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An Evangelical Unitarian service

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by kestegs, Nov 4, 2011. | Replies: 52 | Views: 1723

  1. kestegs

    kestegs D3 Monk Moderator

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    An Evangelical Unitarian service

    Yea...It's a religious topic :D

    I wanted to see what everyone thinks about this video, it gives some pretty good explanation of what is going on in the beginning of the video, but here is a brief intro to the people:

    Marlin is the Pastor of the largest Unitarian church in the USA, this video takes place in his church on this past Sunday morning.

    Bruce is one of the Pastors at my church in Colorado, Marlin calls it a mega church, but it's not really that big. Bruce is a very close friend of mine.

    I know it is a bit long, but you don't actually need to really watch it, you can just listen too it after the first bit once you get accustomed to the voices.

    This is a rather unprecedented thing and I am curious how Christians and Non-Christians alike view what they are both saying, Thanks for your honest opinions in advance :thumbup:

  2. nurman

    nurman IncGamers Member

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    Re: An Evangelical Unitarian service

    A bit off-topic, but how many churches are there in the US?
  3. jmervyn

    jmervyn IncGamers Member

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    Re: An Evangelical Unitarian service

    I'll have to check it from home.
  4. kestegs

    kestegs D3 Monk Moderator

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  5. stillman

    stillman IncGamers Member

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    Re: An Evangelical Unitarian service

    As a non Christian, I will point out how he is cherry picking various lines from Jesus to support his thesis that we should love everyone and reject no one. However, Jesus also said to obey all the rules laid down in the Old Testament, and some of those rules are very nasty (like killing homosexuals). This contradicts much of what the pastor said (like loving everyone, including homosexuals).

    This is a tough situation, because it doesn't matter which biblical verses you pick; there are almost always contradicting statements elsewhere.
  6. kestegs

    kestegs D3 Monk Moderator

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    Re: An Evangelical Unitarian service

    Yes, they did only pick very basic and general statements, the point was of course not to offend anyone at the church, or at least make an effort not to.

    I don't think that Jesus truly meant to obey all the rules of the old testament. Here is an interesting article about old testament law vs Jesus. It's not really put on by a Christian group I don't think and it feels fairly unbiased, but gives some good points to consider on the matter.
  7. Valhauros

    Valhauros IncGamers Member

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    Re: An Evangelical Unitarian service

    Although I was raised as Catholic, around 13, I started believing all religions were a farce, and by itself, that it maims civilization's progress. I watched the whole video, and the way I see it, it comes down to a single phrase, which I agree with: "If you are seeking comfort, you won't find truth".

    Religions blind people from reaching the truth, because we are too stubborn and proud to recognize that most of our life-changing questions are much more simple that we would want to. I takes a lot of courage to come to accept reality, so we opt to shade ourselves with the comfort of afterlife and a God who resembles more Man than Infinity. The Pastor seems to be inflicted (at the time of the video) with a thirst for better answers, so it clashes with his actual notions.

    I think it comes down to believing whatever takes you through the day. If you are really seeking the truth, then religion is not the place to find it.
  8. kestegs

    kestegs D3 Monk Moderator

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    Re: An Evangelical Unitarian service

    If you don't mind, why did you start to believe religion was a farce and that it maims civilization's progress?

    I will agree with you that most or a lot of religion is a farce. You are right that many people look to religion for shelter and hope of an afterlife, this can be a good thing or a bad thing. then again I don't really like to be called religious myself, and I'm not sure we have the same definition of religious.

    I would have to say that religion (or God/Bible) are the only place to find truth, which may not be overly surprising to you at this point.

    What is this truth that you are seeking or have found, or what gives your life meaning?

    The pastor is a bit conflicted, yes. He is on a journey more than he has arived at a destination.
  9. BobCox2

    BobCox2 IncGamers Member

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    Re: An Evangelical Unitarian service

    From an article in the Economist.

    Goodness has nothing to do with it
    Utilitarians are not nice people



    Quote:
    "One of the classic techniques used to measure a person’s willingness to behave in a utilitarian way is known as trolleyology"
    No lack of that type of study on this forum. [​IMG]

    But I digress...
    Quote:
    "For example: there are five railway workmen in the path of a runaway carriage. The men will surely be killed unless the subject of the experiment, a bystander in the story, does something. The subject is told he is on a bridge over the tracks. Next to him is a big, heavy stranger. The subject is informed that his own body would be too light to stop the train, but that if he pushes the stranger onto the tracks, the stranger’s large body will stop the train and save the five lives. That, unfortunately, would kill the stranger. "
    So the choice of saving five lives by sacrificing the one life in front of you (acting on the situation) OR do nothing and kill five guys while knowing you could have only killed one.

    What a conundrum.
    Quote:
    "Dr Bartels and Dr Pizarro knew from previous research that around 90% of people refuse the utilitarian act of killing one individual to save five. What no one had previously inquired about, though, was the nature of the remaining 10%. "
    So most people are not utilitarian and just let things happen in front of them.

    Quote:
    "Dr Bartels and Dr Pizarro then correlated the results from the trolleyology with those from the personality tests. They found a strong link between utilitarian answers to moral dilemmas (push the fat guy off the bridge) and personalities that were psychopathic, Machiavellian or tended to view life as meaningless. Utilitarians, this suggests, may add to the sum of human happiness, but they are not very happy people themselves. "
    So the next time you support the utilitarian viewpoint you might want some meds handy.
    Quote:
    "Utilitarianism provides a plausible framework for deciding who should get trampled. The results obtained by Dr Bartels and Dr Pizarro do, though, raise questions about the type of people who you want making the laws. Psychopathic, Machiavellian misanthropes? Apparently, yes. "
    Looking at many lawmakers today, this result is actually not too surprising.

    The paper in the journal Cognition.

    RIP


    We love spam
    watch the utilitarian/ Unitarian fun


    Last edited: Nov 5, 2011
  10. kestegs

    kestegs D3 Monk Moderator

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    Re: An Evangelical Unitarian service

    Don't think I've ever heard of utilitarian before, interesting.

    Your two links at the top of the post both go to the same place, did you intend that?
  11. Goryani

    Goryani IncGamers Member

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    Re: An Evangelical Unitarian service

    Google street view doesn't show a sports stadium sized church, but the prominent display of donation opportunities on the Christ Community Evangelical website seems consistent with most mega-churches (and Evangelical churches). I think their web site gets more SEO from donation opportunities than worship opportunities.

    What does that say about religion today if discussion among two similar but not identical beliefs is unprecedented? What unites us dwarfs what divides us, yet we often choose our relationships based solely on what divides us.

    I don't understand the fascist (defined: condemnation of rational individualism and dissolution of social ties) mentality pervasive throughout the world. Religion. Political parties. Government. Gangs. Unions. Non competitive agreements. The formation of these groups seems designed to create a minority to subjugate. If one of these groups ever wins, a new, different minority is identified/created and subjugated. Go go Social Darwinism.

    I sing in a choir at my church. We're not half bad. Some members have been paid singers in operas, musicals, or other performances. Our choir director is a Grammy winner. Several times a year, we try to travel to different churches and denominations. Despite being qualified and willing to adjust songs (usually lyrics) in order to not be overtly offensive, we frequently get turned away simply for being a different denomination. It's disheartening.

    You're right about contradictory statements. Jesus gave instances where the old laws were wrong and should not be obeyed anymore while often said that he wasn't setting out to eliminate old laws. Interestingly, Jesus often tells "law enforcement" he wasn't breaking old laws or trying to eliminate old laws while saying the opposite to his followers when out of earshot of the temples. Is this an example of Jesus lying? If so, he would be breaking the old commandment about not lying.

    It was bound to happen sooner or later: the homosexuality comments. I don't think homosexuality was added to the bible until 1958 -1973 (date varies by source depending on what is considered a valid version of the bible).

    Before then, the scriptures that were changed to homosexuality referred to varied behaviors. Some refer to prostitution. Some refer to a heterosexual engaging in homosexual behavior (ritualistic humiliating rape). Some refer to pedophilia (modern equivalents would be a Priest abusing an altar boy or a polygamist marrying a teenage bride). Some refer to ritualistic prostitution as practiced by pagan religions and clearly made the distinction that both male prostitutes and female prostitutes are sinful (Hebrew and Greek are NOT gender neutral languages. There was a word for hooker(female) and a word for gigilo(male) but not a word that encompasses both). Later translations of the bible change female prostitutes to just prostitutes in general and alter male prostitutes to mean homosexuality.

    There is so much talk about what the framers of the constitution intended. What did the authors of the bible intend? [Can you tell I'm not a fan of hypocrisy?]

    The bible is against adultery. No prostitution, orgies, or pre-marital sex. The bible is against rape. The gender of the raper and the gender of the rapee doesn't matter. Rape is rape. The bible is against pagan rituals. That whole first and second commandment thing.

    The bible being against homosexuality in and of itself was born of political correctness involving translation to a mostly gender neutral language. Did the left create the right's obsession with homosexuality by trying to eliminate any reference to male superiority? That question should make for an interesting study group.

    OT is as OT does?

    I've never understood the premises of those questions/scenarios. How can I possibly know I can't do anything to save those trapped men? If I had enough knowledge to know they can only be saved by killing a different innocent, I would have enough knowledge to prevent the situation in the first place.

    And now for something a little less off-topic:

    Next study group question: Were homosexuals intentionally thrown off the bridge in order to save a larger number of women stranded on the train tracks or were homosexuals the unlucky "fat man" that happened to be in the right place at the right time? Zero sum is no way to design a system.



  12. jmervyn

    jmervyn IncGamers Member

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    Re: An Evangelical Unitarian service

    I liked it. OTF silliness about Unitarian/utilitarian aside, the "sermon" makes an excellent point - our common beliefs ought to be emphasized, and it sadly highlights just how much Satan holds sway even within the house of God.

    I've stopped attending Catholic Church most of the time, and my wife prefers that we attend a distant non-denominational "megachurch" - I do so without much complaint because my boy receives far better moral instruction there than he had over three years of Catholic school! I'm actually Anglican, and am disgusted by the mentality which is the subject of differentiation between the Unitarian and evangelical here; "my" church doesn't only marry queers, have women priests, and condone Wiccans; it now is supporting implementation of Shar'iah in the U.K. and occasionally in the U.S. I saw a fun bumper sticker:


    To wit: the reason I cannot completely support the open-minded, complete tolerance suggested by the Unitarians is that I believe the Church becomes lukewarm in the process. That's not to say that any one denomination ought to consider itself to have a monopoly on God's truth; recently the junior priest at that same Catholic church compared Protestantism to Nazism and Communism as the great evil movements of modern times. :rolf: But despite such stupidity (which I saw the other side of when living in Indianapolis and being told that Catholicism was a cult), the belief in ultra-tolerance is a dangerous one.

    I recently mentioned this elsewhere:
    [​IMG]

    This is a dangerous and potentially deadly concept. Even my far-Left Mom once remarked that while we Christians are so busy knifing each other in the back, violent, hate-filled, savage Muslims are infiltrating every society intent on global domination. We can snicker about it, but they're often quite earnest and tell us openly that they want us either enslaved or dead.

    I believe you should contemplate the issue much more deeply, preferably by reading a lot of history and listening very little to modern pop culture and media. Modern media culture is anti-Christian, primarily because it is pro-Socialism and anti-nationalism; traditional morality is something to be regarded as stupid and archaic. I'm actually going to make a thread in a while that touches on this same theme.

    Religions are society's method of indoctrinating its members into acceptable behavior; if a society changes, the religion changes. Only very rarely is the opposite found, and one of the most noteworthy instances of this is the spread of Christianity (which is part of the primary reason I subscribe to it). Blaming religions for a lack of advancement is like blaming the razor for cutting your skin when shaving.



  13. jmervyn

    jmervyn IncGamers Member

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    Re: An Evangelical Unitarian service

    It's because we no longer cower in our tribal units; society needs to create the "other" if one does not exist. Socialist and totalitarian politics in particular demands an external threat to maintain a warlike mobilization.
    You're correct, but the root of the bias came from non-Hebrew temple priests/priestesses (anal) method of birth control.
    Actually, the study question is more of a chicken <-> egg issue, since condemnation of queer activity was social rather than religious in nature. Considering that society came out of the wreckage of Greco-Roman culture, it makes the reversal even more interesting; I suspect that infant mortality rates helped cement this bias firmly.
    Naw, it's just their standard-issue smearing and polarization; Leftists traditionally butcher homosexuals with glee.



  14. stillman

    stillman IncGamers Member

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    Re: An Evangelical Unitarian service

    Even if you explain away the bible's passages regarding homosexuality, there is still a very long list of other monstrosities including misogyny, slavery, rape, killings, infanticide, human sacrifice, feeding live people to animals, etc all commanded by god and justified in the bible. The pastors are still cherry picking the sweetest passages, perhaps hoping no one will notice the barbaric full picture.
  15. BobCox2

    BobCox2 IncGamers Member

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    Re: An Evangelical Unitarian service

    I'm anti-religious as I believe in god personally if that make any sense to you all.
    I Know you don't know any more than I do - how's that for a Superior Attitude?
    The best religions are "social clubs" and look at the root meanings of the words IMHO

    Last edited: Nov 6, 2011
  16. kestegs

    kestegs D3 Monk Moderator

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    Re: An Evangelical Unitarian service

    I'm not really sure where you'r coming from there, it is initially visible, but I would hardly call it prominent.

    I agree, it is rather sad that we can't be more agreeing. I believe that our church tries very hard to be united with churches that share a similar enough belief so that we can be more effective. In fact the pastor of our church questioned whether this church was really a good fit for us due to the fact that our previous church was so conservative. He actually recommended that we search and make sure that this was the best place for us.

    This is sad, and I too have experienced this a great deal. What church do you attend, if you don't mind my asking.



    are you saying your church does or does not do these things, a bit confused by that statement. Otherwise your church looks similar to mine after a brief look.

    I agree that the church can become lukewarm if they are not careful. It's a fine line between accepting people and saying that their behavior is acceptable to the church.



    Yea, there's some pretty messed up stuff in the bible for sure. I'm not sure that all of the things on your list are actually commanded by God at some point, but I know some are. That ties in to my previous statement that God does not apply the same exact rules to us as he did in the old testament.


    @Bobcox2: Yes, churches can easily become social clubs if they are not careful. I spend a lot of time with the people in my church, but i don't consider it a social club.


  17. Leopold Stotch

    Leopold Stotch IncGamers Member

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    Re: An Evangelical Unitarian service

    I have my own beliefs, my own views. I decided not to go to church as a young teenager because where I grew up, the kids who went to church were hypocritical a-holes who tried to get me to go to their church! I was told a few times that I was going to go to hell because I didn't go to church... not to mention they were not a fan of the music I listened to. One guy was extreeeeeeeme hypocritical: he tried to get me to smoke weed with him and in the same sentence tell me I needed to go to church with him sometime. Why would I want to surround myself around those types of people?

    I know not all Christians are like that. I know that not all of them are judgmental jerks. What's wrong with me chillin' out and doing things my own way, being a good person in life, praying when I want to, taking a little bit out of my own time to give The Lord thanks? I mean, do I REALLY have to go to church to do that? Do I REALLY have to pass this stupid chain letter on to show that I love and care about God and that I am part of the 1% of people who will?
  18. Talga Vasternich

    Talga Vasternich IncGamers Member

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    Re: An Evangelical Unitarian service

    While not picking on you for your beliefs, since they seem sincere and good, I will ask... Isn't it easy to be spiritual when it is convenient for you? I mean, if there is effort and (dare I say) ritual involved that forces you to make a commitment of time, wouldn't that mean more to you?



  19. BobCox2

    BobCox2 IncGamers Member

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    Re: An Evangelical Unitarian service

    I get a strong sense of Hypocrisy myself here.
  20. Technomancer

    Technomancer IncGamers Member

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    Re: An Evangelical Unitarian service

    I have to say I find Christianity and religion in general very fascinating, but in more of a "contemporary Norse mythology" kind of a way. It's not more real to me than old beliefs like that. I'm not a spiritual person at all. I don't even like to call myself an athiest. If I was filling out a form and it asked for my religious/spiritual beliefs, I'd be inclined to write "N/A" for Not Applicable.

    I've gone back and forth over the years as to whether it's needed, useful, or downright harmful. I'm still not sure, but I currently lean toward somewhat more useful than harmful. I try not to criticize individuals for their beliefs, but I'm not sure if it's tolerance or survival instinct because of where I live. (For example, back when I was 18-19, I was punched in the face for not recanting the lyrics to a song I wrote in my first band. It might have been someone related to whoever told jm that Catholicism was a cult. ;))

    Haha! Reminds of the first singer in my band from the above face-punch. He had already quit and re-joined his christian band by that time though. He quit us because he was afraid that God was messing with him (like him sliding off a road with an inch of ice on it. God MUST be the only way THAT could have happened!!), because we were bad people (aka, not very religious). We also didn't do drugs, didn't screw around, played it straight. He was a drunk druggie womanizer with 3 gfs at any given time. Anyway, his 'righteous' band (that happened to be filled with similar kinds of garbage) later tried to start their own 'church' to make it ok for people who were druggies, drunks, and whores. ;)

    Count me unimpressed.

    This is similar to something that really irks me. I was told back when I was around 10 by a pastor that it didn't matter if you were a good person, you could be the BEST person, but God would still send you to hell if you didn't go to church all the time and believe in him hard enough. My gut reaction was "Well, if He is really that selfish and short-sighted, then God is not good." That thinking has never wavered. If there IS a God, He is either better than that or He is below my esteem. Personally, I think everyone is just trying make themselves feel better about a world they are scared to death of. I also think that if there is a God, none of us know the first f'ing thing about It. Yes, I said It.


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