My friend has become indoctrinated!

I am missing the "non-theist" loop hole, can someone clarify what it is for me?

I didn't think that we had any loop-holes and we were pretty much all going to the Lake of Fire according to christianity...
I am missing the "non-theist" loop hole, can someone clarify what it is for me?

I didn't think that we had any loop-holes and we were pretty much all going to the Lake of Fire according to christianity...
Originally Posted by M2LRToo

I don't think that Christianity as a whole believes that, but some Christians do.

The "non-theist loophole" I've heard of is that people who did not have the opportunity or means to know God are treated with grace and are not on the same level as those who had the opportunity to know God and did not take it.

I personally believe it is only up to God to judge us and I believe it will be done with grace and love. It's not for me or anyone to say that non-theists or anyone else are going to hell.
Get used to me. Black, confident, cocky; my name, not yours; my religion, not yours; my goals, my own; get used to me. -Muhammad Ali











She had a difficult experience recently that led to her becoming religious. She lives in California, so we don't get to talk often. Yesterday we talked about a few different things, and I was taken aback because when I first learned of her new-found religious beliefs I didn't think she'd be one of those people who insist that if your life sucks it's due to lack of faith. I'm not an atheist, I believe in God, but I don't believe in religion.

Basically I told my friend how beaten down I am these days because aside from the heartbreak, my unemployment claim is still pending, so I'm stressing out about that. Plus she knows about my life before all of this as well. And she told me how I need to pray and find God and basically that'll help me find happiness without worrying about external factors. I tried to tell her that there are perfectly happy people in the world who don't believe in God at all. I wasn't trying to argue with her or make her think she's wrong for feeling the way she does, I just wanted her to understand that not everybody can view life that way. She actually said that those people who don't believe aren't truly happy. They're pretending! Basically, I'm miserable because I don't have peace within myself and that is acquired through faith in God.

Aside from that, we were talking about men and I asked her if she had done the deed in all this time we hadn't talked. She told me she's waiting until she's married. I mentioned that she'd been involved in sexual activity and she basically said it's not too late to regret those things done in the past! Again, I stepped lightly and said that if she should fall madly in love with someone, it might seem a lot harder to go through with that. I did not get into why I think it's best to have sex with someone before you marry them because I didn't want to offend her in any way.

Mostly I just can't believe how much my friend has changed and that she now believes religion is the best medicine for everyone. It can get dicey sometimes to talk to her because I love her dearly and I don't want to offend her, but I also don't really like being told that the solution to my problems is believing in God more and praying.
Originally Posted by Sairis
I think you were both out of line. Her for assuming everyone who does not believe in God is unhappy and you for seeming to criticize her choice about not having pre-marital sex. (yes, it is harder, but can also be very rewarding. and even if she's had sex before, she's not obligated to continue to.) But I think you both also care very much for each other. She was suggesting prayer because she wants to help you through your hard times and for her, that's something that works well for her and she wants to share it. You are showing your concern for her by wanting her to have a relationship that works out and is fulfilling for her. I think you both mean well. I think if her religion is new for her, she's just excited and wanting to share to make everyone she cares about feel as good as she does... just like you do when you find a new hair product or restaurant or song you want to share with your friends.

I don't really consider what you described to be "indoctrinated", either. I thought you were going to tell us that she joined a cult or was telling you you would burn in hell unless you followed x belief, or something.
Get used to me. Black, confident, cocky; my name, not yours; my religion, not yours; my goals, my own; get used to me. -Muhammad Ali











I would feel a little disappointed and hurt if a friend acted that way towards me. Part of friendship is trying to be helpful and caring when your friend is facing problems. It seems like a brush-off if her response is a one-size-fits-all suggestion to pray or find Jesus. JMO.
Originally Posted by sarah42
That's how I felt. A very old friend of mine "found Jesus" some time back. Right before my brother died (five years ago), I emailed a bunch of my friends from childhood and high school to let them know that he probably didn't have very long. Since we were kids together, they knew him, so I wanted to let them know. My friend who got religion had the balls to email back, "Lis, has your brother found Jesus yet? It's not too late." Frankly, she's lucky I wasn't able to reach through the computer monitor and throttle her. Needless to say, we're no longer friends.

Before I get into my full-on rant, let me explain my views on religion - it won't take long. Lapsed Catholic, don't really go to church much anymore. But I do believe in God to an extent, I believe in heaven to an extent. I'm not firm on religion, but I believe in the possibilities of it. Tell you what - prove it to me beyond a shadow of a doubt, one way or the other, and that's what I'll believe.

Anyway - it pissed me off for many reasons, based on my personal beliefs. First, you had to know my brother. He was the honest-to-god nicest guy on the planet, and I'm not just saying that because he's gone and I miss him. That was the truth. I never saw a guy with more geniune friends. His funeral was standing room only after the pews were gone - the church was bursting at the seams.

Second - The whole "has he found Jesus?" bit implies that he had something to atone for. Like, he was this horrible person who had to make himself right with God before he could get into heaven. He wasn't a saint - he was just a regular sweet, good guy, and sure he made mistakes. But if there's anyone who lived a clean lifestyle who shouldn't have any trouble in the afterlife, whether that means heaven or a higher plane or what, it was him.

Third - you know, I can see that coming from someone who doesn't know him, but she freaking knew him. I think that's what made me the angriest. For god's sake, she was over at our house nearly every day from age 11 through 18 - out of ALL of my friends, she knew what he was like. She knew what an absolute sweetheart he was. Christ, it was insulting, especially coming from her.

Here's the first story we tell about my brother when someone asks what he was like. Back in the late 80s or so, my brother and sister-in-law were walking down the street one night, very late November, and it was freezing, just bitterly cold. There was this homeless woman sitting on the sidewalk, and she was barefoot. They walked past her for a few steps, and then my brother stopped. He backtracked to her - then he took his shoes off, peeled the socks off his feet, and gave them to her. Then stepped barefoot back into his shoes. Okay? That's the kind of guy this so-called "friend" thought needed saving - a guy who literally gave the socks off of his feet to a freezing, barefoot homeless woman. I'll tell you, if my parents ever had to worry about any of their four kids getting into heaven, he's the one they didn't have to sweat it out about.

I guess my point is - agreeing with sarah42 - is that a friend who suddenly acts like they know nothing about you so that they can blab their new found religious beliefs at you like it's some "one size fits all" problem solver isn't really what I'd call a friend.

Of course, that's not to imply that all religious people are like that. My oldest friend in the world is a die hard Pentacostal, and he and his wife wouldn't dream of throwing religion around in peoples' faces. In fact, he was shocked when I told him what our other friend had said to me!

I wonder there too - is it the difference between people who have "found" religion very suddenly, or those who were raised into it from the time they were born? The former friend who said that about my brother was "born again" after a fair amount of hell-raising in our youth. My friend who's the Pentacostal was raised in his religion since birth. It's something to think about.
Originally Posted by LisaF1163

I'm so sorry that you lost your brother. He does sound like an absolute sweetheart and like he was living Christ's teachings more than a lot of people do. Don't let anyone make you question his goodness or the sweetness of your memories. Your friend was very insensitive.

I think you are right - there is often a difference between people who are "born again" after hell raising and people who are members of their religion from the cradle. Not always, but there do seem to be general trends. I find that the "born agains" are usually the ones who talk more about finding Jesus, going to hell, being saved etc. which makes others feel uncomfortable. Not all Christians follow the "born again" ways. There is a real variety.
Get used to me. Black, confident, cocky; my name, not yours; my religion, not yours; my goals, my own; get used to me. -Muhammad Ali











A lot of religous folks seem to use religion as a cop out for offering real friendship, empathy, and advice. It's so much easier to say "pray about it, ask jesus for help" than to be a real friend.

When my nephew died, my SIL was so put off by most condolence comments being religous based. She felt like people just said their stock religious lines and felt like they had done their part in comforting her. It was all so trite and unhelpful.

I tend to unload ultra-religous types from my life. They get so boring.
Originally Posted by RedCatWaves
My niece talked to her "religious" Mom about getting her tubes tied. She was 40 & really didn't want children. Her Mom told her to pray about it. My niece then called me. We had a good talk & she made her decision based on what she truly wanted to do. She told me she felt her Mom copped out on being a Mom. She didn't understand why her Mom couldn't talk to her about this. I told her it was probably because it went against her religious beliefs. My niece told me she needed her Mom, not some religious belief.
Originally Posted by Lotsawaves
But whether or not religion was an issue, can someone else really tell another person what to do in that situation or make such a decision for them? Especially a person who may have something invested in the decision, such as getting grandchildren? Would it be different if her mother said "give it some really good thought and really think about what you want" instead of "pray about it?" I mean, at 40, in such a situation, you can't really expect your mother to make such a personal decision for you about your own body, and you can't expect them to love something that may go against their own beliefs or wishes, so all you can do is make a decision as to what is best for you. I guess I'm not sure what else she could realistically expect her mother to say or do when it sounds like she had already made a decision for herself. I don't think religion was the only issue here.
Get used to me. Black, confident, cocky; my name, not yours; my religion, not yours; my goals, my own; get used to me. -Muhammad Ali











Lisa - Is saying "Give yourself over to God and it'll all be okay" really shoving religion down someone's throat? You might say it's a pat answer, but it doesn't sound forceful at all.
Originally Posted by Phoenix
To me, yes, it is. That's just treating God as an all-purpose problem solver, when - really, don't you think it's better, for people who purport to love God so much, to try and help a friend by giving some advice they really can use? Let's say, for example, a person loses their job, and goes to another friend for help and advice. Not a hand-out, just anything helpful. Not knowing if God exists or not - believing it, yes, but not being able to prove that - what do you think is going to be the best advice? "Pray to God for help" and that's all, OR "Are you on LinkedIn.com? What about the job sites - Hot Jobs is better than Monster. Let me help you research the names of recruiters in the area. Hey, I'm really good at sentence structure - let me proof-read your resume so it's the best it can be." THAT's helping your fellow man, which to my understanding is what "Love thy neighbor" and "Do unto others" is all about. You can also throw in, "I'll pray for you, and you pray hard too" - it can't hurt. But don't make that the only thing you try to do for that person, no.
Originally Posted by LisaF1163

I don't think it has to be an either-or situation. You can offer practical help or suggestions AND listen to a person vent AND pray for them. I generally only suggest people pray if I know it is something they do or are open to, but I DO tell people I am praying for them because that is one of the ways I offer support. I ALSO listen and give practical help if I am able to do so. It sounds like Sairis' friend did all three.
Get used to me. Black, confident, cocky; my name, not yours; my religion, not yours; my goals, my own; get used to me. -Muhammad Ali











And you question God's existence because your brother died? Because your prayer wasn't answered?
Originally Posted by Phoenix
First of all, f*ck you.

Second of all, no, I don't question whether God exists because my brother died. My brother died when I was 40. I've questioned God's existence since I was 12. You do the math.

Again - all you religious types just go ahead and made that decision for the rest of us. The way WE want to worship doesn't matter, does it? Believing in God and worshipping him doesn't count for anyone unless we follow YOUR rules, correct?

Actually, I'm glad you finally get it. Because - yes, you are. Too bad you weren't able to make your point.
Originally Posted by LisaF1163
So, if prayer fixes things, please, answer that for me - why isn't my brother around anymore, healthy and happy. And I keep saying again - prove to me that God exists
Heh, f*ck you back.
Originally Posted by Phoenix
That's not an appropriate Christian response to someone's pain.
Get used to me. Black, confident, cocky; my name, not yours; my religion, not yours; my goals, my own; get used to me. -Muhammad Ali











I am missing the "non-theist" loop hole, can someone clarify what it is for me?

I didn't think that we had any loop-holes and we were pretty much all going to the Lake of Fire according to christianity...
Originally Posted by M2LRToo

I don't think that Christianity as a whole believes that, but some Christians do.

The "non-theist loophole" I've heard of is that people who did not have the opportunity or means to know God are treated with grace and are not on the same level as those who had the opportunity to know God and did not take it.

I personally believe it is only up to God to judge us and I believe it will be done with grace and love. It's not for me or anyone to say that non-theists or anyone else are going to hell.
Originally Posted by Amneris
According to the Bible, if you're not born again, you don't go to Heaven. What individuals believe is a different matter.

As for the loophole, the longish answer: it was my take on RCW's "Christian loophole," to which she often refers. Basically it refers to the Christian "get out of jail free" card: You sin, you pray for forgiveness, all's forgotten. It's not that simple, but I think that's how many non Christians see it, and they also view it as hypocritical because it gives the false impression that Christians can do anything we want...commit any sin and all you have to do afterward is say, "Lord, Forgive me." RedCat mentioned it earlier in the thread.

She also commented on a post of mine when I got fed up with Lisa.

I told her she was a hypocrite because her behavior is usually no better. She then went on to to say she "freely admits" she's a b1tch. IOW, She can do what she wants because she doesn't claim to a Christian or believe in a higher power that will hold her accountable for her behavior. THAT'S a cop out. So I called it the Atheist Loophole.
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First of all, f*ck you.

Second of all, no, I don't question whether God exists because my brother died. My brother died when I was 40. I've questioned God's existence since I was 12. You do the math.

Again - all you religious types just go ahead and made that decision for the rest of us. The way WE want to worship doesn't matter, does it? Believing in God and worshipping him doesn't count for anyone unless we follow YOUR rules, correct?

Actually, I'm glad you finally get it. Because - yes, you are. Too bad you weren't able to make your point.
Originally Posted by LisaF1163
So, if prayer fixes things, please, answer that for me - why isn't my brother around anymore, healthy and happy. And I keep saying again - prove to me that God exists
Heh, f*ck you back.
Originally Posted by Phoenix
That's not an appropriate Christian response to someone's pain.
Originally Posted by Amneris
But f*ck you is appropriate to express pain? Esplain.
No MAS.

I am the new Black.

"Hope the Mail are saving space tomorrow for Samantha Brick's reaction piece on the reactions to her piece about the reactions to her piece." ~ Tweet reposted by Rou.

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I am missing the "non-theist" loop hole, can someone clarify what it is for me?

I didn't think that we had any loop-holes and we were pretty much all going to the Lake of Fire according to christianity...
Originally Posted by M2LRToo

I don't think that Christianity as a whole believes that, but some Christians do.

The "non-theist loophole" I've heard of is that people who did not have the opportunity or means to know God are treated with grace and are not on the same level as those who had the opportunity to know God and did not take it.

I personally believe it is only up to God to judge us and I believe it will be done with grace and love. It's not for me or anyone to say that non-theists or anyone else are going to hell.
Originally Posted by Amneris
According to the Bible, if you're not born again, you don't go to Heaven. What individuals believe is a different matter.

As for the loophole, the longish answer: it was my take on RCW's "Christian loophole," to which she often refers. Basically it refers to the Christian "get out of jail free" card: You sin, you pray for forgiveness, all's forgotten. It's not that simple, but I think that's how many non Christians see it, and they also view it as hypocritical because it gives the false impression that Christians can do anything we want...commit any sin and all you have to do afterward is say, "Lord, Forgive me." RedCat mentioned it earlier in the thread.

She also commented on a post of mine when I got fed up with Lisa.

I told her she was a hypocrite because her behavior is usually no better. She then went on to to say she "freely admits" she's a b1tch. IOW, She can do what she wants because she doesn't claim to a Christian or believe in a higher power that will hold her accountable for her behavior. THAT'S a cop out. So I called it the Atheist Loophole.
Originally Posted by Phoenix
Ah. I know atheists who hold themselves to very high standards of conduct because a) they believe it is the right thing to do and b) they don't want people saying they are immoral or whatever because they don't believe in God. They feel that they don't "need" God to be kind, compassionate, polite, honest etc. I respect that.

I don't think that RCW was saying she feels she can do whatever she wants, either.
Get used to me. Black, confident, cocky; my name, not yours; my religion, not yours; my goals, my own; get used to me. -Muhammad Ali














Heh, f*ck you back.
Originally Posted by Phoenix
That's not an appropriate Christian response to someone's pain.
Originally Posted by Amneris
But f*ck you is appropriate to express pain? Esplain.
Originally Posted by Phoenix
It's not ever appropriate to say to anyone at any time, but when it is coming from someone's place of pain, I can understand why they might say it and there is no need to respond in like kind.
Get used to me. Black, confident, cocky; my name, not yours; my religion, not yours; my goals, my own; get used to me. -Muhammad Ali











See...the difference is...I freely admit to being a b1tch. I don't claim to follow the teachings of jesus, who was supposed to be all-about-love-turn-the-other-cheek-and-all-that-jazz.

I have met christians who actually do live like jesus, and it can be a beautiful thing. Unfortunately, those types are kinda rare. When it comes to hypocrisy, it's hard to beat most christians.
OK, so she doesn't do anything, she certainly has morals. But um, yeah, she is excusing her behavior here.

And I was talking about RCW not all atheists. I'm sure there are moral and immoral ones.
No MAS.

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I am missing the "non-theist" loop hole, can someone clarify what it is for me?

I didn't think that we had any loop-holes and we were pretty much all going to the Lake of Fire according to christianity...
Originally Posted by M2LRToo

I don't think that Christianity as a whole believes that, but some Christians do.

The "non-theist loophole" I've heard of is that people who did not have the opportunity or means to know God are treated with grace and are not on the same level as those who had the opportunity to know God and did not take it.

I personally believe it is only up to God to judge us and I believe it will be done with grace and love. It's not for me or anyone to say that non-theists or anyone else are going to hell.
Originally Posted by Amneris
According to the Bible, if you're not born again, you don't go to Heaven. What individuals believe is a different matter.

As for the loophole, the longish answer: it was my take on RCW's "Christian loophole," to which she often refers. Basically it refers to the Christian "get out of jail free" card: You sin, you pray for forgiveness, all's forgotten. It's not that simple, but I think that's how many non Christians see it, and they also view it as hypocritical because it gives the false impression that Christians can do anything we want...commit any sin and all you have to do afterward is say, "Lord, Forgive me." RedCat mentioned it earlier in the thread.

She also commented on a post of mine when I got fed up with Lisa.

I told her she was a hypocrite because her behavior is usually no better. She then went on to to say she "freely admits" she's a b1tch. IOW, She can do what she wants because she doesn't claim to a Christian or believe in a higher power that will hold her accountable for her behavior. THAT'S a cop out. So I called it the Atheist Loophole.
Originally Posted by Phoenix
But sects of Christianity vary as to the emphasis they put on the Bible or on those passages, how they define "born again" and so on.
Get used to me. Black, confident, cocky; my name, not yours; my religion, not yours; my goals, my own; get used to me. -Muhammad Ali












That's not an appropriate Christian response to someone's pain.
Originally Posted by Amneris
But f*ck you is appropriate to express pain? Esplain.
Originally Posted by Phoenix
It's not ever appropriate to say to anyone at any time, but when it is coming from someone's place of pain, I can understand why they might say it and there is no need to respond in like kind.
Originally Posted by Amneris
We disagree. Again.
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But f*ck you is appropriate to express pain? Esplain.
Originally Posted by Phoenix
It's not ever appropriate to say to anyone at any time, but when it is coming from someone's place of pain, I can understand why they might say it and there is no need to respond in like kind.
Originally Posted by Amneris
We disagree. Again.
Originally Posted by Phoenix
I'm quite sure that if you asked your minister or pastor what they do if a grieving or hurting person said "f.. you" to them, they wouldn't say that they said it back.
Get used to me. Black, confident, cocky; my name, not yours; my religion, not yours; my goals, my own; get used to me. -Muhammad Ali











But they'd also understand that everyone has a breaking point. She found mine.
No MAS.

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"Hope the Mail are saving space tomorrow for Samantha Brick's reaction piece on the reactions to her piece about the reactions to her piece." ~ Tweet reposted by Rou.

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I don't think that Christianity as a whole believes that, but some Christians do.

The "non-theist loophole" I've heard of is that people who did not have the opportunity or means to know God are treated with grace and are not on the same level as those who had the opportunity to know God and did not take it.

I personally believe it is only up to God to judge us and I believe it will be done with grace and love. It's not for me or anyone to say that non-theists or anyone else are going to hell.
Originally Posted by Amneris
According to the Bible, if you're not born again, you don't go to Heaven. What individuals believe is a different matter.

As for the loophole, the longish answer: it was my take on RCW's "Christian loophole," to which she often refers. Basically it refers to the Christian "get out of jail free" card: You sin, you pray for forgiveness, all's forgotten. It's not that simple, but I think that's how many non Christians see it, and they also view it as hypocritical because it gives the false impression that Christians can do anything we want...commit any sin and all you have to do afterward is say, "Lord, Forgive me." RedCat mentioned it earlier in the thread.

She also commented on a post of mine when I got fed up with Lisa.

I told her she was a hypocrite because her behavior is usually no better. She then went on to to say she "freely admits" she's a b1tch. IOW, She can do what she wants because she doesn't claim to a Christian or believe in a higher power that will hold her accountable for her behavior. THAT'S a cop out. So I called it the Atheist Loophole.
Originally Posted by Phoenix
But sects of Christianity vary as to the emphasis they put on the Bible or on those passages, how they define "born again" and so on.
Originally Posted by Amneris
Yes, what individuals and various churches, denominations, etc believe is a different matter.
No MAS.

I am the new Black.

"Hope the Mail are saving space tomorrow for Samantha Brick's reaction piece on the reactions to her piece about the reactions to her piece." ~ Tweet reposted by Rou.

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Then you shouldn't speak or counsel people on religious matters. Leave it to people who can operate in the spirit and not the flesh.
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Then you shouldn't speak or counsel people on religious matters. Leave it to people who can operate in the spirit and not the flesh.
Originally Posted by afrosheenqueen
Are you talking to me? If so, who is that person who never operates in the flesh? Even if you weren't talking to me, who's that person?

To say never to speak on religious matters is insane.
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