Religious Texts Presuppose There is a System of Faith

“but if there was a system in place where man through his actions alone could become holy and righteous then man would not need God…” (Xander)

Speaking of ‘systems in place for man’s actions’ – what are Judaism and Christianity’s roles then? They offer advice on how to live in a holy and ordained way so as to access and be closer to God – no? Are they not dependent on your actions – concerning your closeness to God and the such?

Also, Judaism, the fore-runner to Christianity, was designed by God for humans to follow to get closer to God (not by man per se – as is also the Christian claim about their scriptures). God designed it, not humans so your point about ‘man trying to do it on his own’ is faulty – because you pre-suppose man created the system (ie: religion) whereby he gets nearer to God – this is not the case in either Judaism or Christianity.

Problem: Pre-supposition that humans following their religious texts are being too legal about their beliefs and not following God. However, if the texts were ‘God-breathed’ isn’t it sensible for those followers to adhere to the texts quite closely?

 

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12 thoughts on “Religious Texts Presuppose There is a System of Faith

  1. My issue is the problem that the Christian interpretation creates with all this new covenant and religion vs. relationship stuff (which I think is a pile of BS).

    I just saw it on facebook the conundrum: ‘God sacrificed Himself, to Himself, to protect human beings from Himself’….it’s plainly illogical – but this is what the new covenant is interpreted as.

    I am starting to believe Christianity is moving backwards in the information age and all the slight of hand tricks within the denominations are clear to see now.

  2. “if the texts were ‘God-breathed’ isn’t it sensible for those followers to adhere to the texts quite closely?”

    So what happens when you do not follow them completely? Reasoning that if it is ok to not do everything that is said, what magical amount needs to be adhered to in order to be a good person and go to heaven and such?

  3. “Reasoning that if it is ok to not do everything that is said, what magical amount needs to be adhered to in order to be a good person and go to heaven and such?” (Xander)

    Easily solveable, they are standards – meant to be a guide to one’s life – for building their values and helping with how to handle life’s situations.

    As standards, we will exceed some and we will struggle with some – quite normal.

    For example, ‘love your neighbor’ – how does one know what the level of ‘right’ is with a teaching like that? How does it look exactly to ‘love our neighbor’? I see the teaching simple as a standard for living, to remind us when dealing with people around us (in all kinds of situations and diverse undertakings) that we need to keep ‘love’ as the bottom line. This will look different every-time in every situation – and different for all people.

    So there is no correct measurement for standards – as we see in Matthew 7:2b “by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you”. Jesus gives his followers the right to have their levels of measurement for how they will view situations and their actions in them – knowing that how we act – expect the same treatment back (which is the core of that teaching).

  4. Perfection, not a problem whatsoever, however – when it is – it’s imposed by someone’s interpretation of the texts to make it unattainable. Why? Church history and power can answer that.

    The church – in the early years and into the middle ages – held onto power by not allowing the commoners to study the texts (did not occur until the Reformation and the Printing Press – 1600’s). So the church defined the church culture – which made a system whereby commoners always felt less than the parish. It makes sense interpretation of God would follow that model – as we see in reformation leaders interpretation of God (based on that faulty system and psychology about God).

    Power, is really at the heart of a system of perfection. It allows the leaders a level of control over the followers, that they themselves cannot meet, yet one would think the parish is ‘closer to God’ because they lead the congregation. This closer view of the parish means the follower thinks the leader is somehow ‘more perfect than they are’ – thus the position of power? Perfection, as an idea, helps the powerful maintain their power – they are ‘insiders’.

    I am not sure why perfection is even an issue in Christianity?

  5. But since we will fail to keep some of these standards, the question of why even follow them in the first place? Nothing bad will happen if you fail to achieve them, so what is the point?

  6. “But since we will fail to keep some of these standards, the question of why even follow them in the first place?” (Xander)

    In my opinion, to make your life better and to find a foundation to build from for future decision making exercises. Really, all faith needs to be marketed as is the ability to make one’s life better – which I have found the teachings help do…they also help one build an ethical foundation for future decisions – something to reference. Plus, they are inspired by people that followed God prior to us – so some of this tradition that has been practiced – and something we can also add to.

    “Nothing bad will happen if you fail to achieve them, so what is the point?” (Xander)

    Why does something need to have a punishment in order to take it? Consider aspirin for a second. People take aspirin to get better – because by not taking it the condition can worsen or take longer to get better – aspirin helps alleviate suffering and in some cases, like people with heart problems, prevent further issues. Faith can be like aspirin.

    As for life, it is filled with choices – which result in outcomes – sometimes, with a bad choice, the outcome is a consequence. The teachings are there to help alleviate the consequences and make the best choices we can – even hell is used as a ‘consequence’.

    PS: I don’t think hell exists – but even in biblical texts it’s used as a consequence. Juss saying is all.

    • But you can make your own life better by not following any God as well. I have seen many atheists act more ethical and morally upright than some people in the church, so using a faith based system really does nothing extra than having no system at all.

      With consequences though, if it is not a real consequence then there is nothing to be fearful of and no reason not to do something out of fear of the non-existing consequence.

      Some people do not take aspirin as it will not provide any benefit to their body. There is no consequence in not taking it so to do so is pointless.

      Why obey a set of rules which denies you enjoyment or personal freedom when there is no consequence from not following?

  7. “But you can make your own life better by not following any God as well. I have seen many atheists act more ethical and morally upright than some people in the church, so using a faith based system really does nothing extra than having no system at all.” (Xander)

    (a) What does that actually say about the role of the church in society? Is it even needed if it cannot add to the convo on ethics and moral standards in the country it exists?

    (b) Is the church behaving correctly? Is it playing as a moral standard bearer (which it claims) and not delivering? If so, why does it have ethical and moral conduct unbecoming of a Jesus-ite?

    But because there are better ethics/morals in atheists and outside the church means nothing to me – I know it’s true – because God made them all. Wouldn’t they have an inbuilt desire for family, friends, community, and love – regardless of church?

    Take Adam, or Jesus for that matter, neither had a church but lived in the countryside and basically lived pretty moral and ethical lives.

  8. “if it is not a real consequence then there is nothing to be fearful of…” (Xander)

    Well that’s the problem right there – fear. Is fear a good thing? Does it make you love someone more? Is God into intimidation? Is God a bully then?

    Problem with following God based on ‘fear’ is that it does not lead to love, it may bring allegiance, but a dead and soulless allegiance – and who wants that exactly? It’s kind of like, and this is my opinion, we are treating God like He’s a country?

    “Some people do not take aspirin as it will not provide any benefit to their body. There is no consequence in not taking it so to do so is pointless.” (Xander)

    True but in my example aspirin is a good and helpful thing – for ill (after the fact) and prevention (prior to the fact). Isn’t this what we want our faith to be?

    “Why obey a set of rules which denies you enjoyment or personal freedom when there is no consequence from not following?” (Xander)

    But there are consequences for all of the standards (not rules per se) – and I’ll give a few examples.

    (1) Teaching – do not commit adultery. What if you do or think about doing it? Think about that for a second. Who gets hurt – wife, children, you, other couple, etc. I have seen my fair share of this happen – in some cases the anger the arises gets one of the partners killed (ie: murder – also a no good thang). Adultery is fraught with problems that do not include hell as a consequence – but there are lots of consequences that can be as deadly on this planet.

    (2) Teaching – turn the other cheek. What if we decide not to? Now this does not mean violence but it could mean slander, revenge, or even violent acts to even the score. What good is it to just return hit for hit? In the end, eye for an eye will end up kill or maiming us both (although I think there is time for this – let the legal system handle it). In the end, we become vigilantes that people cannot trust nor would want anything to do with because we have no grace, patience, or firgiving features. We’d likely be in jail if we lived like this.

    So, with each teaching is a built in consequence – check em and see – they all are fraught with problems if we decide to run counter to them.

    • But you are not taking into consideration the fact that not everyone shares the same views on adultery as you do. If a person does not see the harm in cheating or remaining monogamous, you cannot impose do not commit adultery on them and have it mean anything. God will love them and accept them regardless so why comply with it?

  9. “If a person does not see the harm in cheating or remaining monogamous, you cannot impose do not commit adultery on them and have it mean anything.” (Xander)

    They can deny they believe as I do, they cannot deny reality.

    A person can believe that adultery ‘means nothing’ but that doesn’t actually mean it ‘means nothing’. Regardless of one’s beliefs about adultery – it still carries obvious consequences and anyone that has cheated will give you a quick list of what happened to them. They may have believed they would get away with it or it wouldn’t be a ‘big deal’ – then their wife finds out – and maybe even their kids – then the sh*t hits the proverbial fan.

    So whether someone believes adultery will or will not harm them is inconsequential – what they believe about it is inconsequential – consequences don’t consider that kind of thing – they just happen regardless of one’s beliefs.

  10. “God will love them and accept them regardless so why comply with it?” (Xander)

    God may love them, this I cannot confirm – namely if they treat their own family like infidels (via cheating and devaluing them) – but they will face up to being accountable to their wife and family (or vice versa if it is the wife that cheats).

    So why follow it? Common sense and finding the best you can be – and adultery will easily prove to someone – this is not the best life for them.

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