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About rayodeluz

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  1. Way Of Living

    The Christian faith is a way of living, not a set of creedal beliefs. Constantine turned the faith into a belief system for the purposes of the empire but Jesus and Paul taught a life path that, when followed, brings a person near to the heart of God. Col. -17 offers guidance into the way of compassion, forgiveness, unity and love. The future church that survives the demise of denominational and superstitious religion will be a religion built around orthopraxis rather than orthodoxy - by Rev. Dr. Roger Lee Ray Video:
  2. Yeah! Whoohoo!

    Congratulations Raven!
  3. Election 2012

    I am registered with the Green Party in my home state of Connecticut. CT is not a swing state, so as of today I plan to vote for the GP candidate (Jill Stein). However, if CT were a swing state, then I'd vote differently (and like a poster said before, not for a republican). And that's the problem with the political system in the U.S. Except for rare instances nationally or at the local and state levels, third-party candidates really don't have a shot. The two-party system is entrenched to the point where you can't vote your conscious in many cases without risking a the worst option winning office. I have seen that Stein has really been out there on campaign trail, yet do you hear a word about her or other third-party candidates in the mainstream media? Not a word. I think that is how it will always be in the U.S. Here in Mexico, we just had a presidential election last July 1. There were four candidates, and all got equal coverage, all participated in the debates, all had about the same amount of TV ads, etc., even though one was on par with a U.S. third-party candidate in terms of chance. He garnered a whopping 2% of the vote in the general election. Yet, he and his party are even now running ads thanking people for the support he did have, and still trying to get the word out about what his party stands for (this is common here for all parties to do) and building it. The GP and other parties really need to do this as well, and make their voices heard. If they truly put forth the effort, then we'll see if they catch on with the U.S. public, which I don't think it will happen. Things will continue as usual with the republicans and democrats running the show, to the detriment of the country. As a friend of mine says, both the democrats and republicans will end up destroying the country, but the difference is that the republicans will do it faster.
  4. Online Progressive Ministry?

    This may interest you http://www.onfaithonline.tv/darkwoodbrew/ Not sure if you'll like it, but give it a shot.
  5. Afterlife

    I've had some interest in near-death experiences over the paast couple of years, and have read many stories. I was actually thinking about making a a thread to get people's opinions on them. Obviously the stories can't be verified, but I can't discount them either. There are just too many to think that everyone who has shared their story is making them up. They gain nothing from it. The vast majority say their experiences were definitely real. So it seems like there's something to it. If anyone is interested in reading about them, twi good sites to check out are http://www.nderf.org/ and http://www.near-death.com/. The nderf site has a few thousand stories now, and they add more every two weeks or so. I'd be interested if peop0le thjink they are a hoax or not.
  6. Friends Of Jesus

    I didn't realize there was some question about whether or not Jesus actually said. That's interesting. FWIW, a few days ago I asked a former preacher about the quote. In his view, the sin would not be in divorcing, but rather in remarrying. By the standard I would think that Jesus wouldn't have a problem with divorce, assuming he made that quote.
  7. Saludos From Mexico

    I'm in Cuernavaca, which is about 60 miles south of Mexico City, I would love to see a UCC in either Mexico City or Cuernavaca.
  8. Friends Of Jesus

    I really like the OP as well. As far as adultery goes, that may come down to interpretation of scripture. For example, Jesus may be talking about divorcing for no good reason other than to marry someone else. He references the creation and how a man and woman are to become one, but it doesn't seem that a couple can be "one" if one of them is abusive. And can we really avoid adultery? Jesus went on to say that a man who looks at woman with lust commits adultery in his jeart. By that definition, I am guilty of adultery every day. I would never act on it (I just got married to a wonderful girl 10 days ago), but I must admit that when I see an attractive woman that it is not uncommon for me to have "impure" thoughts. I would guess that's true for the vast majority of people. It's just our nature.
  9. This site may be of interest to some here. Check it out. http://www.onfaithonline.tv/darkwoodbrew/ About Darkwood Brew Lead by Rev. Eric Elnes, Ph.D., Darkwood Brew is a groundbreaking interactive web television program and spiritual gathering that explores progressive/emerging Christian faith and values. Based on the structure of the Lectio Divina, an ancient spiritual practice developed by Benedictine monks in the 5th Century, and using cutting edge technology; Darkwood Brew explores The Unexpected Love of God in relevant, challenging and surprising ways. Featuring world-class jazz musicians, live interviews with international guests, and a variety of interactive media that allow you to participate in real-time, Darkwood Brew is webcast weekly on Sundays at 6pm Eastern, 5pm Central. New this fall, Darkwood Brew is now rebroadcast with live chat enabled on Sundays at 7 pm Pacific (10 pm Eastern/9 Central). This is Christian practice for the emerging faith of our world today. From the Darkwood Brew coffee house, the stage is set weekly for a hearty exchange of ideas and the way is made clear for insights and directions for your unique faith journey. It’s scholarly, it’s entertaining, it’s fun, and it’s enlightening. That’s a tall order. Grab a latte, get comfortable – but not too comfortable – and join the growing number of individuals and groups large and small around the world who are stirring things up with Darkwood Brew. You might not like it. But, then again, you might. CORE BELIEFS AND VALUES The Phoenix Affirmations below are a succinct articulation. While not everyone who comes to, or appears on, Darkwood Brew necessarily agrees with each of the twelve Affirmations – or is even expected to agree – they provide guidance for our programming. The Phoenix Affirmations were created in 2005 by clergy, laity, biblical scholars, and theologians from around the United States and many denominations. They do NOT define of who is and isn’t a Christian. They are simply twelve affirmations that many Christians find helpful in their path. A version number was attached to the Phoenix Affirmations by their creators to make it clear that they are not meant to stand for all time, and may morph and change in light of an ever-growing faith. Phyllis Tickle (author of The Great Emergence) has called the Phoenix Affirmations “the most clearly articulated and accessible statement of the creedal and public ground which the emerging new body of Christianity is coming to occupy in North America.”
  10. Dutch made a good suggestion when he said this may be a good topic for discussion. Below are the Phoenix Affirmations, and more information about what they are can be found at this site: http://phoenixaffirmations.wordpress.com/ I read them very quickly, and didn't at first glance see anything I would really object to. The Phoenix Affirmations Version 3.8 Christian love of God includes: 1. Walking fully in the path of Jesus, without denying the legitimacy of other paths that God may provide for humanity; 2. Listening for God’s Word which comes through daily prayer and meditation, studying the ancient testimonies which we call Scripture, and attending to God’s present activity in the world; 3. Celebrating the God whose Spirit pervades and whose glory is reflected in all of God’s Creation, including the earth and its ecosystems, the sacred and secular, the Christian and non-Christian, the human and non-human; 4. Expressing our love in worship that is as sincere, vibrant, and artful as it is scriptural. Christian love of neighbor includes: 5. Engaging people authentically, as Jesus did, treating all as creations made in God’s very image, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, age, physical or mental ability, nationality, or economic class; 6. Standing, as Jesus does, with the outcast and oppressed, the denigrated and afflicted, seeking peace and justice with or without the support of others; 7. Preserving religious freedom and the church’s ability to speak prophetically to government by resisting the commingling of church and state; 8. Walking humbly with God, acknowledging our own shortcomings while honestly seeking to understand and call forth the best in others, including those who consider us their enemies; Christian love of self includes: 9. Basing our lives on the faith that in Christ all things are made new and that we, and all people, are loved beyond our wildest imagination – for eternity; 10. Claiming the sacredness of both our minds and our hearts, and recognizing that faith and science, doubt and belief serve the pursuit of truth; 11. Caring for our bodies and insisting on taking time to enjoy the benefits of prayer, reflection, worship, and recreation in addition to work; 12. Acting on the faith that we are born with a meaning and purpose; a vocation and ministry that serve to strengthen and extend God’s realm of love.
  11. Thought the below article and all the other links in it about progressive Christianity would make for some interesting discussion. A Progressive's Three Great Loves A Progressive Christian is one who takes seriously the Three Great Loves identified by Jesus (God, Neighbor, Self), and rejects the notion that "two outta three ain't bad." By Eric Elnes, June 22, 2011 http://www.patheos.com/Resources/Additional-Resources/Progressives-Three-Great-Loves-Eric-Elnes-06-22-2011
  12. I haven’t read all the posts here, so I may be repeating some things others have said. The Bible seems pretty clear (at least to me) that we are no longer under Mosaic Law through faith in Jesus. Paul even says that all things are lawful, but not all things are wise to do (1 Corinthians 6:12 All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any). So that tells me we have a lot of freedom, but still there are some things we shouldn’t do. For example, pre-marital sex may not be a sin anymore, but potentially there are consequences that can come from it. It’s certainly possible to have unwanted pregnancies, catch venereal diseases, hurt emotions if one person believes a tryst is part of a deeper relationship while the other believes it’s more casual in nature, etc. Drinking alcohol may not be a sin, but in excess it takes a toll on a person’s health. So there is a lot to consider about certain actions, and it’s up to the individual to make a decision. However, the Christian liberty we have been given is why I don’t have list of what to do and what not to do as a Christian, with the exception of the 10 Commandments along with the new commandment Jesus gave us that we love one another. From what I understand, the 10 Commandments are separate from Mosaic Law, so I think we are still bound by them, even though all of us continue to break some of those (I’m very good at taking the Lord’s name in vain). So basically, my definition of Christianity is: 1) faith in Jesus and 2) following His two greatest commands of loving God and your neighbor, which really covers the 10 Commandments. That keeps it very simple.
  13. For me, PC can be broken down into both religion and politics. I am pretty conservative theologically, but that is why I'm very liberal. The Bible talks about social justice, caring for the poor, etc., and I find the politically left parties have more in common with those teachings (I'm a member of the Green party in the U.S). What is strange to me is that a lot of Christians have chosen to join conservative parties that seem to adapt positions in direct contrast to what the Bible and Jesus teaches. As far as religion goes, if you believe the Bible then you see we have a lot of liberty as Christians. We are no longer under Mosaic law, and we are to be led by the Spirit. So for me, it really comes down to the relationship between God and the individual. I know there are some things that are not right for me to do, but that doesn't me they're not right for someone else. If you believe in God then your path will be directed by God, and it's nobody else's business to interfere or to tell you that you're wrong. It's why I have no list of what a Christian should or should not do. It's a lifelong process, and we're all at different stages trying to figure this thing out.
  14. Saludos From Mexico

    Thank you for all the kind comments! .
  15. Saludos From Mexico

    I just joined the message boards here a few days ago. I'm actually pretty conservative in my theology, but that is what makes me progressive in my thinking. The more I read and and learn about Christianity, the more I realize how much I don't know about God. The Bible (in the translations that we have) can only offer the slightest glimpse into the wonders of God, but it seems there are too many Christians out there who "know-it-all" and try to shove their beliefs down other people's throats. The only stances I personally will not waiver from are that we are saved through true faith in Jesus, that He was the son of God and died for our sins, we are to live by faith and be guided by the Holy Spirit (this is an individual thing between a person and God, and others shouldn't interefere as so many seem to like to do), we are not bound by Old Testament law (Christianity is not a list of what to do and what not to do), and that we are to follow the two greatest commandments, which are to love God with all out heart and soul, and to love our neighbor (which pretty much encompasses the 10 Commandments). Other than that, I really try to keep an open mind. I have no problem with people who believe differently, what they do, etc., as long as they don't hurt anybody, try to impose their beliefs on others, or criticize other people's beliefs. There is not one person who has Christianity all figured out and is 100% correct. I look forward to some interesting conversations in a place like this where I know I won't have to worry about being called a heretic, "false" Christian, etc. The church I identify with most is the United Church of Christ in the U.S., but now I live in Mexico and the UCC doesn't have any churches here. Mexico is a very Catholic country, so I do attend RCC mass here (I was raised Catholic), although I differ with some of the official positions of the RCC. For example, I have no problem with gay marriage, women becoming priests, priests marrying, or a woman's right to choose. That's about it for now. See you on the boards.