Interfaith as a Faith

Discussion in 'Modern Religions' started by DrFree, Dec 19, 2005.

  1. spiritual learner

    spiritual learner New Member

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    Celebrating the things we have in common is a way to establish good relationships... a way to promote peace. We can pray about the points over which we differ...and perhaps discuss them, if we can manage to control our emotions.
     
  2. arthra

    arthra Baha'i

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    Welcome to the Forum Spiritual Learner!

    I agree with you.. I think an on going interfaith dialogue is healthy and promotes more cooperation.

    - Art
     
  3. Greydog

    Greydog New Member

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    Hi I am new here and so just catching up on so much interesting stuff to read and would just like to mention the Church of the Seven Planes as a truly open accepting Interfaith church. Has anyone heard of them?
     
  4. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    Namaste Greydog, welcome to io

    Had not heard of the 7p and they truly do look interfaith allowing everyone to believe whatever they wish to believe...
     
  5. Greydog

    Greydog New Member

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    Thanks for the welcome. Yes it is one of the strong points of the church.

    There is one supreme being, no matter what name he/she is called.

    There is no one religion as such, but many different interpretations and spiritual ways of living and connecting to something greater.


    Everyone is entitled to their own belief system.

    It is not our right to tell others how to believe, think, dress or behave.

    To treat others as we want to be treated is a major law.

    We learn from each other and our inner self.

    Nothing is impossible, miracles happen all the time, we just need to open up and see them.

    We hold that a truth nor a revelation is not a truth for a person unless they see it for themselves.

     
  6. nativeastral

    nativeastral fluffy future

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    hi greydog, like the name [l have a lurcher who has a grey mutt,nose!]. thanks for dredging up an interesting thread; we don't have the same extremity of fundamentalism over here and neither perhaps do you in mexico?
    The church you mention is perhaps symptomatic of the sign of the [globalised] times, that of integrating 'the best of' all the other denominations and a more inclusiveness of attitude attractive to contemporary thinkers and believers who still need/require the institution and community of a church. so are you a member and is it very popular where you are ?
    however, the notion of the knightly order of St Micheal etc...sniffs of some sort of snobbery or inauthenticity. what do you think?
     

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  7. Dream

    Dream New Member

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    Thanks for bumping this thread, as I'd never seen it before. I am able to understand poster "Bolo's" experience with so-called 'Evangelical Fundamentalism' though I disagree on calling the problem 'Fundamentalism' which is confusing. Is he talking about Scripture Fundamentalists or Interfaith Fundamentalists or what?


    There needs to be a differentiation between fundamentalists and fundamentalists. Just saying 'Fundamentalist' is always going to cause confusion, as there is more than one kind. The word 'Fundamental' means "That which is most needed, the basics." I guess the best runner up to this word is 'Staple', but who wants to be called a 'Staplist'? :) Nobody does, but the issue in this forum is that there is also such a thing as an 'Interfaith Fundamentalist'.


    An Interfaith Fundamentalist is someone who places love and honesty before beliefs. All it requires is understanding that human ability is limited. It involves admitting the weaknesses of our own minds and bodies. Interfaith Fundamentalists can be members of more than one fundamentalist group. Such a person can appear within an 'Evangelical Fundamentalist' camp or any other camp, which is why it is unfortunate to simply call anyone 'Fundamentalist' without specifying what we mean. Oddly, this makes Interfaith actually very 'Evangelical' in its own right! (Though that is also confusing.) All that I mean be that is it is plain that interfaith is a movement that grows almost without effort, as its truth is plain.

    Its evangelical because everybody knows we are none of us perfect, and this is infinitely provable. In fact, real fundamentalism of any kind is humanly unattainable. So what is an Interfaith Fundamentalist except someone who accepts this, and who practices placing love before belief? They have not left their faith but are simply being honest with themselves -- not an easy thing to do. It is not easy to admit that we are too imperfect to judge our own thoughts as better than other people's. That is the non-evangelical aspect.
     
  8. Greydog

    Greydog New Member

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    Yes I am a member and no it is not popular here at all but I do see a need for it. I am actually from Newcastle Upon Tyne but have been living here in Mexico for the last 7 years. There is a huge problem here in Mexico in that there is a huge influx of Protestant and Evangelical Christians moving into the country from the US. Now in the larger cities this is no real problem but in the rural communities this is forcing wedges into once united groups. Most rural communities were largely Catholic and their year revolved around festivals now with these new groups they are actually splitting communities in twoor three or four . In Parts of Chiapas there has actually been violence. I live and work in Tabasco and I spend a lot of time out in the Chontalpa with the people and I am learning their language Yokot'an. I was asked into a small town to bless a house and I ran into this division. So being interfaith I explained who I was and why I was there and explained that I am not there to get them to change faith or church group or anything I would just like that they see their similarities and pray together for a member of their community who is in problems and in the end they did and we had a great afternoon and a little feast which was shared.

    Like you I am not sure what the Knightly order is all about but I kind of think if they promote the ideas of chivalry and service well it is not a bad thing. Maybe it is a romantic belief on my part but I firmly believe the world needs Don Quixote to dream the impossible dream and if people need a Knightly order to feel they are doing that then I am glad they are there.
     
  9. nativeastral

    nativeastral fluffy future

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    thanx for the reply, and gotcha on your explanation..a bit like, for me, we all have the solar plexus 'st/angel Micheal' energy within to be used egoistically or selflessly. Maybe just a cultural thing, the value placed on anything remotely antiquarian/aristocratic/hermetic.

    Never been to Mexico or any of the Americas but know of the influx of the more evangelical/pentecostal strains which l've heard are taking over as the main worldwide concentration of Christianity [ie in the southern not northern hemisphere] changing the map of religion and which for instance is causing conflict in Africa between muslims and christians in the proselytizing drive..

    so how did a geordie end up in mexico? you making pepper sauce?! sounds as if you are integrating well anyways and you have found a friendly forum :)
     
  10. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    Are these missionaries? Or simply folks moving to Mexico? Whites or Latinos? Retirees or families? Just wondering what the impetus of the influx is...
     
  11. Greydog

    Greydog New Member

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    They are active missionaries. Mostly from the more radical groups from the US.
     
  12. Dream

    Dream New Member

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    It is sad that communities are dividing; but are you sure it is because of missionaries? A community split happens when a couple of nerds have a personality conflict, and they drag everyone else into it on principle. They believe in the principle of arguing, and they try to convince other of its usefulness. Argument is important -- just not that important. Next thing you know, the argumentists find a way to cry about how they are being forced to divide their community! There will be some complicated explanation as to how it is all a very complex issue, and somebody will tell you there are a lot of misunderstandings on either side. They will cry and cry. They will say everybody really wants to be together but because of such and such disagreement they can't. Its rubbish. It is not even because of the missionaries or the influx of protestant Mexicans back into Mexico. I suggest that if it were not missionaries, it would be something else.
     
  13. Netti-Netti

    Netti-Netti New Member

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    My initial reaction is that those similar ethical attitudes are not necessarily mythic, nor do they tell us much about a theological belief system. In fact, I don't think they are that far removed from what secular humanists might endorse without appealing to any of the stories (cosmology or end of time doctrines) that we see in the world's faith traditions.

    I don't think the commonalities as far as ethics necessarily give us much of a basis for an "interfaith" commitment. Recall that the Dalai Lama considers compassion and equanimity to be "secular principles." If we take that at face value, then a secular world view would need to factor into the "Interfaith" commitment. At that point, "interfaith" becomes pretty much synonymous with some kind of catch-all, eclectic philosophical outlook.

    Conclusion: I don't think working our way back to religious attitudes from ethics helps make the case for an "Interfaith" commitment.
     
  14. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    Buddhism is discussed as a philosophy but not a religion....is it a faith?

    Are we talking inter-religion or interfaith? Why is the secular elimnated from interfaith, should it not be embraced as well.

    I'm wondering if that isn't the point. That these religious qoutes/tenants not universal, and isn't what that what interfaith is about? Wouldn't interfaith move away from religion and towards secularism naturally?
     
  15. Dream

    Dream New Member

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    I don't know, because secular is really opposite from nonsecular at least on the face. Maybe in the sense that Dr. Free is presenting it, I see what Netti initial reaction comes from. Why would secular (nonfaith) people be interested in interfaith? Don't presume that nonfaith is a faith.

    I disagree that it would become catch-all ecclectic philosophical outlook, though. Including secular people is just an admission that we can be wrong. That admission I thought was what made interfaith possible.
     
  16. Netti-Netti

    Netti-Netti New Member

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    I'd be interested in one example from this forum where someone backed down on one of their core beliefs as a result of a discussion they had here.
     
  17. Dream

    Dream New Member

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    I cannot think of a single example, except that I realized the meaning of I John 1:8 "If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us." Then suddenly, I was interfaith. I had to accept the fact that truth is darkened as it passes through a human being. Since truth radiates from an ideal and perfect source, I cannot possibly be that source. It was partly a result of some discussions I had here.
     
  18. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    I've seen a number of people who have become more tolerant of others beliefs. And have become more understanding. Of course some of them have also left after that as they could no longer take the intolerance.
     
  19. Netti-Netti

    Netti-Netti New Member

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    "Faith is a gift from God. Our faith is not of ourselves, but rather it becomes a reality in our lives once we have been graced with the indwelling presence of the Father's loving spirit....If we are open to the Father's presence, we can be assured that he will indeed enter intimately into our lives. He will indwell us to the very depths of our consciousness with a fragment of his divine spirit, the divine Thought Adjuster." ~Stuart R. Kerr
    To me this means that in order to receive guidance and illumination, you must have at least some truth in yourself. If you didn't, you would not be capable of openness and there would be no hope of being influenced by the spirit of truth. I believe this openness is a Free Will function. I also believe it's a presupposition for accepting the challenge John calls to our attention - i.e., the challenge to love "in deed and truth." (John 3:18)
     
  20. Netti-Netti

    Netti-Netti New Member

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    Wil,
    I'd say Buddhism is a salvific religion that involves a metaphysics. It includes ideas about the organization of the universe (cosmology) and it also includes ends-of-time doctrine (personal salvation). At the very least, it is a faith as far as including assumptions about how karma is handled, the and the importance of personal discpline.

    How do you see them as being different Based on the OP, thy seems to be very closely related.

    To my way of thinking, faith involves metaphysical beliefs about unobservables that are thought to be implicated in the nature of things that are ultimately unknowable. I think of a faith tradition as being a type of religion that includes ideas that ordinarily can't be confirmed through direct observation. I think secularists tend to have a "what you see is what you get" view. (Hopefully I'm not overgeneralizing here.)

    I wouldn't exclude it from interfaith dialogue, bit I don't see it as a form of "faith." I see it as being defied by an absence of a faith-based understanding of things - i.e, the absence of religious belief.

    Some people apply the term "religion" to political ideology like communism. To my way of thinkin that' a misapplication of the term because communism does not have a metaphysics. There are several contemporary commentators who conted that you can have "religion without metaphysics." One of them recently argued that materialism has metaphysical realism (see H. Eberrhard, 2007) I agree with that, but that doesn't mean materialism has a metaphysics. I'm with Rudolf Otto: "There can be no religion without metaphysics."

    To me secularism.The fact that some secular philosophies may include virtue component does not make them a "faith, " nor does it make them a religion. Which is which is I disagree with the "similar virtues" approach of the OP to establishing a basis for interfaith. I suspect a lot of being would agree with the idea of showing kindness without ever thinking about theology. They just consider it a given that one should try to help when you can.

    There's a distinction between theological beliefs and ethical commitments. One does not necessarily imply the other. We can't make too many inferences about theology on the basis of ethics alone.

    Why?
     

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