Author Topic: How Atheism Can Help Christians Avoid False Idols  (Read 811 times)

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Offline Jetavan

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How Atheism Can Help Christians Avoid False Idols
« on: December 03, 2011, 03:31:17 AM »
Quote
God is incarnational and not conceptual. That's what we Christians say. But in truth we prefer God as a concept, because then we're in charge. It's not easy to let go of the steering wheel, because then we have stop talking and thinking and be a certain way and do certain things. We Christians call God "good" and "loving" and "wise." Which is fine, but insofar as these remain mere concepts, we are idolaters. Insofar as these concepts are incarnated in our actions and attitudes, however, we are being true to our calling.

I am convinced that atheists -- at least the ones I have read and the ones I know -- are working largely with conceptual idols when it comes to their rejection of God. They are not rejecting God; they are rejecting ideas. What is more, they are rejecting idols of Christians' making: a God who deals in rewards and punishments, a God who created the world in six days about 6,000 years ago, a God who shames their sexual desire and shuts down their intellect, imagination, and curiosity. It is easy for Christians to lament the fact that that atheists never seem to go after real theology, but we can hardly criticize them for not looking beyond our own idols.
Pseudo-Dionysius redivivus.
If you will, you can become all flame.
Extra caritatem nulla salus.
In order to become whole, take the "I" out of "holiness".
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Ἄνω σχῶμεν τὰς καρδίας
"Those who say religion has nothing to do with politics do not know what religion is." -- Mohandas Gandhi
Y dduw bo'r diolch.

Offline Carl Kraeff (Second Chance)

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Re: How Atheism Can Help Christians Avoid False Idols
« Reply #1 on: December 03, 2011, 09:37:30 AM »
Quote
God is incarnational and not conceptual. That's what we Christians say. But in truth we prefer God as a concept, because then we're in charge. It's not easy to let go of the steering wheel, because then we have stop talking and thinking and be a certain way and do certain things. We Christians call God "good" and "loving" and "wise." Which is fine, but insofar as these remain mere concepts, we are idolaters. Insofar as these concepts are incarnated in our actions and attitudes, however, we are being true to our calling.

I am convinced that atheists -- at least the ones I have read and the ones I know -- are working largely with conceptual idols when it comes to their rejection of God. They are not rejecting God; they are rejecting ideas. What is more, they are rejecting idols of Christians' making: a God who deals in rewards and punishments, a God who created the world in six days about 6,000 years ago, a God who shames their sexual desire and shuts down their intellect, imagination, and curiosity. It is easy for Christians to lament the fact that that atheists never seem to go after real theology, but we can hardly criticize them for not looking beyond our own idols.
Pseudo-Dionysius redivivus.

Thanks for posting this very thought provoking article. "God is incarnational" is such a basic orthodox Christian concept that it is apparently distinctive on non-Orthodox settings. It seems to me that many heterodox are seeing the futility of "God as a concept," because it facilitates subjective innovations/departures from orthodoxy (that is, not based on Holy Tradition, Holt Scriptures).It is ironic that Churches like the more traditionalist Episcopal Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church have fallen to subjectivism more than the Baptists, whose extreme sola scriptura approach may have been more conducive to subjectivism.

Offline yeshuaisiam

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Re: How Atheism Can Help Christians Avoid False Idols
« Reply #2 on: December 04, 2011, 02:57:08 AM »
When we prefer that God is a concept, it rings true with the Atheistic and Satanic argument.  Just as was stated "Because then we are in charge".

When we are in charge we "Do what we wilt" as Lucifer did in Isaiah 14.  We cast ourselves above God.  This is a teaching also of Aliester Crowley, the Church of Satan, and is also part of the Wiccan witches creed.   

In the Lord's prayer, we were taught "THY will be done (God's will be done)".   This makes us not in charge, but followers of God's will.

I started a thread a while back on this about Atheists being Satanists. 

The original sin in the garden holds true to this concept.  "Follow your own will, make yourself in charge, do what thy wilt, and you'll have the gnosis of good and evil and be AS God"....
 

 
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Offline Jetavan

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Re: How Atheism Can Help Christians Avoid False Idols
« Reply #3 on: May 13, 2012, 10:27:59 PM »
    You, the Ultimate Reality, are All in All.
    Atheism confesses the ineffability of Your Essence.
    Polytheism personifies Your manifold Attributes.
    Monotheism witnesses the unity of Your Being.
    In every God-Ideal an emanation of You shines forth.
    The heart receives of You as much as it can contain.
    When the heart is supple it is capable of every form.
    Then Your manifestations surpass the limitations of belief.

    — Pir Zia Inayat-Khan
If you will, you can become all flame.
Extra caritatem nulla salus.
In order to become whole, take the "I" out of "holiness".
सर्वभूतहित
Ἄνω σχῶμεν τὰς καρδίας
"Those who say religion has nothing to do with politics do not know what religion is." -- Mohandas Gandhi
Y dduw bo'r diolch.

Offline JamesR

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Re: How Atheism Can Help Christians Avoid False Idols
« Reply #4 on: May 15, 2012, 02:16:09 PM »
When we see God as a concept we do not really accept anything from Him or allow Him to aid or affect us in any way, we leave the entire burden on ourselves. But essential Orthodox doctrine is that no human can become godly unless God Himself is helping us. And in order to be helping us, He has to have been Incarnate and has to be a real entity.
...Or it's just possible he's a mouthy young man on an internet forum.
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Offline orthonorm

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Re: How Atheism Can Help Christians Avoid False Idols
« Reply #5 on: May 15, 2012, 02:30:22 PM »
When we see God as a concept we do not really accept anything from Him or allow Him to aid or affect us in any way, we leave the entire burden on ourselves. But essential Orthodox doctrine is that no human can become godly unless God Himself is helping us. And in order to be helping us, He has to have been Incarnate and has to be a real entity.

The problem often in all these "questions" is that people don't language seriously enough.

God for Christianity is "a concept". You just have to understand what concept properly is.

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Offline J Michael

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Re: How Atheism Can Help Christians Avoid False Idols
« Reply #6 on: May 15, 2012, 02:35:21 PM »
When we see God as a concept we do not really accept anything from Him or allow Him to aid or affect us in any way, we leave the entire burden on ourselves. But essential Orthodox doctrine is that no human can become godly unless God Himself is helping us. And in order to be helping us, He has to have been Incarnate and has to be a real entity.

The problem often in all these "questions" is that people don't language seriously enough.

God for Christianity is "a concept". You just have to understand what concept properly is.



When did language become a verb?
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Offline HabteSelassie

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Re: How Atheism Can Help Christians Avoid False Idols
« Reply #7 on: May 15, 2012, 02:35:53 PM »
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!


"Just don't look.."

stay blessed,
habte selassie
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Re: How Atheism Can Help Christians Avoid False Idols
« Reply #8 on: May 15, 2012, 02:39:35 PM »
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!


"Just don't look.."

stay blessed,
habte selassie
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Offline Jetavan

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Re: How Atheism Can Help Christians Avoid False Idols
« Reply #9 on: May 15, 2012, 02:50:14 PM »
When we see God as a concept we do not really accept anything from Him or allow Him to aid or affect us in any way, we leave the entire burden on ourselves. But essential Orthodox doctrine is that no human can become godly unless God Himself is helping us. And in order to be helping us, He has to have been Incarnate and has to be a real entity.

The problem often in all these "questions" is that people don't language seriously enough.

God for Christianity is "a concept". You just have to understand what concept properly is.



When did language become a verb?
Linguo, linguare, linguavi, linguatum
If you will, you can become all flame.
Extra caritatem nulla salus.
In order to become whole, take the "I" out of "holiness".
सर्वभूतहित
Ἄνω σχῶμεν τὰς καρδίας
"Those who say religion has nothing to do with politics do not know what religion is." -- Mohandas Gandhi
Y dduw bo'r diolch.

Offline J Michael

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Re: How Atheism Can Help Christians Avoid False Idols
« Reply #10 on: May 15, 2012, 02:56:14 PM »
When we see God as a concept we do not really accept anything from Him or allow Him to aid or affect us in any way, we leave the entire burden on ourselves. But essential Orthodox doctrine is that no human can become godly unless God Himself is helping us. And in order to be helping us, He has to have been Incarnate and has to be a real entity.

The problem often in all these "questions" is that people don't language seriously enough.

God for Christianity is "a concept". You just have to understand what concept properly is.



When did language become a verb?
Linguo, linguare, linguavi, linguatum

Yes, but.........*when*??
"May Thy Cross, O Lord, in which I seek refuge, be for me a bridge across the great river of fire.  May I pass along it to the habitation of life." ~St. Ephraim the Syrian

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Offline orthonorm

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Re: How Atheism Can Help Christians Avoid False Idols
« Reply #11 on: May 15, 2012, 02:58:44 PM »
When we see God as a concept we do not really accept anything from Him or allow Him to aid or affect us in any way, we leave the entire burden on ourselves. But essential Orthodox doctrine is that no human can become godly unless God Himself is helping us. And in order to be helping us, He has to have been Incarnate and has to be a real entity.

The problem often in all these "questions" is that people don't language seriously enough.

God for Christianity is "a concept". You just have to understand what concept properly is.



When did language become a verb?

When my head is killing me enough to stop drop words when typing.
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Offline J Michael

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Re: How Atheism Can Help Christians Avoid False Idols
« Reply #12 on: May 15, 2012, 03:03:57 PM »
When we see God as a concept we do not really accept anything from Him or allow Him to aid or affect us in any way, we leave the entire burden on ourselves. But essential Orthodox doctrine is that no human can become godly unless God Himself is helping us. And in order to be helping us, He has to have been Incarnate and has to be a real entity.

The problem often in all these "questions" is that people don't language seriously enough.

God for Christianity is "a concept". You just have to understand what concept properly is.



When did language become a verb?

When my head is killing me enough to stop drop words when typing.

Oh, okay.  So it's an ongoing, intermittent kind of thing?  I was hoping for a specific year or century, but that'll do  ;D.
"May Thy Cross, O Lord, in which I seek refuge, be for me a bridge across the great river of fire.  May I pass along it to the habitation of life." ~St. Ephraim the Syrian

"Sometimes you're the windshield.  Sometimes you're the bug." ~ Mark Knopfler (?)

Online vamrat

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Re: How Atheism Can Help Christians Avoid False Idols
« Reply #13 on: May 15, 2012, 03:07:34 PM »
When we see God as a concept we do not really accept anything from Him or allow Him to aid or affect us in any way, we leave the entire burden on ourselves. But essential Orthodox doctrine is that no human can become godly unless God Himself is helping us. And in order to be helping us, He has to have been Incarnate and has to be a real entity.

The problem often in all these "questions" is that people don't language seriously enough.

God for Christianity is "a concept". You just have to understand what concept properly is.



When did language become a verb?
Linguo, linguare, linguavi, linguatum

You have made me lol twice today.  I don't remember what the first was, but I remember it was good.

Good show.  Let's aim for three, shall we?
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Offline orthonorm

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Re: How Atheism Can Help Christians Avoid False Idols
« Reply #14 on: May 15, 2012, 03:08:37 PM »
When we see God as a concept we do not really accept anything from Him or allow Him to aid or affect us in any way, we leave the entire burden on ourselves. But essential Orthodox doctrine is that no human can become godly unless God Himself is helping us. And in order to be helping us, He has to have been Incarnate and has to be a real entity.

The problem often in all these "questions" is that people don't language seriously enough.

God for Christianity is "a concept". You just have to understand what concept properly is.



When did language become a verb?

When my head is killing me enough to stop drop words when typing.

Oh, okay.  So it's an ongoing, intermittent kind of thing?  I was hoping for a specific year or century, but that'll do  ;D.

Unfortunately yes. It is the canary in the coal mine of more exquisite suffering to come. Good times.
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Offline J Michael

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Re: How Atheism Can Help Christians Avoid False Idols
« Reply #15 on: May 15, 2012, 03:19:46 PM »
When we see God as a concept we do not really accept anything from Him or allow Him to aid or affect us in any way, we leave the entire burden on ourselves. But essential Orthodox doctrine is that no human can become godly unless God Himself is helping us. And in order to be helping us, He has to have been Incarnate and has to be a real entity.

The problem often in all these "questions" is that people don't language seriously enough.

God for Christianity is "a concept". You just have to understand what concept properly is.



When did language become a verb?

When my head is killing me enough to stop drop words when typing.

Oh, okay.  So it's an ongoing, intermittent kind of thing?  I was hoping for a specific year or century, but that'll do  ;D.

Unfortunately yes. It is the canary in the coal mine of more exquisite suffering to come. Good times.

No pain no gain?  So, is the canary still tweeting (good), or has it keeled over (not good)?
"May Thy Cross, O Lord, in which I seek refuge, be for me a bridge across the great river of fire.  May I pass along it to the habitation of life." ~St. Ephraim the Syrian

"Sometimes you're the windshield.  Sometimes you're the bug." ~ Mark Knopfler (?)