Do people need to be Christian to be good?

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Unread postby Shu Ryorin » Fri May 28, 2004 5:47 pm

Zhao Yun the Great wrote:Certainly not. One can be "good" in any religion or philosophy. Such gets off onto the topic of predestination - must we be predestined to be Christian to be "good"? No way. I am a Christian myself, but I firmly believe that some of the greatest people in the world have no concept of Christianity at all. Good/evil is a part of human nature that all humans, not just Christians, feel.

Exactly. Christianity isn't about being good, it's about love. "Goodness" is often about works. Two totally different things.
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Unread postby Antiochus » Wed Aug 18, 2004 10:36 pm

Being a christian, jew or anything else does not change anything about who you are. Some people which were christian did horrible things and some musulman were people helper. So it should not be a way to tell if someone is good or not.
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Unread postby KingofWei&Wu » Wed Aug 18, 2004 10:42 pm

Religion matters nothing to virtue. Many great things have been accomplished in the name of a specific religion, but a lot of terrible things have also been done, even in the name of Christianity, like the Crusades, the Inquisition, and the KKK. Christianity is no better and no superior to any other religion in any way.
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Unread postby lessthanpleased » Thu Aug 19, 2004 12:24 am

I would venture to say no, but if you want to get into the socio-political connotations of "good" in the West, they seem to match up with Christian ideals pretty much point for point.

I suppose we need a definition of "good" before we can actually proceed, but I would have to note the fact that the Western conception of Goodness is pretty much tied into Aquinas, Anselm, Augustine, the neo-Platonists, and the neo-Aristotelians: the vast majority of whom, to be quite honest, were either Christian, Gnostic (which amounts to the same thing), or some derivation there-of.

So, I would venture to say that there can be no "goodness" that is not, in some way, square with the tenets of Christianity. So, although things and people who are not Christian can be good, they are good in a Christian sort of way.

But that's the problem with English and the Romance languages: they're so tied up with Christianity that, although concepts often are not Christian per se, they are Christian in many important ways.

Interesting topic.
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Unread postby DruidWu » Thu Aug 19, 2004 12:25 am

This will be abit of an outragous comment. But in some cases I see religion as something that's like peer-pressure. It's nice to have something to believe in, but when I see die-hard christians that rave on and on that there's no salvation for anyone that doesn't follow the christian-way isn't right. Somehow people who strongly believe in a religion tend to view others outside thier religion as an outcast. Like the pagons for instance, witch-burnings etc. I think its unfair for someone else to be pressured into doing something/ believing something they don't want to.
abit of childhood coming out in me My grandmother is a strong christian and when my mother gave birth to me out of wed-lock, my grandmother caused a rift between the two family's because of what she believed in. When i was roughly 4-5 I was sent off to Sunday school and I was trying to escape. Because somewhere along the lines I discovered something about Christianty that I thought was rubbish and wanted to follow something else.
Back to the point. However there are many/thousands that aren't like that. It all comes down the individual and if they decide to burn someone, send them out to fly a plane into a building, it's their choice. And whether they think is a "good" thing to do, it's up to them. I just believe everyone needs to think for themselves and stop following some guy that was alive 2004 years ago.
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Unread postby harshbarge » Thu Aug 19, 2004 12:56 am

My real question is does being christian automatically make you good. Im having trouble holding back urges to flame the person who said they are only good because they dont want to be punished

p.s. I would really like to hear robbyjo's input on this topic
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Unread postby robbyjo » Thu Aug 19, 2004 1:20 am

harshbarge wrote:My real question is does being christian automatically make you good. Im having trouble holding back urges to flame the person who said they are only good because they dont want to be punished

p.s. I would really like to hear robbyjo's input on this topic


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Well, being a Christian doesn't make automatically one good. Also, you don't need to be a Christian to be good (in a general common sense). There are lots and lots of hypocrite Christian people. I won't consider that as good.

But what I believe is that when a Christian does repent, he will be changed better and better.

Another problem is, as lessthanpleased pointed out, "goodness" varies upon cultures. Moreover, worldly goodness varies from people to people. Therefore we need to settle what you mean by "good". If the "goodness" is as defined in the Bible, then nobody in this earth is good except for the true repentant believers of Christ... :lol: For western culture, whether you realize it or not, many notions of goodness are influenced by Christianity...

I believe that religion isn't peer-pressure. Of course, in some condition that's true -- just not necessarily. The problem with some Christians (note: just some, not all) is that it is indeed that they actually view other religions as outcast. This shouldn't be true. Christians must respect other religions too. However, as Jesus has mandated in Matthew 28 (the grand commission), Christians must keep spreading the gospel -- not through bashing other religions (which sadly mostly true nowadays), but rather because they want others just saved as they believe only through Jesus is salvation granted.

Also, being good because afraid of being punished isn't right. Maybe it's a good important step. As I remember from my catechesization that stages of reverence to God is as follows:
* Stage 1: Afraid of being punished, therefore do good
* Stage 2: Do good because God will return favor somewhere in the future
* Stage 3: Do good because you're motivated to obey God (i.e. as long as I'm obeying the "rules", everything else is up to me)
* Stage 4: Do good because you really love God and doing bad would imply you would sadden God.

Sadly, only few are able to come to stage 4.

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Unread postby James » Thu Aug 19, 2004 1:24 am

People should be good for themselves, and because messing around with other people and generally being a jerk is nothing to be proud of. I should hope that the people who do behave in a generally ‘good’ manner because they want to please God—because they want to make him happy—also do it for themselves, and for the people who interact with them on a daily basis. Otherwise, in my eyes at least, their claim to virtue remains rather minimal, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see God nodding and giving a thumbs up in accord.
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Unread postby robbyjo » Thu Aug 19, 2004 6:03 am

Also, note that all humans are imperfect. Never see religions through their adherents lest you'd be utterly disappointed. Not only that, even good people can temporarily change their attitude when they are in shock, emotional, or having some other pressure in other aspects of life.

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Unread postby Shu Ryorin » Fri Aug 20, 2004 2:20 am

I would say something, but robbyjo has already said exacty what I believe on the subject, and in a manner more elegant than I could. Any way, I agree whole heartedly to his last two posts.
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