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.

PedroYoniLikesCrisps Wed 08-May-13 23:14:28

Ok, I'll see what I can do.

It's not just about making money at a local level. I'll take the RC church as an example, simply because it makes the point more easily. So you have individual RC members popping along to their local church every Sunday (or perhaps just once in a while) and let's say they don't ever contribute to the collection tin, they just go along for free services and the odd coffee morning. But even though they don't fund anything, simply by being a member of the church they help to propagate the organisation. An organisation which contains many millions of people who do invest an awful lot of money to the cause.

The Pope has a status of extreme power, but that has only been achieved because of the pure numbers of Roman Catholics. If all those mild Christians didn't bother with their coffee mornings, the flock would be smaller and the organisation far less powerful.

So yes, I agree with you. But, (I'm sure there'll always be a but!) there's always someone who is benefiting. And in this case it happens to be an elderly Argentinian man who now has a big house in Rome, an army to protect him and a billion people who hang on his every word.

Pedro good point. It's not my job to defend the Catholic Church. So I won't try. I don't think God needs our money. I think he wants us, he loves us, he created us (sorry I know how that sounds, and I imagine it grates) but I guess for me God is just drawing us closer to release us outwards, to give us freedom and life. This is what my faith has been for me. Does God get my money. Yes, a small bit of my hard earned dosh. Does my minister live in a big house in Rome, no, does he have an army to guard him, no, does he have a million people hanging on his every word, no, try 80 people or maybe 79, I might be asleep on chair on Sunday! For every bit of the church you see as greedy and corrupted I think I can also find an old faithful nun or pastor or member of a church or not even member of a church who loves God and is doing beautiful things for God. Can the church be corrupted, yes, but so can families, businesses and political parties. As soon as we get together in groups we can go the wrong way. But if we stay alone we might say I have not gone the wrong way but I actually don't know where I am going. I know where I am going. It makes sense for me. Actually you may find many of your thoughts and gripes are mine too! yet I am thinking and griping from within the body of Christ.

Don't know if any of that makes sense but thank you for challenging me and making me think.

There is so very much evil in the world, the church is not prefect I know, but the world is also very tainted too, when I find an oasis of light I want to stand in it.

PedroYoniLikesCrisps Thu 09-May-13 07:33:22

So what's happened is that the organisation has become so big that there are tons of 'followers' who actually believe the stories which were propagated to gain benefit for a small few. Repeat a story enough times to enough people and it becomes 'truth' which the majority just accept. Then when outsiders challenge your stories, your tribal instincts come into play, you want to protect your tribe (group, community, church) and so seek answers to the challenges. The 'answers' are then themselves propagated around the tribe to improve the tribe's chances of survival against attack. This coming together to protect each other builds strength in the tribe and amongst its members.

This is a form of meme evolution (development of ideas, concepts and methods) whereby survival of the fittest works not only through genetic development but also through every aspect of social interaction.

Eventually, the original beneficiaries of the stories die off, but they are replaced by those who continue to benefit. It may even happen that you end up with an entire tribe where every single member wholeheartedly believes the stories and nothing is done maliciously (although I see this as the nirvana state of a religion which is unlikely to actually happen).

I genuinely wonder if the Pope really believes in God and in everything he preaches. Possibly he does, but it's also conceivable that he's just riding the wave.

PedroYoniLikesCrisps Thu 09-May-13 07:44:19

Does God get my money. Yes, a small bit of my hard earned dosh.

I might have misunderstood.... You pay god?

Does my minister live in a big house in Rome, no, does he have an army to guard him, no, does he have a million people hanging on his every word, no, try 80 people or maybe 79, I might be asleep on chair on Sunday! For every bit of the church you see as greedy and corrupted I think I can also find an old faithful nun or pastor or member of a church or not even member of a church who loves God and is doing beautiful things for God.

And that's exactly the point. The vast majority of a large religion is going to consist of individuals who believe the religion's message is truth and are genuinely good people trying to do good things or seeking some kind of understanding, or both.

But this is where I don't have a problem with the people themselves simply for being religious. I personally feel that those who actually believe the stories without challenging them are doing themselves a misservice and they either don't want to discover that their god is a myth or are incapable of doing so.

Those who have challenged their faith and still believe I have more respect for (although I still think they're wrong wink ).

But the real problem I have is with the organisation as a whole. When you have that many people already believing your message, it's very easy to disseminate a new message within that. Whether it be views on contraception or gay marriage or female priests. Not everyone in the flock will agree, of course, but the juggernaut will steer in a direction with the agreement of just a few senior officers regardless of what the rest of the crew want.

AS I try to remove the image of the pope surfing (riding the wave) I must say again I can't really speak up for the Roman Catholic church as I am not one and have never been one. But Pedro what if it is all true? My faith and what I believe. Then the pack protecting what we believe becomes more important. How are you so sure it is not true? Are you an ex-'religious' for want of a better word. By giving God my money I mean the church so if it makes more sense to you I will say my church gets some of my hard-earned cash, wink

PedroYoniLikesCrisps Thu 09-May-13 12:37:19

No I'm not ex-religious. And I'm using RC purely as an example.

The 'pack mentality' in itself gives no support to whether something is true or not and I have made my conclusions to the truth of individual belief systems independently of this through other means.

You can observe the protection of a group in many areas from pack animal protection of their group (let's take the example of elephant herds watching out for the calves in the group) through to departments in a company protecting themselves from an error by passing the blame to another team. It's a natural instinct of groups to support their members.

pedro not saying the 'pack' examples proves it is true, just wondering if you ever wondered if it were true! grin

Can you use an example of a different denomination next time, just to give me a fighting chance of one I might know more about? Please? wink No I don't expect you to make it easy for me!

PedroYoniLikesCrisps Thu 09-May-13 13:23:40

I think anyone considering truths would have look at religions because they hold so much weight in human thinking historically. But with so much evidence to the contrary, I've dismissed the methods which religion uses to exert truths.

I don't have to use a religious denomination at all to to prove my point. The pack mentality exists in all walks of life. I'll happily apply it to the area of your choosing smile

No I mean criticism of a denomination. I am with you on the meaning of pack, there is (--for once--) no disagreement! wink

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