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MARRIAGE: Christians wrong to assimilate with cultural trends

Letter by Sallie Anne Ausmus, Tacoma on May 31, 2012 at 8:47 am with 55 Comments »
May 31, 2012 8:48 am

Re: “Christians must base belief on Bible, not culture,” (letter, 5-11).

After reading this letter, I was very encouraged. Not everyone may agree with how one lives their life, but I really appreciate one thing the writer mentioned: It is wrong that Christians are assimilating with cultural trends.

As a Christian, I find it hard to find Christians who truly know and follow the Bible. In my opinion, the Bible is a stepping stone of faith. If you’re a professed Christian, you should know the Bible and why you’re a Christian.

It is very encouraging to see someone not be afraid of writing an article of truth with the possibility of getting persecuted. I wish more people would have the boldness to stand up for what they believe and support it.

Leave a comment Comments → 55
  1. scooter6139 says:

    Sallie – I’m glad your faith and beliefs are strong, however I see you do not even know your own book of faith as well as you think you do. Christians have assimilated much of what they are from other societies and faiths. They have even absorbed pagan rituals as their own just to make make it easier for non-Christians to conform. Don’t just read the words, understand them. Take each page and put it in it’s historical context.

    Lastly, the entire Christian martyrdom thing is a bit overdone. I don’t think you will be burned at the stake or put to the rack for your beliefs.

  2. Tell that to the Christians who have experienced extreme physical persecution scooter. And I’m not talking about yesteryear.

  3. What extreme abuse?

  4. “Tell that to the Christians who have experienced extreme physical persecution scooter. And I’m not talking about yesteryear.”

    Really? Do tell.
    Expand on this so called “extreme physical persecution” all the chirstians in America have experienced.
    I and I know many others would LOVE to hear about it.

    (Not holding my breath)

  5. “Lastly, the entire Christian martyrdom thing is a bit overdone.”

    Ya think?

  6. CrazyJim says:

    Live and let live. Unfortunately for many Christians today that isn’t possible. They want to evangelize the whole country so their rights won’t be infringed upon.

  7. Those who persecute, eventually will be persecuted

  8. Sozo – how about those who have experienced violence from christians?

    Same sex marriage is a secular civil-rights issue.

  9. Who is assimilating Christians? No one is forcing churches to perform gay marriages. No one is forcing churches to accept gay members. No one is forcing Christians to support gays in any way.

  10. anotherID2remember says:

    Christian faith is assimilated from other beliefs? NOT.
    The bible was written through heavenly inspiration. Not a collection of beliefs from others. I am not stating fact but merely what we christians believe. Save your energy on the responses. You will not change my beliefs. The bible as a stepping stone is not very accurate either. It can be a something you step on to get to your destination but a stepping stone cannot replace your map!

    Please pause for one moment………………. and realize that raging against me and my beliefs is persecution.

  11. ID2,
    Every belief or ‘miracle’ in the christian bible has counterparts in pagan regions of the same or earlier eras.

    Son of god – most pagan gods had several.

    Virgin or Miraculous births – to many to list here.

    The Flood – from the Babylonians.

    Only One God – from the Egyptians

  12. stradivari says:

    I have a problem with those who believe that Christians must adhere strictly to narrow interpretation of ancient Scripture. Half of Americans are not religious, don’t believe that the Bible is Divinely inspired, and there is nothing wrong with that. It is condescending to say it is wrong. Many people believe the Bible should be stored on the highest shelf along with the poison bottles and cleaning chemicals where the kids can’t reach.

  13. Raging = persecution?

    I don’t think that words means what you think it means.

    No one is persecuting you. They are disagreeing with you. Being an a-hole doesn’t = persecution.

    Persecution is treating a select group of people differently than the entire population.

    Like refusing the same rights for same sex couples that hetero couples receive.

  14. I see soso has hit and run.
    Typical of someone who can’t back up their own statements.

  15. aislander says:

    Just once, k****r, show the forum where sozo’s (and WHAT is the deal with the adolescent name calling, anyway?) post is in error, rather than hitting and running with a snarky and off-point fatuity…

  16. aislander, sozo needs to show some proof of her statements. We don’t even have a clue what she means, so how can you have a factual discussion about it?

    In the USA there is no abuse of Christians, quite the opposite, in fact. Look at Christians trying to deny mosques being built, killing abortion doctors in the name of their faith, picketing soldiers’ funerals, etc.

    Is she talking about Muslim countries? If so, that is a whole different topic of what the letter is all about.

  17. anotherID, believe what you will, but if you look at the New Testament words, beliefs and “miracles”, you will find counterparts in the earlier pagan religions. Almost every god and demigod was born of a virgin or one impregnated by a supreme god.

    Rising from the dead on the third day is a common meme in many earlier pagan religions. Jesus and his disciples took the best of those teachings, wove them into Judaism to gtry to reform it. When that didn’t work, they decided to take their teachings on the road, and they met a much more receptive adudience with those pagans who were familiar with the stories, just like the reception the Jesuits found when they adapted Christian myths into the religions of Central and South America.

    Healing, raising others from the dead, revelations of the future, teaching about kindness to strangers, etc, were knowingly borrowed by the Essenes, a cult in Israel that Jesus had several meetings with and stays in their territories.

  18. bobcat1a says:

    When christians persecute nonbelievers and the nonbelievers don’t just lay down and quietly take it, christians interpret that as persecution. Weird logic.

  19. Well said bobcat-

  20. stradivari says:

    Reminder: The State of Rhode Island was founded by people escaping persecution from Christian puritans in Massachussetts.

  21. “Just once, k****r, show the forum where sozo’s (and WHAT is the deal with the adolescent name calling, anyway?) post is in error, rather than hitting and running with a snarky and off-point fatuity…”

    Wow, ailander that is the most hypocritical post YOU have ever made.
    And WHAT ‘name calling A*******r’?
    (Does anyone think she will get it?)

  22. “aislander, sozo needs to show some proof of her statements.”

    For once.

  23. I realize that sparring on this blog is a 24-7 hobby for some of you. I actually have other things to do. That said, there was nothing to indicate that the comment about persecution was limited to what takes place in the U.S.A. And if you are unaware of the risk Christians take in openly professing their faith in other places, you are just unaware, period.

    There are various levels of persecution. We observe it in school all the time. Social persecution is one level, and that certainly is alive and well in the U.S. Name-calling, belittling, dismissing…these are all forms of attempting to socially humiliate a group of people.

    There’s nothing new about any of this.

    Now, for a bit of humor…I laughed when I read this line up-thread:

    “Being an a-hole doesn’t = persecution.”

    Lucky for some of the local contributors!!

  24. scooter6139 says:

    “There are various levels of persecution. We observe it in school all the time. Social persecution is one level, and that certainly is alive and well in the U.S. Name-calling, belittling, dismissing…these are all forms of attempting to socially humiliate a group of people.”

    Yes, all these things are done each and every day by Christians in the United States and elsewhere. Sometimes to other Christians of different denominations but most of the times to those who do not believe as they do like Muslims, Buddhist, Mormons etc.

  25. Indeed. The world is full of sinners, and I am one of them. It does not change the fact that Christians do feel the bite of persecution in this country from those who think themselves superior to Christians. It’s a fact. To deny it is to choose to ignore the obvious.

    But this should not surprise anyone, ESPECIALLY Christians who were told by Christ himself that the world would hate them. To be Christian is to choose a way that the world will see as foolish. So be it.

    Everyone must carry on in accordance with his or her values and beliefs. One day this world will come to an end and there will either be a stunning silence in the universe or a joyful celebration in the heavens.

  26. A huge back peddle and a cop out from soso…..I don’t think anyone expected anything more.

  27. surething says:

    Barf.

  28. old_benjamin says:

    “Jesus and his disciples took the best of those teachings, wove them into Judaism to gtry [sic] to reform it.” Blah, blah, blah.

    I guess you would know, Tuddo, since you were there.

  29. When you have a church that uses a five year old singing “Homos don’t go to Heaven”, there is not much more to say.

    If that’s Heaven, I’ll take Hell. Besides, there will be so many people I know, that I won’t have time to worry.

  30. Uh, Ben….since you weren’t there, you don’t know, right?

  31. old_benjamin says:

    Uh, Larry, I take a hint from the guys who were there and wrote it about it in the New Testament. There are a number of respected historians circa the first century, Suteonius, Tacitus, Josephus, Lily, and Plutach to name names. Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John are of similar stature in case you’re interested.

  32. scooter6139 says:

    Sozo – You keep complaining that Christians are being persecuted in this country, especially by those who believe they are superior. You have stated no proof of this anywhere. If you feel you are being persecuted for being a Christian, please tell us how. Otherwise your argument is full of mile wide holes.

    Secondly, your second line has NO BEARING in today’s world. NONE. The teachings of the historical and even biblical Christ were an anathema to the religions of the day, especially Judaism. Early Christians were persecuted by both Jews and the Romans. Trying to lump yourself in with this historical group is height of self righteousness.

  33. Sozo – you are a sinner only because you are a christian.

    Old-ben – the guys who were there wrote nothing down, and those who wrote things down were not there.

    The first group wrote history.

    The second group did not write.

  34. scooter6139 says:

    Old-B – I would love to some quotes from your respected historians regarding the life and times of Jesus Christ and his historical message. I already know what the four biblical guys say but those were written anywhere form eighty to several hundred years after Jesus died. Plus all those other historical texts that were ignored by the First Council of Nicaea. I wonder what answers they could of shed?

  35. old_benjamin says:

    tuddo, please provide a reference to some God that was seen by hundreds of people after he was resurrected.

  36. old_benjamin says:

    xring, you’re ignorance is apalling. Matthew and John were disciples of Jesus and wrote the gospels of the same name. Mark and Luke wrote during the first century and were acquainted with Jesus’ contemporaries.

  37. old_benjamin says:

    Scooter, I’m afraid your chronology is faulty. There is in fact little doubt that the gospels were written before the turn of the first century and that some of Pauls’s epistles were written before A.D. 50.

    As for “those other hbistorical texts,” they are later than the gospels, thus less reliable on their face. The church fathers understandably rejected texts that were inconsistent with the earlier ones.

  38. O_b, while the names have been associated with the books there is nothing in them that specifically says who the authors really were.

    It was common in Roman/early christian times to attribute writings to important figures of the past in order to give them more authority.

  39. old_b, read historians and the writers of mythology concerning pagan gods. The myths about Jesus developed through story-telling and embellishment just like those kinds of tales always ahve.

    You must believe in all of the “eye-witness” accounts of the modern charlatain faith healers, too, since sometimes thousands of people witness and believe those evil people who use the propensity of people to want to believe in miracles to rake in the cash.

  40. sozo, you say persecution of Christians is obvious. However, since it is certainly not obvious to me or anyone but you that there is extreme abuse and persecution of Christians in this country, could you please cite some examples.

    Perhaps denying people the ability to build a church because the neighborhood thinks that Christianity is a false religion not protected by the Constitution like many Muslims have had to endure would be a good example.

    Or Christians being denied other freedoms, like the freedom to marry who they want.

    Or people being bullied and their hair cut off because they were Christians.

    Or people being dragged behind a truck and tied up on a fence because they were Christians.

    Or Christians being denied membership in country clubs or youth groups, like the Boy Scouts, might serve as an example.

    Any such examples of extreme abuse of Christians in the last, say 10 years or so?

  41. old_benjamin says:

    xring, the real question is “Are the accounts reliable?” If they were not, they would certainly have been discredited by Jesus’ contemporaries. The Apostle Paul did in fact identify himself as the author of his epistles, all of which had to have been written before his death circa A.D. 70. There is no substantial disagreement among Paul and the authors of the Gospels.

  42. old_benjamin says:

    tuddo, I think I’ll take C.S. Lewis opionion over yours–that is, unless you consider yourself a literary historian in his class.

    “Another point is that on that view you would have to regard the accounts of the Man as being legends. Now, as a literary historian, I am perfectly convinced that whatever else the Gospels are they are not legends. I have read a great deal of legend and I am quite clear that they are not the same sort of thing. They are not artistic enough to be legends. From an imaginative point of view they are clumsy, they don’t work up to things properly. Most of the life of Jesus is totally unknown to us, as is the life of anyone else who lived at that time, and no people building up a legend would allow that to be so. Apart from bits of the Platonic dialogues, there are no conversations that I know of in ancient literature like the Fourth Gospel. There is nothing, even in modern literature, until about a hundred years ago when the realistic novel came into existence. In the story of the woman taken in adultery we are told Christ bent down and scribbled in the dust with His finger. Nothing comes of this. No one has ever based any doctrine on it. And the art of inventing little irrelevant details to make an imaginary scene more convincing is a purely modern art. Surely the only explanation of this passage is that the thing really happened? The author put it in simply because he had seen.”–C.S. Lewis

  43. old_b, while I respect C.S. Lewis, his Christian apologetics are the viewpoint of a brief period of time, and not those of actual theologians. He said he chose to believe Jesus was God because otherwise His sayings and actions are that of a mad man or a charlatain.

    I disagree with that analysis, and much has been written about Lewis’ “trilemma” by theologians, pointing out that Lewis’ thoughts created a perfect example of a false dilemma (or trilemma).

    If you wanted to know what the Anglican layman’s point of view was in the 19th and early 20th century, his writings on the subject are a good place to start. Of course, his writings would have been heresy in the 17th and 18th centuries.

    Funny how conservatives want things the way they are, but do not want the way conservatives of the past said that they should be. Somehow progressives have to get conservatives to change, and then the cycle starts all over again.

  44. “xring says:
    June 1, 2012 at 12:56 pm O_b, while the names have been associated with the books there is nothing in them that specifically says who the authors really were.”

    As a well educated pastor once told me – most biblical scholars will say The Gospel according to John was written by several authors.

  45. Still waiting for some evidence from sozo that Christians are suffering extreme abuse and persecution in the USA. Its obvious to her, so there must be something she has witnessed or something that has been reported.

  46. o_b,
    we were discussing the gospels.

    there is no historical evidence that the roman empire ever require people to return to the place of their birth to be counted and taxed.

  47. beerBoy says:

    Funny how the people who are so afraid of sharia law are the same ones who insist that the Bible must determine law in America…..

  48. old_benjamin says:

    xring, the historical evicence is in the New Testament.

    Larry, some say Shakespeare didn’t write Shakespeare. Whoever wrote it, there is no one who says it isn’t greate literature. Whoever wrote the gospels, they are reliable history.

  49. old_b, I am sorry to burst the bubble of literalists who believe that every word of the Bible is true and factual, but many theologians and historians have problems with Luke’s attempts to place Mary and Joseph in Bethlehem during a specific chronology of events.

    Luke’s description of the census is problematical for several reasons. First, there is no historical record of a singular, empire-wide census instituted by Augustus, and the documents of activities during his reign are very extensive.

    When conducted in the Roman provinces, the census requires registration in the person’s taxation district determined by a person’s birth, not some ancestral district. Joseph would have been required to register somewhere in Galilee, not at his ancestral home in Bethlehem. There is no historical record that a Roman census was administered in any “client kingdoms”, such as Herod’s.

    I can only give you the reference, but you can read this at the library

    Meier, the author, is a Catholic priest and historian.

    http://www.amazon.com/Marginal-Jew-Rethinking-Historical-Problem/dp/0385264259

  50. old_benjamin says:

    Questioning the historicity of the gospels is an old game. The reliability of the gospels as history as been affirmed over and over again. I choose to believe those who were there rather than some historian two millenia after the fact. If I can believe in the resurrection, I don’t have a problem with stuff like where Joseph and Mary were at a given time.

  51. O-B – ‘historical evidence in New Testiment’ No it is not, nor is there any evidence in the secular records.

  52. old_benjamin says:

    xring, that’s your opinion and your problem.

  53. old_b, belief and faith are not facts or history.

    We know that people get confused about events, even with almost total access to the facts in current times. Imagine Luke writing a few decades after the death of Jesus in developing the narrative.

    In Biblical times, even up to the current day, story telling and the “moral” of the story was much more important than details in Middle Eastern lore. The Western thought processes evolved into more fact-based literature for historical descriptions, using Greek and Roman models instead of eastern writings.

    That is why the concepts and thoughts of Christ’s teachings are so much more important than the details. It was not until the 18th century that people started worry about a literal interpretation of the Bible, and the 19th when there were actual mainstream religions in Christianity who taught literalism and the term “inspired” changed meanings to “perfect” and word-for-word accuracy, especially in the less-than-perfect translations and copies of documents where no one has seen the originals.

    If a person worships the Bible more than they worship Christ’s teachings they can get caught in a lot of inconsistencies and dilemmas.

  54. tuddo, if you are still checking this I explained myself to you as best I could on the other “marriage” post.

  55. No O_B – it is not my problem because I do not believe the bible is inerrant and infallible.

    Back to the letter for a moment. No one is telling, or event asking, Christians to assimilate non-chrisitan cultural norms and values. Rather they are being reminded that they cannot dictate that their beliefs, and only their beliefs, be used as the cultrual norms and values.

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