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> Religion, Discussion and Questions; No Attacking
soullesshuman
Posted: Apr 10 2012, 12:05 AM
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I'd like to ask, maybe this has been answered before...

Why is the term 'god-fearing' very popular? It's always struck me as odd that a good christain would be considered afraid of God. I thought He loved you all. Why would you fear, instead of loving Him back?
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Princess Artemis
Posted: Apr 10 2012, 12:11 AM
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QUOTE (soullesshuman @ Apr 9 2012, 09:05 PM)
I'd like to ask, maybe this has been answered before...

Why is the term 'god-fearing' very popular? It's always struck me as odd that a good christain would be considered afraid of God. I thought He loved you all. Why would you fear, instead of loving Him back?

Check out one of the definitions of 'fear': reverential awe, especially toward God: the fear of God. Synonyms: awe, respect, reverence, veneration.

It's a use of the word that's working on archaic but isn't quite there yet. That said: Perfect love drives out all fear.

This post has been edited by Princess Artemis on Apr 10 2012, 12:15 AM
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Slaskia
Posted: Apr 10 2012, 12:14 AM
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QUOTE (soullesshuman @ Apr 9 2012, 09:05 PM)
I'd like to ask, maybe this has been answered before...

Why is the term 'god-fearing' very popular? It's always struck me as odd that a good christain would be considered afraid of God. I thought He loved you all. Why would you fear, instead of loving Him back?

I think the term 'god-fearing' came about during the Dark Ages, where religion was the main means of keeping control over the masses. It's basically the 'if you do not repent you will all go to hell!' type of preaching, which was done to put the 'fear of god' into people, thus god-fearing Christians. I am also fairly certain that this 'method' of preaching was still very popular durng colonial times and still is, in certain sects of Christianity.

Edit: but don't take my word completely for it: history was never my strong suit...

This post has been edited by Slaskia on Apr 10 2012, 12:15 AM
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philpot123
Posted: Apr 11 2012, 08:04 AM
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QUOTE (Slaskia @ Apr 10 2012, 12:14 AM)
I think the term 'god-fearing' came about during the Dark Ages, where religion was the main means of keeping control over the masses. It's basically the 'if you do not repent you will all go to hell!' type of preaching, which was done to put the 'fear of god' into people, thus god-fearing Christians. I am also fairly certain that this 'method' of preaching was still very popular durng colonial times and still is, in certain sects of Christianity.

Edit: but don't take my word completely for it: history was never my strong suit...

Mmm I don't quite think so... What Princess Artemis said is pretty much it. One of the uses for "fear" is reverent awe. We don't use it much that way anymore, but that's what it's used as in that sense. I get what the connotation is though. If someone says gay nowadays, it usually doesn't mean happy. So God-fearing simply means showing great respect, awe, etc to your creator. It's actually used several different ways in the Bible, in connection to different things.
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soullesshuman
Posted: Apr 11 2012, 03:50 PM
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I see, okay. Thanks. I guess I was looking at 'fear' in a way that it's used regularly nowadays (scary, afraid of, etc) than what it's been used as in the past.
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Kelkelen
Posted: Apr 11 2012, 05:14 PM
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QUOTE (soullesshuman @ Apr 11 2012, 04:50 PM)
I see, okay. Thanks. I guess I was looking at 'fear' in a way that it's used regularly nowadays (scary, afraid of, etc) than what it's been used as in the past.

It's kind of like how Americans use "awesome!" to describe anything interesting, enjoyable, or impressive, when really, the original meaning meant that something inspired that kind of "fear" -- overwhelming, reverent awe and wonder. Awesome used to = God, Nature, the miracle of birth, the power of the common people when our voices unite... Now, awesome = cool! neato!

(Working abroad as an English teacher, you become more aware of these quirks that quickly reveal you as an American English-speaker. tongue.gif )

I would wager that there are probably several places in the Bible where God or creation is referred to as "awesome," in the old sense of the word.
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earwig
Posted: Apr 12 2012, 04:54 AM
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QUOTE (Slaskia @ Apr 10 2012, 02:44 PM)
...religion was the main means of keeping control over the masses.

You know I've kind of noticed that sort of thing was much more common than I thought. It's kind of made me realise how religion can be sort of twisted and bent, like how the Russian Orthodox Churches sort of bent the bible to make the Tsar seem like a demi-god. I wonder if this is still happening today...?
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Vhale
Posted: Apr 12 2012, 10:39 AM
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QUOTE (earwig @ Apr 12 2012, 04:54 AM)
You know I've kind of noticed that sort of thing was much more common than I thought. It's kind of made me realise how religion can be sort of twisted and bent, like how the Russian Orthodox Churches sort of bent the bible to make the Tsar seem like a demi-god. I wonder if this is still happening today...?

Today, I kinda think of it as a branding issue. I'm not sure how many different denominations are in the US right now, but there are a LOT of different flavors of Christianity out there. And they all compete and say their way is the right way. But, I'm not sure to what extent other churches do it than my own. I was brought up Church of Christ. They had a disagreement and split into another church, Disciples of Christ. In service, it's all too common that the Church of Christ slips in little notes about the other being bad. How their way is the right way. Don't do the other.

The reason for the big split? Musical instruments during service. Yep. One side has instruments, the other does not. There is a newer disagreement over whether a kitchen should be allowed on Church premises. Very conservative Church of Christ don't like it, but southern people love their potlucks, so they grumble and get overruled.

But even so far as donating to an orphanage that another church already donates to, they won't do it. They try to stay as separate from each other as possible. They don't want the other church *stealing* their members. (As an example) My father was actually a Baptist and isn't picky about churches. My mother is the hardcore one. He switched for her sake when they got married. But one of my sisters switched Baptist after she was older, had kids, got married etc. Mom told her she was likely going to hell. /sigh
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Princess Artemis
Posted: Apr 12 2012, 10:46 AM
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Very likely. There is Christian Dominionism, but be very wise when you read on the subject. Many people use the term to describe any politically active Christian and spin wild conspiracy theories using it. It doesn't take much looking through the various Christian cults to realize there is a lot of control going on there (ETA: International Church of Christ was the one I was in, that's different!!! than Church of Christ...plus, I think it fell apart after one of the more influential members woke up, looked around, and said something loudly to everyone). And that's just speaking of Christianity--there are other religions out there that have been bent to control, and some that were used that way to begin with, and some philosophies to free from the control of religion that ended up being just as controlling.

If you look around and find that the ordinary people are more serfs than freemen, there's something out there trying and succeeding in controlling them.

This post has been edited by Princess Artemis on Apr 12 2012, 10:49 AM
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philpot123
Posted: Apr 12 2012, 12:33 PM
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That depends on the denomination, very much so. Yes, each denomination believes they are "right." But often the denominational differences are very minor. Between baptists and Presbyterians you've got church government, baptism, alcohol, and the doctrine of election/predestination. However, the foundational beliefs in the inerrant nature of scripture, divinity of Christ, trinity, salvation by faith, etc etc are the same. The doctrinal differences are there, but it's not a source of contention for the most part. We have local Presbyterian and baptist churches that share services and such. So again, believing that you're right doesn't mean alienating everyone else that thinks a little different.
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Kelkelen
Posted: Apr 12 2012, 03:07 PM
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QUOTE (Vhale @ Apr 12 2012, 11:39 AM)
Today, I kinda think of it as a branding issue. I'm not sure how many different denominations are in the US right now, but there are a LOT of different flavors of Christianity out there. And they all compete and say their way is the right way. But, I'm not sure to what extent other churches do it than my own. I was brought up Church of Christ. They had a disagreement and split into another church, Disciples of Christ. In service, it's all too common that the Church of Christ slips in little notes about the other being bad. How their way is the right way. Don't do the other.

The reason for the big split? Musical instruments during service. Yep. One side has instruments, the other does not. There is a newer disagreement over whether a kitchen should be allowed on Church premises. Very conservative Church of Christ don't like it, but southern people love their potlucks, so they grumble and get overruled.

I think part of it is a sort of "traditional" issue, as well. That is to say, Protestantism from its very roots was about splitting off from the "main" church -- and Protestantism went on to subdivide and subdivide. On the other hand, Catholicism has always by definition been about the idea of a unified church, and attempting via prayer and communication to reconcile differences. Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodox Catholicism still regularly attempt to find a way to unify, but are split on one, maybe two key points (whether or not the Holy Spirit counts as part of a Holy Trinity (i.e., is the Holy Spirit the same being as God, or is it something issuing from but less than God?), and... maybe something else?).

Musical instruments and kitchens? Those do seem like small points to go and have a major theological break over! Then again, there are such tiny differences between Amish sects in the U.S.A. -- like men not being allowed to wear suspenders versus being allowed to wear one suspender, or whether or not it's okay to dye the fabric of your buggy top, or if you have to wear only white shirts or only black bonnets.

I've been uncomfortable at almost every Protestant service I've been to, because they usually included some kind of comparison as to how their church was better than Catholicism -- they weren't promoting their specific Protestant denomination over others, as far as I could tell, but they were definitely making digs at the Catholic church. The Methodist services were fine, though. smile.gif More charismatic groups, like Sunday services at the Goodwill downtown where people put on skits and played rock songs they'd written about God, also tended to be the ones that made (often veiled) disparaging remarks about the Catholic church.

That's not to say that the Catholic church doesn't have its problems. It's been around a loooong time and been responsible for a whole host of awful stuff, and right now it's definitely in a state of crisis where it's desperate to get people to join the church. In general, though, I haven't heard Catholic sermons that knocked the other Christian sects. (I did ONE time -- well, it was even more about knocking non-Christians -- and I spoke with the priest about it afterwards, because it seemed completely unfair, unwelcoming, and counterproductive. Tense conversation...)

This post has been edited by Kelkelen on Apr 12 2012, 03:09 PM
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KageSora
Posted: Apr 19 2012, 02:21 AM
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A while back I stumbled on this blog.

I find him fascinating, really, and was wondering what others think about how he goes about teaching the Word of God?

(Especially those more conservative Roman Catholics, since the ones on Tumblr seem fond of crying "Heretic!" when they find his stuff. Especially the stuff where he points out passages in the Bible that say to love people and calls them out on hating others, namely the LGBTQ community)
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pudding
Posted: Apr 19 2012, 07:53 AM
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I think that going out into the world and teaching what you believe in is a brilliant thing, so long as it is simply teaching. I am an atheist. Usually, I refrain from announcing my lack of belief in a deity to others because, ultimately, the conversation turns into someone trying to convert me over to their religion. While I enjoy an occasional lecture on the fact Jesus was not just a carpenter and often enjoy passover with my friends, I have no intention of changing my religion right now. If I do decide to, it will be on my own, without people pressuring me from all sides, saying I'm going to burn when I die.
But my point and opinion is that teaching religion is fine, so long everyone wants to listen. When you encounter people that really do not want to change from their religion, the person teaching should not pressure them anymore. The person on the receiving side usually gets rather annoyed.

So, how does your religion perceive atheists? From my experience, we usually get a bad rep because of our 'lack of religion'. I once had a bible thrown at me when I tried to back out of what was basically a bully session with someone trying desperately to convert me to their religion.
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prairiecrow
Posted: Apr 19 2012, 10:49 AM
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QUOTE (pudding @ Apr 19 2012, 06:53 AM)
So, how does your religion perceive atheists? From my experience, we usually get a bad rep because of our 'lack of religion'. I once had a bible thrown at me when I tried to back out of what was basically a bully session with someone trying desperately to convert me to their religion.

Honestly, I've never met a Wiccan who had a problem with atheists (and I've been practicing the religion for going on twenty years). This might have something to do with the common Wiccan attitude that (1) there's no need for personal salvation, (2) following our Gods is not something that everybody has to do, and (3) if our Gods want you for Their priest/ess, They're perfectly capable of calling you Themselves.

From that point of view, atheism has no spiritual disadvantages and it's easy to take a live-and-let-live attitude about it. The problems seem to arise with religions where proselytization is considered necessary to "save souls", and therefore the stakes involved when someone doesn't follow that particular religion's God are much higher.

I'm so sorry to hear you were mistreated. Nobody should have to put up with that kind of behaviour.
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Princess Artemis
Posted: Apr 19 2012, 04:43 PM
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QUOTE (KageSora @ Apr 18 2012, 11:21 PM)
A while back I stumbled on this blog.

I find him fascinating, really, and was wondering what others think about how he goes about teaching the Word of God?

I'll have to look a bit more, but so far, what I see is quite interesting.

QUOTE (pudding)
So, how does your religion perceive atheists?


I'm a Christian, and my view is: Not my job to judge.
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philpot123
Posted: Apr 19 2012, 04:52 PM
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QUOTE (Princess Artemis @ Apr 19 2012, 04:43 PM)

I'm a Christian, and my view is: Not my job to judge.

Reminds me of that captioned picture of Jesus preaching...

"So basically, feed them, clothe them, care for them, and leave the judging to me."

"But... what if they're gay? Or worship other gods?"

"... did I stutter?"


There's a difference between "hate," "judging," and having beliefs.
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St. Jimmy
Posted: Jul 11 2012, 05:39 PM
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*revives thread*

So right now, I'm working on converting to Ásatrú (Norse Heathenism, if you didn't know ^^).

For awhile I was agnostic; I didn't think there was a religion that I'd fit in with. But I had all these stray beliefs, and I've been looking to see if there is a religion where they'd fit for awhile. Well, I think I finally did. This just feels right to me. And I also feel that I've been called by the Norse gods.

Problem is, I'm having trouble finding any information to help me. I've found a few websites that seem credible, but it's really hard to tell online. And books on anything but the "main three" religions are impossible to find here. No such luck finding any other heathens around here either. So... is there anyone here who could maybe help me get some information? I don't want to just go into this on feeling alone.
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Dauntingale
Posted: Jul 11 2012, 06:28 PM
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QUOTE (Shiny Hazard Sign @ Nov 5 2011, 08:36 PM)
No one is right. ._. Problem solved.

Yus. I agree. Or just simply, no one knows.

And anyway, I don't think any of you have pancake mix.


This post has been edited by Dauntingale on Jul 11 2012, 06:54 PM
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angelicdragonpuppy
Posted: Jul 11 2012, 06:45 PM
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Christian and happy. \o/
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prairiecrow
Posted: Jul 11 2012, 08:08 PM
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QUOTE (St. Jimmy @ Jul 11 2012, 04:39 PM)
Problem is, I'm having trouble finding any information to help me. I've found a few websites that seem credible, but it's really hard to tell online. And books on anything but the "main three" religions are impossible to find here. No such luck finding any other heathens around here either. So... is there anyone here who could maybe help me get some information? I don't want to just go into this on feeling alone.

As far as finding other Heathens in your area, have you tried the Witches of the World section on Witchvox? Don't let the title mislead you: it's a clearing house for Pagan contacts of all kinds, organized by country right down to the city and town level.

I don't know much about Heathenism, but I wish you the best of luck in your search. smile.gif
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