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Old 05-19-2018, 11:32 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by FoolofaTook View Post
soon their will be two of us, babe
This isnít a question - I will rephrase.

ďSoon their will be two of us, babe?Ē
Yes! You are doomed to re-enter the faith. Please hurry and re-Christian yourself, for the benefit of your eternal soul. Amen.

 
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Old 05-19-2018, 11:35 AM   #32
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is monte a netphorian?
My working hypothesis is no, but I will relinquish the title of LNC if he challenges me.

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are ldses christians?
Mormons seek to nurture a personal relationship with God through study, worship, fellowship and prayer. And also abide by religious rulings in the belief it will strengthen their relationship with God. And they seek to follow the instructions of Jesus. So I think in as much as this is their religion, it appears very Christian. The main difference with Mormons is the belief that Jesus is not a saviour, but more, an example. So, it doesnít end at God & Godís creation. It goes a bit further, to God & Godís creation, Individuals within Godís creation self-actualising and becoming new Gods, then each of the new Gods starting again, as God and Godís creation. If I understand it correctly. Am I wrong? This bit doesnít seem all that Christian, to me. So in as much as a Mormonís religion revolves around aspiring to become God, for the specific purpose of possessing the power and control of being God, my tentative opinion would that doesnít sound entirely Christian. But that is just like, my opinion. And I do appreciate the deep irony of me calling myself a Christian when a lot of people would consider me not a Christian, and then me turning around and saying that Mormons donít seem Christian, to me. That seems kinda lame. So, I should probably just say, if people say theyíre Christian, I donít question that. Because you know...in some ways itís kind of a dick move.

 
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Old 05-19-2018, 11:35 AM   #33
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what's your favourite colour
Blue!

 
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Old 05-19-2018, 11:47 AM   #34
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Is buttstuff really a sin?
I mean, your butt is just a part of your body.

My working hypothesis is that Jesus was most concerned with social justice, cultivating a heart that is genuinely kind, a mind and spirit that humbly seeks Godís counsel in all things.

Sin is really anything that stops you from entering Godís presence. So you can hold a candle and ask God to be near you, that one seems easy. Can you ask God to be near you while youíre doing buttstuff? That depends on the individual. For most of us, sex is a pretty private interaction, and only the people involved in it, can determine whether it is sinful. If you are enjoying the sensation of having power over someone during sex, of coercing another human into buttstuff, for your own gratification, my own personal feeling is that yes, that would be sin. Obviously that kind of sexual satisfaction is not confined to the realm of butt play. Many sexual interactions then have the potential to be sinful because one or more of the people involved are deriving enjoyment from the genuine, non-voluntary suffering of another, or enjoying it in a perverse way. Really I guess, whatever is sexually peverse, is sinful. The definition of perverse has been changing constantly for a long time - but I guess what I mean by perverse has to do with pursuing your own gratification with little or no regard to the comfort or rights of others. Sometimes with kink I guess, sex participants will mimic an abusive situation and be gratified by it, but everyone involved is a grown adult and a volunteer. Iím not talking about that, to be clear.

In ancient times, as a society, Hebrews condemned men lying with men as men lie with women. Itís hard to tell why they were concerned with that. They also didnít want to eat or drink the blood of animals, or wear clothing with mixed fibres (so; a wool/linen blend, I guess). A certain amount of these enshrined preferences may have been creating rules for their community that would separate them from the communities around them. Many waves of empire and conquest rolled through that region of the world, while the Hebrews were becoming a literate culture and gathering their holy texts together to form a coherent spiritual and cultural identity. Certainly something like not wearing mixed fibre fabrics seems like it was a demarcation thing. Itís possible the prohibition of man/man sexual relations was motivated in the same way - some of the waves of conquest involved victors where historical evidence suggests homosexuality was normal and accepted (the Greeks for example).

Then on the other hand, there are quite a few examples of African societies who are fiercely anti-homosexual and this seems more to do with patriarchy and virility. So anything masculine and virile is celebrated; anything that isnít, is worthless unless its value can be bestowed upon them by a virile patriarch. Any kind of challenge to this seemingly natural order, gets ruthlessly quashed. The theory is that civilisation moved north, out of Africa, through the middle east. So in that case, the strong attitudes toward homosexuality that we still see in that area, might just be remnants of the cultural ancestors of those societies.

If we are going to call it sin, just for argumentís sake, it may be helpful to imagine a few different sins, side by side:
1) buttstuff
2) Buying human beings as if they were livestock, and working them to death in a sugarcane plantation
3) human trafficking/sex trafficking of pre-pubescent girls
4) domestic violence resulting in the death of a spouse
5) accepting bribes to abuse your position of power and subvert the laws that have been passed by a democratically elected government

In my opinion, no, buttstuff is not inherently sinful, any more than any sexual stuff is inherently sinful. BUT worst case scenario, if buttstuff is a sin, and you are into it, itís probably better to just enjoy mutually consensual buttstuff and worry about the many other ways that you are, like all other humans, a walking suitcase of regrettable errors, because enjoying buttstuff would not be anyone's greatest sin. Unless, as I mentioned, it was enjoyed at someone else's expense, as it often has been, within the institution of the Christian church. Then, it is very much a sin IMO.

 
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Old 05-19-2018, 11:49 AM   #35
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doesnt that original sin thing seem kinda stupid
Yes, definitely. I guess I appreciate it as storytelling device, because the place it holds in the story arc of Christianity - that all of creation was one with God, and then became separated, and then through Christís sacrifice is reunited, makes it meaningful to me. But the theological concepts that have grown from the story:

- that children and even babies are sinful
- that even if we are perfectly good, we are still bad, because we inherited somebody elseís marred slate, full of their mistakes

these concepts are not meaningful to me at all. When coupled with Proverbs 13:24 I think these ideas have been the justification of a lot of child abuse, both in private homes, and church-run orphanages/homes for children. So as a concept it needs to be dumped, I think.

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is jesus or god supposed to be the one you pray to
This might be different depending on what denomination you belong to...but for my denomination, Jesus and God are one and the same, so it doesnít matter. I think in the past Christians have prayed to the Father, in the name of the Son. The Lordís Prayer for example, follows that form. And that was, according to the Gospels, given to us directly by Jesus. So I suppose there is an argument that we should always do it that way...but theologically there is no distinction between God and Jesus, so it shouldnít really matter. However you address God, youíre still praying to God.

 
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Old 05-19-2018, 11:51 AM   #36
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why do christians hate everyone that isnt a straight white male


Because our God is a straight white male, so we know that only those made in his image are worth of love?

It's weird, in my extended family, itís the Samoan side, that are Christian. They are all working and working middle class, and brown. My Dadís side is upper middle and white, and mostly atheist, but very liberal and left wing. So in my weird life, Christian or not, nobody especially loves straight white males. Even their wives, and families, to be honest. Theyíre expected to live in a permanent state of shame, meekness and ongoing apology...

 
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Old 05-19-2018, 11:56 AM   #37
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why do non-christians hate straight white mail so much
Well, itís always the same thing -

Hi babe how are you?

I have just come back from our hols. in Boracay and oh, it was just fabulous! You will have to go one day! Anyway, I just sat down at my computer and saw your necklace that I ended up wearing when you are here, and I canít believe I STILL have not sent it back!! So sorry, darling! I have just popped it into an envelope for you today, with a postage stamp. It is in my handbag ready to be posted on my way to work, tomorrow (sob! Wish I never had to go back!).

love to you and Jer both xx un grande bacio!


If youíve seen one straight white mail, you really have seen them all.

Straight black mail, on the other hand, or, in its more recognisable form, ďblackmailĒ, is far more interesting

You think that nobody saw you leaving the grocerís across from Mikeís Auto. But you are wrong. A hundred quid left under the brick, placed at the subway entrance next to the deli. Or you will be hearing from me in a slightly more dramatic way. I think you know what we would both prefer.

(I nearly went full Tarantino with this one - but after seeing that video so recently, I just couldn't.)

 
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Old 05-19-2018, 12:09 PM   #38
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1. how does it feel adhering to a belief system which is not only thousands of years old, but which has continually mutated and changed over time to the point where modern Christianity likely bears no resemblance to Jesus' real worldviews or teachings?
Ah wow. This is something I think about a lot. In some ways I am glad, about all of it - because it seems inevitable that a belief system that is thousands of years old, would also mutate and change over time. Christian beliefs became doctrines and creeds, in a time when people still believed that the earth was flat and that if you went far enough into the sky, you would reach heaven. Aristotle believed that if you compared a womanís menses a manís semen, you could clearly see that one was a perfect being with pure emissions, and one was incomplete. So if we are interested in a religion with ancient roots, do we dogmatically insist that we hold every tenet that was established in a pre-empirical society? Or can we look at what weíve inherited from previous generations, and consider how everything fits together for us, given that we live in a totally different historical and cultural context?

I find it liberating and discouraging, trying to work out Jesusí real worldviews and teachings. Of course, nobody can know for sure. So Iím left with the accounts that were collated and canonized by old men of the establishment over a thousand years ago, and the current conjecture of (mostly) old men of the establishment, today. So...not entirely straightfoward.

I suppose the reason I bother, is that my religion is only in small part about my beliefs. I chose to join a religion because I was interested in good action (mitzvot, basically?) and growing up in a secular home with no strong cultural identity, I felt very much alone and adrift in the chaos and meaninglessness of everyday modern life. I had actually been more interested in Judaism for a while, but resigned myself to the idea that I couldnít properly convert or properly become Jewish. And before that I went through a period of time where I became increasingly involved with Krsna devotees in my hometown. I was on the brink of joining the commune as a new devotee when my family and friends stepped in and counseled me to take a step back. I actually quit my job at a deli, because I was convicted by the idea that even working at an establishment that sold meat, would affect my karmic destiny. (sort of. I also hated working at the deli and it was a convenient reason to quit. I remember the owner saying "Oh great, well thanks Emma" in this really seething and angry way, down the phone. It was a moment of catharsis, in some ways.

Shortly after that I read Hesseís Siddhartha, and Narziss and Goldmund - I was really in a swirl of religious ideas for a couple of years after leaving high school. Eventually, lost, and confused, and very very stoned, I ended up in a psych ward in Melbourne, acutely psychotic, and manic. I was admitted involuntarily and detained for about three weeks. At that stage I believed the end of the world was imminent so there wasnít really much left to do except sit around and smoke cigarettes and wait for it to happen.

Rehabilitation from psychosis took a long time - I was discharged in Oct. 2000, and even when my elder son was born in Aug. 2005, with all the emotional turmoil and sleep deprivation that came with that, I was a little unstable. By then, to be mentally healthy, I had to accept that any new belief I adopted had to be rigorously reality tested, to avoid relapse. So simply coming into Christianity because I changed my beliefs, wasnít an option anymore. But I still yearned for answers, basically about Ďrightí action - what is right action? What would be right, and meaningful for me to do? While I was pregnant with my elder son, in 2005, I took one of the last courses I needed to complete my BA in philosophy - it was about explanations for religion based on evolutionary psychology - group selection theory stuff (which I believe has been somewhat debunked). I read a lot of Scott Atran and Daniel Dennett in that course, and came across a reading that stated human communities with a religious identity seem to persist longer than communities with secular identities. When I considered the evidence and realised that Christian religious groups for example have persisted for hundreds, even thousands of years, I began considering heading back to church, just to be part of a community.

A lot of internal stuff happened when my elder son was born. I think the birth of your first child often has that effect. It isnít just about what you do for yourself; how you answer these questions of Ďrightí action and meaning. Now you are forced to make decisions every day, that will influence and affect a new human being, in some cases for the rest of their life. The urge to seek out a community became unbearable, and I lived in a predominantly Christian culture with a Christian family background. So - I joined the Christians.

Christian doctrine is not really a complete set of guidelines for living. I was talking to a flatmate of mine, post-pyschosis, pre-Christian-conversion...and she said her Lutheran upbringing didnít make her a Christian, but it gave her a kind of sounding board. It was a point of reference. It was the first time I had considered that religion could be something like that in a personís life, and thatís what I aim to give my children. Not a set of beliefs. But a point of reference - we live in a secular society, but it evolved from a culturally Christian past. Understanding the history of Christianity is a starting point for understanding the history of humanity. Itís a lens, I guess. I actually did become a theist some six years ago, and I pray with my kids at night, in a pretty ritualistic and hopefully affirming way. But unless they come to me and ask to talk about God, I donít talk to them about my theism.

 
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Old 05-19-2018, 12:17 PM   #39
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2. how do you feel about Gnosticism?
I don't have any very strong feelings about it purely because my knowledge is pretty lacking. My (limited) understanding is that any literary accounts of Jesus that exhibited Gnostic attitudes were deliberately excluded by the early church councils, from the Bible. But that could be wrong, too....

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3. Christianity has been the greatest ideological justification for evil and violence in human history, true or false?
Empirically, there must be an answer to this question, and I donít know what it is, Iím sorry. I feel pretty sad thinking that it could be true. Obviously, most Christians donít set out hoping it will be a justification for evil and violence. I guess there would be some. If this is true, part of what makes me sad is knowing I would have to reconsider my identity yet again. It isnít really the easiest thing, I guess you and everybody would know that, as well as I do.

 
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Old 05-19-2018, 12:37 PM   #40
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4. What is your relationship to the Hebrew Bible as a Christian? Do you believe God has rejected the terms of his older covenant with humans, or merely updated it? Are the old laws to be ignored or incorporated into Christian life?
I actually took a term of Biblical Hebrew at university, it was an 8:00am class. It was before I became a Christian, but after my psychosis. Lamentations was a weirdly prominent part of my psychosis - though I donít know if by Hebrew Bible you mean all of what Christians call the Old Testament, or just the Pentateuch. I didnít read Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus and Deutoronomy, Numbers in their entirety until after my second son was born (I read it in English of course, my Bible Hebrew is terrible, I'm an embarrassment to my teacher and to institutionalised learning in general) and I subscribed to a Read The Bible in a Year service. It was only then that I realised the extent of the laws contained in those books, and I suppose the quaintness of so many of them. It surprised me that there were detailed instructions for the building of the temple, for getting rid of mold in your tent, and for diagnosing and treating skin rashes. I guess all of that helped make my mind up about whether we could read the Bible as if it were written last year and good to go.

My grandfather was an Old Testament studies professor so the ideas he shared professionally are part of my life narrative I guess - that there are sort of Ďstrandsí that run through the OT - the poetic strand - Lamentations, Psalms, etc. and the historic strand - that aimed to be a historical record, so Deuteronomy, Kings, etc. and then the wisdom strand - Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, etc. Obviously thereís no clean distinction between these strands but it helps to have a vague idea of what youíre reading, and what the purpose of the book is.

The Old Testament is the history of the people that Jesus belonged to, and their encounters with God, their greatest wisdom and poetry. All of that is useful and interesting to me - but it was written in a time when the authors didnít know about the water cycle or gravity...so I guess it takes a bit of processing to work out how useful any of it is - which is no different to how I feel about the NT.

 
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Old 05-19-2018, 12:49 PM   #41
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Blue!
Typical Christian, believing in a colour that has no evidence of existing.

 
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Old 05-19-2018, 02:39 PM   #42
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I've been pretty harsh regarding Christianity, but if it helps people connect with their spirituality then I see no problem with it. Most Christians ignore the bigoted stuff anyways.
Christians invented the bigoted stuff.

 
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Old 05-19-2018, 03:22 PM   #43
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blue is my favorite color two!!

 
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Old 05-19-2018, 03:27 PM   #44
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I've been pretty harsh regarding Christianity, but if it helps people connect with their spirituality then I see no problem with it. Most Christians ignore the bigoted stuff anyways.
and yet somehow you are not a christian but have picked up on "the bigoted stuff"

 
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Old 05-19-2018, 03:28 PM   #45
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hahahaha

 
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Old 05-21-2018, 02:13 AM   #46
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5. What is the experience of adhering to a religion which claims to be the ultimate champion of the downtrodden but is in actuality the ultimate symbol of institutionalized power?

I donít know about ultimate symbol of institutionalized power - I guess how things are symbolized depends on the eye of the beholder. I reckon the U.S. or PRC flags might be the ultimate symbol of institutionalized power, to a lot of people around the world.

But there is a massive gulf between what the church is supposed to be, and what it is. That much is clear for anyone to see. My own experience is that it is really frustrating and depressing to see people maligning others supposedly in the name of God. And using Christianity as a way to belong to a group that has bragging rights of some kind, or can look down on others.

When I was 21, and had just come home to NZ from the psych ward in Melbourne, I lived with my parents and found a Christian devotional my Mum had been sent. The sender was a devout Catholic lady in Indianapolis. I had met her second-youngest child in New York when I was traveling - he invited my friend and I to come and stay in his family home. His mother welcomed us like we were nieces, gave us a bedroom to share, told us to help ourselves to anything in the kitchen, and stay as long as we wanted. They lived in a huge old home in an older part of town, they are a well-off Catholic family and all their children went to college.

ANYWAY at the front of this book, this devotional, there was an introduction talking about how the author had once seen a woman reading a magazine called For Sinners Only. I really liked that.

So this same lady is a staunch and loyal Republican because she is fiercely anti-abortion. Sheís a real life ďThx ObamaĒ ďHilLIARyĒ ďItís MURDERĒ kind of FB friend. I suppose part of my frustration is that a person who was TO ME such a humble and loving and generous person, has a kind of pre-selected group of people from whom she witholds all her charity and love and compassion, and I donít feel equipped or intelligent enough to start a conversation with her about that. And part of my frustration and sadness comes from knowing how others must see her, and knowing that they canít see how loving, and kind, and tender-hearted she is, because (understandably) the most obvious things to notice about her online are her political views.

6. Are you ever afraid that another religion is correct and you are a blasphemer?

I donít worry about being a blasphemer. I had a moment when I was 21 or 22, when I smoked some really ghetto hydroponic crystal-ly bud, and thought my day of reckoning had come, and God was going to strike me down. It kind of confirmed to me that in that case, God was trustworthy and I deserved to die, so I should just face my punishment and thank God that with me gone, Creation itself would be better off. In the end I called a psychiatric outcall team and they came and talked me down. Because you know - rehab was working and I was beginning to trust mental health professionals more than my own mind, about any given situation. But that experience somehow freed me from any fear of punishment. If iím in for it, I deserve it. Iíd rather live in a world where Iím punished justly because the world is just. That seems better than making allowances for people and compromising the whole world as a consequence. But I do worry about getting it wrong...and just generally wasting a lot of time. Especially when it comes to my kids. I often worry that I have wasted my kidsí time.

 
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Old 05-21-2018, 02:31 AM   #47
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7. How do you feel about Seventh-day Adventists, the true remnant church of Christ?

I guess my biggest association with the SDA church is Sanitarium food, which I grew up eating, and believing was the healthiest and best food that money could buy for children, because of ads like these:



Pretty sure I actually believed that Weet Bix really were this good, and I basically couldn't do anything good with my life unless I ate Weet Bix for breakfast, first



So when I think of the SDA church, I mostly think of healthy affordable family food and the family friendly events and programs they ran in the area (ghetto) where we bought our first house. They have a big presence in that region because the Sanitarium factory/complex isn't too far away.

 
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Old 05-21-2018, 02:38 AM   #48
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weet bix is pretty good

my sda relatives are constantly warning me not to go to certain restaurants because they make BUREK with pork and some of it might seep into the BEEF BUREKs i consume.


 
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Old 05-21-2018, 02:39 AM   #49
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if they only knew how much bacon i consumed at the soup kitchen...

 
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Old 05-21-2018, 10:17 AM   #50
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This aspiration to be a Christian who is also a practising Jew, I find pretty endearing. I didn't realise that's where the dietary restrictions came from. A lot of the Australian and New Zealand SDAs are vegan/vegetarian, and Sanitarium makes a lot of meat and dairy replacement stuff (well, they used to). (honeycomb flavoured soy milk, it was delicious)(wheat gluten fake burger meat in a can, also delicious)

Weet bix is a surprisingly good start to the day. You put two of those in a bowl with some milk, unsweetened yoghurt and sliced banana, and it's a decent sort of breakfast. My kids eat it, if we're in a hurry. They'll choose weetbix over most other cereal after hearing all of my rants about refined sugar and low dietary fibre.

 
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Old 05-21-2018, 10:51 AM   #51
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yeah veggie stuff is pretty bomb. i like veggie meat.

still, roast duck pwns all that shit.

 
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Old 05-21-2018, 12:00 PM   #52
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Old 05-22-2018, 12:24 AM   #53
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Yeah roast duck is pretty good alright. We went to Hua's in Beijing for my younger son's birthday dinner because he turned 9 while we were there. They bring the duck to your table and carve it right in front of you. It was I think the most delicious animal flesh I have ever eaten. I feel kind of sad saying that but it is the truth.

 
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Old 05-22-2018, 12:26 AM   #54
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Do all dogs go to heaven?
I mean, I want to say yes but it depends on whether they shit all over heavenís footpaths and public green spaces, the way they do here on earth. In that case, I almost hope itís a no.

But I mean what kind of a God would give an animal the reverse of its own name and then not give them eternal life, so....I guess it must be yes.

 
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Old 05-22-2018, 12:29 AM   #55
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When did prayer in public become not a bad thing?
Quite a long time ago, I think - I think prayer was originally a public and shared form of obeisance and served to strengthen intra-group bonding.

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When did money collection during service become not a bad thing?
Also quite long time ago, I think. Early Christians I think collected money when they met together, as a way of sharing what they had with each other and redistributing wealth a little more equitably. They were early communists, basically. I think the collection of money these days is supposed to serve the same function - most Christians still believe that we should Ďtitheí - so, give a tenth of our income - to our churches. This theoretically means the those who can better afford it shoulder more of the burden of keeping the church running. So that in itself is not a bad thing.

In mainline protestant churches where the denomination has a fairly hierarchical structure and a long-ish history, financial accountability is usually part of the culture. From what Iíve seen. People grow up in an environment watching their parents and grandparents questioning the church council about finances in annual general meetings or business meetings, and so thereís a culture of transparency and accountability that gets handed down. One of the churches Iíve attended, for example, had plenty of money kept in term investments and people wanted to use some of it to put air conditioning in the hall. You know, Sydney gets up to 43 degrees some summers. Well, there was a bit of an argument, because ďWeíve done without it up until nowĒ and ďI was always taught you should spend from your income, not your savingsĒ etc., etc.

Those wealthier churches will give large donations to churches of the same denomination in low income areas. This particular church had a program where they drove out to an isolated country school, in one of the worst, poverty & crime ridden rural areas in the country, and spend a week there, running programs for the children and meeting with the teachers and parents to discuss needs for the coming year.

So itís not always the case that the basket is handed around 3 times during the service and the money gets spent upgrading a facility that will be closed to those who are temporarily homeless during a storm, for example. But as always, youíre often only going to hear about people who are getting it wrong.

 
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Old 05-22-2018, 12:30 AM   #56
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when did slunken become not a bad thing?
This is a good question. Heís always seemed pretty OK to me, so I guess, a long time ago.

 
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Old 05-22-2018, 12:31 AM   #57
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I had a dream last night and the words Romans 14 were emphasized, so when I woke up i scribbled it down.

Vix, do you know what that means in regards to the bible? I googled it but a whole bunch of stuff came up.
Hmmm I'm not a bible scholar so this will be a pretty shallow explanation I'm sorry. This passage seems to be about how we manage our own choices, and the choices of others. Itís saying, there is no set of definite answers about which things to do and which things to refrain from doing, in order to have your heart in the right place, and have a good relationship with God. So, that being the case, if you know somebody else has strong opinions about everything, your choice is either to make allowances for those opinions, or argue/ignore them. And the problem with arguing with them or ignoring them and doing whatever you want anyway, is that the lack of consideration you show for them, in doing that, isnít helping either one of you grow closer to God. Pick your battles, essentially. Is it more important to correct someone you think is probably wrong about something, or is it more important that they feel welcome with you, and accepted for who they are?

 
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Old 05-22-2018, 12:55 AM   #58
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How do you reckon jesus would have felt about you removing your children from a public school because you don't want them exposed to the poors?
I guess one of the things about being a Christian parent is knowing that God/Jesus treats us not as we deserve to be treated, but with grace. So from that point of view I know that I am forgiven. The simple answer is that despite being a terrible person Jesus loves and accepts me the way I am. Which I guess is one of the things that drives people away from Christianity because it seems like a religion should be in the business of giving terrible people exactly what they deserve.

But thereís obviously a lot of regret inside me, too - and I think that comes from God. If we had never enrolled at that school, I would never have known how different school can be, from how it was for me. I had no idea that schools could be so far away from museums, and ballet, and theatre, and the Botanic Gardens. I had assumed that my experience of school, was school. I know how stupid that sounds but I really was and am that stupid.

At my primary school, we had a careers week once, where we chose future professions for ourselves, made up CVs, and had job interviews. I liked animals - the first profession on the list for a kid who liked animals was being a vet. It never occurred to anyone that I wouldn't become a vet, if that's what I decided I wanted to do. We had no limits at all on our futures.

Later that week (and this was the early 90s) we had a guy come and talk to us - 11 and 12 year olds. He said ďI see a lot of graduates who want to work in commerce fields - marketing, management. It isnít enough to have a commerce degree anymore. I want to see that you are capable of learning complicated information. So whatever other degree you choose - make sure you also complete a BSc. Even if you have no interest in working in a scientific field. That will give you the best chance of employment, in the future.Ē

Obviously at my school, we just nodded and smiled. This was a public school. This is what I thought public schools were like. I realised when my son went to a disadvantaged school, just how different things are.

I am just too weak, to have my kids attend disadvantaged schools. I wish I wasnít. Itís hard to explain parenthood and especially full time parenthood. But somehow even though I really do not give a shit about what happens to me, I am very concerned about what happens to my children. I think, maybe thatís good? Maybe itís OK that the people who are responsible for you existing in this fucked up world want nothing more than to give you the very best of everything they can offer you, as you grow up, because itís the least they can do for you.

But I never stop thinking about all of the kids who have a lot less. I guess, this season, when my kids are still living with us and still at school, it is a really hard season to be productive. But seeing what a difference it makes, just to have a parent volunteer read with kids who are struggling, encourage them, help them to have a bit of confidence - makes me think that once my kids are done at school, volunteering in a low income area, with high unemployment, at a school or preschool, etc., might help make a small difference. Especially if I can organise a bigger and more targeted effort. At our previous government/public school, in a high income area, the reading recovery program only had one paid staff member. All of the others were parents (usually stay at home mums) who were volunteering their time - not to read to their own children, but to read to others. Programs like that work so much better in rich areas because there is much more social capital. I have wondered if older mums who I might meet when my boys are in high school back in NZ, and who have the experience of teaching children to read, and have some spare time, could make a big impact in schools where parents are too busy, unwell, stressed, etc. to have the mindspace and time to help their own kids. Fundraising to pay one staff member for a year, and then finding a dozen or so volunteers who could commit to a year of participation would give a low income school a resource that wouldn't take anything from their government budget. Seeing how a similar project was funded by wealthy people at a wealthy church gives me some hope that there are people and organisations who can afford to a program like that, who are willing and even eager, to do that. I dunno. It's just an idea.

Anyway. I know you think Iím a terrible person for moving from that area, because I didnít want my kids in that school. And to be honest, I know Iím a terrible person for doing that, but maybe I had lower expectations of myself than you did, so it was easier for me to accept that I did it. If I could say anything to you about it, it would be, I think about it a lot. Probably a lot more than it comes across in my posts.

 
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Old 05-22-2018, 12:56 AM   #59
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How do you reckon Jesus would have felt about anal sex?
I guess this is bordering on sacrilege, making any comment about this, but I feel like if someone asked him about it, he would be kind of angry, like ďDid you not hear me talking about all this other stuff? The love your enemy, blessed are the meek, judge not lest you be judged, love your neighbour as yourself stuff? Anal sex is not one of my key concerns.Ē

 
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Old 05-22-2018, 01:27 AM   #60
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Jesus said you do evil by what comes out of your mouth, not what goes in

 
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