You raise many important issues here. It probably is not fruitful to
continue the discussion about the sharing of wealth. My belief is if
you personally think it is wrong to have more than others, you should
take your paycheck and donate the whole thing each month to your church
and open your house to anyone who wants to sleep in it. On the other
hand, it is equally important to me to NOT do so. And this is because I
believe the best thing anyone can do for others is to stop enabling them
to be dependent and to find ways to force them to stand on their own two
Next, I don't think it's at all hard to call oneself a Christian while
NOT accepting the Bible as the word of God. I accept the Bible as the
INSPIRED word of God, and I look to Jesus, his actions, and his
personality to guide me in my life - hence Christianity. I do think
it's entirely possible that some folks blatantly fabricated certain
sections of the Bible purely for political gain and thus had no
inspiration from God whatsoever. I also think other sections of the
Bible were indeed written by folks who THOUGHT they were telling the
truth about God and their relationship with Him, but may very well have
been mistaken in their interpretation of catastrophic events surrounding
them (water turning to blood, the sea parting, and so on).
When I contemplate God, how He thinks, what He wants, and so on, instead
of relying on somebody else's relationship with God (the Bible), I take
a walk in the woods, read a biology text, try to learn more about
thermodynamics. This is because I do believe that God created the
universe, and is continuing to create the universe, and all the systems
in it. What we humans call "the balance of nature" is considered by
some to be unChristian. But from my perspective, this MUST be the way
God wants it, for He created this system.
I have a friend who is a priest who tried to look at the world from my
perspective (for the sake of further conversations). He really did "go
out there" and hike and watch animals and study nature to see how this
world of God's works. He hated what he saw. He began to hate creation
and all the systems. He admitted that the systems do favor the
organisms that work the hardest (run the fastest, seek the clearest spot
of sunshine) and do yield a healthy ecosystem in the end. But he hated
the sacrifice involved. His conclusion was that God created the world
and the devil then imbued our planet with natural selection!
Now, here's the kicker for me...he arrived at his conclusion based upon
HIS OWN idea of good and evil. In other words, he could not accept the
idea that perhaps God does not find natural selection evil at all, but
finds it instead to be a sacrificial system that yields a better
universe in the same way that we weed our gardens to yield a better
crop. Considering that God was willing to sacrifice His only son for a
greater goal, I fail to understand why anyone would determine that
sacrifice is inherently evil.
-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Re: [Fwd: Re: [Fwd: RE: [Fwd: RE: Darwinism/Compassion]]]
Date: Mon, 25 Feb 2002 10:32:48 -0500
From: Jan de Koning <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: Lucy Masters <email@example.com>,firstname.lastname@example.org
At 10:50 AM 24/02/02 -0600, Lucy Masters wrote:
> I'm ashamed of you for calling me un-Christian. That's a very
> un-Christian thing to do.
> As I said in an earlier post to Adrian, I find the Bible scandalous in
> many respects. Were I to quote from it, I'd find myself endorsing all
> manner of offensive tribal action.
How do you want to be a Christian without accepting the Bible as the
Word of God?
> We just have different perspectives, that's all. You think the United
> States is a terrible place, and I think folks have a better life here
> than in most places I've visited.
USA has a greater discrepancy between rich and poor than anywhere else
in the world.
> . I see nothing "un-Christian" about capitalism, nor do I see
> anything "un-Christian" about some folks having a higher standard of
> living than others. This is basic human behavior - reward and
> punishment - depending upon behavior.
That is another un-biblical statement. The Bible tells us that we are
all guilty and worthy of punishment. Thaat is why our Lord died for us
on the cross.
> I don't think that communism and socialism and other economic systems
> that force the sharing of wealth are more Christian than a system
> where folks raise their standard of living based upon their hard work.
Did you study the system the Lord gave to Israel in the Old Testament?
Israel did not follow the rules (did not take proper care of the land
and the poor) and had to go into exile.
There are other systems than just "capitalism", "socialism", "communism."
> Where do you travel? Look at the difference between rich and poor in
> Africa, South America, the Arabian peninsula, and many other places.
> Our maid (from Mexico) was living in a cardboard box over there. Now
> she lives in a white frame house here in the states - the highest
> standard of living she has ever had. "Poor" folks in this country
> have tremendous benefits.
To my knowledge the blacks in the USA are still not treated like the
whites. (And it could be better here as well. Though we have blacks
and whites living in our street, and blacks, whites, East-Asian etc.
going to our church.)
Quote from "Themelios", vol.27. no.2, Spring 2002:
". . .when I look at American society in general, I am left with
profound doubts about the depth of much American Christianity. The
rates of abortion are tragically high; the ubiquity of drugs eats at the
fabric of society; unbelievable levels of deprivation and poverty stand
side by side with vast wealth and opulence; the awful urban violence
easily (and ironically, given American help in the province) eclipses
that of Ulster in numbers of dead and wounded; and glib political
blasphemies drip constantly from the lips of politicians who
consistently identify the American way with God's way. . . ."
Then some good things are said about church-going in America in
comparison with Great Britain.
You complain about "my complaints.." Well, I am sorry if I sound like I
am complaining. I just wanted to point out that the ASA is a Christian
affiliation. True, many different churches and communities are
represented here. The fact that we have again an extensive discussion
on Genesis shows that we want to live by the Bible, even when we
disagree. Your remarks about the Bible do not sound very christian to me.
Jan de K.
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