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Discussion:

Bible Study - Useful or Limiting?

Messages  1 - 20 of 628

 
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Message 1 - posted by U3508276 - alt id 4, Mar 17, 2006

My 14 year old son has been invited to join school friend neighbours for a fortnightly evening Bible study discussion group. He's well read inquisitive and level-headed but we're uneasy. As a normal family of lapsed agnostic Anglicans the instinctive reaction is to fear either simplistic brainwashing or a swing towards unworldly fundamentalism. It seems unlikely to be a teenage scam cover for sex drugs or rock 'n roll and it may well turn out to bd a rational and stimulating discussion group. Any advice or constructive comments?
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Message 2 - posted by Rob, Mar 17, 2006

'Agnostic Anglicans? The clue is there!
Beware!
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Message 3 - posted by PlainAshington, Mar 17, 2006

If he wants to go let him, if he wants to go twice, ask if there are any nice girls taking part.

Hormones = inquisitive 14 year old <loveblush>
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Message 4 - posted by U3508276 - alt id 4, Mar 17, 2006

I think our basic concern is the effect of getting emersed or caught up in christianity,and all that it entails,on a decent kid.
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Message 5 - posted by Rob, Mar 17, 2006

Fair enough, but what's an agnostic Anglican?

Seems like a contradiction in terms to me.

But what would I know? I'm just a simple atheist!
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Message 6 - posted by U3508276 - alt id 4, Mar 17, 2006

Ease off,you know full well.Agnostics aren't sure and Anglicans follow the institutional state religion with a passing regard for the KJV,Prayer Book and HA&M.
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Message 7 - posted by Rob, Mar 17, 2006

Agnostic=of the view that nothing is known, or 'likely' to be known, of the existence of God.

Dont see anything unsure about that, so perhaps
you are a doubter, or undecided or a don't know!
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Message 8 - posted by PlainAshington, Mar 17, 2006

I think our basic concern is the effect of getting emersed or caught up in christianity,and all that it entails,on a decent kid.

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Well you have to look at why he might want to attend a religious study group. You have three possible options: He is religious, he is curious or there is somebody at the group he wants to be with.

If he's religious that's the path he's on, priesthood isn't always a family calling.

If he's curious, there's more than one religion and the wider spectrum he sees the better educated he is.

If there happens to be a foxy young lady in attendance, that's a male teenager thing and he'll grow out of it.

I was quite happy CofE because all that involved was turning up for weddings,christainings and funerals. When I started questioning the mechanics of religion I settled on being pagan.

Bible class is a long way from a bottle of lambrussco and 10 tabs on a street corner
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Message 9 - posted by U2426416 - alt id 6, Mar 17, 2006

Isn't the basic point that these days many people have real misgivings about visible Christians except those sanely active in tolerant politics or dynamic charity and refugee work?
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Message 10 - posted by plymouthdudet, Mar 18, 2006

As a agnostic myself I wouldnt want my child to go if i had any. To me it is brainwashing and who even knows in the stuff in the bible are true or if its been made up along the way. Then again you cant really stop if thats what he wants to do as its his choice. good luck
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Message 11 - posted by Norant, Mar 18, 2006

My 14 year old son has been invited to join school friend neighbours for a fortnightly evening Bible study discussion group. He's well read inquisitive and level-headed but we're uneasy. As a normal family of lapsed agnostic Anglicans the instinctive reaction is to fear either simplistic brainwashing or a swing towards unworldly fundamentalism. It seems unlikely to be a teenage scam cover for sex drugs or rock 'n roll and it may well turn out to bd a rational and stimulating discussion group. Any advice or constructive comments?

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if he is that interested why not let him study the bible at home? if you are s you say uneasy about it then surely your minds would be put at rest knowing that you can observe him.
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Message 12 - posted by RegenBogen, Mar 18, 2006

I see no harm in bible study, as long as it does not include the New Testament
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Message 13 - posted by John of Paddington, Mar 18, 2006

I would encourage all children to study the Bible, also to look at other faiths and see how much each has in common with the other. Better that tha Mine Kampf or Das Capital.
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Message 14 - posted by U3508276 - alt id 4, Mar 18, 2006

If you balance the very nasty parts of the Bible against the cosy 'do as you would be done by' bits, you are still left with a discomforting balance.Does anyone think the pros outweigh the cons?
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Message 15 - posted by U2426416 - alt id 6, Mar 18, 2006

I would encourage all children to study the Bible, also to look at other faiths and see how much each has in common with the other. Better that tha Mine Kampf or Das Capital.

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Surely picking out the common denominators is only of marginal interest. Other holy books provide an opportunity to learn a whole phillosophy and guide to life. The Christian Bible has proven itself to be wrong and dangerous so many times through history. I think on balance I'd keep your son out of any Bible study group but take the time to explain why you take that view. He has plenty of time to work things out. Presumably you have at least one copy of the Bible at home and maybe a Qu'ran and others. Let him read what he wants together with some commentaries.
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Message 16 - posted by U3508276 - alt id 4, Mar 18, 2006

Interestingly he's already dabbled at school with Marx Hitler and Mao but they are already discredited. The known and anonymous authors of the Bible for all their various odd ideas and contradictions are only gradually being reviewed by constuctive critics.Previously adverse comment had lead to wars persecution division and hatred. The Bible has shown itself to be an explosive text for a few good and many very bad reasons.


I would encourage all children to study the Bible, also to look at other faiths and see how much each has in common with the other. Better that tha Mine Kampf or Das Capital.

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Message 17 - posted by Kim, Mar 18, 2006

Well you know what teenagers are like - if you don't let them do something, they want to do it all the more. I would, however, feel uneasy if either of my 2 teenagers came home and stated they wanted to go to a Bible reading group. So, why don't you let him try it out but go with him. It may be something he's not keen on once he's been but if a parent actually goes with him he may decide he definitely doesn't want to go again! If he does want to keep attending at least you will have the benefit of seeing at first hand what its all about. Good luck.
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Message 18 - posted by U3508276 - alt id 4, Mar 18, 2006

I think my insisting on going with him would be the very worst thing a trusting thoughtful father should do. I trust him and the household he's visiting. It's the dubious tenets of Christianity and the effect on his intelligent balanced approach to life that perturbs us.
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Message 19 - posted by Kim, Mar 18, 2006

Oh, what a dilemma! He sounds as if he is a sensible young man though. Perhaps he just wants to go because he has been invited and he has an open mind. Let him go then you can discuss his views on the experience afterwards.
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Message 20 - posted by TheChaosengine100, Mar 19, 2006

The only dilema I see is why we are being asked to comment on someone we dont know attending the house of people we dont know to possibly study something to do with religion.
Your son will probably be indoctrinated into a cult and made to abandon his parents and sell his soul on ebay. Only for you to appear on a Panorama programme in two years time trying to get him back.
Alternatively, he could go along and think that its a load of pants like the rest of us do and give it up.
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