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  1. 2 points
    I know the feeling Lani and I felt very much the same when I was going through my period of anxiety and depression (which coincided with my kids being about 2 & 4). My wife was also experiencing post natal depression and we didn't recognize it for that until she sought help. I know there can be a stigma associated with depression/anxiety but I would encourage you to consider talking to a professional if that might be a possibility. There's nothing wrong with that and both my wife and I found such a process exceptionally beneficial. I am not saying that is your predicament, but it could possibly be feeding into your anxiety about your children. I don't know where I read it and I have since had trouble locating it, but I remember reading a a story around that time that I found particularly comforting. It went along the lines of this: A distraught mother had her three young toddlers in a bath, preparing to drown them. She was distraught with the thought that if she didn't raise them properly that they might not 'choose Jesus' and would go to Hell. She thought it better to kill them now as innocents so that they would see heaven, than take the chance of raising them and they possibly end up in Hell. In distress at the thought of killing her kids the woman cried out to Jesus saying "please don't let me do this - take my life instead and spare my children - grant them life with you". To this Jesus replied "Woman, if I loved you so much that I was prepared to die for you, do you really think I could allow you or your children to be separated from me". Now I could have the story wrong (wherever it was written) but that's how I remember it. For me personally, it just made me think that if there is anything 'existential' or 'spiritual' to our existence, whatever it is can only be a good thing in the end rather than a harmful thing. If my kids (or I) get it wrong in our tiny blip of an existence on an eternal timeline, then I'm certain that whatever 'higher power' might possibly exist, it would understand. This in turn has allowed me to better accept the day to day. I ponder spirituality and religion, as I do life in general, however i feel no compulsion to 'get it right' or for my kids to. In the end, they will simply work out for themselves what works for them. Sure, guidance is important in life, and opening up our children's minds to the possibilities of all things (not just the spiritual) is a burden that all parents practice to different degrees, but I rest easy knowing that what works for them, will be what works for them. I hope I make some sort of sense. Cheers Paul
  2. 1 point
    Hi Burl, I've only recently found this forum, and this set of lectionaries. I enjoyed reading them from the beginning, including your attempts to stimulate discussion. Having recently grappled (unsuccessfully) with biblical hermeneutics, I was interested in exploring interpretations from a PC standpoint, and many of the readings are precisely the ones that both resonate with me and seem to be ignored or misinterpreted, in my opinion, by many Christians. But I noticed some changes occurred as I progressed through the thread. The discussions have ceased, and the bible version seems to have changed to a modern, 'easy-to-read' one that incorporates its own interpretation, rather than inviting one. Are both of these changes intentional or incidental? Are you still attempting to stimulate discussion, or is this serving a different purpose? I wonder if there are some further details you could offer in your introduction regarding what you hope to achieve here... Previous discussions seemed to get caught up in the idea of an 'original version' of the writings, and the assumption that when one offers their opinion they are trying to persuade others to agree with them. There is a tendency for those 'discussing' to attempt to provide some kind of solid, widely accepted basis for their opinion - but the problem is that no such solid ground exists in spirituality, so this seems a pointless exercise to me. All we can do is share our own subjective experience of the text (which in itself is an attempt to share subjective experience and form a basis of 'truth'), and recognise that there is no 'truth' or 'fact' - only an interconnection of a variety of experiences. Perhaps 'debate' is not how we should approach this particular thread, although I am not so naive as to think it can be avoided completely. I like BillM's idea: perhaps this is an opportunity to offer our personal interpretation of how a particular reading resonates with our own lives and our understanding of Progressive Christianity, of 'God' and of our experiences with traditional Christianity. Maybe we can enter discussions in this thread acknowledging that: - there is no 'correct' or 'original' wording or interpretation of scripture that can be agreed upon; - any interpretation of scripture is a personal one, based on the sum of our own personal experiences including what we think we know; - all we can offer to these discussions is opinion and personal experience, not facts, evidence or truth. Or perhaps I am being too naive...
  3. 1 point
    Hello my name is Lani, i was raised a Baptist church that spent a lot of time talking about hell. This caused a lot of anxiety in me as a child and teenager. I left the church at 14 years old. I am now 30 and going thru quite profound change and existential crisis. I am a social worker/psychologist and mother of 2 little boys. I am searching and looking for a community this fits. I stumbled across this webpage and the 8 points of progressive Christianity really resonate with me. I look forward to touching base with everyone and learning about this emerging faith.
  4. 1 point
    My name is Scott. I am a Christian. I have a great deal of experience with the spirit world and have acquired insight through personal revelations. I have witnessed many truths in the Holy Bible. And, I have discovered that the Churches also fall short of the glory of God. Also, I do believe that our walk in Christ is an important part of our faith. Thank you.
  5. 1 point
    Somehow the act of attempting to educate yourself on quantum physics makes it not understandable.
  6. 1 point
    I have shared my testimony on other forums of the internet. But wish to share it here as an introduction to some of my experiences and beliefs. When I was a 9 year old boy and loving the Lord, I saw Jesus in all white, dressed as a shepherd on the wing of an airplane while it was still boarding. I erroneously thought someone was playing a trick on me to make me become highly religious. Then I became agnostic and got lost for 35 years. I began hearing, seeing, wrestling with the unseen and witnessing powers of the invisible spirit world. Evil spirits had come into my life as a consequence of my sin. I nearly died at the hands of these spirits - both human and demon alike. I've noticed the humans lose their family and friends. They are scattered throughout the netherworld. They have anger and hatred in their hearts. They are masters at the art of deception. Their evil shall not stop without divine intervention and restoration of the soul. They thirst for all that only a most loving Creator can give them. I've discovered that it is the human condition that we are evil and wicked without God in the afterlife. The soul is in ruins and in need of salvation - divine restoration of the soul. Father God reached out to me and I heard Him say, "the battle against good and evil has been here since the beginning of time." God battles evil by salvaging souls through His Son, Jesus Christ. The Father's voice sounds of greatness not of this world. The room was filled with an ancient scent from a world long ago. God had done this to let me know that He was there in the beginning of man's time. I suffered at the hands of these evil spirits for 7 years until I learned that they were real and hence Jesus as well. This is how Jesus had found me to begin my undeserving vocation to be an adopted child of God. He left the flock to find that one lost sheep when I saw Him on the wing of that airplane 35 years earlier. I prayed to Jesus that He would not leave me here to be evil like these spirits. He put my deceased mother behind me. And the most loving scent of her holding me in her bosom as a small child came over me. Jesus had done this to let me know it was her. He was letting me know that I would be with my mom and that He would deliver me from this evil condition known as hell. I asked Jesus who these spirits were persecuting me. He told me through the Spirit of truth that they were the dead. I could see that they were lost and inquired about them going to heaven. Jesus had sent down the Holy Spirit stopping in front of me and pointing at me. He was telling me that I would make atonement for them. And that He would forgive them of their sins and deliver them into heaven. Jesus is mighty to save. Later, I had a dream were Jesus had removed the anger and hatred from these poor souls hearts. He was informing me that the work for atonement had been done. Then, with His powers going through me, He changed them back because the work could not be accepted until the door to my hearing and seeing them was closed. I am currently working on this. Also, an angel made himself known to me. I've had many dreams and visions, some arranged by God and by the powers of the higher angels, guiding me away from sin, in truth, toward salvation. I thank God for my sufferings and wisdom gained. I am looking forward to being with God in heaven, seeing these spirits restored, and seeing my mom again.
  7. 1 point
    One of the Lindau gospels.
  8. 1 point
    I think you make a good point Burl - indeed perhaps those two commandments were unnecessary. Well, obviously the author or translator thought they were necessary when they wrote them, but of course a couple of thousand plus years on and such commandments may indeed require questioning. Along with a few of the others I would say that many Christians are stuck on insisting are commands from God and not man. It's even possible the lack of serious contemplation or deeper thought is actually the error of the one who states proudly that they know these are God's commandments. A bit like a beef stew that does seem to have flavour, it's just that the flavour is artificial - not that that bothers the consumer of course.
  9. 1 point
    A spin-off from the Theism-thread. Let's make this a thread of it's own for more input on the topic: I would be more welcoming for the idea of re-inventing Christianity, if I saw it work in practice the way it's supposed to work. The reality in practice for kicking God out of the church doesn't seem to live up to the promise. The State Church in my country has pretty much done this, embraced the liberal, moralism-focused, humanistic, downtuned-in-supernatural - version of Christianity, and has done a lot to distance itself from more "judgy" branches of Christianity and yet that has done nothing to help the decline in numbers, the decline has continued steady. Also, a necessary note, we are here talking about a phenomenon that is massive in scale, one that is a (maybe even "the") defining phenomenon of our time in the West, so trying to summarize it to be a result of any one factor risks being a grotesque oversimplification. Historically speaking, social and cultural changes of this scale are always very complex in detail, and tend to have many overlapping dimensions going on simultaneously within them. Personally, I have been interested in the phenomenon and studied it a bit and it seems to me that the standard reaction from Christians, when it's brought up, is the blame game. "It's the other team who's ruining this thing". I think such hijacking of the phenomenon for a propaganda weapon against some other versions of Christianity is not a particularly good approach. The statistical reality seems to be that to much of my dislike - may I add - it actually seems to be the more fundamentalist - leaning branches of Christianity that have survived the process better than the more liberal ones. Historically, The United States decline of Christianity, that seemingly begun in 90's, is a curious phenomenon. In Europe, the churches used to be part of the old order, they were the trusted allies of the monarchies who ruled the continent for centuries, and when Europeans finally kicked the kings down from their thrones, their allies, the churches (perhaps deservedly) got their status damaged in the process too and apparently have never really recovered from the blow. On the other hand, Christianity in the United States never had this problem, due to it's historical lack of state religion, and for a long time it seemed to make an exception in the western world. But, that too is now changing, for reasons which remain a bit of a mystery to me. I have some theories, but they're little more than guesses.
  10. 1 point
    Branching off from our thread on Agnosticism, I've wondered what it would take for me to be a theist again. Back when I was a theist, I was an external theist. In other words, I believed in God because of what the bible said, or what the Church said, or what Christianity said. A good, common definition of a theist is someone who believes in God as a supernatural being who is personally involved in our lives. I believed that way for many years, yet, in hindsight, I found little evidence that God personally loved me or that he listened to and answered my prayers or that he had some kind of great and wonderful plan for my life. In fact, I left theism because the evidence for such a God was so paltry. So what would it take for me to be a theist again? I guess it would have to take mystical theism. I mean, consider the mystics in the bible. God personally appears to Abraham and Moses and speaks to them (according to the biblical record). God personally appears to Jesus, talks to him, answers his prayers. Jesus, who is God in Christendom, personally appears to Saul and speaks to him. Nothing in these theistic accounts is "hearsay." These people claimed to experience the personal, living God. And these experiences changed them. That's what I would need in order to be a theist again. I'm not going to trust in hearsay. If God is truly personal (as theists claim he is), then he should personally appear and speak to me. There should be some evidence that convinces me that he exists and is real, at least as a "person" (or three persons as Christians say he is). I'm 58 now. To date, God is a no-show for me. As a theist, I had to trust the testimonies and experiences of others. No longer. I won't hold to second-hand faith. I tend to believe the adage, "The invisible and the unreal often look pretty much the same."
  11. 1 point
    Praying for the sick and going to doctor is not what I meant by supernatural-free theistic practice. That would be a perfect mix of both, natural life and pursuit for supernatural, the ideal way imho. I've met lots of Christians who don't believe that God heals, and don't pray for it. Just for an example. But again, I live in a rather secular place, so I might be biased to think that Christians generally are more rationalists than they globally speaking might be. Now that I think of it, maybe there is not a fundamental distinction, but rather the difference is in intensity. Or in the level of expectation in how much God is supposed to be interested in interventions. Let's take another example from our conversations earlier and use the trinity - doctrine as an example. Supernatural-including version of practice would be there to assume that God will somehow give a mystic understanding of it through faith. Therefore the fact that the doctrine on the surface-level is somewhat irrational, wouldn't be a problem, if there were a path to find a spiritual, mystical knowledge of this seemingly irrational doctrine. A supernatural free version would either 1) confess it as a blind faith - kind of a thing, it just is so without any explanation or 2) would seek to correct the seeming irrationality of it by ditching the doctrine. In my opinion, if all supernatural interventionism is rejected, faith becomes a rather authoritarian concept where things are just believed because someone says so and that's it. I find mysticism to be much more satisfying version of religion, the one I find most worthy of practicing. In mysticism, things that make little rational sense can be often understood in spirit, through personal revelation, kind of as a series of mini-enlightenments. It's neither blind faith on authority, nor figuring religion out rationally. It's just playing on an alternative playfield. I can accept that I don't understand some things I believe in with my brain, but mysticism provides me with an an alternative way, to seek to understand them through personal spiritual revelation.
  12. 1 point
    That was the point ... even today people like Spong are taken as atheists as they do not have a literal belief. Did Spong and others start off with a literal belief? Is this metaphorical interpretation a post hoc belief? Was it for you? Personally I never had a literal Christian belief. Yes we all are to some degree indoctrinated in our beliefs ... I cannot choose to be a Buddhist at least not in this moment. But because of the new insights and better education fewer people have this desire for faith. It is difficult to be indoctrinated into faith when those around you are faithless. At university very few of my associates were religious and if they were it did not show. At work (in a science and engineering type world) there were fewer religious people so it was more difficult to pick up this religion meme. And finally they are not my points ... Those points were a distillation of what some religious scholars/investigators believe we can reliably ascribe to Jesus. There are a large handful. You can find the complete list here.
  13. 1 point
    This. I don't think that this is the stance of Christianity, but I do think that it is the truth to which Jesus pointed. God's Presence doesn't descend from the sky. Rather, it is in each of us. Being spiritual doesn't mean being above the world in order to escape it. Rather, it means going deeper into the world to connect, love and transform it. God is not found in temples, books, or institutions. Rather, God is discovered, recognized, and celebrated in each other. Namaste.
  14. 1 point
    In the interest of full disclosure, I was one of the ones who, a few years back, did not care for the 8-Points removing God-language from their tenets, and I said so. My thinking at the time was, "God was at the center of Jesus' life and teachings, so how can we remove something Jesus believed in and experienced, and still call ourselves Christians?" My thinking has changed since then. It will, no doubt, continue to do so. So I reserve the right to change my mind. Nevertheless: All words are human words. None of them are divine, as such, at least not in the way that most religions teach (from the mouth of God). We are the ones who fill these combinations of vowels and consonants with meaning. This is especially true with the words that we have elevated to divine status, such as 'God', 'Jesus', 'Spirit', 'Bible', etc. I doubt that our human propensity to idolize and worship words can be helped. We are, by nature, meaning-seeking and meaning-making creatures, and these words are boiler-plates that we use to categorize our best understandings or descriptions of our deepest meanings. But the fact of the matter is that the word 'God' means a lot of different things to a lot of different people. There is a sense in which I don't believe in the same 'God' now as I did when I was younger. God may not (or may) change, but my understandings and experiences of God certainly have. Knowing this, I was wrong to be dogmatic on who/what God is. Jesus was, no doubt, a Jew, a first century Jew. It is very doubtful that his understanding of God has much to do with the popular Christian concept of God. Which brings me to my conclusion. We have no concrete knowledge of anything. All we have available to us is our concepts. I think some concepts are better than others, that some concepts of God are better than others. But I think we should hold to these concepts lightly and be ready to modify them if necessary. It is much the same with the word 'Christian'. I no longer wear the label because, in the West, a Christian is someone who holds to the Creeds, which mention nothing Jesus taught. I still respect Jesus greatly and endeavor to live out his humanistic teachings, although I reject the mythical aspects that, IMO, have grown up around him. So I doubt I would fit most people's definition of 'Christian.' And that's okay. It is just a human word. If I'm defined these days, it is by my actions, not by my beliefs. I still have my own thoughts about 'God', but they belong to me and are not binding on anyone else.
  15. 1 point
    In the NT, it seems like the standard communication method is "feeling something in ones spirit", visions and dreams, though. Like f.e. Peter on the roof having the animal vision, or Paul seeing a vision of a Macedonian man asking him to come over etc. The quotes make my posts look much longer than they actually are I am dealing with a similar conflict myself. The God I know through experience and intuitions etc. seems to be much more of a peaceful, understanding and a nice guy than the God of the Bible, especially the OT one. On the other hand, especially teachings of Paul and some teachings of Jesus heavily resonate with me. So, I am caught in-between of Christianity and something else that I can't quite define. I have tried other religions, it doesn't work, too much of the Bible is indeed my religion and I lose that if I try any other approach. Right now I feel like I'm too Christian to be anything else, but not Christian enough to be a proper Christian either.
  16. 1 point
    I too believe Christianity 'overstepped' when trying to come to terms with the divinity/humanity of Jesus. I think it was a human effort gone wrong; I think believers, Church leaders and thinkers were trying to 'capture' or say something about this man in whom they 'experienced' God and lost their way. They were limited by their worldview, by Greek philosophy and by the desire to head off what they seriously thought was wrong opinion. However, harm was done, yet one wonders if Christianity would have made any impact if not for them. I agree that the theophany is and continues to be a stumbling block yet many theologians and thinkers have moved to the ideas that we 'are born to be' the manifestations or embodiments of Divinity. And realizing and living out this reality would/could be incredibly transformative. As to the idea of God doing something about suffering and death in the world, I accept that the latter is inevitable since we are mortal. It is the former, especially the undeserved tragic suffering (cf. Wendy Farley) that is the issue for many. Following others but especially influenced by Farley, I believe she has hit on something important and I believe you have hit on it too: Love which created and by its very nature must 'step back' is immanent, impacting creation. However, that Love must be incarnated or embodied in and through humanity to heal (very broadly understood) and effect a change in the 'undeserved tragic suffering' that robs us of our 'humanity' before death takes us. Source will follow soon.
  17. 1 point
    Hello, others on a journey. I'm an older, ex-clergy, in need of others with which to share and walk. For many years I tried, mainly without success, of changing churches from within and am now only on the 'edges' of local churches. I've written a bit (CHURCHES: A Time To Die - Hope For New Life) and do speaking where I'm invited. But with my book out, I rarely get the chance to speak at churches. I take 'The Kingdom of God' very seriously, knowing that what Jesus said and did CAN happen. Nothing else for me really matters. The world now needs real SHARING that only love brings, no matter how God is understood. If this isn't the basis for understandings, they need be discarded, NOW. I live near Kingston, Ontario, Canada. Are there any nearby who'd like to meet? Of course, any, anywhere are welcome to meet me here. Thanks for your time. Live well and love more by sharing.
  18. 1 point
    My son was "warned" at his place of employment that the end was nigh. I've lived long enough to see this kind of thing come around and around every few years. In fact, when I was very young, the film "A Thief in the Night" (about the rapture) scared the dickens out of me, so much so that I questioned my salvation and rightness with God for quite a while. As PaulS pointed out, even Jesus taught that he would return in his generation to establish the kingdom of God on earth. So far, he is still a "no show". Personally, I have no need or use for fear-based religion and, perhaps like you, Joseph, I would simply wait for the steam to run out. To me, there is no sense in arguing with those caught up in end-of-the-world scenarios or fear-based faith. Fear is seldom rational. To me, if/when the end does come, it will be due to our own short-sightedness as human beings or due to the natural course of nature (our sun becoming a red giant). I no longer fear or expect God's intervention.
  19. 1 point
    I wonder if people of an eastern culture would pick up a book by a 'Bob' or indeed a "Joseph' or 'Derek' and think that the author's name sounds more 'sage-like' than what they're familiar with such as Wei Wu Wei?
  20. 1 point
    On the original/earlier Wiki page for ignosticism there was a position quoted along the lines that words should be defined otherwise conversations would not be meaningful. I must admit I tend to agree. Now there are many words used here in these threads that seem to mean slightly different things to different people and at times seem at odds to my trusty Oxford Concise (trust me you would not want have Concise dropped on your bare feet). Some of these words include: Divine/divinity Transcendence/transcend/transcendent Immaterial God Holy Spirit/Spiritual ... OK this has been done before Grace Now I may add some other words as they crop up but I would be interested in people's succinct definitions for each these. I am not expecting agreement but just a sense of how people use these words. Thanks in advance rom
  21. 1 point
    Over the last three or so years, I've noticed an alarming trend with religious social conservatives in the internet; these people have begun to adapt increasingly anti-democratic ideals and narratives, and seem to have found their new global hero in Russian president Vladimir Putin. At first this seemed to me like a random fringe phenomenon, but especially with Americans (where there are particularly lots of religious social conservatives) this seems to be on it's way to become the new mainstream of social conservatism. Lately also media has begun to pay more attention to this, which has convinced me that this is happening for real, and it's not just my bad luck of running into this Putin-conservatism. My thoughts on what is happening with religious conservatives: 1) The repeated losses at culture wars are taking their toll. Whenever the religious social conservatives have tried to push the culture backwards in the democratic world, they have usually failed in the end. I believe that this repeated losing has alienated religious conservatives, not just from the mainstream culture, but from the ideals of democracy as it seems to favor their perceived enemies. Why would they continue loving democracy, since it seems to place secular and liberal ideals at power? By contrast, when the conservatives look at Russia, where the cultural clock has been seemingly successfully turned backwards (feminist protesters at church are jailed, gay activism has been banned, even beating ones wife has become less of a serious crime and so on), they realize that conservatism can win, just not in a democratic context. This is actually a centuries old European idea made new; The church wanting a Christian king to rule a nation, in order to keep the nation Christian. 2) The massive information - and critical thinking - vacuum created by anti-intellectualism and anti-journalism by social conservatives has effectively made the whole group intellectually helpless sitting ducks for ruthless propaganda efforts, like the ones taken in recent years by Russian government. Conservative anti-intellectualist efforts have left the group as a whole with no way of sorting the credible news from mere propaganda and thus, they will end up believing the propaganda of Putin's Russia being the promised land of religious conservatism. Not unlike the western workers of the old world believed Soviet Union being the mythical paradise of the working class. Thoughts? Observations?
  22. 1 point
    Well done. We are not aware of things which we definitively know or have mastered. Our nose is in our visual range, but we are not cognitively aware of it because cognition is unnecessary so the brain habituates to it and deletes itbfrom perception. We can drive for miles without thinking about it, and muscle memory works without cognition. Autonomic functions, reactions, dreams, and archetypal structures are also subconscious. The very presence of consciousness indicates someting unknown or unfamiliar.
  23. 1 point
    If this was proposed by some serious leader, it would be worth analyzing the pro's and con's of the decision from the military point of view. But, in this case, given the character and the track record of the current US president, the default assumptions should be that 1) The actual facts and the real world consequences on the matter have not been given any serious thought 2) The motive behind the announcement is something else than what it is claimed to be 3) The timing of the announcement is likely a product of entirely short-term political reasons and 4) At least something related to the announcement itself is either completely untrue or at the very least, presented in a hugely misleading fashion. Those factors have been true for about everything done by pres. Trump so far, so until proven otherwise, those factors should be assumed to be true in this case as well. And due to this, I don't have much of a motivation to try to analyze the issue itself in terms of actual military realities, since the actual military realities are most likely irrelevant for the decision making process behind this. I would rather analyze this in terms of political image building, as an attempt to control the media attention or very simply as a yet another petty decision to reverse something Obama has done, rather than as a fact-based military decision, since those are more likely the actual reasons behind this announcement.
  24. 1 point
    For me: Acceptance: Understanding things could not be otherwise, despite the many alternatives we can imagine for the past, present and future.
  25. 1 point
    It's a disgusting comment and typical of his small mindedness toward justice. What about all the innocent people who are arrested by police but later released when proper investigations demonstrate their innocence? What, too bad for them, they should just get hurt by the police anyway? Don't be nice to them just because they might not be innocent? Craziness.
  26. 1 point
    I will only do this once because I consider this space somewhat sacred and don't want it to become political. Student driver? The excuse of a teenager not a grown man: if you run for our highest office, if you have a transition team, if you can bring in all manner of experts to educate you and/or help run things - that is the responsibility. You now 'own' it and the country depends on you, no students allowed. No excuse. We are getting out of Syria? We will see as we have a new red line: we bombed once, we now have to bomb every time that line is crossed. However, the trade agreements seem to have helped - our allies are negotiating agreements among themselves. Merit badges are for scouts, not Presidents and check the legislation. There is no substantial voter fraud but I do like the states stating their rights and telling the commission to go jump in the lake, the ocean or the gulf. Of course he is ahead of others in 'researching' pardons: he spoke about it in the Oval, we know he didn't research anything and had to go to the legal minds but those minds insist they didn't talk pardons. Oh, communications are a hit though. And he is a fine example, how many times has he commented on a woman's body while in office? Oh, he was asked about God and he pointed to a man made landscape, might have been his golf course, as evidence. I guess all his buildings must also be evidence of God. No mention of his high regard for our intelligence services, the climate, his love affair with Russia/Putin, how he is getting China to help with N. Korea (I know student driver) or his fixation with size (like crowd size and popular vote size) and his Twitter fixation (but he has to do something with his hands and use that mind on something other that watching TV). Ok, back to high minded pursuits.
  27. 1 point
    Hello, I have recently began my search and i am wondering what peoples experiences are with mediums and psychics. I have talked to a lot of people (including Christians and progressive Christians) who have seen or felt spirits. Furthermore, many of these people have had good experiences with mediums and psychics who also have a connection with Jesus. I personally have never see or felt anything. My worry is that there is nothing......i was raised in a Baptist church but never felt the presence of god. I have faith but this is based on my fears that their is nothing as opposed to actually having felt or experienced anything. Does anyone have any experiences that they would feel comfortable sharing?
  28. 1 point
    Hello, i am a 30 year old mum of 2 year old and 4 year old. Although i have never really had spiritual peace i believe that since becoming a mother i have become more existentially anxious. I love my children so much that it is quite overwhelming. I feel a big burden that i brought them into this beautiful yet complex world. i am wondering if you know of any good books, pod casts etc anything for children to introduce them to spirituality in an open and relaxed manner (not dogmatic and non specific). Does anyone have any tips in regard how to overcome my guilt as a parent for not having all the answers (let alone the answers that humans have been seeking since the dawn of time). I know from a biological point of view obviously most of us are meant to have children (hence why we are all here). From a soulful point of view i feel a massive weight on my heart that i brought these two wonderful people into the world and now what..... so many unknowns ! Any tips or words of progressive wisdom appreciated
  29. 1 point
    1st time post. Appreciate feedback on this. I've long struggled with the idea that all people who don't know or believe in Jesus are damned. Someone who knew Jesus well, Thomas, said he didn't believe Jesus was alive. So He was saying he didn't believe Jesus was the messiah or God. Even after all he had heard from Jesus. He didn't believe but Jesus appeared to Thomas and then Thomas believed. If Jesus did this for him wouldn't it seem He would for all His children who doubt or don't know? I believe it's significant that Jesus said Blessed are those who don't see yet still believe. But are those that don't, really going to hell? Or did Jesus make a way for All? Thoughts?
  30. 1 point
    In another thread that when down the track of some discussion on Buddhism, it was raised that: "this idea of avoiding others and leaving everything up to divine revelation has no self-correcting mechanism. That's a fault. It works for picking out a spiritual mattress to nap on but not much else". This comment to me would seem to suggest that the Divine can't be trusted, that it is incapable of revealing itself directly to a person and that the only way a person can trust any such revelation is be confirming it with somebody's else's idea of divine revelation. Whilst I don't consider revelation to necessarily be divine in a theistic sense, I do think that people can/do/should experience revelation on their own and do not necessarily need to compare it against other's view of revelation. Do we run the risk of bias if we need to compare our revelation to somebody else's? Should one's personal revelation be considered lazy if it doesn't meet expectations of other people's revelation? Is divine revelation even possible for somebody who may avoid others?
  31. 1 point
    Guys, if this is already a thread, please link. I've reached a point in my path where I'm just not sure what to do with intercessory prayer. When someone asks me to pray for them, I don't want to say no, but I also just don't know what to do about it. I believe in the power of prayer, but I don't believe in giving God a shopping list of things I or other people want. I've tried and tried and it never works. What has worked for me are prayers of surrender. I also believe in praying with someone who I'm physically present with. My daughter is trying to get a job. She's already interviewed. She asked me to pray. So what do I pray? Do I pray that she gets it? Do I pray that God's will be done? Do I pray for God to be present with her? I'm just not sure that that's the way that God works. I can encourage her to put it in God's hands. I can counsel her to let go of her worries and accept that it is out of her control. But who am I to know God's "Will" for her? I cannot, and I'm not sure God really cares if she gets the job or not. The God of my understanding is a God of relationship, not choreography. Then again, my understand is so finite. Sometimes, I just do it anyway because I love people. Thoughts?
  32. 1 point
    Although I follow the idea of change in our ability to act for the divine, It was an actual change for Jesus and made possible for others who heard the word. However, there are others who have not heard or, having heard, it either does not resonate or they have heard and prefer another way (of the Way). There are others who turn the key. I have Netflix but I also have Amazon, iTunes and have dallied with Hulu and others. People can access Netflix (once they know about it) but for others Amazon is the answer - there is no need to know about any others or, even if they do, the preference is not for Netflix.
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    Welcome Lani, I grew up in a fundamental church in Australia (Churches of Christ) which was very much like the Baptists. Around 18/19 I was leaving that sort of Christianity but came back for a brief 6-9 months to a Baptist church (before I finally decided that I was right in leaving Christianity behind in the first place ). So I am very familiar with those teachings of Hell. When I was 40 (9 years ago) I too suffered a bit of an existential crisis when as a result of suffering anxiety (caused by financial matters and probably aggravated by career and young family pressures) my friend told me it was Jesus trying to call me back. This brought back all my childhood teachings about Hell and the requirement to 'believe in Jesus'. I had a very hard time of it for nearly a year. But I found this forum and some other progressive christian authors and scholars who helped me learn more about the history of Christianity, including what we can say for certain and what we can't. Why I like this forum is it has shown me that I didn't need to throw the baby out with the bathwater. There are some positive things about progressive Christianity that I find value in (which incidentally I think can also be found elsewhere too, but Christianity is the religion I am most familiar with). But for me, condemning unbelievers to an eternal punishment is certainly not one of them and this place has helped me understand what I consider a better picture of Christianity, based on better biblical scholarship and interpretation than what I had been indoctrinated with. I hope you enjoy participating here. There is also a lot of information in previous threads that you will find throughout the archives. Cheers Paul
  36. 1 point
    Hello to everyone. Talking with you from southwest Louisiana. Glad to be part of this community. Hope to make many new friends. Please say Hello.
  37. 1 point
    On the odd occasion it has been questioned why I am here and I have gotten the sense of the question why is my presence even tolerated? is being asked. Is my lack of belief so threatening? Karen Armstrong said in her book The Case for God “Religion was a matter of doing rather than thinking” ​And somewhere in the same book it she goes on to suggest Christians focus too much their beliefs rather than what they do. I volunteer at the local community chest, community living, Rotary and other organizations. Is that not Christian enough? I am surprised by that at times a Christian (especially a progressive one) might baulk at contact on this forum with those that don't have the same beliefs. I would have thought it is this contact that is the "doing" that is of value rather than the "thinking".
  38. 1 point
    Really, I'm not actually looking for a new path. The last thing I need is another set of buzz words - in this case "anima", "archetypes", "individuation", "synchronity" and a few more. All a bit of a jigsaw puzzle needing to be put together to try to sort out the mysterious "self" we appear to experience ourselves as being. But I have bumped into an old mate of mine, one of those ex schoolmates who I have also bumped into at odd moments over the years, and he - at least in the past - had a great interest in Jung. Myself, I like biographies, life stories, and actually find the actual meaning of the buzz words easier to grasp when put into the context of a life as lived and experienced. Letters to friends by the subject of the biography are often another source of insight and illumination. On the face of it, the idea of individuation (of the self) seems to fly in the face of "not-self" (anatta) but closer inspection reveals such not to be the case. Well, at least to me. "Universalism" is not a creed to be believed, more a lived openness to all things, sifted in the meeting of them and responded to, then moving on. Jung's individualised "self" seems always more a process rather than a "finished product" that justifies itself by being who it is. Anyway, thought I would just mention this as I dip into a biography of Jung's life. An early quote from Jung's letters caught my eyes so I'll copy it here..... The journey from cloud cuckoo land to reality lasted a long time. In my case Pilgrim's Progress consisted in my having to climb down a thousand ladders until I could reach out my hand to the little clod of earth that I am. If anyone has read his "Red Book" (that's Jung, not Mao) I would appreciate an opinion. Thanks Derek
  39. 1 point
    Just speaking of debate and dialogue ... here I think is a really sweet example of dialogue.
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    May God bless you and help you through this.
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    Hello Bonnie!
  42. 1 point
    Hi Im bonnie..Ive been searching for quite some time for a place I could "be" and actually be me and I feel pretty lucky to have found this forum.Havent felt at home in other christian forums and churches in town..though there is a Universalist church I found recently that I might try.Im pretty introverted...on the freespirited side..as odd as it is to say Im a freespirited introvert.I really love walking and writing..I really love feeding and watching birds ..in my situation /area I dont get to do it as much but when I do I really enjoy the surprise .Anyway its nice to meet you.
  43. 1 point
    Hi Bonnie, It's nice to meet you also and welcome to the forum. I would strongly encourage you to be as 'me' as you want. In general, we have a understanding and accepting group here. There are sometimes diverse views on many things, but as long as we remain civil to one another and respect that many of us have different beliefs and views on things, then we can all get along just fine. I hope you enjoy participating here. Cheers Paul
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    I am a liberal Christian- actually an Unitarian Universalist. But, I am stuck in Kissimmee and it is too far to drive to the other side of Orlando to go to church. I am on Social Security and have tight finances and have to budget my gasoline. Anyway, I would like to find a liberal church within driving distance to Campbell, Fl. I seem to be stuck in the middle of Fundamentalist Country...help! Any liberal churches around Kissimmee?
  45. 1 point
    Indeed Fatherman. We all have our own understanding of what 'God' and "Sacred' means to us. In fact the tagline in my signature under the old software (this new software version seems to have dropped that) was a quote from an Italian Poet named Antonio Porchia which read: “Because they know the name of what I am looking for, they think they know what I am looking for!” I'm thinking for me it might be time to drop that as I am not so much actively 'looking for' as I am more so 'floating down the river and observing what i come across' (that and also the new software seems to have made the decision for me anyhow ). Nonetheless, what I meant was using the term God (big G or little g) is loaded with assumptions, personal biases, experiences, etc which can make it hard to share that word. When we can openly discuss this and sometimes even challenge it (if appropriate such as in the Debate & Dialogue threads) then I think the experience is useful for all (and for many to come or who may sit silently in the wings observing).
  46. 1 point
    I feel Jen's frustration here. This site isn't really what it should be. But when I started posting in the early 2000s (a little before Jen did), I don't recall it being any different. I was a Christian humanist (or whatever you want to call it). I believed in a non-personal God if at all. I spent most of my energy trying to debunk essential components of Christianity. And so I fit right in. This, and people who felt beaten up by traditional Christianity, were the target audience and that hasn't changed. I changed though. I had a spiritual awakening that put me at odds with the spirit of this site. There was a small group of us who raised up issues of spirituality (Jen, myself, Alethia Rivers, and Soma.) There were many good discussions, but we were always the minority. Also, there has also almost always been a more traditional Christian who gets treated like a troll here. Nothing new here. I've attended an all progressive church which at one time posted the eight points on the wall by the sanctuary. And many of the members share the same atheistic tendencies. But many were also very spiritual and participated in prayer and meditation groups. Everybody gets along there for the most part. No one runs the show really. I think the frustration for people like me and Jen is that atheists are running the show at a Christian site. From an outside perspective, it looks like trolls have long since taken over this site. I know from the inside that that's not a fair characterization, but you have to admit that that's a reasonable conclusion. I've seen members bully on the basis of science and intellect (me included) those who's faith it spiritually, faith-based. I've been called immature for taking a spiritual approach to faith, and it has been suggested that when I "grow up", I'll see that science is the only answer. I've been accused of being mentally ill for having spiritual experiences. This is not in any way in accord with the 8 Points, and it is most certainly keeping spiritual-minded progressive Christians away from what could be a valuable experience within an accepting community. But like I said, it's not like this is new, and there's really no point in fighting it at this point. I accept that that's who were are here, and I do my best to find meaning here among you. I hope to be a participant here for many years to come.
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    I moved to Vegas last year from Reno the mountains to the desert and still l am in a Zen Garden, just rocks and cactus not trees.
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    Tom, the Catholic monk Thomas Merton once said that a "saint" is not so much one who has reached a certain level of sanctity, but more that they always see something to love in others.
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    https://relevantmagazine.com/article/the-revolutionary-truth-of-good-friday/
  50. 1 point
    Not to derail this thread further (for many people are blessed by Lectionary readings and study), but I think you make a great point, Paul, about the state of the world and Christianity's role in helping our world. For far too long, IMO, Christianity has embedded itself in the sin/savior myth that posits that the world is broken, in sin, and that the only remedy is for God and/or Jesus to save it through either forgiveness or destruction (in order to create another world). This myth teaches that we can do little to nothing to help our current state except to plead to God to come rescue us. The result of this, in much of Christianity, is escapism and waiting for Jesus to return at any moment with God's divine clean-up plan. Granted, it is an appealing myth. But I don't find it to line up very well with most of Jesus' teachings. I don't see anywhere in Jesus' teachings where he says that we are born in sin. And while some of his statements seem to imply that he would return shortly, he also stressed that his followers should be about the business of feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, helping the poor, working for justice, visiting prisoners, etc. I haven't been able to thoroughly plumb all of his teachings about it, but Jesus seems to say that the kingdom is already here, already in the human heart. I don't see this so much as a remedy to some "sin problem" but as a seed to the growth and maturation of humanity that could heal the places in ourselves and in our world that need healing. Yes, the world is a wonderful and amazing place and we are an incredible species. But we are still immature and have a ways to go before we are fully human. And I think, in my own Christology, that Jesus, in some sense, shows us what it is like to be fully human. He was ahead of his time. The Gentile church didn't know what to do with that, so they declared him to be divine. In doing so, he lost his humanity. And I think that changed his role from example to savior, and I think a great deal was lost in this demotion. This is why, for me, Jesus is not a way to get to heaven. Rather, he shows me how genuine relationships grounded in compassion can change the world, not from sinners to saint, but from strangers to friends.
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