I do not mean to focus specifically on Christians because I know this can apply to other religious folk but I am using the term because of my own experience. I am wondering if any of you have had a related experience to this when you were theist.
Before I decided to be Christian during my teen years I listened to punk rock. When I was saved I was told to not listen to secular music but I did not want to give up punk rock so low and behold I find that there is a whole underground Christian punk scene - Christian punk bands, Christians that dress like punks (spikes, mohawk, steel toe boots, the whole deal) and Christian punk shows with mosh pits. Throughout most of my Christian years I associated myself with this scene despite people telling me that Christian punk is unacceptable and I even published a Christian magazine that had macabre themes involving classic horror characters, death, etc.
When I think back on my theist years I am amazed that I still pursued my chaotic and macabre interests despite having devoted my life to something that is more often associated with being calm and serene. I was definitely an outcast in church lol but it goes to show that Christians can twist practically any style into their liking and still claim that they are living for god. For this reason I think there is so much conflict between Christians because they all have their own idea of what is acceptable based upon their personal style preference. It really has nothing to do with interpreting the bible, some christians simply do not like punk rock and so therefore they will say Christian punks are going to hell.
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I have to admit though I give props to Christian bands in the punk, hardcore, metal, etc. scenes. I feel they have pushed the extremes of what being a Christian can be and so therefore there is no solid definition of what a Christian is supposed to look like, sound like, etc. JCHC - Jesus Christ Hardcore!
There was even a music festival called Cornerstone that was fairly well known for hosting Christian punk bands and other types of extreme music. They even put Eva O (former Christian Death member) on display when she was temporarily Christian lol.
-I know I have mentioned the Christian Do-Gooders on here before they used to have quite a few of these Christian punks your talking about!
This is not a new phenomenon. Christianity (and its precursors) has a long history of subverting or absorbing other cultures, festivals, mythology... It's a very moveable feast :)
True, one by one they will make us or our children into them one way or another.
I agree Umpteen. I watched a history channel show about the history of Christmas and it basically said that Christmas was a Pagan holiday and that Christians and similar religious folk (I forget in the US or Europe?) even banned the holiday from being celebrated for a period of time because it was considered too gnarly for their godly liking haha ! People continued to celebrate though because it's the cold dismal days of winter (who doesn't want to celebrate?) so the religious folk eventually adopted it and added a twist to support their agenda.
I find it amazing today that the general view is that Christmas is to celebrate Jesus' birth when in fact the church rejected Christmas originally. Very backwards for sure.
Yeah and it doesn't stop at Christmas either we have chatted about Solstice/Easter/Equinox before. this is also not true of only Christians its a main theme when trying to bring people into religion. In the case of Christianity many German holidays by the Christians to help persuade Germans to join the ranks. You see a major problem was the Germans were not willing to give up their occasional romps. So stories were made and holidays morphed into christian holidays and over time there were more Christians celebrating than Pagans and people were convinced these holidays were Christian rather than Pagan holidays.
I like your points on the Christmas holiday. I have to admit a real peeve of mine is the slogan " Tis the reason for the season". It is so blatantly untrue. As someone with Celtic ancestry, I love celebrating the Solstice season and aside from that as you said, just looking for a reason to party during this cold and dreary time of year.
I love celebrating the solstice because it means that the days get longer from that point on forward :)
Christianity is indeed a twisting belief. They can believe what they want and find verses in the bible that will support their chosen beliefs. I think that's the same with other religions too. They will make their own rules and tell their members that it was all according to biblical teachings by choosing verses that maybe related to it and define it on their own ways.
Well said Mystic, that is actually one of the biggest problems I have with Christianity and a point I try to subtly hint at all the time, that many though not all, Christians use of the bible in such a manner of convenience. While many so called Christians quote/preach the "Good book", they take great liberty in selecting the verse that suits their needs while dismissing or ignoring the parts that don't. For example when many Christians quote the bible and use it for their own agenda they are often casting judgement and this is something this Good book says not to do. The book also preaches the Golden Rule which is for the most part ignored by bible thumpers by the simple act of making others uncomfortable.
I think it's a way for them to claim as much of the lives of their followers as possible. Using the "Be not part of the world" verse, they create communities where they can control pretty much everything. Kids want to rock out? Well, let's give them "approved" rock. It's all about control and keeping outside influences at bay.
The interesting thing about the Christian punks is that they are more consumed by the lifestyle than by god. As I mentioned they wore mohawks, spikes, patches, etc., fairly materialistic and image driven which conflicts with the humble theme Jesus put forth imo. They have JCHC (Jesus Christ Hardcore) patches all over them like they have their own gang. Time and time again they would say we love god more than punk but I really think they love punk more than god. Same thing for Christian R&B and rap artists - putting forth a mainstream image but claiming to live for god. Same thing with Christmas - Christians probably wanted to party hence they absorbed the holiday.
Now that I think about it Christians should all be a blank slate (image) if they really want to imitate Jesus.
I think those kind of showing their personalities is being just artistic on their own way. That should not be an issue in their religion as long as not dong "bad" things and being a good person. Maybe just wear proper on religious meetings or churches to show respect and then be whatever you are outside. :D
I hear what you're saying... but hear what the Bible is saying. It's pretty specific about the moral responsibility and respected outcomes that arise from immodesty.
Artistic? I don't think the bible makes allowances for that, though older religions do.
Ironically, some people who are religious as they appear are hiding some trash beneath their extremely religious lifestyles. They face other people with bible in their hands and yet they treat their own family very unlikely. They are the one who spoke god's word a lot and yet involve in human trafficking, violence and corruption.