Metaphysics of abundance

Discussion in 'Belief and Spirituality' started by wil, May 6, 2019.

  1. stranger

    stranger lost in the night

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    Indeed it does. As an observer and a believer, I would definitely say that God had a hand in your spiritual development. And yet, he let you make your decisions, whether good or bad, and worked all of it toward your good. He did not not need to circumvent your path at any time in order to prove himself right, or win an argument. If this is true, why should it be any different for Wil? Or for me, for that matter. He is able to love without interjecting himself too forcefully into a life, because he takes great care with what he is creating.

    You also wrote, concerning Unity, that it is a religion without obligation. I would say rather that it is a religion without much pressure or threat. Obligation can also be a matter of conscience. In other words, it depends on how seriously the hearer takes the exhortation. If he takes it seriously (it resonates), it will produce action as the person will expend effort in order to put it into practice. This is the struggle that I would not circumvent through zealous yet untimely intervention. God meets us where we are, not where others believe we should be.
     
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  2. Thomas

    Thomas Well-Known Member

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    I think this highlights some of the distinctions I was alluding to earlier.

    In a traditional context, 'spiritual development' is in the hands of God and really, we are hardly conscious of it, other than the conviction of faith. Thus the old Zen adage: Before enlightenment, chop wood, carry water, after enlightenment, chop wood, carry water'.

    Furthermore, the more advanced one becomes on the spiritual path, the less sentimental and sensible consolations. The further one goes, the less one knows. This might sound strange, but it is the case, as texts and commentaries from the great spiritual traditions testify. The spiritual path of the religious traditions loses its appeal as one goes forward. Where's the benefit? What's the point? There is no experience. It's just plain hard work.

    The commercial appeal of authentic religious spirituality is zero, in fact it's probably a minus. So today 'spiritually' is repackaged, repurposed and marketed as a means of attaining self-contentment, a sense of well being and a sense of self worth. God does not necessarily figure in the equation at all, and can be replaced by any term that suits one's individual goal: the Cosmos, or Nature, or whatever.

    I'm afraid I cannot agree. I rather see that as the product of a post-war idealism in the West. Were that the case, the world would be other than it is now. If one chooses not to pursue 'the good', then one has set one's foot upon a different path and so be it, God will not intervene to force your hand. The assumption that whatever one does, whatever choices one makes, God will make it all right in the end is a dubious one ...

    (This is in fact the same as the often-derided religious belief that whatever happens is for the good.)

    Yes.

    Please do not judge this or any other religion by the lowest common denominator, by the tired old clichés of frustrated nuns or hellfire preachers.
    (On the other hand, Christ threatened and, I'm sure, put His disciples under enormous pressure.)

    And make no mistake, whenever there are people in groups, there are pressures and threats, but I see your point.

    As I mentioned above, in the video of Unity's interpretation of the Trinity, the speaker makes an erroneous statement and a false claim. Now whether he does so knowingly I am in no position to say. When it comes to talking about God, Christ and the Trinity, Unity tends to get somewhat confused in its definitions – on the one hand God is personal, on the other God is impersonal – dare I say, if they actually understood the Trinity, they would avoid the mess they get into.

    But here is the crux of the point I made: I could turn every critique of Wil's against Christian doctrine back upon Unity: It doesn't make sense. It doesn't stand up to critical examination. It relies on faith and accepting what you're told. It basis its teachings on out-dated ideas.

    The point is, the resonance, the initial acceptance, is not an intellectual exercise. It's something else, and the intellect gets put on the back burner, as it were. Credulity is suspended because the resonance is its own proof, it's the start of a conviction.
     
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  3. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    No obligation...lol

    In unity the ten commandments are interesting....thou shall not commit adultery....means thou shall not adulterate you principles..not simply sexual dalliances outside of marriage and not even that should marriage not be determined by fidelity as agreed by you and your spouse.

    Thou shall not murder...includes murdering creativity, inspiration, enjoyment....as was done earlier in this thread, when one was inspired by butches talk...and then another decided to tell them how wrong they were.

    Fun stuff, but more fun is watching folks be upset because my interpretation don't fit their paradigm and upset their apple cart. What you were just saved twice from sure death and you don't believe in G!d as I do? What you experience a bliss and happiness that I don't understand? What you think G!d is impersonal and but G!d is all there is?

    Lol, ain't life wonderful. I wasn't born to live upto your expectations, just as my children weren't born to live upto mine. None of believe the same, we can all see that, I find it funny how folks want me to believe the same as they...I'll wait till you all fight it out and decide which one of your theories I should ascribe to.

    You are all doing awesome in the discussion by the way, it is much appreciated!
     
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  4. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    I don't explain myself well, words that articulate my thought don't come easily, or even at all. The world is a wonderful place and I've spent my life enjoying it. It has become apparent my days are numbered (as they always have been) if you all don't mind I'll not concern myself about which religion or belief system is right or which to follow and will continue to enjoy camping, conversations, travel, sunrises, peoples talent and art, creating events that others enjoy, communing with nature and living.,.until I don't.

    Lol my favorite line in my last ct scan isn't which discs are squashed or the size and locations of aneurisms, but that the number of gallstones were too numerous to count...like hairs on my head or stars in the sky none are too numerous to count, we all just have better things to do than worry about counting them...life marches on...perspective, the sun does not set or rise....the world turns, enjoy the opera!
     
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  5. RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet God Feeds the Ravens

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    Nice. But only in response to our own seeking?

    I think this is about: like scientists get quite irritated by 'spiritual movements' applying terms like quantum leap to conditions to which they have no proper application, and often in exact opposite to their real meaning? So we're talking about 'new religions' basing their authenticity upon redefining Judeo/Christian scripture and terminology to promote their own interpretation?

    As with the above example, sometimes they manage to arrive at really opposite interpretations. Like the attempt to write God out of the mystery of the trinity: Father, Son and Holy Spirit, by redefining it as: mind, idea and expression, or thinker, thought and action.

    (edited ...)

     
    Last edited: May 10, 2019
  6. RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet God Feeds the Ravens

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    I enjoyed it. But I enjoyed it because I took him at his word when he spoke of God and prayer. He ended the talk with the exhortation to pray constantly. I took him at his word. However: what did he really mean?

    Never mind scholastic interpretations of the parable of the sower and the seed: of course Christ's parables can be seen from all sorts of angles. That is the power of them.

    But can you explain what he means by God? What he means by prayer? This is where I need more information.

    I still think it was a good talk. Very inspiring.

    God bless you @wil
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2019
  7. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    https://www.truthunity.net/rw/god
    https://www.truthunity.net/mbd/prayer

    What is G!d or prayer? What does he mean? I am not him, I cannot answer what he means. I could and have answered what I think of when I hear prayer or G!d in various situations. But take an actual look at what Unity means by prayer, you may disagree with some viewpoints and disagree with others...just like anything.
     
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  8. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    Once a month after church we have a meeting/discussion with Butch, "ask the minister" where anyone who chooses to attend can bring their notes from previous talks to get into 'what did you mean by..."
     
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  9. RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet God Feeds the Ravens

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    Ok. My own instinct is that Butch is speaking not from any 'book learning' but from the actual experience of the divine 'touch' or whatever as previously debated. Trying to find his own words to explain and describe it. I liked what he said. And I trust my own instinct. Yes, it resonated with me.

    I like Butch.

    Which is why I battle to understand how a person can follow and listen to and obviously greatly respect the man, but still be unable to write the word God?

    Nevermind, my friend. We're all different. God knows the heart. Please try to stick around because this website will probably just fizzle out without you. You are a brave and wise person. In my view ...
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2019
  10. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    Lol, my use of and explanation point in the word G!d stems from a fee things. One is my understanding of a Jewish tradition that you don't write the word, because whatever it it written on can be destroyed or defamed.

    Secondly I believe all words cannot accurately describe the enormity (and simplicity) of what G!d is, therefore one word can't either.

    When I first returned to church that word was my biggest struggle. I was stuck with what I was taught (and rejected) in my youth about G!d and the bible, yet I was drawn to Butch's talks. I took classes, I read books, I went to church and taught sunday school (heavens no! Some may say) I raised my kids in Unity, and all through my life every kid I met never wanted their parent as a teacher, until mine. Now I can't drive, and live a bit away from that church...and am thankful I can see what Butch feels called to share online. He basically writes a research paper, that he has to present every week. On the bible, Jesus, various books or TV shows he's been into. And those that attend benefit from his study and contemplation.
     
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  11. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    So RJ what was the verdict? Did you find the Revealing Word definitions and Fillmore's explanations of G!d and Prayer appalling? (Filmore wrote the Metaphysical Bible Dictionary to contain "biblical" words, and the Revealing Word is definitions and explanations of how common words may be used metaphysically (beyond the physical/ literal) in bible interpretation.
     
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  12. RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet God Feeds the Ravens

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    https://www.truthunity.net/mbd/prayer

    Metaphysical meaning of prayer (mbd)
    prayer..Communion between man and God.

    Ok.

    In true prayer we take with us words of Truth, a statement of Truth, or an affirmation, and turn our attention within to the very center of our being, where the Father dwells. We affirm these words of Truth and meditate on them, then get very still and wait in the silence for God to make them real to us.


    Perhaps not. Prayer is not always the same as meditation Perhaps in true prayer we just ask God to be with us and guide us.

    "LORD, my heart is not haughty, nor mine eyes lofty: neither do I exercise myself in great matters, or in things too high for me.
    Surely I have behaved and quieted myself, as a child that is weaned of his mother: my soul is even as a weaned child.
    Let Israel hope in the LORD from henceforth and for ever." (psalm 131)


    Prayer can be defined in many ways. It can be said to be "the taking hold of God's willingness." Jesus Christ forbade all prayers of doubt, but said, "All things whatsoever ye pray and ask for, believe that ye receive [received, margin] them, and ye shall have them" (Mark 11:24); and "Your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him" (Matt. 6:8).

    Umm ... Ok. Note: Jesus spoke of the Father as a personal God who hears and responds to prayer.

    To one in understanding of Truth, prayer is an affirmation of that which is in Being.

    No point in praying to a God we don't believe exists.

    Then, why the necessity of the prayer, or affirmation, if the desired condition already is? In order that the creative law of the word may be fulfilled, we must pray.

    Effectively it means we need to ask/invite God, angels, spiritual forces to intervene in our own lives, because the spiritual law of free will means that without our permission they may not help us. Was that the writer's intended meaning though?

    All things are in God as potentialities. It is man's share in the creative process to bring the unmanifest to manifestation.

    But is this just another term for positive thinking? How to develop your own inner power, etc? Prayer is more than that?

    Everybody should pray. Through prayer we develop the highest phase of character and it softens and refines the whole man.

    Prayer is about the soul. God knows our physical needs, but it is the soul that matters.

    Prayer is not supplication, or begging ...

    Say that to a Syrian family huddled in a basement while bombs are demolishing the building around them

    ... but a simple asking for and affirmation of that which we know is waiting for us at the hands of our Father. The prayer that Jesus gave as a model (Luke 11:1-4) is simplicity itself. There is in it none of that awe-inspiring "Oh, Thou !" which some ministers affect in public prayer, but the informal request of a son to his father for things needed.

    Yes and no. The tone of this argument is that man needs not humble himself upon his knees before God, that man simply communicates with God as an equal, almost.

    "Father, Hallowed be thy name." Here is recognition of the all-inclusiveness and completeness of Divine Mind. Everything has its sustenance from this one source, therefore "the earth is Jehovah's, and the fulness thereof."

    "Our Father which art in Heaven"

    We need supplies for the day only. Hoarding for future necessities breeds selfishness. The children of Israel tried to save the manna, but it spoiled.

    Ok

    The law, "Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap," is here shorn of its terrors. If we forgive others we shall be forgiven and the penalty of suffering for sins will be eliminated.

    Well, we have to ask first. And there is contrition a penance. God may make us fully aware of the effects of our wrongdoings upon ourselves and others, before we are able to forgive ourselves. It can be very painful. Forgiveness of others should flow from this.

    It does not seem possible that God would lead us into temptation; in fact, in James 1:13 we are told plainly that God cannot be tempted of evil and that He tempts no man. This clause in the Lord's Prayer, "And bring us not into temptation," follows closely that concerning the forgiveness of sin, and it is evidently a part of it.

    Nevertheless, that's what Jesus said. It's not always possible to understand exactly what he meant.

    Let not temptation lead us, is a permissable interpretation.
    Ok


    Jesus advised asking for what we want, and being steadfast in our demands. People ignorant of the relation in which man stands to God wonder why we should ask, and even importune, a Father who has provided all things for us.

    Again: the soul is God's main concern.

    This is explained when we perceive that God is a great reservoir of mind that has to be tapped by man's mind, and through his thought or word poured into visibility.

    Again the positive thinking story? Man can use God? But there may be some truth here.

    If the mind of man is clogged with doubt, lethargy, or fear, he must, through his faithful knocking and asking, open the way.

    Ok. Sort of ...

    We should "pray without ceasing." We should continue "steadfastly in prayer."
    OK

    We should acquire in prayer a facility in asking equal to the expert mathematician's swiftness in handling numbers; having done that, we shall get responses in like proportion.

    I personally do not agree. The more we pray, the more humble we're likely to become, imo. "He who knows, knows he knows nothing."

    We give our children what we consider good gifts, from our limited and transitory store, but when the gifts of God are put into our mind

    soul ...
    we have possessions that are eternal, that will go on producing for all time.
    ... continues beyond death

    This is a skim, and of course it is all IMO. I believe that when we pray God does help us in this world too but not at the expense of the soul.

    At first God may respond by taking a lot of what we value away from us. We will find that very painful and we will think God is not responding to our prayer.

    I am not a preacher. Jesus and all spiritual teachers made it clear that the choice is between God and 'the world'. Solomon rejected riches in favour of wisdom, so was granted both.

    The encyclopaedia entry on God is completely out of my range. The wisest and best thinkers through all history have filled libraries with their thoughts.
    https://www.truthunity.net/rw/god

    But Christ taught that God is our personal Father that hears and responds to prayer. There are nowadays arguments that God is a 'she' and other anthropomorphic ideas.

    Again, I just question the need for all this stuff? It's all very complicated. Jesus explained spiritual law and process in simple terms that will long outlive all this 'new religion' stuff. Why not just value Christ's words as they stand?

    (
    edited ...)


     
    Last edited: May 11, 2019
  13. stranger

    stranger lost in the night

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    Thomas, you wrote:
    This last part sounds more like a prison sentence than the good news, Thomas. :) However, concerning the sensible consolations, it does not sound strange at all (sensible being the key word here, meaning the senses participate in the consolation). But to say there is no experience, even if coming from an outside observer, would not be correct in my opinion. I suppose it might depend on what one's definition of experience is. Does the love of God cease to be an experience because it bypasses the senses? I don't think so. It just comes through a higher, more pure channel, that of the spirit. Negative theology moves toward the cancellation of sensible ways of experiencing and reflecting on God but God can still be known through love, as the writer of The Cloud repeatedly drives home. Through knowledge never, but through love yes. That little dart of longing love is capable of penetrating the cloud of unknowing which has descended upon the senses. The love of God is incredibly attractive and able to grab the heart almost immediately, even when filtered through these broken forms of our present distress. This I know even from my very limited (to my own shame) experience of it. Once known, it is never forgotten. Most times my heart feels like a stone, but I know it is capable of springing to life at even the slightest touch of this "dark" knowing.

    You mean like this one? "We know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose." Note, "work together for good", which seems a bit less trite than, "whatever happens is for the good". Sounds like a good example of what not to say to the sufferer of a tragedy, as would also be the case of the original scripture when presented in that context. However, regarding your spiritual development, I don't think it would be presumptuous to say you are in much better shape now than you were when you were involved in the cult. The perception of development is of course through hindsight (how could it be otherwise?) I mean, really, I can see it just through your words here, and I'm not even you.

    With regard to God making everything right in the end being dubious... This is where I disagree with you the most. The God who created all things is perfectly capable of seeing his creation through to the end. His love and justice can do no other than set things right eventually. The only debate, for me, is how it will be done. This does not excuse evil, it only means that evil is not able to thwart his plans.

    I think what's being lost in the shuffle here is, well, Wil. I'm not saying I agree with everything Wil says or does, or everything Unity teaches, but Wil has been quite frank here on the list about where he stands and how he got there. Resonance, promptings of the spirit, a calling, consolations, bliss... A person has to start somewhere. If it's all in the head it would most likely lead to a legalism that is cold as ice. Consolations are perfectly normal within a certain context. We are left with making a judgement on another man's experience. Is it false resonance, or true? Of God, or of some nefarious origins? I'm not willing to make that judgement, are you? I'll accept where he is at and respect it, and leave the rest to God. That doesn't mean we can't disagree with him, but this is person's life we are talking about here, a brother.

    Many people struggle with the idea of a personal God. What we often miss are the reasons behind it, and there are always reasons. In Butch's message there seems to be some waffling (unintentional I think) with regard to a personal God, but there is some spiritual warmth present there also. As has been mentioned before, Butch's idea of God seems to be more personal than Wil's (at a glance) but that difference (if there really is one) would be perfectly acceptable within the parameters of his church. Just giving a different look at things here, one not built simply around what is error and what is not.
     
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  14. Thomas

    Thomas Well-Known Member

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    Well you're a leading exponent of the freedom to interpret things according to your own unique viewpoint?

    Or maybe they know your paradigm only too well ...

    This is a discussion forum, Wil, if you put them up there, they'll get discussed.

    No-one's trying to get you to subscribe to their theories, they're just pointing out why they don't subscribe to yours.

    My take? It's Prosperity theology.
     
  15. RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet God Feeds the Ravens

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    This.
    Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
    In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
    Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the Lord, and depart from evil.
    (Proverbs 3:5-7)
     
  16. Thomas

    Thomas Well-Known Member

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    Just a bit of common sense.

    It's probably an age thing. Not so long ago (it seems to me) everyone wanted to be a mystic, it was really cool. What everyone wanted was a 'mystical experience' and the notions were all rather romantic.

    The spiritual is extra-sensory, and there is a school of thought, to which I subscribe, that sensory experiences are actually the sensorium becoming overloaded or flooded. This was the kind of ecstatic experience sought for in the ancient Mysteries, and overwhelming of the sensorium that sometimes found 'earthing' in erotic excesses. There is plenty of evidence of mystics being possible epileptics (Ezekiel in the Bible, and many Christian mystics suffered debilitating conditions), the counter argument being that mystical events can trigger epileptic episodes.

    Buddhist and Christian guides both say to ignore such subjective experiences when engaging in spiritual disciplines. Psychologists are well versed in the tricks the mind will play ...

    St Paul can be read to sum up three stages of the mystical life: "When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child. But, when I became a man, I put away the things of a child. We see now through a glass in a dark manner; but then face to face. Now I know in part; but then I shall know even as I am known." (1 Corinthians 13:11-12)
    Consolations belong to childhood, as Paul says, now, as a man, 'we see through a glass in dark manner' that is, it is obscure.

    I'm not so much saying there is no experience, as experience is not the point. To use the Pauline analogy, there is yesterday (child), today (man), tomorrow (who knows?), but in reality, all three co-exist in a more organic and less stratified way, so even at the start there can be senses of the 'Divine Darkness' (to use a Dionysian term), and at the end there can be consolations ... the dark Night of the Soul figures here, and that's another term that's accrued a fair amount of mystic appeal and romantic twaddle in its day.

    Is that love an experience or a conviction? Rhetorical question.

    I'm not doubting nor denying your experience, I'm just speaking of the want of 'mystical experience' in a broader context.

    Oh, definitely. That was all about 'experience', it was our bread and butter.

    Again, I have no doubt that His will be done, in the end. What I dispute is that God micromanages everything along the way to a good end. We have to be careful here, or we end up telling ourselves the Jews brought the Holocaust on themselves because they crucified Christ. Where was Christ, in the cattle trucks. He may also have been on the lookout towers, but then where was the heart of the guard?

    We face the threat of climate extinction. I heard one commentator last night saying the trouble with 'the tipping point' is you never know where it is until the evidence that you're hustling down a slope becomes undeniable. It will be interesting to see how we interpret an environmental catastrophe in those terms. James Lovelock, someone I happen to admire, reckons 80% human extinction.

    He's also been quite dismissive and sometimes caustic towards others ...

    Not if you're a romantic.

    Imagine a therapist set himself up on the same premise, questionable understanding of the language he's using, unintentional waffling but lots of warmth ...
     
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  17. RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet God Feeds the Ravens

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    I find this very revealing:

    https://www.truthunity.net/books/holy-spirit-regeneration-the-jesus-prayer

    "Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner."

    ...the idea of being a "sinner," from the concept of being a bad person, is just not a part of Unity's belief system. It has taken many years and many affirmations for the Truth student to overcome the sense of guilt that the idea of being a sinner has projected into memory. Metaphysically, however, the word sin means "missing the mark ... falling short of divine perfection. Sin is man's failure to express the attributes of Being — life, love, intelligence, wisdom, and the other God qualities" (RW/Sin). When we look at it from this perspective, we realize that we sin every day ...

    ... Spiritual insight into the mysticism of this prayer makes it a powerful tool for transformation. However, it is recommended that you read the two books mentioned in this section before implementing this prayer.

    A suggested alternative to the wording of this prayer has also proven to be a powerful tool for transformation: "Jesus Christ, Son of God, I AM That!" This proclaims absolute perfection in Christ and calls this perfection forth through I AM identification. Whatever you identify with, that you become ...


    How, from the Jesus prayer, does anyone arrive at that? It's the complete opposite of the humility before God that IS the Jesus prayer. There's a load of this sort of stuff in the encyclopaedia.

    Of course anyone is entitled to believe what they want to. But this takes Judeo/Christianity as a basis, then changes it around so completely that it often reverses it.

    Anyway, each to his own ...



     
    Last edited: May 10, 2019
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  18. stranger

    stranger lost in the night

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    RJM, I sort of had something like this in mind: "For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. Indeed, rarely will anyone die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person someone might actually dare to die. But God proves his love for us in that while we still were sinners Christ died for us." -- Romans 5

    I don't see the two as mutually exclusive... There is lots of seeking (I'm pretty sure both of us do it all the time), but the overarching theme of the incarnation I believe shows that He reached for us first, and at such at time as we were unable to do a thing to help ourselves. Experientially, God is difficult to put in a box, however. Some might seem to find right out of the blue without seeking (although we don't know what might have been going on inside) and others overtly seek their entire lives before finding. Perhaps we are always "finding". I don't pretend to understand how it plays out in various lives, but I know there is something in us which causes us to seek.

    It wasn't my intent to confront errors. Those who feel compelled to defend the faith in some way will get no interference from me.
     
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  19. RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet God Feeds the Ravens

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    I have no disagreement with you. I believe our free will means that we have to invite spititual aid. That's all I meant there.

    Yes, I hope it doesn't look as if I am trying to 'defend the faith' by lecturing or confronting anyone about their errors.

    But in a way the direction of this thread has become a discussion of the distance between what Judeo/Christian scripture actually says and the interpretation that 'new religions' make of it? Particularly when their entire belief structure is based essentially upon a redefinition of those scriptures?

    But I don't want to get in out of my depth.
     
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  20. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    Theologians can discuss how many angels can dance on the head of a pin...but I like to discuss things that affect life, here and now. You know, perspective, attitude, navel gazing, and you all are simply awesome to join in!

    Verily, verily I say unto you, he that believeth in Me, the works that I do he shall do also; and greater works than these shall he do, because I go unto My Father.

    Remember to take his words at dace value and not discount any of them!
     
    stranger and RJM Corbet like this.

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