All the happy people I know are Christians. Is there a Christianity that doesn't believe all the magical stuff and just says Jesus was cool? What's the most logical Christianity there is, without having to believe that a cookie is Jesus' body and all that?
I was think of the Episcopalians or Methodists. Are they sane?
All Christians believe as a fundamental principal that Jesus Christ died for everyone's sins on the cross and to be saved (and enter into heaven) you have to acknowledge him as your savior and repent of your sins. I am not sure what you are referring to as "magic stuff" but you indicate transubstantiation specifically, and most Protestant faiths do not believe in that specifically as they regard the bread and wine as merely symbolism. I will say this as a caution though, Christianity is not meant to be entered into lightly and it is not meant to make your life easier. Peter indicates that we are called to be "peculiar people" and chances are if you are fitting in well with non Christians and the subject of why you aren't participating in certain things never comes up then you probably aren't doing it right.
I think to be a happy christian you have to believe in the magic and illogical bits as well, or it will gnaw on you. Perhaps a christial sect can brainwash you, maybe that will make you happy. Coming from a protestant christianity which until very recently was state religion in Norway it is not that extreme, so you can tolerate it, but to become happy it seems you have to go more extreme.
Or you could find happiness in other venues, like your family, hobbies and job. Works for me
Are they really happy or does it just seem that way? The grass is always greener on the other side. I, personally, wouldn't pick a religion to be happy. If you're not happy, instead it's probably time to ask yourself why you're not happy. Choose a religion because you believe in its teachings.
At it's most basic core, Christianity is stupidly simple.
My version in a very condensed nutshell:
God, the creator of the universe, created you uniquely to honor him by using the talents he gave you - uniquely. He desperately covets a personal relationship with you, and all you need do is honor him with the talents he gave you.
Because of sin - a result of the free will He gave you to choose to honor him, or not - there is a separation between you and God.
Being the omnipotent being He is - God knew what you would choose. Because of that knowledge, he allowed for an out. A way to cancel out all the sin all of mankind has committed in the past, all the sin man commits in the present in the present, and all the sin man will commit in the future. He sent his Son to earth to live the only perfect life ever lived as a sacrifice in our stead.
The belief that God - in the form of his only son - came to earth, was crucified, rose again on the third day, and is alive today - is all that is required to re-enter into a right-relationship with Him.
It's all about that relationship. Not about what you do or don't do. Or what you do or don't believe.
There is s scene in Chariots of Fire in which they ask the missionary guy why he runs when he should - by religion's standard - be donating all of his time to evangelism.
His reply is something I have carried with me ever since I first watched the movie: he said simply this - "when I run I fell God's pleasure".
It takes faith in something above and beyond what is normally accepted today. But if you have ever had the privilege of experiencing God's pleasure - it is an act more than worth its while.
Church Headhunter. You're still welcome. I know you get up here. (thuogh I'm about 95% sure yer trollin.)
Oh, yeah Christianity ain't got nuthin to do with happiness. "Happiness" is not the same as Peace and joy. They come from new life in Christ having been born again from sin and death. Might as well put this over here too. Here's our pastor from last Sunday. Dead tired n half asleep. Complete with all the "magic stuff". Once God gets it in your head that He has called light, matter and all the vast cosmos into existence from nothing by fiat command? The magic thing takes care of itself. Mak, great to see ya buddy.
Yeah, this isn't a dip your toe in the water and see if you like it kind of decision. You're going to have to learn as much as you can about it to know if this is something you want to do. I know from your previous writings (or trollings) that you have A LOT of misconceptions about religion, faith and Christians themselves; and you need to clear that up with honest open minded education, prayer (gasp!), and self reflection. It's damn sure not an easy life, but to me it's the only life worth living. If you go into with with the present attitude and you do not learn some theology,if you don't reflect on this present calling, you will leave it in short order, still looking for that magic bullet. There are none.
There isn't one because Jefferson was a highly conflicted man. He was a proclaimed deist though his personal writings did not bear this out, he was an emancipationist who wouldn't do without his slaves, etc. He spent a lot of time justifying himself. He was a genius of the highest order. Solid as a founding father. Not a minister you'd want to follow. Deism is already a movement and you cannot just take the bits out of the Bible you like. It actually doesn't make any sense if you do.
To be honest the majority of christians that I know or have met are happy for one simple reason. ...you ready?
...God has a plan for them...BAAAAAM!
Seriously though in my experience the majority of christians believe this, and what happens is, Hey lose your job? God has a plan. get fucking cancer? God has a plan. Wife cheats on you? God has a plan. You're fucking poor? God has a plan. Just continue being a good christian and things will turn around, and if they dont? Well hey Heavens fucking awesome so it will be cool anyway.
You should look into the Jewish sect know as the Ebionites. In Deuteronomy Moses prophesied that sometime in the future the Jews would get away form the law and God would send a prophet who would return them to the law. The Ebionites believed Jesus was that prophet and they were his first followers.
I have to warn you however that the Ebionites took the commandment "Thou shalt not kill" to such an extreme that they were all vegetarians. So if you like to enjoy steak or a nice brisket it might be a difficult path...
This is a MUCH more complicated issue than your simple account suggests. First of all, distinguishing between Christians and Jews in the earliest centuries of the church's history is very complicated, and the accounts of the church fathers are tainted by polemic and disagreement. Consequently, making many definitive statements about the Ebionites is difficult - how does one "look into" a sect(s) whose attestations and descriptions vary significantly? Nevertheless, the mere fact that many Ebionites affirmed Jesus' status as Messiah (though denying his divinity) would have placed them outside the bounds of Judaism (thus such could be more appropriately called a Christian sect).
Secondly, Deuteronomy 18 does NOT contain a prophesy that the Jews would fall away and God would send a prophet to draw them back. Rather, the prophesy of Deut. 18 is framed by the prohibition against practicing the divinatory methods of their "pagan" neighbors, as Yahweh would supply a prophet like Moses. More importantly, the belief that Jesus was the prophesied "prophet like Moses" was NOT unique to the Ebionites; it originated with the apostles and was widespread in the earliest church. It's evident, for instance, in the thematic links Matthew draws between Jesus and Moses throughout his gospel (birth narratives, lawgiving, etc.), and even more explicitly in John 1:21.
Interesting. I can think of another faith that affirms Jesus' status as Messiah, though denying his divinity. They have no problem with brisket and steak (at least, not beef). They are pretty far outside the bounds of Judaism, though they do revere Abraham, Moses, David, Solomon et al., not to mention that they follow the teachings of a prophet who was a lot more like Moses than Jesus ever was.
They do not believe Jesus was anything like the messiah he was.
Also their Prophet was NOTHING like Moses. Nothing. Except at the most woefully superficial level, the covenant making and keeping YAHWEH of Moses bears no resemblance whatsoever to the capricious tantrum throwing Allah of Islam.
This post makes very little sense. "Punitive aspects" - what does that mean? Most Christians affirm some form of final judgment for UNbelievers, a judgment from which believers are exempt. In fact, for many Christians being tortured RIGHT NOW in various parts of the world, the notion of a final judgment on the wicked (including their torturers) is a tremendous comfort.
Are you referring to the penitential practices of the Roman Catholic church? Among other theoretical benefits, penance offers a genuine form of psychological comfort, as the individual is relieved of feelings of guilt and fear of future punishment through various actions.
Thus, I'm really not sure what you mean by "punitive aspects." And in any case, you cannot argue that real individuals who claim to be Christians ARE in fact less happy than atheists because Christianity's "punitive aspects" (whatever that means) COULD, theoretically, engender discomfort.