Christianity, Religion and Philosophy, Episode VII!

The community lounge for non-Narnian discussions.

Moderators: johobbit, stargazer

Re: Christianity, Religion and Philosophy, Episode VII!

Postby King_Erlian » May 20, 2015 2:09 am

I just wonder, had, say, a Hindu couple come to these bakers and asked them to bake a cake with "The blessings of Vishnu" (or whoever) "be upon you", would they have refused? After all, idolatry is regarded as the Number One sin in the Bible.
User avatar
King_Erlian
NarniaWeb Guru
 
Posts: 1348
Joined: Feb 03, 2012
Location: Northern England
Gender: Male

Re: Christianity, Religion and Philosophy, Episode VII!

Postby waggawerewolf27 » May 20, 2015 3:22 pm

I doubt the situation would ever arise about a cake with Vishnu, or Ganesh depicted on it. Though, even if there was, I'd expect even a religious English baker to be more objective about such a cake, since it is nothing to do with his own personal religious beliefs, and does not specifically involve what he might consider a contradiction, or a mockery of those beliefs, intentional or otherwise. Just as I'd expect a Muslim butcher, who accepted working for our local supermarket, to still serve me with ham, or the bacon I requested for my family dinner, halal or not. On the other hand, I wouldn't front up to a Muslim cake maker or any at all, for that matter, wanting a cake with an image on it that could be construed as offensive to Islam.

I haven't heard that Hindu marriages involve cutting of the wedding cake, since despite the proliferation of Vietnamese bakeries around our way, cake-making does seem to be a particularly Western practice. I've been to a Hindu wedding a decade or so ago. This particular wedding was held in a hired Serbian community hall, not a Hindu temple, though there are a few of them around, one or two not too far away.

The bride wore a red and gold sari with a matching thick veil over her head. She had her hands painted with henna, and was given away by her brother. The wedding ceremony involved processions around a canopy held over the bride and groom, lighting fires, holding ribbons together, or the bride and grooms hands tied together, similar to what sometimes happens in other sorts of wedding ceremonies, even Christian ones. But I don't remember the bride and groom having to cut a cake together.

There were a lot of speeches as usual, in praise of the bride's and groom's family, and ceremonies where the bridal couple vow not to disgrace their parents. A workmate who understood Hindi translated for us. But the food, some of which seemed typical Indian wedding fare, seemed mainly vegetarian, or at least, non-beef, with naan and pappadums accompanying curries and tandooris. The sorts of sweets were the same as the sweets usually made and distributed for the annual Hindu Diwali festival. If the family concerned aren't in a position to make the food themselves, they might find suitable caterers, such as at Indian restaurants, who would be attuned to what are suitable foods for a Hindu wedding. Although I like cloves, for instance, and find them a useful help for toothache, I've heard that the Hindus consider them unlucky, so I wouldn't use them in front of a Hindu.
William the First was the first of our kings, not counting Ethelreds, Egberts and things.
And he had himself, crowned, anointed and blessed.
In 1066, I needn't tell you the rest...
- Eleanor Farjeon.
User avatar
waggawerewolf27
NarniaWeb Zealot
 
Posts: 5920
Joined: Sep 25, 2009
Location: Oz
Gender: Female

Re: Christianity, Religion and Philosophy, Episode VII!

Postby King_Erlian » May 22, 2015 5:33 am

waggawerewolf27 wrote:I doubt the situation would ever arise about a cake with Vishnu, or Ganesh depicted on it. Though, even if there was, I'd expect even a religious English baker to be more objective about such a cake, since it is nothing to do with his own personal religious beliefs, and does not specifically involve what he might consider a contradiction, or a mockery of those beliefs, intentional or otherwise.

Surely different Christians would have different attitudes to this? I have one friend (who isn't a baker, so wouldn't be baking a cake, but the principle still applies) who is rather fundamentalist in his view and who would indeed consider making something which praised, as he saw it, a false god/idol as the highest form of blasphemy. If he were asked to sign a card saying "Happy Diwali" he would refuse, and be very blunt about it. I have other Christian friends who are perfectly happy to support others in their beliefs, even if they don't agree with them themselves, whether that be worshipping a different deity or same-sex marriage.

My point is that I feel that many Christians can be somewhat hypocritical, picking on certain groups as "un-Christian" and turning a blind eye to others. Suppose a heterosexual couple had come to the bakers, both bride and groom having been married before and divorced - would the bakers have turned them down? Jesus specifically said that if you divorce and re-marry, except because of marital infidelity, you commit adultery.
User avatar
King_Erlian
NarniaWeb Guru
 
Posts: 1348
Joined: Feb 03, 2012
Location: Northern England
Gender: Male

Re: Christianity, Religion and Philosophy, Episode VII!

Postby IloveFauns » May 22, 2015 6:16 am

Another topic: In Australia a kind of debate has started (well the type that starts on a facebook page by ill-informed persons).

So basically many Australian foods have the halal "tick of approval" and these people are saying this is supporting isalmic state. So basically saying that being hala certified leads to threat. Anyway Charlie Pickering is better at explaining the issue than myself, so here is a link to the youtube video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ATLHNgC0W1c

@Erlian There are many Christians who cherry pick the bible, they pick what is suited to there life/ what they agree with. I think the main reason for doing this is to move with modern more secular times. I mean if the bakery refused to serve anyone who was homosexual, divorced etc than they would loose a lot of customers (the divorce rate these days is rather large). Though I am not sure of details of such things since I am not christian myself.
User avatar
IloveFauns
NarniaWeb Zealot
 
Posts: 6424
Joined: Aug 22, 2008
Location: Perth, Western Australia
Gender: Female

Re: Christianity, Religion and Philosophy, Episode VII!

Postby waggawerewolf27 » May 22, 2015 4:28 pm

King Erlian wrote:If he were asked to sign a card saying "Happy Diwali" he would refuse, and be very blunt about it.


But that is his personal point of view, and his prerogative. Would your friend be just as insulted if he received a "happy holidays" card, or one saying "season's greetings" at Christmas from someone who was an atheist and who didn't believe in Christianity? Or would he just be grateful he got a greeting card at all?

Yes, a "Happy Diwali" card might offend his sensibilities, if he saw it as idolatrous, but the likelihood is that the picture on it wouldn't be anything of the sort. It might just have candles on it, just like a Christmas card, since, Diwali is a festival of lights, which occurs in many faiths, including Christianity. (Well it did cross my mind the candlestick maker would come into it somehow.) I can see what you mean about the graven image on a wedding cake, but there again, a plainer cake without such a picture on it might be negotiated if the baker wanted the custom. Something like flowers etc, which by the way are easier to do. Or another solution is to ask the couple if they know of a speciality Hindu shop which might do a better job of satisfying their requirements.

Should your friend pick a fight over a Hannukah card, for example? I never saw the Jewish faith as idolatrous, since they, too, worship the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and their religious text is the Old Testament or the Torah and Taanach. And Islam, though I disagree with many of their practices and attitudes, has been known to be rather drastic about pictures and graven images. Do you know there is current restoration going on in Hagia Sophia, whose murals in 1453 were whitewashed over? Also at the Chora museum. These beautiful depictions of Jesus on high looking down at the congregation? The then emperor with him? (Justinian and his empress, Theodora) What's left in Hagia Sophia was enough to make me cry at such vandalism. Even though there were many Christians also in the Byzantine Empire who were so iconoclastic as to see these murals as idolatrous.

But if your friend, as, say, a worker in W H Smith or in another newsagency chain, was asked to serve a customer who wanted to buy such a card, he couldn't refuse to serve the customer just because he considered such a card as idolatrous. He could, however, point out that the newsagency doesn't stock such cards, that the customer might be interested in those all purpose "happy holidays" cards. Or, again, he could direct the customer to a Hindu speciality store.

King Erlian wrote:Suppose a heterosexual couple had come to the bakers, both bride and groom having been married before and divorced - would the bakers have turned them down? Jesus specifically said that if you divorce and re-marry, except because of marital infidelity, you commit adultery.


How is anyone to know the couple is divorced and remarrying, unless in the course of arranging the marriage the couple divulge that this is the case to the baker? Ilf is quite right, about a high divorce rate, and maybe this is something that is between the couple concerned and the marriage celebrant, who needs to know, in New South Wales, at any rate, that the couple are both of age to marry, that the marriage is consensual and that no law is broken such as the law on bigamy. This is also the duty of a minister or priest at a Christian marriage, however they regard divorce in a religious context. The same legal requirements apply to Imams, Rabbis and other religious marriage celebrants.

I notice that when the very high-profile Prince of Wales remarried in 2005, that he and Camilla Parker-Bowles had their marriage in Windsor Guildhall, a secular arrangement, from which his mother absented herself. They then went to St George's Chapel in an act of contrition, in front of the Queen, to have their union blessed. I expect there was a traditional wedding cake, but I'm sure it didn't have on it anything on it which belaboured the Queen's religious views, as head of the Anglican church, about remarriage. There are still plenty of people who regard their quite legal marriage invalid despite the Prince of Wales' first wife having died in 1997, a result of a car accident.

You also said: Jesus specifically said that if you divorce and re-marry, except because of marital infidelity, you commit adultery. The relevant passages are in Matthew 19. Some Pharisees asked what causes could wives be put away. And Jesus pointed out that Moses permitted divorce for the hardness of their hearts, but that is not the sort of relationship that God intended from the beginning. He said that except for adultery, that men who put away their wives just to marry others were committing adultery, as were those who married the discarded wives. This was and is a sharp difference from the licence usually given men by most societies to discard women who inconveniently are infertile, grow old, ill or are merely disobliging to their every whim.

Ilf wrote:So basically saying that being hala certified leads to threat


I think it is more a case of who insists on food like Vegemite being certified halal, that is to say, it does not contain pork or any pork products, and that if it contains meat at all, the animals were killed in accordance with Sharia beliefs. I'm sure there is an Islamic association in charge of this licensing agreement to the various companies that arrange our food supply, that money changes hands to see it is done, and that the organisations concerned find it a nice little income earner. The protest might be due to the worry that the charges would be passed on to the customer in the end. I doubt that Christians are the only ones who cherry-pick their scriptures to suit themselves.

I'm more worried that if we fiddle around with our Constitution as it is now, we are going to find ourselves without a leg to stand on if we redefine marriage some other way, and that if we try to get rid of domestic violence, child brides, forced arranged marriages etc., all against the law here, we will find Sharia ideas of marriage being imposed on us, instead. I'm not at all sure that the Koran can't be quoted to support bigamy, child marriage, and much else. The very things we are trying to put a stop to. I've an idea for an Islamic wedding cake. A groom and up to four brides, the maximum the Koran allows them, or so I have heard. Would you consider this wedding cake idea a bit offensive?
William the First was the first of our kings, not counting Ethelreds, Egberts and things.
And he had himself, crowned, anointed and blessed.
In 1066, I needn't tell you the rest...
- Eleanor Farjeon.
User avatar
waggawerewolf27
NarniaWeb Zealot
 
Posts: 5920
Joined: Sep 25, 2009
Location: Oz
Gender: Female

Re: Christianity, Religion and Philosophy, Episode VII!

Postby The Old Maid » Jun 13, 2015 11:27 am

Today's topic: Bad advice.

{Note: this is not intended as a swipe at any televangelist or believer in particular. I am just using these two examples because they are egregious and fairly recent. Please feel free either to comment on the examples, or to add your own favorites.}

Example One: Recently an elderly couple who can't afford to get their car repaired asked for advice. They paid tithes, but their medical bills were becoming overwhelming. In the most literal sense, their cost of living (the cost of staying alive) is rising too much. She asked, "what could we be doing wrong?"

The reply was to pray for ideas: to sell belongings, to get a job answering phones, and such like.

Assorted internet replies to this reply have tended toward the impolite at worst, and toward the coldly practical at best. Basically, not all household junk is worthy of the Antiques Roadshow, and not all business desire to hire 80-year-old people who 1) lack up-to-date job skills and 2) might have erratic attendance due to doctor/hospital visits. (At least they are not yet too infirm to be banned from driving altogether.)

Example Two: A grieving mother asked why her 3-year-old child had to die. In a reply reminiscent of Godwin's Law, she was told that since God sees all (which is true), perhaps God saw an evil end for this child and so took the child's life.

Theodicy is hard. We know that. We also know that God loves our children even more than we ever could. And yes, we know Isaiah 57:1. But we also know Romans 12:15 and John 11:35.

But a response like the one listed above has provoked remarks that (after I clean up and translate the unprintable parts) compare God and His ways to Goldilocks theology: "two Hitlers is too many; zero, not enough; but one is just right!" There seems to be no shortage of "bad babies" who didn't get whacked as children and grew up to be the tyrants and killers we all know and read about today. This in turns suggests Police theology: "So what if everyone else was speeding? You were the only one I could catch."

What are some examples of Really Bad Advice that believers have given to you?
It's back! My humongous [technical term] study of What's behind "Left Behind" and random other stuff.

The Upper Room | Sponsor a child | Genealogy of Jesus | Same TOM of Toon Zone
User avatar
The Old Maid
NarniaWeb Nut
 
Posts: 288
Joined: Nov 04, 2007
Location: Voice in the wilderness

Re: Christianity, Religion and Philosophy, Episode VII!

Postby King_Erlian » Jun 15, 2015 2:52 am

Yes. It's something that's said a lot in evangelical circles and appears to be backed up by a few Scriptures, but I'm now convinced that it's a false interpretation of those passages. It is this: "God has a plan for your life". It sounds attractive - it suggests you're special to God and your life has a purpose. It's easy to say when more things in your life are going right than going wrong; and when you encounter a few minor problems, well of course this is God teaching you some valuable life lesson. But it totally screwed me up, and made me resentful of God, because far more has gone wrong in my life than has gone right. I didn't become stronger through all of it, quite the reverse. Little good and more harm came from these catastrophic life events. If this was God's plan for my life, than God is a vicious bully.

Recently I found myself challenging this long-held belief that this was God's plan for me. Although I'd always known it in theory, I realised at a deeper level that God really does give us free will - otherwise the whole of Christianity becomes meaningless. If God had planned everything that had happened to me so that I had had no choice, then yes, God would be a bully and salvation would be a sick joke. But he didn't. Yes, I know that God knows all of time and space so he knows what will happen, and I can accept that there may be things he might like me to do, but that's not the same thing at all as saying he's planned it all. Some of the bad things that have happened are inevitable and unavoidable, such as bereavement (since we can't live for ever in this world); others, such as career choices, have been my choice; and when I've failed to get my dream job, it may not be because God was deliberately blocking me, it could simply be that there was a better candidate, or that I messed up the interview by saying something I shouldn't have. In other words, God has allowed me control over my life.

I'm aware that some people on this list will disagree with this strongly. God is sovereign, and so everything that happens must be in accordance with his will. But I don't believe, for instance, that a 17-year-old Islamic State suicide bomber blew himself up today because that was God's will for him. Not everything that happens in the world is God's will. But that's the price we pay, and God pays, for us having free will - for God allowing us to be real people and not robots. What I do believe is true is that God is with us through all the crap, and that he will make everything right one day.
User avatar
King_Erlian
NarniaWeb Guru
 
Posts: 1348
Joined: Feb 03, 2012
Location: Northern England
Gender: Male

Re: Christianity, Religion and Philosophy, Episode VII!

Postby The Old Maid » Jun 16, 2015 2:58 pm

Originally posted by King Erlian:

"God has a plan for your life"


Yes. God's permissive will and God's ultimate will aren't always the same. Yet there is no shortage of people who believe that God micromanages their lives to the point that a good parking space is perceived as a specific sign of divine favor, as opposed to the general favor of finance to purchase an alarm clock, education to comprehend it, and the free will to choose to arrive on time. A few such souls also seem to give the evil one power to foul up their day -- ("Satan tried to stop me from going to church by taking all the parking spaces!") -- instead of admitting their own agency, choices, and tardiness. How they survive genuine calamity, I do not know. How you survive genuine calamity, they cannot imagine.

Anyhow, the examples above struck me as interesting because of the apparent indifference they embodied. Even the online tithing site disagrees. Really, really disagrees.

The advice also suggests the lack of a pastor or body of believers at the scene. Telling 80-year-olds to get off their arthritic fannies and get a job? Wouldn't most churches (cf. Isaiah 1:17, James 1:27) just help the widow and orphan instead?

Then there's the "God's plan for you life includes deleting your kid." When it comes to kids, these aren't the only comforters-of-Job.

Consider the notion that parents of disabled children should be complimented for being so good that God chose them as the parents. (If it doesn't link, it's from The Ten Commandments of Character by Joseph Telushkin.) However kindly it is meant, it is unkind to tell a parent, "God gave you disabled children because He knew how good you are." Telushkin's response was, "You imply that if only I were less good/nice/holy, I would have had a normal, healthy baby." Also, the speaker would realize how shocking it is if the recipient responded in kind: "You seem like such a nice person that I pray God will reward by causing you to have babies with special needs."

Any other examples?
It's back! My humongous [technical term] study of What's behind "Left Behind" and random other stuff.

The Upper Room | Sponsor a child | Genealogy of Jesus | Same TOM of Toon Zone
User avatar
The Old Maid
NarniaWeb Nut
 
Posts: 288
Joined: Nov 04, 2007
Location: Voice in the wilderness

Re: Christianity, Religion and Philosophy, Episode VII!

Postby The Rose-Tree Dryad » Sep 05, 2016 4:59 pm

*sweeps away a year's worth of dust from the thread*

I was thinking earlier about Aslan's providence in The Horse and His Boy, and it reminded me of a video by Bishop Robert Barron that I saw a while ago and liked very much. I'm not a Catholic, but I found the perspective that he offered on the providence of God to be very insightful and moving, and I thought others might like it as well:

—The Rose-Tree Dryad, a.k.a. Rose @};-
Image
NW sister to Melian_Maia, lover of narnia, Elanor and juzuma loves lucy + NW twin to MissRosario
User avatar
The Rose-Tree Dryad
Moderator
 
Posts: 3562
Joined: Aug 21, 2010
Location: A secret garden
Gender: Female

Re: Christianity, Religion and Philosophy, Episode VII!

Postby Reepicheep775 » Apr 25, 2017 9:51 am

There are some things in the genealogy in the first chapter of Matthew that has bugged me for a while.

I know (or, at least, have heard) that Matthew's genealogy hearkens back to Daniel and the end of Exile. In Daniel 70 years have passed since the beginning of the Exile, which was supposed to last for 70 years. When Daniel asks why the Exile hasn't ended, God replies that the Exile will end in 7 x 70 years. I also know that in Israel every 7 x 7 years there was a jubilee year, where slaves go free and land is returned to its original owners.

In Matthew, the author uses three groups of ancestors leading up to Jesus.

The first goes from Abraham to David:

1. Abraham
2. Isaac
3. Jacob
4. Judah and his brothers
5. Perez and Zerah
6. Hezron
7. Ram
8. Amminadab
9. Nashon
10. Salmon
11. Boaz
12. Obed
13. Jesse
14. David

The second goes from after David to the Exile:

1. Solomon
2. Rehoboam
3. Abijah
4. Asa
5. Jehoshaphat
6. Jehoram
7. Uzziah
8. Jotham
9. Ahaz
10. Hezekiah
11. Manasseh
12. Amon
13. Josiah
14. Jeconiah and his brothers

The third goes from after the Exile to Jesus:

1. Shealtiel
2. Zerubbabel
3. Abiud
4. Eliakim
5. Azor
6. Zadok
7. Akim
8. Eliud
9. Eleazar
10. Matthan
11. Jacob
12. Joseph the husband of Mary
13. Jesus

And Matthew ends the genealogy with:

Matthew 1:17 (NIV) wrote:Thus there were fourteen generations in all from Abraham to David, fourteen from David to the exile to Babylon, and fourteen from the exile to Christ


14 x 3 is equal to 6 x 7 and Jesus presumably makes the seventh seven, implying that He will set free the slaves (in this case, us, from the slavery of sin and the rule of earthly powers).

I have four questions about all of this.

1. The last group of ancestors only has thirteen generations in it. Am I to assume that this was a scribal error or am I missing something (e.g. is Matthew including Mary)?

2. At first glance adding one to 6 x 7 seems like it would make 7 x 7, but it wouldn't. 6 x 7 = 42 and 7 x 7 = 49. However if you add one to 6 x 7, you don't get 7 x 7, but (6 x 7) + 1 which is equal to 43. Since 43 ≠ 49, I don't get how Jesus makes the seventh seven. Again, I feel like I'm missing something.

3. Even if the genealogy made 7 x 7, I still don't understand how this relates specifically to the 7 x 70 of Daniel.

4. And finally why does this genealogy lead to Joseph and then to Jesus if Joseph wasn't, in a biological sense, the father of Jesus? Wouldn't it make more sense to do what Luke did and trace the genealogy of Jesus through Mary?
Image
User avatar
Reepicheep775
NarniaWeb Junkie
 
Posts: 781
Joined: Aug 20, 2007
Location: Canada
Gender: Male

Previous

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot] and 8 guests