Today in Great Steps Forward: The NALT Christians Project

Comments

1
I remember what Jesus said about homosexuality: "Let he who is amongst you without sin, cast the first stone."

All else is pride and hubris, the chief failings of the Pharisees who put Christ on the cross.
2
This is a failed project even before it begins. Having transitioned out of a fundamentalist religion, having passed through the attempt at being a liberal practitioner, and then watching friends and others attempt the same, I've come to the conclusion that there's no liberal, progressive or rational way to practice a religion that is founded on conservative, regressive and irrational principles. The core of the ideology is closed, authoritarian and segregationist.

The result is simply that good people end up sitting on padded fences, pining for what a community that never has and never will exist.
3
Oh…and Paul Tillich doesn't have the answers.
4
It's cool how you translate your personal experience into facts for all humanity.
5
One of the things I really enjoyed during the R-74 campaign was meeting a lot of christian people who supported the cause wholeheartedly. It was so refreshing to see that side of the christian community.
6
@4…assuming you were speaking to me… it's exactly the opposite. Xtianity translates its experience into a universal. Christians translate their feelings into messages from God, their favorite poetry into laws that everyone should follow or be damned.

I get why you interpret my comments to mean the same thing, but they actually mean the opposite. Just because I advocate for tolerant philosophies does not require me to be tolerant of intolerant philosophies; it's simply the law of non-contradiction.
7
Poor Seattleblues she's gonna be so upset about all these NALT Christians pissing in her cornflakes.

@Timothy, Christianity has it's left / right swings and wings. These things ebb and flow. Its just that those swings, take place over generational time-lines.
8
I despise Christianity no matter how many smilie faces you paint on it. It's twisted. It's wrong. And it has a long, long history of evil. And btw, Jesus didn't believe in it either. He was a Jew.
9
@2 The community exists if people create it.

When it comes to all the different varieties of people who call themselves Christians, the dark secret isn't that the core ideology is flawed -- the dark secret is that there IS no core ideology. People who believe exactly opposite things from each other will both call themselves Christians and mean it sincerely.
10
6, what I read is that because you began your life through fundie glasses, you will continue to view the world in the same way. You may have dropped the cant & the mythology, but the underlying assumptions: the world is a fucked up place, the "good people" are always surrounded w/ those who hate them & will bring them down, etc. came out quite strongly in your original post. Also, that the interpretation of the bible is strict & straightforward, there is only one way to look at it.

Other people interpret the Bible differently, and they are able to translate those feelings/messages from God that inspire them to act kindly & accepting of other humans. I'm a bit of a Machiavellian on that score: I don't care what an individual needs to convince them that being a decent person and live by the golden rule is the way to go, as long as it they eventually arrive at that state. We agree that the fundamentalist/evangelical approach doesn't work. But fundies only make up a portion of all Christians. And the religion is constantly changing. There was a time when certain Christians were at the forefront of evolving morality. It's not inconceivable that some Christians will be able to do so again, if only to bring some of their unevolved co-religionists out of the dark ages.
11
Hooray! Love John Shore...


12
@9 & @10…

Let me clarify my thoughts and my position. I didn't conclude, merely from my own experience, that Christianity is a failed philosophy. Rather, I asked why it had failed in several instances that i was aware of, and then set out in a decade-long search for better understanding.

I understand that there are leftists in Christianity, and that many of my liberal voting friends are Christian. My critique is not so much meant for individual cases, as it is for the cumulative effect of the philosophy of Christianity over time and spread along populations.

Are there variants to Bible exegesis? Of course! Humans don't operate with a hive mentality (well, mostly they don't) and variations on language, emphasis and experience will produce radically different interpretations.

But, my argument is that if you give the Bible to several large control groups of people, over time you will reliably see similar results emerge. And, those results will predictably lead toward closed, authoritarian, hierarchical communal governing systems.
13
...almost as much as www.axecop.com... which I just discovered today. And surely this is the comment thread to mention it!
14
Who is John Nalt?
15
All discussions of whether or not Christianity is relevant are pretty much irrelevant. If you don't have any interest in religion, just ignore the website. For those of us who DO believe, this will be a great way to raise our voices. Dan is absolutely right when he says that we can't let the only loud voice be that of the "exclusionists".

I am totally excited for this website, and am already working with people in my church to create a video. Thanks to everyone who got it started. What a great idea.
16
@12 You think you're the only person from a religious background who engaged in a decades-long search for better understanding of Christianity? I did that too. My conclusions are different from yours. Particularly here:

if you give the Bible to several large control groups of people, over time you will reliably see similar results emerge.

I don't think history has shown that at all. Further, "the Bible" as a document is almost never what we're talking about -- it's usually introduced along with missionaries who give their take on how it's supposed to be interpreted and put into practice. Most of what we think of as "Christianity" is based on tradition, not on anything you could pull out of the Bible if you didn't go looking for it.
17
@16…and the overwhelming numbers of adherents to biblically-based religion belong to a religion that is basically fundamentalist at core. Is this even arguable? By all means, reveal your different conclusions.
18
I will never quite understand why a gay or lesbian buys into christianity. When some one says, "the Bible is a good book", my reply is, "have you read it?". I particularly enjoy Goldy's sunday morning 'Bible Study'. Yet I can appreciate the NALT folk (pseudo christians that they are) since they promote tolerance and that is of utmost importance for a pluralistic society to function. BTW: That 'good book' claims to be the infallible word of god and it is not to be subject to private interpretation!
19
@12. your beef is not with Christianity, it is with humanity. What you described is simply the human condition which was succinctly stated long ago as: "Power corrupts." That's the flip side of the golden rule. Humans may want to love their neighbor, but if you have some power over that neighbor, it's just easier to tell your neighbor what to do and rationalize it as being in the neighbor's interest or "for the greater good." Chrostianity is irrational because it takes faith to believe that an all powerful God is also incorruptible and allows us to continue with our silly free will. That is a concept that is completely outside of human understanding.
20
@19…your theory would require a belief that there is, then, no difference in human belief systems, and that all systems lead to the same result. I reject that theory. I don't believe that all human governing systems are created equally. I faithfully posit that some are better than others.
21
A little history. The belief held by Protestants that the Bible is the inerrant word of God is relatively recent. http://www.wheaton.edu/isae/defining-eva…

fun·da·men·tal·ism [fuhn-duh-men-tl-iz-uhm]
noun
1.
( sometimes initial capital letter ) a movement in American Protestantism that arose in the early part of the 20th century in reaction to modernism and that stresses the infallibility of the Bible not only in matters of faith and morals but also as a literal historical record, holding as essential to Christian faith belief in such doctrines as the creation of the world, the virgin birth, physical resurrection, atonement by the sacrificial death of Christ, and the Second Coming.
2.
the beliefs held by those in this movement.
3.
strict adherence to any set of basic ideas or principles: the fundamentalism of the extreme conservatives.
Origin:
1920–25, Americanism; fundamental + -ism
(Dictionary.com)
22
The cult known as NALT is founded on a LIE. Please visit the following page for more info:

http://www.christiansagainstnalt.com

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