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Christianity - a religion or a philosophy?

JerryBobCoJerryBobCo Senior MemberPosts: 8,227 Senior Member
I was watching Bill O'Reilly debate some atheist dude over the war on Christmas last night. Bill claimed that Christianity was a philosophy, not a religion. That seemed to be the basis of his argument supporting the notion that Christmas was not really a religious holiday.

I think he's wrong. In my view, Christianity is a religion, and those who believe in it or adhere to its principals are those who believe that Jesus Christ is the one and only son of God, and that salvation can only be achieved by accepting him as your savior.

There are the various denominations within the religion, but my cut at it is that Christianity is definitely a religion.

What do you think? Am I splitting hairs over the two words and how they are used? Is Bill once again full of it?

Mods, feel free to move this if you feel it's warranted.
Jerry

Gun control laws make about as much sense as taking ex-lax to cure a cough.
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Replies

  • samzheresamzhere Banned Posts: 10,923 Senior Member
    I've got zero idea where O'Reilly got that idea, Christianity not being a religion, but a philosophy.

    I'm sure he surprised millions of Christians everywhere. Because he was waaay wrong.

    Of course what he was trying to do is win his argument over this atheist, who in fact seemed pretty reasonable: public displays of religion (Christmas trees in the courthouse) are not allowable. Well, he's right. Our constitution forbids any state-sponsored religion and you can't play favorites. So no Christmas trees or Deuwali displays or Torahs or Koran displays in the courthouse lobby. None.

    O'Reilly trying to pretend that Christianity is a philosophy so as to allow Christian displays in public buildings is so bogus as to be laughable.

    Christianity is a religion. Within that, Lutherans and Southern Baptists and Roman Catholics are churches, but all is still a religion.

    Sorry, Bill. You had egg on face.

    We Christians may get naggy when we fondly remember manger scenes in city hall or the courthouse, now no longer allowed. But that's the Constitution and we got to realize it.
  • Fat BillyFat Billy Senior Member Posts: 1,813 Senior Member
    O'Reilly was trying to smack down the Athiest and smacked down himself. That dipwad shouldn't have been invited to be on TV. O'Reilly is down two points in my opinion. Like I said in another post, too much TV. I'm going to Netflix for a movie. :cool: Later,
    Fat Billy

    Recoil is how you know primer ignition is complete.
  • tennmiketennmike Senior Member Posts: 27,457 Senior Member
    Wambli Ska wrote: »
    There is NO formal standard set of rules for Christianity, it is just beliefs and a philosy of how to conduct your life (be good to others, raise the dead when needed, etc.). Catholicism, is a religion. It has sacraments, rules, regulations, revenue generation schemes and a well defined governing structure. You can be a Christian all your life and never set foot in a church and think the Pope is a blubbering hypocritical idiot.

    I think Christianity is a combination of both religion and philosophy.
    religion--The belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, esp. a personal God or gods.
    philosophy--

    1. The study of the fundamental nature of knowledge, reality, and existence, esp. when considered as an academic discipline.
    2. A set of views and theories of a particular philosopher concerning such study or an aspect of it.

    Christianity also has sacraments, rules, and regulations; just not as an all encompassing written down for all to follow kind of thing. Too many flavors of Christians to have one set of rules that all would adhere to willingly. About that revenue generation thing; I believe the televangelists have had that bit covered for a good while.

    Catholicism has a lot to do with power, too. And I'll just leave it there as the comparison I'd have to make to prove the point would have the pitchfork and tar and feather brigades out en masse with me as the target.
      I refuse to answer that question on the grounds that I don't know the answer”
    ― Douglas Adams
  • centermass556centermass556 Senior Member Posts: 3,534 Senior Member
    So....I tend to agree with Sammy Kershaw on this, " ...politics will start a fight, religion's hard to prove who's right...."

    But on the theory and philosophy level....

    If Christianity is not a religion then Niether is Buddhism, Judaism, Islam, or Taoism, nor any of the others.

    The Buddhist faith was founded by the teacher Siddhārtha Gautama somewhere around 6 BC in India. The religion does not have a central worship deity or pantheon of deities. It does pay homage to the founder, and he is referred to as Buddha. This religion can strongly be argued that it is not a religion at all but a way of life to seek enlightenment and freedom from mortal stress. There are about 20 main Sects to Buddhism, and the 8 step path is recognized by most all of the sects.
    Judaism is mostly founded on the teachings of Moses and then later evolved. Judaism can trace back more than 3,000 years in the history of the religion. Judaism is monotheistic and believes in the one true God, Yaweh. There are several different sects of Judaism, but they are all true to the same Monotheistic dogma.
    Islam is by and far the newest of the major religions of the world and was in fact spread by the sword across the known world of the time. Islam was founded by the Prophet of Allah (Arab word for God), Muhhamed, around 610 AD. Islam, like Judaism is Monotheistic and believes in one true God. Most of Islam shadows Judaism in some fashim, especially the earlier books up to around the time of Abraham. They follow the same dietary constriction and prophets for a good portion. The split between the two religions comes with the Sons of Abraham. Islam believes that Ishmael, the Son Abraham had with Sarai’s hand maiden, is the first born and true heir to Abraham’s lineage. Judaism recognizes Isaac as the chosen son. There are two main sects in Islam and both sects are responsible for all the bloodshed that has happened in the religion. Currently the Shia sect of Islam is a minority and mostly practiced in Persian area’s or areas with heavy Persian influence.
    I honestly do not know much about Taoism except that it is much like Buddhism in its structure and philosophy. It is also a far east religion.
    Christianity follows the teaching and lessons of Christ and was born out of Judaism. So, with this, they have a common path up to a certain point. Christianity did not actually get an upswing and solid following until after the death of Christ. It was faithful followers like Saint Paul that continued to spread the word and teachings long after Christ’s death. It could be said that Christianity was not really founded until around 90 AD, even though Paul was spreading the word from about 30 AD forward. Christianity looks at itself as a Monotheistic religion, but others see it a polytheistic religion. The different outlooks come from the Christian belief in the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost…Or more simply, the holy Trinity. Judaism and Islam do not have this. There are many sects in Christianity and some of those sects are referred to as Cult sects because of their own culture nuances that divide the sects from the main teachings of Christ. Catholics spread Catholicism by the sword across the known world during the period of European colonization. Because of this, Catholicism is spread across the globe like Islam.
    "To have really lived, you must have almost died. To those who have fought for it, freedom has a flavor the protected will never know."
  • centermass556centermass556 Senior Member Posts: 3,534 Senior Member
    :that:

    Exactly....
    "To have really lived, you must have almost died. To those who have fought for it, freedom has a flavor the protected will never know."
  • mythaeusmythaeus Senior Member Posts: 831 Senior Member
    Wambli Ska wrote: »
    You have to remember that from an academics perspective the divinity of a human is always in question if not outright denied so Jesus, Buddha, Muhammad etc are considered philosophers, not gods. Religions are the organized institutions that came as a result of people following these folks philosophy.

    The core definition of "religion" is the belief in God or gods. Here's one of the definitions: "The belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, esp. a personal God or gods." The definition for religion has been further expanded to be more broad to include more than just the belief in God/gods to include just "the belief in spiritual beings". Mohammed is not the ultimate divinity, but Allah is. Likewise, not Jesus, but God. Whereas in Buddhism, there isn't a "god". The Buddha is not a divine entity and isn't meant to be worshiped, only to be followed in footsteps if you want to attain enlightenment. The worshiping of the Buddha as some sort of divinity is cultural and a false one at best. As such, Islam, Judaism, and Christianity are very much religions. Buddhism is a religion to the broader definition, but could be considered to be a philosophy by the core definition.

    Al
    "In a controversy, the instant we feel anger we have already ceased striving for the truth and have begun striving for ourselves." - Siddhartha Gautama
  • tennmiketennmike Senior Member Posts: 27,457 Senior Member
    Wambli, I can go along with that. :up:
      I refuse to answer that question on the grounds that I don't know the answer”
    ― Douglas Adams
  • centermass556centermass556 Senior Member Posts: 3,534 Senior Member
    With Christianity, you are worshiping God....But you are following the ideals, principals, and teachings of Christ......That makes it a philosophy of Judaism...

    This can go down a slope quickly. lets take Socrates. Socrates had a following of his teachings, ideals, ethics, principals...Plato and Aristaphanes are two of his followers. Can it be said there religion was Socratism?
    "To have really lived, you must have almost died. To those who have fought for it, freedom has a flavor the protected will never know."
  • mythaeusmythaeus Senior Member Posts: 831 Senior Member
    With Christianity, you are worshiping God....But you are following the ideals, principals, and teachings of Christ......That makes it a philosophy of Judaism...

    This can go down a slope quickly. lets take Socrates. Socrates had a following of his teachings, ideals, ethics, principals...Plato and Aristaphanes are two of his followers. Can it be said there religion was Socratism?

    My understanding is that principles, ideals, and teachings of Christ, as relayed through the Bible, are inspired by God (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biblical_inspiration). This to me that Christ's teachings are not of his own, but strongly driven by God. Christ was a prophet, "speaking" the words of God: http://www.learnthebible.org/christ-a-prophet.html) . Likewise, Judaism teachings are too the words and will of God. You follow the teachings through the mouth and actions of the prophet as dictated by God through him, not his own "philosophy".

    For me, I simply go off the standard accepted definitions for the word "religion" for academic discussion purposes. The reality is that it really doesn't matter what you call it, religion or philosophy, it's what the practitioners do with it that really matters.

    Al
    "In a controversy, the instant we feel anger we have already ceased striving for the truth and have begun striving for ourselves." - Siddhartha Gautama
  • centermass556centermass556 Senior Member Posts: 3,534 Senior Member
    This is where the topic gets Ugly if you sway away from the academic...You are assuming that Christ Talked to God and he was the Son of God. One Reason Christ was not in favor with the Jewish Heirarchy is because his teachings and lessons were in conflict with what they knew in the Torah. And, if it is conflict with the Torah it must be conlfict with God...Lets go with eating Pork. In the old testament and the Torah, dietary laws prohibit Pork. But Jesus said what enters your body through your mouth does not make you unclean, what enters through your eyes and ears does. SO what God is Jesusinspired by? The one that told Moses you shouldn't eat pork, or the God that sent his only Son to live amoung sin and tell people it is okay to eat pork...What do you call a follower of Jusaism that believes Christ is the Messaih? A Messanic Jew. Christianity was born out of Judaism and only offers a new philosophy on following the same God.
    "To have really lived, you must have almost died. To those who have fought for it, freedom has a flavor the protected will never know."
  • JerryBobCoJerryBobCo Senior Member Posts: 8,227 Senior Member
    I'm by far no scholar when it comes to the difference between Judaism and Christianity, but it's my understanding that those of the Jewish faith do not accept Jesus Christ as the messiah, whereas Christians do. You can simplify it and come up with all sorts of rationalizations and explanations, but it really all boils down to the following.

    Do you believe that Jesus is the true son of God, and that the only path to salvation is to accept him as such, and ask him to save you? That is the very essence of Christianity.
    Jerry

    Gun control laws make about as much sense as taking ex-lax to cure a cough.
  • breamfisherbreamfisher Senior Member Posts: 13,692 Senior Member
    I would just add that "Christian" means "follower of Christ." Beyond salvation, Christianity means following the teachings of and emulating the example set forth by Jesus.

    As an aside, "Christian" was coined originally as a derisive term.
    Overkill is underrated.
  • MileHighShooterMileHighShooter Senior Member Posts: 4,871 Senior Member
    Christmas was not originally a Christian holiday. It wasn't even practiced by Christians AS a Christian Holiday until over 500 years AFTER the death of Jesus and it was appointed a holiday by a Roman Emperor.

    http://rcg.org/books/ttooc.html
    Wambli Ska wrote: »
    Once again, please refrain from cutting short any baseless totally emotional arguments with facts. It leads to boring, completely objective conversations well beyond the comprehension ability of many.
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 25,796 Senior Member
    Wambli Ska wrote: »
    There is NO formal standard set of rules for Christianity, it is just beliefs and a philosophy of how to conduct your life (be good to others, stay poor, raise the dead when needed, etc.).

    Ummmm, what is the Bible? A book of suggestions?
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 25,796 Senior Member
    How about the one used by Christians. Since this is in regards to Christianity.
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 25,796 Senior Member
    So, is it rules or guidelines?
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • JayhawkerJayhawker Moderator Posts: 17,638 Senior Member
    Zee wrote: »
    How about the one used by Christians. Since this is in regards to Christianity.

    OK then Pick One. King James Version? New King James Version? English Standard? New Living Translation? American Standard? Common English Bible? Holman Christian Standard? , New Revised Standard? Revised Standard Version? New International Version? Gods Word Translation? Good News Translation?.....I could go on but I'm sure you see where I'm going with this. They all differ to some degree....
    Sharps Model 1874 - "The rifle that made the west safe for Winchester"
  • bmlbml Senior Member Posts: 1,075 Senior Member
    I try not to worry about a lot of the things mentioned in this thread.(or some of the others related to Christianity, creation, etc.) To me, my beliefs are not a religion, but rather a personal relationship with God and his Son, Jesus. I try not to get hung up on things like how old the earth really is, and the "technical" aspects of things, and focus more on my walk with Him. Everything else is just details that will be cleared up eventually. Just my .02
    scottd wrote: »
    The milk of human kindness is often out dated and curdled.

    This is like watching a bunch or **** trying to hump a door knob.....
  • CMWCMW Member Posts: 53 Member
    I think it is a religion and a philosiphy. I take it as a religion but if someone wants to take it as a philosiphy to treat people right and to live and adhere to morals its still a great thing. You dont see a lot of people with good solid morals these day. its pathetic isnt it, the human race that is, or at least how this generation behaves
    "Life is tough, it's tougher if your stupid." - John Wayne
  • bmlbml Senior Member Posts: 1,075 Senior Member
    Jayhawker wrote: »
    OK then Pick One. King James Version? New King James Version? English Standard? New Living Translation? American Standard? Common English Bible? Holman Christian Standard? , New Revised Standard? Revised Standard Version? New International Version? Gods Word Translation? Good News Translation?.....I could go on but I'm sure you see where I'm going with this. They all differ to some degree....


    Most of those are pretty close to the same.
    scottd wrote: »
    The milk of human kindness is often out dated and curdled.

    This is like watching a bunch or **** trying to hump a door knob.....
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 25,796 Senior Member
    Jayhawker wrote: »
    OK then Pick One. King James Version? New King James Version? English Standard? New Living Translation? American Standard? Common English Bible? Holman Christian Standard? , New Revised Standard? Revised Standard Version? New International Version? Gods Word Translation? Good News Translation?.....I could go on but I'm sure you see where I'm going with this. They all differ to some degree....

    Which do you use?
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 25,796 Senior Member
    Interesting. You answered my question.
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • beartrackerbeartracker Senior Member Posts: 3,116 Senior Member
    Wambli Ska wrote: »
    So again, which Bible?

    And if youy really want to have your head explode look into translation differences amongst the new versions of Christian Bibles!!!
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bible_translations


    The critical text form Greek manuscripts over 5,000 manuscripts support the Greek critical text I read the Greek so I am not disenchanted by the many versions, they are versions, translations which because they are translations from one language to another have natural problems - the critical Greek text is the Bible. Try reading it, you might find some peace and for sure the truth of the matter. If you can't then I will recommend one of the English versions that most literally represents the Critical Greek Text and is very close to the Greek. If you are looking for ways and reasons not to believe that Jesus Christ is God in the flesh you will find them, but if you are interested in the truth, pm me and we will start an exchange and I will be more than happy to deal with your suppose evidence to dismiss the truth about Immanuel being God with us and as Paul said, Our Great God and Savior Jesus Christ our Lord. Lets you and I debate the issues but only through PM or email. Let me know when you are ready or would be interested in engaging in this area of evidences.
  • breamfisherbreamfisher Senior Member Posts: 13,692 Senior Member
    Which ones did Jesus break? If I remember correctly, he didn't break the commandments, but rather the oral tradition and interpretation of the commandments, called the Mishnah I believe. The 4th commandment is to honor the Sabbath. The oral tradition holds that healing and medical treatment on the Sabbath is forbidden unless a life is in jeopardy.
    Overkill is underrated.
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 25,796 Senior Member
    Wambli Ska wrote: »
    Which is exactly my point. Philosophy is not a set of rules. It is a "way", a "direction", a belief system. Not how many times we must kneel during a Roman Catholic mass. THAT is Religion.

    That wasn't the question I was ultimately wanting an answer to. I just used a round about way of finding out what I wanted to know. Thanks.
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • beartrackerbeartracker Senior Member Posts: 3,116 Senior Member
    Which ones did Jesus break? If I remember correctly, he didn't break the commandments, but rather the oral tradition and interpretation of the commandments, called the Mishnah I believe. The 4th commandment is to honor the Sabbath. The oral tradition holds that healing and medical treatment on the Sabbath is forbidden unless a life is in jeopardy.


    Yes, he broke the tradition found in the Mishnah not the Law of Moses.
  • JayhawkerJayhawker Moderator Posts: 17,638 Senior Member
    Zee wrote: »
    Which do you use?

    Mine is the King James Version...

    While we're here,as far as the Philosophy/Religion thing, I am a Christian, however, I am no longer a member of an organized religion...
    Sharps Model 1874 - "The rifle that made the west safe for Winchester"
  • breamfisherbreamfisher Senior Member Posts: 13,692 Senior Member
    Yes, he broke the tradition found in the Mishnah not the Law of Moses.
    He also referred back to the actions of King David to justify His own actions when debating with the keepers of the law. Not a bad way to deal with the religious lawyers: cite prior cases for precedence...
    Overkill is underrated.
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 25,796 Senior Member
    Jayhawker wrote: »
    Mine is the King James Version...

    So, is it rules, suggestions, guidelines, or history (as Wambli suggested)?
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • JayhawkerJayhawker Moderator Posts: 17,638 Senior Member
    bml wrote: »
    Most of those are pretty close to the same.

    " pretty close" being the operative phrase... It's like a Readers Digest Condensed Book....what the hell did they change or leave out to condense/change it?
    Sharps Model 1874 - "The rifle that made the west safe for Winchester"
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