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Meldread Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-20-06 01:55 AM
Original message
Here is a challenge for all Christians!
I was reminded of my own life experiences after reading a thread on DU where a story was posted about a homeless man being escorted from a Church. In that thread someone posted a link to the classic book "In his steps" by Charles Sheldon. It is a truly inspirational book, and if you haven't read it I would suggest reading it.

In the book a preacher challenges his well-to-do congregation to walk in the footsteps of Jesus asking themselves "What Would Jesus Do?" when confronted with certain choices. I thought, since the novel was such an inspiration, that it would be both interesting and a inspiration to challenge any Christian who reads this.

The challenge put before you is this: For a single month you are to act, to the best of your ability, as you believe Jesus would act in your place. You are to confront any and all decisions put before you with the question, 'What Would Jesus Do?' and act in accordance to what you believe he would do in your place, regardless of the consequences or immediate results. In other words, you are to follow in the steps of Jesus Christ as closely and as literally as you possibly can.

This, of course, is completely voluntary. To enter into this challenge, respond to this thread simply stating you've accepted this challenge. Each day, or however often as possible, respond to the post you've made regarding your challenge and report back to us. Tell us what obstacles you are currently facing, what choices currently loom before you, and of your emotional and mental wellbeing. This includes, of course, any and all short comings that you have in your day-to-day life and what you plan to do in the future to ensure that you do not continue to fall short of your ideal goal.

Are there any brave Christians out there willing to accept this challenge, who are both willing to be open and honest with everyone here?
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OneBlueSky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-20-06 03:15 AM
Response to Original message
1. great idea . . . unfortunately, "What Would Jesus Do" has been . . .
bastardized into WWJD bracelets and other trinkets worn by those who see absolutely no problem answering the question with things like "bomb the shit out of the heathens!" . . .
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TallahasseeGrannie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-20-06 08:24 AM
Response to Reply #1
5. Then those of us who
participate can give the words fresh meaning. Like "merry Christmas."
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Meldread Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-20-06 04:26 PM
Response to Reply #1
9. Yes, well this challenge should hopefully prove otherwise.
...and if it doesn't, then well, I suppose it'll be a major shame.
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RC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-20-06 06:36 AM
Response to Original message
2. Those that believe do not follow, those that follow do not believe.
"Real" Christians and "True" believers seem to ignore the first four books of the New Testament. If that were not the case the above exercise would not be needed.
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TallahasseeGrannie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-20-06 08:23 AM
Response to Reply #2
4. All believers in any creed
can use a refresher now and then.
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TallahasseeGrannie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-20-06 08:22 AM
Response to Original message
3. Sounds like a great Lenten thing to do. I'm game.
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Meldread Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-20-06 04:30 PM
Response to Reply #3
10. Great!
I look forward to reading about your experiences.
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trotsky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-20-06 08:46 AM
Response to Original message
6. First thing you'd have to do...
is give up all your possessions, to preach full-time.

No one can take you up on your challenge.
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Meldread Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-20-06 04:33 PM
Response to Reply #6
11. Really?
That seems easy to think on the surface, but do you honestly think Jesus would want his followers living in poverty? Was that *REALLY* the message he was sending, or was he sending a deeper message by living that way?

I leave it up for each individual person to decide.
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trotsky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-20-06 07:18 PM
Response to Reply #11
14. The bible seems pretty clear on that point.
Here's probably the most complete financial advice Jesus offers (Mark 6:25-34) :

25"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? 26Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?

28"And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' 32For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
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Meldread Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-20-06 07:51 PM
Response to Reply #14
16. Ahh... I disagree.
No where in there does Jesus tell his followers to give away all that they own and live in poverty. What Jesus is saying, and it seems very clear to me, is that he does not want his followers concerned over worldly things. He wants his followers to live in the moment, to cherish what they have and not seek out things that they don't. It's a message that I think all the people - especially here in the United States - would do well to learn. A life based around material things leads to greed, and greed leads to lack of compassion for your fellow man as well as the exploitation of the Earth.

I only think Jesus would make such a suggestion to someone who has become a slave to their wealth, where their wealth has begun to consume every aspect of their life.

Of course, this challenge isn't based on what WE believe personally, that's left up to each individual to decide. Each person must decide for themselves what Jesus would do in their place - you can't really base your choices off certain instances in the Bible because each situation is unique. Everyone faces different problems and even those who face identical problems may have different needs that must be met. That's why each person is the final judge, and why the challenge was put toward Christians rather than everyone in general. If someone truly believes in the teachings of Jesus and calls themselves Christian, then I don't see why they couldn't accept this challenge - if they believed their words to be true in their heart of hearts.
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trotsky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-21-06 08:39 AM
Response to Reply #16
82. That's simply your interpretation.
And it's very common, of course, because what Christian really wants to give up everything they own?

Then there's Luke 18:22 - When Jesus heard this, he said to him, "You still lack one thing. Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me."

Which of course is spun as meaning that Jesus really only meant it for the rich guy. "Yeah, that's the ticket, it's only when money is a PROBLEM in your life or the focus of it that you have to give it away. It's not a problem for me, no way, that doesn't apply to me."

Many early Christians sincerely believed Jesus would return in their lifetimes. Jesus even said so himself, stating at his ascension that there were some there who would not die before his return. That of course fits very well with advice not to worry about feeding or clothing yourself, all will be taken care of very soon, etc.
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greyl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-23-06 04:56 AM
Response to Reply #16
88. I'm wondering what you mean by "poverty".
I'd suppose your definition would be our typical "census" definition, right?

"A life based around material things leads to greed, and greed leads to lack of compassion for your fellow man as well as the exploitation of the Earth."

If that interpretion of part of Jesus's message is correct, then what about the tribal cultures in Brazil, for one example out of thousands? As a people, aren't they more like Christ than our culture is? Is their secret to "living in the garden" that they know the one true way to interpret a Holy book? ;)

In any case, I have a different concept of the profundity of what Jesus was saying regarding wealth.
I think he was serious. :)
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catbert836 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-20-06 11:33 AM
Response to Original message
7. I'm willing to accept
even though I'm not a Christian. Is it so limited?
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Meldread Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-20-06 04:24 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. Sure!
I wasn't expecting anyone but Christians to accept the challenge, but you are more than welcome to participate if you think you are up for it.
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Meldread Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-20-06 04:56 PM
Response to Original message
12. Only two people are willing to accept the challenge?
Edited on Mon Feb-20-06 04:59 PM by Meldread
I am disappointed. I thought there would be more Christians out there, especially on the left, who were willing to walk the walk and not just talk the talk. After all, I was under the impression that for a person to properly call themselves a Christian (and therefore a disciple of Jesus) that it was necessary for them to follow in His footsteps and his teachings. If you aren't willing to follow in the steps and teachings of Jesus then by what right do you claim the title Christian?

It is a perfectly honest question, and one that I think each Christian that reads this and refuses to take up the challenge needs to pose to themselves.

After all, how can you challenge the radical right and claim that they are wrong, when you too fall short?

---
Why do you notice the splinter in your brother's eye, but do not perceive the wooden beam in your own eye?

How can you say to your brother, 'Let me remove that splinter from your eye,' while the wooden beam is in your eye?

You hypocrite, remove the wooden beam from your eye first; then you will see clearly to remove the splinter from your brother's eye.

"Do not give what is holy to dogs, or throw your pearls before swine, lest they trample them underfoot, and turn and tear you to pieces.

"Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.

For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.

Which one of you would hand his son a stone when he asks for a loaf of bread, or a snake when he asks for a fish?

If you then, who are wicked, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good things to those who ask him.

"Do to others whatever you would have them do to you. This is the law and the prophets.

"Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the road broad that leads to destruction, and those who enter through it are many.

How narrow the gate and constricted the road that leads to life. And those who find it are few.

"Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but underneath are ravenous wolves.

By their fruits you will know them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?

Just so, every good tree bears good fruit, and a rotten tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a rotten tree bear good fruit.

Every tree that does not bear good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.

So by their fruits you will know them.

"Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven.

Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name? Did we not drive out demons in your name? Did we not do mighty deeds in your name?'

Then I will declare to them solemnly, 'I never knew you. Depart from me, you evildoers.'

"Everyone who listens to these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on rock.

The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and buffeted the house. But it did not collapse; it had been set solidly on rock.

And everyone who listens to these words of mine but does not act on them will be like a fool who built his house on sand.

The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and buffeted the house. And it collapsed and was completely ruined."

When Jesus finished these words, the crowds were astonished at his teaching, for he taught them as one having authority, and not as their scribes.
---
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Inland Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-20-06 06:38 PM
Response to Reply #12
13. Actually, there's THREE, counting yourself. When do you start?
Please post your daily diary so we can see how you are doing.
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Meldread Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-20-06 07:38 PM
Response to Reply #13
15. I'm not a Christian.
I am not a Christian, therefore WWJD is fairly irrelevant to me considering if I choose to believe he existed, I believe he well... I'd rather not get into that debate here. I have set my own standards to live by - and I do - that still doesn't mean I can't be inspired by the mythical Jesus of the Bible or great inspirational acts done by his followers.

I'm not judging any Christian who chooses not to do this, only they themselves can be the judge. Although, I do feel that it is rather odd that people would revere a single man, who may or may not have existed, who is reported to have done great acts that have inspired billions of people, only to consistently fall woefully short themselves.

Personally, it's my hope that the Christians who take up this cause will inspire other Christians to do the same, and it would have a ripple effect throughout the entire religion. Maybe it's a bit too hopeful to wish for some type of dramatic revolution on that scale, but... well... I suppose it is a bit too hopeful considering only two people signed up for the challenge.

Frankly, I willingly admit that the principles of Jesus are too lofty for me to even attempt. Thankfully, though, I don't call myself a Christian or even think of myself in such a way. It would be insulting to real Christians.
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Inland Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-20-06 07:59 PM
Response to Reply #15
17. So you aren't a christian. So what? It's a challenge, do you accept?
Edited on Mon Feb-20-06 08:00 PM by Inland
If all this christian stuff is a good thing to do, it's good for you to do as well. If you wanted to inspire anyone, you could do it by YOUR OWN example, instead of calling for someone else to provide an example, instead of providing a counter example of "no thanks, not for me".

Indeed, what better lesson for all those christians if someone who is unwilling to call himself a christian actually walks the walk? And what lesser inspiration than someone asking, "someone else want to be holy"? I can't imagine what would have a greater ripple effect than taking up the challenge yourself.

On the other hand, if you really never did think much of the ideals, how could you be surprised that few rise to the challenge? Anyone who is interested in attempting isn't going to do it for the gratification of someone who doesn't value the chase anyway.

Well? Have three signed up for the challenge, or not? Are you in or are you out?
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Meldread Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-20-06 08:19 PM
Response to Reply #17
18. What about you?
Are *YOU* a Christian? I do not know why you seem so bitter and angry, unless you are a Christian and are offended by the challenge. I'm not playing the judge, as each person judges their own efforts.

If you are not a Christian then I have to wonder what point you have in this thread other than to bait folks into a fight, and if that is the case I sincerely hope no one takes the bait.

I willingly admit that I can't do it. I know I can't do it. I don't take the challenge because I know I'd fail, but my failure is irrelevant as I am not someone who professes belief in Jesus or God or any other such being or entity.

I feel it is a wonderful thing to challenge Christians to "walk the walk" because even if they fail, I am sure they will learn something - and hopefully - become better people. On top of that I'm hoping that they inspire other Christians to make the attempt as well, primarily those on the right.

Again, I do not see why you are so angry and bitter.
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Inland Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-20-06 08:43 PM
Response to Reply #18
19. Bitter and angry? Oh, my.
Here I am, giving you the same challenge you give everyone else, and you find it hostile. I wonder why your challenge is hostile and mine wasn't? I wonder why you can challenge someone to do something you are unwilling to do, and I can't do the same? I wonder why THEY would learn something by trying and failing why YOU would not. I wonder why I can't call on you to provide a wonderful example while I am the same old schulmp.

So why so defensive?

You are having a viceral reaction because your challenge never did make any sense. It's meant to leave people cold. It sure did me.

I think the answer is that somebody challenging somebody to goals they won't themselves even attempt are hypocrites. If you value the goal, do it. If you don't, then why challenge someone else?

That is why I said that I think the best inspiration would exactly be a person who is not a christian walking the walk. There's scriptural precedence for it, namely, the roman centurion although I am sure there are others.

IF YOU VALUE THE GOAL of inspiring christians. If you don't, why, of course you shouldn't bother.

Why should you, and why should you make yourself, officiously, a party to someone else's struggle for personal betterment if you don't think it worth your while? Do I challenge you to a marathon while sitting on the couch eating potato chips? Do I challenge you to charity while holdihng on to all my cash? Does it become any better if you said you believe in exercise or charity?



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InaneAnanity Donating Member (910 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-20-06 09:08 PM
Response to Reply #19
20. Inland
Go grab a beer, you seem uptight.
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Meldread Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-20-06 09:18 PM
Response to Reply #19
21. I'm not going to argue with you.
If you found it offensive then I apologize as it wasn't my intention. As I stated in the post that started this thread, the challenge springs not from myself - but from the book "In his steps". The challenge is practically taken from the book word for word, and yes the author of the book was a Christian. I thought it would be interesting to see such a challenge take place, considering the book was written back in the late 1800's.

You ask how this effects me? Christianity effects my life on a daily basis even though I am not a Christian. I am a gay man living in a rural part of Southern Virginia, a place where so-called Christian's would just as quickly shoot me as shake my hand. A place that is about to place an anti-gay Amendment into it's state Constitution. Even if I weren't gay, I am still a non-believer, and I am constantly subjected to Christian thought and beliefs, most of which I find contrary to the teachings of Jesus.

So yes, I would like to see some "real" Christians take a stand and prove that their religion is more than just a tool to oppress and harm others. Even if they were to fail, at least I'd know there was a Christian, somewhere in the United States, trying to actually stand for their beliefs.

I do not know why you are offended and angry. Maybe you miss understood my intentions, you give that impression, but maybe you are also angry with yourself because you are unwilling to make the attempt. If you think this is an attack on your faith, it isn't. I'm far beyond attacking Christians for their beliefs, and more often than not I simply show scorn to the bad ones (judged by my own measuring stick) while pretty much ignoring the good ones.

You may hate me all you want for me trying to hold out some form of hope for the religion, being hated is nothing new to me and I certainly won't lose any sleep. Although, I think perhaps you're really more angry at yourself.
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InaneAnanity Donating Member (910 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-20-06 09:20 PM
Response to Reply #21
22. Your gayness won't get you sympathy from Inland
GLBT, to him, are just dragging the party down.
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Meldread Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-20-06 09:27 PM
Response to Reply #22
23. Well, then I suppose that explains a lot.
I suppose that explains a lot then. If I believed that, I too would be offended by being asked to walk a mile in Jesus' shoes. I know what it's like for me, trying to compare myself to Jesus, and realizing how woefully short I come. I can only imagine what it is like for a Christian when the mirror of truth is put before their eyes and they see their own horrible image in the reflection. To be so angry and bitter, his reflection must be truly horrible indeed.
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Inland Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-20-06 09:42 PM
Response to Reply #23
26. But I did ask you to walk in Jesus's shoes, and you were offended.
Or maybe not offended, but you certainly declined the challenge as something that has nothing to do with you. For others, sure. For you, eh, not so much.

But I guess that your assumption that christian sees "a horrible image" in the mirror of truth pretty much shows where you are coming from. When a christian fails, it's horrible, but when you fail, well, it's really not your game. Like Inanity, you find a certain comfort in 1) declaring everyone failed 2) while declaring yourself superior because you are honest about it. Neither is true.

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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-20-06 09:44 PM
Response to Reply #26
27. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
Meldread Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-20-06 09:56 PM
Response to Reply #26
29. You are only seeing what you want to see.
You are only seeing what you want to see, and are most certainly looking through rose colored glasses. The reason I declined wasn't because I knew I would fail, the reason I declined was because there would have been little point in me personally making the attempt. It wouldn't have "grown me spiritually". I'm quite happy at where I am in my life and am as peaceful about it as I can possibly be at the moment.

I am starting to feel sad for you. You seem to want to direct all the anger you have for yourself at me. Well, sadly Inland, I'm not biting. There is nothing you could really say to make me angry, in fact I believe the more you post the closer you will come to realizing - even if you won't admit it to us - that it isn't about me... it's about you.
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varkam Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-20-06 10:01 PM
Response to Reply #29
32. He's good at that. n/t
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Inland Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-20-06 10:12 PM
Response to Reply #29
38. I didn't say you declined because you knew you would fail.
I said you declined because you aren't interested in the exercise that you set forth for others.

And I was right, since you admit that you are just right without the attempt. It's others who can benefit from being better, or failing in the attempt.

As I said, it's setting a set of standards that you don't believe in for someone else to try while you watch, and express deep, deep remorse that others fail in the attempt.

Of course it's not about you, in the sense that you intended on setting a goal for someone else. You never meant for this little exercise to be about you, your values, your life or your improvements. And that's what's a little hypocritical and a little sad and more than a little intentionally flamebait about it all.
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-20-06 10:16 PM
Response to Reply #38
39. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
Meldread Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-20-06 10:23 PM
Response to Reply #38
42. So we're going to go around and around like this?
I don't know if I want to keep going around and around like this Inland. I don't want to come off as sounding condescending.

As I said, you are certainly looking at things through rose colored glasses. However, in all your anger toward me, you are not asking yourself a single important question: What do you have to lose by accepting the challenge?

I know personally that I'll fail. I'll fail the moment I take the first step out of the gate, and what's worse I lack the motivation to make the attempt. I am somewhat hoping that people who are inspired by their faith would be able to find motivation in that, and even as they make mistakes - will grow from them. Not to mention, I might learn something. I don't see what's so wrong in that.
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Inland Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-20-06 10:32 PM
Response to Reply #42
47. Condescending? No! Officious? Yes.
As much as I enjoy a person telling me how to make myself better, there's a hypocrisy in that same person opting out of the same exercise.

The bottom line is that YOU don't accept the same standards that you encourage in OTHERS. YOU don't set yourself up for the same public failure that YOU encourage in OTHERS.

And when expressing disappointment that so few christians are adhering to a standard you don't care to attempt yourself......well, it's hypocritical. You can't cheer or boo attempts at standards that you don't apply to yourself without being a hypocrite. If it's not for you, then, it's not for you in every sense. If you can't see how that would leave someone cold, one can only point out your angry and defensive reaction to my challenging you the same way. Your first reaction was to ask ME if I was going to rise to the challenge. See? There's a real, shoe on the other foot problem with perception in the religion forum.

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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-20-06 10:33 PM
Response to Reply #47
48. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
Meldread Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-20-06 10:41 PM
Response to Reply #47
52. You still didn't answer the question.
What do you have to lose by accepting the challenge?

Heh, I think what you REALLY need is a big hug. You are too angry.

:hug:
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Inland Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-20-06 10:44 PM
Response to Reply #52
53. Yes, I did.
I said I had the exact same to lose as you do. What's left to say?
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Meldread Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-20-06 10:52 PM
Response to Reply #53
56. Then let's enter the challenge together.
Since we've both got the same thing to lose, let's enter the challenge together. If you are willing to do it, I am willing to do it as well.
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Inland Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-20-06 10:59 PM
Response to Reply #56
60. But you could enter it right now, with the two that have agreed.
What would I add? Besides the surety that I won't sign up, that is.

Whether I'm in or out won't change the hypocrisy of the challenge. The only thing that would do that is for you to attempt the same struggle you set for others.

And I'm not going to train for a marathon, either. Just so you know.

Now, I am trying to learn Mandarin and lose weight, and to keep christians and religious from feeling unwelcome on DU, so if you want to join me in that....
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Meldread Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-20-06 11:05 PM
Response to Reply #60
62. Again, Inland what do you have to lose?
You said everything that I had to lose, you also had to lose. So, I said 'Okay then, let's do this together.' Then you decline, why?

Inland are you afraid? No, I mean that seriously, are you afraid to sign up? If so, why?
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Inland Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-20-06 11:12 PM
Response to Reply #62
64. Why exactly did you need me, again?
Now instead of the challenge not being for you at all, it's for you but only if I sign up?

Is there something about my being consistent that let's you be hypocritical?

Methinks you are back to your comfort zone of criticizing others for not adhering to standards you don't have yourself. If you had them, you wouldn't be waiting for me to enter into a pact. Nuff said.
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Meldread Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-20-06 11:22 PM
Response to Reply #64
66. No, actually...
I stated clearly why I didn't join in to start with. I still stand by that as it makes perfect logical sense. You said the reason that you didn't join in was because I was being hypocritical, so I decided to encourage you to join in by saying I'd join in myself. I am being logically consistent, but you are sending mixed messages.

The way I see it, if we both have the same thing to lose, and I'm willing to do it - why are you not also willing to do it? The only conclusion that I can come to is that you are afraid, and I do not know why. So I am asking for a reason.
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Inland Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-20-06 11:30 PM
Response to Reply #66
67. Did you say "willing" or "are" going to do it?
Because as far as I can tell, there shouldn't be a distinction. If you are willing, then you should just do it.

Are you going to just do it, or are you hedging for purposes of asking me questions?
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Meldread Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-20-06 11:33 PM
Response to Reply #67
68. Fine. I'll do it. :)
If that is what you want, then I'll do it.

Now perhaps you'll answer my question as to why you won't do it. What are you afraid of?
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Inland Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-20-06 11:41 PM
Response to Reply #68
70. Ok.
I'm lazy and as I said, self satified, and no interest in adhering to the tenets of a religion that isn't mine. I just don't buy the self improvement premise.



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Meldread Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-21-06 12:07 AM
Response to Reply #70
77. So you aren't a Christian?
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beam me up scottie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-21-06 12:12 AM
Response to Reply #77
78. I am not a christian apologist.
I just play one on tee vee!
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Inland Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-21-06 07:52 AM
Response to Reply #77
80. No. But it's assumed. Always.
Edited on Tue Feb-21-06 08:04 AM by Inland
Amazing what a little preconception will lead to. No, I'm not taking up the cross this week.
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Meldread Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-21-06 03:31 AM
Response to Reply #70
79. Well, I did it!
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...


I created the new thread, be kind and read the rules and guidelines I posted. I also joined the challenge, as I said I would.
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Goblinmonger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-20-06 10:01 PM
Response to Reply #26
31. Defensive much?
The OP clearly stated that he would fail. Why do you keep beating him with that stick? Why don't you take up the challenge and show him what a good Christian would do instead of verbally assaulting him? If you are offended, why not just leave it at your declaration of offense or at least respond to his response rather than just restating your one point ad nauseum?
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varkam Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-20-06 10:01 PM
Response to Reply #22
30. And blacks...
can't forget blacks.
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Inland Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-20-06 09:33 PM
Response to Reply #21
24. I think we both know how your post was intended.
Expecting hate, so much so that you read my post as hate, rather than the mirror image.

Everyone knows it's really not up to you to hold out hope for a religion you don't belong to. It is offensive to call on members of the religion to do their religion better. I can't think of any NICE way to challenge someone to do something I don't do and I don't value. The fact that christians run everything is the constant excuse to address the christians on DU in a manner intended to raise hackles.

The fact that you express sadness at so few taking the challenge is a corker. Declaring the experiment a failure seems to have been the goal.

If you really wanted to find christians as examples, rather than make officious challenges, you certainly can find them. Here's my post that dropped like a stone for lack of the usual suspect's posting. Satisfied with this man? I'm fucking impressed, myself. Three comments for a thread that isn't trying to score points on somebody, because the way of this forum is scoring points. Sad, but true.


http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-20-06 09:36 PM
Response to Reply #24
25. Deleted sub-thread
Sub-thread removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
Meldread Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-20-06 09:49 PM
Response to Reply #24
28. I'm very sad you feel that way.
I am not going to argue and debate with you, because I know I cannot change your mind. I don't think anyone is honestly expecting a success, including yourself, but being successful wasn't the point. It wasn't a contest, and each person was to be their own judge. If you think Jesus of the Bible honestly believed that his followers would suddenly become perfect, then you obviously haven't read the Bible. Jesus wasn't expecting perfect people, his own disciples screwed up on more than one occasion. It is about the attempt to live up to the example, not to actually *live* the example.

I don't poke my head into Religion/Theology much, but more often than not I defend Christians against over zealous attacks. Imagine me, someone who has by all standards, lived at the proverbial knife point of Christianity for as long as I can remember, defending Christianity. Why, it almost sounds Jesus-like.

In fact I defend the right for all people to have their particular religious views, even if they are bigoted and hate filled. The only thing I have ever asked in return is for religion to only guide private morality, not public morality. To not attempt to legislate and pass laws that are based around a religious pretext. I believe that is more than enough to ask, and I also believe it is something Jesus would agree with. He wasn't big on forcing his beliefs on others, and even went as far as to warn his followers about people who wanted to do such things.
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Inland Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-20-06 10:03 PM
Response to Reply #28
33. Eh.
I'm wondering how the whole public morality thing gets buried under an officious challenge and successive defenses of it, and a gratuitous comparison with His Nibs. There's a whole lot of flamebait before you come to some legitimate area for discussion. There's a whole lot of opinion as to how christians can be better christians in the eyes of a nonbeliever that is an unnecessary prelude to the public. It sure left me cold.

Just saying.
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-20-06 10:04 PM
Response to Reply #33
34. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
Goblinmonger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-20-06 10:06 PM
Response to Reply #33
36. Doh, there it is again.
Must not have been a thesaurus but a "Word of the Day" subscription.

You don't think it is a legitimate "opinion" that christians acting more like christ, by THEIR own standards, would be a good thing?
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-20-06 10:23 PM
Response to Reply #36
44. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
NMMNG Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-22-06 05:05 AM
Response to Reply #36
85. Bite your tongue
You don't think it is a legitimate "opinion" that christians acting more like christ, by THEIR own standards, would be a good thing?

Act by their own standards rather than just impose them on others? Perish the thought. :eyes:
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Goblinmonger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-22-06 11:51 AM
Response to Reply #85
86. I'm Sorry
I didn't mean to slip into bizzaro world there and think that Christ might actually live by example rather than judge others. :crazy:
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NMMNG Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-23-06 01:06 AM
Response to Reply #86
87. Maybe this will teach you
:spank:





:P
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Goblinmonger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-23-06 10:43 AM
Response to Reply #87
90. Careful
I'm a godless atheist, I like that stuff.
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NMMNG Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-23-06 11:53 PM
Response to Reply #90
93. Do you now?
Though from what I've seen in the news, plenty of fundie wingnuts like to walk on the wild side as well, practicing exactly what they preach against. :evilgrin:

That's one of the benefits of being an atheist. We don't need to be hypocrites--we like something we can just say so. (Not to suggest in any way that being an atheist is equivalent with hedonism, which is a common though erroneous assumption)
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Meldread Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-20-06 10:11 PM
Response to Reply #33
37. Then you are missing the point.
"There's a whole lot of opinion as to how christians can be better christians in the eyes of a nonbeliever that is an unnecessary prelude to the public. It sure left me cold."
I thought I made it very clear in the original post, as well as subsequent posts, that each person was to be their own judge. I wasn't planning on being the judge and jury, I actually had planned to be cheering on everyone who participated.

"There's a whole lot of flamebait before you come to some legitimate area for discussion."
Again, I clearly stated that the point of this thread was not to offend, flame, or otherwise cause some form of distress to Christians. I even apologized to you for taking it that way.

I've given you all I can give.
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Inland Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-20-06 10:21 PM
Response to Reply #37
41. No judgment?
"I am disappointed. I thought there would be more Christians out there, especially on the left, who were willing to walk the walk and not just talk the talk. After all, I was under the impression that for a person to properly call themselves a Christian (and therefore a disciple of Jesus) that it was necessary for them to follow in His footsteps and his teachings. If you aren't willing to follow in the steps and teachings of Jesus then by what right do you claim the title Christian?

It is a perfectly honest question, and one that I think each Christian that reads this and refuses to take up the challenge needs to pose to themselves.

After all, how can you challenge the radical right and claim that they are wrong, when you too fall short?"

Yeah, this sounds like a real cheerleading squad for christians, but why would you be? You don't believe it, and you aren't doing it yourself.

By the way, have you bothered with the post on the Wheaton college prof? The one that's dropping like a stone because the dime store atheist theorists can't think of anything snappy to put in it?
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-20-06 10:23 PM
Response to Reply #41
43. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
beam me up scottie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-20-06 10:27 PM
Response to Reply #41
45. So it's thread envy.
I should have known.

Poor Inland, always a bridesmaid...

You're pissing on Meldread's thread because everybody ignored yours.

How pathetic.
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Meldread Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-20-06 10:30 PM
Response to Reply #41
46. It might have been harsh.
I was making the attempt to get people interested, and asking hard but honest questions. That's what friends do for other friends. After all, what right *DO* you have calling yourself a Christian if you refuse to follow the teachings of Jesus? It's a hard question, and no doubt this is what has rubbed you the wrong way.

I believe Jesus would ask you the same question. Hell, if Jesus were here today he'd be more than a little peeved I think. I think even he would find the limits of his compassion tested.

"By the way, have you bothered with the post on the Wheaton college prof? The one that's dropping like a stone because the dime store atheist theorists can't think of anything snappy to put in it?"
You seem to want to lump me in with a group of people you dislike. Well, I'm not going to fit neatly into the mold you are trying to place me in.

So I will just pose to you the question I asked in another part of this thread: What do you have to lose from accepting the challenge?
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Inland Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-20-06 10:41 PM
Response to Reply #46
51. Maybe it's because you make sure the question is easy for you
Edited on Mon Feb-20-06 10:42 PM by Inland
and hard for everyone else. After all, it's easy for you to challenge someone on their ethics when yours aren't in evidence. When you said you were just fine where you are right now, it's pretty clear that you were working to not provide an opening for the same "challenge" you provide others.

As for lumping you in, I wasn't. At least, not yet. Fact is, it IS dropping like a stone. And it's an interesting post, if you really wanted to see a christian walking the walk. But for those others that have declared that they aren't interested in hearing anything constructive about christians, they won't go haunting that thread. Huh.

As for what I have to lose from accepting the challenge, why, the same as you. The exact same as you. What's left to say? The only difference is that I'm not making a challenge and then disavowing it for myself and then tutting.
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Meldread Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-20-06 10:46 PM
Response to Reply #51
54. You still seem to be missing the point.
I feel sad for you Inland. I really, truly do. :hug:

I tell you what, if you accept the challenge, I'll accept the challenge as well? How about that?
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Inland Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-20-06 10:52 PM
Response to Reply #54
55. No, like you, I don't want the challenge.
I never did. If I wanted to engage in a huge life change, I sure wouldn't do it in front of anyone else who didn't share the same goals.

See, like you, I am an amazingly self satisfied person, just more self aware. I don't know why you feel sad for me, when all I did was refuse the exact same challenge as you, without the hypocrisy of expecting others to meet the challenge and without the officiousness of challenging someone to better follow a religion I don't believe in.

And that's really all I have to say, as it is all I really had to say from the start.
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Meldread Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-20-06 11:00 PM
Response to Reply #55
61. Inland, you are *still* missing the point.
You seem to think that falling short of your goal is some horrible, horrible thing and to do so publicly would bring on everlasting shame and humiliation. Well, that is just a bunch of garbage.

I am not "amazingly self-satisfied", I certainly have room to improve my life. I know I do.

You seemed to however prove my point, "...without the officiousness of challenging someone to better follow a religion I don't believe in."

What good would it have done if I had decided to do the challenge? Would I have been able to, a mere non-believer, been able to say "Hey, look Christian people *I* am a better Christian than you!" Because that is how you would have taken it. The simple fact of the matter is that you are angry with yourself, not angry with me, and that is why I feel sorry for you.

I wish you would accept the challenge as I certainly would be more than happy to do it with you.
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Inland Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-20-06 11:09 PM
Response to Reply #61
63. Well, first, as I said, my joining wouldn't change anything.
If you taking the challenge is harmful without me, it's harmful with me.

Second, I think that your good example would be a marvelous example for christians, that one without faith, one without an eye on the prize, can still engage in the race. There's scriptural precedent.

Third, if it's good for them as an exercise, it's still good for you as an exercise.

In any event, I'm not going to do it, which is what would have prevented me from making the OP you did, and the resulting tuttutting. You shouldn't have made it.
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Meldread Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-20-06 11:17 PM
Response to Reply #63
65. Would it be good for you?
You are using third person syntax. You are saying "them" not "us". Why are you not including yourself in the group with other Christians? Would it be a marvelous example for you? Would you somehow be moved and be inclined to join in?

I am willing to bet that you answer the last two questions as "no", and because of that I have to wonder why any other Christians would feel differently?
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Inland Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-20-06 11:39 PM
Response to Reply #65
69. Because I'm not interested in being in group of christians.
That's what CHURCHES are. If I wanted to join christians in following christianity, I'd join one of those.

It's not my bag, not my goals, and that's why I would not a) take up the challenge and b) make the challenge. It would be wrong for me as it was wrong for you.

Don't expect me to be challenging jews or muslims or hindus to have some sort of public faith drives to become better at their religions, either.


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Meldread Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-21-06 12:02 AM
Response to Reply #69
74. So you prove my point then, while still missing it entirely.
"Don't expect me to be challenging jews or muslims or hindus to have some sort of public faith drives to become better at their religions, either."
As a non-believer you'll simply distort what I do, constantly. I am damned in your eyes if I don't take up the challenge, and damned if I do take up the challenge. If I don't take up the challenge I'm a hypocrite, if I take up the challenge then I am showing that I can be better at Christianity than many - if not most - Christians. I find such logic backward and amusing, if more than a little unfair.

"That's what CHURCHES are. If I wanted to join christians in following christianity, I'd join one of those."
Have you ever been to a Church? I can most certainly assure you that, as a person who has spent time in churches growing up, it is certainly not a place where you learn anything about Christianity. At best, you learn social skills. Churches have become little more than places where people can gather to show off how "good" they are to other people. I don't know of a single church which isn't filled with hypocritical people who are more often than not, the furtherest thing you can find from a Christian. The most "Christian" people I know rarely, if ever, attend Church. I suppose it has something to do with "birds of a feather flocking together", as the old saying goes.

If you want a prime example, I can give you my Aunt and Uncle. They hate each other to the extreme. They refuse to talk to each other at home, yet every Sunday they appear in Church, holding hands and acting like their life is perfect and fine. Yet the moment they are out of the Church parking lot...

Jesus may have said divorce is wrong, but I don't believe it is in all cases. I don't believe if Jesus existed today and lived in our society that he would say the same thing. If people are making themselves greatly unhappy, and especially hurting others in the process, he would no doubt advocate for them to find peace away from each other.

You seem to take offence at the challenge, I find that odd and I have satisfactorily concluded that it has absolutely nothing to do with me, and everything to do with you.
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Inland Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-21-06 08:03 AM
Response to Reply #74
81. Your challenge might have something to do with me.
And I don't care about any conclusions you want to draw from that. Iitially, your own challenge had nothing to do with you, by design: you were challenging others to a task you were eschewing. That, at least, has been remedied. You're welcome.

Moreover, I'm not particularly upset by your description of churches as largely social (or socializing) institutions. I think they, and bowling leagues, have value for being just that, and that's a point that most people who have never been to a church miss. That is, they aren't places where people meet and plot the next crusade, by and large. Mostly they are plotting how to have cookies and coffee after services.

Before you poo=poo the social aspect of it, you might think of how you are sharing your challenge with others. Weight Watchers has it right, IMO, and so does DU. The force of churches as places where people meet and develop ties and common attitudes has no liberal analogue. Good luck, maybe you've found it.
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Goblinmonger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-20-06 10:04 PM
Response to Reply #24
35. Officious?
Did someone get a thesaurus for their birthday? Happy Birthday, Inland.

You seriously think that your first response to the OP was the "mirror image" of hate? Wow, I'd hate to see you when you are REALLY pissed off because it appeared to me like you came out swinging. Of course, I'm one of the uppity atheists dragging down the party.
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beam me up scottie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-20-06 10:19 PM
Response to Reply #35
40. He did use that a lot, didn't he?
He's a little behind.

He'd be much better off if he were to focus on today, don't you think?

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Goblinmonger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-20-06 11:47 PM
Response to Reply #40
71. Nice
You can usually get me to laugh. Of course we will just be accused of having our own private, atheist high five.
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beam me up scottie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-21-06 12:01 AM
Response to Reply #71
73. Well, since we're the reason Dems lose elections,
I really don't mind one more accusation, do you?
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banana republican Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-20-06 10:57 PM
Response to Reply #17
58. So what is your favorite sin????
I can count my favorite sins on two hands; oh I'm sorry it just happens to amount to ten....

I can't think of a commandment that I havn't violated in some way or another.

I consider myself a christian because the question of my salvation isn't mine...

I don't choose God... God Chooses me ( or maybe not as the case may be, after all it is up to him )....
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Meldread Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-20-06 10:39 PM
Response to Reply #12
49. Hey, guys leave Inland alone.
Thanks!

:toast:

:thumbsup:
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-20-06 10:40 PM
Response to Reply #49
50. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
beam me up scottie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-20-06 10:53 PM
Response to Reply #49
57. I hate to see people think it's something THEY said.
He has "issues".
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Zhade Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-23-06 11:22 PM
Response to Reply #57
92. Sure, if you can call racism and bigotry "issues".
NT!

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Goblinmonger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-20-06 11:48 PM
Response to Reply #49
72. Oh, come on, dad
I was having a good time. It's the same old, same old.
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Meldread Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-21-06 12:05 AM
Response to Reply #72
75. Don't make me...
...beat the love of Jesus into you!

:P

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The Straight Story Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-22-06 12:11 AM
Response to Reply #12
83. Actually I just saw this thread
but can tell you I could not do the challenge. I am far too weak in the flesh, as it were, to rise to the occassion. It does not stop me from trying day to day to do what I think is right though - and Jesus and I have a different life here (I am married, have a daughter, etc). But a good thread nonetheless.
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-20-06 10:58 PM
Response to Original message
59. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
dweller Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-21-06 12:06 AM
Response to Original message
76. i read this thread before leaving for work today
Edited on Tue Feb-21-06 12:07 AM by dweller
and immediately accepted the challenge, setting off to wither a fig tree. But i didn't see one on the way to work, and didn't want to mess with the other plants.
i realized i must have chosen to achieve something outside of my own abilities, since a fig tree didn't materialize, so instead opted to just settle for a lesser chore: doing unto others as i would do unto myself (as if they were myself). I found this to be much easier, and believe i am now ready for at least sainthood. Since i am off work tomorrow, maybe we can all celebrate it as saint dweller's day together. Take the day off too, and practice the simpleness of doing unto others as you would do unto yourself.

but don't come knocking on my door tomorrow. It's my day off. And i like being left alone.
dp
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The Magistrate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-22-06 01:28 AM
Response to Original message
84. This Reminds Me. Mr. Meldread
Of a favorite line from Mr. C. K. Chesterton: "Christianity has not been tried and found wanting. It ahs been found difficult and not tried."
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WoodrowFan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-23-06 10:41 AM
Response to Original message
89. I try every day
Edited on Thu Feb-23-06 10:42 AM by WoodrowFan
I'm just not very good at it.... Once I get good at it, THEN I'll try to make the rest of you live that way. Until then though, I'll keep practicing....


I don't have to master that loaves and fishes thing, though, do I? I'm not much of a seafood fan. Maybe if I could do BBQed ribs and loaves.....
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Silent3 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-23-06 11:13 AM
Response to Original message
91. Luke 6:30
Luke 6:30 -- "Give to every one who begs from you; and of him who takes away your goods do not ask them again."

I am officially here and now begging for all of the money from all Biblical literalists who are committed to following the rules of this thread. Please, please, I beg you! Give it all to me! I also beg you for all stocks and bonds in your possession.

You may contact me by private message about where to send you generous tokens of faith.

PS: The Bible doesn't say a thing about me having to be "worthy" of this, or about me having to be a believer myself... all I need to do is ask, even if I'm asking just to be a pain and the ass and to prove a point -- the point being I don't expect a single soul to do this.

PPS: I really, really mean it. I am begging from you, and if you're a Biblical literalist committed to this challenge, you've either got to do as I ask or start playing games with just how literal you actually take the Bible to be.
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