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I have been a Christian and I wonder how we reconcile the truly loving and life-changing good Christians have done with the falsehood and bad things that religion is based on. Are there just as loving and life-lifting persons/groups that can and would use the gutsy compassion that the true-believers have?

By GoldenMean6
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21 comments

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6

Christians do their "good" because the want the choice spot in Heaven. We do "good" because that is what we want to do. There is no reward, and pats on the back; that's just us.

Personally I see the good atheist do as more sincere because we expect nothing in return.

kiramea Level 7 Dec 29, 2017

There really is no group of humans(that number more than about three) who are that monolithic. There are good and bad in every group.

4

This is just my personal perspective -- for what it's worth. In my experience Christian charity always comes with a price.

For instance after the Haiti earthquake a few years ago, a devout Christian from my office went with a group from his church to do relief work in Haiti. On the one hand that was very laudable. But from the pictures and stories he brought back a couple of weeks later well over half the effort they spent was towards building a church and converting new Christians. Every Church I'm familiar with (a limited sample, I know) seems to be successful because they follow a practice of 'church first' rather than 'do good first'.

RichCC Level 7 Dec 29, 2017
3

I do the right thing because it is the right thing to do. I do not expect a reward in the afterlife. True believers are trying to buy their place into heaven. They do the right thing because they are afraid that something bad awaits them in the afterlife if they do not behave. I ask for nothing nor do I expect any reward in the afterlife.

noworry28 Level 7 Dec 29, 2017
3

i see very little compassion from true believers. most true believers will condemn the non believer every time. most are only in it for there own ends, to feel good about them selves for the shitty way they treat the earth and animals.

cabbie Level 1 Dec 29, 2017
2

In my experience, people use belief systems in one of two ways: to acknowledge their insigificance in the grand scheme of life, or to make oneself more important in the grand scheme.

The former are the ones who believe humbly, worship quietly and use their faith to do good works. The latter is the kind to proselytize and claim their's is the one true religion, the rest of humanity is damned and if you let their brand of God in, he will magically fix society's ills.

The first type of believer I find inspiring, even if I think them brainwashed. The latter type I try, usually successfully, to provoke and annoy.

Eponymous Level 5 Dec 29, 2017

If you need religion to make you a better person, you are not a nice person.

2

There's good, bad and everything in between in all people's

Yes!

1

The flaw with Christianity is that it is an immoral religion. It is not the acts of a man (Jesus) struggling to make it in the world. God, his father, sacrificed him to benefit sinners...an innocent killed to benefit the guilty.

The funny things is--not haha--that if you read the Bible with open eyes, God seems to have set humankind up to fail, then strung out a whole load of things to--well--string them along. The horrible injustices in the Bible have not stopped the caring Christians from taking risks for others, or having faith that God protects them. It really is funny that, despite the horrors, people see only the good things Jesus taught and deny that he really still supported the old ways. You wonder how much of it all is historical. Probably very little.

This is enlightening . How can a god create humans knowing they would “sin” and fall from his perfect creation and say it’s because he loves us so much that he now has to send his innocent son to die for us ... innocent dying to benefit the guilty indeed . How could mortality be involved ? The Christians are told that gods ways are not our ways . So they swallow these things regardless of their own moral questioning. Swallowing ideals that are ultimately so unreasonable and illogical to no end . I’m at a loss for words when I look at how many years I wasted in the church and believing blindly based on someone else’s perspective and manipulation / interpretation of a book . I have a long way to go still in my journey to find truth but I’m interested to know more about your thoughts on the Christian rationale .

1

Self delusion doesn’t preclude altruism.

1

We reconcile it by becoming atheists. I had 2 very lovely neighbours a couple of years ago, retired Franciscan nuns, ex missionaries who regret of what they did in turning native people from their own culture was so strong and sincere. They were able to provide me a lot of information about the workings of the church, though they remained believers. They would make me Baileys, and I would fix their computer, I called it "the devil", they would often ring up and ask me to make the devil behave.

Rugglesby Level 8 Dec 29, 2017
1

We had a post on "Are atheists/agnostics charitable."? They are.

0

What's hilarious about the Bible is that it is not "A book." It is a collection of folk tales, slight histories, and object lessons written over thousands of years by many different people. There can be no exactness about some of the authors, and even some of the meanings because Hebrew was dead thousands of years before popes began compiling the writings. How do believers not see their own "book"? Want to know if there is Godly guidance in the Bible? Actually read it.

0

People read the old testament bible and say, it's so violent. But, look at each story and see just why much of the slaughter was "okay" because it was done by "God's people." The idea that God loves us all yet would condone so much slavery and unjust killing is just ridiculous. That religion was created by and for the beginning Jewish people. Why America or any other people would take it on is weird. Our American law of separation of religion from state is very important. Founding fathers knew of the horrors of a state religion. If the ignorant could stop drinking the Koolade, they'd lose their fears and be happy. But we must respect others' religion because it's law and humane. But for religion to protect criminals and/or allow enslavement of women and children is just stupid and not right.

0

The sad thing about humanity is that we will make a religion out of anything. And that, like, say, the Catholics, the purveyors of the religion will so twist it and layer it with control of the ignorant that people are terrified. Thank goodness that now ignorance is being washed away. "God" does not condone all that horror and killing of "the other".

0

I was also a christian, and i have come to question the motives or agenda behind christian good works. The "life-changing good christians" you mention are either naive about what they're doing, or hiding a selectiveness about who they help and how. I doubt that a true christian would help somebody if it resulted in that person becoming a staunch atheist who'd undermine the spread of christianity or belief in god.

bootaski Level 5 Dec 30, 2017
0

Firstly, if a belief is not responsible for the evil committed in its name, how can it claim the good? Surely that credit belongs to the individual. BUT, there is a body of research that indicates that congregations as groups are more likely to achieve charitable works. They attribute this to 1) organisation, actually being a group. 2) Group coherence, they have an ongoing "entry price" and those willing to pay that price (prayer etc) are constantly reaffirming their group identity. Others leave the group. 3) An explicit ethic of service as an obligation. MSF is one of the few organisations I know of who've replicated this without recourse to religion.

0

I was an Evangelical Christian from age 22 to 32 and heavily into it.

Everyone likes to think of themselves as good.

In 50 years, maybe sooner people will talk about the evil Christians are committing right now, but it is considered acceptable right now or too offensive to mention, and that is why Christians generally appear to be moral.

The media paints it as OK, so woe to anyone who says otherwise.

McIntyre Level 6 Dec 29, 2017
0

It doesn’t take the label of Christianity to be a loving person or part of a group that does love based and life changing actions . Look around . The churhces and religious organizations aren’t the majority of groups that give and help . It doesn’t require a certain sets of dogmatic beliefs for one to recognize and engage in helping his fellow man . We are born with compassion , with or without Christianity.
I would be willing to bet that more of your local churches tithes and offerings go towards payroll and imternal marketing than legit outreach ministries. Maybe I’m wrong . I used to be a Christian too. I grew up in the church . I watched how much effort and how many dollars went into the functioning business and staffing vs. the amount that went towards feeding the poor and hungry .
If the church actually did what it was called to do , there would be more homeless shelters and food donation centers than fancy auditoriums / stadiums and ministers who collect six figure incomes .
How does the church justify that to the outter world who skeptically onlook in disbelief about their “mission” . That’s the question that needs to be asked here .

True that the church starting out with good intentions always ends up putting more into its own buildings and students rather than helping the marginalized they purport to help.

0

Religion is the most vicious and demeaning organizations on this planet.Since time began religion has been used to subdue the masses.If you did not follow the laws and rules set down by the church you were persecuted and put to death by the church. There have been more people murdered in the name of god and the church than all the people killed in all the so called wars fought on this planet.The people in power of the church used the church and fear of same to gain untold riches and power over ruling powers.The same still goes on today. Church leaders of today do the same, amass untold riches and tell political leaders who is right and who should be taken down.They tell the masses one thing and then go do the exact opposite themselves.Like the old adage. Don't do as I do You do what I tell you. Then with a jab tell them if you do not you will go to eternal hell and damnation. It is drilled into the heads of the youngest age onward.

0

Would those loving Christians be good citizens without religion? Beyond that I see a lot of Christians brag about giving to charity when the money is going to their church to proselytize. I understand that there are churches that do give people help without coercion but I see a lot more that don't. I see a whole lot more charities that do good with as much gutsy compassion as any true-believer has. Steven Weinberg said "Religion is an insult to human dignity. With or without it you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion."

gearl Level 7 Dec 29, 2017

I agree. All of our horrors come from fear of gods and clever people using religion to conquer and own. If the brow-beaten could lose their fear of being honest, so much would be exposed and made illegal.

0

I think that youll find quite a few on this site...

Buddha Level 7 Dec 29, 2017
0

What benefit to humanity has Christianity offered?

Goat Level 5 Dec 29, 2017
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