in return for being a modern, decent human being.
Then we fundamentally disagree. The bible is consistent, and is to be looked at objectively. I take everything objectively, as best as I can as the apostles did back then. It was prophesied by the way, that Christianity would end in apostasy (the opposite of being united). It is not about inability to prove themselves right or wrong, it's about them being dishonest and insincere. By the way, how does faith work, if it is inconsistent? If you're serious and looking for answers, you can note me. But I'm not quite interested in a back and forth if you've completely made up your mind.
There is no factualo basis by which to establish biblical objectivity, nor is the bible consistent in itself- passages contradict each other multiple times. Like I said, if there was such a thing as "one true christianity", if it worked anything like a rational system like, for example, science, then there should be very little division. Instead, we have extreme amounts of division, because it's faith and faith is subjective. No amount of enlightened study on the bible could accomplish a consensus, as any holy writ has to be interpreted- it's mythology, not data.
I try to keep an open mind.
Basically, I see faith as a security blanket for adults. It is a mental reassurance that all is well, all will work out in the end- and even if you take your religion very seriously, it will most often end up being slanted to suit your own personal beliefs and opinions. That's why liberals believe Jesus is closer to them, and conservatives likewise, and neither can prove the other wrong.
That it gets slanted doesn't just happen on a personal level, either- all religions which hope to survive adapt to the time and culture they're in, which I think completely undermines its credibility as a source for answers of life's ultimate questions- if it had any immutable answers, then I don't see why religions could change attitudes completely as time goes by. It makes perfect sense as a cultural phenomenon, an anthropological idea based on humanity's attempt to make sense of the world, changing as the culture changes- and very little sense as a source of wisdom and truth.
Maybe there aren't many real Christians over there. This wouldn't surprise me as it is the same over here or anywhere else (Matthew 7:13-14 -- "Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.").
Many of the "Christians" here really aren't that is true; however, the only persecution going on in most parts of the South is against those who are obnoxious about showing their faith and attempting to force it on others.
And that's not even Christian in itself. The only people you ought to force the truth, or rather what the Bible says on, is... other Christians. As in: exhorting one another into obeying God. But certainly not expecting or asking non-believers to do the same.
No, it's quite a mystery. If you were to read out a couple of Jesus' sentences out loud in churches these days, they would be offended. And most of the non-believers would be too, as his words condemn the world. Adultery (sleeping around, and being with more than one partner) for example is so common these days that people find it offensive that one would be against it. And from that arises persecution. And this person is the person who goes against everyone, so he surely would not be seen as the hero that got persecuted. Therefore you don't hear from him.
Your comment reminded me of a story I've heard. The story goes: There's an old woman sitting in church listening to a new preacher. The preacher preaches against adultery,"amen" says the old lady. The preacher preaches against lying, "amen" says the old lady. The preacher preaches against drinking, "amen" says the old lady. The preacher preaches against smoking, "Now you've stopped preaching and started meddling," says the old lady.
Haha - fairly typical story. It's funny, but in a very bitter sense, because it's so true. Just about every self-professing christian defends 'what they can accept' tooth to nail... but when you take something on that they don't want to give up for the faith, you suddenly 'can't judge them'. So hypocritical, so sad.