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Byrch last won the day on July 1 2016

Byrch had the most liked content!

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About Byrch

  • Rank
    New Member
  • Birthday 07/07/1972

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  • Gender
  • Location
    South West, BC
  • Interests
    Studying World religions, Doctor Who, Dark Ale, Gnosticism, Ugaritic writings,Breaking Bad, Dead Sea Scrolls, Nag Hammadi, Hinduism, Firefly ;)
  1. Byrch

    Canada Versus The Us

    Yes, and open carrying here in Canada can get us into a lot of trouble!
  2. I think that's a fantastic angle And yes --- here it's the same thing, except perhaps they think I'm one of the people walking through the park, passing out free chips, free cans of pop and pamphlets about why Jesus doesn't like immigrants.
  3. Byrch

    Respecting Diverse Christians

    I have been thinking about this a lot lately. I'm taking some sacred scripture courses that cover a variety of religions and I often get pulled one way or another by various paths that speak a truth to me that I understand as being the path I want to walk toward God. Religion as a finger pointing to the moon and not the moon itself. After learning much via biblical criticism and the like, it can be hard when speaking with people who believe their conservative viewpoint but at the same time have no idea that Mark, Matthew, Luke and John are actually different versions of the Jesus story and not just four chapters. (in this last class I have met many that really had no idea there were 4 different views. They really thought each gospel told a different part of Jesus' story at different times, due to the way the gospel is read at church) --- I have to really resist the tendency to point out a misconceived belief because I'm not sure how to do that in a way that still "acknowledge that their ways are true for them".
  4. I guess for me I do feel the need for qualifiers because most people I know are very anti-christian. So if I were to say "I'm a Christian" they would think suddenly I had 'left my brain at the door' . So for me, a label that fits is something I guess I've craved as a way to express what I understand spiritually so that I can connect with others that feel the same way. If I say I am Christian, to most that means I have declared Jesus as my personal savior (which I haven't) and that I believe he died for my sins (I don't believe that either) . Those are two basic understandings to the majority of people as to what 'makes' a Christian. It's like suddenly one's intelligence is discounted. So instead it becomes 'Oh I'm Christian but not THAT kind of Christian' - I guess I could say I'm a Progressive Christian and that might suffice. It was actually far easier to tell Christian people that I was a pagan than it was to tell my pagan friends that I was Christian. Might just be the area I live in but Christianity is not a well received or accepted path of faith.
  5. Byrch

    Hi Everyone

    Welcome Ecc3 Good to have you here.
  6. Sometimes it does seem that way also. I have a hard time finding an inbetween - intelligent, critical, religious people. People who can find beauty in the words and ritual of church act, but realize that the bible is not the literal inerrant word of God, and that there are many paths to the Divine etc. It's so weird that the older I get, the more alone I feel. Maybe that is the way it is supposed to be.
  7. Byrch

    Greetings From Western Canada

    romansh - hi! We're almost neighbours! And thank you soma, I'm just really happy to find a safe space like this.
  8. Thanks Soma I appreciate the welcome. I think part of the Marcus Borg bit that makes me so sad is that he was so genuine and earnest in his words, and now as someone who has passed away - to see him be mocked bothers me more than I suppose if he was still with us. But you're right - Im sure that was nothing he was unused to, being in the public eye and such. The Christian Path is wide - I have to remember that - thank you.
  9. Byrch

    Greetings From Western Canada

    Thank you Paul - It is nice to have a venue to share expressions or ideas that surround Progressive Christianity. I know for the most part, since Facebook, forums have slowed down a lot - but this is still a great option
  10. I remember when I first found the website for the the Center for Progressive Christianity - after such a wide, varied and confusing journey it had felt like I had a spiritual home. Yes, there was the problem still that there were no PC churches in my area - but there was a community of people on the site sharing prayers, liturgy etc. But then, to tell someone, "I'm Christian, but not THAT kind of Christian" - because otherwise it is assumed that I believe in an inerrant bible. That I believe Jesus died for my sins. That I accept Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. When I then go on to share what the 8 Points are, I am met with - "Well, that isn't even Christianity" Sometimes it feels like PC is a 'reclaiming' of what Jesus intended. Other times it feels like PC should be called something else... Jesuism or something. I don't know. But it feels like it is so far from what 98% (no, I don't have facts for that figure, lol - its just a 'feels like' kind of number) of the Christian population believe that it is no longer even Christianity. Marcus Borg in a talk he did, mentioned that he often felt he had more in common with Progressive Jews/Muslims than the more fundamental sects within his own faith. That makes me sad. It also made me sad that after a lovely talk I watched that Marcus Borg gave on youtube, there were all these comments about what a wack job he was and how wrong he was with all of the points he made and it just broke my heart. I guess that's why I retreat from Christianity so often and seek out paths like Hinduism --- but then there, feel lost because once again.. still no community near me. Nor however is there anything online... So: "I'm Christian but I don't believe this, I do believe that, I also believe this, but not as far as that" --- a religion with qualifiers.
  11. Byrch

    Many Paths To God

    I agree with the above posts - And for myself, because I've done lots of poking about in historicity etc, I feel that there are many words that are in the bible because people wrote them according to their own world view and spiritual prejudices - rather than being included because they are direct quotes from Jesus himself. However, many of us have a personal relationship with scriptures that speak to us, so simply disregarding that particular text isn't really a kind thing to suggest. It is helpful though to look at the context that the author of John was writing via. These words presented and added as canonical because at a time of possible Pagan chaos, early Christian leaders were concerned about their charges following any number of the many teachings from a variety of sects and behaving in a way some might have seen as damaging. There were also many who claimed to be the ultimate prophet back in the day and perhaps those words were directed more at those wayward and lost folk who were at risk of joining in dangerous cultic practices. It's so hard to say ... because we weren't there (oh! to be a fly on the wall!)
  12. Byrch

    Progressive Christian Authors?

    I absolutely loved Marcus Borg's 'Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time - I read it while quite involved in the local Pagan scene, but it moved me enough to spark my re connection to Christianity. I in fact like everything Marcus Borg has written One of my favourite books is by Mitch Albom - Have a Little Faith. - not sure if Mitch Albom self identifies as Progressive Christianity, but upon reading it it relates to many of the dilemmas we share.
  13. I think this is one of the most difficult sorts of forums to share an 'intro' because this is the part of my life that affects me the most yet I understand the least. I am a 44 year old female, mom and wife. I was raised without much religion, though my Step/Adoptive dad is Jewish - we observed the most common Jewish holidays with his family but we also celebrated Christian holidays because my mom was a 'christian holiday raised' agnostic (lol, for lack of a better term) I became Roman Catholic at 16 because I was pregnant and the father to be was from a strict Roman Catholic family which demanded I become Catholic so we could marry. However the church still wouldnt marry us do to my age - we had a justice of the peace quickie instead but the marriage didnt last. (good thing) I loved the ritual of the Catholic church, but did not like what I felt was their stance on the domestic violence I endured during my short marriage. In my mid twenties I started looking into Paganism and Wicca and became a practicing Wiccan . I didnt see the God and Goddess as literal however, I saw them as masculine and feminine forms of energy of the One Source - along the lines of Dion Fortune etc. What I did love was seeing divine presence through nature, and the ritual, candles, incense , celebration. From there I started studying Gnosticism as found within the Nag Hammadi, as well as the other texts found at Nag Hammadi, such as Gospel of Thomas. I started learning about the early Jerusalem Church, Essenes,, Hellenism, Hermetism, Early Church Fathers and you name it. I suddenly was delving into the stories and myths from both canonical and non canonical as well as scholarly works by King, Meyer, Patterson, Davies etc. I found out about the very non simple origins of Christianity, I found out about all the 'background' stuff. The redactions, interpolations, misinterpretations etc... however I still began to really enjoy this journey and finding a richness and depthness of people's varied understandings of God. I realised there MIGHT be a place for me within some variant of a Christian path. I also have spent a lot of time reading about origins of Israel, the Cannanites/Ugarit and the discoveries at Ras Shamrah - I LOVE the Ba'al myth - I realized that the 'feeling of God' I had was very much the El of the bible and not the Yahweh. Yahweh always seemed so mad and thundering I realized I had felt a connection with this El the Compassionate.. El Elyon .. and all those other phrases that were also epitaphs of the Ugarit El.. it made me feel as though I was seeing the God that Jesus was connecting to. This ancient formless being, personified in myth as El of the Mountain. Anyhow, so from there I realized I do have this connection to Jesus - but Christianity itself -- well I feel honestly like the way Christianity is now, in it's most common source, would have let Jesus down. Meager simple beginnings.. this man on foot in hot sand.. to huge temples and cathedrals, with 80% of the biblical writings not being about Jesus' teachings of God, but interpretations of what other people THOUGHT about what Jesus would have wanted. I see scriptures that were most likely not the words of Jesus - except some excerpts in Mark and maybe Gospel of Thomas -- I see political agendas, and words and stories that I can not identify with. Yet there is this calling, this drawing to the Way of Jesus. So mainly I call myself a Jesuist. Because I feel connected to the Core of Jesus' teachings, but not connected to the dogma and drama of the church. I love writings by Thomas Merton, Cynthia Bourgeault, Marcus Borg and others. I enjoy Gospel of Thomas, Baal Epic (because I LOVE the old wordings and how it describes that ancient world) Upanishads/Vedas, and other non canonical texts. I realized not long ago, when reading the Upanishads that there was this direct instruction of oneness and the veil that we see as separation, which is illusion and so many more words of unity and spiritual truths --- and how sad I was that the only similar writings I could find about Christianity are from modern people reinterpreting Christianity. Yet although I have been seeking out to become a Hindu, here I am instead.. as a . Jesuist, or Progressive Christian or, Gnostic or.. who knows what. But here I am.