purpose through it all.....

Discussion in 'Belief and Spirituality' started by Lot, Sep 29, 2006.

  1. Lot

    Lot New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2006
    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    0
    I grew up a babtist. I've been to other denominations as well. I've had long conversations with mormons and jehova's wittnesses. I do read and study and observe as much as I can.

    I see how every denomination carries a different twist, or belief, and I think I've come to the realization that these places are for the purpose of fellowship alone. Sure, you can be taught, and learn from them as well, but your education will be bias towards all other denominations and religious structures. Why must there be division? If God is eternally the same, how is it that his followers, his childeren, stand divided? I hate that idea.

    So I looked to the bottom of my heart, and the core of all religions and came up with the most important truth I could find.

    Simply, a relationship.

    Some of us have a relationship with a girlfriend or wife. Childeren and parents. Friends. Our lives are dominated with relationships. We have feelings for these people. Hopes. desires. Dreams.

    What if the only thing God wants of us is a reletionship with him?
    Could this be the 'point' of religons? Of faith?

    I think so.
     
  2. Terrence

    Terrence New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2006
    Messages:
    231
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hey Lot,

    Have you been watching Oprah? You can feel that way and be driven by your heart's emotions, as many others do. Or, you can do what many do, namely, go by their religous text. I'm one of those "crazy" Bible believing Chrisitian fanatics that believe the Bible, and so I go by the Bible. In the Bible, God says that He does want to have a relationship with people. However, He being God, wants the relationship His way and He has made His way through His Son, Jesus. According to the Bible, there is no way to get to God but by Jesus the Son of God.
     
  3. taijasi

    taijasi GnĊthi seauton

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2004
    Messages:
    2,640
    Likes Received:
    6
    :) Thank you, Lot. This is simple, it is beautiful, and it is true. We need more of this.

    Love and Light,

    andrew
     
  4. China Cat Sunflower

    China Cat Sunflower Nimrod

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2005
    Messages:
    2,924
    Likes Received:
    10
    Step 1. Condescension and ridicule.

    Step 2. Guilt tripping.

    Step 3. Threat of eternal damnation.

    Step 4. Repeat.

    According to the Bible God has a thing for foreskins. What's he doing with all those foreskins, making luggage?

    Chris
     
  5. presser_kun

    presser_kun New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2005
    Messages:
    103
    Likes Received:
    0
    Lot, I grew up as a Southern Baptist -- I'm guessing that that's the brand of Baptist you mean, since it's by far the larger of the 26 some odd varieties of Baptists. It can be restrictive.

    But that's one characteristic of all religions, as far as I can see. Restrictions.

    I'm not thinking about dos and don'ts here, but rather the fact that each religion states the correct way to view, understand, and relate to God.

    Would that we could make things as simple as you put it. But it doesn't seem to be in our human make-up to do that. We restrict ourselves by drawing national boundaries, and define ourselves by those restrictions.

    Here are some other ways in which we restrict ourselves:

    Jew or Greek
    Slave or free
    White/black
    Old/young
    Male/female
    Gay/straight
    Believer/non-believer
    And the list goes on, seemingly forever.

    Using the word restrictive is a bit of a stretch. It's not really meant to cover the meaning I'm giving to it to make my point here.

    Terrence, you restrict yourself to believing only what your religious text says. I'm not saying that's wrong; I'm saying that it's a restriction.

    I don't think we have any religion without restrictions. But I also don't think we have a hope of getting along (i.e., without killing each other) if we don't find a way to listen to each other, to co-exist.

    Karen Armstrong, a former nun and prolific author who has written on all three of the major religious faiths of the world, says (and it's a favorite quote of mine):

    The enemy of peace is certainty.

    She goes on to explain that when one person or group is so certain that they're right, that they have The Truth, then they find little reason to listen to others. Take another step, and you're at the place of saying that there's no reason for The Others to be here (i.e., in our community, or even in our country), or to even exist. Sounds like German thought from the 1930s.

    "Woah," you say. "Are you saying that having definite beliefs leads to things like the Holocaust?"

    No. I'm not.

    What I am saying is that definite belief has to be tempered with understanding, willingness to listen, and recognition that the belief of others is not a threat.

    I've long believed that refusal to listen to other views or God or any other issue is a definite sign of insecurity. If a person is strong in their belief, then they're willing to listen to what others have to say.

    Here's an example of Jesus doing just that. (Note: This is told from memory; please correct any mistakes I've made.)

    He meets a woman who begs for help. Jesus tells her that he was sent only to the lost house of Israel. She tells him that even the dogs get crumbs from the master's table.

    And Jesus changes his mind.

    "Are you kidding me? Jesus changed his mind?"

    No, I'm not kidding. At first, he told her, "No deal; not healing your kid, not helping you out." But after listening to her, he tells her she has faith, and decides to perform the requested healing.

    I think that's a perfect example of how Jesus, in his humanity, grew a little. He learned that day that God had plans for him to speak to more than just Jews.

    I know this will rub my fundamentalist Christian friends (and they are friends) the wrong way. Most of them believe that Jesus was omniscient because he was/is God, and therefore knew all things at all times.

    But before you denounce me as unworthy of your attention, or -- even worse -- only worth talking to because I need to be shown the light, corrected, or set straight, let me ask you if the American Pilgrims wanted to be listened to. Or the ancient, first-century church. Did they want those in power to listen to them?

    Is it wrong to listen? Does a willingness to listen necessarily have to be seen as an attack on one's faith?

    I've rambled on quiet enough. Tell me what you think.

    And thanks for listening.
     
  6. flowperson

    flowperson Oannes

    Joined:
    May 8, 2006
    Messages:
    2,612
    Likes Received:
    2
    Yeah...but the nice thing about this kind of luggage is that you don't have to buy more bags on a trip if you buy too much stuff. It has a built-in feature of being automatically able to expand to five times its original size if necessary.

    flow....:p
     
  7. Lot

    Lot New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2006
    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    0
    What are you trying to say, terrence? I use the bible to learn and study. I go to church when I forget that there is hypocrisy there. At my church. I am just saying that the core, the bottom line, if yiu will, is a simple relationship. Why must it get more complicated than that?

    Your welcome, taijasi. It is a realization that shows how great He is, and it makes me happy.

    Presser Kun. Wow, I feel the exact same way as everything you said. I can see it, playing out in my daily life. And pertaining to anything at all. Not just religion or faith. Thank you.
     
  8. sara[h]ng

    sara[h]ng New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2005
    Messages:
    179
    Likes Received:
    0
    Foreskin luggage. That is out of control. lol

    I have a thing from Edgar Cayce that adds to the relationship idea.

    So you're supposed to 'atone' if you do something bad, right? And mainstream types generally think that that means feel real bad about your action and pray or do something to make up for it or whatever. But what does that really do? Ultimately, it's bad because you're dwelling on something in the past.

    Well what if 'atone' meant, 'at one'? You do something bad and instead of apologizing, you try to be 'at one' with God, a practice which will make you be a better person (by example/diffusion) and making it less likely that you'd do something like that again... That interpretation makes more sense to me.
     
  9. Terrence

    Terrence New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2006
    Messages:
    231
    Likes Received:
    0
    Huh?
     
  10. Snoopy

    Snoopy Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2006
    Messages:
    5,292
    Likes Received:
    22
    This is the dualism, the discrimination that we all have a tendency to use. Is this other person the same or different than me, what label do I put on them to compare them with me and my kind? If you are an X and I am a W that is a source of psychological conflict if not outright war. Labels can be a helpful shorthand but can also create the illusion of differentness and separation. We are all the same really; but if we don't realise this soon we won't be discussing anything on internet forums.

    Snoopy.

    "Some do not understand
    that we are perishing here.
    Those who understand this
    bring to rest their quarrels."
     
  11. InLove

    InLove at peace

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2005
    Messages:
    3,267
    Likes Received:
    4
    Hi, Lot. :) My background and yours are probably pretty similar. And I think you are on to something here. I will always trust that the sacrifice of Christ was meant for those who can accept it. I also trust that He was lifted up in order to draw all people to God. Why? Because God desires a relationship with all of us. I know how that relationship developed for me, but I cannot say exactly how it happens for others. Christ did say that He has "other sheep" about whom we know nothing. We can read that statement strictly within the historical context, but I believe it transcends time and place, as well. After all, if I am to believe that this is the Word of God, then I cannot in good conscience place limits on it when there are things expressed therein which I do not yet fully understand.

    pressor_kun, I haven't ever spoken directly with you, I don't think, but I enjoy reading your posts. So, hi! It is a pleasure to address you now.:)

    I have always loved the passage you refer to here. And whether or not Jesus knew exactly what was going to take place, the important thing is that the message is there for anyone to read.

    I think that the divisions we find in the Bible are put there for a purpose. I believe with all my heart that we are supposed to study the reasons for these divisions. But I think that we often miss the point--hey, it's happened before, right? Right there between the cover of the very same Word.;)

    InPeace,
    InLove
     
  12. InLove

    InLove at peace

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2005
    Messages:
    3,267
    Likes Received:
    4
    Sorry--double posted somehow--deleting.
     
  13. Virtual_Cliff

    Virtual_Cliff New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2004
    Messages:
    388
    Likes Received:
    0
    I was thinking about that verse recently Terrence. "I am the Way the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father but by me."

    I Think it could be understood thus: "I embody the way, the truth and the life. No-one may approach God except by the Way, the Truth, and the Life."

    There is a problem I think in attaching an everlasting promise to a mortal human. After all, Jesus as such is dead. His existence is one with God. His body is not floating around in space. So when he said "I am" I believe he was speaking more in terms of his eternal nature than in his identity as a human being.
     
  14. arthra

    arthra Baha'i

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2003
    Messages:
    3,675
    Likes Received:
    147
    Hey even I "grew up a Baptist"!

    ... but I don't think Jesus is "dead"...

    I think He's spiritually alive and still has an influence...

    Also I don't think He is God. His body was I believe buried in some natural way.

    - Art
     
  15. Virtual_Cliff

    Virtual_Cliff New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2004
    Messages:
    388
    Likes Received:
    0
    I hope I didn't cause offence in saying that. I have to admit that I even pray to Jesus, but in the knowledge that this is to make it easier for me, because there's no way I could ever visualise God.

    I wonder though, if he is not God, as you say, then is he any different to your uncle Bert? Would you pray to Uncle Bert? But my main point was that we should not get hung up on a single human identity, as if God could be limited to that.
     

Share This Page