What non-Christians think about Christianity

In order to clear up some persistent misconceptions regarding non-Christian views of Christianity, I thought that it might be useful to post a link to this short study on the topic.

I would also like to invite our non-Christian members to comment here with respect to how relevant the study responses are to their own views. I.e., how do you view Christianity? What do you see as good about it, and what do you see as bad about it?

Since the purpose of this post is information, rather than debate, I am posting it here in Non-Catholic Religions, not in Apologetics, and would ask anyone wishing to debate any of the issues raised here to begin a new thread over there.

Thank you. :slight_smile:

I find Christians tend to have an air of religious supremacism, a religious triumphalism, a religious imperialism, down to “It’s not that we Christians hit people too hard, it’s that people’s bones are too soft.”

Sometimes, this is blatant, other times subtle.

But many people of many religions are this way anyway, I’ve met even Buddhists who are like this.

Maybe this is what it means to be religious to begin with.

So while to the ears of a humanist, "having an air of religious supremacism, a religious triumphalism, a religious imperialism, down to “It’s not that we hit people too hard, it’s that people’s bones are too soft” sounds negative, maybe it is positive from the perspective of the religious.

In the Middle High German version of the Song of Roland, the Christians kill so many pagans that they wade in their blood up to their knees. And the Christians feel justified and triumphant.

I know of a Hindu swami who expressed the desire to kick a man in the face and urinate on it.

Maybe this is what it means to be religious. It would be foolish to take issue with people who simply behave the way they think is right.

Only 4% cited bad experiences (presumably with Christians but this is not certain).

Sounds like Christopher Hitchens, who was after all, an atheist. Of course, some atheists argue Hitchens was religious about humanism and disassociate themselves from self-proclaimed atheist#1.

Interesting study, is there anything as to when it was taken and its accuracy/standard deviation?

How can a non-Christian think about Christianity if a non-Christian does not know what Christianity is from a non-Christian view?

Would not the view or thought from a non-Christian be a misconceived judgment of Christianity by actions perceived by human beings (sinners) who are Christian?

Or would not the non-Christian view reveal only what the non-Christian perceives Christianity to be from a secular, political or false interpretation of Christianity by non-Christian sources?

Thus a non-Christian has four choices to judge Christianity from.

  1. Human beings or actions of sinners who profess to be Christian
  2. Christian Saints and Martyrs who give witness to the life of their Christianity
  3. Secular and worldly opinions of Christianity that judges the whole of Christianity from a negative or biased view of Christian history, revealed by non-Christians.
  4. Learn what Christianity truly is from the Master himself; Jesus Christ who lived the example; To love God, Love your neighbor as yourself and love your enemies.

All non-Christians and Christians alike have failed true Christianity from choice number four above. To which Christianity is falsely judged of her members by non-Christians.

When True Christianity’s True foundation is built from Love and sacrifice.
Are non-Christians really honest with their view of Christianity for what all Christians have failed at in their humanity as non-Christians have?

I would like to hear an honest opinion from a non-Christian of what they think Christianity is? before judging non-Christians fellow Christian human members.

Maybe the OP should ask the question what do non-Christians think of Christian’s? for a humanistic view.

The onus is not on non-Christians to justify whatever attitudes we may have, the onus is on Christians to talk about Christianity in a way that gets over what they think it’s all about.

Unfortunately conversations often fail because many Christians think every conversation is an opportunity to try out a Christian Sales Techniques Handbook, ending up with a shame close strategy of “how could a rational person possibly have objections to buying this -]car/-] religion?”

The OP asked for a non-Christian view not a Christian’s view.

Interesting your onus view has leanings to a secular economic view. What would be your non-Christian religious view of Christianity?

It would be interesting to hear from a non-Christian political view among others.

If you read the study, it’s really about evangelisation opportunities through knowing non-Christians better.

Interesting your onus view has leanings to a secular economic view. What would be your non-Christian religious view of Christianity?

My ‘secular economic view’ is an observation of the way many Christians communicate with non-Christians.

My non-Christian religious view of Christianity is that it’s ‘mainly harmless’ to its adherents.

Kaninchen;12782776]If you read the study, it’s really about evangelisation opportunities through knowing non-Christians better.

My ‘secular economic view’ is an observation of the way many Christians communicate with non-Christians.

Well said; You bring up a valid point that truly reveals some aspects of Christianity’s Evangelicals who use a religious platform for self financial gain successfully. Most non-Catholic Christian leaders do not take a vow of poverty, chastity and obedience to God as Christian leaders in the Roman Catholic rite.

Presently there is an Evangelical “Christian” movement that raises money to help the Jews finance the rebuilding of it’s new Temple in Jerusalem. I declined to give any financial support mainly on reasons that God does not live in building’s of stone.

My non-Christian religious view of Christianity is that it’s ‘mainly harmless’ to its adherents.

I take no issue with your respected view. Our Catholic lent disciplines and mortifications with almsgiving to the poor and visiting the sick taken seriously is not a harmless matter, at least not to me.

Considering that most non-Christians identified as Christian I the past and probably grew up in a church, a great number of them would have some insight having experienced it. Without getting into apologetics, perhaps many of them just couldn’t “buy into it” for lack of a better phrase.

I would like to hear an honest opinion from a non-Christian of what they think Christianity is? before judging non-Christians fellow Christian human members.

Are you sure? Without grabbing a dictionary Christianity is a religion that holds that a personal God created everything. He sees everything, has a master plan, and judges people at some point after death for eternal reward our eternal punishment (my former denomination didn’t do “purgatory”). Many interpretations exist from love thy neighbor to we are all forgiven to various “fire and brimstone” things.

I believe that the pressure to confirm can be dangerous but for the most part that has been sorted out over the past centuries.
“What is Christianity” is a huge question that could take a pages to answer and likely violate forum rules given the various denominations. It’s not just emulate Christ.

Maybe the OP should ask the question what do non-Christians think of Christian’s? for a humanistic view.

First of all, I don’t speak for all. Secondly I mean no offense but here goes.
In life there are things that are impossible to understand and others that could cause despair. Where I see myself as a powerless speck on a rock hurling through the intricate ballad of space who will one day die, a Christian sees God’s handiwork, a plan, and a path that adds meaning and reasons for everything. If one’s Christian beliefs leads them to be a better person and cope with mortality and the lack of control we personally lack over the universe, then continue believing.

So, as you point out in the second post, the study was designed to help Christians to do what you say they need to do in your first post.

Presumably, then, you applaud the study and the effort.

Interesting study… I can see why fundamentalism ranks high among the more objectionable characteristics of Christianity… When I was in university I asked my religion professor how he defined “fundamentalism”…as I recall he said it meant going back to the fundamentals of the faith…

I have no grievance with Christians … I’ve spent a good part of my work life among them and have been active in interfaith activities with them …

My family was at least nominally Christian.

As a Baha’i I accept Jesus as a Manifestation of God which means that like a stainless mirror He reflected the attributes of God and was mediator between God and His creation… humanity.

I also feel that Leo Tolstoy came very close to presenting the teachings of Christ accurately even though he remains excommunicated by the Russian orthodox church.

Tut, tut.

The fact that I said that it was up to Christians to try to sell the -]car/-] religion rather than non-Christians to explain why they’re not interested in buying the -]car/-] religion is not a statement that I think that the process of selling the -]car/-] religion is something to be applauded in and of itself.

So, my statement that the study was about finding better ways of selling the religion cannot be taken to imply that I consider that the study was a good thing in and of itself.

Not necessarily because of that.
People from some other monotheisms, for example, think critically of Christianity’s doctrine.

For example, talk to a knowledegable Hare Krishna about Christian doctrine. I mention Hare Krishnas because their materials are the most readily accessible on the internet.

E.g.
veda.harekrsna.cz/connections/Reply-to-Ch-misinterpretation.php
veda.harekrsna.cz/encyclopedia/reincarnation.htm

Do a google advanced search for
christian site:vedabase.net
to get links to their scriptures to get an idea what they think of Christianity

E.g.

When we are on the material platform, there are different types of religions — Hinduism, Christianity, Islam, Buddhism and so on. These are instituted for a particular time, a particular country or a particular person. Consequently there are differences. Christian principles are different from Hindu principles, and Hindu principles are different from Muslim and Buddhist principles. These may be considered on the material platform, but when we come to the platform of transcendental devotional service, there are no such considerations. The transcendental service of the Lord (sādhana-bhakti) is above these principles. The world is anxious for religious unity, and that common platform can be achieved in transcendental devotional service.
vedabase.net/cc/madhya/25/121/en

If a person is religious, he must accept the supreme authority of the Lord, become His devotee and try to love Him. This is the real principle of religion. It does not matter whether one is Christian, Muslim or whatever. He simply must accept the sublime position of the Supreme Personality of Godhead and render service unto Him. It is not a question of being Christian, Muslim or Hindu. One should be purely religious and freed from all these material designations.
vedabase.net/cc/madhya/25/20/en

Are non-Christians really honest with their view of Christianity for what all Christians have failed at in their humanity as non-Christians have?

Again, the not-so-appreciative view that some people have of Christianity doesn’t necessarily have to do with the behavior of Christians, but with the Christian doctrine.

You are probably familiar with humanist arguments against some Christian doctrinal tenets, especially those about eternal damnation.

I would like to hear an honest opinion from a non-Christian of what they think Christianity is?

God tends to people according to their needs and abilities, so He gives different people different religions. Christianity is one such religion, a doctrine, provided by God, for people within a particular time and space, and/or for people of a specific spiritual acumen, but not necessarily for everyone at all times.

A part of me wants to believe that Catholicism really is “the one and only right one,” but I also can’t deny the henological perspective that comes so naturally to me.

Speaking of conversations – maybe it is Christian to not actually have a conversation (a discussion) with non-Christians, but a debate; or that the Christian is supposed to have a monologue to which the non-Christian is supposed to listen quietly.

Non-Christians not rarely get frustrated when it comes to talking to Christians; and one reason for that is that the non-Christians expected to have a conversation, a discussion, but instead all they got from the Christian is debate.

There are humanist principles for communication – but why should Christians follow them? They’re not humanist, never promised to uphold those humanist standards.

Often it’s two things at the same time - an impulse to evangelise and an impulse to defend belief. Christianity is a religion focused on ‘orthodoxy’, where correct belief is terribly important and, from a believer’s perspective, can possibly mean the difference between heaven and hell.

Non-Christians not rarely get frustrated when it comes to talking to Christians; and one reason for that is that the non-Christians expected to have a conversation, a discussion, but instead all they got from the Christian is debate.

Because they feel the need both to defend their beliefs and to ‘save’ the non-Christian/non member of whatever Church from Hell, from themselves . . .

There are humanist principles for communication – but why should Christians follow them? They’re not humanist, never promised to uphold those humanist standards.

Well, some of it rather depends on the approach of the non-Christian, you know. Sometimes a gentle reminder that you “don’t believe a word of it” is all that is necessary.

Pish posh.

You wrote:

the onus is on Christians to talk about Christianity in a way that gets over what they think it’s all about.

So, when Christians survey non-Christians in an effort to learn what non-Christians think about Christians and Christianity, this is an example of doing EXACTLY what you say the onus is on them to do: “finding better ways to talk about Christianity.”

:yup:

This is a pretty good example of a Christian not listening to a non-Christian and trying to dictate a context entire of his own - I wonder what sales strategy is being used here?

Well – it is their forum, their turf, their religion – and thus their rules.

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