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Do you care whether your children believe in G-d? - Page 8

post #141 of 240
Quote:
Originally Posted by BellinghamCrunchie
I believe the human journey sometimes includes a religious phase, and its developmental, sort of like one expects a child to have potty accidents while learning to use the potty. It will pass. It SHOULD pass.

Just as every child develops at their own pace, I try to see Christians as deserving of compassion, especially since they seem stuck in such a fear-based place.
I can see your belief for what it is, however, I just had to interject.

I, and most of the Chirstians that I know, are not "Christians" out of fear. We are not in a "fear based place". We are IN LOVE with Jesus. We are in a LOVE based place. True, there are exceptions to every rule. But Christianity is not a "fear based religion" although some like to portray it as such.

I am not a Christian because I am scared of going to hell. I am not even a Christian so that I can go to Heaven. I LOVE Jesus with my whole heart. I am a Christ like person, striving to be more like my Saviour every day. Always thinking of other first. And I do all this because I want to please my Love, not because I am scared of God's punishment.
post #142 of 240
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kidzaplenty
I can see your belief for what it is, however, I just had to interject.

I, and most of the Chirstians that I know, are not "Christians" out of fear. We are not in a "fear based place". We are IN LOVE with Jesus. We are in a LOVE based place. True, there are exceptions to every rule. But Christianity is not a "fear based religion" although some like to portray it as such.

I am not a Christian because I am scared of going to hell. I am not even a Christian so that I can go to Heaven. I LOVE Jesus with my whole heart. I am a Christ like person, striving to be more like my Saviour every day. Always thinking of other first. And I do all this because I want to please my Love, not because I am scared of God's punishment.
post #143 of 240
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kidzaplenty
I can see your belief for what it is, however, I just had to interject.

I, and most of the Chirstians that I know, are not "Christians" out of fear. We are not in a "fear based place". We are IN LOVE with Jesus. We are in a LOVE based place. True, there are exceptions to every rule. But Christianity is not a "fear based religion" although some like to portray it as such.

I am not a Christian because I am scared of going to hell. I am not even a Christian so that I can go to Heaven. I LOVE Jesus with my whole heart. I am a Christ like person, striving to be more like my Saviour every day. Always thinking of other first. And I do all this because I want to please my Love, not because I am scared of God's punishment.
See, now you're the kind of Christian that I grew up around. I believe, too that certain religious groups, perhaps just certain areas too, have altered Christianity to what they feel is what it is. The area that I grew up in did not seem to be judgemental of those who belived otherwise, but the area that we now live in is not so good about that. Those with the harshest words seem to ring louder, don't they?
post #144 of 240
Quote:
Originally Posted by tayndrewsmama
See, now you're the kind of Christian that I grew up around. I believe, too that certain religious groups, perhaps just certain areas too, have altered Christianity to what they feel is what it is. The area that I grew up in did not seem to be judgemental of those who belived otherwise, but the area that we now live in is not so good about that. Those with the harshest words seem to ring louder, don't they?
Honestly, after going to a Catholic school for three years even, I never heard people refer to themselves as God-fearing people until we moved to the area we are in now. That's not right, is it?
post #145 of 240
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kidzaplenty
I can see your belief for what it is, however, I just had to interject.

I, and most of the Chirstians that I know, are not "Christians" out of fear. We are not in a "fear based place". We are IN LOVE with Jesus. We are in a LOVE based place. True, there are exceptions to every rule. But Christianity is not a "fear based religion" although some like to portray it as such.

I am not a Christian because I am scared of going to hell. I am not even a Christian so that I can go to Heaven. I LOVE Jesus with my whole heart. I am a Christ like person, striving to be more like my Saviour every day. Always thinking of other first. And I do all this because I want to please my Love, not because I am scared of God's punishment.
Kidzaplenty, while I totally respect your personal beliefs on this issue, you have often invoked the so-called "No True Scotsman" fallacy on this thread.

From Wikipedia:

Quote:
No true Scotsman is a term coined by Antony Flew in his 1975 book Thinking About Thinking. It refers to an argument which takes this form:

Argument: "No Scotsman puts sugar on his porridge."
Reply: "But my uncle Angus likes sugar with his porridge."
Rebuttal: "Ah yes, but no true Scotsman puts sugar on his porridge."

This form of argument is a fallacy if the predicate ("putting sugar on porridge") is not actually contradictory for the accepted definition of the subject ("Scotsman"), or if the definition of the subject is silently adjusted after the fact to make the rebuttal work.
Christians are Christians. There are different "flavors" of Christians, so to speak, but they are all Christians. It is fine to say that "no true Christian" would believe out of a fear of God, but it is a logical fallacy that doesn't hold up to scrutiny. Those Christians who do fear god could just as easily say that "no true Christians" would claim their faith is based in love (or whatever).

You are certainly free to believe however you want, but that doesn't proscribe other Christians from believing a different way.
post #146 of 240
Quote:
Originally Posted by lisac77
Christians are Christians. There are different "flavors" of Christians, so to speak, but they are all Christians. It is fine to say that "no true Christian" would believe out of a fear of God, but it is a logical fallacy that doesn't hold up to scrutiny. Those Christians who do fear god could just as easily say that "no true Christians" would claim their faith is based in love (or whatever).

You are certainly free to believe however you want, but that doesn't proscribe other Christians from believing a different way.
Very interesting point of view. I think it makes a lot of sense.
post #147 of 240
For me it's both. I'm a Christian because I love the Lord with all my heart, I love to be in His house, I love to serve others like Christ served. I serve out of love for Christ, not out of fear. I love Christ because I'm in awe of His love for me.

But I know the consequences of not believing

For me it's almost like breastfeeding. I do it not only because I enjoy it and I love my son. I love our special time together, I love the bonding and being close to him. And because I know the consequenses of not breastfeeding. But the health reasons are not my only reason, or even my main reason. Thats just added. Even if science were somehow able to duplicate breastmilk 100% and it were free, I'd still breastfeed.

Does that make sense?
post #148 of 240
Quote:
Originally Posted by lisac77
Christians are Christians. There are different "flavors" of Christians, so to speak, but they are all Christians. It is fine to say that "no true Christian" would believe out of a fear of God, but it is a logical fallacy that doesn't hold up to scrutiny. Those Christians who do fear god could just as easily say that "no true Christians" would claim their faith is based in love (or whatever).

You are certainly free to believe however you want, but that doesn't proscribe other Christians from believing a different way.
This, I guess is how you define "Christian". ANYONE can CALL themselves a "Christian". However, in reality, only a person that has accepted Christ into their lives as their personal Saviour, a person that decides to follow Jesus Christ is a true Christian. All other "Christians" are just "religious". Just because a person goes to church and reads the Bible, if you do not accept Jesus Christ, then you can not be "Christian", as that is the defination of "Christian" - to be Christ Like.

I use the term "true Christian" to define exactly that, a person that believes that Jesus is the Son of the One True God, that gave His life for our sins, and was raised again to life and ascended back to the Father. Having accepted these truthes, and repented of their sins, this person is then a "true Christian", it does not matter what denomination or church they go to. Because this change takes place in the heart, there are many that just "play Christian" or that "play church". Just following the actions of other Christians does not make one a Christian. Just going to a Christian church does not make one a Christian. It must be made at the heart level, between you and God. No one knows where you stand except you and God.

So, when I use the term "true Christian" I am speaking about those that have a real, personal relationship with Jesus Christ. And I can say that true Christains try their best to become more and more like their Saviour. I will stand behind that statement. We will fail at times, just as all humans fail. But we will strive to be Christ like in everything we do.
post #149 of 240
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kidzaplenty
This, I guess is how you define "Christian". ANYONE can CALL themselves a "Christian". However, in reality, only a person that has accepted Christ into their lives as their personal Saviour, a person that decides to follow Jesus Christ is a true Christian. All other "Christians" are just "religious". Just because a person goes to church and reads the Bible, if you do not accept Jesus Christ, then you can not be "Christian", as that is the defination of "Christian" - to be Christ Like.

I use the term "true Christian" to define exactly that, a person that believes that Jesus is the Son of the One True God, that gave His life for our sins, and was raised again to life and ascended back to the Father. Having accepted these truthes, and repented of their sins, this person is then a "true Christian", it does not matter what denomination or church they go to. Because this change takes place in the heart, there are many that just "play Christian" or that "play church". Just following the actions of other Christians does not make one a Christian. Just going to a Christian church does not make one a Christian. It must be made at the heart level, between you and God. No one knows where you stand except you and God.

So, when I use the term "true Christian" I am speaking about those that have a real, personal relationship with Jesus Christ. And I can say that true Christains try their best to become more and more like their Saviour. I will stand behind that statement. We will fail at times, just as all humans fail. But we will strive to be Christ like in everything we do.
Yes, but, see.... I guess what I am trying to say here is "Who are you to judge?" Although that sounds kind of harsh and I certainly don't mean it that way. That is how YOU define Christianity. You don't speak for everyone in the world who is a Christian. You don't know what is in their hearts or minds.

Additionally, I think that a lot of people who come at Chrisitianity from a "god fearing" standpoint are completely justified in their beliefs, because from a historical point of view, Christianity is a religion of subversion and fear. The kind of Christianity that you believe is a much softened-up, new age version, in my personal opinion.

The "no true Christian" defense just doesn't work....
post #150 of 240
Quote:
Originally Posted by lisac77
Yes, but, see.... I guess what I am trying to say here is "Who are you to judge?" Although that sounds kind of harsh and I certainly don't mean it that way. That is how YOU define Christianity. You don't speak for everyone in the world who is a Christian. You don't know what is in their hearts or minds.

Additionally, I think that a lot of people who come at Chrisitianity from a "god fearing" standpoint are completely justified in their beliefs, because from a historical point of view, Christianity is a religion of subversion and fear. The kind of Christianity that you believe is a much softened-up, new age version, in my personal opinion.

The "no true Christian" defense just doesn't work....
I don't take any offense at your statement. But I am in no way judging anyone. Just stating what a basic defination of "Christian" is. Anyone in the entire world, if they say they are a "Christian" then they are generally either a "true Christian" or someone using the Christian name as a defining sense. Like "We are a Christian nation" or something like that.

From the very first time the word was used "Christian" was used to define followers of CHRIST. History is not what I base my definition on, I base it straight out of the Bible. So, no, I do not agree that my kind of Christianity is softened-up, new age version. My definition was around long before the "modern defination" of anyone that is a church going, good person (or what ever the modern definition is).

Also, the statement "God-Fearing" Christian, does not mean the person is "afraid" of God. It is a "label" that has been used for a very long time, and in my experience, is based on a healthy respect of God and His majestic position in the universe.

However, I could be wrong. Perhaps there are people that are true followers of Jesus Christ that are "afraid" of God. And if that is so, then yes, they are still Christians, and my statement about being "true Christians" out of Love and not Fear could be interpreted as wrong. However, if you could see the hearts of followers of Jesus Christ, I believe that if there were any "fear" of God it would disappear when a Christian gets to know who Jesus is.
post #151 of 240
We are raising our children to be moral, ethical, virtuous, empathetic, intelligent, critical thinkers. I would be very saddened if we failed in these tasks. I imagine many of the posters here could make that same statement, the religious and atheist alike, and we wouldn't know which category they fell into. We have all come to our belief systems through experience, I feel we all would like to help give our children a headstart so they don't have to face so many of the same struggles and hardships to come to a conclusion. That said, it seems many here recognise that every one of us, our children included, will make their own decisions based on their own life experiences. We are here to give them the tools to help them along that road.

Without getting into a religious discussion I do find it most fascinating how varrying our "tools" are. For us personally it consists of critical thought, intelligent understanding of processes, accepting 100% responsibility for one's own actions, thoughts and feelings, having the ability to say "I don't know" and teaching them how to find the answers, and teaching them the wonders and power of the words "why" and "how".

Like I said, if we fail in these tasks we have set for ourselves, I will be dissapointed. Not in our children, but in ourselves. I will always be the one to ask "why" and "how", even to my own kids, no matter what they believe. I do hope they continue to do the same.
post #152 of 240
Quote:
Originally Posted by xaloxe
We are raising our children to be moral, ethical, virtuous, empathetic, intelligent, critical thinkers. I would be very saddened if we failed in these tasks. I imagine many of the posters here could make that same statement, the religious and atheist alike, and we wouldn't know which category they fell into. We have all come to our belief systems through experience, I feel we all would like to help give our children a headstart so they don't have to face so many of the same struggles and hardships to come to a conclusion. That said, it seems many here recognise that every one of us, our children included, will make their own decisions based on their own life experiences. We are here to give them the tools to help them along that road.

Without getting into a religious discussion I do find it most fascinating how varrying our "tools" are. For us personally it consists of critical thought, intelligent understanding of processes, accepting 100% responsibility for one's own actions, thoughts and feelings, having the ability to say "I don't know" and teaching them how to find the answers, and teaching them the wonders and power of the words "why" and "how".

Like I said, if we fail in these tasks we have set for ourselves, I will be dissapointed. Not in our children, but in ourselves. I will always be the one to ask "why" and "how", even to my own kids, no matter what they believe. I do hope they continue to do the same.
How beautifully put, and I agree completely!

What a very interesting thread, even the part that has digressed into a defense of Christianity.

I hesitate to say I believe in God, because of what others think God is. My limited concept of God, or the Divine, is that it is something too big to wrap your mind (or Bible or Bhagavad Gita) around. But I can use that word if it is convenient sometimes.

I find a great spiritual connection and groundedness in many places, among friends, in nature and elsewhere and hope that my children will feel some of the same awe, connectedness and immensity that I have.

I have rebelled against Christianity as I was raised by catholics and mormons that were anything but Christ-like. We are raising our ds and his future siblings UU in order to foster the exploration of many paths on the way to finding his own.

No, I don't care if they believe in God or use god language, but like so many others here, I hope they will think critically and be accepting and broad-minded in the way they view the world!

Thich Nhat Hahn has said (in a sentiment that I love) " All religions are like fingers pointing to the moon, do not mistake the finger for the moon."

I hope my children fall in love with the beauty of "the moon" without being "fundamentally" attached to any finger that points to it.
post #153 of 240
Haven't read the other replies, so if this thread has gone all over the place, my response might be out of sync. Just answering the OP question.

Yes. I care if my son believes in God. I guess, for me, it comes down to "Do I want my son to go to heaven or hell?" Since I believe in both places, I obviously want my son in heaven!
post #154 of 240
of course we care.

we try to model Christ like living for our kids.

you can take little kids to church on sunday, and they might absorba little. but the truth is, that kids learn by doing and watching.

we hope that our kids are moral, intelligent humans who find Christ in their own heart.

We cannot force religion on our children without causing harm, in my opinion. But if it is just a normal part of their lives, i feel like they accept it in a much easier way.
post #155 of 240
Quote:
Originally Posted by kamilla626
This thread reminds me of a joke from the comedian Emo Philips, (might not have the exact words):

"When I was a kid I used to pray every single night for a new bicycle. Then later I realized that the Lord - in His wisdom - doesn't work that way....




So I stole one and asked him to forgive me!"
post #156 of 240
i was not raised religous, however my mother believes in god, heaven and hell and all that goes with the bible. I rejected that as truth because throughout my life, when seeking answers to basic questions, I found that I did not "believe". I tried, but I simply do not.

I have attended numerous types of churches- protestent, episcopalian (sp?),
baptist, southern baptist, lutheran, I was even married in a catholic church for my first marriage.

But at the end of the day, always, it sounds like a fairytale.

It sounds like nonsense and I simply do not believe.

Reading things like "he is there holding his hands out" puzzles me. Do people honestly (being sincere) believe that god is like a person? With human characteristics? Did he create the solar systems as well? who created him? Assuming he is "like a man" how does he hear all christian prayers? Does he condemn all buddhists and taoists and jewish followers to hell? Because none of them accept jesus as their saviour. And if we are born sinners, they are too. So is your god their god in a different language? How do you know? Muslims claim their god is god and that jesus was a prophet but that mohammed was the newest prophet. What if that is true? Then if you are still following jesus you are not following the new word of God?

That is what I mean, I dont have these answers, I dont believe that they matter. I believe that I am truly a loving person. I also make a habit out of not lying to my children. If I do not believe, I cant expect my child to.
If they chose to believe? Then that is what they chose to help them get through lifes struggles. I get through it by trusting nature and instinct. To each their own.
post #157 of 240
Quote:
Thich Nhat Hahn has said (in a sentiment that I love) " All religions are like fingers pointing to the moon, do not mistake the finger for the moon."

I hope my children fall in love with the beauty of "the moon" without being "fundamentally" attached to any finger that points to it.
Amazing. Thanks for sharing that.
post #158 of 240
I hope my child does not "believe in" a single omnipotent omniscient being, and I will actively discourage it. It seems like a big fiction that would waste a lot of precious time in his life. I have a lot of friends whose "beliefs" are similar to mine and who say they want their children to "be exposed to lots of religions" and "come to their own conclusions," but to me this issue is so important that I hope very much that he agrees with me, and I will try to influence his thinking in that direction.
post #159 of 240
:
post #160 of 240
Quote:
Originally Posted by inchijen
Reading things like "he is there holding his hands out" puzzles me. Do people honestly (being sincere) believe that god is like a person? With human characteristics?
For me - No.

But I do believe that there is a divine energy - the spark of life if you will - that runs through every living thing. On quiet days, when I'm very in-touch and calm and centered, I can feel this energy. I can feel a connection to every living thing and every person. I believe that certain people at different times are able to feel this energy and group followers to them. Christ was such a person who could feel the energy at all times, as was Buddha and Abraham, the dalai Lama, whatever. I think it's my goal in life to get to a point where I can feel the energy, the divine connection at all times. I think lots of people do this already, but they don't necessarily start religions.

The rest of that stuff you mentioned simply metaphor for me. I attend church because at this point it gives me community to be with like-minded people and talk about what we believe. We don't have a concept of sin or heaven and hell, nor really an afterlife for the person we know as ourselves. One metaphor commonly used in our church is that while we are embodied, we are like a cup of water out of the ocean. But once we die, the body, or cup that was holding our soul or ourselves gets dumped back in the wide ocean.

I think of Jesus as one-way to get in touch with that energy. I actually looked at Buddhism and some earth-centered (pagan) circles, but in the end, I grew up in the Methodist church and I felt culturally connected to Jesus, so I've chosen a church (Unity) that follows Jesus.
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