Is Jesus accepted in Cz

Discussion in 'Culture' started by Kevinvsn13, Nov 14, 2006.

  1. Eleshar

    Eleshar Well-Known Member

    I heard the same but I consider it nothing but a phobia of the 50es when there was this "Red Threat" and "witch-hunts" on communists who are known to be atheists.
    I have always thought that this trend in the USA diminished, but from what I hear about the US today, it seems it is being spread again... But maybe I am wrong (so to react on your post, I would rather say, "not so long ago, atheistic thinking in the USA was NOT considered strange, non-American" :wink: ).
  2. dzurisova

    dzurisova Well-Known Member

    Well, here in Michigan it is still considered strange. When I tell my co-workers, friends, etc that my husband's family and friends are atheist, their eyes widen and they all go, "Ohh really" like it's some sort of foreign thing. Until I met my husband, I had never met an atheist. Out of the approximately 50 employees in Children's Services in my office, only 1 claims to be atheist.
  3. Eva2

    Eva2 Well-Known Member

    Dzurisovak, let's establish the meaning of the word atheist. Many Czechs label themselves atheists for lack of better expression. In fact, the correct term for a mass of people who call themselves atheists is "agnostics". While atheists can be quite rabid in their attitude to religion (I have visited a American website where Christmas carols were given secular lyrics in order to beat religion out of them), agnostics are pretty relaxed about the whole spiritual thing. They may admit that there could be "something" yet they realize that that something is so far beyond their scope of understanding that any attempts to scale it down to human size are futile.

    Let me also explain to you, why such people are irritated and sometimes deeply offended when some zealot invites them to walk with Jesus and seek heavenly rewards. When you see the world from the perspective I mentioned above, when you realize that everything is God: you, the air you breathe, the ground you walk on, all the good as well as all the evil, the whole universe and all the things you cannot understand with any of your senses - that all that is God or Nature or whatever name you want call it -- then any human who claims to understand it and who volunteers to explain it to you is perceived as an arrogant fool. Indeed, the act of stuffing this immensity into a single religious text, be it the Bible, the Thorah or the Koran and then claiming that yours and only yours is the absolute truth can do nothing but turn certain people off.

    This said, I realize that religion brings solace to many who find it hard to cope with their mortality. I'm sure nobody here is condemning you for your beliefs especially if they bring you inner happiness. It's the need of the religious people to proselytize, to force their beliefs on others that is objectionable. It is necessary to understand that people may be offended by those who want them to be saved. Such an invitation implies that their lifestyle is contemptible and that their understanding of life is worthless. It is also important to realize that not all people need to be saved. Death is a natural conclusion of life and whatever happens after will be also perfectly natural. Spreading fear of death, as religion does, is in itself sinful.

    I hope that you'll not take this as an offense. I'm writing this in hope that from now on you would see the so called atheists not as empty shells that "need" to be filled with the love of God but as people with their own philosophy.
  4. czechchris

    czechchris Well-Known Member

    I have read this thread with interest, and have no wish to be drawn into a theological debate, but there are a few points I wish to make.
    I would say that the word 'realize' implies that they are correct - I would substitute 'believe' or 'feel'. The point that Jesus made was that he was able to help us make sense of God and his relationship to us.
    Jesus claimed to be the only way to truth - "I am the way, the truth and the life, no-one comes to the Father except through me". I do not believe Jesus was an arrogant fool, but that he genuinely offers a superior way of life. Jesus claimed that he had the absolute Truth, and it did turn some people off in his own day, and also today, but that does not negate it.
    Christianity is not a 'crutch' for those who cannot cope with their own mortality. It is a recognition that Jesus Christ has made it possible for humans to live forever.
    Proselytizing is a command from Jesus, and all Christians are required to obey it. This does not mean forcing their beliefs on others, but offering the solution to life's problems and a real hope for the future - it is up to the hearer to accept or reject this. This is his right and privilege.
    All people do need to be saved. Death is not natural, it is totally unnatural. It was the penalty for sin. Had Adam not sinned, he would be alive today. Jesus said that exercising faith in him could lead to our never dying at all, and in the event of death occurring then restoration to life by resurrection was possible.
    I fully accept that athiests and agnostics have the right to their own philosophies, however wrong I feel they are. The Bible says that God is offering us a choice - life or death - and encourages us to choose life. Just as you would with a child whom you love, but you can see that his lifestyle will lead to many problems and an early death. It is still the child's choice, but how urgently would you encourage the child to listen to you? This is the role of Christians today - to urge reconciliation to God and continue living forever.
  5. eso

    eso Well-Known Member

    Exactly - like we feel in same way about Christians.
  6. Eleshar

    Eleshar Well-Known Member

    Well, that is the main problem of proselytising - there are people who are offended by proselytising because it implies that they are wrong even if they do not feel anything about them to be wrong and live hapily their lives.
    The difference between ordinary agnostic and a ordinary christian is that the agnostic does not feel the christians are somehow wrong, he accepts their claims may be true but he realises as well that they may be as well nothing but an illusion. Agnostics do not imply that you are wrong if you believe in God nor that their experience of life is superior to yours.

    According to Bible.
    According to our everyday experience, it is natural part of life as every living being dies, be that a human, a hedgehod, an ant or a mycobakterion. And all those thing die on purpose - to sustain a great cycle of nature in motion and by their inevitable death allow another things to live and to continue their own existence indirectly.
    And the part with death as a penalty of sin... were then even the animals punished for human sins as they die? Was only Man immortal among the living and after his sinning striped from his immortality? Was the Garden of Eden, whence humans were expelled, a real place or some kind of a metaphor for a state of mind?
    Those are legitimate questions that come to mind...
  7. Sova

    Sova Well-Known Member

    There has been some friction between atheist and believer for some decades, but most of this arises from differences of political views/agendas relating to moral standards of many religions, e.g. abortion, gay marriage, etc.
  8. Sova

    Sova Well-Known Member

    In spite of being a believer, I completely understand the perspective taken here on the Bible as a historical document. To explain to the other Christian how Czech agnostics/atheists view the Bible, recall your views toward Homer's Illiad. While there is some supporting evidence (although perhaps this is debatable) that there was a city named Troy, the tales of "supernatural" events are not believed by Christians (or much of anyone anymore). Perhaps a better analogy lies in the writings of Herodotus (the so-called "father of history"), which are taken more seriously as accurate historical documents, yet which are interspersed with mythological references.

    The point is, that while many may accept the Bible as describing historical events, they reject the spiritual writings as mythological or as uncertain/unprovable. Proof of historicity is not proof of the spirituality of the Bible. Arguments otherwise come across to the typical Czech agnostic as uneducated, and are typically rejected without further consideration. Whether Christians like it or not, Christianity is based entirely on faith. Hence, why the word faith is used so often.
  9. Sova

    Sova Well-Known Member

    I disagree with this statement. Most religions do not spread fear of death, but rather give hope in life after death.
  10. Sova

    Sova Well-Known Member

    Although there are many physical phenomena that are not currently understandable to us except in terms of statistical probabilities, this does not mean that physics does not exclude the possibility that such deterministic laws exist yet undiscovered or undecipherable to the human mind. Case in point, thermodynamics is generally understood by representing vast number of atoms/molecules by a statistical ensemble, yet each atom/molecule follows a distinct trajectory in space and time, determined by interactions with its neighbors. On the whole, it is ludicrous to try to predict the trajectory 10^23 particles using basic laws, but this does not mean that such methodology would not be valid, given the power of mind/computer required to carry out such a calculation. Furthermore, if such a deterministic approach is valid, it does not necessarily invalidate the ensemble description, since the ensemble itself is merely a simplified description of the system. Whether the same analysis may be argued for quantum mechanics is another issue. The word "identical" here becomes tricky when dealing with the quantum mechanical world, since when one makes a measurement of an atomic/subatomic system, the system is inherently changed, because the measurement itself involves an interaction with a photon or other particle.

    In some sense, perhaps your description of faith is accurate. The "intuition" as you put it, boils down to knowing who and what to trust/believe.
    I agree that there are many who justify their lines of thinking with regard to religion with such circular logic, but it is inaccurate and unfair to characterize all believers this way.
  11. Eva2

    Eva2 Well-Known Member

    Oh they do, indeed - after first scaring people with eternal damnation. Damnation/salvation is the tool of the trade.
  12. Eleshar

    Eleshar Well-Known Member

    I do not say that it is common tradition today, but in past, especially among the Jesuit order, it was very common to convert people by scaring them with death and hell. Read something about "exercitia Ignatiana" (not sure whether it is precisely that called, I know only the Czech expression "ignaciánská exercicia"). An extremely good example of those is in book by James Joyce "A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man".
  13. czechchris

    czechchris Well-Known Member

    You are absolutely right in that the Churches mainly have tried to frighten people into accepting Christianity (also Islam and other religions) but it contrasts with the simple choice God offers:
    Life or death - not punishment in a hellfire place of torment. Jermiah (7:31) indicates that the unfaithful Jews had burned their children in fire, but God said it was something he had never had in his heart. It was abhorrent to him. So how would he plan such a punishment for his 'children', humans?

    No, animals were never given the opportunity to live forever; but, having observed what death meant, Adam was able to understand the penalty which would be imposed for his sin.
  14. wer

    wer Well-Known Member

    Although there ary many physical phenomena that are satisfactorily explained by deterministic laws, this does not mean that physics exclude the possibility that such deterministic laws are only ideal limits of a very complex stochastic system which is undiscovered or undecipherable to the human mind.

    Or vice versa.

    What circular logic?

    Your are a second person who dissagree with this my statement, maybe it’s because of my English. I wrote about reasons and benefits from my perspective, I never tried to refute somobody else’s perspective.
  15. Eleshar

    Eleshar Well-Known Member

    Nor does it imply.
  16. dzurisova

    dzurisova Well-Known Member

    I want to deeply apologize if I gave the impression that I hold the opinion that atheist are empty shells. I know many atheist and the ones I know are compassionate and caring individuals. I understand that they are people with a different philosophy and once again, I apologize if I gave an impression otherwise. I respect their different philosophy which is why I never push a religious conversation on them. However, I don't hide or run from one when given the opportunity such as this forum.

    Normally, I would not ask a non-believer to understand a believer's perspective. But you opened the door when asking me to understand where non-believers are coming from. So I'd like to ask the same of you. :wink: You say...

    Christians truly believe that those who don't accept Christ will spend eternity in Hell. Therefore, when they try to share their beliefs, it is out of love trying to warn others and help them escape this eternity of torture. I admit, some Christians can go about sharing that knowledge the wrong way and it can come across as offensive to the non-believer. But please try to understand that they are doing so out of compassion and don't mean to offend. I wish more Christians could go through a sensitivity training because I think many do more damage than good when trying to spread the gospel.

    Since fear is not from God, I agree that spreading fear can be sinful. However, Christianity is not meant to spread fear of death but rather provide an opportunity for death to be welcomed. Paul, the writer of most of the New Testament said "To live is Christ and to die is gain". In Christianity, to die a Christian is to die with the knowledge that you will spend eternity with Christ and it is not feared. Yet, I know that, unfortunately, many forms of Christianity take the "fear" approach when trying to spread gospel. When my husband was an atheist, he attend one service (I won't say which form of Christianity) and walked out saying to himself, "If God is real he sure is mean and hateful."

    Thank you for your explanation. I hope that my previous posts already demonstrated knowledge of what you explained but perhaps not enough.:(
  17. Sova

    Sova Well-Known Member

    OK, I misunderstood your statement as referring literally to the process of death. Spreading fear of hell is, as you say, very common, and the thought that if before death one does not accept their religion, they will go to hell. I for one think this line of proselyting is both base and useless, as fear is by far not the best motivator.

    Not all proselytizers try to force their beliefs on others. Many (and arguably, most) do, but not all. I'll say that even as a Christian, I have had a number of other Christians of various faiths try the same on me, and that this has annoyed me. There are proselytizers, however, who recognize both the right and the necessity of a person to form his/her own beliefs. For them, proselyting is a means of sharing their ideas, concepts that give them hope. My point is that it's one thing to generalize, but (and I've said it here before in several previous discussions on other unrelated threads) I don't like blanket statements. Such statements cause misunderstanding, bias and prejudice.

    Yet they may disagree widely in what exactly Hell is. I for one don't picture any literal eternal flame of suffering, etc. Rather I think that "Hell" is likely a better place than here, albeit paling in comparison to "Heaven." The real hell, in my opinion, is knowing what one could have had, and didn't.
  18. ta

    ta Well-Known Member


    I am Czech living in the US and I became a Christian here as well. And to answer your question if Jesus is accepted in the Czech Republic....well, maybe in the form of those heavy crucifixes that are hanging in the 1000-year old churches.....Christianity is pretty much dead there...unfortunatelly...I wrote a post about this topic on my website [b][/b] the post is called Czechs and Religion so check it out if you are interested!
  19. Red Fox Ace

    Red Fox Ace Member

    I'm a Taiwanese student who spent some time in Prague this summer. Having heard beforehand that the Czech Republic was probably one of the most atheist nations in the world, I was intrigued.

    So here seem to be some reasons that I've gathered (correct me if wrong):

    1) Czechs have a bad history with religion (in particular the Catholic Church....I just need to list this fully.)

    2) After Communism, Czechs are very averse to anyone attempting to spread ideology or proselytize.

    3) The Czech Republic is kind of artificially atheist, because upon the Velvet Divorce, the Catholics were in Slovakia and the atheists were in Czech Republic (the east portion of Czechoslovakia was always more religious than the west, wasn't it?)

    4) A generation of young Czechs grew up under Communism, and hence, under atheism. They adopted the views of atheism.
  20. ta

    ta Well-Known Member

    I agree with all of the points. But didn't the same thing happen to some other Eastern European countries like Poland for instance???? Poland has gone through the same hardship as the Czech Republic: first the Nazis, then the Communists....It really is interesting that the CR is number 1 Atheist nation in Europe...

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