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I have conflicting opinion with my potential religion (Christian) on issues such as LGBT rights and euthanasia. Is it ethical and proper to continue to approach this religion? Could I interpret bible and god’ s meaning and intent in my own way?Should beliefs and doctrine in religion change with times and different situations?

  • Of course, "beliefs and doctrine in religion change with times ". See e.g. History of Christianity. – Mauro ALLEGRANZA May 23 '18 at 13:04
  • @ Mauro would it be perfect if we all have our own’ religion’ with our personal characteristics? – user43529463 May 23 '18 at 13:09
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    Maybe you have to separate beliefs (personal) from religion which is more "a cultural system of designated behaviors and practices, world views, texts, sanctified places, prophesies, ethics, organizations,". – Mauro ALLEGRANZA May 23 '18 at 13:12
  • Wouldn’t be a contradiction in personal belief?This would be a misery? – user43529463 May 23 '18 at 13:16
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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it belongs on Christianity.SE rather than here. – virmaior May 24 '18 at 14:34
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The entire Christian invitation is the person of Jesus... Jesus says, "come to me, all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest." (Matthew 11:28)

According to Christian doctrine, Jesus is not controlled by Christians, by Christian leaders, Christian writings... Jesus is alive and he cares about LGBT people and all these other people as well.

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It's hopeless trying to sort these things out within Christianity since, as famously noted by Whitehead, it has no widely agreed metaphysical foundation and thus has limited means for settling disputes.

Which Christianity are you studying? If it is one for which significant doctrines and teachings have changed over time I'd view it with great suspicion. If you are interested in the Christianity of The Mystical Theology, A Course in Miracles or The Gospel of Thomas then these teachings never change and are in accord with what the mystics call 'True Religion' thus with Buddhism, Taoism, Sufism and so forth. The metaphysics of this religion are well explained and this allows us to derive judgements on issues such as LGBT and euthanasia.

The modes and methods of religious teaching must change along with society, language and culture but a plausible religion cannot change its doctrine at a structural level. If you examine the perennial philosophy, which as the name suggests never changes and never will, and examine the interpretation necessary to bring Christian teachings into line with it then the parallels might convince you that this is the correct interpretation. This is a common experience for many people.

I feel you should most definitely interpret the Bible in your own way but only after you have reviewed the most common interpretations and are able to make a well-informed judgement. Given the variety of current interpretations you're unlikely to decide there's a need for another one but each person has to decide for themselves which of those that exist is most sensible and plausible.

The Roman Church does not have a monopoly on interpretation and some would say it endorses the wrong one. Examining the options would be a serious responsibility for a would-be Christian and getting it wrong would mean misunderstanding Jesus and developing an groundless set of beliefs. Best to treat interpretation as a work in progress and not set anything in stone until you feel strongly confident you're on the right track.

It seems sensible to stipulate that any interpretation should stand-up in metaphysics and if you take this view it will be a great help to you in identifying unworkable interpretations.

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The thing with Christian religion... is that it's all about a growth. First, start with New Testament to understand the first steps, to know and see Jesus. Reading the 4 gospels will show you a full image of Him.

For instance: Jesus said he is only speaking what heard from where He came from. He doesn't speak from Himself. He also recognizes Moses and Abraham, and even mentions about Sodom and Gomorrah and that one day "it will be more bearable for Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for that town[that doesn't receive the apostles]" - in this way also recognizing their existence and the story of Genesis.

He also said that He is ONE with God - Father. If His Father destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, if He is ONE with His Father - would He agree to homosexuality, or LGBT?

Jesus's love isn't about accepting your sins, but accepting a person and then help him escape of those sins. For example, Jesus loves ANY human on earth: no matter he is a liar, a murderer, a raper, a dictator, and too proud person, or homosexual. For Him, all of these are sins, and he asks me to run-away of my pride and be humble, as he asks you to run from you homosexual temptation.

Christianity will change when Jesus will change, and so far, we have no signs of it. But we, we humans, we changed and we change a lot both as individuals and as a society.

You want to know how to deal with it:

Start reading the New Testament and in the same time, pray(you're a Christian, or a potential Christian you said) Him to help you understand. If you want to understand Jesus and his view upon some things, you must do it with Him, since what you want to understand is not a religion, but a person.

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At an absolute minimum, try to understand your religion better. The hostility to homosexuality holds far less weight by number of references or clarity, than barbaric practices like stoning adulterers, or even eating shellfish and wearing mixed fibres. Jesus has nothing to say about homosexuality. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homosexuality_in_the_New_Testament

A lot of key doctrines derive from the apostles, and the general interpretation that the New Testament including their doctrines take precidence, called https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Progressive_revelation_(Christianity) This also applies to 'the church', with decisions about the nature of the trinity, the existence and nature of hell and heaven, only having been decided much later by Councils. Which of course later split, between Catholic & Eastern Orthodox, Protestant & the rest.

Christianity is a community practice, I accept you can't put everything 'up for grabs' and be accepted. But by knowing the theology, the sources and arguments, and the history, it can be seen where things are now is not where they have always been, and reinterpretation is absolutely possible. Especially, in light of following the actual directions and words of Jesus, to practice tolerance and non-judgement,

I heartily recommend this book https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/296402.Jesus_the_Man It reinterprets the New Testament in light of The Dead Sea Scrolls, Old Testament and apocrypha from contemporary with or earlier than Jesus. There are important insights into the Essene Jewish group that Jesus & co belonged to, and into the doctrinal content of the miracles, and toward solving inconsistencies about times and places. It presents a far more radical Jesus, one that could almost pursuade me to be a Christian.

The work of real Christians is to follow the example of Jesus. Not the Church. Build a new Jerusalem..

Edited to add: NB https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homosexuality_in_the_New_Testament#Historical_and_cultural_issues The preoccupation with regulating private lives is a very modern one. The primary concern of the Bible is with the community, and moral and spiritual wellbeing. So the decrees are against deception, promiscuity and adultery, and as this Wikipedia page points out pederasty and prostitution. In this light, gay marriage and the involvement of religious sacrament in promoting fidelity, and forming an agreement before a community that provides a basis for family life, have to be seen as exactly the Christian thing.

  • I heartily don't recommend "Jesus the Man" of Barbara Thiering. This woman doesn't know what she's talking about. Are you sure with this? – lukuss May 24 '18 at 8:08
  • Well, Jesus said that gay marriage is impossible (unless one of them can be counted as woman). Did he say something about non-marital relationships. – rus9384 May 24 '18 at 9:05
  • Waking Up with Sam Harris #125 - What Is Christianity? (with Bart Ehrman) youtube.com/watch?v=1-n7EGoM18s Is great, from a very knowledgable student of the Bible – CriglCragl May 24 '18 at 14:05

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