Hello, Gargaroth. I'm the author of the above statement, and I thank you for taking the time to respond in a serious and thoughtful manner.
Thank you for posting.
However, I believe stating that there are "33,000 official takes on Christianity", hyperboles aside, is a bit of an exaggeration.
Well, the figure that is mostly posted is even higher. I know that the source for that number is said to be wikipedia and one could argue about the way the number is derived. But I think we can both agree that there is a HUGE number of Christian denominations.
Other than basically the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-day Saints (and other, smaller non-Trinitarian denominations), Christians are in agreement over the key points of our faith, as is demonstrated by the "Apostle's Creed".
I don't know which country you're from, although from this statement I would be inclined to guess the US, but there is also a huge variety on many elements of the faith of Christianity, albeit no doubt mostly in the more moderated crowds. But I couldn't really know what you mean by 'key points'.
I'm confused as to why you think Christians do not agree on reading the Bible in context.
Well basically because the bible doesn't offer an explanation of the context rendering it open to interpretation. And was written in a time no one has a clue about what it must have been like to live in. Furthermore it is my experience that the interpretation of just about any story varies with the amount of people you ask about it. This may very well be ignorance towards the official story, but it could just as well be the result of thinking outside of the box. You wouldn't believe what I have been told for 15 years.
I am fairly certain you can ask any local pastor on what Christ meant by eating his flesh and drinking his blood and they will tell you he was talking metaphorically.
Sure, but a methaphore for what?
You are probably referring to the different philosophies on how to interpret the book of Revelations (Futuristic, Literal, Historical, etc.) when you say there are discrepancies between Christians on how to approach the Bible. But you have to realize, the book of Revelations, itself, states that men are not meant to understand its contents, but they are simply to be read and meditated upon.
In other words not draw any conclusions? Despite the fact that this may be the intention of this particular book, people have been known to draw conclusions anyway.
First of all, when seeking the truth, let's use our common sense.
I protest to the usage of the word 'our' in this sentence. We may not share it.
Religions in the past that have died off have died for a reason: people discovered them to be false.
This is a simplification towards the reason of the ending of religions. How about superimposing other religions? how about the conversion of religions (Horus vs the Jesus figure) into other religions, the dying out of complete communities who adhere to a specific religion etc etc.
Second of all, once again, you are making a gross exaggeration of how many major faiths there are and how long it would take to seriously look into them.
I think you better read up on the variety of religions and religious interpretation. I don't want to be rude but you sound suspiciously like the stereotype American Christian who only realizes what's available in the states and has some small notion of the Judean- and Muslim beliefsystems and is highly arrogant towards his own belief. Just because you don't think that minor religions can't be compared to your faith, doesn't mean that I happen to think yours is more valid or that a practitioner of such a minority faith, of which there tens of thousands, would be inclined to think that. They don't. I don't.
Think about it, there are people out there who make a living studying religions. It's a college major, for crying out loud.
I'm not sure what is your point by saying that but the fact that people study the major religions of the world, does not falsify minor ones.
And third, again, I am confused as to why you think I have an original, revolutionary "take" on the Christian faith. I am a Christian, plain and simple, and I believe everything any average Christian believes (or perhaps I should say, should believe).
From my experiences on this board I can wake u up now and tell you that interpretation of Christianity is as diverse as there are grains of sand in the Sahara desert which I find to be not very surprising. Not too long ago I saw someone post a survey with over 30 questions on this board for Christians to fill in prior to them engaging in debate. This person did so our of sheer frustration because everytime he argued some obvious Christian viewpoint, someone would slam dunk the argument by saying: "Well I don't happen to believe that either'. As it turns out, even the most rudimentary principles thought to be shared by what you refere to as an 'average Christian', apparently wasn't even a cohesive set of interpretation or teaching.
Stick around on this forum long enough, and you can observe this for yourself.
I think the problem is when Christians, as individuals take their beliefs for granted and don't read enough or study enough to really understand what Christ is teaching, and confuse things.
No matter how you look at it, these teachings of Christ were once interpreted to what they are today to the particular group of people you are referring to here. To other groups, it may very well vary, whether you agree on the validity of such alternate interpretations or not. To a Muslim, Christ can't even begin to outweigh the teachings of Muhammad (In the name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful.)
There is nothing contradictory about the Bible. People are contradictory.
Exactly who gives meaning to the bible then if humans are excluded? Our cousins the chimps?
And I am not asking you to believe me. Far from it.
What a weird premise to engage in this discourse, I would very much like for you to believe me.
Again, I'd like to stress that people are contradictory, but not God.
I agree, a non existant entity cannot contradict itself.
Don't take my word at face value.
You know I wont.
Stop making excuses of not having enough time, and actually find out what Christianity is about. To this day, I am continuing to research my beliefs and test my faith. The Bible, in fact, advocates this. Won't you do this with me?
No thank you. I really wouldn't see the point. I am someone who cannot blindly believe in anything, not for very long anyway. And if you think you can persuade me that the bible is the word of god or the inspired word of God or whatever other interpretation
like that, you are barking up the wrong tree. And I also fail to see what wisdom can be gained from what you refere to as Christianity that cannot be gained from walking any other path. And if it's not wisdom you are referring to but some kind of salvation of my eternal spirit, you must first demonstrate that I actually have an eternal spirit, or a spirit at all.
I'm not saying that religion is a bad thing for a person to have, I can see the glaring advantages (I have to admit that I was a lot happier as a child in a sort of ignorance is bliss kind of way, and life did lose some of its magic after I was told that Santa didn't exist (Actually, we have another kind of santaclaus, our version
comes on the 5th of December and rides a white horse in stead of a slay and his helpers are Mores in stead of elfs) eventhough a case against (organized) religion or the exclusive nature of the Christian religion can easily be made.
So, were you brought up to believe what you do or were you once oblivious to it all and decided on a mature age to become your version of a Christian?