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JinJer 39: Waiting to Meet Their Baby Daughter


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On 5/22/2018 at 7:24 PM, meowfundiecatz said:

Basically we are very conservative, but we believe each person has the right to life their life, and we give grace to the differences we hold. We have friends who have drastically different beliefs so we try IRL to not play a label game.

 

 

This. I love this. If only everyone lived their life with this philosophy. 

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9 hours ago, Rachel333 said:

See, and to further confuse things, I think that believing that Christianity is the only correct belief is usually part of mainstream Christianity. :pb_lol: It's a basic tenet of the Bible and while there are liberal Christian groups who might not believe that they really aren't mainstream within Christianity yet. I guess it depends on what beliefs you're talking about, though; fundamentalists do tend to believe that not only is Christianity the only correct religion, the way they're doing Christianity is the only correct way as well.

You are right, about many mainstream Christians believing Christianity within certain parameters is the only correct way. I hgave never met any non-mormon church that gave Mormons any "Christian cred." And vice-versa. To be fair, Jesus did open that door when told Nicodemus in the Gospel of John, "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except thru me." 

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4 hours ago, SilverBeach said:

I need this. Northern made flowered rolls in colors back in the late seventies. I got the gray to go with my gray, black and red bathroom. Yes,I like to coordinate, LOL. Please post pics.

My mum actually collects toilet papers and she's got black and red rolls... :giggle:

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I am curious to see how Jinger will do as a woman's bible study leader. For all her "extraness", I can see Jill being comfortable speaking and leading a group of women. I do see Jinger as more of a follower than a leader, so I do wonder what the experience will be like for her. 

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9 minutes ago, Pecansforeveryone said:

I am curious to see how Jinger will do as a woman's bible study leader. For all her "extraness", I can see Jill being comfortable speaking and leading a group of women. I do see Jinger as more of a follower than a leader, so I do wonder what the experience will be like for her. 

It might be very good for her. 

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On 5/22/2018 at 10:00 PM, VelociRapture said:

I don’t care what the principles are. They could relate to religion or politics or animal rights or environmental protection or healthcare or anything. If you think that your way is the only acceptable way and you’re willing to legislate to force others to abide by it, then you are a fundamentalist to me. * 

I think I might be a bit fundie. Like atheist, socialist fundie. Or I might just be stubborn and smallminded ...

On 5/23/2018 at 12:42 AM, victoriasponge said:

From Grace's Distinctives, I'd say they are quite clearly fundie. And even if other people wouldn't agree, they clearly think that they are fundamentalist and that this is a good thing, therefore I'm willing to call them fundie regardless.

On Biblical literalism:

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...absolutely inerrant in the original documents, infallible, and God-breathed. We teach the literal, grammatical-historical interpretation of Scripture which affirms the belief that the opening chapters of Genesis present creation in six literal days (Genesis 1:31; Exodus 31:17). We teach that the Bible constitutes the only infallible rule of faith and practice...

That there is one true interpretation of the Bible (theirs)

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We teach that, whereas there may be several applications of any given passage of Scripture, there is but one true interpretation. The meaning of Scripture is to be found as one diligently applies the literal grammatical-historical method of interpretation under the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit

Calvinist

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He has graciously chosen from eternity past those whom He would have as His own 

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We teach that election is the act of God by which, before the foundation of the world, He chose in Christ those whom He graciously regenerates, saves, and sanctifies... Since sovereign grace includes the means of receiving the gift of salvation as well as the gift itself, sovereign election will result in what God determines. All whom the Father calls to Himself will come in faith, and all who come in faith the Father will receive... We teach that the unmerited favor that God grants to totally depraved sinners is not related to any initiative of their own part or to God’s anticipation of what they might do by their own will, but is solely of His sovereign grace and mercy 

Anti-divorce

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We teach that God hates divorce, permitting it only where there has been unrepentant sexual sin (Mal. 2:14–16; Matt. 5:32, 19:9) or desertion by an unbeliever (1 Cor. 7:12–15). We teach that remarriage is permitted to a faithful partner, but only when the divorce was on biblical grounds.

Homosexuality, adultery and fornication are all as bad as bestiality

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We teach that any form of sexual immorality, such as adultery, fornication, homosexuality, bisexual conduct, bestiality, incest, pedophilia, pornography, any attempt to change one’s sex or disagreement with one’s biological sex, is sinful and offensive to God

Homosexuals choose to be sinners

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We teach that homosexuality, in particular, is subject to God’s wrath of abandonment, is a matter of choice and not inherited status, and epitomizes man’s ungrateful rebellion against God

But that you should *ahem* love them anyway

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We teach that every person must be afforded compassion, love, kindness, respect, and dignity. Hateful and harassing behavior or attitudes directed toward any individual are to be repudiated and are not in accord with Scripture or the doctrines of the church.

Shouting the Bible at them isn't hateful though, even when very, very rude, in fact it's loving y'all.

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We teach that the faithful proclamation of the Scripture, including the call to repentance, does not constitute hate speech, or hateful and harassing behavior, but is instead a fundamental part of the church’s loving mission to the world

Women are (spiritually) equal but (realistically) inferior

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Eve was equal to Adam, but she was given the role and duty of submitting to him. Although the word “helper” carries very positive connotations—even being used of God Himself as the helper of Israel (Deut. 33:7; Ps. 33:20)—it still describes someone in a relationship of service to another. The responsibility of wives to submit to their husbands, then, was part of the plan from creation, even before the curse.

The reason women don't like this anymore was a God-given side-effect of the Fall, he wanted us all to hate being inferior.

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Thus, the curse in Genesis 3:16 refers to a new desire on the part of the woman to exercise control over her husband—but he will in fact oppressively rule and exert authority over her. The result of the Fall on marriage through history has been an ongoing struggle between the sexes, with women seeking control and men seeking dominance.

You should evangelise to children but make sure they know they aren't saved and are depraved

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Rather than getting their children to pray “the sinner’s prayer” or enticing them into a superficial response, parents must faithfully, patiently, and thoroughly teach them the gospel and diligently pray for their salvation, always bearing in mind that God is the One who saves... It is the role of the Holy Spirit—not the parent—to give assurance of salvation (Rom. 8:15–16). Too many people whose hearts are utterly cold to the things of the Lord believe they are going to heaven simply because they responded positively as children to an evangelistic invitation.

Catholics are eeeeeevil

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To put it simply, because the Roman Catholic Church has refused to submit itself to the authority of God’s Word and to embrace the gospel of justification taught in Scripture, it has set itself apart from the true body of Christ. It is a false and deceptive form of Christianity.

There is much, much more. But I'm already bored reading through all this.

But hey ho. Now if they can explain why, if it's God who chooses who to save, they won't stop bleating on at me about how I'm wrong and have I heard of Jesus, that'd be grand. Obviously God didn't love me as much as some of his other creation (despite them also being depraved sinners and we both looking like the Big G) and therefore it's a wasted effort until He decides that it's worth it.

Anyway, my overall takeaway is that they think they are fundie. Therefore they are fundie. I mean, they see it as a literal interpretation of the Bible.

And that Jeremy's beliefs are basically identical to Derick's.

edit: also we now will basically have a man far more charismatic than Derick, with the same shitty belief system, literally trained to push for real change for them and to convert more people to their shitty beliefs. I don’t give a toss if he’s willing to send a daughter to school when he’s willing to do all that. 

Their life seems exhausting. 

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16 hours ago, Iamtheway said:

I think I might be a bit fundie. Like atheist, socialist fundie. Or I might just be stubborn and smallminded ...

Their life seems exhausting. 

Hmm... I think it depends. Are you:

- Of the opinion that your views are the only valid ones?

- Willing to use legislation as a way to force your views onto other people who may or may not agree with you?

I think both those need to have a Yes answer in order for me to personally classify anyone as a Fundie. Or at least the second one needs to be a yes - but I feel like that first one is kind of always a Yes if the second one is.

Additionally, I think there are other aspects to consider too. I mentioned before that advocating for your right to live a healthy and full life is different in my opinion than someone who just wants to force others to think and/or act like they do. So to use your Atheist example:

Someone who believes Atheism is what’s best for them personally or is best for humanity in general isn’t necessarily a Fundie. Someone who believes Atheism is best for humanity AND is willing to force that view onto others by supporting legislation that outlaws all religion is a Fundie though. Or, when it concerns hormonal birth control, personally being opposed to it is different than advocating for all hormonal birth control to be outlawed because you think using it is wrong.

To explain further, there are US politicians on both sides of the aisle who hold firm personal beliefs about certain issues. I’ll use Senator Tim Kaine and Mike Pence (current Vice President... ugh...) as examples.* Both men are religious - Kaine is a practicing Catholic and Pence is a former Catholic who switched to Evangelicalism:

- During the last election, Kaine spoke about his time as Governor of Virginia and how the people of the state voted to keep the Death Penalty as an option for very serious crimes. He explained that his faith has led him to believe the Death Penalty is wrong, but he had to put his personal beliefs aside in order to best serve the people of his state. 

- Compare him to Mike Pence, who is personally and professionally opposed to abortion, LGBTQ rights, and all things fun in the world. I don’t know the stats for Indiana, but he supported anti-abortion legislation that was Draconian at best while he was Governor there (one measure he signed in 2016 was ruled unconstitutional last month and was overturned) and he has been vocally supportive of Conversion Therapy** - the use of extreme psychological or spiritual interventions to “turn someone straight.”

Tim Kaine is not a Fundie (at least on the Death Penalty issue) because he tried not to allow his personal opposition influence his ability to do his job. Mike Pence, however, is a Fundie because his personal beliefs influence every aspect of his life, including how he performs his job. 

I guess if I were to put it really basically, I think Fundies are people of any belief who want to remove the right of choice from others and they’re willing to use whatever means they can to accomplish that. Holding a belief (extreme or not) isn’t enough by itself in my opinion to classify anyone as a Fundie. You have to be willing to take action to force others to act and believe as you do a well. 

I’m sorry this is so long (you get a cookie if you made it this far!), but I hope this helped explain my thoughts a bit more fully. :) 

*These were just the first two politicians I thought of. There are very likely Liberals classified as Fundie about some issues and there are very likely Conservatives who wouldn’t be classified as Fundies as well. 

**The use of Conversion Therapy on minors is currently banned by 11 states in the US, including mine (it was finally banned here a little over a year ago.) I know someone who was put through this by his parents when he was younger - I believe it was off and on for five years starting when he was in High School. He no longer has contact with his parents and is doing much better now, but it left a lot of damage. Conversion Therapy is a sick abuse of power and can be particularly harmful for LGBTQ+ teens and children.  

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@VelociRapture I like your definition of fundie. 

That said...I hold some pretty conservative theological beliefs. HOWEVER...I have to do what is right for ME. Nobody else. I would think that anyone would spend some serious time and effort to understand and develop their own beliefs instead of blindly following some bandwagon. I have absolutely NO desire to force my beliefs on anyone. My beliefs have a huge influence on other things like abortion, birth control, social justice, universal health care. 

Abortion: While I doubt I could ever go through with one, I have no desire to force someone to continue a pregnancy they don't want, and in the case of fetal abnormalities, I believe the decision to carry vs. terminate is a highly personal decision. In that case, I see termination as a loving decision to spare the child a life of pain and disability. 

Birth Control: Hell yeah...be responsible with your reproductive choices. "Don't breed if you can't feed". 

Social Justice: I'd like to see some strong safety nets. Increase mental health services, build more shelters/transitional housing/permanent housing for folks who have problems with addiction, mental illness, and are out on the street. I believe everyone is entitled to safe shelter, clothing, food, and yes, an internet connection.

Universal health care: As I believe that EVERY human being is created in the image and likeness of the Creator, ALL people should be able to access and afford the health care they need to be treated for problems, to be able to avoid problems, to afford the medications they may need to maintain health. I would also ban, nationwide, the half-assed "midwife" like Jilly-Muffin to assure that ALL children are brought into the world in a safe manner, by someone who has the training to understand the birth process and can intervene when needed. It totally wrecks me to see the Go Fund Me pages to try to pay insane medical bills. Yes, I'd ban Scamaritan too. 

Now, when it come to the death penalty, I am opposed. First, I think life w/o parole is a better punishment. Second, there's always the possibility that the convicted person is innocent...and by banning the death penalty, there's always a chance for the person to be exonerated. 

So, this is me...what I believe...I have no desire to force my theological beliefs down anyone's throats, but i sure would like to force some of my other beliefs down some folks' throats...I'll leave you to guess who. 

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1 hour ago, Iamtheway said:

Thanks for your long answer. :my_heart:

And I’ll be waiting for my cookie! :tw_cookie:

I don’t know if I can explain this without sounding like an ass, but I’ll give it a try. The thing is I do have a hard time accepting that people have different opinions then me on certain issues. I do think that my opinion is the only valid one when it comes to some things. 

• Race. Being racist is wrong. People of all races have the same value and should have the same rights. Don’t like black/white/brown people? Educate yourself or shut up about it!

• LGBTQ rights. Why is this an issue? Why should other people care who someone else loves or what gender they are as long as everybody involved is a willing adult? Don’t want to be gay? Fine. Don’t want others to be gay? Not ok.

• Womens rights. Women and men are equal. Not the same in every way but one is not above the other. Women should have equal pay, equal right to education and to make decisions about their own life.

• Abortion. No one should have the right to force someone else to do things with their bodies they don’t want to. Don’t want an abortion? Don’t have one. Think abortion is wrong? Fight for education, easily accessible and effective birthcontrol, programs that help poor/young/single mums. Making abortion illegal for someone else? Hell no! 

• I think it is unacceptable to use violence against your children. Always. Yes even smacking.

• I believe in taxes (high ones) and wellfare. I want free education and healthcare for everyone. I think society should take care of their weakest members and that those that have more should contribute more. 

• Religion. Like a penis, fine to have, love and be proud of. Not fine to whip out in public and force upon others.

•And like a thousand other issues where I have strong opinions and basically think people that don’t agree with me are a bit dumb. (I am a bit ashamed of this and try to work on it. But it’s so hard! And there are so many dumb people!)

Do I want there do be laws? Yes. Do I want to force others to live by those laws? I kind of do. 

I don’t think you’re technically fundie, at least by my definition - I specifically mentioned that fighting for equal rights or protections (for yourself or someone else) doesn’t really fall under that umbrella and most of the things you mentioned are ensuring people have those rights and protections. It’s the taking away of choices through legislation combined with purposely limiting someone's freedom or rights that’s the key to whether I view someone as Fundie or not. Some examples based off your post:

- Supporting legislation that would ban the use of corporal punishment on minors wouldn’t be viewed as a Fundie thing to me because it’s designed to protect the safety and well-being of children. Supporting legislation that legalized any form of corporal punishment or forces parents and schools to use corporal punishment on minors would be seen by me as a Fundie position.

- Supporting legislation for fair pay for women of all races isn’t Fundie because, again, you’re looking to ensure equal rights and protections. Supporting legislation that would give higher wages to one sex over the other(s) is a Fundie position though, regardless of which sex is given higher pay.

- Supporting the right to choose is not a Fundie position at all. If you’re view is so extreme that you think every woman should be forced to have abortions after having X number of kids or something then that is absolutely a Fundie position to me because it’s removing someone’s ability to choose what’s right for them.

ETA: I’m really enjoying this conversation and being made to really consider what my personal standards are. If anyone else has questions or comments or feels my definition is overlooking something somehow then feel free to pop in too!

Edited by VelociRapture
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I think you can be a fundie though and not want to legislate that others live the same way. They usually go together but someone who holds to a very strict, literal interpretation of the Bible could still be a fundamentalist even if they're not trying to legislate it on others. If they believe the Bible literally then they will believe that everyone else should live the same way, but that doesn't necessarily mean someone wants to actually force others to do so.

I also think you need to have, well, fundamentals to be a fundamentalist. "Extremist" is also a good word that would apply to a lot of other cases.

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@Iamtheway: A little bit fundamentalist, maybe :D

Although in colloquial language I think people tend to call religious fundamentalism fundamentalism and other ideological extremism something such as fanaticism, extremism, or zealotry. Like if I’m a fanatical vegan, I want all consumption of animals to be outlawed, leather to be made illegal, and I don’t care what other people think, feel, or believe because it’s my way or the highway. That sort of an attitude I would personally definitely describe as extremist/authoritarian/totalitarian rather than fundamentalist. There are also left-wing and right-wing authoritarians. You can attempt to legislate any political ideology onto everyone else I suppose, so you can become an extremist of virtually any sort. So much freedom to find my own brand of crazy :D 

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On 5/23/2018 at 4:57 PM, Rachel333 said:

See, and to further confuse things, I think that believing that Christianity is the only correct belief is usually part of mainstream Christianity. :pb_lol: It's a basic tenet of the Bible and while there are liberal Christian groups who might not believe that they really aren't mainstream within Christianity yet.

But isn’t this mindset true for all monotheistic religions?

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On 5/23/2018 at 4:33 PM, 2manyKidzzz said:

This is so interesting. Do you know of “A Course in Miracles”? That is a central point made there. Do you have any more insight you learned about this, that God is unaware of us? It really is fascinating and I haven’t seen it mentioned other than ACIM.

I cannot recall to be familiar with „A course in Miracles“.  My university times are over for quite some time now, so please understand that what I will write might be simplified and are mostly the points that impressed me enough. 

We basically worked with texts from the Middle Ages. The philosophers had just gotten hold of the ancient greek texts again through contact with the Arabs. One called THE GREAT COMMENTATOR as he was the main source for Arist for example (too lazy to look up his name). The basic principles of logic and the need of it to form a strong argument together with more and more questions about religion, universities as places of doubt and knowledge as counterpart to the Vatican, development in societies- this all was a big melting pot that opened the door to fantastic (sometimes hilarious, sometimes fascinating, sometimes VERY modern) ideas about how the bible could be true and not in conflict with scientific developments. They were all over the place. The concept of the unmoved mover was popular to describe gods nature. An unmoving entity that wouldn’t even know several thoughts and words as we do. Because it would truly be one and singular- different thoughts, words, letters would mean plurality. It also doesn’t have a body so every sensory way we understand the world around us limits us. Our body makes it impossible for us the understand god, and the unmoved mover is not thinking about us.  This goes hand in hand with the concept that only equal can recognise (and understand) equal.

As I said- those ideas are often quite far from how we would read the bible and interpret god (and angles- great problem indeed) but they truly tried to stay true to the bible as far as they could. There are many more concepts and it gets really crazy when they stumbled upon stuff in the bible that they couldn’t made logically work. They often enough decided the bible might not be literally true. It was quite a balance because they had to make sure not to get in trouble with the Vatikan. One wrote about how the creatures of the air came out of „air slur“, water creatures from „water slur“ and so on. Based on biblical texts it still sounds a hell lot like evolution.

As I said, my university days are long over and I am very unsure if I used the right English terms. The idea of god in this scientific field is very different from the normal mainstream. I am between both positions. The philosophical perspective helps to make sense of all those questions but I cannot remove the mainstream idea of god from my life. But then, as stated in my country we are mostly Cafeteria Christians and don’t think about god and religion a lot, nor do we make a big effort to follow church teachings.

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14 hours ago, Rachel333 said:

I think you can be a fundie though and not want to legislate that others live the same way. They usually go together but someone who holds to a very strict, literal interpretation of the Bible could still be a fundamentalist even if they're not trying to legislate it on others. If they believe the Bible literally then they will believe that everyone else should live the same way, but that doesn't necessarily mean someone wants to actually force others to do so.

I also think you need to have, well, fundamentals to be a fundamentalist. "Extremist" is also a good word that would apply to a lot of other cases.

I agree. Fundamentalism in the US grew from a backlash against Catholicism. The "fundamentals" are the Bible and the literal interpretation of it. Whereas other denominations allow tradition, reason and personal experience to guide them, fundamentalists (say they) do not. So, you can be a fundamentalist and not be in a cult, not be politically active at all, and not really care what other people do. I don't think the word fundamentalist works very well outside this context, actually. 

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The legislation of morality thing is definitely one of the reasons I can't be cool with many fundies - e.g. the Duggars, Caldwells, and Bates, who are involved in government and law enforcement, and even losers like the Botkins with their delusions of raising all their kids to be world leaders. But there are some fundies who are actively un-political, especially the off-the-grid undocumented dudes like the Pearl sons... I do think there's still a desire to have the world changed to conform to their beliefs, like @VelociRapture describes, but they imagine it brought about by other, non-legislative means. Some of these fundies still conform to the "have huge families to outbreed everyone who isn't a white fundamentalist" strategy, plus proselytizing through books and blogging.

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@just_ordinary  Thank you very much for taking the time for this interesting post. I read it through and will have to do so again. The ‘unmoved mover” concept is so interesting.

Thank you so much.

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My biggest issue with fundamentalist/evangelical Christians is that they think they have a right to ask about religion and make judgments based upon it. I grew up Catholic, still am a little bit. That's my business and my beliefs are private, I don't want to stand on my porch talking to anyone about them. Don't ask about my relationship with God/Jesus, don't tell me how to pray, don't tell me that my religion is wrong. It's mine. 

I would never have the gall to look someone in the face and say "You are wrong. This is what you should believe." What right do I have to do that? You can have all the opinions in the world, we can talk about religion if you want, I prefer not to; but don't even think about pushing your opinion on me. I will get vicious. It's rude, learn your manners, and keep your gob shut. If all you know about Catholics is that they worship Mary, then you have no clue what you're talking about. Learn something and then come back to me; I'm open to discussion. 

Are Jinger/Jeremy any different than the rest of them? No. They're just trying to sell their brand without the freak show. That doesn't mean you get a pat on the back. 

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Very interesting thread! Being someone that is breaking free of the church, I am beginning to explore some of these theological issues on my own. First, I wanted to point out the calvinism thing, reading about the paige patterson issue I never knew that there is a break in the southern baptist religion, the only sb I knew about was Al Mohler so I assumed all sbs were calvinists, my bad. I also just read a memoir from one of the girls that left westboro baptist and have really seen how Calvinism can be really cruel and a way of manipulation especially with a child, holding over their heads that they may not be part of the 'elect' that was tough to read, and extreme emotional abuse.  If the Duggar parents are Arminianist in their theology andBen and Jeremy are calvinistic,  we might already be seeing a break from their parents. 

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@Carm_88 I feel this in my soul! I have since I've accepted Jesus in my soul have taken the "show, not tell" approach with my religion. I've had people tell me they had no idea I was christian but were able to tell based on my actions or the way I speak to support the marglinized for example. Meanwhile I've had some christians get mad at me for not speaking about christ 24/7 but I always felt that my relationship is personal and that I keep it to myself unless it wants to be discussed ( I take a while to figure out if I'm comfortable to talk to them about my relationship or not). 

Like I guess I get that the bible can be interpreted in different ways but I'm not about the whole lets end peoples livelihood ways because in the end that's the not right (re: the fundies).

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10 minutes ago, candygirl200413 said:

@Carm_88 I feel this in my soul! I have since I've accepted Jesus in my soul have taken the "show, not tell" approach with my religion. I've had people tell me they had no idea I was christian but were able to tell based on my actions or the way I speak to support the marglinized for example. Meanwhile I've had some christians get mad at me for not speaking about christ 24/7 but I always felt that my relationship is personal and that I keep it to myself unless it wants to be discussed ( I take a while to figure out if I'm comfortable to talk to them about my relationship or not). 

Like I guess I get that the bible can be interpreted in different ways but I'm not about the whole lets end peoples livelihood ways because in the end that's the not right (re: the fundies).

I am the same way. Show not tell. There's a quote attributed to St. Francis of Assisi that goes something like this: "Preach the Gospel at all times, use words only if necessary". I don't bring up my beliefs but if someone asks me, I'll tell. One of my best friends is an atheist and has said that if more Christians were like me, she'd seriously consider becoming one. 

The ones that talk, talk, talk, then support such un Christ-like ideas (See US republicans) are chasing more people away and I find that very sad. 

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1 hour ago, Carm_88 said:

My biggest issue with fundamentalist/evangelical Christians is that they think they have a right to ask about religion and make judgments based upon it.

They remind me of some of the guys in college (before HIV hit the scene) whose primary motivation seemed to be getting laid, preferably with as many others as possible.  Their initial outward behavior was often unconcerning, but they always had their eye out for potential "prey", and would take advantage when they could.  Some would claim that they were offering it for your benefit...but it was pretty clear who they were trying to satisfy.

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This is a great conversation, and I don't have a whole lot to add besides that I do think the term "fundamentalism" only applies to religious extremism- and I think the desire to legislate religious beliefs is a great example of it. I just checked a few dictionaries and the definitions seem to support this. I realize that dictionaries aren't necessarily the final say on language, but that is how I personally use the terms "fundie/fundamentalist" colloquially as well.

So, on the flip side to what we typically discuss here, I would consider "fundie" athiests a possibility (well, a likely reality), but not necessarily "fundie" vegans or socialists, unless the basis for those beliefs is thoroughly religious. I would describe that type of belief as "extremist _______" or simply "closed-minded _______."

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I actually never really liked the Assisi quote because while I did like the idea that I could be off the hook for proselytizing as I was always very uncomfortable with the idea of it, just being a good person shouldn't be the same as spreading the Gospel, which is what it often gets interpreted as. I often heard Christians talk as if it was and that people could see you were a Christian just by the way you act (God's light shining through you and all!), but even when I was a Christian I thought that wasn't really fair to all the non-Christians who also lead exemplary lives. And if you truly believe that "Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life" and that other people would be damned without him (or even just better off with him) then it's not fair to make them just guess from your behavior.

Also, now as a non-Christian I sometimes get people telling me they can just tell I'm a Christian from the way I act, and it can be kind of annoying that people think I'm only nice because I'm a Christian.

So I like the message to not be obnoxious with your beliefs, but I don't like a lot of the assumptions people make when they use that quote.

(Honestly, though, if someone really, truly believes that others will go to Hell and be tortured for eternity without Christianity, the only moral thing to do would be to do everything they possibly can to save people from it. If I saw that people were unknowingly walking to their deaths I wouldn't just let them keep going because I didn't want to annoy them. I'm glad almost no one really acts like that, of course, but I think the fact that they don't shows that the belief in Heaven and Hell just isn't as real to most people as they portray it to be. To be fair, how could it be when it's not something you can see in front of you?)

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30 minutes ago, Rachel333 said:

So I like the message to not be obnoxious with your beliefs, but I don't like a lot of the assumptions people make when they use that quote.

For me, that quote means that by my actions I can earn the opportunity to tell people what I believe. 

Ok...story time. A dear friend (more like a big sister to me) was a militant atheist when we met over 30 years ago. She wanted nothing to do with any sort of religious faith whatsoever. We used to have huge arguments over it. Well, one day I stopped arguing with her about it and chose to keep loving her anyway. This sister-friend has seen me through some of my worst times, and I to her also. I also never stopped praying for her. Well, about 10 years ago, she finally got the job transfer she wanted to the location she wanted. She called me right after she moved there, all excited...she'd actually gone to church! I asked her what made want to "darken the door" of a church. Her answer? "YOU. You never gave up on me, you never stopped loving me, you never stopped being there for me. You showed me how Jesus never gave up, never stopped loving me." Since then, she's become quite active in her church, and I am thrilled she had that community to surround her when her husband died of colon cancer about 6 months ago. 

So...by my actions I can earn the right to be heard. I'm far from a "typical" "fundie" Christian. As you all know, I cuss like the sailor's wife I am, get between me and my smokes and there's gonna be a problem (I know, I know but...), I have a hair-trigger temper that I've finally learned to control. I'm pro-choice, pro-social safety nets, pro-universal health care, anti-death penalty. However, none of those things contradict my beliefs one bit. It would take a helluva lot more than this forum to explain my beliefs and how I arrived at them so...

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