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Everything posted by murmsk

  1. I am convinced that in most situations labels are at best unhelpful. Often we are viewed through the labels we accept. And more importantly it seems to be human nature that when we accept a label we tend to work to become that label. s
  2. My journey came out of my need for consistency . Being a person of science, dismissing data simply because it doesn’t fit a desired conclusion rubs against everything that is me. So if i am going to read the Bible I can’t ignore the more distasteful sections ie: support of slavery and its view of woman for example. I needed a way to read the Bible and view of Jesus and God that is 100% consistent whether in reading about love or that woman shouldn’t speak in church. Authors like Markus Borg encouraged my view that is now common in progressive circles that the Bible are a group of writings, songs and poems written by faithful people, and reflects their views of God, Jesus, history and life. So where does that leave me with respect to influences?? s
  3. I have found meaning in Markus Borgs description of God as being “something more” s
  4. My sense is that the bible is a literary collection of songs, poems,stories and history written by a faithful people. The concept of sin had very little meaning for me for much of my life mostly, I think, due to how it is used in many churches as an sword to keep followers in line. I always bothered me because I see some good coming out of forgiveness of sins if it is handled properly. People need to know that they can be forgiven for the mistakes they make. My current thinking on sin is that sins are nothing more than counterproductive mistakes humans make. and Original Sin is humans tendency toward hurtful thoughts and behavior many of which are remnants of our evolutionary path. Lust, selfishness, gluttony to name a few can be traced back to non-sentient animals and served them well in their society but are a problem in ours, so humans fight the urges. That, to me, is original sin. s
  5. Coming from a science background, I have always had a great deal of trouble understanding let alone accepting the thought that some people still reject evolution. Historically I have difficulty not viewing them with distain as they choose to believe something that seems to me to be utterly foolish. I had a revolation a week or so ago. In spite of the fact my degree is in chemistry I do not understand the math behind the support for the big bang. I have never seen another galaxy , i have never been to the Galápagos Islands . My point is while I have a general understanding of the theorys I have no direct knowlege that the theories are accurate. I am taking other peoples word for it. I believe the scientists! Is this much different from the new earthers who believe the theologens that say the earth is only 6000 years old? Kinda depends upon who do we put our faith. I now will try to have a bit more understanding of those who I view to be wrong. steve
  6. I am one who views the bible as the writings of a spiritual people. As such the writing reflect the attitudes, views and beliefs of that society. When asked "where did we come from" and "why did this happen" they had no science to fall back on so their answers reflected their simple observations as well as story constructs. As i have stated before, I view sin as mistakes and original sin as human flaws that drive us to make mistakes. Steve
  7. I read in the news that Marcus Borg has passed. His books were foundational to me and my spiritual understanding. With out his influence I would still be holding "CHURCH" at an arms length. Thank you Markus. steve
  8. I have a more simplistic view of sin and original sin. Sin ,to me, is nothing more than mistakes. Mistakes that hurt people, mistakes that hurt us, mistakes that hurt the environment......... Original sin, to me, are the human tendency to do those things. Selfishness, lust, dishonesty, desire to dominate....... Jesus died for our sins the way MLK died for our sins. or because of our sins. Not a blood atonement but rather a willingness to die while standing for what is right. MLK died because my forbearers gave in to human tendences to dominate, he died so I would know a different way , he died so my children might never know. (society is still working on this one) Jesus died because he his forbeares created a society rampent in injustice, he died so people of his era might know a different way, and so generations to come might never make the mistakes of our forbearers. steve
  9. One of our old pastors who I very much respected was his words " very conservative but NOT a fundamentalist " He viewed the bible conservatively but compassionately. I asked him once what was the difference... he said a conservatives beliefs are a conclusion a fundamentalists are a statement. steve
  10. this does make me uncomfortable. It is always easier to not think. I think it is of ultimate importance to strive for truth and understanding . The freedom you describe is a comfort from ignorance. If we don't think , we don't worry. I don't think this is what you mean. Let me restate it... I have come to the conclusion that knowing the history is not terribly important to my spirituality. I am perfectly comfortable with the concept that Jesus as a man didn't exist or that he did in different form than NT . I think that is likely. I think there is a freedom from not tying ones faith to belief but tying ones faith to meaning. I think we waste far too much time worrying about and discussing history and it takes us away from the important issues that affect our lives. Whether Jesus walked this earth and was the "Son of God" or a mystic or a figment of peoples imagination is unimportant to me. The effect his message has had on humanity Is important. The effect it message can have on future generations IS important. I find peace and freedom with this. Another thought....... I put fundamentalists of any religion and what I call " Fundamental Atheists" in the same bucket with non-thinkers. They are arrogant, judgmental, and not pleasant people. They have their minds closed. Basically they have missed the point. steve
  11. What kind of person condemns another to eternal damnation simply because of the company they keep? If one views grace and compassion as good, why would we accept less out of God? I guess for me it came down to if the fundi's view of God is correct... I want no part of it. Ill hang out with Gandhi, Confussious , the Dali Lama and _____________ in hell. steve
  12. dido, The "when we will be heard" is a very important part of the statement. Often, when in dialog especially with fundi's there is a refusal to listen. I personally get very frustrated with people who choose to be ignorant and thus don't spend my time talking. steve
  13. Marcus Borg's "Reading the Bible AGAIN for the first time" and "Hearth of Christianity" to be good understandable primers for open progressive thought. I introduces the thoughts that the traditional view of Christianity is not convincing for a large number of us and provides a framework around which a person can follow their heart to a new understanding of faith. Also the "Living the Questions" DVD is a series of 20 minute lessons on progressive faith. steve
  14. I have learned over the years that it is possible for something to be "true" where the truth has little or nothing to do with historical accuracy. .... parables are a good example. s
  15. Impossible to know what changes were made very early on. The fact that there are so many blatant contradictions suggests to me if there were changes they happened before the books were considered together. Simply, if i was going to make changes... I would start with the contradictions.The fact that they are still there suggests faithful transcriptions. I like Markus Borg's description of the scriptures ...... They are the writings of a spiritual people. Divinely inspired ... perhaps?As writings of a spiritual people they include and reflect the attitudes of the time. Markus Borg's books "Meeting Jesus For the First Time.. Again" and "Reading The Bible For The First Time... Again" are great starting points for adult spiritual re-education. steve
  16. Maybe hell is you die and understand the effect you had . Maybe hell is regret?
  17. There is really only one that is needed. I am convinced that living beings evolve. This is as close to proven as science gets. We have seen it occur ... the Galapagos Islands is the best known example of a gene selection due to an environmental advantage. If one admits that even on evolutionary change has occurred then logic demands that we accept that evolution can happen not that it did in the specific but that broadly it can happen. From there you would look for evidence to support or (not support) the notion of the specific. I applaud you, renewedinfaith, for your questioning spirit and willingness to ask for opinions of those who you might expect to disagree. Far too often we seek only those opinions that support our current way of thinking and learn very little in the process. steve
  18. Science run on the following statement "Do observations/data fit the hypothesis?" I doesn't require that all the little things are fully answered, but does require that the little things that you do have answers for fit the observations. The thought that "just because every little nonce is not been answered the hypothesis if false" suggests a lack of understanding of the scientific process. In this case the little things that we do have answers for fit nicely the evolution hypothesis. Further, the logical extrapolations from observation fit as well. The short answer to this is that it evolved starting from the primordial soup of chemicals some of which were produced here some of which came via asteroids with energy in the way of lightning. It has been shown in the laboratory if you shoot a spark through the primordial soup you get structures that are similar both in form and chemistry to a cell wall. This could have been the beginning? The long answer would take volumes for each step. 99.9% of cell evolution involves chemistry..... understanding the available chemicals , energy sources, environment and what chemical processes might have occurred very little of which is understandable to most people. The evolutionary process is a process of slinging stuff to a wall and seeing what sticks then doing it again and again. You have a soup of chemicals........ reactions between the chemicals occur almost all of which are inconsequential but given enough time eventually one happens at the right that leads to another that leads to another..... where there is an advantage. You now have an evolutionary change and the process starts again with the new deck of evolutionary cards or at least a deck with a new card to play. Somewhere you made mention of when the dinosaurs died. This is a perfect example of evolution. The dinos were an evolutionary product of their environment (as are we). At that time the earth was warm and gave an advantage to large cool blooded creatures that relied on the environment for heat. Less need for heat generation less need for food. Well when the earth cooled, all these creatures that needed environmental heat for their body to function died. They lost their advantage. The creatures that had developed in the polar fringes with the ability of generate their own heat now had an advantage. With the loss of the all the large cool blooded predators creatures more adapted to a cooler climate evolved to fill the void. My question to renewedinfaith is how do observations support your hypothesis? (the two hypothesis's are different so you can't use holes in one as support for the other) steve
  19. You just can help people who choose to be ignorant. steve
  20. The answer to this question is answered by looking at woman who have grown up in a home that treats both sexes equally and see how many believe in the complimentarianism way of life. If you remove the brainwashing and fear I suspect it is pretty close to zero. My great-Grandmother, wife of a baptist minister, would have been a proponent and practicer of complimentarianism. If you asked my Grandmother she would have said that she agreed with it cause it was in the bible but as she and my grandfather had a fairly equal relationship. My mother grew up in this contradiction which caused considerable friction in her life. steve
  21. I am sure in the early 1860's there were slaves that would have argued that slavery was God's design. That didn't change the fact it was wrong and immoral. steve
  22. One important aspect on my "Sense" is that it is dynamic. As I live and learn the sense changes.One of the reason this has to be is that I expect, when all is said and done and I have ultimate knowlege (I am dead), to be wrong in my understanding. If I was looking for truth this would bother me, since I am only looking for wisdom or the like it is ok to be wrong as long as it makes me a better person. steve
  23. I don't use the word belief anymore. To me, the word implys a lack of logic. I am comfortable with the use of the word "sense". I have a sense that there is a "God" or a "more". I have a sense that Jesus was somehow special. It is a dynamic statement there is no understanding of rigidity. steve
  24. I see spirituality as a sense of a more. steve
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