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And Then There Was Silence

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Christian Truth

"When I say Christianity is true I mean it is true to total reality — the total of what is, beginning with the central reality, the objective existence of the personal-infinite God. Christianity is not just a series of truths but Truth — Truth about all of reality. And the holding to that Truth intellectually — and then in some poor way living upon that Truth, the Truth of what is — brings forth not only certain personal results, but also governmental and legal results." - Francis A. Schaeffer

I agree with this.

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Ok, I have no idea what he's on about, but I don't like the sound of it.

There's personal truth; something that it true for you and maybe other people. And then there's total Truth, absolute Truth.

I believe in absolute truth.

I do only if it can be measured (maths, science, etc) or if it's actual factual (events that are properly documented, etc). Even then there's considerable flexibility. Absolute anything under other circumstances is both dangerous and limiting. Everything should be constantly questioned and re-evaluated, particularly anything theoretical or philosophical, those are inherently relative and subjective.

When it comes to God and the Bible, I disagree with what you've just written. Otherwise I'm on board

He also sounds like he's not a fan of seperation of church and state, which really concerns me.

I disagree. I believe there ought to be a separation of church and state, and Christianity certainly isn't a religion that ought to be campaigning for control of state.

BUT, as Christians, we ought to vote in regard to our Christian morals and beliefs. The homosexuals will vote for a man trying to push through same sex marriage, why shouldn't Christians vote according to their beliefs?

I will vote for someone who supports my beliefs, that's one of the beautiful freedoms I have, and I will not begrudge you your freedom to vote for someone who believes as you do, that's what a democracy is there for, to represent all people.

Islam is a religion that pushes control of state; thus why there are countries controlled by Sharia law.

Christians ought to be defined as people whose entire lives are transformed by the absolute truth that's been revealed to us. As a result of this absolute truth over our lives absolutely, we ought to conduct our lives accordingly; which includes voting. Will you begrudge us the freedom to vote for those we agree with?

The problem with your comparison is that the difference between you voting for anti-gay marriage candidates and a gay man voting for one is that he has a personal stake in it, it actually affects him. You don't. Everyone has their opinions and they should vote accordingly, but there's a difference between that and actively seeking for a country to be governed according to the values of one religion, which appears to be what he is doing.

Laws should not be made according to religion, that would not be representative of the needs of the nation as a whole. By that I mean the rationale for a Bill should not be "because god said so", rather "its the right thing to do", even if that position comes from religious doctrine.

I was trying to draw a connection between that gay man voting according to his conscience, and how as Christians, we have the right to do so as well. Regardless of whether it effects us, we have the right to vote whichever way we choose.

Schaeffer is calling for Christians to be governed by the Truth of the Bible, as opposed to liberalised Christians who allow the truth to be shaped according to themselves; making themselves to be their own authority. God, in the Bible, calls Christians to submit themselves to Him, not for them to shape him to their own ideals. That is what he's getting at, an individual Christian level, not a country level.

I agree, law ought not be made according to religion, it wouldn't be representative of the needs of the people as a whole. But Christians ought to vote according to their beliefs, so that they are represented as they should be. Just as everyone ought to vote according to their beliefs so that they are represented. If we all voted "for the greater good of the country" then no one's beliefs would be represented.

For example, I'm against abortion. Whether or not it goes through as legal in any given country, at least I've been given the privilege of being able to vote against it. The majority vote would have been heard, and I'm not begrudging it, I'm just thankful that I was able to vote according to my beliefs.

As Christians, we ought to vote according to our beliefs so that we are represented in whatever capacity reflective in parliament.

Maybe the American parliament is dominated by Christians, because mostly Christian people vote? (not trying to be argumentative here, just drawing a theory) If voting were compulsory and Bush weren't a dickhead, then maybe it'd be more balanced over there.

If you voted according to your beliefs, what would you have the legislators you voted in do? Would you want them to make laws reflecting your beliefs? Would that not be the same as legislating according to religious values?

Would you want them to make laws reflecting your beliefs?

But the majority of the population isn't Christian, so it's all evenly weighted isn't it?

Actually the American parliament is appointed by the American prime minister.

:) (Sorry couldn't resist)

To be fair I think there's definitely such a thing as voting for your fellow men and not just yourself. I'm not a single mother on welfare, but I try to vote so that she can get medical coverage. If some poeople think that it is better for the whole of humanity that gays not marry, that's fine, they should vote their conscience.

Religion is too much a part of humanity to imagine people won't vote, and govern according, to their beliefs. My point is that religion can be thought of as how people think humanity can be improved. If Christian Bob thinks child labor is wrong because of his religion and I think it's wrong because of my worldview, we agree - his opinion shouldn't count less because he votes based on what his religion teaches.

I agree.

his opinion shouldn't count less because he votes based on what his religion teaches
And yet that is what a-religious people think anyway; that they do count less.

Well I think where they're coming from is that a vote taken from a religious perspective is not taken wholly as the decision of the person. If Bob comes up and says "You should vote against this law," and I say "Ok Bill I'll do whatever you say," my vote counts just as much but it is less out of my personal conviction because I'm just doing whatever Bill says. For better or worse, religious voting can be viewed the same way - right or wrong, people voting religiously are doing so because of what their religion says and (often) not because of what they have worked out themselves to be true and reasonable. I know a few too many Christians who say "I wish I could be for gay marriage... but the Bible..." What areligious people cannot stand is when people vote according to their religion on issues they have not personally thought about nor undersand.

I can see where you're coming from. But my issue is that the truth of God and the Bible are so absolute that it ought to encompass the entire perspective of a Christian. We ought to be defined by that truth, not the other way around.

But there are also a few Christian I know who will vote for gay civil unions. They've looked at the issue and decided that as Christians, they support it. Then there's other friends who decide that as Christians they don't support it.

God has given us discernment to figure out these gray areas in life. Both of these groups have looked at the truth and tried to figure out how to apply it in this world and I commend them for it. They've been thorough in their thinking and application of truth.

I personally don't know where I stand on this issue, I'm as yet undecided, so I wont base my vote on that. However, I do know that I'm against abortion, even though it doesn't effect me (yet?)

It's like you said: What areligious people cannot stand is when people vote according to their religion on issues they have not personally thought about nor undersand.

If you're against abortion just don't have one. Don't deprive the rest of the population the ability to decide according to their own concience.

You could argue the same about murder: If you're against murder, don't kill anyone. Don't deprive the rest of the population the ability to decide whether they want to murder or not.

Perhaps the fact that the foetus isn't recognisably human changes this, but whatever you're killing by having an abortion has the potential to be a fully-fledged human. If we only condemn the crimes that LOOK bad, and ignore those that are more subtle, how are we actually caring for/loving our fellow humans?

So clearly you should never masturbate or use contraception, because the sperm you're killing have the potential to be a fully-fledged human.

because sperm, completely on their own, have that capacity! What are you kidding? Flimsy argument much?

Good enough for numerous mainstream church groups who ban both. What about RU486?

I can only think of Mormons and Catholics, who else have I missed? The Bible does NOT mention masturbation, the CLOSEST it comes, it that passage in Gen 38:6-9, which is about Onan disobeying God, in which he did NOT masturbate. It's been misinterpreted and misapplied. Both Catholics and Mormons are known for doing that. DO NOT attribute either of them to me please.

Furthermore, I'm arguing from the Bible, not from church.

RU486 is causing conditions that abort a fetus; thus I'm against it. And anyway, abortion issues aside, RU486 has numerous bad side effects. A woman has died in the US as a direct result of taking the drug.

Back on political topic, don't worry your head about how I vote. I'll vote HOWEVER I want regardless of you, based on MY morals and ethics. I have that freedom. Chances are there'll be more people FOR abortions, so my vote will be effectively unheard anyway. That's the beauty of a democracy. I get my say in things, but ultimately the majority rules. I am not in the majority.

when you're attacking, how else would you expect me to react?

Don't deprive the rest of the population the ability to decide according to their own conscience.

And don't tell me how to vote

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