Should Christians be hated?

(434 Posts)
plaingirly Fri 05-Apr-13 19:50:08

Random question! I opened my Bible on Matthew 10 and verse 22 says :

And all nations will hate you because you are my followers. But everyone who endures to the end will be saved.

I think there is another verse similar but can't remember it.

So if someone is really a follower of Jesus will people hate them and if people don't hate them are they not strong enough in their faith?

I don't really want to be hated! smile Also at work we have to get along with people so having them hate us wouldn't be ideal. Unless the verses are more specific or maybe aimed at the disciples.

Yes, Pedro I agree we are flawed but IMHO that is because we are fallen, not because we were created flawed. I was indeed referring to the idea/accusation that man 'made God in his own image'.

Yes, Stackoverflow (what an interesting name grin, That doesn't make any old conjecture just as valid a view as what you can actually demonstrate. Just because we can't prove it doesn't make it true either. We are back to taking things on faith, and of course this is where Christians make up their own minds about what they believe based on the 'evidence' or the 'experience' of God they have. The examples you have given of prefixed with you're also implying that... (* claims about crystal therapy being effective, masturbation leading to cancer, aliens mutilating American cows and the CIA being after my schizophrenic uncle are sensible claims to make*), are all individual things that may or may not be true, in this case I would assume are not true (I don't know your uncle) and I was not implying these things were true. I was not implying that any old thing we cannot prove is true. I was saying that I believe Jesus lived and died and rose again, to redeem the world. That I can't offer evidence for this this that will provide proof to satisfy some but I believe it, just as I cannot prove evidence for the love I have for my family and them for me, yet I also believe it based on experience.

Can I pose a question which I don't know the answer to, please? In our lives where do we draw the line between evidence and experience, and is there a line, and what difference do we see in the way we view things in this way?

(A very simple example might be if there were a washing powder that was tested safe to use, and yet brought us out in rash when we washed our clothes with it. How would we view it?)

headinhands Italy Wed 01-May-13 08:12:52

Re: the washing machine analogy, I'd probably do a test with clothes washed in new powder and old powder to check it wasn't a coincidence. Or just go back to using the old seeing as it's not a big issue.

headinhands Italy Wed 01-May-13 08:19:04

As for love, I have good reason to believe my family love me and I love them from the way we behave towards each other. I can't see it no, although you probably can see stuff going on in the brain in specific areas when I am hugging them. How does this relate to god though? You can't see him and there's no evidence of his love towards you or anyone beyond your feelings, and as other religions claim the same about their god, suggests it stems from the brain.

PedroYoniLikesCrisps Wed 01-May-13 16:08:31

There is no line to draw because evidence and experience are not mutually exclusive.

However, evidence for love is most certainly possible to produce. First though, you must define what you mean by love because it's one of those things which, like god, can be interpreted many different ways. For example, trying to demonstrate evidence for god when you define god as a force which created nature is very different to trying to demonstrate evidence for god when you you define god as an entity who watches over everyone and answers prayers.

Washing powder being safe to use based on clinical trials would have evidence to back it up. So you might be allergic to the powder (which doesn't necessarily make it not safe, but we'll assume for argument's sake that it would be seriously detrimental to your health). It would be an experience which you have when coming out in a rash (or whatever the symptoms might be), but that would also be evidence. However, this evidence would need to be demonstrable and repeatable to hold any weight. If you used the powder again and had no rash, the evidence that it caused the rash loses weight.

DioneTheDiabolist Wed 01-May-13 19:02:51

Italian this is my take on evidence and experience.
Two people take a helicopter ride over Niagra Falls.
The evidence is their receipt, the helicopter flight plan and onboard recording equipment.
The experience, one person talks of the majesty and awe. The other person talks of motion sickness and a waste of time and money.

The evidence provides proof but the experience is entirely subjective and can vary enormously from person to person.

I don't know if this is the sort of thing you were looking for.

Headinhands you said I can't see it no, although you probably can see stuff going on in the brain in specific areas when I am hugging them. How does this relate to god though? You can't see him and there's no evidence of his love towards you or anyone beyond your feelings, and as other religions claim the same about their god, suggests it stems from the brain. Are you saying things going on in the brain is proof of love or isn't proof of love?

Dione Thanks for the helicopter example. Supposing the two people lost their receipt, helicopter flight plan is blown away in a massive gust of wind and the on board flight recording went haywire. Is there still any evidence of the people's flight left in their experience?

Only curious.

Pedro you said However, evidence for love is most certainly possible to produce. Do you mean human love, spiritual love, love of animals?

Also I would see God as both the things you describe. ... created nature and watches over everyone and answers prayers. Do you recognise any evidence for either version of God?

Forget the washing powder Pedro* I like Dione's helicopter ride more. grin

Sorry Pedro I meant animals loving human owners, as in pets!

DioneTheDiabolist Wed 01-May-13 23:33:34

Credit card statement?wink

However it is possible for all the evidence to get lost. In that case they would have no evidence for their flight.

headinhands Italy Thu 02-May-13 06:27:14

Sorry Italian I thought earlier on you used the example of love for family as an example of something being real but there being no evidence didn't you?

headinhands Italy Thu 02-May-13 06:32:09

I don't see any evidence for either concept of god, do you?

headinhands Italy Thu 02-May-13 06:40:27

As for the helicopter flight. There would be others who had gone on the flight, the company probably still offering flights, adverts and so on. It wouldn't be difficult to believe them without hard evidence as you could do it yourself and see photos and so on.

PedroYoniLikesCrisps Thu 02-May-13 07:12:26

Pedro you said However, evidence for love is most certainly possible to produce. Do you mean human love, spiritual love, love of animals?

You'd have to define love first before I could offer evidence for it.

Also I would see God as both the things you describe. ... created nature and watches over everyone and answers prayers. Do you recognise any evidence for either version of God?

It's not that I don't recognise evidence. It's that I don't think that there is any, although a force which created nature is more plausible. But everything I see in the evidence suggests there's no need to include a god in the equation. Of course if you consider that God is "whatever caused the big bang", for example, then you perhaps wrap the concept of a god around the science and gain yourself some 'evidence' of sorts.

Dione would the experience of their flight be evidence of it?

headinhands you said ...*Sorry Italian I thought earlier on you used the example of love for family as an example of something being real but there being no evidence didn't you?* Yes I did. I meant that I would not be able to prove empirically, that my family love me or that I love them. There is no scientific test I can prove. My argument is that the very most important things in life are things we cannot produce proof for in a kind of scientific research way. Yet we believe them to be true. And in the same way (*for me*) I love God and believe God loves me and is real even though I cannot prove it. My experience of it is a kind of evidence although not proof. You mentioned seeing things in the brain when ....

I can't see it no, although you probably can see stuff going on in the brain in specific areas when I am hugging them.

Then you said * How does this relate to god though? You can't see him and there's no evidence of his love towards you or anyone beyond your feelings, and as other religions claim the same about their god, suggests it stems from the brain.*

So the 'evidence' of love within families might be seen in the brain and you also think love of God stems from the brain, are these kinds of love not similar? That was my point, not proof but at least evidence?

headinhands you said ... As for the helicopter flight. There would be others who had gone on the flight, the company probably still offering flights, adverts and so on. It wouldn't be difficult to believe them without hard evidence as you could do it yourself and see photos and so on.

Is other people saying they have been on the helicopter flight evidence of it? If so then there are lots of other people who believe in God.

Pedro why do I need to define 'love' you said there was evidence for it first! grin

My point is that if there is evidence for human love between two or more people, and their is evidence our pets love us (well some do) and we love them, is there not equal weight of spiritual love. People love God and people would say (some people) that they feel/know/believe that God loves them. That was my point. So is there evidence for any of those kinds of love?

Also, if you have time can you look at the theory you put the other way round?

But everything I see in the evidence suggests there's no need to include a god in the equation. Of course if you consider that God is "whatever caused the big bang", for example, then you perhaps wrap the concept of a god around the science and gain yourself some 'evidence' of sorts.

How about telling me how the whole big bang happened without God, where did it all start off if there was not God in the 'creation' evaution. I am most certainly not arguing about creationism verses evolution etc. I am asking if God did not start the whole ball rolling then what did, what created whatever whatever made the first bits of the universe?

The 'proving love' thing is little different to the "but you can't prove the wind is there".

If Fred defines love as 'putting someone else's welfare before your own" then he can say that Wilma loves him if he has evidence that she puts his welfare before her own.

In fact she might not love him, but have a mental disorder that emulates the expected symptoms of loving someone or have a secret plan to get his money. So strictly speaking we can never be 100% sure, but still we are going by as much evidence as we can accumulate. It's not the same as a wild guess.

Some young people will imagine that someone loves them - even a pop star whom they have never met - without enough evidence. They tend to be upset when they realize the truth. Even they start with the evidence that the celebrity exists though and perhaps a little knowledge of his/her preferences.

In order to imagine being loved by Jesus you must first assume he exists without evidence, then assume without evidence that he knows you and then assume that he loves you, also without evidence.

The evidence for him existing seems in many cases to be "because I feel loved by him" which is neat and poetic, but not very useful.

PedroYoniLikesCrisps Thu 02-May-13 12:31:04

Pedro why do I need to define 'love' you said there was evidence for it first!

Because love is an ambiguous term. There are specific elements which combine to give you what most people consider to be love. There are activities in specific parts of the brain which indicate an individual's response to seeing or interacting with someone they 'love' which would trigger a response to that person or drive how they treat them. But I have different definitions for different people. I love my wife in a different way to how I love my son or my parents or my in laws or my friends. You could use a different word to describe those different loves if such words existed. You would likely have a different definition for how you love God and would almost certainly have different neurological responses for each of those.

You would also be hard pushed to demonstrate how God loved you given you can't demonstrate god exists. Receipt of love could only be evidenced by studying the loving entity.

You need to have a specific, defined, measurable hypothesis before you begin to test the evidence.

How about telling me how the whole big bang happened without God, where did it all start off if there was not God in the 'creation' evaution. I am most certainly not arguing about creationism verses evolution etc. I am asking if God did not start the whole ball rolling then what did, what created whatever whatever made the first bits of the universe?

There's no answer to that yet, but there's also nothing to suggest that God did it. The absence of information doesn't just mean you can full the gaps with God because that doesn't mean anything.

Perhaps if I use another analogy. Before we understood the germ theory of disease, people got ill and no one knew why. At the time you could have just said "god makes you ill", but that doesn't answer the question why and to suggest that it did would stop you trying to find out the real reason. Same with the origin of the universe, perhaps god did create it, but there's no evidence of that and I'd rather follow scientific development to answer that question rather than stopping with God.

BackOnlyBriefly there is no doubt in my mind that Jesus did live on the earth.

Before dear Pedro shoots down my faith in Wickepidia....

"Virtually all modern scholars of antiquity agree that Jesus existed..."

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historicity_of_Jesus

The full quote is "Virtually all modern scholars of antiquity agree that Jesus existed,[1][2][3][4] and although there is little agreement on the historicity of gospel narratives and their theological assertions of his divinity,[5][6][7][8] biblical scholars and classical historians regard theories of his non-existence as effectively refuted.[9][10][11] Most scholars agree that Jesus was a Galilean Jew who was born between 7 and 2 BC and died 30–36 AD.[12][13][14] Most scholars hold that Jesus lived in Galilee and Judea, did not preach or study elsewhere[15][16][17] and that he spoke Aramaic and may have also spoken Hebrew and possibly Greek.[18][19][20] Although scholars differ on the reconstruction of the specific episodes of the life of Jesus, the two events whose historicity is subject to "almost universal assent" are that he was baptized by John the Baptist and shortly afterwards was crucified by the order of the Roman Prefect Pontius Pilate.[21][22][23][24]"

This is not to say that this is proof or evidence of Jesus being God, we have established I cannot give you proof of that. But I would agree with 'virtually all modern scholars of antiquity' in that Jesus existed. It is not my experience' of Jesus that makes me think he existed it is my experience of Jesus that makes me believe he is God and he loves me. I would like to make that distinction.

Pedro I don't need to test the evidence. I am just trying to explain things in a way you might connect with. I don't think the things that are very important to us, perhaps the most important to us, we can offer proof for. Whether we are talking about God or people I don't think there is absolute proof of love. I do totally understand where you are coming from. But we keep going back to the bit were you say I can't prove God exists and I agree, I can't prove it!

Pedro... as ever very interesting answers from you, thank you. You said Same with the origin of the universe, perhaps god did create it, but there's no evidence of that and I'd rather follow scientific development to answer that question rather than stopping with God.

I am not the sort of Christian who disagrees with science or exploration, my husband is a scientist and I have a lot of respect for all those who want to understand our world and make amazing discoveries. For me there is no 'stopping with God', in the sense that we still want to explore the world and universe and understand more of it, I don't think 'religion' conflicts with that (for me). But for me God creating the universe makes a lot of sense!

Italiangreyhound There's no point in me asking for evidence that Jesus existed because we did all that in the other thread. I imagine that many of those claiming he probably existed are basing it on the "why else does everyone talk about him" argument. Which also proves that Scientologist's lizards must really exist. smile You know if Scientology is still around in 2000 years they will be insufferable.

But it doesn't matter really. Let's suppose for the moment that Joshua Ben David was born in Judea and preached a bit about being nice to people. If one day that were proved I wouldn't be in the least unhappy about it. Imagine finding his diary or something. It would be really interesting.

But what you really need is proof that The Son Of God was born in Judea and you have none really. So I still say "you must first assume that he exists, that he knows you and that he loves you, all without evidence." It's quite different to loving a neighbor or partner.

thermalsinapril Thu 02-May-13 17:29:42

Presumably if any non-Christians here are really wanting to get the in-depth evidence, they'll be prepared to go and view, and read, the original texts and all other historical documents as part of making up their own mind. There's no point expecting others to do it for you, if they've already made their minds up on less evidence than you're wanting for yourself. It doesn't mean the evidence isn't there, it means you have do the legwork if you genuinely want that much information. But I suspect some people just enjoy goading Christians as it's easier than going on a fact-hunt themselves grin

thermalsinapril an awful lot of people were brought up believing that of course there was plenty of evidence of Jesus existing. I was taught that the Romans had his birth records and his criminal record/death sentence. I was amazed and shocked when I realized I'd been deceived. To be fair the people who told me with such sincerity were probably themselves deceived.

if you take a look at the recent thread you will see that in fact there is no conclusive evidence for the existence of Joshua Ben David. No birth certificate, no entry in those census records that were the supposed purpose of his parents being in Bethlehem (there was no census apparently)

What you will find if you research the subject boils down to people saying "well there must have been something to it or Christianity wouldn't have lasted so long.

Which is why I said in my last post that in 2000 years the Scientologist are going to be insufferable. Because they will be able to use the same arguments and we will have to respect their lizards.

PedroYoniLikesCrisps Thu 02-May-13 19:06:23

italian

But for me God creating the universe makes a lot of sense!

Sense, perhaps, for the believer. But what if (speaking hypothetically of course!) it was demonstrated that there was a natural cause for the big bang. How would that sit with your beliefs?

I can absolutely understand where you're coming from. But without any reason to believe that a god kicked everything off, I simply can't bring myself to consider it when everything else which we have discovered to date has proven to be absent of a deity.

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