Went to a reunion in Louisiana. A reunion of descendants of my mother's mother's parents. My great-grandparents. Their property is still in the family. It's well off in the woods. A really great place. I enjoy going.
One problem is, everyone is religious. I usually sit back and go with the flow and don't speak on it. I bow my head when they say the blessing before we eat. Not interested in making waves or engaging in religious talk with them.
I was sitting back listening to the conversation about one of the young ones taking a Bible class and not having learned anything from Sunday School. She was learning about The Old Testament. They were talking about something I hadn't thought about. The Old Testament is pre-Christian. Jesus didn't show up until the New Testament, that being mostly about him. Meaning "Christians" quoting anything Old Testament aren't quoting anything Christian.
Also, there's no such thing as a "conservative Christian". All of Jesus' teachings fall into the current category of "liberal".
Got all of that from acting as a fly on the wall at the reunion. Just listening to them talking. None of them said what I concluded from their conversation. I just figured it out from listening.
That place is actually near what I laughingly called my "regular church". I used to take my mother to the reunion before she passed in 2015. All her sisters would be there, we'd spend the night in one of the RVs or with another relative, then on Sunday we'd go to a Methodist church near Lake Clairborne, which is near by. It was the church my mother's first cousin attended. It pleased my mother for me to go, so I went. At the church the pastor would greet us warmly, as did the congregation, which pleased my mother's first cousin. They always served refreshments after the service. I still remember the drill from when I was a kid. Brought back old memories. Not enough to make me want to go to church more than that one time a year, though. Haven't been to that church in probably 10 years, which was the last time my mother would have been well enough to attend. She had dementia.
Oh puh-leeeease!!! Jesus and the new testament liberal?!! Christianity is getting desperate. More and more people are questioning religion, so they are responding by teaching that Jesus's teachings are actually "liberal."
I'm dying!! Rolling on the floor...until I realize there are those that will buy into this...ugh!
I was at a gathering the other day and there was a lady who was new. She asked if me and another lady knew each other from church. I said no, no way. If I was ever to set my foot in a church then I would self combuste, I am an agnostic I told her laughing, she looked at me and then laughed. That is how it should be. If people want to go to church then ok, but if people don't then it is fine too.
When someone brings up religion, I enjoy exposing their cognitive dissonance by bringing up a religious dilemma or paradox related to what they said.
Christian: "God is good! - All the time!"
Me: "Innocent children suffer and die horrible deaths all the time. How do you reconcile that?"
>The Old Testament is pre-Christian. Jesus didn't show up until the New Testament, that being mostly about him.
Not entirely. A couple of the Old Testament books included defining which house the messiah would come from and other things to look for. Jesus failed on several of those descriptions, which rabbis will gladly tell you about.
Yeah I'm not an activist when it comes to religion. The way I believe is not the way everybody believes and so why should I push it on other people? I just listened and nod. If they want to talk to me about their religion I listen. If they want to ask me about mine, I am honest and say I don't have one. And if they press I say I've never been religious. And if they push even harder I say that I am a skeptic and need to see evidence before I believe something.
I have noticed more of a trend among Christians to move away from the Old Testament and just focus on the New Testament and Jesus. And, it isn't just more liberal-minded Christians. We used to hear how God, YHWH, created us, well, now conservative Christians say Jesus created us--there is a billboard near my house spouting this.
The OT is problematic as the god described in it is so contradictory; and trying to reconcile the two testaments is impossible when one looks closely. This was a leading factor in my movement away from belief. I could not reconcile the god of the OT with the god of the NT.
If they just focus on the NT it removes some issues; but, the NT itself also has contradictions which is why some, like THE FAMILY, just focus on Jesus (how they interpret him) and ignore everything else.
And, I feel your pain when it comes to being with other family members. All but a couple of agnostic/atheist nephews, whom I don't get to see very often, are Christians--conservative Christians.
I should add, they still love to quote the OT when they want to force its laws/morality onto the rest of us. At least the ones they cherry pick out of the hundreds that are there.
The interpretations of the Old Testament by Chtistians has been to find Jesus in every part of if. Afterall, the history of Judaism was all preparation for Jesus comimg the first time, and Jesus as part of the Trinity (which is God along with the Father and Holy Ghost) would be present whenever God is - which is plenty.
Marcion of Sinope was an early Christian who found such a difference in the God of the Old Testament and of the New Testament writings (he was before an official canon was established - he actually set one of the first canons for his sect) that he concluded they were actually different Gods. The New Testament God was higher and replaced the Old Testament God of Judaism. Marcion was eventually excommunicated from the Roman church and I thought I had read that his belief in 2 Gods, one in succession of the other, was officially denounced as heretical at one of the ecumenical councils.