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Pete

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Everything posted by Pete

  1. Pete

    Watered Down?

    Science changes in the light of new feedback and the evidence that confirms our understanding. However, I believe faith also changes. Take Christianity. 1/ It is a Jewish sect within Judaism. 2/ It is a Sect in a gentile world. 3/ It is about a church. 4/ It is about a bible. 5/ It is about spirituality. Despite those who insist that things have been the same since the beginning the religion has undergone many changes. I believe many of these changes have been from the changing culture. PC have been the liberating group who have recognised this and grown with it instead of insisting on things that make little sense in a modern age. It like science has brave to embrace the journey to new understandings. Although science and religion are different. It is because of this that much of PC is rejected by others who seek to be the orthodox or authority and in that there is a cost that is born but also valued (imo).
  2. I often wonder how it is that sex often seems a far worse a sin than even murder. I have been speaking to a person who I regard as very fundamentalist and he was justifying the stoning of women for not being virgins on their wedding nights (Deuteronomy 22:20-21). He saw this as God;s will to make his people holy. He says God made this rule because God was just and righteous and he want his people to be. I just cringe at the very thought, but how is that some can justify this?
  3. Pete

    Hi! My Name Is Jason

    Hey, Jason. Welcome to the forum and your bringing freebies too. WOW! I hope you find the connections your looking for and that the forum brings you many blessings.
  4. Pete

    The Hate Of The New Atheists

    Sorry Romansh for not responding to your post right away. I had to get ready for work. I liked your link very much. Bart D Ehrmam also states this line "Even before he was born, it was known that he would be someone special. A supernatural being informed mother the child she was to conceive would not be a mere mortal but would be divine. He was born miraculously, and he became an unusually precocious young man. As an adult he left home and went on an itinerant preaching ministry, urging his listeners to live, not the material things of this world, but for what is spiritual. He gathered a number of disciples around him, who became convinced that his teachings were divinely inspired, in no small part because he himself was divine. He proved it to them by doing many miracles, healing the sick, casting out demons, and raising the dead. But at the end of his life he roused opposition, and his enemies delivered him over to the Roman authorities for judgment. Still, after he left this world, he returned to meet his followers in order to convince them that he was not really dead but lived on in the heavenly realm. Later some of his followers wrote books about him. From :- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apollonius_of_Tyana The point was Dr Ehrman was not refering to Jesus but Apollonius. Which goes to show that myths can grow as many did.
  5. Pete

    The Hate Of The New Atheists

    I know some would not say I am a Christian. I know of some fundamentalists who have directly accused me of this but I do not agree that they have the right to define the faith for everyone or of me. Yet, in one sense I think they are right in that the word "Christian" refers to Jesus being a Messiah and I guess I do not. I personally see myself more closely defined as a Jesus inspired person. Not to say I agree with all that is said as being the word of Jesus and I suspect we may not agree on everything if Jesus lived his life as a Jewish judaic preacher nowadays but his life and values do inspire me. Trouble is if you say your a Jesus inspired person then people only seem to understand that as a "Christian". So I put a handle on it as a Liberal Christian which for me allows me the view of being able to challenge things and to personally value the inspirations I do. On the vid:- I seem to have waded through loads of vids but not found the one yet. There are so many. Christopher was talking to people I beleive at a University and argued against Christianty. He used conservative views as examples of why he did not think much of Christianity and one lady said that she was a liberal Christian and did not agree with the conservatives views either. Christopher snapped back that if she did not believe in those views then she had no right to call herself a Christian. I included the video above as circustancial proof that it was said rather than some full agree with that speaker. I respect much of Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins but I suspect they would not of liked me or agree with all I think. So there it is again. That is life in my experience.
  6. Pete

    The Hate Of The New Atheists

    I do not care what another calls themselves. I saw the tube vid of Christopher Hitchens and it sure was not as you say. A liberal Christian from the audience mentioned that she did not agree with biblical infalliblity and CHristopher Hitchens scolded her by saying she then had no right to call herself a Christian. I am not saying that this therefore means Christopher Hitchens is all wrong but I am saying I beleive he was wrong on that moment. I will try and find the Your tube vid again. Trouble is there is so much to wade through now.
  7. Pete

    The Hate Of The New Atheists

    I am not bothered by them. I personally just do not agree with all they say. Some of it I do but not all. I only mentioned Christopher Hitchens because he did voice an opinion that a liberal Christian had no right to be a Christian because they did not support biblical dogma. I personally do not say they have no right to an opinion or that they have no right to be an athiest and nor do I say that a conservative Christian has no right to their view. Just that I personally do not agree with it. That said I do not agree all with this guy has to say but that is my right to an opinion and his view is his. .
  8. Pete

    The Hate Of The New Atheists

    I am not saying do not have an opinion or a voice but in my experience one can debate with conservatives till one is blue in the face that they are mistaken and still they come back. Sure I debate on issues of science and those who pick on others because of their sexuality but I know that such harden views take time to change and although I argue a point of view change is not going to happen over night. I often wonder if I had not had the experience I had with the church and being isolated and sent to coventry would I have bothered to study so hard to look at alternative views. Sure I would now rather talk to an atheist about my view than much of fundamentalism but that change did not happen over night and it took time to develop. The catalist was more the painful experience that brought about my looking for change and it is unlikely I would have listened to other views prior to this. When I say live and let live I mean although I disagree with their point of view on issues like evolution, bible infallibility and their persecution of gay and lesian people I do not think one will change that by making their view illegal but I do feel one can still say one does not agree with it and assert another point of view. Whether they take that up will depend on them rather than me arguing the point all the time. In my experience the very nature of conservatism rests on the assertion of a given ideal and feeling that it is wrong to question it or they are commiting a sin. Some of the most affective moments in my experience has been when someone has tried their best to convince me and I have just said I do not agree and these are the reasons for it. Although I am not a JW my parents were. I sat through two funerals and many attempts to convince me that they had the right answer but what seemed to have the most power was when they came to me afterwards and said did I agree with them? I just said no and it was for them to try to justify their position rather than me. We then went our own ways but they realised that that they have not convinced me of anything and that was powerful and you could see it in their faces. Attacking fundamentalism out right just seems to harden their view because they feel they are experiencing a sinful world and they are told to expect persecution of their faith and they then harden their views as a means to hang on to what they believe is not only their belief but what they beleive is their personal salvation. I like John Spongs view that it is tribal religion. There are the good people in their view who agree with them and the sinful people who disagree with them. I can argue that they are wrong about people but it will take time for conservative people to recognise this for themselves. So when I say live and let live, I do not mean that I do not give myself a right to a voice on the matter but to allow for their personal journey.
  9. Pete

    Live & Let Live?

    I can only say what works for me. I cannot say what works for another and I do not feel that is my place to do so. Sure I shudder at some of the things some of fundamentalism does but I also see the comfort it brings when people are suffering or in need. Should I take that from them? I do not think so. I am just happy with saying that their voice is not the only one around and if your unhappy with it then we are here too. That said I found the late Fred Phelp's (Westboro) stand difficult to ignore with his declarations of "God hates f-a-g-s" and his picketing soldiers funerals whilst their relatives grieve. Yet, I have found even among fundamentalism few support his view because it lacks love and respect for others. I remember how sore I felt when my conservative church attacked me but hey, I came out alright (IMO). I do not feel there is much point in attacking the faith of another as I believe it only hardens it in my experience. I find it important however to point out that there are other opinions here. That is one of the reasons I feel it is important that voices like this forum and others get heard as it is there to catch people when they find it is time to change themselves and to say well conservatives may have an opinion but it aint the only one there and you have as much right to your opinion as they do. All is not lost. Come and talk with us.
  10. Pete

    The Hate Of The New Atheists

    It is often in my opinion that there is importance to the addition of "(IMO)" in what we say. Yet, there is an extreme on both sides of the coin that say "this is the way it is and every other view is wrong". Having been through the experience of being kicked out of a church by a hostile reaction to my view that being gay is not a sin and God loves gay people despite what some say the bible says. Hate definitely existed and I experienced it. I met some who had been my friends before hand treat me with scorn and say it is my fault that the relationship broke down because I did not accept the bible "as is". So I do not think that hate is exclussive to extreme athiests or just one side or the other. That said there is many others who may not agree with my view but accept that is my view and just live and let live and I appreciate that. I personally feel more comfortable with those who can question things than those who insist it is for every other person to question themselves and not them because they are so right in their view. I have had to do a lot of questioning to arrive at the view I now have and I cannot return to the certainty I once had for things. Much of the conservative view I once belonged to are about asserting a certain view on things as definite facts and one can see that in the church services. Listen tothe creeds, the hymns, bible readings and ministry and you can witness this. Hence, those who question are seen as outside of the churches view. In my view its a bit like arguing over the contents of a newly discovered, unopened, unhandled and unlabelled box. There are some who can say that we do not know what the contents are or if there are contents but we may think x or y or we just do not know. There are some who assert that they are sure of the contents and there are those again who insist that they are certain of things beyond doubt. I just say I cannot be that certain but I have a feeling about the box. I think those who resort to hate do so because they have a need to be certain and therefore anyone who is uncertain or questioning is seen as a challenge to them. I have had people who have shouted angrily at me in the street that I must change my view and repent and adopt their view and put away my questions about the bible and it is not fun to experience. I now think the hate says more about them and their personal needs than it does about me questioning or being uncertain of the box. LIve and let live.
  11. Pete

    I'm New And Searching For Something More

    (IMO) One does not need to go to a building or follow a ritual to connect with one's faith. Sometimes the greatest spiritual experiences occur whilst sitting in silence and connecting with nature. It was one such experience that gave birth to the Quaker movement. The realisation that God and the Spiritual was there also and one did not need an intermediary. Sometimes rituals can be great experiences too but they are not the only thing (IMO). I hope you find what you want searchingmum. Yet, I think you may find that inner peace is there with you waiting to be rediscovered. Welcome to the forum. Pete
  12. Pete

    The Hate Of The New Atheists

    I remember a quote. If my memory serves me well it was said by Paul Tillich. It goes "No one distorts the path to truth than those who are given the undisputed authority to tell it". This is an issue because the church and its history has given themselves that undisputable authority and also the right to condemn to suffering and hell those who object to the view that they teach. In the past thousands of people have been killed to promote the churches authority and it is something I am all too conscious of. I am sure anyone with my views in the past would likely have been burn't at the stake or tortured to death just for uttering them. I find it therefore a hard religion that says only those with a certain view are to find themselves in heaven but non believers deserve eternal hell. For me, no one deserves eternal hell and to promote such a view of God does not express to me a God capable of knowing what love is. I agree whole heartedly with John Spong's view that this belief is a means to control decentors and I am definitely not for it. I am sure that many believers and non believers will not agree with each other because they often are speaking a differing language. One speaks about the constructs of science and the universe and the other speaks about the meaning of their life and spiritual matters. Now I can understand both viewpoints but for me to condemn the other as unworthy is to take away something that is about being human. However, in my view no one has the right to threaten anyone with evil or eternal hell because they believe something different. Yet, some beliefs do need challenging. Where a belief takes away a person's humanity then I feel it needs challenging. I watch in horror as some justify terrorism and all manner of things as the will of God when deep down it is really their will to promote their belief as the only one that should exist and they are prepared to kill to acheive this. I also become distressed when I hear some saying that aids is a Gods punishment on gay people and some african leaders who argues that it can be cured by rubing a leaf. I suppose from the same logic that those who died of smallpox were being punished for not owning cows and being affected by cowpox. I am sorry but I see that as a sick nonesense. I would rather stick with being human no matter how flawed that maybe than promote the taking away of the humanity of myself and others for the sake of a belief that often cannot be substantiated. I have beliefs but your free to not believe them and as I do not believe in hell there is no consciquence. I am just for being human and respecting that in me and others providing they also give me the freedom and do this for me. I work in the health service in the UK and I remember about thirty years ago putting down a nominal CofE on the records of people who argued that they were atheists because it was thought wrong. This was not just me and it was common practice. I would never do that today. I therefore can understand why some athiests feel hard done too. It is because they have been and like myself and liberals/progressives today are not accepted as having the right by some to differ in our thinking. Human beings differ and to promote it otherwise is for me anti-human. Hence, I am not with those who say all religion is bad or there is not other ways of looking at things and all decentors should have horrible things happen to them.
  13. Pete

    Beginner Book Recommendations?

    Welcome Whylago. I started with "The Call to Heresy" by Robert Vande Weyer and onto Spong's book "Rescuing the Bible from Fundamentalism" and went on from there. Once I got the idea that the Bible was a development rather than a static work from the beginning all sorts of questions came to my mind. I also recommend "How Jesus became Christian" by Barry Wilson. Welcome my friend and I hope your journey is fruitful.
  14. Pete

    New Here

    Hi Kay. I personally go with what Joseph said but also see God as the unity of all things and the creator of existence. However, I am sure that view is flawed but like Joseph also said definitions get in the way of experiences. Welcome Kay.
  15. Pete

    Translate Worship How?

    Hi Ychild. Substiitutional attonement is one I pondered over for some time. I mean why does someone have to die just for God to say I forgive you. Why cannot this just be done. I mean if we humans went with the same logic that somone has to die when people wrong us then I suspect there would not be many, if any, of us alive. Yet the idea of substitional Attonement portrays a God who is incapable of forgiving without someone or something being sacrificed. This for me portrays a flawed God. Nowadays I see Jesus as dying that we should know of God rather than dying that we should be forgiven by God. I believe God forgives anyway. Lets look at it critically. Jesus was strickly a follower of Judaism. Judaism does not have a hell from which we need saving from. The Church I believe invented that. Hell did not exist prior to the church. Anyway. Welcome my friend.
  16. Pete

    Going From The Right To The Left

    Welcome Southernwonder. I see you have a camera on you logo. Are you also interested in photography? I hope get many blessings from the forum.
  17. Pete

    The Hate Of The New Atheists

    I find much of an issue here. I find it difficult to condemn athiests for not believing in God. Likewise I find it difficult to condemn some one who does. Both positions are part and parcel of what is to be human. There has been believers and doubters in one faith or another since the birth of mankind. I consider both positions as just being human with questions we really cannot answer or define conclusively to everyones satisfaction. Many say they do not believe in God and then one asks what view of God is that one does not believe in. Well most would say the biblical view and especially the OT. Then they are surprised that I do not believe in that view either and yet I do believe in God. I am happy to discuss what I believe but I do not try to define my view as one that they should also adopt unless they choose too. I just say that it is my view on things. The trouble is fundamentalism does try to cohearse the other and I also refer to those who act like born again athiests as they also do so. My respect for Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens and their view. I may not agree with it all but I respect it is their view. The trouble begins when one gets the likes of Christopher Hitchens stating that a liberal Christian had no right to call themselves a Christian because they do not promote biblical dogma. On the reverse of that we have the likes of George Bush who said that Atheists could not really be citizens and patriots of the US because they do not sign up to "in one nation under God". Such extreme views only promote distrust and lack of respect for the other. Statements like " if you do not believe this and become born again then your going to suffer in hell for eternity" also do not allow for the legitimising or respect for alternative views. Such views (IMO)are seen as an attack on a person and when this is then countered their view also seems hard, usually mocking the other. One of the hardest of issues I get is that when I say I am a liberal Christian I am seen only in the light of someone who has fundamental views. Likewise many atheists are also unhappy being associated with extreme atheist views that disrespect the views of others. I think there is aspects we share with athiests in that many fundamentalist do not think we liberal/progressives should exist either. I guess what I am say here is just as not all believers are the same, not all none believers are the same but I do feel dialogue is possible when respect is there. Trouble is (IMO) the extreme on both sides do not seem to want to hear that dialogue, which I believe is sad for humanity.
  18. Pete

    Devils, Demons And Schizophrenia

    Hi Sky seeker. I have worked in psychiatry since 1978. There is much online about the illness but if you do not mind me sharing a few off the cuff thoughts of my own. I am sure that the voices have not got anything to do with demons. One thing that seems to be a common occurrence (IMO) for those who do hear voices is anxiety often makes them worse. I have often noted how some people who hear voices often attach the voices to something they fear or have a concern about. I have known some who hear voices say that they are a pedaphile or a murder or that someone is out to get them and yet there is no evidence that any of these things are true. I read your post of the voices saying God is shitty. I wonder if this is something you have a concern about thinking. I have often heard people say their voices say terrible things about them and yet none of this sits well with the often lovely person I see before me. I am not saying this is a cause of schizophrenia because I think they are still working out what that is but I do believe there is a connection between anxiety and the voices. I often note that those who spend a lot of time on their own often come off worse because if there is no gentle distractions and the main focus of the person is on the voices and their thoughts. Trouble is the illness is known to cause some to isolate themselves and the medication and illness makes it hard on those finding the motivation to seek out company. One thing seems to be noted according to one study is that people who suffer schizophrenia also suffer more anxiety then those without the illness. Yet, it has also to be noted that this may be in response to the illness as well as a possible indicator of the things the voices are saying to the person or a contribution to the illness.occurring . See:- http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/706244_2 As for the demons I agree with what you have said "This is the kind of thing I'm thinking of now. Demons and devils really have no place in them, except in an explanation of how we can be misled much by living in a fantasy world of good and evil where there also agents of the devil. In fact, living in a struggle of good against evil under religious terms actually invites images of demons and devils for the mentally sensitive and fragile." I also think it makes some people fear to question what some churches are saying and therefore I believe there is an element of controlling people by causing them fear. Something I personally do not approve of.
  19. Pete

    The Good Godless Gay

    Got to admit, I live in the UK and the religious right scare me too. It is mostly far right wing politics trying to manipulate people (IMO).
  20. Pete

    Hello - New To The Forum

    I loved that. Welcome Amy.
  21. Pete

    The Good Godless Gay

    I once told a similar story on another site about a good gay prostitute. Boy did I stare up some conflict.
  22. Pete

    Hi To All Members On This Forum

    Hi Ronald, I delighted to have you join us. Welcome.
  23. Pete

    Hello!

    Hi Fred, Welcome to the forum. You seem to have a very varied and interesting background to your faith. I look forward to hearing more from you on the site.
  24. Pete

    Hello

    Welcome to the forum JesusRadical. Many of us here started out in fundamentalist churches. I admit I did. So feel free to talk about what you want on this site and I believe you will get an appreciation for your personal journey.
  25. Pete

    Why Was Jesus Born

    I agree. What price is having dogma or not having dogma if one's heart is not in the right place? I find debates about differences between liberal and progressive as a difficult one and usually say it depends upon the liberal or the progressive. I call myself "Liberal" but I am unable to clearly define the difference because they overlap so much (IMO). I say I am a liberal but I do believe in God but not as always how the bible defines God.
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