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Thread: Religion

  1. #11
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    This is so not going how I hoped...

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    Default church lady

    okay okay...my take

    The Church is not brick and mortar
    The Church is all that a brick and morter is not
    The Church is that small voice inside each of us
    Murmuring truth from lies
    Right from wrong
    Good vs evil
    Faith that there is a way to live in this world
    that trancends man made garbage
    and gets to the HEART of the matter
    that being ...LOVE...
    your neighbor, your fellow man, your enemy,
    your community
    and when you do that........anything can happen
    and all of it good ..and you can be at peace!
    thats my story and i'm stickin to it!!

    Mimi

  3. #13
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    I'll share...cause it's been a while.

    I suppose I have a faith with no name. I believe in God, and what the bible represents. I also believe in reincarnation and that there is more than just "heaven" beyond this life. I believe in Love (corny, I know) and that Plato was right about soulmates. I believe things happen for a reason, though it is not usually clear at the time. I also believe that some things just happen...a culmination of miniscule other things (the "Butterfly Effect"/Chaos Theory if you will). Of course, those two beliefs are complimentary. I believe there are forces around us that guide us and watch over us. I'm not sure about Jesus, though I believe he was a real person who was trying to make a difference. I'm not comfortable in some churches because I sometimes feel like I'm being judged (particularly when there are rituals I can't engage in because I'm not a member) even though I'm probably not. I don't feel like I'm missing out, most of the time, but I do like the sense of community that a church usually has.

    Hmmm....it was an interesting experience to write this, because I don't think I've ever really thought about it specifically. Thanks, Carol, for posing the question!


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    Thanks, Mimi.

    Thanks, Carey.

    I think you hit the nail on the head when you said that you felt judged, whether or not you were. What is it about our nature that does that to us? I mean, religion is supposed to be this welcoming, all-inclusive force and sometimes it's just the opposite. Try living in the South and having some religious inclination at all - I want to wear a t-shirt that says "I'M NOT LIKE THEM!!!" Maybe it's because 'the church' is so fragmented that we now associate accents with denominations or sects? I don't know. I just have too many questions. Way too many questions, and the people I'd most like to ask probably aren't up for the discussion.

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    Default what??

    well, how do you know unless you engage them ?

    But thats what im saying about the mortar and bricks ..when its organized to that point, it (meaning spirituality) becomes mans thing,
    UNLESS we simple back off of our own egos ,
    i prefer to use the tree in my backyard as my "church" i find communicating with God , life force, whatEVER you want to call that greater power, is so much more fulfilling that way.
    and as for community...welcome to the Church of Tweleve!!
    A caring loving group of people who really TRY to make their peers feel good about themselves.
    Can't beat that!!

    Mims

  6. #16
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    Default religion

    Spiderman, I'm sorry if I took off on the wrong angle for you on this. It is an extremely delicate and important position and not something easy to write into words. There is a whole book dedicated to this effort and unfortunately, many people use it to pound others over the head with it.

    The spoiler I put in was meant to let you know I felt you "already get the picture" and its just that you need to sit back and enjoy it instead of trying analyze it to make it fit into your brain pockets. There is nothing extreme about God and the work he set forth for Jesus to do. Its a simple story with a life-changing physical attempt to draw you back to your creator.
    There is nothing to analyze, my dear spiderman, all you have to do is know you are LOVED and if you are the person inside your heart that has this you will extend it to others. It was meant to spread to the world, not keep it to yourself.

    Once when Jesus was asked (I'm gonna use my words some here) "Which of the 10 commandments was the most important?" Jesus knew he was being given a trick question. He told them he was going to add an 11th commandment and that you could "hang" all the other commandments on this one statement. He told them to "love your neighbor as yourself." Its just LOVE Carol. Nothing hard about love unless you're the one they are hanging on a cross because you show them you care. Nothing hard about it unless they spit in your face because you care or they beat you with whips because you healed them from all manner of illnesses, feed thousands of people daily with miracles, and even raised their deceased loved ones back to life. Is that not enough? How about you let them hang you on that cross, take your life, drive a spear through your side,
    take your wordly possessions (clothes, shoes, etc.) and divide the up through their greed while you watch from your cross, and oh, how about let your mother witness the whole thing. How about if you die yourself and come back to life. Maybe they will believe you then...

    Can you think of anything that wasn't done to him? Why. Why would He do this? Because the most painful thing you will ever feel in life is Love. If it is taken from you that is. Just ask Jodi, my sister (who lost her husband Christmas day) or anyone who has lost Love. Take God (Love) from your life and its a dark, gloomy day and the sun will refuse to shine. The clouds will turn to darkness and you will look up to God and say, "It is finished, I command my Spirit to you!!!!" Are there any of us who does not yearn for those we love who have passed on? God does the same thing. When we leave him, he yearns for us. He could with a snap of His fingers or speak a word, and the miracle will happen. But He doesn't operate that way. He made us a free, moral, agent. He let's us decide. Just the way we have to let our Children decide.

    Ah, but the trick here is God first loved us. We were the ones who by natured turn our backs on Him. But He needs us back because his days become gloomy and He desires mankind (who is capable of imaging all manner of evil in their hearts) just as we desire our own Children to love us and be a part of our lifes forever. Then He does things to woo them back to Him. He sets up a plan of Salvation. A Great Plan that will be so simple, that the scholars of the world will make difficult to understand. But a little child or a "wayfaring" man will understand it. Its simplicity will confuse them.

    Buy how are they going to do this thing? From the beginning, God said to "someone" let us make man in OUR image. Who was He talking to?
    Two other beings. There is a trinity. Three heads (if you will) to govern our world. This confuse you?

    If we are made in His image, what does that mean? You and I are a Trinity as well. You have a Body (represented by Jesus), you have a Spirit (represented by the Holy Spirit) and you have a Soul (represented by God.) The Body will take the same path that Jesus took. It will die, but will be given an immortal body to live in in the Spirit world. It is in this body that you spend time making your decision whether to Live or Die. The Spirit on the other hand is free willed. It roams over the face of the Earth and is void and without form, until it decides which Father it wants to follow (God or Satin). Finally we have the Soul. It had
    something breathed into it that gave it eternal Life and it came directly from God himself. It was the breath of Life. God breathed into "man" and he became a living Soul. (Not a living human, here, but a living Soul)
    Why a Soul? Because the Soul is something spiritual and will live for eternity because God put it into you. Without it, you would just die on this earth and not go farther to see God. God is Spirit and must be worshiped in Spirit. We cannot please God in the flesh. It is a Spiritual thing.
    Ok if we are fleshly, how are we gonna become Spiritual in this body, which is doomed to die. (Know anyone who got out of this world without dying? No and you won't, not even Jesus himself.) So, if we become Spiritual, how is that gonna take place? To become part of the "Family" of God, you are going to have to create a Spiritual place on Earth to bring them to you. He created a place called the Church, (the Bride of Christ) and something he will return to this Earth to retrieve. The new Spiritual Children of God will enter the Spiritual world through the new mother's womb, the Church. But you cannot do anything physical to earn this birth. It is strictly base on Faith. You can't buy into it with money.
    What is faith? Faith is the SUBSTANCE (or physical thing) of things HOPED FOR, and the EVIDENCE (proof) of things UNSEEN. By Faith, you are saved, not works (lest any man shall boast). God counts your Faith as rightenouss. Faith is your SUBSTANCE for what you are HOPING FOR (eternal life) and will be the PROOF of what you cannot see now, but will be made manifest in the SPIRIT someday.
    But Carol, dear heart, theological issues like this will only cause you to Doubt, unless you seek hard enough into the Scriptures. The world will through much doubt your way. I like you analyze everything to death.
    But, through studying God's word, I went into it tryig to dispell some of it. What I found that it drove me deeper and deeper into my belief. I could write a Book, my dear, but God has already done that for us. Is it possible our God is to intelligent that he could make us a master plan that would save the world and it could be done with one element? LOVE. He came Himself, in the form of His Son, and sacrificed Himself to draw us back to him. I can't emphasize the word LOVE enough.
    If you want to crack it open and dig it to pieces until you find the blood, go ahead. You will find that too. But, it doesn't get any more simple than that.

    Shewwwwwww. Carol. I hope you got something out of my words because I don't take the time to put it into words often. Because, there are many among us who know just enough to make it difficult. Kinda like knowing how to use the computer, but not enough to program?...

    Sometimes, when you have studied as deep as I have, its hard to convey to others what you have gleaned from your studies of the Scriptures.
    I must tell you that I prayed before I started this, so I hope God has touched you with these words and let you know He LOVES you dear. These things I have written are from my heart and I felt Love towards you as I typed them. I pray they do not offend anyone, but it not my plan of Salvation. It is His. Everyone must take this issue up with God himself. I'm grounded, I'm convinced I'm in. It's my ROCK.

    When Jesus ask Simon (who's names was changed to Peter) "who do you say I am?" Peter answered and said, "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the Living God." Jesus said to Peter, "Flesh and blood has not revealed this thing to you, but my Father, who is in Heaven. From this Rock (Peter's Faith), Jesus said he would build his Church and the gates of Hell would not prevail against it. From that point on, Simon's name was changed to Peter, which means Rock. It is the cornerstone that the builders rejected. The Jew already belong to God. They have nothing to do to belong to him. He chose them. But temporarily their eyes are blinded and their rejection opens the plan of salvation up to the rest of the world.

    You will figure it out, just keep searching. He is seeking you out and drawing you. I hope you find that peace that passes all understanding. Love and Prayers, Peg.
    Dreams really do come true!

  7. #17
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    Now THIS is what I had hoped for. Thank you Peg, for taking the time to write that, and for offering your views so freely. Both are a gift and I take them as such.

    First things first - I didn't take offense to your earlier post. Not at all. I just didn't want what I wrote to be construed as a "gee I'm great" thing because that's not how I meant it.

    I agree wholeheartedly that God is rooted in love. It IS that simple. I get that. What I'm struggling with goes past the spiritual faith. I get lost in the politics that kept some books from the Bible, or that squashed discussions hundreds of years ago that might have changed the course of our beliefs today. It's the people, Peg, that confuse me. Not God!

    I'm reconciling acts of people in the church with religion. You know, those so-called holy people who drop acid with, or rape, their parishioners? The ones who molest their children and pray while they're doing it, or who force their children to learn scriptures in an attempt to stall puberty? The ones who are so famous in the South for tele-evangelism and overdone makeup? The ones who end up in jail for doing the very things they admonished on last week's telecast?

    It's the people, Peg, that keep me up at night. All those people who make destructive choices, but who have plenty of reason to self destruct. When should we give up on them? Ever? What I don't understand is how people can call themselves Christians and not offer more of themselves to comfort the people who need our affection. The addicts who try to dull memories, the homeless who fled the beatings, the sick. How can the Bible call these people 'the least' when they are just people? What WAS that? I don't understand that. Respect the burden, indeed. I am fed up with so-called Christians who will support the people within their own walls but who will not extend a hand to those folks outside of their church family. How is that possible? How can you claim to be a Christian and not offer God's love to everybody?

    Peg, when I say that I'm at a cross-roads, it's not that I'm searching for faith. I most definitely know grace, and I find it in very simple things. My confusion, if you will, goes far beyond that. If we are to respect others as part of God's family, does that not require us to also respect their views and choices? I should equally respect Muslims, agnostics, and Jews, right? I am fortunate enough to be in a city where there are thousands of languages spoken, and dozens, if not hundreds, of religions and denominations. We are one of the most peacefully diverse places on earth, and I treasure that exposure. I find it most interesting, and completely downheartening, that some people do not.

    Living in the heart of the Bible belt, you feel pressure to belong to a church. "Hi, nice to meet you. Where do you go to church?" We have zoning laws that try to curb urban sprawl here - on our major thoroughfares only two types of non-dwelling structures are allowed: banks and houses of God. Within 5 miles of my house, I can find at least 25 churches. (no exaggeration.)

    So in this environment, why are we not doing more to help others? Our city votes democrat most of the time, so I can't say that it's a political issue necessarily. I just think people are indifferent. You know the syndrome where nobody will help in an emergency if there are too many people in the room? People assume others will help, and so the crisis only escalates. That's where we are right now, I think. The same few people continuously give, and the masses let it go. I simply cannot reconcile the many gated communities here with the need for TRIAGE at Crisis Assistance!

    The opposite of love is not hate, Peg. It's indifference. It scares me to death. So by starting this thread, I wasn't looking argue God, per se, but rather host a discussion about why we do what we do. My Sunday School class is self taught, and not one of us sits there without speaking. It is very much a forum for debate, and I really appreciate the different views. I operate by gathering opinions, checking out the facts, and then throwing in intuition when nothing else works. I suppose I'm still gathering opinions on this one, and was wondering how other people handle their faith and belief. I guess this is too personal for most, though.

    But thanks, Peg, for all that you gave me this morning. I appreciate it more than you'll know.

    Carol

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    Default well

    If I know anything at all its that Spidees faith is intact,
    the post was "share your views!!"

    MiMs

  9. #19
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    It's all good, Mimi. And don't think I missed your double entendre with Church of Tweleve... Thanks for your support as always.

    Carol

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    You should definitely ask!! Those who "aren't up for the discussion" are missing the whole point. Those of us who have come to faith are commissioned by Christ himself to spread the news. If that means a discussion with someone who has tough questions, that's what it means. I have acquaintances who ask hard questions, and I don't always have the answers, but I love the chance to talk with them and say "I'll find out."

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