Quote of the day

"Unfortunately, the Christian habit of emphasising the problems and failing to contribute to solutions is unhelpful. Just hanging around until Jesus comes to solve all the problems is not constructive. Surely it would be better, regardless of what we believe, to be actively working to make a better world now."

Rob Hyndman

11 comments:

  1. sadly, it seems that Rob never stepped far enough out of his bubble to have encountered actually Christians. What he actually means is:

    ""Unfortunately, the christadelphian habit of emphasising the problems and failing to contribute to solutions is unhelpful. Just hanging around until Jesus comes to solve all the problems is not constructive. Surely it would be better, regardless of what we believe, to be actively working to make a better world now."

    How sad that his upbringing in a pathetic cult, taught to parrot his family beliefs, so utterly isolated him from noticing that those which his religion derides as "apostates", but the rest of us know as Christians, do exactly what he believes they do not, fully contributing, and working toward that better world, rather than what his former religion does: Looking forward to wars, looking forward to revenge, and looking for positions of authority in this fantasy world in which their self made rendition of Jesus has both made, and solved the problems of the previous one.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. PileDriver, Rob's quote was, in context, a response to a letter about this "hopeless world", which I assume was written by a Christadelphian (see HERE for full context).

      But it is absolutely not an idea limited to Christadelphians. I have friends from other denominations, and am involved in various forums with former Christians from a variety of denominations, and many of them talk of exactly the same thing: focusing on the future, not the present, and looking inward to the church group rather than outward to the world.

      To take another example I read earlier tonight:
      "The one consistent refrain in both sermons that I heard while visiting this affluent white church was that Christians shouldn’t look to improve the condition of the world around them because someday God is just going to torch it all and start all over again." (SOURCE)

      The author, Neil Carter, is talking about his experience attending a Southern Baptist church, a much more mainstream denomination than the Christadelphians. And, as I said, it's not the only example, and Neil pointed to exactly the same verses I would to justify this behaviour: the apocalyptic words of 2 Peter 3.

      I'm not going to debate whether one or the other idea represents "True Christianity", mostly because I don't believe there is such a thing. If I felt so inclined I could find more verses to either support the Christadelphian position or your position, and I don't believe there is a reliable way to then mediate between those verses to find the True Meaning of Scripture, let alone to answer the question of why writings from 2,000 or more years ago should be considered relevant today.

      Finally, I'd suggest reading another of Neil's articles from this year: What I Hear When You Say “Not All Christians”.

      Delete
    2. To be fair (not that I am a champion of Christadelpia), not all Christadelphians are inward looking. Several ecclesias undertake "good works" in the outside community, and no doubt individual Cd`s also. It may interest readers, who are not aware, that there is a 'Christadelphian Samaritan Fund' which, to quote from a recent Cd mag, "makes small donations (currently £400) every quarter, to fifty or sixty charities like these" (food banks, refuges, hospices). Their 'Meal a Day' fund is also active.

      Delete
  2. Really Rob??

    Let's see... How many Christian charities feed, clothe and help provide shelter for the poor in this world?! I've never heard of an Atheist soup kitchen?
    So who's hanging around doing nothing?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A search for "atheist soup kitchen" does return plenty of results - including stories of Christian soup kitchens rejecting atheist volunteers. But really, why the need for an atheist soup kitchen? There are many secular charities around the world, and I'm pretty sure they get volunteers and donations from unbelievers, as well as from Christians and members of many other religions.

      Delete
    2. Well said, Jon, I was about to suggest the same search result. And as for "hanging around doing nothing", or not enough, let`s point the finger at the governments of several countries where there is a crying need for urgent action to relieve the hunger and shelter suffering of their people, and establish an effective way of stopping donated funds being siphoned off into the hands of the already rich and powerful.

      Delete
  3. A few thoughts here,
    It seems that in recent times, the editors have all but given up on producing original content, with the quotes becoming ever more distant and near irrelevant to an ex-christadelphian audience. This quote is perhaps one of the worst yet as it was unreferenced, lifted entirely out of it's context, and comes not from some great thinker, but from a person who happened to be a big dog in the tiny and irrelevant world that is Christadelphia.
    Read in context Rob clearly divides between "Christian" and "Christadelphian", using the first in the paragraph after the message, and the second in subsequent paragraphs. To me it looks like (at best) unconscious bias, after a lifetime of following the party line of hand waving dismissal of other faiths, he simply can't help but take another swipe at what he was brought up to think of as the bogey man. Despite his obvious fan base, I'm not fooled, having been brought up in, and lived the Anglican/ Anglo Catholic community for 34 years prior to being a Christadelphian, and having close friends across the Christian community, the first time I heard attitudes like this (that the environment does not matter because Jesus will be back "imminently" to clear up the mess), was from my recording brother's wife-a sentiment echoed across the Ecclesia.

    Jon has dug up anecdotal evidence from the internet to support his case, I'm going to rely on my own experience, ladies from the church sending food and clothing into Poland and East Germany in the depths of the cold war, refugee support, volunteer workers from the Church Army staffing homeless peoples hostels, and the current role of the church in the UK with regard to foodbanks,and challenges to government.
    Jon's "threat", to effectively out quote anyone who would dare to challenge the basis of Christadelphia is disappointing, but only to be expected from someone who was so recently engaged in doing just that. I suspect that after a few years, this need will pass, I've been out of this cult for ten years now, and out of religion for nearly as long, so trust me Jon, at some point, you too will stop thinking about it.
    Mancott has a point, of course some Christadelphians will be altruistic, the problem for me is that in my ten years on the inside, I never saw a single act from a Christadelphian that wasn't entirely focused on personal acquisition or to enlarge the cult, and for me the irony is that they happily pay more than £400 each, several times a year to listen to hate preachers like Jonathan Bowen and Matt Davies, not to mention the drivel that come out of 'Straya. Those £400 would not even pay for a day of the luxury holidays that the Christadelphians I knew took several times a year......It's all about the individual.
    FactCheck & Jon: Don't be so daft. Of course Christians run soup kitchens, and so do atheists. Jon, why would atheists want to join Christians who were running a soup kitchen? Why not just start up their own? Do you think atheist volunteers would be welcome at a Christadelphian soup kitchen?

    Anyway, I'm an atheist, and I'm off to the Birmingham Christmas Market, Not sure if the Muslims will be there handing out Qur'ans like they normally are, but for sure we will enjoy a drink or two with the Sikhs and Hindus. Please try to chill out a bit and see Christadelphianism for the big sad joke that it is.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Joseph, I'm well aware that many Christians (including Christadelphians) give charitably, help others in need, and work for a better world, and justify it with reference to scripture. I'm fine with that. My response to PileDriver was solely about the idea that it's only Christadelphians who let apocalyptic thinking distract them from a different brand of True Christianity - in my experience that's not true. But nor am I suggesting all Christians act that way.

      I think you also misunderstand my interest in scripture. I don't use scripture to specifically defend Christadelphia, but to argue against the idea that there is some other True Christianity out there which perfectly understands scripture and will solve all the world's problems. Because the more stories I read about (mostly) fringe Christian groups, the more I realise that it doesn't matter how ridiculous or problematic a verse is, someone, somewhere has taken it literally to the harm of those who followed them. And again, I am not saying that this is all Christians, or that Christian practice leads to nothing but harm - just that I think Christianity lacks the ability to correct these fringe groups. The verses are there. They can be twisted to many different ends, and saying those who did that didn't have True Christianity sounds to me like just trying to wash their hands of the problem.

      Oh, and for the record I'm still writing original content - I just haven't posted any of it here for a while because it wasn't specifically Christadelphian related (though you would probably think it had too many verses :) ).

      Delete
    2. Joseph, wish I could be with you at the Birmingham Christmas Market, we could have enjoyed a drink or two together. Perhaps you will have reflected that in Victoria Square, under that Monarch`s carved-out unsmiling stare, you are but a hymn-book-throw away from the site of the former Midland Institute, where, in my day on Sunday mornings, the Christadelphians gathered, some nine hundred of them. The numbers dwindled over the years to less than a handful, having to move to a hall in Digbeth near to the coach station; then, "Central" being disbanded, the lonely (and some bewildered) few were dispersed to satellite ecclesias in the suburbs, which ecclesias in their turn have gradually ceased to exist. Erdington the recent latest?
      How long, O Lord, before the last one in that second British city will have its light snuffed out? Not that I believe in anyone with magic powers in the sky who looks down on what is going on.

      Delete
  4. Joseph,

    "It seems that in recent times, the editors have all but given up on producing original content, with the quotes becoming ever more distant and near irrelevant to an ex-christadelphian audience."

    Firstly, I'm sorry to hear that you're disappointed with the free content that's posted here by volunteers. If there's something you'd like to see more of on the blog, I invite you to (a) tell us, or (b) submit your own content.

    The purpose of the QOTD posts is largely to generate discussion, which makes your response on this particular one seem a little ironic ;). The admins do not necessarily agree with the quotes, or at least not always in their entirety. Readers are not obliged to agree with them either. It's about engaging with the ideas and welcoming other views. I'm more than happy for readers to tell us that they disagree and offer their reasons why.

    In this case, I actually think the criticisms have been well-founded, in that the quote appears to brand all Christians with a criticism that does not apply in many cases.

    I tend to also agree with Jon that the view portrayed, while definitely well-represented among Christadelphians, is by no means unique to them, and at the same time I do recognise the great charity work performed by believers of all faiths, and including non-believers. There are many believers motivated by their faith to help those less fortunate, and there are many non-believers who do the same because they believe such help is entirely up to us. Regardless of the motivation, it's great to see such work being done in the world.

    It is also true that the quote is missing some much-needed context, and I think we admins can do a little more on our end to provide some of that context in future. This is good feedback for us to absorb.

    Again, I'm all for welcoming constructive criticism of the blog - we do try to make it relevant to ex-Christadelphians but we will inevitably fail to make it relevant to all of you.

    As for original content, I'm still posting to my blogs occasionally, but don't always post links here straight away.

    And lastly if there are any readers who would like to contribute to the blog, please get in touch. Contact details are on the 'About Us' page.

    ReplyDelete
  5. In response to the comment that the quotes are not relevant, I just wanted to say that they are chosen to try and reflect different takes on what are hopefully thought-provoking topics for us ex-CDs: truth, reason, morality, science, belief, faith, free thinking... all highly relevant to ex-CDs seeking to build a new, intellectually sound worldview free from CD ideas. Personally, I found that learning about the scientific method, for example, was an important part of the deprogramming process.

    ReplyDelete

Please do not comment as 'Anonymous'. Rather, choose 'Name/URL' and use a fake name. The URL can be left blank. This makes it easier to see who is replying to whom.