Do you need the bible to be a good person?

Do you need the bible to be a good person?


Absolutely no. You can use the bible to be a good person but it is important to understand the fact that there is a sense of right and wrong which is somewhat real to almost every person, except for the medically insane. This is also what C.S Lewis also talks about in the opening chapters of his classic book “Mere Christianity”, the moral law, as he called it. And one can be a good person without the bible.

Of late I have heard a lot of atheist complaining about christians that since the atheist lack a christian faith that automatically means they are without morals or people with no sense of morals. This is very wrong of us to do. This should not be done.

I have seen a lot of atheist-theist wars and now most of them just seem silly to me, an theist venting out or an atheist venting out are just that, folks who need to vent and on one needs to take it seriously as a moral crusader on both sides to just prove the point because frankly, loud mouthed bashing seldom hits home and rarely makes an impact, if at all.

There is a flaw in the argument when we say he is an atheist therefore his moral compass is bound to be screwed. He may not have a book to show you where he gets his morals from, and to be honest most atheists don’t feel the need to have a book at all, but that does not mean that he can’t be moral person. When in the dark ages and the days of the early church, when the church for almost a thousand years had forbidden the average believer like you and me to not read the bible or own one, does that mean all of those people were moral-lacking people who survived, prayed, believed and died for their faith, despite never even reading a bible? Not at all.

This fundamental error in judgement is a gross mistake of ours and when we need to stop making it. While a lot of atheists may lack a source of objective morals, unlike christians who think they have the objective basis, it is still not a fine point we need to hammer down just to feel that we have an upper hand in the argument.

Respect your neighbor because that is still a step behind than love your neighbour which we should be aiming at, even if that neighbor turns out to be an atheist or a hindu or a muslim or a mormon or a gay person that should not stop us from accepting the fact that they are too God’s children, and it is by your love they will see your morals and your faith.

You can be theologically correct while being empty in the spirit, devoid of the fruit of love which in a believer should be foremost and abundant. There is a fine line between good apologetics and bigotry. There is a fine line between defending your faith and insulting others.

Even Paul said that the law of God is written on the heart of men, even when they lack a written law. This is what the bible says at Romans 2:13-16. Is it that hard to accept it then?

Chill out folks, build bridges, not burn them. People can be of differing faiths and be very nice and good, having good morals. Lets be accepting rather than rejecting. Better, respectful communication leads to a healthier discussion. If you aim to interact, do it the right way.

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Article: Cardinal Dolan: Church Faces Challenge From Those Who Believe In God But Reject Organized Religion

Article: Cardinal Dolan: Church Faces Challenge From Those Who Believe In God But Reject Organized Religion


Cardinal Dolan: Church Faces Challenge From Those Who Believe In God But Reject Organized Religion

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/03/01/dolan-believing-without-belong_n_2788494.html?utm_hp_ref=tw

Objections to God: harm done in the name of religion?

Objections to God: harm done in the name of religion?


I found this bit of lengthy excerpt quite relevant while reading Francis collins’, The language of God.

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A major stumbling block for many earnest seekers is the compelling evidence throughout history that terrible things have been done in the name of religion. This applies to virtually all faiths at some point, including those that argue for compassion and nonviolence among their principal tenets. Given such examples of raw abusive power, violence, and hypocrisy, how can anyone subscribe to the tenets of the faith promoted by such perpetrators of evil?

There are two answers to this dilemma. First of all, keep in mind that many wonderful things have also been done in the
name of religion. The church (and here I use the term genetically, to refer to the organized institutions that promote a particular faith, without regard to which faith is being described) has many times played a critical role in supporting justice and benevolence. As just one example, consider how religious leaders have worked to relieve people from oppression, from Moses’ leading the Israelites out of bondage to William Wilberforce’s ultimate victory in convincing the English Parliament to oppose the practice of slavery to the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr.’s leading the civil rights movement in the United States, for which he gave his life.

But the second answer brings us back to the Moral Law, and to the fact that all of us as human beings have fallen short
of it. The church is made up of fallen people. The pure, clean water of spiritual truth is placed in rusty containers, and the subsequent failings of the church down through the centuries should not be projected onto the faith itself, as if the water had been the problem. It is no wonder that those who assess the truth and appeal of spiritual faith by the behavior of any particular church often find it impossible to imagine themselves joining up. Expressing hostility toward the French Catholic Church at the dawning of the French Revolution, Voltaire wrote, “Is it any wonder that there are atheists in the world, when the church behaves so abominably?”

It is not difficult to identify examples where the church has promoted actions that fly in the face of principles its own faith should have sustained. The Beatitudes spoken by Christ in the Sermon on the Mount were ignored as the Christian church carried out violent Crusades in the Middle Ages and pursued a series of inquisitions afterward. While the prophet Muhammad never himself used violence in responding to persecutors, Islamic jihads, dating to the earliest of his followers and including present-day violent attacks such as that of September 11, 2001, have created the false impression that the Islamic faith is intrinsically violent. Even followers of supposedly nonviolent faiths such as Hinduism and Buddhism occasionally engage in violent confrontation, as is currently occurring in Sri Lanka.

And it is not only violence that sullies the truth of religious faith. Frequent examples of gross hypocrisy among religious
leaders, made evermore visible by the power of the media, cause many skeptics to conclude that there is no objective truth or goodness to be found in religion. Perhaps even more insidious and widespread is the emergence in many churches of a spiritually dead, secular faith, which strips out all of the numinous aspects of traditional belief, presenting a version of spiritual life that is all about social events and/or tradition, and nothing about the search for God.

Is it any wonder, then, that some commentators point to religion as a negative force in society, or in the words of Karl Marx, “the opiate of the masses”? But let’s be careful here. The great Marxist experiments in the Soviet Union and in Mao’s China, aiming to establish societies explicitly based upon atheism, proved capable of committing at least as much, and probably more, human slaughter and raw abuse of power than the worst of all regimes in recent times. In fact, by denying the existence of any higher authority, atheism has the now-realized potential to free humans completely from any responsibility not to oppress one another.

So, while the long history of religious oppression and hypocrisy is profoundly sobering, the earnest seeker must look beyond the behavior of flawed humans in order to find the truth. Would you condemn an oak tree because its timbers had been used to build battering rams? Would you blame the air for allowing lies to be transmitted through it? Would you judge Mozart’s The Magic Flute on the basis of a poorly rehearsed performance by fifth-graders? If you had never seen a real sunset over the Pacific, would you allow a tourist brochure as a substitute?

Would you evaluate the power of romantic love solely in the light of an abusive marriage next door? No. A real evaluation of the truth of faith depends upon looking at the clean, pure water, not at the rusty containers.

 

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Suicide Explosions in Church, Pakistan

Suicide Explosions in Church, Pakistan


Please pray for christians in pakistan. Today a church with 600 members inside was the target of 2 suicide bomb blastS. 35 are dead and more than 90 are in a critical condition. Many children are missing. Its a very sad day indeed.

http://www.geo.tv/article-119340-35-killed-in-Peshawar-suicide-blast

 

Condemning Sin or Imparting Grace

Condemning Sin or Imparting Grace


Harold_Copping_The_Prodigal_Son_400On August 30th last year, I wrote somewhat of a controversial post titled “Love thy gay neighbor”. One of my friends, over the phone told me that I had gone overboard with it and that if someone was a liar or a thief would I love them too? He is not a bad person but he wanted to convey his point and so he did and I gently explained to him why I wrote what I wrote and that I stood by it. Yes I do support the gay cause, I say this at a risk of offending my close friends but I have good reasons to hold on to what I believe and I love my friends and hope that they see my reasons too. But back then when I told my friend this, he replied:

“But shouldn’t we condemn sin?”

And it caught my attention. Because I have was hoping he would say:

“But shouldn’t we love the sinner?” he didn’t say that.

This regrettably shows the attitude we Christians on the upfront have adapted. It is strictly not about the gay issue, it is about every issue that we take an offense to. Talking with my friend six months back, I realized this is what the church generally is teaching our congregations and our children, they teach them to condemn, we may not have been teaching them this aggressively but that scale tips because we teach them this attitude passively by playing it out in front of them. Through our actions we validate our error and pass it on.

Our focus has shifted. We are called the house of God, but we are moving towards the point where we are a house of legalistic people who pick out gnats but leave the greater truths of the gospel, love and mercy, aside. What difference is there among us and the pharisees of Christ’s time, if we are only looking to condemn, let that be people or sin, we don’t care; the whole point of Christ dying for sinners is lost when we engage in this behavior. Read more