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What exactly does it mean to be "born again"?

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elfwitch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 12:51 PM
Original message
What exactly does it mean to be "born again"?
Edited on Wed Apr-07-04 12:52 PM by elfwitch
I find the whole concept of being a "born again" Christian really confusing. I mean, if you were Christian in the first place, how could you be born again? What I really want to know is what is it supposed to mean as opposed to what it has come to mean.

Also confusing... Why does it seem that it is only the radical evangelical factions of Christianity that have their members shouting about their born again status? Do all denominations of Christianity have this or only the evangelical ones?

One final thought... Have you noticed that once people become
"born again" they become bigger jerks than they were the first time around.

(NOTE: I make this statement from ONLY my own personal experience with "born again" Christians. I am not making this generalization for all of them, because I haven't met them ALL)
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apnu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 12:52 PM
Response to Original message
1. it's their way of saying
that they had an epiphany about God. Sorta like the scales falling from Saul's eyes and he becomes Paul the Apostle
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elfwitch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 12:55 PM
Response to Reply #1
6. had an epiphany about God?
Or is it more like had an epiphany about Jesus.

See that is another one of those things that really confuses me too. When they say God, they don't mean GOD, they mean Jesus. Which always made me wonder, if God is all powerful, all knowing, all seeing, all everything... Why does God need a vice president?
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sangh0 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 01:02 PM
Response to Reply #6
15. Jesus is considered to be a corporeal manifestation of God
which is why many Christians can refer to them interchangeably
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phantom power Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 01:03 PM
Response to Reply #6
16. According to Christians, Jesus is God

The Holy Trinity: God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Ghost. According to the Christian religion, these three are all facets of the same, single entity.

The Catholics refer to this "three, yet one" thing as one of their "mysteries".

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cheezus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 01:27 PM
Response to Reply #16
34. the finest example of christian doublethink
There is only one god.

There are three gods. There has always been three gods.

There is only one god. There has always been only one god.
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sangh0 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 01:44 PM
Response to Reply #34
50. And that's a fine example of fundamentalistic literalism
"One thing can not be three things"
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LiberalFighter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-09-04 12:09 AM
Response to Reply #34
222. And I thought we were only suppose to worship one god
Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
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trogdor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 01:04 PM
Response to Reply #6
17. If you're a trinitarian, it's all the same thing.
God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. Three sides of the same entity - the Trinity.
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GreenPartyVoter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 01:30 PM
Response to Reply #17
39. ice, water, steam = H20 same concept :)
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apnu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 01:14 PM
Response to Reply #6
27. well... it gets kinda messy at that point.
God = Jesus AND God != Jesus (!= means "does not equal") It's hard to explain. Kinda like saying that Christianity is a monotheistic religion, yet they have the Father, Son and Holy Ghost who are all separate and the same at the same time. And then there is the Catholics venerating the Saints as demi-gods, or mini-gods.

But yeah, normally when people are "born again" they become assholes. My experience with them tells me that usually people who are "born again" usually are so to please another (such as a lover) or that they have a massive guilt complex about something and choose to be "born again" to save themselves from whatever that guilt is. The "ex-gay" community is choked with those kind of people.

I pity "born agains" deeply, because not one has been able to prove to me that they are happier "born again" than they were before. And it's a hard thing to walk away from once started. Because to say that you aren't in w/ the "born again" crowd (to them) is to say you aren't "in" with God. So they may become disaffected over time, but often feel trapped in the group.

Much like a cult...

All of them has this un-natural passion for Christ that borders on forced and fake. They say they are happy, but to look in their eyes will show you that they are anything but happy. Every single one that's come to my door to stump the "bible god" or people I've known personally who were born again all have the exact same bewildered, blank dilated pupil look in their eyes. I asked one if he was high on drugs once and he told me that he was "high on Jesus" He then preceded to really insist that I come to church with him to the point that I was wondering if he was trying to pick me up. Altogether its very cultish to me, they often rely on a few people to be their source of information and shun mainstream society. They are constantly trying to recruit more people to their church, and their church functions are bizzare... often speaking in tongues, channeling angels and other cultish behavior such as dress and language codes. And then they trap their members within the organization, and sometimes (look at the TV evangelicals) attempt to get the members to donate their personal wealth to the group.

So in many ways, born agains are like Scientologists... its really scary IMO.

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sangh0 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 01:20 PM
Response to Reply #27
29. I'm born-again. Thanks for calling me an asshole
It sure is a wonderful way to demonstrate how you're not an asshole.

not one has been able to prove to me that they are happier "born again" than they were before

So now I have to prove my happiness to you?
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cheezus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 01:29 PM
Response to Reply #29
36. nobody called you an asshole
calm down.


actually, as a born again, maybe you would do best to answer the question and explain exactly what it means.


besides. aren't you supposed to turn the other cheek or something?
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sangh0 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 01:32 PM
Response to Reply #36
41. I think the question has been answered by several here
including myself. As far as turning the other cheek, I'm not a Christian, and I'm definitely not perfect. I'm a sinner, just like you.
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leesa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 01:57 PM
Response to Reply #41
58. You aren't a christian? What were you born-again to, if I might ask?
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sangh0 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 02:03 PM
Response to Reply #58
60. No, I'm not a Christian
Edited on Wed Apr-07-04 02:05 PM by sangh0
I do not identify with any one specific religion. I was not born again *TO* something. I was just "born again"

You might want to read this post:
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
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apnu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 01:29 PM
Response to Reply #29
37. no i never said that.
And I haven't met you personally... you (like me) are someone on a message board. I'm sorry if my opinion insults you, but it is what it is. So I have no idea if you are truly content with your life or not. (i.e. happiness) But, someone who doesn't like criticism no matter how course it may be, leads me to believe that perhaps you're a bit too sensitive about your conversion.

I never said I wasn't an asshole, so if you think I'm a jerk because of my opinion, thats fine. You're entitled to call me a jerk until the cows come home. More Power to you.

I disagree with the whole born again idea. Having a spiritual epiphany about your/a/someone else's God is fine and dandy. Spirituality is a personal thing and should remain there, when it gets organized bad things occur.

I don't think you need to be "born again" in order to worship a god. I think the spirituality you have inside you is always there, and perhaps you "lost" it somewhere and found it again.

But, what you do is your business, and you're entitled to be born again and again and again... What's important to me is that you are happy with your decision, because it's a big one... and going on the defensive because I PERSONALLY haven't met a born again that wasn't an asshole makes me believe that your aren't entirely happy... IF that's true you have my sympathies. IF that IS NOT true, and you are really happy, then I'm wrong and I'll be the first to admit it.

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sangh0 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 01:40 PM
Response to Reply #37
43. You rpost was not insulting. It was offensive
It's funny how we all seem to know that it's offensive to stereotype racial/ethnic minorities, but it seems to be OK to generalize and stereotype the religious as cult members and assholes. You can hide behind the fact that your post wasn't addressed to any specific individual, but if you re-read your post, I think you'd see how heavily it relies on ad hominem attacks on the religious, as opposed to reason and logic.

I disagree with the whole born again idea

And so it's OK to call those who feel differently "assholes" and "cult members" and all the other slurs you used?

perhaps you "lost" it somewhere and found it again.

Perhaps you should let me decide on the source of my personal religious beliefs. Perhaps you should just keep out of that part my life. I don't see how speculating about this serves any purpose other than giing you another opportunity to imply that the beliefs of the religious are not genuinely held.

What's important to me is that you are happy with your decision,

I don't believe you. I don't think you give a whit about my happiness.

and going on the defensive because I PERSONALLY haven't met a born again that wasn't an asshole makes me believe that your aren't entirely happy

Who said I was entirely happy? Have you taken a look at who is sitting in the Oval Office? And your conclusion about my happiness and the way you base it on your experiences with OTHER PEOPLE, is EXACTLY what I'm talking about. It's stereotyping

If I said that I thought all or most blackcs were theives because the blacks I had met were thieves, I'd be ridiculed for being a racist, and deservedly so. But if you do it against people of faith, it's OK.
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apnu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 02:41 PM
Response to Reply #43
70. Interesting
Edited on Wed Apr-07-04 02:43 PM by apnu
You go after me by putting words in my mouth, taking things out of context by using piece meal fragments of my post and then assault me with logic when I can clearly see you using straw man and red herring arguments.

I'm not gonna debate logic with you, when fallacies occur in an opinionated conversation, it's pointless.

First off where are the ethnic and racial minorities in this conversation? I haven't seen any come up until you presented me with a red herring defense. (I'm not debating logic here, bringing race into this conversation is a red herring act, any basic book on logic will show you that it's an act of changing the subject)

As for born agains being a minority, that's a myth... born agains are Christians and last I checked, Christians are an overwhelming majority in the set of religious people in the United States. So there's no minority to attack.

And your statement of: "And so it's OK to call those who feel differently "assholes" and "cult members" and all the other slurs you used?" Asshole may be a slur, and it may not. Most born agains have been real nasty to me when I DARE to disagree with their choice, hence my opinion that most born agains are jerks. Which is my opinion, based off my personal experience. As for cult status, that's not a slur, not even close to being a slur. The points I used in reference to cults is culled from FBI and psychological indicators to determine cult status. I stand by my reasons of cult status BASED OFF MY PERSONAL EXPERIENCE. Does it mean that it's a fact? Nope. Personal experience of one person does not a fact make.

In the whole "perhaps you "lost" it somewhere and found it again." fragment you disagree with... I suggest you go back and re-read that part in whole again. My point is, I believe people always have it within them to be as spiritual as they want, and that the level of intensity for that spirituality has ups and downs, and so I don't believe being born again is necessary or that it even exists. I think its just an act of psychology to convince a specific person to change their direction in life and pursue another path.

You may not believe me, but I do give a wit about your happiness, I take spirituality very seriously, and I've seen all too often people falling into it without properly analyzing their decision and acting upon that analysis and then falling away from their god, or worse, becoming some insurable version of a spiritual dry-drunk. (I'm not saying that you specifically are one!) To ME this is wrong, but, I do honestly, wish happiness to everyone and I want people to be comfortable with their religion. And I rarely see comfortable born agains, as I've said before.

However, my concern with people being happy has nothing to do with expressing my opinion on things. If I allowed that to affect my expression of free speech, I'd never say anything because everything that is ever said is offensive and upsetting to someone somewhere. And I'm not going to do that, I will speak, and I will speak the truth as I understand it, and if other people don't want to listen to me, or disagree with my statements, I'm not going to loose one second of sleep over that.

Now, this whole statement: Who said I was entirely happy? Have you taken a look at who is sitting in the Oval Office? And your conclusion about my happiness and the way you base it on your experiences with OTHER PEOPLE, is EXACTLY what I'm talking about. It's stereotyping This doesn't make much sense to me. I mentioned specifically about personal happiness, satisfaction within your personal life. Political happiness is a different matter altogether, and I don't think that any person (regardless of political belief) will ever be 100% politically happy. And where is the sterotyping... I listed my reasons based off PERSONAL EXPERIENCE to explain how I came to the opinion that born again is cultish. If that offends you, OK you're offended, that's the price of free expression.

And then this you said:

And so it's OK to call those who feel differently "assholes" and "cult members" and all the other slurs you used?

I'll refer you to the complete text when I first introduced the word "assholes" here in case you were too irritated to read the full text:

But yeah, normally when people are "born again" they become assholes. My experience with them tells me that usually people who are "born again" usually are so to please another (such as a lover) or that they have a massive guilt complex about something and choose to be "born again" to save themselves from whatever that guilt is. The "ex-gay" community is choked with those kind of people.

Notice that I said NORMALLY in there. That means I'm not saying that the set of all born agains are assholes, I said that in my experience born agains are normally assholes... meaning most of the born agains that I've met are jerks. Arguing my opinion instead of discussing it or proving me wrong isn't helping any one, nor is it proving a point. You can't argue opinion and expect to get anywhere but pissed off. I'm merely trying to explain what I said and why I said what I said not debate the issue of "assholes".

So calm down, I never said that you, specifically, are an asshole, I said that most born agains I've met are assholes. And let's make this clear... my posts weren't offensive, they were offensive to you... don't say I'm stereotyping anything when you use language that suggests that you are beholden to all people's opinion. I'll say it again, my statements are not offensive, they are offensive to you.

As I said before, I'm sorry if I pissed you off, and you're entitled to call me a jerk until the cows come home. Go a head and start a dingbat poll about me if it makes you feel any better. Call me a Jesus hater, call me any word offensive or other wise you like, you're entitled to it, and I thank you for voicing your view on my comments.

On edit: fixed some grammar
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outinforce Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 03:01 PM
Response to Reply #70
74. A Suggestion
This is meant as a friendly suggestion from someone who has been on DU for sometime. Please read it just as that -- a suggestion which you are free to adopt. Or not.

You say "Asshole may be a slur, and it may not. Most born agains have been real nasty to me when I DARE to disagree with their choice, hence my opinion that most born agains are jerks. Which is my opinion, based off my personal experience."

My own experience is that, at least among people I happen to know, no one likes to be called an asshole. I know I don't. And, again, in my own experience, I never use the word "asshole" as anything other than a slam.

Because what people believe about things like God and ultimate reality is so deeply personal, people can and do take deep offense when someone voices an opinion that says something like this: "Most vegetarians I have ever know are assholes. So my opinion is that most vegetarians are assholes".

I find that if I simply state my own experience, "Most vegetarians I have ever met are assholes", then people may think that I might need to get out more and meet other vegetarians. But, unless they happen to be a vegetarian I know, most vegetarians will not be insulted or offended.

But if I use my own limited experience with vegetarians to then say, "Since most vegetarians I know are assholes, most vegetarians in the world must be assholes", people, including people who are not even vegetarians, get offended.

As I said, just a friendly suggestion.

(By the way, if anyone looking at this is a vegetarian, please know that I have never actaully encountered any vegetarian who was/is an asshole. My use of vegetarians was simply for illustrative purposes. Sorry if I offended anyone.)
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apnu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 03:42 PM
Response to Reply #74
90. thanks for the suggestion...
... I've been known to use course language from time to time, and that bugs people. But, I don't believe in "cleaning" my language so I don't offend someone. That sounds like self-censorship to me.

I understand your point that religion (like all convections in life) are deeply personal, but I find it irritating when people don't read the language of posters, and when someone says "my experience" and terms like "most" and "many", they clearly mis read them as as personal attack, when that's rarely the case. But that's me, I've been accused of being an intellectual snob before, maybe that has something to do with it.

But thanks for bringing up your point, its a good one. And though I chafe at the idea of curbing my speech and thoughts so I don't offend, I'll consider your point and see what comes out of my brain after consideration.
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outinforce Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 04:02 PM
Response to Reply #90
105. Some Additional Suggestions
I think I understand your belief in the importance of not engaging in self-censorship.

Permit, however, to share with you my own experience. I hope you find it useful in your considderations.

First, my experience in posting to websites such as this one -- or any other on the 'net, is that it is very important -- I would say almost vital -- to use language very precisely. I have found this to be the case because the only thing a person can see, when s/he reads something you have posted, is what you have written.

If you sit down with a person and have a discussion, there are many ways -- other than the words you actually use -- that communicate to the other person your thoughts. The inflection of your words, the expression on your face, the way you use or don't use your hands to make a point, the loudness or softness of your voice as you speak -- all of these things help a person who is sitting with you and listening to you understand you more fully.

With communication on the internet, though, all of those visual and audial clues disappear. There is only the written word. It becomes very important, therefore, if I want to be understood, to express my written thoughts and ideas as I mean them.

I have often found that if others mis-interpet what I have written, it is usually my fault and not theirs. I have failed, in those cases, to say and write exactly what I meant.

A second point I would make is that not being sensitive, when writing on the internet, to things that offend people, gets in the way of communicating the actual points I am trying to make.

I have found that using words or phrases or sentences which people find offensive turns the discussion away from what I am trying to communicate and changes it into a discussion in which the offended person tells me that I have offended him or her, and then has me saying that he or she is being too sensitive. The disucssion usually ends with hurt feelings and the issue at hand not being discussed.

My experience is that if I am trying to make a point that I consider importabnt for another person to understand, then using offensive language is just counter-productive.

That is not, of course, to say, that I never engage in robust discussion or that other people consider me to always be "nice". Sometimes I use phrases that I know are provocative. But I do that in the hopes of provoking thought -- and suggesting, through my use of provocative words and phrases, that there might be another way of looking at a given issue.

But provocative words and phrases are not the same thing, at least as I see it, as offensive words and phrases. Offensive words and phrases hurt. Provocative words an phrases shake people's thoughts.

One final observation, if I may. I have also found that saying two words go a long way -- a very long way -- in assuring people that I do care about their feelings and that I can disagree with someone else without being disagreeable.

Those two words, which someone else once told me to be very liberal in the use of, are these: I'm sorry.

Hope this helps as your consider.
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apnu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 08:01 PM
Response to Reply #105
164. I see the kindness in your heart...
and I respect that. I was taking part in a different thread on if bush co are racists the other day and had an interesting conversation about the importance of both MLK and Malcom X. I'm going somewhere with this so hang on for a moment if you please

MLK was a dreamer, and dreamers inspire us to the cause. Without dreamers no cause would have direction. Dreamers provide the fire that fuels the cause and gathers others to the banner of the movement. Dreamers are noble in this way.

Malcom X was a realist, and realists know the down and dirty reality of how things must get done. They get their hands dirty, and provide the cause with the willpower to continue. They face the daunting task before them and never flinch. Realists are noble in this way.

I think that you, outinforce, may be a dreamer. And we need you to keep on dreaming, it's people like you that give me, the realist, hope that we can win this fight against the fascists squatting on our country.

I hope I didn't make you blush by blowing sunshine up your ass, but your eloquence is refreshing to me, and I want to give props where props are due. Keep this stuff up and you'll forever be cool in my book for what its worth.
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sangh0 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 03:08 PM
Response to Reply #70
76. You are obviously a waste of time
Edited on Wed Apr-07-04 03:11 PM by sangh0
so I'll make one point quickly and simply with the hopes you won't be so confused this time.

I said that in my experience born agains are normally assholes

Have you considered the possibility that your experiences in this regard are NOT NORMAL?

That's why I brought up the analogy (it's was meant as an analogym not an accusation) of black thieves. If every black I had met was a thief, would you say my experiences with blacks was "normal"?

If no, then why would it be reasonable to assume that your ABnormal experiences with born agains indicate anything about "normal" born agains?

I am making a point about deducing what the "normal" born-again is based on anecdotal information. And while you may not be a racist, racism (as well as other forms of bigotry) often use anecdotal evidence to mask their ignorance.
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apnu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 03:21 PM
Response to Reply #76
85. Uh... I did say that... but OK.
I thought it was clear when I highlighted several times about my personal experience. I don't know about my experience being abnormal or normal, because I am only one person on a planet of some 6 billion people. So, clearly, my personal experience cannot, logically, be used as fact or evidence by any stretch of the imagination.

You, yourself, cannot say that you are a "normal" born again, as the same rules apply to you as well. If it's possible that my experience in 30 years of life is abnormal, then it's also possible that your reborn faith is abnormal among st the set of reborn Christians. And I did say that perhaps you are an exception.

I think we are both intelligent enough to avoid analogies, and I'd like to point out that bringing in another hot button topic to a conversation on a separate hot button topic is just tossing fuel in the fire, and distracting from the issue, hence the red herring. So let's avoid it shall we?

Well, I'm finished debating this topic with you, I've made my points and I'll stand by them as they are on the board for all to see, I never once accused you personally of being an asshole, however I'd like to note that you descended to a personal and direct attack by calling me "a waste" in the subject of your post being: You are obviously a waste So let it be known, that you descended to a personal attack on me specifically.
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sangh0 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 03:54 PM
Response to Reply #85
97. You don't know if your experinces are normal or not
but you have no hesitation in saying that born-agains are "normally" assholes.

So, clearly, my personal experience cannot, logically, be used as fact or evidence by any stretch of the imagination.

But that didn't stop you from stating what "normal" born agains are like.

You, yourself, cannot say that you are a "normal" born again, as the same rules apply to you as well.

Which is why I made no assertions about what "normal" born agains are like.

And I did say that perhaps you are an exception.

But you can't possibly know if you're only going on your own experiences.

I think we are both intelligent enough to avoid analogies

I think it's stupid to even try to avoid analogies. They are useful aids to communication

I'd like to point out that bringing in another hot button topic

I don't see racial stereotyping as seperate from religious stereotyping.

I never once accused you personally of being an asshole

No, you just called the "normal" born-agains "assholes". Quite noble of you.
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apnu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 07:40 PM
Response to Reply #97
158. geez... read my original post
Here's the entire paragraph that pissed you off:

But yeah, normally when people are "born again" they become assholes. My experience with them tells me that usually people who are "born again" usually are so to please another (such as a lover) or that they have a massive guilt complex about something and choose to be "born again" to save themselves from whatever that guilt is. The "ex-gay" community is choked with those kind of people.

You keep harping on that first sentence, read the whole paragraph please. My stance is based off personal experience, it's not evidence to anyone but me. And opinions are like assholes -- everyone has one.

If you're going to quote me, then quote me properly, stop using journalism spin tactics of fragmented quoting to skew what I said.

And again you are trying desperately to red herring me w/ racism... its not gonna work. I have not committed any stereotype error. Buy specifically saying that I've never met a nice born again. That's not a stereotype, you're reading stereotype into my statements. Take them as what they say, and stop putting words in my mouth.

By your rules of stereotyping, then each and every DU poster that's ever said a blanket statement about freepers is committing the sin of stereotyping. Since you have over 1000 posts, there is a strong possibility that you have committed a stereotype error of that nature.

Of course I don't know the path of your faith, I don't know you from Adam, and I've said that much several times on my own... I don't understand how you think you can successfully attack me with that point. When, by my own admission, I've said that you could be different and I can't quantify that data.
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PassingFair Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 03:51 PM
Response to Reply #76
95. Funny
EVERY born-again I know is an *hole, too.
Maybe we need a Gallup Poll...
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sangh0 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 04:01 PM
Response to Reply #95
102. Go ahead and take a poll....You'll lose
The US is one of the most religious nations on the planet. If you want to think that numbers will make you right, you're in for a rude awakening.
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apnu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 08:52 PM
Response to Reply #102
171. that would be interesting to see
Yeah the US is very religious, but that religion is spread all over the place. The poll results on if born agains are a*holes would be interesting. Now, a poll on if Christians are a*holes would be an instant loss for him, but born agains are a different story, because they are a small segment of the Christian population in the US and I think such a poll would show how Christians feel about born agains.

Could go either way IMO.
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sangha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 10:32 PM
Response to Reply #171
188. You'd be surprised at how many born-agains there are
and how many of them don't wave it in your face.
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outinforce Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 04:09 PM
Response to Reply #95
113. A Suggestion for You
This is only a suggestion.

Take it or leave it.

I know many people who tell me that they are born again Christian folks.

Some are people I find offensive and obnoxious -- people I think you would call assholes.

But I also know others who are warm, kind, considerate, and non-offensive people.

It may be that you live some place where the only born again Christain fols are obnoxious and offensive.

If so, then there's little you can do to meet the sort of born again folks I know.

But if you ever have the opportunity to do so, try to meet some born again folks who are like my second group of friends.

They are out there. And they are not assholes.
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LiberalFighter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-09-04 12:14 AM
Response to Reply #95
223. Would born again virgin be one too?
:bounce:
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AnlaShok Donating Member (322 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 03:19 PM
Response to Reply #70
83. Here is the difference.....
There is a difference between people who are Born Again and people who loudly proclaim that they are Born again every chance they get. A former friend of mine decided that his lifestyle was offensive to God and Jesus and quite loudly and publicly "repented." Since that time, he never passed on any opportunity to tell everyone about it, at great length. Things got quite bad when he told us we were sending our children to Hell for letting them read Harry Potter. He even went so far as to challenge my wife's faith, demand that she "prove" she was a Christian, at which point he would forgive her.

Needless to say, this person is no longer in our lives.

This is a person Apnu and I both knew. This is one of the most visible cases where a person calls himself "Born Again" and becomes a hypocritical "Holier-than-thou" jackass.

Most people, when they go through a religious epiphany, are a bit more restrained about it... if it's a real revelation. Those that advertise their renewed faith as loudly as possible are usually trying to prove it more to themselves as to anyone else and become insufferable Bible-thumpers as a result.

As for me, I strongly regret the loss of one who had been a good friend for almost 15 years. After all his other friends had refused to deal with him anymore, I stuck around for another year, hoping he'd calm down a bit and stop being so outwardly judgmental of everyone around him. I still hope he finds true peace with himself and his beliefs.
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apnu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 03:44 PM
Response to Reply #83
92. Amen
... DAMMIT AnlaShok you had to bring HIM up... crap... I'm off to teach now and I'm gonna have that JERK on my mind. ARRRRG! (j/k)
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sangh0 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 03:56 PM
Response to Reply #83
98. Good point
One of the problems with basing your opinons on one's own experience with born-agains is that it's the obnoxious ones who get attention. You may know more born-agains than you realize because some of them aren't advertising their beliefs.
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apnu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 04:09 PM
Response to Reply #98
111. I'm open to that possibility
and if that's the case, then I must know more decent born-agains, but I have no way of verifying that. Pity really, I love to see the intensity and truth of a person's faith, I think it's one of the things that makes our species very special.
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sangh0 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 04:15 PM
Response to Reply #111
119. Are you really?
You've already made repeated characterizations of born agains based on your experiences and nothing but your experiences. Not only that, but you've defended them as being appropriate and nothing in any of your posts suggests that you are open to that possibility. In addition to mischaracterizing them based on your experiences (aka "stereotyping") you have also depicted Christian beliefs (ALL Christian belief, and not just the born-agains) as requiring a suspension of belief in fact and science.

Would you blame me if I have my doubts concerning your openness to the possibility?

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apnu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 07:29 PM
Response to Reply #119
157. doubt all you want
but I said what I said -- I'm open to the possibility. As a member of what could be called the cult of science, I have to, as a tennant of the faith of science, be open to all possibilities.

Mischaracterizing? That's a silly thing for you to say when you've shown time and time again that you can't read my posts in the exact language that I used, and you can't quote me properly without using a fragment taken out of context; still you accuse me of mischaracterizing? LOL Pot meet Kettle.

Coming to a decision on personal experience isn't stereotyping. To stereotype, I would have to say something like ALL of people X are dumb. Which I never said. My responses have been carefully worded to leave open the possibility that I could be wrong, I must to this to adhere to my own belief system.
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sangha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 10:48 PM
Response to Reply #157
192. The cult of science?
Edited on Wed Apr-07-04 10:50 PM by sangha
I remember that. I used to be a member!

Do they still keep all those skulls in the clubhouse?

Coming to a decision on personal experience isn't stereotyping. To stereotype, I would have to say something like ALL of people X are dumb.

Actually, that's not true. Stereotyping allows for exceptions such as "a credit to his race", etc...Basically, in order to come to any sort of rational conclusion (that is, one based on scientific principles - and you do claim to worship at the altar of reason) you MUST form a hypothesis, design experiments (which usually involved a technique known as "double-blind" which includes a control group) to test the hypothesis, and then based on the findings and whether they were predictable or not, adjust your hypothesis and run more experiments until you prove your hypothesis, at which point it becomes a theory.

The evidence you have submitted in support of your assertion was collected without any observance of scientific principles and so your conclusion is devoid of reason. There was no control group, so you had no way of knowing how many non-born-agains are also assholes, and you don't even know how many of the undeclared (people who have not explicitely stated their religious beliefs) are non-asshole born-agains. For someone to have such a strong belief in something that is not supported by reason, particularly in someone who claims to greatly respect the power of reason and science, demonstrates a surprising irrationality, even if you do allow for some minimal amount of doubt.

Until you can provide some stronger evidence, I don't see how you could quantify (ie many, most, etc) the level of assholedom in the born-again community. The only thing your experiences with born-agains reveals is that the born-agains that you have met are mostly a bunch of assholes. You can't extrapolate anything about anyone else from the sort of data you have collected because of the way in which it was collected.
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outinforce Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 04:18 PM
Response to Reply #83
123. An Observation, If I May
My observation -- you are a very good and decent person. THe sort of friend I would like to have.

Another observation -- your friend of 15 years is, I think, a person to be pitied. You don't actually say so, but my guess is that you, your wife, and perhaps even your children were hurt by things this friend said or did.

Even so, you hung in there with him for a whole year. That's real friendship.

It is so sad when people, in their desire to share what they consider to be good news for themselves, become obnoxious, judgmental, and offensive. Because what they end up doing is exactly the reverse of what they think they are doing. They drive people away from the God they think has saved them.

It's too bad he is out of your life. He could, I think, use a true friend to point out to him the effect his behavior is having on people. It just might wake him up.
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apnu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 07:44 PM
Response to Reply #123
159. Yes
I was there with AnalaShok through that ordeal, however I didn't know the person in question as long as he did. AnalaShok and I go back as friends for 14 years (go a head and ask him), but this other person wasn't really in my circle, and I had moved away from AnalaShok for about 10 years and then came back to town.

This guy, AnalaShok is talking about is very tragic, and we both pity him.

You seem like a keen guy outinforce, I hope you hang around here for a loooooong time.
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Indiana_Dem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 10:04 PM
Response to Reply #83
184. I know the story! I have relatives like this!
Here I am, a born-again Christian myself, and it's like they don't believe what I say because I don't go to church every Sunday and Wednesday and am not involved in organized religion!!! They send me books all the time about being "saved" like they think I am going to hell in a handbasket. I don't know why they don't listen to me. I probably know more about religion than they'll ever know because all they listen to is their own pastor and what books the church recommends!!! AARGG! They are also strong Bushites and I can't even mention anything against the present administration or against Republicans!!! I get rebuked! They are always very giddy and happy and they appear like nothing ever goes wrong for them and if I do one bit of compaining or worrying or anything like that, they direct me towards God and say how all I need is faith and everything will be fine......like I don't know that already. If I am one bit pessimistic about anything they just look at me with a puzzled look and say nothing. Drives me crazy. It's almost like a holier than thou attitude like they're more perfect in their faith than I am. Unfortunately, I can't drop them like one could a friend like you've described!!! We just avoid them more often than we would otherwise.
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SharonAnn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 10:16 PM
Response to Reply #184
185. Aaah, religion is truly the opiate of the masses.
Or something like that.

Keep them so busy with religion that they won't notice what's being done to them and stolen from them. Like their democracy!
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 04:09 PM
Response to Reply #29
112. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
sangh0 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 04:16 PM
Response to Reply #112
121. What's so funny about it?
:shrug:
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 04:21 PM
Response to Reply #121
125. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
sangh0 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 04:32 PM
Response to Reply #125
133. I'm not a Christian
I'd like to suggest that you read the thread (you might even want to make a habit of it) so that you can see that "born again" is an idea that is not limited to Christians.

Ever hear of reincarnation?
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bobbyboucher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 08:37 PM
Response to Reply #133
168. Oh sorry, you were Ghandi in another life.
I just couldn't tell. It was Ghandi right?
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apnu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 09:06 PM
Response to Reply #168
173. simmer down please
sangh0 and I have been going round and round on this topic and we're both a bit testy, so give the guy a break OK?
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sangha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 10:36 PM
Response to Reply #173
190. Don't sweat it apnu
as much as he wants to misportray me as insensitive, I've been around the block enough times for people to know I'm no softie. Let him rant. He only discredits himself. Even the people who don't like me don't say that. Contentious bastard, but not a softie.

Besides, he kind of grows on you and by now, I think I'll need some mold remover
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apnu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 10:52 PM
Response to Reply #190
193. LOL
good point... he does sort of grow on you.
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outinforce Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 04:34 PM
Response to Reply #125
134. Good Heavens!
It is my observation here that we have someone who is judging another.

I'm not quite sure how it is possible, using only whaty a person has posted on the World Wide Web, to arrive at a conclusion that another person is or is not "seriously" trying to "walk in the light of Christ".

I am even more baffled by the thoguht that anyone could ever conclude, again simply by reading what another person has posted on the WWW, that someone is in the "Bush Christian category".

It's all just so amazing.
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bobbyboucher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 08:35 PM
Response to Reply #134
167. Don't be amazed,
just alert the mods.
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outinforce Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-08-04 09:05 AM
Response to Reply #167
207. Heavens NO!
Alert the mods, you say?

I think not.

I think, rather, that I shall simply sit back and watch.

As others have said, though, I, too, may need some mold remover.
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Gin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 04:35 PM
Response to Reply #29
135. it's an actual experience...and a good one...but..it is not the end...it's
a "beginning."

Most who have the experience think they are finished and heaven is theirs...as in the rapture..... and all they need to do is convert others to their way of thinking...the truth is...the experience is only limited by our beliefs...and "there" is the rub.

Limiting beliefs stop the experience dead in its tracks...expansive beliefs make it possible to "do as much and more" than the man named Jesus did.

We bind ourselves to the hell we create.

Good for you Sango....it's a good thing you have experienced.... and so much better that you are not stuck in some theology.

Gin
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sangh0 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 04:41 PM
Response to Reply #135
139. Thank you, Gin
.
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Indiana_Dem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 09:31 PM
Response to Reply #27
178. Thanks for assuming I'm an asshole.
I consider myself "born-again" as I've said many times before here. The reason I consider myself born-again is because even though I somewhat believed in God in my younger years, my family never went to church or talked about religion and I never had any formal teaching about anything religious....never even went with any friends. When I was in my early 20s, I had an experience after searching for spiritual answers and made a commitment to receive Christ as my Savior and realized this was the answer I was searching for. It was like an awakening of my faith and I base the "born-again" phrase on these words:

John 3:3-8
"Jesus answered and said to him, 'Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.' Nicodemus said to Him, "How can a man be born when he is old? He cannot enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born, can he? Jesus answered, 'Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that i said to you, "You must be born again." The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit."

That's why I say I am "born-again". I was born physically of my flesh but then in my 20s I feel I was born in my spirit.

I agree, most people who say they are "born-again" seem to be of the stereotypical sort. I am one of the exceptions. I am very liberal and believe strongly in separation of church and state. My thinking is that if God gives us a choice whether to choose to believe in Him or not then so, too, should the government. Unfortunately, religion is playing too much a part in government and THAT is where I feel many non-discerning believers are being misled. That as well as no learning or teaching of the past history of what happens when government and church/religion intermingle. Very dangerous thing to consider.

I do not belong to any organized church or organization because I choose to do my own thinking after 5 years of attending a non-denominational pentecostal church. During the 5 years of attendance and making many comparisons of different denominations, I gathered a good foundation of biblical principles but after I attained that knowledge there were some doctrines I felt did not coincide with what I read in the bible myself. There are a few churches that adhere to my beliefs but none near me so I choose not to attend any at all.

The main thing I keep in mind, of course, is the Golden Rule of treating others as you would want to be treated, however, I also go by what Jesus said about the 2 new commandments to overrule the other 10. Those 2 include loving your God and loving your brother. If you do those 2 things, you won't break the other 10. I don't always do it, but it's a goal I constantly strive for. What the present administration is doing is clearly not representing what the words above command to do. I have to add I've always been a Democrat, too!!

Sorry if these things have already been pointed out by others but your reply offended me and my beliefs, and this is as far as I've gone in reading the replies under this post! Please do not sack every born-again Christian in the same bag! I'm on your side! This is a big tent!
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apnu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 11:12 PM
Response to Reply #178
196. Well sorry to offend, but I still stand on my point.
Edited on Wed Apr-07-04 11:13 PM by apnu
on edit: fixed some grammar

Because, I specifically crafted my post to show that:
1) I never said "all" are assholes. I don't know you so I don't know if your an asshole, but I'll guess that you aren't.

2) Its based on my experience having lived in America for my whole life (30 years), in 20 different towns in 4 different states.

3) I've witnessed a lot of cultish behavior (in the legal sense -- thats not an insult) from them. See AnlaShok's post about our mutual friend for some clues.

Offense, particularly online, is a fact of life. Its going to happen, and frankly there are elements far worse that I out there who are really offensive to whatever form Christianity takes. I'm sorry to offend you but remember I wasn't singling a person out.

I get offended when people preach their religion to me. The way I see it, who are they to tell me what I should believe in? I don't see you doing that. Yet, born agains still knock on my door with annoying consistency. I have a sign that says "no Bible thumpers welcome." and the born agains still knock on my door, but the Mormons leave me alone now, so maybe there is an upside to the sign. It's amazing that so few of those that knock on my door have trouble with "Get the fuck off my porch" But, I don't know how to express to them that I don't want their conversation. *sigh*

Your faith is your faith, and that's cool. Be true to your faith and keep up with the Golden Rule -- it's a good one. I don't hate Christians or any other religion. My problem is with the people that ruin it for the rest of us. Those are the assholes, maybe I wasn't clear about that I shoot these things off kind quick sometimes and I miss points and have to play catch up later. I'm still in the cult of science here, but I respect anybody who has real faith and practices what they preach. I'm a bit awed by that, but then I'm awed by anything that I can do. (Which is a lot of things, like how do NHL snipers get those wacky rebound shots! Amazing!)

You have my respect, but I'm still a Doubting Thomas. And, I think it's groovy that you aren't a fundie, by your story, you seem to be more of a real Christian because, let's face it, if people who called themselves Christians really practiced what they preached... would they still vote for the GOP? Nope.
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Indiana_Dem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 11:33 PM
Response to Reply #196
197. All is forgiven!!! :)
LOL. Perhaps I get too defensive because I get tired of being lumped with those born-agains who make the rest of us look bad. It's not your fault that I feel like I have to defend myself because of the way they act and make the rest of us look bad. I've read the rest of the posts (most of them) and it looks as though things have been cleared up for the most part.
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apnu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 11:44 PM
Response to Reply #197
199. cool!
I defiantly understand the "lumped" in bit, I can't stand it either. However, I'm a fallible being and will commit the same "lumping" that I bitch about all the time. Example: I'm sick of being called a Marxist because I wear my liberalism on my sleeve for all to see. I'm sick of hearing shit like: "All you liberal bastards want to do is redistribute my wealth" from my co-workers.

Thanks holyrollerdem I'm glad we could come to an understanding.
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Indiana_Dem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-08-04 12:27 AM
Response to Reply #199
202. I tend to wear mine on my sleeve, too.
I think my co-workers think I'm crazy. I live in a very conservative small town in the Midwest dominated by Republicans. I'm not very confrontational in person but I've become better at it with my age.

Today, I confronted my financial advisor during an appointment about my retirement savings account at work. I wanted to invest in a fund that might include precious metals because I wanted something that might be safe if the economy goes bad. He said, "Why in the world do you think the economy is bad when every economist says it's the best it's ever been?" (I could've strangled the man who looked like boss hog) I proceeded to explain to him how China keeps our dollar propped up by loaning us money and how bad our trade deficit is and how the value of the dollar is deflated and how the euro is worth more right now. I don't think he understood what I was talking about because he said he didn't follow currencies.....can you believe this was my financial advisor???? He just laughed at me. I felt it wasn't worth it after that to discuss it any further. I know he was undoubtedly Republican.

Anyway, I talk to my co-workers all the time about gay rights and things and the "under God" in the pledge and they get silently mad at me and I think they think I'm a hypocrite for claiming I'm a Christian and yet have those views!!! Then I talk about peak oil and the environment, etc. I think I probably drive them crazy. I'm probably as bad as a bible thumper only it's as a liberal Democrat thumper!!
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apnu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-08-04 08:50 AM
Response to Reply #202
205. i work for a financial company
And they are trending jerks! The trends today are to put cash in fast moving markets that have high risk and high yield in an attempt to make up the ass kicking we all took in 1999 to present. Oddly enough, that's the exact same thing that got us all in the mess in the dot-bomb explosion.

Tell "boss hog" to bite you on the ass, put your money where you want, and if you want to put it in a very secure low yield sector so you can weather the storm of our crappy economy, then do it.

I think it's a perfectly acceptable Christian view to support gay rights, and desire a separation of church and state. It shows that you believe that your religious view is personal and you won't commit the sin of shoving Christianity down someone's throat. Bravo for you!
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Indiana_Dem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-08-04 11:45 PM
Response to Reply #205
221. Apnu, I think we've bonded--see you in another thread sometime!!
:toast: :pals:
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apnu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 11:39 PM
Response to Reply #178
198. one other question...
Edited on Wed Apr-07-04 11:45 PM by apnu
First off I'm not bitching about being singled out by born agains here on this board, you call can say what you like, I can take it.

But, I don't understand why I was singled out? Was it the term "asshole"? For example, look at these other full context posts here in this thread that I think are equally condescending to religious beliefs if not worse than what I said.

<snip>
SarahBelle: It means you have two belly-buttons

DenverDem: Unfortunately, to fundamentalists, being "born again" means sticking your head up your ass.

gpandas: bigger jerks ... my experience exactly

Neshanic: It apparently involves an adult Bunny suit, and whips.... eggs optional.

KleverKittie: it means your mother is a masochist n/t

info being: It means you stop thinking

leftofthedial: it means yo mama will be sitting funny for a few days.
</snip>

Some of these are fun, some of these aren't. But if we are going to ditch the stereotype of being whiny liberals ("Pollyannas" one fella in my office calls me and the rest of DU) Then we need to grow much thicker skin about these subjects.

However, Muddleoftheroad in this thread is right, religious intolerance (any intolerance if I take his meaning correctly) is wrong. And I'm guilty of that in my opinion, I'll be the first to admit that fundies and born agains often wash into the same thing for me and those people bug me. Just like Freepers bug everybody here on this board. I have good reasons to feel the way I do, but oddly enough nobody commented on my reasons much just argued about "assholes". I don't get it, we're supposed to be the well reasoned ones.

But flying off the handle and getting in a flame war over our supposed thin skin will only reinforce the Freeper notion that we are whiny and weak. I believe, like Bill Clinton, that listening to criticism, no matter how inflammatory it may be, is an important process with learning. As is making mistakes, we learn better from our mistakes than we do from our successes.

So maybe it's the word "asshole" that set everybody off, I dunno perhaps you can clarify that for me.

edit: fixed spelling.
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Indiana_Dem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-08-04 12:13 AM
Response to Reply #198
201. The only reason I didn't respond to the others is because
#1 I spent all my energy responding to your comment, and I don't like to start more than one discussion at a time (one task person) and #2 it probably wouldn't be worth responding to.

As I was browsing through the replies, yours just happened to be the first one to set me off with the asshole word!! You're right. It was the word. I just don't consider myself an asshole and haven't ever been called an asshole to my face or in writing even though you weren't directing the word at me personally. I just took it personally since I consider myself born-again!

I think I get mad at stereotypical attacks because I have this utopian idea that the Democrat party should be all-inclusive and multi-everything. I have this vision that we all accept each other in order to pursue a greater cause for our values concerning the government and how it should be run. Maybe it's not realistic but it's fun to imagine! For the most part, we are much more tolerant of all of our differences than the Republican party. That's why I choose to remain Democrat. Maybe I'm being stereotypical about the 2 parties! Heck I don't know! It's just my opinion.

I feel I accept atheism, Judaism, paganism , etc. I've NEVER (and I can say never) written anything regarding my views on other people's faith. It seems as though I spend a great deal of time defending my own. I keep my views on other religions to myself and if I do talk about other faiths it is out of inquiry and curiousness on my part. I am open to learning about others and the way they think and believe so I, in turn, like to share my beliefs in order to show others I do have a mind of my own AND I am of a sect of believers that have brought on upon themselves, as a group, a stereotype of intolerance and hate yet , at the same time, I am not that way. I hope that made sense. You may have to read that last sentence slowly!

I just like to promote understanding and tolerance for one another.

I don't believe debating or disagreeing an issue reveals "whininess" on our part. I think it reveals that we have a thicker skin by our willingness to talk it out and come to an understanding. You probably wouldn't see discussions like this continue on Free Republic now would you? They probably wouldn't even hear of it! We just make our skins thicker by exercising and strengthening the art of debate!
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apnu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-08-04 08:40 AM
Response to Reply #201
204. should we have 1,000 posts on the asshole word?
(Joke)

I have no problem with asshole as a word. I've been called an asshole by a representative of just about every group in America. I'm a big supporter of Gay issues (I'm heterosexual) and Feminist issues (I'm male) Because I believe in them deeply, yet homosexuals and feminists have called me an asshole more times than I can count.

And then there's the fact that I work in a moderate conservative corporation and I'm the lone liberal in my division. I've had 8 of those bastards gang up on me at once at a water-cooler "bait the liberal" fest. Needless to say the call me an asshole... heh...

Get used to being called an asshole, and don't be offended by it at all. They are just words from someone who's probably ticked off by some perceived slight that may or may not be true. Human beings are irrational creature and they (should I say we?) are quick to anger and impulsive. Human beings, also, can't stand having criticism tossed at them whither or not that criticism may be true or valid.

I agree with your belief of the Democratic Party as a melting pot of peoples, but we must know the beast that we lay down with. When you have a multi-view group trying to work in concert, there's a 100% chance that everybody is going to annoy everybody else at one time or another. That's the cost of having so many voice form different viewpoints. Its a nice dream, and I believe in it as well, but I also understand that other views, no matter how wacky it may seem to me, are going to come up in a group such as this and sometimes they are gonna piss me off, however, that won't sway me away from the liberal ideals that keep me hanging around here.

the only thing that will send me away from the Democratic Party is if they swing away from liberalism, as they have done before. (Democrats of the 1800's were corrupt, conservative, jerk that almost killed this country) We need to be aware of our history and roots as a party so that we may better understand ourselves.
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comsymp Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 12:55 PM
Response to Reply #1
7. Yeah- phrase is from the New Testament
a quick google found some interesting, easy reading:

Catholics and Protestants agree that to be saved, you have to be born again. Jesus said so: "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God" (John 3:3).

When a Catholic says that he has been "born again," he refers to the transformation that Gods grace accomplished in him during baptism. Evangelical Protestants typically mean something quite different when they talk about being "born again."

For an Evangelical, becoming "born again" often happens like this: He goes to a crusade or a revival where a minister delivers a sermon telling him of his need to be "born again."

"If you believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and believe he died for your sins, youll be born again!" says the preacher. So the gentleman makes "a decision for Christ" and at the altar call goes forward to be led in "the sinners prayer" by the minister. Then the minister tells all who prayed the sinners prayer that they have been saved"born again." But is the minister right? Not according to the Bible.
http://www.catholic.com/library/Are_Catholics_Born_Agai...

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&q=...
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DenverDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 12:52 PM
Response to Original message
2. Unfortunately, to fundamentalists, being "born again" means
sticking your head up your ass.
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KissMyAsscroft Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 12:53 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. HEEHEH!!...


Sadly, this is true...
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Az Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 12:54 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. Unnecissary
We can disagree with them and their beliefs but is it really necissary to ridicule them in such a way?
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LoZoccolo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 01:39 PM
Response to Reply #4
42. Yeah, I don't get that.
There's at least one post in this thread from an evangelical Christian already, one that could benefit from sticking around here and learning a lot of counter to the right-wing propaganda he probably hears from a lot of members of his church. Now wouldn't we want him to stick around here? What is the benefit to us of people chasing Christians of certain denominations - 39% of evangelicals vote Democratic - out of here? For jollies? What? This is a political forum - we can have good discussions about the separation of church and state without fucking things up and making people think we want to destroy religion.
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outinforce Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 01:45 PM
Response to Reply #42
51. Or Without
"we can have good discussions about the separation of church and state without fucking things up and making people think we want to destroy religion."

Or without making anyone who may consider her/himself a born again Christian think that we all consider her/him to be a jerk, a fool, or anything of the sort.

And without making any person who considers her/himself a born again Christian (and who is willing to abide by the rules of DU) feel unwelcome here in any way.
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bearfartinthewoods Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-10-04 01:18 PM
Response to Reply #2
224. oh yeah...that's helpful
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kysrsoze Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 12:55 PM
Response to Original message
5. It means being a Christian is no longer good enough -
you have to be the BEST Christian, give your entire brain to 'God' and adhere to the most strict (and often incorrect) interpretation of the Bible. It seems like a psychological reaction more than anything. I've seen a few distant relatives go through this and they turn into idiots who can't think on their own and shut out their families/friends.

I believe two words sum it up: Extreme Denial
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apnu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 03:02 PM
Response to Reply #5
75. yeah...
I've expirenced that with born agains personally, and seen them shut out family and friends because of their beliefs wich is much like a cult as I've said elsewhere in this thread.
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WildClarySage Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 12:55 PM
Response to Original message
8. Being born again means that,
Edited on Wed Apr-07-04 12:56 PM by WildClarySage
unlike the rest of us, they didn't get it right the first time and had to have a do over.


*Ed for grammar
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Walt Starr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 12:57 PM
Response to Original message
9. Reincarnation
as in "Born Again Pagan,...

and again...

and again...

ad infinitum."
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K8-EEE Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 12:57 PM
Response to Original message
10. It Means You Become More Tiresome
...and bore everyone to death saying "praise God" about every damn thing.

OK flame away, I'm a Catholic so you have lots of material there, LOL! But I will say this: A) We know how to PARTY and B) we don't going around trying to convert everyone and trying to make people say the rosary in public school or any such nonsense!
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sangh0 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 01:01 PM
Response to Reply #10
13. Actually, the RC Church encourages proselytizing
but I guess it's only wrong when the other people do it.
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Commie Pinko Dirtbag Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 01:07 PM
Response to Reply #13
20. AFAIK the RCC doesn't make it MANDATORY like evangelicals do. (nt)
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sangh0 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 01:10 PM
Response to Reply #20
22. God makes it mandatory
At least, that's what the Pope says.
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outinforce Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 01:55 PM
Response to Reply #22
57. God May Indeed Make It Mandatory
But my guess is that God is deeply saddened when people who call themselves his followers, intending to do what he has instructed or commanded them to do, actually drive people away from God.

I know several people who have been deeply and profoundly hurt by what have most likely been well-intentioned Christian people, who, in their zeal to win converts, have instead driven the people I know away from the church, the Bible, and even God.

I think that Christianity teaches that the greatest commandment is not "Go Into the World and Make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit".

That is a commission, and for a number of Christian people I know, it is a great commission indeed.

But it is not, as far as I understand Christianity, the greatest commandment.

I understand Christianity to say that the greatest of all commandments is to love God with everything that you've got -- heart, mind, body, and soul.

And I also understand that the second greatest commandment is this -- Love other people as you yourself wish to be loved.

So my own guess is that anyone who proselytizes on behalf of any Christian church -- and who, in that process, fails to demonstrate the sort of love that is in the "Love Chapter" -- some place in a letter written, I think it was to th folks living in Rome at the time -- by Paul, is not doing what God has actually commanded.

God commands love before he commands getting converts.
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sangh0 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 02:05 PM
Response to Reply #57
61. I agree with you. Very well said.
I was speaking of the Pope's position, not my own which is similar to yours.
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leesa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 02:09 PM
Response to Reply #57
64. I agree. I am deeply offended by these people's insistence that only
THEY know the truth. I prefer to love a GOD that loves his creations as a good parent would, allowing freedom and thought, and I prefer to think that God's only rule would be to not harm his other creations...other people, the earth, the universe. Fundie christians seem to want to hurt others all the time...to punish them for not being what they think they ought to be.
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leesa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 02:05 PM
Response to Reply #22
62. Very doubtful. If God was our creator (parent), why would he be such
an asshole to all his other creations. This is just idiotic interpretation from a sociopolitical text written thousands of years ago. Can't imagine why God would so hate his creations that he would force them to do this, or that, or say these words as opposed to those words, etc... These were priests and scribes that came up with all this nonsense for socio-politicaL reasons which may or may not have been appropriate for survival in their times. To try and make it fit to our reality does not work.

Why can't you just believe in a God that loves you UNCONDITIONALLY, like a good parent. instead of one that wishes to punish endlessly and to FORCE people to his supposed way of thinking. Those things are BAD parenting...do you think God is a bad parent?
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outinforce Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 02:17 PM
Response to Reply #62
66. Parents and Instructions
"Can't imagine why God would so hate his creations that he would force them to do this, or that, or say these words as opposed to those words, etc...

I am not a parent, and never will be.

But I do not think that parents "hate" their kids when they require them to do certain things or forbid them from doing other things.

As an example, when I was a kid, I absolutely hated getting shots. I thought my parents, and especially my mom, were the meanest people on the earth because they insisted -- no negotiation, they forced me -- that I get shots every so often. Sometimes they were vaccinations, other times they were shotsthat I had to get when I had a sore throat.

"Why can't you just believe in a God that loves you UNCONDITIONALLY, like a good parent. instead of one that wishes to punish endlessly and to FORCE people to his supposed way of thinking. Those things are BAD parenting...do you think God is a bad parent?"

What I may happen to think about God is rather immaterial, I think. I would only observe that my notion of good parenting involves the sort of unconditional love that says, "I'll love and cherish you no matter what, but I think enough of you, your welfare, and of who you will become to establish rules in your best interest -- rules that sometimes require you to do certain things and rules which forbid you from doing other things".

I am glad now that my parents, who I once considered to be the meanest peole on the eart, had that kkind of love for me -- and that they made me get those shots.
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apnu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 03:10 PM
Response to Reply #62
77. that's part of the magic of religions
Christianity, and to a lesser extent Judaism and Islam, require you to suspend tons of disbelief in order to partake in the religion. This is just one of the contradictions that you have to swallow in order to be Christian. Some people can do that, and some can't.

A small contradiction that I've never understood is this. Christian political groups, like the AFA and CWA (gag, barf, puke) say that marriage is between a man and a women not of your family, and that no sexual activity may occur until the man and woman are married in the eyes with God. OK, I can see the point so far, but then there is the story of the fall of Sodom and Gomorrah, you know, the guy whose wife turned into a pillar of salt because she looked back on the city that was burned down for is hedonism? OK but the story doesn't stop there, even though most Christians will stop the story there. That guy runs into the hills with his two daughters scared to death that the end of the world had come. And do you know what they do? The daughters decide that they need to repopulate the planet and get their father drunk and have sex with him in order to have babies. AND THIS IS OK?!?!? Perhaps a Christian (who doesn't think I'm a jerk for bringing this up) can explain this dichotomy to me, because I don't understand it.
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sangh0 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 03:15 PM
Response to Reply #77
82. I see you've dropped the "SOME Christians" ploy
Congratulations! At least you'r being honest now, instead of hiding behind the "I said SOME Christians" ploy.
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apnu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 04:06 PM
Response to Reply #82
110. no i didn't, try reading my posts again.
see my post below to "outinforce". And I don't try baiting me into another flame war, I'm not falling for it.
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outinforce Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 03:37 PM
Response to Reply #77
89. An Example Or Two, Please?
You say, "Christianity, and to a lesser extent Judaism and Islam, require you to suspend tons of disbelief in order to partake in the religion."

Could you proviode an example or two of the "tons" of disbelief that Christianity asks its adherents to suspend in order to partake in that religion?

Concerning your question about Lot and his daughters, although I do not claim to be an expert in the Bible or in what Christianity or Judaism teaches about this particular story, it occurs to me that no where does the Bible indicate that God blessed, or in anyway at all apoproved of what Lot's daughters did. In fact, I think the way the Moabites (the descendants of Lot and his older daughter) and the Ammonites (the descendants of Lot and his younger daughter) are described in the rest of the Bible, one could almost say that God was not happy with what Lot's daughters and Lot tried to do.

I would also note that the reason that is given, I think, in the Bible for why Lot's two daughters was not, as you suggest, to re-populate a planet that they thought had come to an end. I think that the Bible says that Lot's daughters said something like "our father is old and there is no man around here to lie with us, as is the custom all over the earth. They also, I think, said to ewach other that they wanted to preserve their own family line through their father.
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apnu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 04:02 PM
Response to Reply #89
104. sure
Edited on Wed Apr-07-04 04:04 PM by apnu
See my point about the full story of Sodom and Gemorrah... The bible can dance around it all it wants, but it's still incest! Incest that is OK in the Bible. Here's where you need a healthy dose of suspension of disbelief to believe in the religion. And since Islam, Judaism, and Christianity use parts of or all of the Old Testament, then they all have to swallow dichotomies like this.

And then there's the notion that the universe was created in 7 days when there are swamps of scientists that disagree with credible verifiable proof. And the notion that God created the world and that's that... Lions are lions and they have always been Lions but verifiable proof says otherwise. Go to any natural history museum to find out, religions often toss the theory of evolution out the window. (I don't know much about Buddhism, but I don't think it makes a comment one way or another on the creation of our planet.)

My point is, in the face of physical evidence, believers in Christianity must discount that physical evidence and believe in something to which they have absolutely no evidence in besides a gut feeling and one book. In other words: suspension of disbelief is necessary requirement for members of a religion.

I'm not attacking religion here, I'm just attempting to be objective and removed about it, and look at religion truthfully. I believe people within a religion can't comment objectively on that religion because of a natural bias. They can share and opinion of whether that religion is "good" or "bad" but I can't in good conscience consider such a statement as objective.

Am I saying that to believe in a religion is wrong? NO! People can and will always believe what they want, and if you want to get really philosophical about it, then an argument could be made that "reality" is just a collective hallucination, which is disturbing considering the possibility that Chimpy could be a mass illusion... LOL
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sangh0 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 04:11 PM
Response to Reply #104
116. Your story of S&G differs from the Bible
as another poster pointed out. I guess you forgot to read about how the story really goes. That might interfere with your misportrayal of religion.

As the other poster pointed out, the Bible does not approve of the incest Lot's daughters engaged in.

And then there's the notion that the universe was created in 7 days

Hint: That's a metaphor. Unless you're a fundamentalist, I don't know why you would assume that Bible stories should be interpreted literally. Literal interpretation of the Bible is a characteristic of fundamentalism. Are you a fundamentalist?

My point is, in the face of physical evidence, believers in Christianity must discount that physical evidence and believe in something to which they have absolutely no evidence in besides a gut feeling and one book. In other words: suspension of disbelief is necessary requirement for members of a religion.

Your extremely poor understanding of religious philosophy and the meaning of various Bible stories provides more than enough evidence to suggest that your analysis of religious thought might be inaccurate.

I'm not attacking religion here

Uh-huh

I'm just attempting to be objective and removed about it, and look at religion truthfully

It would help if you learned a little about what those stories mean.
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Walt Starr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 04:21 PM
Response to Reply #116
126. I call this thinking "Cafeteria Christianity"
Hint: That's a metaphor.

Either the Bible is truth, or it is a collection of stories. Plain and simple.

If it's truth it must all be truth. If it's a story I can safely dismiss it as I do Gone with the Wind, a fictitious work based upon some historical events.

This is why I reject Christianity out of hand, claims to containing absolute truth then pulling out the apologetic "metaphor" when some bit or piece of the Bible is shown to be false. I have yet to meet a Christian who knows and understands these stories to be mythology and accepts them as such, but I'm hopeful I will meet one some day. The height of piety, IMO, is to know the myth for what it is, accept it as myth and learn the lessons the myth attempts to impart.

I cannot buy into fundamentalist or cafeteria Christiainty because of this. Your mileage may vary.
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sangh0 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 04:36 PM
Response to Reply #126
136. Biblical literalism
Edited on Wed Apr-07-04 04:37 PM by sangh0
is an identifying charcateristic of Fundamentalism. Born-agains are not necesarily fundamentalists. In fact, they don't even have to be Christian.

I have yet to meet a Christian who knows and understands these stories to be mythology and accepts them as such

AFAIC, those stories are ALL myths and they do contain truths.
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Walt Starr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 04:41 PM
Response to Reply #136
140. Bingo!
AFAIC, those stories are ALL myths and they do contain truths.

And I accept the fact that any myth contains truth. There is no absolute truth, but truth can be found in all myths.

When the absolutism is dumped from the equation, Christianity could be a beautiful religion, IMO.
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sangh0 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 04:57 PM
Response to Reply #140
144. The absolutism is a sign of fundamentalism, not born-again
Though the two groups do overlap, not every born-again is a fundamentalist, nor is every fundamentalist a born-again.
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Walt Starr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 05:00 PM
Response to Reply #144
145. Agreed
but I've yet to meet Christians IRL that do not believe the bible is absolute truth, even when they pull out the metaphor card.
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sangh0 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 05:30 PM
Response to Reply #145
149. If you're ever in NYC
I can introduce you to many

Most Christians in the US do NOT believe in literal interpretation according to a Pew poll on religion
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outinforce Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 04:41 PM
Response to Reply #126
141. Ever Hear of Aesop's Fables?
Ever hear of the story of the fox and the grapes? Or any other fable from the pen of Aesop?

I don't believe for one minute in the actual "truth" of any of those stories. The thought that an ant and a grasshopper could have a conversation about saving for the winter is just absurd. And the notion that a hare and a tortoise could arrange a race between the two of them is simply ridiculous. So a collection of Aesop's fables, since they are merely a collection of stories which are not true, is not something I would ever spend my time reading. And I would be appalled uif I were to discvoer any parent using Aesop's fables to instruct their children -- after all, it is almost child abuse to fill up their young heads with untrue stories -- pure and utter fiction, with no relevence to anyone's life.

But, somehow, I am left with the uneasy feeling that those stories -- pure fiction though they are -- do communicate a deeper truth. I just don't want to be bothered to try to find it. After all, they're just stories and stories are just fiction.
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apnu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 09:04 PM
Response to Reply #141
172. I'm not arguing that there isn't truth in the bible
(see other posts I've made this evening) What I'm saying that the deeper meaning is in the eye of the beholder. That can't be quantified.

I feel sorry for the NT of the Bible because the whole book has been used as justification to kill millions of millions of people through out written history. Crusades any one? The church used its religion and power to start one of the longest wars in human history.

I never said that the Bible is junk, what I said was that its full of contradictions and one must have a strong faith to believe in it. Contradictions are OK, in logic they are extremely useful and necessary for proving conclusions, so stop reading contradiction=bad it only show that nobody understands what a contradiction is.

I can't say this enough: one must have strong faith to swallow what's in the Bible, AND ITS OK TO HAVE SUCH FAITH. Geez why does everybody miss that point? And harp on the details. Am I using a passive voice too much or something? (Sorry for the Literature term, but I do fall victim to passive voice in my communication)

Now, admittedly, I'm not Christian, but guys and gals, explain to me how the realms of science and your faith in God co-exist. I get the metaphor bit, but I don't get how these two pieces of contradictory information (science vs religion) fit into the same world for the average Christian.
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outinforce Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-08-04 09:16 AM
Response to Reply #172
208. My Post About Aesop's Fables
My post about Aesop's Fables, apnu, was not directed to anything you had said.

It was, instead, directed at a post that someone else had made concerning, I think, something that poster called "cafeteria Christianity".
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apnu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 08:48 PM
Response to Reply #116
170. look... arguing faith is pointless.
Neither of us will budge on this, and I've said many times, that you are entitled to your beliefs. However, it's a belief. It doesn't matter wither or not the stories mean something. I know they are metaphors, and I felt best to leave it unsaid.

But nothing has changed in my argument when you say: "It would help if you learned a little about what those stories mean." You're just distracting from the point I made that you have to believe in that stuff. The truth is, the Bible proves nothing, metaphor or not, if you are going to believe it then you must have faith in it. Belief and faith are things that cannot be proven or disproven, they also can't be argued with.

The meaning of the Bible is subject to much debate both within and without Christian circles. That meaning varies from person to person, Christians are not on the same page when it comes to interpreting the Bible. Take a look at your views, and the views of other posters in this thread, and compare that with public statements from the 700 Club, Chimpy, and Fred (man I hate that guy) Phelps. They are all saying different things. You tell me I don't understand the meanings? Hogwash! Nobody understands the meanings in the Bible, if it were easy to understand and "get it" then there would be no debate on the issue.

Don't hide behind the "it's a metaphor therefore I'm a dummy" nonsense, even if you take every word in the Bible as a metaphor you have contradictions. S&G as one poster called it is a good example. There are numerous statements in the Bible about incest being very bad. OK, scientifically it's a bad idea, not to mention the cultural immorality of it and the fact that it's just plain gross. But, the end of S&G has a case of incest. Now someone else pointed out that God didn't bless this "marriage" (yuck) However, it still stands in there, and its never denounced as a sin. It just sits there with out explanation, and nobody has been able to help me see the point of that passage. People try to explain it away, but it never goes away.

Another contradiction: The tone in the Bible changes drastically between the Old Testament and the New. And let's face it, the fundies and Chimpy are fire and brimstone fear mongering OT people. (Plagues, floods, wrath of God stuff) Liberal Christians tend to be NT cats, and I dig the NT as a message. (Golden rule, turn the other cheek and so on) Jesus had it right about being cool with other people, and giving them a hand when they are down. JC was a righteous dude, and I find it offensive that Chimpy claims that Jesus is his philosopher. Where the hell has he been practicing the teachings of Christ? I haven't seen one example yet, how can he execute people and be a follower of Christ? That jackass will burn in hell, mark my words. (But I won't be there because I don't believe in hell, maybe you can tell me when you get to Heaven)

This doesn't invalidate the Bible IMO, but it does tell me that it's a flawed book, and one has to believe in it. Belief is cool, but I've met precious few who actually believe the Bible. I've heard a lot of people parrot Bible passages at me, but only on rare occasion have I met someone who really showed me what their belief is. This includes all religious people that I've met (Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist and Neo Pagan) Tossing Bible quotes around proves about as much as if I tossed quotes around from Catcher in the Rye. With out context and explanation with example of application, Bible quote are just quotes from a book an nothing more.

But back to the born again thing, I have yet to meet a born again that wasn't a funder, I've lived in everywhere between New England and the Mason Dixon line, and I've met a lot of Christians. Now, if outinforce is indeed a born again, based of what he/she has been saying what I consider to be right along with JC's point. I like outinforce, and should I come to know him/her better, I'll be the first one to tell you specifically that I've met a born again who didn't jerk my chain. But so far, outinforce, has been proving to me that he/she is a true believer in Christ's message, and we need more of that in the world. Christ's message is far more important that the book that contains it, and far more important than any one's amount of faith. I rank Christ right up there with most important people in the human race along with MLK, Gandhi, and Einstein.

And let me point out that there are millions of Christians who aren't born again, my view on born agains does not include the set of all Christians because they are only a very small segment of the Christian population. And of that small segment, I've probably seen a very small fraction of born agains, so yeah, my sample group is small. But its all I have to go on, if you want to prove me wrong, then prove me wrong. Don't argue with me, show me that this just isn't true, I'm happy to listen to whatever you have to say for as long as you want to say it. I hope the care and length of my posts on this topic prove my sincerity when I say that I want your opinion!

But I digress, the point is, arguing about faith goes nowhere. Its a no win argument every time. Not for you and not for me.
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sangha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 11:08 PM
Response to Reply #170
195. My opinion
But nothing has changed in my argument when you say: "It would help if you learned a little about what those stories mean." You're just distracting from the point I made that you have to believe in that stuff. The truth is, the Bible proves nothing, metaphor or not, if you are going to believe it then you must have faith in it. Belief and faith are things that cannot be proven or disproven, they also can't be argued with.

First, I would argue that one does NOT need to believe in that stuff. One only needs to beleive in the underlying message. Only the Fundamentalist believe that, and not all born-agains are Fundies. I would support that argument by pointing to all of the various sects within Christianity and how they disagree as evidence that one need not believe in all that stuff.

And no, the Bible doesn't prove anything. Proof is something that lies within the realm of science, not religion. As you've noted, religion is more about faith and belief.

They are all saying different things. You tell me I don't understand the meanings? Hogwash! Nobody understands the meanings in the Bible, if it were easy to understand and "get it" then there would be no debate on the issue.

Yes, there are differing interpretations. That's why I feel that in order to make any sort of objective evaluation as to how to interpret a particular section of the Bible requires an understanding of at least several of those various interpretations. My reference to your not understanding Bible stories was specific to the S&G story which you obviously are not too familiar with. Your rendition of it also suggests a lack of familiarity with a good part of the Bible.

Don't hide behind the "it's a metaphor therefore I'm a dummy" nonsense, even if you take every word in the Bible as a metaphor you have contradictions. S&G as one poster called it is a good example. There are numerous statements in the Bible about incest being very bad. OK, scientifically it's a bad idea, not to mention the cultural immorality of it and the fact that it's just plain gross. But, the end of S&G has a case of incest. Now someone else pointed out that God didn't bless this "marriage" (yuck) However, it still stands in there, and its never denounced as a sin. It just sits there with out explanation, and nobody has been able to help me see the point of that passage. People try to explain it away, but it never goes away.

The people who descended from that incestous line did not fare well. Some interpret this as a message that the punishment for sin cannot be escaped, even if it isn't denounced by any human. This is a theme that is very common throughout the Old Testament, particularly as it relates to the Jews. Their temples were torn down because their people had become careless in observing their God's laws. Your not realizing how S&G connects to this theme is what makes me think your lack of familiarity is not limited to the S&G story.

Another contradiction: The tone in the Bible changes drastically between the Old Testament and the New. And let's face it, the fundies and Chimpy are fire and brimstone fear mongering OT people. (Plagues, floods, wrath of God stuff) Liberal Christians tend to be NT cats, and I dig the NT as a message. (Golden rule, turn the other cheek and so on) Jesus had it right about being cool with other people, and giving them a hand when they are down. JC was a righteous dude, and I find it offensive that Chimpy claims that Jesus is his philosopher. Where the hell has he been practicing the teachings of Christ? I haven't seen one example yet, how can he execute people and be a follower of Christ? That jackass will burn in hell, mark my words. (But I won't be there because I don't believe in hell, maybe you can tell me when you get to Heaven)

I agree with all that you say here. The Fundies ARE more OT than they think. However, the contradiction you are referring to here is with the Fundies, and not with the Bible or with religion in general.

This doesn't invalidate the Bible IMO, but it does tell me that it's a flawed book, and one has to believe in it. Belief is cool, but I've met precious few who actually believe the Bible. I've heard a lot of people parrot Bible passages at me, but only on rare occasion have I met someone who really showed me what their belief is. This includes all religious people that I've met (Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist and Neo Pagan) Tossing Bible quotes around proves about as much as if I tossed quotes around from Catcher in the Rye. With out context and explanation with example of application, Bible quote are just quotes from a book an nothing more.

And Jesus warned about false prophets who would shout their prayers in the street. It seems like he didn't like them either.

I rank Christ right up there with most important people in the human race along with MLK, Gandhi, and Einstein.

Well, I'm glad to hear that. I agree and it makes me think that maybe we are not as far apart as I thought at first.

But I digress, the point is, arguing about faith goes nowhere. Its a no win argument every time. Not for you and not for me.

I agree, You can't argue faith. That's why in another post (above, i think) I explain why your assertion concerning the level of assholedom in bornagains is irrational. That is, I use YOUR standards of science and reason to explain why I think your assertion is unjustified by the evidence you have collected through your experiences. I hope you get to read it and let me know what you think.
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sangh0 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 04:05 PM
Response to Reply #89
108. He has no examples
All he has are the "normal" born agains he has met and his obvious ignorance concerning religious philosophy. He can't even comprehend the idea of Jesus=God.
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apnu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 04:10 PM
Response to Reply #108
115. oops i do, look above this (eom)
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sangh0 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 04:18 PM
Response to Reply #115
122. Your examples explain nothing
Edited on Wed Apr-07-04 04:18 PM by sangh0
They are based on your misunderstanding of Biblical stories. When the REAL Bible stories are investigated, it turns out they do NOT support your assertions.
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apnu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 07:22 PM
Response to Reply #122
156. OK then...
...explain how the theory or evolution and Genesis co-exist? If they don't, then one must be wrong. Show me that God's work exists in nature and I'll let you baptize me.

Now I can easily find physical proof of evolution at work in nature anywhere on the planet, and really see it by going to a natural history museum, say the Smithsonian, and see it in the fossil record. If God created the world in 7 days, why does all the physical evidence show that the world evolved over millions of years?

Does that mean evolution is correct? No, the theory of evolution is just that, a theory. Meaning it's a good idea that hasn't been proved.

I have no idea how to prove that the "real" Bible is correct given that all the data in the fossil record, and geological evidence contradict the Bible. And there's not ambiguity in any copy of the bible, that I've seen, on the 7 day creation myth.

And that's just Genesis, there are tons of contradictions within the Bible, and there are tons of contradictions from the Bible concerning our physical world.

I'm not knocking your faith! As I've said before, you're entitled to your beliefs, and if you didn't pick up on my hidden message from my previous posts, I'll make it clear: I respect your beliefs (as a Christian), however I don't subscribe to them.

But understand, physically, nothing is proved in any religion, and therefore an individual must make a leap of faith to believe in it. You've made that leap of faith apparently, I respect that... it takes a lot of guts that I apparently don't have, and that's OK too. According to the New Testament, Jesus will still love me.

Belief is important, it keeps us going. My belief that, as a liberal, I know the best path for our country. That's what keeps me sane with Chimp crapping all over the White House. However, I can't prove that my belief in liberalism is the righteous path. I have FAITH in our cause here on DU, I have FAITH that we can rid the world of our out-of-control pResident, and I have FAITH that we can marginalize the religious right and the mixing of politics and religion.
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sangh0 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-08-04 11:25 AM
Response to Reply #156
213. About the paradox
I'd like to urge you to rid yourself of the idea that to be a Christian one must interpret the Bible literally. I, and a majority of Christians, do not believe this. Even the Pope has said that Hell, which according to the Bible is a specific place, is not a specific place but instead a state of mind/soul.

IMO, the Creation myths (please note that there is more than one creation myth in Genesis. More on this below) are not meant to be interpreted as literal and detailed descriptions of how the universe, the Earth, and life, were created. Instead, they are metaphors which are designed to help us understand the nature of the universe and nature of life. Because they are metaphors, we need not be overly concerned if some of the facts from one creation myth seem to contradict some of the facts from another creation myth.

So before I'd make any attempt to reconcile the differences between Genesis and evolution, I'd first want to reconcile the differences between the two most well-known creation myths from the Bible, one of which describes the universe as being created in 7 days, and the other known as the story of Adam and Eve.

In the first myth, God creates the animals, and later creates both Man and Woman at the same time. In Adam and Eve, God creates Adam, then He creates animals to amuse Adam (who names them and then gets bored), and THEN he creates Eve. The sequences of these stories differ, and therefore contradict themselves. But that should only bother those who require that the Bible be interpreted literally. I am under no such illusion.

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outinforce Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-08-04 03:33 PM
Response to Reply #156
219. Genesis Is A Story
Edited on Thu Apr-08-04 03:34 PM by outinforce
According to what I understand Christians to beleive, Genesis is a "true" story -- but not necessarily an "accurate" story.

Genesis conveys, to the people who believe it, certain great truths, and, like Aesop's fables, it does so in a manner that made sense to the people who read it when it was written more than 2,000 years ago.

It is, except to those who interpret the Bible "literally", not inconsistent with evolution or with what we know of the world and the universe.

Look, for instance, at the order in which Genesis says God created things:

First, light.

Then the sun and the stars and the moon.

Then the things in the sea.

Then the animals and plants on the earth.

Then people.

Isn't that how science tells us things came into being -- in that same order?

One thing that some Christians will offer as one piece of evidence (for them anyway) that God actually exists is precisely the fact that Genesis, written by ancient people who had no idea of what we, with the benefit of modern science, understand about how life was formed or how life came to be, nevertheless were able, somehow, to write something that gets the order of creation (or evolution) correct. They observe that it would have made far more sense for people to think that a god created them (that is, the people first), and then created everything else that lives.

The fact that they got it as correct as they did is one little piece of evidence that some Christians (and perhaps even some non-Christians aw well) will say points them in the direction of belief that there just might be a God.
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sangh0 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 03:12 PM
Response to Reply #62
78. Please note that I said "according to the Pope"
AFAIC, it is doubtful.
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sangh0 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 12:58 PM
Response to Original message
11. I think of myself as born again
At around age 40, I had a religious conversion. Though I'm not a Christian, I do have a lot of respect for the teachings of Jesus Christ, who said that once you accept God into your heart, you are "born anew" (or something like that. I'm not a Scripture-spouter).

I agree with that. My religious beliefs had led me to a new understanding of the world we live in, and in that sense I have been "born again"
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NeonLX Donating Member (472 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 02:16 PM
Response to Reply #11
65. Same here...
I now consider myself to be a somewhat agnostic Christian, after 20+ years of atheism. It's a long story.
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apnu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 09:12 PM
Response to Reply #11
174. cool
Look, you don't consider youself to be a Christian, yet you consider youself to be "born again" Fine. We've bickered quite a bit on this and I must say in the heat of it all I missed this post from way back in the disgussion.

If you don't mind, I'll amend my orginal statement that "... all born agains are assholes." to ".. all born agains (who are not sangh0) are assholes." Is that better?

I'm joking around here, I don't think your an asshole. And from personal expirence today, I can safely say that you have passion in spades. That's a good thing, our collective passion to send Chimpy out of the WH come November is one of our best weapons against those criminals.

But please keep in mind that I've been talking about born again Christians, and since you aren't one, I'm not calling you an asshole.

Let's kiss and make up OK?
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Az Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 01:01 PM
Response to Original message
12. Being born again implies an epiphany
It comes from the sudden sense of getting it. This derives from a profound emotional sensation that one recieves when one suddenly sees the entirety of a system functioning.

Basically it is the result of their mind accepting a particular system of thought and freeing itself from the struggle of determining what it currently believes. It is accepting the teachings of the religion vs abiding them.
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patcox2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 02:46 PM
Response to Reply #12
72. I don't think thats quite it.
At least not as intended, or as practiced. The phrases containing the term in the new testament are mostly parables, for one thing, so they are beyond being not literal. The closest analog to a new testament parable is probably a zen koan. Also, the phrase is tied in with "the kingdom," and just what is "the kingdom" that one can only experience by being born again is a subject of debate. But it is definitely more than an epiphany or realization. Jesus speaks of how you must have the innocence of a child to enter the kingdom. That is a reference to being freed from the corrupting effects of worldliness, the habits of mind, the cynicism, that prevent most adults from being able to experience the pure experience of the world that children have. Its more like the attainment of transcendence than a mere epiphany that changes one's point of view, I know that sounds like the same thing, but its not. To me its not far off from the kind of mystical and transcendent experience that is the aim of some forms of buddhism.

That said, what it means to most literalist fundamentalists is something else again. To many of them it involves "personally accepting Jesus as your savior" and is related to their "jesus is my buddy, he speaks to me" way of looking at their relationship to jesus. Many of them are very proprietary about Jesus, they honestly think Jesus spends all day worrying about their least whim, making sure they get an A on their math test, and things like that(If you spend a lot of time around fundamentalists, when they talk about their religion, they talk about themselves most of the time, its "my" jesus, he speaks to "me", their entire religious experience is very self-centered on this "personal relationship with God.") I long ago noted that the calvinist and fundamentalist credo boils down to "I am so great, god loves me" whereas the catholic credo is "god is so great, he loves even (sinner) me." Anyway, those who fall into that almost trancelike state about being born again (ever see films of christian rock concerts, they all close their eyes and wave their hands in the air like zombies) they do almost seem to be pyschotic about it, in a constant state of denial of the fact that they really aren't feeling particularly special since they declared themselves born again, but since they are surrounded by others who keep saying ther are ecstatic since they were born again, they won't admit it, and so they keep telling themselves over and over they are born again and it is wonderful.
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trogdor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 01:02 PM
Response to Original message
14. Fundy Christian concepts aren't meant to be understood.
They are to be accepted unquestioningly.

As to the answer to your question, to be "born again" is to break with your previous "life" as a sinner and begin anew with a clean slate, this time with Jesus as the main focus of your existence. Your sins, acknowledged or otherwise, are forgotten, as if they never happened, and you are therefore "saved" from the hellfire that will befall those unfortunate souls who have not accepted Jesus as their personal savior. As for having been Christian prior to having been "born again", that just isn't possible as far as the "saved" are concerned.

I've also known plenty of "born again" people who exhibit every manner of human character deficiency, from cowardice to hypocrisy to greed and selfishness. The main difference is, they say "praise Jesus" while doing the same evil shit they've always done. Since they've accepted Jesus, it ceases to matter because the acceptance of Jesus part is what gets you into Heaven, not what kind of person you strive to be.
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cheezus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 01:30 PM
Response to Reply #14
38. exactly. you can't question faith
that's why it's called "faith" instead of "reason"
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sangh0 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 01:46 PM
Response to Reply #38
52. Actually, you can question faith
and most religions require it.
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elfwitch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 01:40 PM
Response to Reply #14
45. We Jews have something similar...
It's called Yom Kippur. One day blowout sale on sin and wronging. You start the nest day fresh.

I guess since we accept that people are basically jerks, we do it once a year to keep the scales balanced.
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Mr_Scarecrow Donating Member (228 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 01:05 PM
Response to Original message
18. Bored again
is what I am every time I meet one.
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trogdor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 01:06 PM
Response to Original message
19. Damn!
For a bunch of heathens, we sure are well-versed in various forms of Christianity. I answer a question, and fifteen other people have already turned in their papers before I hit "Post Message."

Just an observation. ;-)
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phantom power Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 01:09 PM
Response to Original message
21. it refers to being reborn "without sin"
According to Christian dogma, we are all naturally born with "original sin", which refers to the story of Adam and Eve being cast out of the Garden.

Baptism is a symbolic act that represents being "reborn" in eyes of Jesus. Accepting his forgiveness for original sin, and our own particular sins. If you are not re-born in this way, you are doomed to damnation.

I believe that this is considered true even if you could somehow manage to live a life without sin. If I were to somehow avoid all sin in this life, but never accepted Jesus as my savior, I would still not be considered "saved".

Since I am most definitely not sin-free, and also have conciously rejected Christianity, I must be considered quite thoroughly damned by any standard of Christian dogma.
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sangh0 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 01:12 PM
Response to Reply #21
25. According to most Christian dogma
we are ALL thouroughly damned because we are ALL sinners. However, through various means (ex. God's grace, good works, etc) we can avoid damnation
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FlaGranny Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 01:40 PM
Response to Reply #21
44. My relatives who are "born again"
have this strange notion that once they are born again, no matter what they do or what sin they indulge in, they are still remain born again and will go to heaven. They even think murderers and child abusers who commit the crime AFTER being "born again" are "saved" and are going to heaven. They are referred to as "backsliders."

If that were true, it would be totally unjust and unfair. My atheistic self believes that if you do bad, you do bad, no matter what may have happened in the past. If a person were truly "saved" and "born again" they wouldn't be indulging in antisocial behavior at all.

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Itchinjim Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 01:10 PM
Response to Original message
23. I know a guy who was born again at age 37,
and it damn near killed his mom
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ET Awful Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 01:10 PM
Response to Original message
24. My theory has always been that if you can't get born right the first time.
you might as well give it up as a bad job and just wait for your next life :) :) :)

j/k, and no offense meant to any who might take offense :)
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BigThama Donating Member (68 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 01:24 PM
Response to Reply #24
31. Interestingly enough...
Fundamentalist Protestants (and, to my understanding, most Protestants in general) believe that actions do not matter to salvation. Salvation is determined only by whether you have accepted Jesus as your personal savior, and if you have then the Atonement, or the "grace of God" kicks in. This, needless to say, leads to a great many Protestants thinking that any number of evil and heartless actions are, while displeasing to God, not damnable to their salvation, and therefore not worth avoiding.

As a Mormon, this differs radically from my beliefs. I also live in North Carolina, a primarily Baptist state. As such I've entered into many religious discussions on this matter. I've found that the best way to deal with this particular Protestant belief is to point out James chapter 2, in which James gives a long discourse on the fallacy of that path of thought. To Protestants, the Bible is the end-all of religious discussion, and to see that the book which they rely on completely for their religious teachings disagrees so fervently with the manner in which they have been taught is profoundly disconcerting.
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sangh0 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 01:48 PM
Response to Reply #31
54. Another interesting point
is that the idea that it's the "grace of God" that gets one into Heaven is/was a reaction to the idea that "good works" was what got one into Heaven. Some people felt that an after-life of eternal perfection and peace could not be acquired simply by performing some charity.
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TreasonousBastard Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 03:53 PM
Response to Reply #31
96. A great many...
but not all.

The "good works" thing is not really understood by most people, although there are a number of interpretations of it.

Nowhere does it say that God can be conned by your doing whatever you feel like doing and a simple "Praise Jesus! Forgive me." wipes the slate clean.

Simplistically put, my understanding of it, which is a common one, is that if you are a believer, you will be lead by your beliefs to do the proper thing much of the time. There are other times when you have to force yourself to do the right thing, and there are still other times when you will fail. It is those times you failed that are forgiven, but you have to put in some effort.

It can also be said that because of our dual nature, having both good and evil within us, even when we do good works it is a failure and that is the point of forgiveness. It is our nature that is forgiven, not that which we do.

But, that's getting into vague areas of theology that's been argued for thousands of years.

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BigThama Donating Member (68 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 09:30 PM
Response to Reply #96
177. My understanding...
...is that you are saved after all you can do. A half-assed effort won't get you into heaven, but you aren't expected to be perfect either.
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Indiana_Dem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 10:17 PM
Response to Reply #96
186. I like what you said. I like your view. eom
:pals:
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GreenPartyVoter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 01:13 PM
Response to Original message
26. To be made new in God, but it
doesn't have to lead to being an all-up-in-your-face jerk, though. Can often lead to people being much nicer to others and having more of a conscience about the decisions one makes than previously.

Would Jesus love a liberal? You bet!
http://www.geocities.com/greenpartyvoter/liberalchristi...
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Indiana_Dem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 10:25 PM
Response to Reply #26
187. I bookmarked your website!
It's really kewl! Thanks! :yourock:
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GreenPartyVoter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-08-04 01:21 PM
Response to Reply #187
216. Glad you find it helpful :)
Here's hoping MANY other people do as well. Got to change that negative kneejerk reaction to the term "Christian". :)
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cclark401 Donating Member (91 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 01:17 PM
Response to Original message
28. Few points...
1) I'm a born again Christian--Assemblies of God church member and staunch Democrat --go figure

2) see John 3:3 for biblical reference to being born again.

3) For most born again believers the term born again separates us from just being Christian. A person can be Christian and still not live for Jesus, as indicated in previous posts. However if one is truly born again their life should take on a much more closeness to God. ...."you shall know the tree by the fruit it bares...."

4) God-Jesus are the same. Jesus was God in the flesh, etc....

5) All faiths are full of people who claim to belong but whose hearts are far from the dogma they prescribe to. It's an individual thing.

6) In the end we must die for ourselves. Believing or not believing does not make eternity existent/non existent. All of us will soon know.
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Az Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 01:25 PM
Response to Reply #28
32. Accept vs Abide
From the point of view of the Born Again Christian they accept the "truth" of Jesus' teachings and seek to bind themself closer to it. The nonborn agains abide the "truth" of Jesus and will seek their own path instead of binding themself to the teachings.
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cheezus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 01:31 PM
Response to Reply #28
40. query: born again =~ uber-christian?
it's a way of seprating the REAL christians from the kinda christians?
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outinforce Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 01:41 PM
Response to Reply #40
46. As Far As I Know,
I think I am correct when I say that Christianity teaches that there is only one way to know "real Christians" from the "kinda Christians".

I think that Christianity teaches that God -- and only God -- is able to know the "real Christians", because being a "real Christian" is more a matter of the heart than of anything any human being could ever see in another person.

I think that the Bible says somewhere that there are going to be an awfully lot of surprized people who will discover that they will spend eternity separated from the God they only thought they knew.
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Az Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 01:42 PM
Response to Reply #40
47. In the end its a label one applies to one self
This is the trouble with the word Christian. There are hordes of people that call themself Christian. And there are equal numbers that insist that those people are not true Christians.

We give labels to ourselves and labels to others. These labels may not agree with what they give themself. In the end labels are a conveiniance that can actually confuse an issue.
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cclark401 Donating Member (91 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 01:50 PM
Response to Reply #40
55. More like
some people believe they are Christian simply because they were born in a Christian nation etc. Being Christian goes further than that. One must adopt the teachings of Christ and let those teachings "transform" their lives into something better.

Remember that Jesus said that the greatest of all commandments was to "Love one another".. many religious people (not necessarily Christian people mind you) do not exhibit this quality.

If you believe in Jesus and ask his forgiveness you are "saved by grace". Does this mean you'll never sin? No, it just means that you now have an advocate with the father (God). The scriptures even state that at the point of being forgiven God views you through his Son Jesus. It's like the Jews had to offer sacrifices though out their history to be forgiven. Jesus was the ultimate sacrifice and now when God sees the forgiven he sees them through his Sons sacrificial act which appeases him.
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Indiana_Dem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 10:37 PM
Response to Reply #55
191. Stated very well. Sounds like what I believe in. eom
Welcome to DU! :hi:
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LoZoccolo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 01:42 PM
Response to Reply #28
48. Welcome to DU!
Edited on Wed Apr-07-04 01:43 PM by LoZoccolo
:hi:

Please stick around - we need you here probably more than most others (see my other post #42 in this thread).
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TreasonousBastard Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 01:22 PM
Response to Original message
30. Traditional Christians...
Catholics, mainstream Protestants, etc., believe that we are born in sin-- the "old Adam" within us. Original sin.

In order to attain grace and salvation, we have to be born anew, partly through baptism, but we also have to accept Christ as the savior. Through some obscure process, this seems to eradicate, or at least nullify, our original sinful state. we are still capable of sinning, of course, but now we should know what to do about it and God can accept us and put us in the state of grace.

OK, this sounds hokey to the unbelievers, but the principle is sound. The idea is to become a better person and reach a higher spritual level. It is no different in principle than attempting to reach Nirvana or become the "superior man." It's only the rituals and dogma that differ.

Some fundies have taken this, as they have taken so many other things, and redefined it. They seem to require some public affirmation of being born again, and loudly proclaiming it. I don't think many of them have the faintest idea just what it is they are proclaiming.

It appears that having been baptized as a Catholic or Lutheran and been through First Communion and Confirmation isn't good enough. You gotta go through the whole thing again in a public spectacle to make it stick.

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NeonLX Donating Member (472 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 02:18 PM
Response to Reply #30
68. IIRC, Jesus wasn't too nuts about "public displays"
Maybe that's what bugs me the most about modern-day fundagelicals. That and their uncanny ability to cast stones...
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TreasonousBastard Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 03:58 PM
Response to Reply #68
99. Jesus was very much against...
hypocritical displays of piety.

However, he was all for spreading the word. Christianity, like Islam, is an evangelical religion, and there will always be Christians out there trying to save your soul.

Forcing the word on you? That's another question entirely.
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outinforce Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 01:26 PM
Response to Original message
33. To Be "Born Again" Means This --
I preface my remarks by saying that I am no expert on Christian theology, or for that matter on the Bible. I have several friends who describe themselves as born-again Christians, and much of my understanding comes from what they tell me.

To understand what Christians mean when they say they are "born again", it is necessary to understand what Christianity teaches about humanity in the first three chapters of the Bible -- Genesis, Chapters 1, 2, and 3.

Christianity teaches, as far as I know, that humans were created by God, and that when the first humans were created, God pronounced them "very good". But Christianity also teaches that the first human beings separated themselves from the way God intended them when they decided that they could "be like God", and instead of trusting God, decided to attempt to decide for themselves how they would live their lives.

The result of this decision by our earliest ancestors, Christianity teaches, was catastrophic. Humans no longer lived in perfect harmony with each other, within nature, and with God. The Biblical account says that the first two humans were expelled from the Garden of Eden -- a metaphorical way of saying that humans, who had decided to live according to their wishes, were granted their wish, and that the result was a complete rupture with the perfect harmony that God had intended for humans to live in.

Christians, as far as I know, believe that as a result of this catastophic choice by our ancestors, humans since that time have had, from the time they were born, a proclivity to want to decide for themselves how they would live, with the same catastrophic results for each human being -- separation from God, alientation from every one else, and disharmony with nature itself.

For those who understand this situation of humanity and of themselves, Christianity teaches that it is possible to be "born again", or born anew. The new birth is a birth of God's own spirit within a person. The change in a person who has been born again, as I understand Christian thought and teaching, is that s/he will continue to try to lead her/his live on her/his own, but that the person will, with the comfort and assistance of God's very own spirit dwelling inside her/him, be able to "grow" into the sort of person God intended.

I may not be completely correct, but this is my limited understanding of what many Christians mean when they say they have been "born again".

If you want to know more about what this means, you may want to do some research on the life of the person who wrote (and I sorry that I cannot recall his name) the hymn that a number of my friends are quite familiar with, "Amazing Grace".
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forgethell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 01:28 PM
Response to Original message
35. It means accepting Christ as
Edited on Wed Apr-07-04 01:33 PM by forgethell
your Saviour as opposed to just being born in a Christian family, going to Church, doing 'good' works, etc., even being baptized. It comes from the following passage in John

John 3
1 There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews:
2 The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.
3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
4 Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born?
5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.
8 The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.
9 Nicodemus answered and said unto him, How can these things be?
10 Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things?
11 Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness.
12 If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?
13 And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.
14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:
15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.
16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
20 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.
21 But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.
22 After these things came Jesus and his disciples into the land of Judaea; and there he tarried with them, and baptized.
23 And John also was baptizing in Aenon near to Salim, because there was much water there: and they came, and were baptized.
24 For John was not yet cast into prison.
25 Then there arose a question between some of John's disciples and the Jews about purifying.
26 And they came unto John, and said unto him, Rabbi, he that was with thee beyond Jordan, to whom thou barest witness, behold, the same baptizeth, and all men come to him.
27 John answered and said, A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven.
28 Ye yourselves bear me witness, that I said, I am not the Christ, but that I am sent before him.
29 He that hath the bride is the bridegroom: but the friend of the bridegroom, which standeth and heareth him, rejoiceth greatly because of the bridegroom's voice: this my joy therefore is fulfilled.
30 He must increase, but I must decrease.
31 He that cometh from above is above all: he that is of the earth is earthly, and speaketh of the earth: he that cometh from heaven is above all.
32 And what he hath seen and heard, that he testifieth; and no man receiveth his testimony.
33 He that hath received his testimony hath set to his seal that God is true.
34 For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him.
35 The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into his hand.
36 He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.



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elfwitch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 01:46 PM
Response to Reply #35
53. Yeah, I don't have that version of the book...
Mine stops with Devarim (Deuteronomy).
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forgethell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 03:14 PM
Response to Reply #53
80. You asked, I told
Nobody said you had to agree.
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Liberal Christian Donating Member (746 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 01:43 PM
Response to Original message
49. Multiple understandings of "born again"
As with any issue or question, there is a wide variety of understandings of what it means to be born again.

Some Christians define the experience narrowly, claiming that the experience needs to take place within certain narrow parameters and express itself with a pre-defined change of life. They might say that you can't claim that you were born again if you don't subscribe to the inerrancy of scripture and certain positions on culture war issues like abortion, homosexuality, feminism, etc.

Other Christians, also looking at the words of Jesus to Nicodemus in John 3:3, interpret it more broadly and ambiguously because that is how they experience their faith. In traditions that practice infant baptism, the full acceptance of faith is something that comes after baptism. The full profession of the faith that moved your parents to bring you to the baptismal font to acknowledge the claim of God's grace in your life from the beginning, from before the time when you were able to ask for that grace, is something that comes later in life, and possibly more than once.

When, upon finding out that I am a Christian pastor, someone asks me "Are you born again?" I usually answer, "Continuously." I believe that. I believe that we have limitless opportunities to begin anew, to know and respond to God's grace, to mess up and start over, to rededicate one's path of discipleship.

So, yes. I am born again. Over and over. And I'm pretty sure I'm not an asshole.
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sangh0 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 01:51 PM
Response to Reply #49
56. I love that response!
"Continously"

That's just wonderful. Thanks.
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GreenPartyVoter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 02:18 PM
Response to Reply #49
67. "Be being sanctified"
My pastor likes to use this phrase a lot "be being" because it refers to an ongoing process that is always starting anew with each passing moment.
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apnu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 02:46 PM
Response to Reply #49
71. good points
Born again is in the eye of the one whose born again. It means something to each individual. And it means something else to those who aren't born again (like me)

Thanks for bringing that point, up... I, perhaps THE asshole of the thread, don't think you are an asshole.
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Christ was Socialist Donating Member (649 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 01:57 PM
Response to Original message
59. As a lifelong sinner
I must say the concept is nothing but evangelical shibboleth.

Here is the verse they adduce:
"There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews:
"The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.

"Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

"Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mothers womb, and be born?

"Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

"That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.

"Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.

"The wind bloweth where it list-eth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit."John 3:1-8.


Now they think that it is Literal, but as it would break the laws of physics, they construe it to thier liking. Now lets take a look at the oppressed version.

Jesus said: When you see him who was not born of woman, fall down upon your faces and worship him; that one is your Father.
-Gospel of Thomas Saying 15 -

Now obviously My interpretation is that of knowledge. One must open thier minds, and drop everything they once thought was righteous and perfect, and be born again. Knowledge is power
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NeonLX Donating Member (472 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 02:06 PM
Response to Reply #59
63. Hey...
...do you ever post to the LLC forum?

I do. (Voyager_Expresso)
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Christ was Socialist Donating Member (649 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 04:10 PM
Response to Reply #63
114. I'm not familiar with that site n/t
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NeonLX Donating Member (472 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 04:19 PM
Response to Reply #114
124. Ummm...
The link in your sig line, to "Liberals Like Christ". There's a forum that's associated with that site. Let me know if you haven't seen the forum and would like a link to it.



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Christ was Socialist Donating Member (649 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 04:22 PM
Response to Reply #124
127. I am an Idiot
It just dawned on me you meant Ray's site. Sorry its been a long day. Yes I am a member, I haven't gotten around to posting, because I keep imbibing all the info on the site and posts on the message board.

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NeonLX Donating Member (472 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 04:24 PM
Response to Reply #127
128. Heh. ON EDIT: I shouldn't have used the acronym.
Edited on Wed Apr-07-04 04:25 PM by NeonLX
That'll teach me to use acronyms. Hey, join the LLC forum. You'll love it! Lots of very knowledgeable people on there.
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Lydia Leftcoast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 02:37 PM
Response to Original message
69. What it's supposed to mean vs. how the fundamentalists use it
The use of "born again" comes from Jesus conversation with a young man who wonders what he's supposed to do to be saved. He tells him that he must be "born again."

The intention appears to be something like turning your life around, making a fresh start, and getting in touch with God. A secular equivalent is the alcoholic who goes into recovery and starts making amends for wrongs committed under the influence of alcohol.

What it has come to mean in fundamentalist circles is an ecstatic experience, often brought on by highly emotional hellfire and brimstone preaching, which leads the person to "accept Jesus Christ as one's Lord and Savior." Among the fundamentalists, there is a lot of group reinforcement of this (the Moonies call it "love-bombing," and fundamentalists do it too) and a whole culture of what a "born again" person must do. In some denominations, the newly "born again" must become single-mindedly devoted to churchly matters, viewing and listening only to "Christian media," reading only "Christian" books and magazines, patronizing "Christian" businesses (identified by little fish signs), sending their children to "Christian" schools, and planning their whole social lives around the church.

Most mainline denominations (Lutherans, Episcopalians, Presbyterians, United Methodists, Roman Catholics) certainly know the scriptural passage about being "born again," but they don't make a big deal of it. People do convert to these varieties of Christianity, but it's usually done quietly.

While fundamentalists delay baptism until the people are in their teens and put a lot of pressure on kids to make a decision to be baptized (after a "born again" experience, of course), the mainstream denominations baptize infants, on the theory that baptism is not what humans do but what God does. In such denominations, the rite of passage for teenagers is called "confirmation," and it is preceded by a period of instruction.

Adults who convert to a mainline denominiation from a non-Christian religion or from no religion are baptized and confirmed, but exactly how and when this is done varies from church to church.
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gpandas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 02:51 PM
Response to Original message
73. bigger jerks
my experience exactly
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RT Atlanta Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 03:13 PM
Response to Original message
79. Funny thought...
I remember hearing Dennis Miller of all people discussing "born-agains" in one of his comedy routines (back when he was still funny), saying something to the effect of:

"What is it with those 'born again' Christians and them pushing their thoughts/opinions on any and everyone?!? You know, excuse me for getting it right the FIRST time."
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camero Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 03:14 PM
Response to Original message
81. It means Christians are made not born
From what I interpreted was that we were born with instincts and that by overcoming our instincts and accepting Christ's sacrifice we kind of go through death and rebirth inside of us.

For lack of a better way of putting it.
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Spider Jerusalem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 03:21 PM
Response to Original message
84. The whole "born again" thing in Xianity has an interesting background.
But, in order to give it to you, it's necessary to fill in a bit more of the background on Christian myth, ritual and symbol as lifted from earlier pagan traditions.

I'm sure you've seen the Christian fish symbol. Now, rotate it ninety degrees, with the tail downwards, and you have the symbol the Christians adopted and altered. This symbol represents the sacred vagina of the Great Mother...and many of the goddess cults required their initiates to pass through a gigantic version of it, in a ritual referred to as being "born again".

All of which just makes me chuckle whenever I see one of the Jesus-fish on the back of a car, or hear someone talk about being a "born-again" Christian...
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outinforce Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 03:43 PM
Response to Reply #84
91. Fascinating
I have never heard of this before.

Do you have any links that I could go to in order to learn more about the Christian symbol of the fish and how it was really just a 90 degree rotation of the a smaller version of the sacred vagina of the Great Mother that many goddesses cults used as a way of bringing intitates into their cult?

What I'd like to learn, if you have any resources on it, are where these goddess cults flourished, and any other research.
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Spider Jerusalem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 03:47 PM
Response to Reply #91
93. Here's a snippet from a quick search...
which includes a few sources (and saves me going through my bookshelves, which is just VERY time-consuming)...

Well before Christianity, the fish symbol was known as "the Great Mother," a pointed oval sign, the "vesica piscis" or Vessel of the Fish. "Fish" and "womb" were synonymous terms in ancient Greek,"delphos." Its link to fertility, birth, feminine sexuality and the natural force of women was acknowledged also by the Celts, as well as pagan cultures throughout northern Europe. Eleanor Gaddon traces a "Cult of the Fish Mother" as far back as the hunting and fishing people of the Danube River Basin in the sixth millennium B.C.E. Over fifty shrines have been found throughout the region which depict a fishlike deity, a female creature who "incorporates aspects of an egg, a fish and a woman which could have been a primeval creator or a mythical ancestress..." The "Great Goddess" was portrayed elsewhere with pendulous breasts, accentuated buttocks and a conspicuous vaginal orifice, the upright "vesica piscis" which Christians later adopted and rotated 90-degrees to serve as their symbol.

Along with the fish used as a code sign for early Christian communities, the ichthys also found its way into the ritual and decor of church rites. One case in point is the church mitre worn by prelates. Where did this originate? Dr. Thomas Inman discussed this phenomenon in his two volume opus, "Ancient Faiths Embodied in Ancient Names," (1869). He included a representation of a sculpture from Mesopotamia, observing "It is the impression of an ancient gem, and represents a man clothed with a fish, the head being the mitre; priests thus clothed, often bearing in their hand the mystic bag..."

"In almost every instance," added Inman, "it will be recognized that the fish's head is represented as of the same form as the modern bishop's mitre." The fish also appears in another sacred iconograph, the Avatars of Vishnu, where the deity "is represented as emerging from the mouth of a fish, and being a fish himself; the legend being that he was to be the Saviour of the world in a deluge which was to follow..."

From its focus of worshipping a god-man born of a virgin to the selection of holidays and symbols, Christianity appropriated the metaphors of earlier pagan religions, grafting them into its own account of the creation and beyond. Few Jesus worshippers are aware of this. Even fewer know that when they flaunt the "Ichthus" or Ichthys on a tee-shirt, car bumper or even the door of a state legislative office as a representation which originated in Christianity, they are in fact, displaying a more ancient symbol indicative of female anatomy and reproductive potency -- the very sign of the Great Mother.

(source: http://www.atheists.org/church/fish.html )

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outinforce Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 04:28 PM
Response to Reply #93
131. All Along I Thought The Fish
reprsented the way early Christians chose to communicate the fact that they were Christians with one another.

It was my understanding that during the time Christians were being persecuted by Rome, some Christians would take to drawing a fish in the dust as they spoke with another person.

The fish reprsented, in Greek, a name for Jesus.

The Greek word for fish is, of course, ichthos.

i - Iesus
ch = Christos
th = theos
(I'm not sure what the omicron and the sigma may have represented)

In other words, I had been led to believe that ichthos (fish) meant Jesus Christ is God.

I had also thought it might have had something to do with Peter and some of Jesus' other close followers, who were fishermen.

Thanks for sharing this fascinating story.
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Spider Jerusalem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 04:39 PM
Response to Reply #131
138. Actually...
as early Christians were persecuted, it made a certain amount of sense for them to adopt as their own the emblem of a pagan cult; and they came up with their own password ritual based on the letters of the Greek word "ichthys". Sort of a sign-countersign thing. Like a secret handshake.
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Walt Starr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 04:04 PM
Response to Reply #84
107. Thank you for sharing this
Most people have no idea of these traditions and how they were adopted by the early Church.

In fact, the entirty of the symbolism of Easter (Eostar) and Christmas (Yule) had Pagan origins, which goes along with my belief that christianity is simply one of the latest in a long line of Pagan religions.
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Spider Jerusalem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 04:16 PM
Response to Reply #107
120. Yes, indeed...
rather interesting, too...the birth of Jesus is celebrated on December 25th, which was the day after the solstice, a few thousand years ago (that whole precession of the equinoxes thing has changed the date a bit), or, as it was known to pre-Christian pagans, the Feast of the Unconquered Sun...(not to mention the birthdate of Mithras). And Easter...well, the Resurrection seems to come in part from the Osiris myth, and the crucifixion from the old myths of the god who sacrificed himself for the life of the crops and his people...(the early spring timeframe being quite significant here)...

Time to dig out Joseph Campbell again, I think...heh.
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Muddleoftheroad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 03:25 PM
Response to Original message
86. Bored again
With more obvious and deliberate anti-religious flamebait.

Despite your small edit, your anti-religious sentiment is so strong it smells.

"One final thought... Have you noticed that once people become
"born again" they become bigger jerks than they were the first time around."

Ah, yes, the tolerance I find here is amazing.
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Az Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 03:29 PM
Response to Reply #86
87. Teach
Teach people how they are being intolerant. Show them how they are harming themself more than anyone else.

Unfortunately most reactions to intolerance just amount to name calling itself. If you percieve someone being intolerant teach them how they are behaving badly. Show them a better way. Teach, don't preach.

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Muddleoftheroad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 04:02 PM
Response to Reply #87
103. Sorry, but this is an ongoing problem
I have lost tolerance for it.

If the poster can't tell where the anti-religious bigotry was in that post, then there is little hope for him.
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BigThama Donating Member (68 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 03:30 PM
Response to Reply #86
88. Yes...
That is a tone on this board that I find disturbing. The fact that it is not generally seen as a bias here (and therefore grounds for deletion/banning) is even more so.
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 04:15 PM
Response to Reply #88
118. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
Muddleoftheroad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 07:45 PM
Response to Reply #118
160. It doesn't take imagination
You could spend a couple days compiling anti-religious sentiment here that is bad enough that were it any other group people would be up in arms.
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Skittles Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 04:28 PM
Response to Reply #88
130. tone?
maybe it's just OPINIONS
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sangh0 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 04:38 PM
Response to Reply #130
137. You could say the same about the Repukes
"Gay marriage will lead to bestiality" is, after all, just an opinion.


IMO, sometimes an opinion can be quite revealing.
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Skittles Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 04:57 PM
Response to Reply #137
143. I think republicans are assholes
Edited on Wed Apr-07-04 04:57 PM by Skittles
and I don't like their opinions but I don't whine about them BASHING ME; I just fight back. In every religion/church thread there is the chronic wailing AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA they are picking on us.
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sangh0 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 05:34 PM
Response to Reply #143
150. Where you see whining
I see people pointing out some of the lesser known facts concerning religion and the attitudes of some DUers.

I'd also remind you that this thread was started by a non-Christian who complains (or "whines" if you prefer) about Christians

Also, if you look at the posts in numerical order, the athiests complaining (or "whining" if you prefer) about how the Christians bother them come sooner and in greater number than the posts from the religious complaining about atheists.

If anyone has a pity parade going on in this thread, is the atheists.
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Walt Starr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 03:59 PM
Response to Reply #86
100. Oh yes, definitely
/sarcasm

:eyes:
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Muddleoftheroad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 04:03 PM
Response to Reply #100
106. The fact that you don't see it
I find disturbing but unsurprising.
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Walt Starr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 04:05 PM
Response to Reply #106
109. Interesting, the fact that you do see it
I find disturbing but unsurprising.
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bobbyboucher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 04:14 PM
Response to Reply #86
117. Crying again?
Whaaa. "We are persecuted!" Whaaaa!
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Skittles Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 04:30 PM
Response to Reply #117
132. yup
Edited on Wed Apr-07-04 04:30 PM by Skittles
you can't have an opinion without "bashing" or "persecuting" the almighty pious among us.
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sangh0 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 05:37 PM
Response to Reply #132
151. Actually, it seems the atheists are doing the majority of whining
Edited on Wed Apr-07-04 05:37 PM by sangh0
in this thread.

"Wahhh! Those awful Christians are always telling me I'm going to aplace that doesn't exist"

"Waah! Those terrible Christians don't like me"

you can't have an opinion without "bashing" or "persecuting" the almighty atheists among us.
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bobbyboucher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 08:44 PM
Response to Reply #151
169. Actually, most here just want religion out of their government.
And don't take too kindly of those defending the practice of intermingling the two. Just keep your religion out of the government. It's not like there isn't a church on every corner for you to go to and profess your allegience.

But you, sangy, are an entire different animal, being that you are the reincarnation of ......... who was it again?
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sangha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 10:33 PM
Response to Reply #169
189. So do most Christians
But you, sangy, are an entire different animal, being that you are the reincarnation of ......... who was it again?

Me. And you.
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gpandas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-08-04 03:52 PM
Response to Reply #169
220. kick
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bmbmd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 03:49 PM
Response to Original message
94. You are not the first to ask that.
Nicodemus went straight to the source for the answer. Probably a better place to look than DU.
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Neshanic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 04:01 PM
Response to Original message
101. It apparently involves an adult Bunny suit, and whips....
eggs optional.
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Skittles Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 04:26 PM
Response to Original message
129. *self-censored*
Edited on Wed Apr-07-04 04:29 PM by Skittles
nt
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The Stranger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 04:54 PM
Response to Original message
142. "To be born again, first you have to die."
The first line from Salman Rushdie's The Satanic Verses.
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PfcHammer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 05:06 PM
Response to Original message
146. it means your mother is a masochist n/t
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Ysabel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 05:16 PM
Response to Original message
147. women have menstrual periods...
so women are kind of like "born again" every month...

some men wanted to be like women...

so they thought up this idea...

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Ysabel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 05:26 PM
Response to Reply #147
148. amniotic fluid / baptism...
same thing...

- note to self...
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outinforce Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-08-04 09:27 AM
Response to Reply #147
209. Really?
I had no idea that some men wanted to be like women and that they thought up this idea -- an idea, I might add, that a fairly large number of people both accept and find deeply significant in their own personal lives.

I do have a question, though. If a woman, when has a menstrual period, is "kind of like 'born again' every month", then why would men need to think up the idea of being "born again" in order to be like women.

The reason I ask this is that I can remember when I was 17 and 18 years old. There were some days (not months) back then when I think I experienced the male equivalent to the feminine version of being "born again" as many as five or six times. And I don't think I was in any way unusual.
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arewethereyet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 05:43 PM
Response to Original message
152. I'm born again, come on over and I'll thump you once with my Bible
just kidding about the Bible.

Firstly, no one is Christian by default. Secondly there are generally a couple phases in becoming Christian. Among Episcopals, an infant is "christianed" or recognized to be in the family of Christ, the church. They are clearly in no position to make life altering decisions. They recieve some sort of religious training and are confirmed. THis gets them a little closer to being really in the club but they're still kids. At some point after that (generally) a person will have to come to the conclusion that they want to accept the program fully and of their own free choice. Then the are born again. They were Christians before but only to the extent that a non adult can be. Some people never become adults, I'm sure you know some, Kato Kailin for example.

Its a term that loosly represents the idea of being born in the Holy Spirit. And its not unique to any denomination or sect but rather a catchword. Unfortunately most catchwords become annoying over time. Other terms are saved, redeemed like that.

What it really means is, and this is a lot more complex than it sounds, is accepting Christ as your Lord and Savior and your ticket to redemption and eternal life. Its acceptance of the tenents of Christianity and choosing to serve the Lord and not Satan. There is a built in notion that we are weak and will screw it up from time to time but that with prayer, admission of sin and true penance and faith that everthing will still be square with God.

I'm pretty sure I'm just as big a jerk post re-birth as before.

Don't know if that helps but it was interesting for me to try and map it out, thanks !
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 05:45 PM
Response to Original message
153. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 07:47 PM
Response to Reply #153
161. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
arewethereyet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 09:13 PM
Response to Reply #153
175. or maybe its when you begin to understand what you're been thinking
it was that way for me
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leftofthedial Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 05:46 PM
Response to Original message
154. it means yo mama
will be sitting funny for a few days.
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LWolf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 06:26 PM
Response to Original message
155. Perhaps it's a modified version
of reincarnation. Christianity has happily adopted ideas, legends/myths, rituals, seasonal holidays/celebrations, etc. from many pre-christian era belief systems in the push to convert the world. Maybe being "born again" allows people to experience rebirth without having to believe in reincarnation.
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Heyo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 07:50 PM
Response to Reply #155
163. As has been explained...
In simple terms.. to be "born again" simply means to accept the religion on Christianity and become dedicated to it.. thereby starting a new life as a Christian....

It's just a figure of speech...

For some it's more of a gradual process...

It can also be referred to the being baptized.

Heyo
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LWolf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 08:26 PM
Response to Reply #163
165. I know what it means to a christian,
having been related to a pack of them. I'm thinking from outside that perspective. Comparative religion intrigues me.
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TankLV Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 07:50 PM
Response to Original message
162. It means you can be evil incarnate, all your life, enjoy all that entails
Edited on Wed Apr-07-04 07:53 PM by TankLV
then decide you're "born again" when it is no longer of value, and you're suddenly holier than anyone else and get to jump to the head of the line to see jeebus!

But then again, that's just my observation of the facts/record of their behavior.

I was born right the first time, never had to be born again, thank you very much.
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Muddleoftheroad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 08:33 PM
Response to Reply #162
166. Clearly you could work on tolerance a bit
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TankLV Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-08-04 03:17 PM
Response to Reply #166
217. Clearly you should do a little research on just who these idiots are.
You can know them by what they say and do.

And I am intollerant? That's rich.

I suppose I am intollerant in only one respect - because I am of other intollerant scum.

I am stating a valid observation.

Where am I wrong?

I think from all the examples of "talibornigans" running wild in our country right now, I've been prooven correct.
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bloom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 09:17 PM
Response to Original message
176. I would be happy to have someone correct me if I'm wrong
But it's my impression that denominations like Presbyterians, Methodists, Mennonites, Catholics, DO NOT, as a rule get caught up in the "born again" phenomena. (Not that there is anything WRONG with that).

While becoming a church member might involve professing Jesus to be one's "Lord and Savior" and to be baptized if one is not already - that is not what I consider "born again".

I think of "born again" as something that is a ritual of fundamentalist churches, Pentecostals, maybe some Baptists, Church of Christ, others... - where they have what are known as "alter calls". Where people renounce their "sinful ways". Where there might be speaking in tongues, and that sort of thing.

Evangelism also seems to be a part of it.

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vetwife Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 09:46 PM
Response to Reply #176
179. A Born again Christian
John 3:16 KJV Bible (Read)
Jimmy Carter said he was a born again christian.
I am familiar with the scriptures as well as the teachings.
To become saved for eternal life. To ask Jesus Christ to come into your heart and forgive you of your sins and to believe that he is the Son of God. It does not mean that you are a republican or a democrat. It means that you have Christ as your Savior first in your life. It does not mean that you will not sin again but you should ask forgivness to God for your sins if you feel something is wrong and turn away from it. It means if you truly are a believer that you try to live by the teachings of Christ but this crowd we have in the White house have hijacked that type of faith. I suggest you look at Jimmy Carter's life and a moderate and see what it is supposed to be. I suggest further that you search your own heart and mind and come to your own conclusions, because a real christian does not force their faith on anyone else.
They live ..They love and they do not judge.
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Neshanic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 09:53 PM
Response to Reply #179
181. Perfection, you have described it exactly
"I suggest further that you search your own heart and mind and come to your own conclusions, because a real christian does not force their faith on anyone else."

My Methodist minister told me the same thing in other words when I was in High School. It is your personal beliefs and what makes you know in your heart that you are trying to do the right things, and it is between you and God, and no one else.
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vetwife Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 09:58 PM
Response to Reply #181
182. Thanks...Thats the way I see it
It is a personal belief and I do not believe the government should
try and legislate or dictate beliefs and don't think faith should be funded. Jesus hated hipocrites. Jesus and God loves all !
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arewethereyet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 09:50 PM
Response to Reply #176
180. wrong on all counts in that first sentence
third and fourth as well.
the first response covers it pretty well.
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Neshanic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 10:01 PM
Response to Reply #176
183. As a very liberal Methodist, it depends on the congregation.
Ours did not have this "this way or the highway" approach, but I visted a congregation in Maryland and YIKES! Had to walk out. I was leaving before he started getting out the snakes.
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SarahB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 11:01 PM
Response to Original message
194. It means you have two belly-buttons
Sorry, couldn't resist. :7
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 11:53 PM
Response to Original message
200. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
Muddleoftheroad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-08-04 08:57 AM
Response to Reply #200
206. Bigotry
Clearly doesn't hide just on the right.
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outinforce Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-08-04 09:38 AM
Response to Reply #200
210. It's Too Bad
It really is too bad, TH1onein, that each and every experience that you have had with someone who reveal to you that s/he was a born again Christian (I think that is what you mean when you refer to "these people") has left you with the impression you have.

That has certainly not been my own experience.

I might suggest that your viewpoint is not unlike the viewpoint I used to hear as a kid about folks whose skin was darker than mine. I had uncles and aunts who used to tell me to "watch out" for anyone whose skin was darker than mine. My uncles and aunts would tell me that they had never met a darkly-complected person who was not -- and I may not use the exact words my relatives used -- "shitty" and "out to fuck my relatives". There were quite frank in how they expressed this opinion that they had formed of darkly-complected folks, and told me that it was based on their own experiences.

Sometimes, I would have friends -- darkly complected friends -- visit me at my parent's home. When my aunts and uncles heard of this, they would often say things like "Well, we really like your friends, and we agree that your friends are really good people -- not like the rest of 'those people'". But they would go on to say this to me, "Normally, though, you had better watch out whenever you meet a darkly-complected person -- you are about to get fucked!"

I have a word that I use to describe my aunts and uncles.

Can you think of what it might be?
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BigThama Donating Member (68 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-08-04 12:35 PM
Response to Reply #210
214. Amen.
And I do mean Amen to that post, outinforce.
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FlaGranny Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-08-04 10:43 AM
Response to Reply #200
212. They aren't really all like that,
but I certainly know a few that are. I believe they (the minority) are just like some of the people who become cops. It gives them a sort of power trip and they become, well, "overbearing." But I do know what you mean.

I went to a Christmas party at my boss's house once, and most people there were born-again Christians. The party was going along just fine with everyone having a great (nonalcoholic) time, when this one guy started prosthelitizing. He turned off the rest of the born- again Christians in the room. He was preaching to the choir. He was at a full table and within a few minutes, he was alone. His wife later divorced him after many years of marriage. He was the perfect example of a born-again letting it go to his head. The rest of the folks in that room were very nice people. He was the only asshole there.

Please don't think every born-again is an "asshole." While I'm an atheist myself, I have family members whom I love dearly who are born agains, and most of them are actually just fine, with a couple of exceptions.
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LibertyorDeath Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-08-04 12:46 AM
Response to Original message
203. Means you so completely fucked it up the first time round

you have deluded yourself into trying it again expecting different results.

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LeahMira Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-08-04 09:40 AM
Response to Original message
211. Can we relate it to something most people already understand?
I find the whole concept of being a "born again" Christian really confusing. I mean, if you were Christian in the first place, how could you be born again? What I really want to know is what is it supposed to mean as opposed to what it has come to mean.

Many cultures have some sort of initiation ceremony that formally makes someone a member of the group. Usually there's some sort of preparation for the ceremony that involves study and meditation that's directed at helping the individual find his/her place in the group or his/her mission and role in life.

For instance, typically a Jewish male has studied for several years in preparation for a Bar Mitzvah. Closer to the time when he will become a Bar Mitzvah, he learns how to conduct services and he begins a sort of research project on a topic of his choice. When the actual ceremony takes place, a Torah scroll is given to him to carry, he leads the service, and he presents his research project as a "sermon" to the congregation. From that time on, he is considered an adult in the Jewish community and assumes all the responsibilities that come with that status.

I believe many Christian groups have a Confirmation ceremony that is similar in its implications for the individual and the religious community.

Now, perhaps Christians can fit the born-again experience into that framework in some way? BTW, I don't think it's so important just at what age a person has the experience so much as the meaning it has for the person and the religious community. Maybe if those who have been born-again can relate it to something that most people are already sort of familiar with it will help us to understand better. Anyway, I'm trying here.
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bloom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-10-04 01:33 PM
Response to Reply #211
225. The churches I've attended
would have "a confirmation ceremony" for teenagers.

Nobody ever referred to that as being "born again".

But then nobody talked about being "born again" at all.

These were Presbyterian, Methodist and Mennonite churches.

Apparently others had different experiences.
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Jose Diablo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-08-04 01:19 PM
Response to Original message
215. To be born again is from John chapter 3
In which a guy, Nicodemus, states to Jesus that he knows Jesus comes from God because only someone from God could do what Jesus does. To this Jesus replies in so many words that unless someone is "born again" they cannot see the kingdom of God.

Confused, Nicodemus asks how a person can reenter the womb and be born again.

I am not going to finish writing it down, you can read it if you are really interested what is said.

I have talked to many people about their experience of 'being born again'. Many speak of blinding flashes and all sorts of things that seem to me to be supernatural. Others have said they felt like something hugged them. I cannot say for sure about others experiences, especially when its subjective and can only be experienced by those others.

For me, the experience of 'being born again' was like this: all my doubts about existence of God left, I knew without any doubt whatsoever that God was here, with me. Inside I felt peaceful, at ease, for the first time in my life. I knew that I was not alone, nor was I ever alone, nor would I ever be alone again.

I doubt you will believe what I say because there is no way I can make you feel how I felt or feel today. And any person that only believes what they can see will say that I am not sane. But then again, who is "sane" in this crazy world.
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doni_georgia Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-08-04 03:27 PM
Response to Original message
218. What it means
I'm a Christian - although a liberal one, but I'm going to tackle this.

According to evangelical Christian belief, a person is not born a Christian. It is a choice that someone must make. When someone decides to follow Christ (become a Christian) they repent of all past sins. All is forgiven and they start fresh. Hence they are born again - born with a new spirit. That's what it means.
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