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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.

Italiangreyhound Mon 08-Apr-13 15:31:38

Thank you Pedro for explaining more.

sieglinde Tue 09-Apr-13 10:10:41

Pedro, do you realise that these comparisons are really offensive?

I am a Catholic and I grew up in a free society. I am not brainwashed and I am not short of oppositional viewpoints or reading. I can make up my own mind, and I HAVE. I have three university degrees, all from top 100 world universities. Face it. Some well-educated, bright people DO NOT AGREE WITH YOU AND YOUR KIND. STOP CARICATURING people who disagree with you.

Actually, I don't think much of apple, either. grin

PedroPonyLikesCrisps Tue 09-Apr-13 13:53:31

I'm not talking about individual people, I'm talking about the organisations that run the religions and the parallels between them and other regimes.

sieglinde Tue 09-Apr-13 14:13:25

Religions are made up of individuals, Pedro. I find your description of my faith by extension a description of me.

You also imply that I'm 'brainwashed' by your comparison with N Korea - and actually your thinking about the people there may be simplistic too - maybe you should read a book called Nothing to Envy?.

tuffie Tue 09-Apr-13 22:57:20

sieglinde - Remember what Christ said "Blessed are you when people insult you.....because of me. Rejoice and be glad". I always remember this when faced with negative comments,ridicule, and even hostility at times. I also do the Rejoice and be glad bit, as I realise how much joy and peace my faith brings to my life.

PedroPonyLikesCrisps Tue 09-Apr-13 23:37:08

Religions are run by organisations sieglinde. If you are offended by the parallels I have drawn then perhaps you should be rethinking your organisation.

I did not suggest you have been brainwashed. But I would suggest that you take things on faith without evidence which is either because you are simply an irrational individual or you have been convinced by your organisation.

sieglinde Wed 10-Apr-13 08:25:11

Pedro, that's exactly what I find offensive. I disagree with you, and therefore I am irrational, you say, or 'convinced by an organisation', you say. What if I say YOU are convinced by a few books and articles by a few loud well-known figures? What if I question your credentials for opining about the history and factual basis of all religions?

Religions are not only run by organisations, but by the individuals in those organisations - I mean, there is no organisation that doesn't contain people. So in eagerly crucifying those people, you are attacking all individuals of faith - there isn't some separable structure you could attack instead.

Sorry, tuffie, you are doubtless much more holy than I am. smile I think some of the abuse meted out here is unacceptable. I'm mad as hell and I'm not taking it anymore grin

PedroPonyLikesCrisps Wed 10-Apr-13 08:54:48

Ok, I'll make it clearer then. Believing in stuff without evidence is irrational. Asserting this stuff without evidence is stupid. Believing what's in a book just because it the book itself tells you to believe it is idiotic.

Even if I did only had a few books by a few people (which I don't, I have countless scientific experiments to draw upon) it's still more than your one book which doesn't corroborate with anything else.

If you find that offensive then it's really your problem. There's no polite way to suggest to someone that they have dedicated their life to folly.

Maybe there should be a disclaimer at the top of this subsection of MN that says that atheists believe that all Christians are fools and stupid and then the rest of us can get on with the chat? It would be a huge time saver.

And for the life of a foolish man you really can't beat this one. He was hated to death.

sieglinde Wed 10-Apr-13 09:28:23

But Pedro, there IS evidence. You just don't accept it as evidence.

And there IS no scientific disproof of the existence of God, however many files you've downloaded. Perhaps you'd care to share an experiment you've performed yourself which resolves this vexed matter...?

There's no polite way to suggest you are talking ignorant bigoted nonsense.

alemci Wed 10-Apr-13 10:29:10


You could argue that this man tried to stand up to the Nazi regime and perhaps he was wrong to be involved in the assination plot but he was brave. only quickly glanced at link so who hated him.

also why bother with this thread if you have such radical views?

seeker Wed 10-Apr-13 10:35:39

I don't hate Christians. I know lots of lovely ones.

What I do hate is the fact that Christians often seem to think that their faith gives them the right to special treatment, and means that they are above the law.

Christianity is like smoking- if you want to do it that's your business, and lots of people enjoy it, but don't do it in a way that forces other people to inhale your smoke if you don't want to.

PedroPonyLikesCrisps Wed 10-Apr-13 10:36:09

But Pedro, there IS evidence. You just don't accept it as evidence.

There no evidence that would be widely accepted by the scientific community it's not just me who doesn't accept it. The reason it's not accepted is because it's not evidence.

And I don't need to prove there is no god, the burden of proof is on the believer. I'm not saying there is no god, I don't personally believe there is, but like with anything, negative proof is impossible. But there simply is no compelling evidence for the existence of god which is what leads me to my position.

If there were compelling evidence for god, I would accept it. But there's not, so I don't.

seeker Wed 10-Apr-13 10:36:19

Sorry, if they don't want to, obviously.

sieglinde Wed 10-Apr-13 11:00:30

seeker, I don't think it's asking to be above the law for people to refrain form overt stereotyping and rudeness. I'm fine with disagreement, and for instance with Pedro's last post above. It's polite, though it's using a definition of evidence which itself begs any number of questions.

Pedro, I never said there was scientific evidence. But there is a lot of grey between 'NO evidence' and 'universally agreed scientific evidence'. In that grey zone you will find most of history and much of the rest of the humanities.

seeker Wed 10-Apr-13 11:05:48

Seiglinde- if you say there is evidence for there being a God, then you have to accept that you will be challenged.

If you say "I understand that there is no evidence, but I still believe" then that's fine- feel free. So long as, as I said earlier, you don't expect any sort of special treatment, or let your belief impact on my life.

sieglinde Wed 10-Apr-13 11:23:32

I expect no special treatment, seeker, though I do expect normal courtesy.

I accept that all evidence can be challenged, though I think more informed challenges than are the norm here would be especially welcome. The recent debate on the historical existence of Jesus was a well-informed debate. It isn't helpful that most atheist manifestos cited are exceptionally ignorant, embarrassingly so in the case of The God Delusion.

But I don't expect the challenge to take the form of simple-minded abuse. Too often, it does - it takes the form of a post saying, in effect, anyone with any faith is an idiot, or has 'given [their] life to folly'.

(Actually, I don't at all mind motley and the cap and bells... Sometimes fools are the only wise ones.) However, it's then that I think I should step up to defend my kind.

seeker Wed 10-Apr-13 11:29:29

Seiglinde, so are you opposed to faith schools, Christian worship in non church schools and bishops in the House of Lords? And do you think that Christians should adhere to the employment equality laws that bind the rest of us?

sieglinde Wed 10-Apr-13 12:01:32

Actually I've argued many times for the separation of church and state, seeker, in all these areas. The established C of E does nothing for me - literally.

As for your second question - yes, of course, providing they are genuinely relevant.

Italiangreyhound Wed 10-Apr-13 12:10:48

The comparison of (modern day/church)/church with modern day North Korea struck me as offensive for about 2 seconds before I began to unpack what I think Pedro might have been thinking of! (Cue Pedro jumping in to tell me I am wrong! wink)

The church has done some very bad things in the past, organised religion etc and bad people taking cover under something to throw out their evil actions and not get blamed for them personally!

North Korea is an appalling place, no I have not been but have read up on it a bit and I expect many are now aware of what life is like for the poor repressed of that regime. When this is looked at alongside the work of normal Christians these days, who often work for good in their community and in some cases put themselves in the most hurt and despairing places in the world, this comparison seems (IMHO) to be totally ridiculous. It is true that the Spanish inquisition was appalling and I am sure the church has done many things in the past but I don't think it is worth my being offended by this. (just my personal opinion, not trying to down play anyone else's feelings).

I also think that there may be a faulty view of what it means to be brainwashed. I don't think the church is full of brainwashed people, if it were would there be so many differing opinion son things, s many different views, so much infighting at times! And I don't think the poor people of North Korea are brainwashed, they are down trodden and controlled. angry.

Christians are free to leave the church, change church, do church at home, not do church, they have freedom; the people of North Korea do not. Also whatever the 'church; may do it does not always represent Christ and sadly is imperfect. Just as you would expect from it being a bunch of people.

I think if I want to get angry I want to get angry about what is happening in North Korea, not about what predro thinks about the church.

sieglinde Wed 10-Apr-13 12:24:10

I too am angry about North Korea. I would urge everyone to read Nothing to Envy. It's not an either/or.

I'm not offended by people saying that the church did terrible things in the past, italiangreyhound. Of course it did. Indeed, I'm always amazed that people of this mindset neglect what I'd say is the open goal of the kidnapping of Jewish children and their placement in Christian homes, as recently as the nineteenth century, and the very very dubious role of some Vatican officials in helping some of the very worst Holocaust perpetrators to escape to South America. And don't get me started on the first crusade's slaughter of the Jews of Jerusalem. or the medieval pogrom in Mainz, or the expelling of the Jews from England.

However, we should set that horrible list against the terrible things done by militant atheists last (20th) century- the Ukrainian famine, for example, and Stalin's purges. (I am deliberately eschewing a discussion of the Holocaust because it always derails things.) I will take atheists seriously when THEY fess up to the crimes of people of THEIR views.

Italiangreyhound Wed 10-Apr-13 12:38:25

Good point sieglinde, yes I agree it is not an either or.

I just sometimes wonder if atheists in general, not anyone necessarily on here, seem to like to stir up Christians and get us upset! It's easy to be upset, and to want to defend what we believe in. I felt very angry when I read those words at first. But I just feel personally I don't want to be upset about it and I also feel that the comparrison is so luidcrous. If we were all brainwahsed we would all think the same, and we clearly do not.

Italiangreyhound Wed 10-Apr-13 12:39:24

And the people of North Korea are not brainwashed either, I think they have no choice. We Christians clearly have choices.

seeker Wed 10-Apr-13 12:51:15

But you don't have to go back into the past to find awful things done by the church/condoned by the Church.

Individual Christians do all sorts of fantastic things- obviously. And often they are motivated by their faith.

But the Church- that is the hierarchy and establishment is much more problematic. When I get angry and criticise Cristianity it is that hierarchy I mean, not individuals. I admit that I find it difficult to understand how the thoughtful, wonderful Catholics I know can have anything at all to do with the catholic hierarchy, and why they continue to support it. I would have thought that the child abuse scandal would be enough for any thinking person to disassociate himself from it- and that is before you consider the damage done in other areas.

I do think it must be possible to criticise the Estqblishment without individuals feeling attacked.

Italiangreyhound Wed 10-Apr-13 13:01:34

Seeker I agree with you that it is possible to attach the establishment without the individuals feeling attached, in my case at least, I can't speak for all Christians of course. But I also think that alongside the attack on the church establishment often seems to come this assumption that Christians (I can't speak for any other religion as I don't know them well enough to do that) are unthinking, mindless, who have blind faith and when we offer any 'evidence' for our faith it is laughed at. That is fine as far as I am concerned but it does make debate harder.

Could the same argument not be made for any political group. If I were a firm supporter of the liberals or labour could events in recent past not have totally shaken my belief in the party! Yet if I believe that the party has a chance to make lives better would I not want to stick with it and help it to do so in the future in spite of past mistakes?

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