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some remarks about christianity

Reader comment on item: Did Michael Jackson Convert to Islam?
in response to reader comment: WHAT MAKES ONE A CHRISTIAN..........???

Submitted by myth (Germany), Aug 7, 2010 at 09:08

Some of the issues you discuss were a subject of conflict 500 years ago when the protestant movement broke away from the catholic church. The question of how the christian faith translates into real life with respect to existing traditions has always been an open one. As for the catholic church this is an institution, the biggest and oldest on the planet, who need to answer these question at least for their own staff. What is important to understand is that even the catholic church focusses on what their priest actually believe. They see no point making someone follow a rule he does not believe in. The only restriction is that a priest may not deviate from orthodox teachings in the name of the rc church. His personal beliefs are respected. A typical source of conflict is that the rc church is against abortion and contraception. You will hardly find people who actually *believe* in this or even follow it. That standpoint is respected as long as you do not declare it in the name of the rc church. The focus is always on the "soul" of any individual. You cannot sneak into heaven pretending. The bible itself for the vast majority of christians is not nearly as important as the qran for muslims, it is not a book a christian would consult in order to answer a practical question. There are people who even would answer a question with the remark "I am not Jesus." highlighting their imperfection. To me at the core of christianity is the idea that it is better to do something for someone else than to serve yourself. When I say better I mean truly for myself , not in the sense that I can score points to get to heaven. Another core point where christianity differs from islam is the idea that man was created in god's image. That historically was a motivation to artists and scientists over hundeds of years to create beautiful art, scientific and technical achievement. Should you ever enter a cathedral like the one in Antwerp which displays all those Rubens paintings you immediatly get the idea. Both the construction of the cathedral and the artwork are exceptional, you would not expect to meet someone with similar talent in your lifetime. I cannot imagine that anyone would seriously think about the artwork being allowed in some religious sense. The idea back then was to demonstrate some divine connection.

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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