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TomAllyn last won the day on May 25 2017

TomAllyn had the most liked content!

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About TomAllyn

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    New Member
  • Birthday April 26

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  • Location
    Sacramento, CA
  • Interests
    Loving my neighbors, cooking-especially low and slow BBQ, and saltwater fishing.
  1. I haven’t visited here in quite a while. I’m glad to be back today but don’t know for how long. Frankly, I’m not sure that I fit any labels any more and I’m good with it. I find the contrast from the labels I once fit and where I am today kind of comical. Now I follow the life and teaching of Jesus but for several years have rejected the label Christian, I am a medical marijuana patient (so perhaps Pothead fits lol), I’m involved in social justice activism, and don’t believe I’ve found anything better socially and politically than Socialism so perhaps Socialist. I have people who I love and consider close friends from just about every group of people who it seems fundamentalists love to hate and certainly reject, marginalize, and disenfranchise, and stigmatize. On top of all that I have Adjustment Disorder from from everything I was put through in the church and all the school changes I experienced as a child. Working in State Government hasn’t helped this either. I’m struggling a bit right now because I’m becoming a bit overwhelmed by more changes that have been happening lately and lack progress in both my work and personal life. Sorry to dumb this on you all but I don’t currently have anyone to talk to. Tom
  2. I'm glad that you caught that I meant "universe" and not universal. I have never damage in my right hand and arm and use dictation software a result. It often is inaccurate and sometimes I don't catch the typos. It is possible that I'm using the wrong terminology but when I say universe I mean everything that exists not just in this world outside of it. I see "God"/Source has both filling all life forms. As I understand source is like water and all life forms like sponges in the water. The water is not a sponge and yet it permeates every fiber of the sponges. At the same time a water gives life and animates the sponges and both the water in the sponges have their own consciousness and the ability to think. The water gives life to the sponges at each sponge unique personalities in this illustration so does the water. The sponges have no life without the water to the contrary the water is self-sufficient in every way.
  3. In my understanding Source is something literal something that fills the entire universal and every cell and atom. Not something I can nail down a definition on though. Yet I believe it animates everything that exists. I also so believe Source is he, she, it, and more all at the same time and it and I believe Source has consciousness and intellect. I never realized I was this much of a philosopher - It that is the correct description LOL. Whenever I think of Source I think of Acts 17: 28 For “In... we live and move and have our being...” This speaks to me!
  4. I'm sorry, but my inner and outer socialist is going to show here. IMO the problem is Capitalism period in the case of world hunger the issue is "factory farming" or more accurately Corporation farming. Farms whose sole purpose and the driving force is making their major shareholders richer. The owners of these farms have never worked on a farm or possibly anywhere a day in their lives they have made all their money via inheritance and by moving money around. They haven't gotten into farming to feed their neighbors they do get up before dawn and quit after dark like farmers historically have. Farming to them is not a calling it's just a business venture. This is what happens when the producers do not own the means of production. I wish I can remember the following in more detail, but I was reading somewhere in the last couple weeks and the person made the point that subconsciously that one reason poor people continue to have more children is to increase the odds that their DNA will not die out or something to that effect - was for the survival of their kind so that if most of them starved to death there would be at least one to carry on their DNA. It has to do with the survival of the human species. This idea really hit home with me. I believe it was in the same article that the point was made that where people prosper they reproduce less.
  5. I'm going to attempt to enter this conversation, but I must admit I have a feeling I have less experience than you all in this kind of discussion and less formal education. The words I quote above caught my attention one trivial reason being they were written on birthday. Secondly, because I would argue there is no such thing as spiritual progress or regress. We are all simply spiritual it isn't something measurable, it just is, like being human. I would say that in my subjective experience the more I experience the unity every human has with Source the more I become loving, gentle, humble, social, creative and the fewer answers and more doubts I have. I hope the doubts are a product of increased humility. I will say this too since I was quite young my relationship with source has been more experiential than anything and my understandings, however, flawed have come more from my experience than anything written.
  6. That video is definitely amazing! For some reason it causes me to think of a question I've asked on numerous occasions outside of here to which no one has ever attempted an answer. That is what if evolution is intelligent design? I feel the need to confess that I believe it is.
  7. I'm not very good at remembering details - I often say of myself that "I miss the trees for the forest" instead of the more common way of saying that. Some of the preferences I have which I will mention are a knee-jerk reaction to the working definition of these words within the fundamentalist circles I came out of. For instance, I don't like to use the following words "God" I prefer Source/Other/Creator almost anything other than "God," I don't often refer to myself as a "Christian" I typically do not give my path a label. I believe Other has revealed his/her/itself in many ways to different people, cultures, etc as he/she/it knew was needed which is one of the reasons why I love the Spong quote I have as part of my signature. The one significant failure I see among faith traditions is the belief that what has been revealed to them by Source is all there is to know and is, therefore, the definition of "God." I've come to believe if we combined what has been revealed to various faith traditions and people around the world we still will not have the definition of "God" as I believe Source still transcends all we combined together will ever know of him/her/it. So I don't believe there is the best anything with regard to "God" when it comes to human understanding. I believe all faith traditions and all people have some truth in this regard and a whole lot of misunderstanding. When it comes to Yeshua Bar-Yosef and his being the Son of God. In that time and place, I believe he was the child of "God" with the greatest understanding of his "Father" and his "Father's" love for "his" children. I'm not convinced, that his paternal relation to Source was different than anyone else, but that his understanding of it was. I also do not know that he was Other from you or me. When it comes to "sacred" texts I believe they contain more Bologna Sandwiches than the truth about the character and nature of Source or Jesus. For instance, I believe Moses was the ancient Hebrew version of Donald Trump. I do believe that "sacred" texts have some usefulness, but I do not believe useful translates to necessary. I believe they reveal more about character and nature of writers than Source or Jesus. I was recently asked how do you take a specific biblical verse (I don't remember which one) my reply was "With a grain of salt" which sums up my take on the entire Bible.
  8. I haven't taken the time to read this thread, but I likely will eventually! Since "God is Love" as I understand it progressive "Christianity" or as I prefer "Progressive Spirituality" is loving ALL your neighbors as they are. The main thing that transformed my life since leaving my old life behinds is the revelation that God loves, likes, accepts, and considers me perfect as I am. That understanding freed me to consider myself the same and that in turn freed me to consider all of my neighbors the same. Which in turn freed me to love and seek their good regardless our differences and when justice of any sort is denied them fight beside and for them.
  9. I'm with you - I have more questions than answers now than I thought I once did. Matter of fact having questions I don't have answers to actually feels freeing to me. My having questions and not feeling the need find answers is, even more, freeing for me. How you live being more important than what you believe is a great start - as I understand it is a pretty good end too!
  10. It's kind of strange to me, but I find community among those who don't believe, do not know what they, or simply don't give much thought to it than I do among "believers." I spend a lot of time in the local activist and socialist community and so many folks have questions about my background having come out of a hyper-conservative religious and political to now being on the extreme left. It's kind of funny to me. I belong to the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) and after our meets or actions, the young folks always invite me to have drinks after with them. Then they start asking me all kinds of questions for the next couple hours. These same young folks keep encouraging me to lead a local "Religion and Socialism" group for our DSA chapter. Sorry for the long commentary it just truly surprises and blesses me! Secondly, I find it with my fellow activist/social justice community members many of who happen to be atheists.
  11. I've lived in Sacramento, CA for about 99% of my 54-years. I am a former Assemblies of God ordained minister and I haven't attended church anywhere in nearly 15-years. I was pretty much run out of the last Church for loving the people who society and the church often marginalize, disenfranchise, and stigmatize and for exposing the extreme moral corruption of the churches leadership. I'm here because I've often told myself that had I known of had the opportunity to be exposed to John Shelby Spong before I "left" the "ministry" and stopped attending church I might still be in some way part of both. I put left and ministry in quotes because as I now understand both now ministry is just loving my neighbors and seeking their good and often fighting for it when it's being denied. It's almost like breathing. All of my theology and praxis has completely changed and though I read the bible for through sometimes twice a year every year religiously for over 25-years I have rarely read it all for the last 10 or more years. Back when I was in churches since I was 14-years-old it was said that I had the gifts of pastor and of prophet. I'm not confident whether as defined by Charismatics/Pentecostals that is accurate. Strangely, at least to me, I still believe in Charismata I just think the typical understand of them among different flavors of Charismatics/Pentecostals is way off especially as they are treated as an end in themselves. ~Tom
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