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Home > General, Religion and Philosophy > A comment reply to Lanir

A comment reply to Lanir

December 11, 2011

Lanir posted a comment on my other post here. I wanted to respond to him and his “wall ‘o text” (as he put it), but I ended up writing a post-length response, and it just got out of hand haha. I created my own “wall ‘o text.” Oh well!

His comment is in boldface, and my responses are in regular type.

Note: I took the important things that I wanted to respond to from his comment, simply for space reasons, but I do not believe I left anything out that will change his meaning.

“I’m going to try something a bit different and go for a semi-reasonable conversation.”

A welcome relief 🙂

“From an outside perspective, I think the blog post here is really just a statement of beliefs.”

This is true. Specifically, it outlines my description of Jesus, who he was technically and who he is to me today.

“The replies seem to me to be consistent with that viewpoint as they largely don’t speak say much about anything brought up in the blog entry but talk about Christianity in general.”

This is also true, that is why I didn’t respond to some of them. I can easily get over my head trying to defend Christianity, because frankly, it’s messed up. In the first 200 years, Christianity was pretty accurate to what it should be, following Jesus. After that, especially in the Middle Ages and now in the Modern Age, Christianity is a label for something that looks nothing like following Christ. I rarely like to say I am a Christian honestly, I usually say I am a Christ-follower.

“First, we can assume this same feeling is applied to everyone, people in general. Most of us have heard this viewpoint at one point or another and it tends to be accompanied by the idea of redemption through Christian faith. Well, the implied corollary to that would be that anyone who doesn’t share the faith is somehow lesser in their eyes. I’d imagine it’s easy to see how that’s not particularly endearing.”

I can see what you are saying, especially because that is what modern Christianity does, it makes people feel lesser than us. That isn’t what true Christianity is, though. Most people don’t realize how equalizing Jesus is. “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Rom. 3:23). The first person that Jesus revealed himself to as the Messiah was not a male Jew as one would expect if one were familiar with Hebrew culture. It was a Samaritan woman, traversing both racial and gender boundaries. To a true follower of Christ, there are two types of people, those that are sinful human beings that haven’t accepted the free gift of removal of their punishment, and those that are sinful human beings that have.

“Second, the statements are a sort of self diminishment in preparation to asking for outside guidance. If you consider what that looks like to someone who does not share the faith… it’s a pretty scary idea that a lot of your friends and neighbors may either think that way or be wondering what’s wrong with them that they can’t think that way. Because where to a believer the answers will always come from God at that point, the rest of us will not share that reassurance. Answers much closer to Earth and less noble present themselves easily. And it’s the silent majority who simply doesn’t object that lends the most radical elements the perceived power they have.”

I can definitely see what you are saying here. You have to realize that I was proud once (not saying anyone else is, this is my experience). I didn’t see that the whip and the cross were meant for me. Later, I came to the realization that they were, but at first in my faith, it was simple. I knew I had done things that were wrong: lying, stealing, lusting. Also, I want to point out that God doesn’t always answer. God is there, but He doesn’t tell us straight up what to do usually. It isn’t like we are sitting there in a trance and we suddenly hear the Voice of God telling us which university to go to. Often times, He gives us the knowledge required in a much more subtle way.

And about the self-diminishing thing…here is my thought-process to why I feel that the punishment should have been mine:

I realized that there must be a reason that I felt guilt about what I had done, i.e. that there was some moral law to which I held myself. I looked around and saw that law was universal, and people all over feel guilt about the same things. This can’t be a coincidence, there has to be something that governs all of us, otherwise we wouldn’t have a concept of right and wrong that was pretty much the same all over the world (with a few exceptions of course). Also, everyone worships something. There are thousands of religions, all of which are started by people because they want to become “better.” That is what religion is, isn’t it? Something that we live by to become better than what we are.

All religions except for one have something in common. We have to earn our way to redemption. The problem with that, is the moment we do something wrong, we are at negative good points, if you want to think about it like that, and everything we do to get back into the black has an element of selfishness that motivates our good deed, which “cancels out” the deed. In fact, I think that even without that problem of motivation, most people are selfish enough in one day that it would “cancel out” all good things done in a month.

I have traveled outside of the US (unlike one commenter would believe) and I have seen countries that are Hindu and Islamic. They seem so hopeless. They are constantly trying to win favor or earn righteousness. Everyone feels it, the pull to be righteous.

Christ offers a solution. Since we cannot pay the “speeding ticket,” He did. He went to the Judge, offered Himself in our place, simply because He is the only person in the universe that isn’t already in the red when it comes to sin. In fact, He has never sinned, therefore He has plenty of righteousness to go around. So the charges are dropped, and we are free to go.

You see, at first it was logical and thought-out, and then it became emotional when I realized that He took my punishment. It seems so nice when the Christian-ese people speak about “speeding tickets” and such, but He isn’t just out a few bucks and higher insurance premiums. He took a physical, horrible beating for us. Crucifixion is really quite awful if you look it up. It is a miserable experience, and it should have been me. By accepting the gift, I have to own that the consequences were horrible for my actions and that He took care of it.

“Anyway, that’s what people appear to do with their beliefs and why you may catch flack for simple statements. It’s not rude ranting from rude people (well, usually not). It’s fear and distrust and unfortunately there are some rather legitimate justifications for those sentiments.”

There are some justifications for their sentiments. Honestly, I want nothing more than for them to understand. From what I know, there is nothing in the world that would be better for them than to understand me. If they fully got it, then they would see that Christ didn’t just love the Christians. He loves everyone. He is perfectly willing to offer what He gave me to anyone. In fact, the hard part is done, all you have to do is accept, and He will show you how to understand. I still don’t fully understand everything, that is why I study. If we knew it all, we wouldn’t have a gazillion denominations of Christianity, would we haha? We don’t have to know. We have to believe. And that is scary, so I understand why people don’t want to take the plunge.

“Okay, sorry about the wall ‘o text. If any of this bothers you feel free to delete it. I actually wandered in to look at the game content anyway.”

Well, the game content is the main focus of this blog, so I hope you get something out of it and come back often. 🙂 I am moved by your post, and I think it does me good to enter a discussion with someone who has an open mind. I want to point out that I have an open mind too, I just haven’t met logic yet that can disprove God (though I haven’t met logic that can prove Him either, since either would require Him to be subservient to logic if He exists. The problem is, to prove that a being that created logic either does or doesn’t exist needs a tool that is higher than the being, and logic isn’t it).

Anyway, I want to let my readers know that I am all for enjoying the games we play together and living in this world together. I don’t want these religious posts to do anything but spark up good discussions like this one. I do not attack the political leaders here, I do not attack lifestyle choices here, and I do not bash other religions here. I firmly put forth what I believe and lay no responsibility on anyone to believe the way I do. This is a creative outlet for me and a stress relief (speaking of which, time to get back to my take-home final in Quantum Chemistry). It is a way I can touch the community of LOTRO and SWTOR, and it is a way for me to educate or suggest things in gaming, as well as getting feedback on my playstyle from readers that know more than I do! It is a way for us to communicate, my friend, so let’s not just post knee-jerk responses to what I say or what you say. Think about why you feel the heat of passion rising, and explain it specifically to me, not generally, and remember I attack no one. Please extend me the same courtesy. 🙂 Thank you for reading my “wall ‘o text!”

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