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Jake last won the day on December 13 2009

Jake had the most liked content!

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About Jake

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  • Birthday 11/23/1970

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    Union Grove, North Carolina
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    God, theology, sailing, music
  1. Jake


    I don't know whether it is funny, or sad, but probably both, that gay friendly seems to be the indicator light for progressive faith communities.
  2. I am blessed to have a friend who is a Carmelite Friar. He turned me on to Brother Lawrence. Here is a link to a website where you can download Brother Lawrences Lettters and the reflections on them. Practice God's Presence Hope you enjoy.
  3. LOL, I was afraid i had the wrong word, and no time to find the correction. Fortunately, you read my intention. Thanks. I understand Timothy to be refering to the Talmud, and specifically the Gemara, or the section of the Talmud refering to Rabbinic Law. The OT had not been compiled yet, so any NT reference to it is impossible. Although there are overlaps between the OT and the Talmud, the entire body of work is a very different thing.
  4. I look forward to reading that thread. Some facts about the Bible that always got in the way of understanding it as the inerrant and literal word of God: There was no Bible to reference when the authors of both old and new testament where writing. The text were canonized by the Roman Empire in 325, after years of debate on ther content, and even a few murders and excommunications occuring as part of the canonization process. The original text were mostly in Greek, written as sequential letters, no capitals, no spaces, and not punctuation.*my sunday school class did a lesson on this. we were each given a letter, written with no spaces, no punctuation, and no capitals. We were asked to insert the accents where necessary. The differences in finished product was staggaring. at least 4 conflicting versions from 10 people, ranging from a love letter,to a nasty break up letter. All texts from that era of history were meant to be heard, not read. The general public was illiterate. Therefore, the accuracy of the text could only be verified by it's telling, and we will never know how it was originally read. All chapter and verse markings were inserted in translation for the sake of cataloging and filing, not to signify specific depth or meaning of any specific passage. There are undeniably specific and signifigant contradiction within the text, within the behavior and words of certain key characters, and in "eye witness" tellings of the same event (i.e. conflicting resurrection accounts) From Ye old King James Version preface: "The Bible is not simply one book. It is an entire library of books covering the whole range of literature. It includes history, poetry, drama, biography, prophecy, philosophy, science, and inspirational reading." "Since the Bible was written by many men over a period covering 1,500 years; and since the last author of the Bible has been dead 1,900 years, there are definite prolems with understanding the exact meaning of certain passages of the Bible." Brian McLaren addresses the question of "inspiration" by asking if the Bible is a divinely inspired constitution, or a divinely inspired library? The approach changes the undestanding of the overall work drastically, without taking aware from it's value or vitality. Personally, I like the Mizpah approach, meditating on each story, in the place of each character, and trying to take value each one's experience and participation.
  5. reality is beyond understanding and, therefore, our discussions are essentially meaningless Very nihilistic thought. I would be disappointed if that held out to be fact. Nicely put, tariki. We can only comprehend with human comprehension. When we define God, God ends up looking alot like us. What if our exsistence, the whole process of creation, was for God to become self aware. God created us in "His" image in an effort to know "Himself" better. So every experience we have, every conversation, every individual and varied perception of reality, is God's experience. Everything we do, is for God, and done by God. Every person we meet, and communcate with is an extention of God, and when they speak to us it is through God's mouth and into God's ears. Wouldn't that make it true, that reality is beyond our understanding, yet make every discussion, act, or experience essentially, and infinitely meaningful? the world is exactly as it should be, that all is well and all is one, and that, therefore, all actions are also essentially meaningless. I refer to my response to the first statement, and again, nicely said, tariki. The world is exactly as it should be, in flux, constantly transforming and moving through the process of creation. All actions are essentially and infinitely meaningful because each act is an act of God in the process of creation. I see my own place in becoming open to participation in that transformation by being fully present in the world and in the presence of God.
  6. I found myself in the same predicament. "Membership" in the church seemed to mean adherence to a set of beliefs that I did not agree with on a gut level. Sola Scriptura simply did not survive against practical knowledge and actually, real world experience, not when taken literally. Conflictingly, on a gut level, I cannot dismiss scripture as being purely allegorical in nature, either. This contradiction is the catalyst for my own faith. I cannot yet comprehend what is God, and in this life never will. God is always, entirely, and everywhere. I am more concerned with becoming open to God's intention for me than I am with adherence to any specific doctrine or dogma. Marsha, you mentioned Presence of God, and Centering Prayer. Are you familiar with Brother Lawrence, or the Carmelite tradition?
  7. Thank you all. I will do my best to work within the guidelines. I have enjoyed some great conversationson here in the past.
  8. That would appear to be one of his topics, and one where I agree with him. He emphasises "thinking outside of the box". Christianity has gotten itself in to a bit of a rut. There is so much negativity associated with the label. Especially Western/Americanized Christianity. Christians are more known for what they are against, rather than what they stand for. The current mainstream church offers nothing satisfying for the majority of the spiritual seekers. Statistically, 60% of Christian conversions and alter calls are prodigals returning, not new converts. McLaren proposes that maybe we have gotten it wrong from the beginning. He does not suggest definitive answers, but he does put accepted doctrine up against the Jesus and scripture litmus test agin and again. He most frequently finds church doctrine lacking across the board denominationally. He started as an English professor, not as clergy. His approach to the Bible is to treat it as the divinely inspired library of a community engaged in the search for God, rather than as a Constitution of Law. Sorry if I am over explaining. He is a worthwhile read.
  9. I used to post here frequently, but I took a break from the forum for some more internal reflection. I still do not know that i belong here. I do not identify with the term "Christian". I am a Jesus Freak. I look to his life and teachings for guidance, but I look to many spiritual advisors, from numerous faith disciplines for guidance. I do not agree with the organized Western Churches, or our American Christian Industrial Complex, or most of the politico/economic front that advertises itself as "Christianity" in this country. So, to the moderators, do I have a place here to commune with others, or as a self-proclaimed "other than Christian" should I refrain from participation in a forum that uses the title "Christian" and the statement "We are Christians..." in it's guidelines?
  10. Great Donovan quote. Briam McLaren put that in the intro to his latest book.
  11. I also like the comments on John 14. I think it gets used as an evangelical battering ram too often, and not taken in context. In John 13:33 Jesus begins explaining to his disciples that he will be leaving them soon, and the path they are to follow once he is gone. Many of the references from these chapters of John have ben used to bolster obedience to church doctrine under penalty of Hell. If taken in historical context, and viewed as Jesus' words to 12 disciples, at a specific time in history, we can easily see the references to "my Father's House" as a reference to the temple. Jesus, in the same chapter, had just run the money changers out of the temple. That same temple was destroyed by Rome in response to a Zealot uprising in 70AD. In it's place a new house, in the body of Christ, would be formed. I veiw this historical perspective, and Jesus' words to his followers to reflective of the unity of man after the destruction of the old exclusionary ways of the Jews in that era. He was inviting mankind into a new understanding of brotherhood, through his example, rather than an invitation to a new exlusive, and exclusionary club. Just my thoughts on the usual mis-application of scripture, and an alternate understanding. Interesting that John 14 is the verse often quoted in defense of "born again" Christianity as the only way, rather than John 1:9, or 3:17, or12:32, or 21:22, or Romans 2:1-29 which all emphasize that God shows no partiality, that other's views should not matter, if we follow Jesus, or Romans 15, when Paul says that "God has imprisoned all in disobedience so that he may be merciful to all." I don't know about anyone else, but I believe God's mercy is great enough to encompass all, not just those of us who have been baptised and said the magic words. Sorry. lecturing and monologuing again.
  12. Deleted duplicate post included in post 12..... JosephM
  13. I have read Spong and Borg. I agree that Spong tends to tear things down more than build them up, but that may be necessary to a better understanding of scripture. I find that he does not engage in doctrinal answers so much as evokes those questions that force us to think outside of conventional biblical understanding. I am working through another reading of Brian McLaren's "A New Kind Of Christianity: Ten Questions that are Transforming the Faith." In this book, McLaren challenges our preconceptions of our faith, most of which we learn by the 3rd grade level, and never challenge, modify, or even look at again. He does not propose to provide answers, just to provoke thoughtful study and meditation, as well as to encourage more open conversation, outside of "the Bible says it, I believe it, end of discussion". That unfortunate response, frequently provided by clergy, tends to send people running, rather than welcome them in. McLaren's first question is "What is the overarching story line of the Bible?" Most of us have been taught to think of the Bible through the eyes of roman-greco imperialism. We veiw the Bible, and humanity within the context of the age old Platonic/Aristotlian philosopher's arguement of spirit vs flesh. We start with Eden, or the Platonic Ideal, then we suffer The Fall from grace, or the Platonic Cave of Illusion. This leaves us in the present, or the Aristotelian reality. From here we either go to Hell, for "eternal conscious torment" or we are saved, and return to that Platonic Ideal or Heaven. If we can free ourselves from this understanding of the Biblical narrative, we open ourselves up to a whole new understanding of scripture, and a new understanding of God. How does this relate to Spong? Spong, in his "New Christianity", seems to call us out of the church industrial complex, and back into a faith driven by people, for the benefit of people, here and now. But alas, I am falling into my tendancy to monologue and lecture. I look forward to reading more posts from others on this topic.
  14. Jake

    Perspective On Point 4

    Perhaps I didn't communicate clearly. I should not have used the word attend. I agree with you completely on inter-faith attendance at any service. Where I find issue is with a non-catholic receiving the host from the priest. Traditionally , that privilege extends to practicing catholics in good standing only. I made this error once and it offended a number of people.
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