So in this, God becomes a state of mind. He will not find his way to "God" (name in lights, bowing down, doing the rituals and the holy hokey pokey) He will or will not follow his conscience in concordance with the "church". He will or will not move through life making choices that make him a better person for it. He will not ever know "Jesus", person, historical figure, spirit etc. Though it could be argued that he could attain spiritual alignment with Jesus as a state of mind, as a set of ideals. In this, Christianity becomes easier to digest for me. As a philosophy, as an ideal, something to attain I can see it. When the idea of Jesus as a roll model rather than divine savior I can indeed stomach. He was a good guy. People who run around like morons "Hating Jesus" because they hate the church make me want to smack them. Even looking at it from a literary standpoint, objectively, Jesus was a great guy. Why dog Jesus? I just can’t stand church hypocrisy. Its not that I don't believe in god; I don't believe in man. I can't just buy everything that’s being sold. I look at the people who taught me, judgmental gossips, liars and mean spirited fools. Why bother with them? Then I look at Catholicism (the faith in which I was schooled), and look at their shameful history. People STILL die for religion. It has been one of the bigger killers of man. I can't say for sure that religion has saved as many lives as it has ended, I would have to say it would be close. I may or may not believe in God, but this pathetic history of divine fuck-ups is to say the least, uninspiring. I believe we cannot know god. I also believe that power begets greed and strife and for many years the Catholic Church reigned on this planet. To believe them innocent just because history cannot tell us of the rest of their crimes is rather naive. I cannot follow them. They have no idea. You pick who you have faith in, and have faith in God because he is likely a candidate as any, but be careful when you have faith in man.

As far as licking it up...:P

I have some questions for you. Is dogmatic law retroactive? They have nearly 2000 years worth of non-believers that died between 0 and 1960. Did they all go to hell with all the unbaptized babies before we decided to fix this little logical boo-boo? It’s all just far too shaky for me. I always fall into the trap of arguing within the rules. Why poke holes? How about this; there are hundreds if not thousands of Christian denominations. Which one is the right one? There has to be a "right" denomination. They all sprouted up when people decided that they didn't believe in a certain aspect of Catholicism so they strayed. Fundamentally, that’s wrong. Which ones right? The one I believe is right is right? Does that make me god then, that I should be able to decide what god thinks or does not think? We can presume? The Catholics had it all figured out with Dogmatic law, as it was the spiritual super glue that held it all together, but now... if there is no "right" denomination, then it apparently doesn’t matter, and if it doesn’t matter, why have denominations? Why have rules and church laws? Man is imperfect, yet God puts my salvation in the hands of the corrupt... A sad thought. Perhaps it’s a test. Maybe god knew what a bloated hypocritical power mongering cow that organized religion would become, and decided to test man out to see which ones would follow the parade and which ones would decide for themselves what was fair and right. Perhaps I will start my own religion. :P

Anyway...I am done ranting now...and I am doing this in lynx cause our home network is fucked. I have no dictionary.com and no spellchecker...so you can just deal with it all of you school marms out there. heheh. I am a spelling retard, I will fix it all later.

*SLURP* That’s all the licking you are gonna get, next time its the folding chair Ms. Estrada. :P

Ok, spelling fixed. :P
The other place where Vatican II addresses the hypothetical tribesman is in Lumen Gentium, chapter 2. That clearly says that we are obligated to follow God as best we can. A tribesman who has no knowledge of the historical Jesus obviously can't become a Christian. (Incidentally, this is not a new idea--it goes back at least to the 4th century.)

However, even with that "out" for tribesman, atheists, and even Unitarians, there's a lot more to it than basically being an OK guy.

I'm surprised Christians in general (and Catholics in particular) aren't taking the straightforward way out. It goes like this:

  • God knows everything about you: what you think, what you would do in every hypothetical situation.
  • Sin, as we all know, is in what you think or what you would do just as much as what you actually do.
  • So is salvation.
  • You are saved if, in a reasonable set of circumstances (like, for example, having heard The Truth), you would accept Christ's sacrifice and do your best to be good.

It seems like this is the core idea behind the Catholic view here, but they don't say it explicitly, and I've never heard a Christian say it explicitly. But it does have some scary implications: even those of us who are unable to pick the One True Faith out of the many pieces of hearsay reaching us can be saved, as long as we would accept God's sacrifice if we knew the truth of it. (Note that knowing the truth is different from hearing the truth: if you hear the truth among a pack of lies without enough information to pick it out, you don't know the truth.)

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