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View Full Version : What attracts people to christianity?



Todd D
07-16-2014, 07:04 AM
Perhaps it is the significant variety provided by the hundreds of splinter sects.

Of course, christianity has a long history of crusades and persecution of people of other sects/religions. I can see where that might attract some people.

Or is it that people are born into a christian tradition and stay because it is comfortable and because of societal pressures?

PeterSibley
07-16-2014, 07:05 AM
They learn it on their mother's knee and stay until they leave.

moTthediesel
07-16-2014, 07:31 AM
There is much to recommend in the words and actions of the Christ as described in the gospels of the New Testament.

In the words and actions of many of those who claim to follow Him? -- Not so much.

changeng
07-16-2014, 07:48 AM
There is no god

ron ll
07-16-2014, 07:52 AM
The majority of people on this planet choose their religion based on geography.

Jim Mahan
07-16-2014, 08:45 AM
I was born into a family that identified as protestant, without going to church except rarely, without a pastor, without reading the Bible and without tithing. (I don't think any of that is worthwhile)

I can't really disagree with what's been written here so far about Christianity.

I guess I would have to say that I 'passed through' Christianity. Alone and by myself at age fourteen, it occurred to me to consider the usual big questions, and that led, naturally in my milieu, to going to church to try to find answers. I went through born-again Church of Christ to Baptist (I've been baptized twice as an adult. I was a counselor for a Billy Graham crusade while in Taiwan in the USAF.) to disillusioned and apostate. My life as an atheist had what eventually became a glaring problem, something significant missing, and I resumed a search for the same answers again.

I won't get into what I believe now unless someone asks me to, because I have written about it here before. It's radical and I'm sure off-puttng for both the traditonal Christians and the intellectual atheists and agnostics here. It isn't like the common belief propounded by the church over the millenia, but it does have ancient roots.

In a nutshell, we are, to quote Wayne Dyer, spiritual beings having a human experience. As spirit we are eternal, in and of God, and nothing in this world can change that. We don't need salvation in the usually understood sense. We need to wake up from the dream that is our common experience of the dualistic 4-D world.

CWSmith
07-16-2014, 08:58 AM
:) I was counting the days. This thread took longer to get started than I expected.

For myself, I find truth in the Gospels and if I follow their teachings I am a better man. I'm not always a better man, but that's my failing.

Rum_Pirate
07-16-2014, 09:13 AM
To paraphrase/plagerise another forumite |;)

Christianity is a noble religion. It teaches tolerance, respect and forgiveness. Sadly, like too many religions, it has been perverted in some areas by people seeking power and sexual gratification. The poor and oppressed are fish in a barrel for those in power.

It isn't Christianity that is to blame.
It's the minority(?) factions (church officers and members of the congregation) who wield it as a licence to bully, indulge in pedeaphilia, adultery and other sins against the 'teachings of God'..


It has progressed somewhat from its 'dark ages' of violence, inquisitions, etc towards a more non-violent phase.

jpb54
07-16-2014, 09:22 AM
Mostly heritage ,indoctrination from birth ,and quite a bit of blind faith .

Jim Mahan
07-16-2014, 09:23 AM
It seems to me that, if there IS a God, then He/She isn't looking for genuflecting accolytes singing his/her praises.... but He/She just MIGHT be looking for humans to live by the principles which may have been given to us by Christ... or any number of other prophets.

Agreed. Except that it is impossible, being in the world, to understand God. "We say God is, and we cease speaking." God is eternal and doesn't need anything, much less tribute or worship. God is absolutely not interested in anything humans on Earth do, even the most atrocious acts, the single exception being manifesting Love. In Eternity (which is now) God is. His Son (which is all of us, absolutely inclusive of everybody everywhere at all times, no matter what anyone believes or does in the world) is in Him and of Him and is created perfect and eternal.

Time is an illusion. The dualistic universe, all of it, from the Big Bang on and every second and every inch of 14 billion years, is an illusion. No matter the scale of it, and no matter how perfect and consistent the understanding of physics, it is all temporal and illusary. "Nothing real can be threatened. Nothing unreal exists." And you will not see the Kingdom of God without your brother.

Canoeyawl
07-16-2014, 09:27 AM
"A tribe including many members who, from possessing in a high degree the spirit of patriotism, fidelity, obedience, courage, and sympathy, were always ready to aid one another, and to sacrifice themselves for the common good, would be victorious over most other tribes; and this would be natural selection."
Charles Darwin

skuthorp
07-16-2014, 09:32 AM
Habit

genglandoh
07-16-2014, 09:35 AM
Christianity has its roots in Judaism
1. One God
2. The ten commandments
There were powerful concepts back 3000 years ago.

Christianity built on those concepts and added
1. You can confess your sins and be forgiven.
2. You should forgive others.
2000 years ago these where powerful concepts that would naturally attract people to the religion.

elf
07-16-2014, 09:36 AM
In a fragmented society, with ever increasing tools to isolate us from each other, the sense of community which churches embody may be the strongest attractant.

Clearly for most people it's not the moral teachings, as they are honored so widely in the breach that they have become farcical.

skuthorp
07-16-2014, 09:48 AM
I have often said that the local church can be a powerful influence for good in a community and I could see the benefits in belonging to a 'congregation' with no particular need to believe in anything at all. But I'd just want to argue the toss with the bloke in charge I reckon.

jonboy
07-16-2014, 09:52 AM
Agreed. Except that it is impossible, being in the world, to understand God. "We say God is, and we cease speaking." God is eternal and doesn't need anything, much less tribute or worship. God is absolutely not interested in anything humans on Earth do, even the most atrocious acts, the single exception being manifesting Love. In Eternity (which is now) God is. His Son (which is all of us, absolutely inclusive of everybody everywhere at all times, no matter what anyone believes or does in the world) is in Him and of Him and is created perfect and eternal.

Time is an illusion. The dualistic universe, all of it, from the Big Bang on and every second and every inch of 14 billion years, is an illusion. No matter the scale of it, and no matter how perfect and consistent the understanding of physics, it is all temporal and illusary. "Nothing real can be threatened. Nothing unreal exists." And you will not see the Kingdom of God without your brother.


99% nonsense.
answer to op... fear ignorance insecurity, and a good dose of guilt greed ambition

skuthorp
07-16-2014, 09:56 AM
99% nonsense.
answer to op... fear ignorance insecurity, and a good dose of guilt greed ambition
You can add in insurance there.:d

TomF
07-16-2014, 09:56 AM
You've heard all my rants about faith groups simply being identity groups - tribes - before. They align with most of the criticisms of religion folks have already noted. I'm deeply embarassed by many expressions of religion, which seem to me thinly disguised xenophobia and power acquisition.

Given that, why am I attracted to religion, and particularly to Christianity? Because of my own experiences of God, frankly, and those of my family. I've been lucky or unlucky enough to be put in the situation where it's analogous to asking why I'm attracted to air, or gravity. Christianity is the pathway which aligns most with my cultural affinities ... I prefer Western music and Western philosophy too, though I acknowledge that this is a cultural bias and says little about intrinsic value.

But I'm attracted to religion because, in my own experience, God and the spiritual world are not only "real," but if anything more real than what we'd conventionally describe as "material reality."

Jim Mahan
07-16-2014, 11:37 AM
99% nonsense.

I'm not being evangelical or trying to presuade anyone to think like me. You are absolutely entitled to your opinion. Two things.

It doesn't matter a whit what your opinion may be, or what you do or who you convince, or whether you like it or not, or what you may or may not do in your lifetime here. You are still, as everyone else, a perfect and eternal child of God.

After you have lived a while and had a chance to consider those important questions everyone gets to decide for themselves, you may want to revise your opinion. (Of course you probably already have and have made up your mind.) Don't worry though, there is no requirement for you to do so, no penalty if you don't, and no offense taken by me for your opinion. It is what I expect.

paulf
07-16-2014, 11:55 AM
I'm not sure what runs all this, I don't understand enough to line it up and decide.

But I'm fairly sure Christianity, Islam or Judaism don't know ether.

I take the best advice I see, and go from there. None of us getting out of here alive. Enjoy while your here, if that stuff (religion) gives you comfort go for it. It's not my cup of tea.

Shang
07-16-2014, 01:50 PM
Fire insurance.

TomF
07-16-2014, 01:53 PM
Fire insurance.Hey, I've seen houses burn.

jpb54
07-16-2014, 02:06 PM
Well if we are going to quote scripture ,I will throw out my favorite .
Song of Solomon 7 English Standard Version (ESV)

7 How beautiful are your feet in sandals,
O noble daughter!
Your rounded thighs are like jewels,
the work of a master hand.
2 Your navel is a rounded bowl
that never lacks mixed wine.
Your belly is a heap of wheat,
encircled with lilies.
3 Your two breasts are like two fawns,
twins of a gazelle.
4 Your neck is like an ivory tower.
Your eyes are pools in Heshbon,
by the gate of Bath-rabbim.
Your nose is like a tower of Lebanon,
which looks toward Damascus.
5 Your head crowns you like Carmel,
and your flowing locks are like purple;
a king is held captive in the tresses.

6 How beautiful and pleasant you are,
O loved one, with all your delights![a (https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Song%20of%20Solomon%207&version=ESV#fen-ESV-17634a)]
7 Your stature is like a palm tree,
and your breasts are like its clusters.
8 I say I will climb the palm tree
and lay hold of its fruit.
Oh may your breasts be like clusters of the vine,
and the scent of your breath like apples,
9 and your mouth[b (https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Song%20of%20Solomon%207&version=ESV#fen-ESV-17637b)] like the best wine.



A woman like that will make you believe anything .

Gerarddm
07-16-2014, 02:18 PM
There is a family story that I came back from a catechism class and announced I wasn't going any more because I said the nuns lied. When told Jesus walked on the water, I asked, was it winter and was it frozen? Because otherwise it wouldn't work. The nuns evidently told me to take it on faith or something, and I wasn't having it. Still won't have it.

The Enlightenment came about for a damn god reason. I just wish more of the world would remember that.

I suppose from a pragmatic viewpoint there is little difference in absurdity between supposedly creating unlimited loaves of bread, or finding golden plates, or being a descendant of aliens.

I don't need Christianity any other religion to parse the world for me. I am content to agree with the observation ( Fred Hoyle's? ) that "the universe is not only queerer than we imagine, it is queerer than we CAN imagine".

Osborne Russell
07-16-2014, 02:23 PM
I can't say I'm attracted to Christianity because there are so many varieties, none of them mine, and the overwhelming majority are so intolerant.

I'm drawn to the philosophy of Jesus because, when I consider it from the perspective of his time, looking backwards, what was there to compare it to? Not much. Altruism, humility, charity, compassion, etc. And he realized the implications -- "I bring you not peace, but a sword . . . brother shall part from brother, father from child . . . " etc. Spiritual revolution brings political revolution. That fact that it contrasts so sharply with its context is what makes me believe Jesus lived and said the things reported.

Tough sell but he gave it a shot. The Romans got him but if they hadn't someone else would have.

skuthorp
07-16-2014, 05:53 PM
Jesus's philosophy was and is fine. It bears little relevance to the way the various unauthorised franchises and most of their adherents behave.

Jim Mahan
07-16-2014, 06:42 PM
We all share the same burden.

Lew Barrett
07-17-2014, 12:13 AM
Tough sell but he gave it a shot. The Romans got him but if they hadn't someone else would have.

A real whistle blower. Somebody had to take the fall.

I could argue that if there's a miracle regarding Christianity it is that it stuck the landing.

PeterSibley
07-17-2014, 02:38 AM
Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth

Reza Aslan



From the internationally bestselling author of No god but God comes a fascinating, provocative, and meticulously researched biography that challenges long-held assumptions about the man we know as Jesus of Nazareth.

Two thousand years ago, an itinerant Jewish preacher and miracle worker walked across the Galilee, gathering followers to establish what he called the “Kingdom of God.” The revolutionary movement he launched was so threatening to the established order that he was captured, tortured, and executed as a state criminal.

Within decades after his shameful death, his followers would call him God.

Sifting through centuries of mythmaking, Reza Aslan sheds new light on one of history’s most influential and enigmatic characters by examining Jesus through the lens of the tumultuous era in which he lived: first-century Palestine, an age awash in apocalyptic fervor. Scores of Jewish prophets, preachers, and would-be messiahs wandered through the Holy Land, bearing messages from God. This was the age of zealotry—a fervent nationalism that made resistance to the Roman occupation a sacred duty incumbent on all Jews. And few figures better exemplified this principle than the charismatic Galilean who defied both the imperial authorities and their allies in the Jewish religious hierarchy.

Balancing the Jesus of the Gospels against the historical sources, Aslan describes a man full of conviction and passion, yet rife with contradiction; a man of peace who exhorted his followers to arm themselves with swords; an exorcist and faith healer who urged his disciples to keep his identity a secret; and ultimately the seditious “King of the Jews” whose promise of liberation from Rome went unfulfilled in his brief lifetime. Aslan explores the reasons why the early Christian church preferred to promulgate an image of Jesus as a peaceful spiritual teacher rather than a politically conscious revolutionary. And he grapples with the riddle of how Jesus understood himself, the mystery that is at the heart of all subsequent claims about his divinity.

Zealot yields a fresh perspective on one of the greatest stories ever told even as it affirms the radical and transformative nature of Jesus of Nazareth’s life and mission. The result is a thought-provoking, elegantly written biography with the pulse of a fast-paced novel: a singularly brilliant portrait of a man, a time, and the birth of a religion.

John Smith
07-17-2014, 08:32 AM
Most people are scared of death. The promise that one can die and keep on living is seductive.

I expect that's the key. Even death isn't death, just a door to a better place. While that's what people say, their actions don't seem to support it. Anyone who truly believes this must believe death is the best part of life. I don't think I've known anyone who actually adhered to that belief.

I don't know about the teaching of tolerance. I'm old enough to remember the hell Christians put left-handed people through. It was very much like what they put homosexuals through. I simply don't see any tolerance being taught by Christians. I do see them, when they get in power, forcing their religious views on all of us. Most recent example was the Hobby Lobby decision written by 5 Catholic men.

I have not been exposed to all the religions on earth, but those to which I have been exposed seem bound and determined to 'sell their product' to everyone who has not already bought it. If we don't "buy" it voluntarily, they force in on us through laws. We see the Christian version of Sharia law coming all over the nation.

I have seen those who preach "God gives us free will" denying those who believe differently the exercise of free will.

Tolerance seems to be "in house". The church tolerated the priests who molested children. Meanwhile, they tell innocent children that masturbating will lead to hairy palms.

Those churches I've been in, which was quite a few, simply did not practice what they were preaching.

I find it hard to understand why anyone follows those who fail to follow their own preaching.

John Smith
07-17-2014, 08:36 AM
Some years back there was a big to do over prayer before a football game. The question was whether the school could sponsor a prayer that did not fit the religious beliefs of all the players.

Hours of coverage was given to this, but the one question I believed to be pertinent was never asked: Did praying before the game lead to less injuries or a better winning record? I understand there are those who believe in God, but I cannot understand how they would believe he'd be so trivial as to care who wins a football game.

Todd D
07-17-2014, 08:45 AM
I think the acceptance of hypocrisy attracts some to religion. Personally I don't get the attraction and am content to simply study nature.

Osborne Russell
07-17-2014, 12:46 PM
Aslan explores the reasons why the early Christian church preferred to promulgate an image of Jesus as a peaceful spiritual teacher rather than a politically conscious revolutionary.

I wonder what "politically conscious" means. And what is the evidence that he was a revolutionary? Taking the stories at face value, he made it fairly clear that he wasn't seeking this or that political objective. He wanted a spiritual revolution and was conscious that it would cause political revolution, is the way I would put it. But he wasn't seeking political revolution.

Osborne Russell
07-17-2014, 12:46 PM
A real whistle blower. Somebody had to take the fall.

I could argue that if there's a miracle regarding Christianity it is that it stuck the landing.

Not following that analogy !