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Sticky Questions..

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My thoughts on the initial questions in the sticky, I thought I'd share.

 

 

1. How does language “an approach to God” fit your spiritual needs?

 

I think the language is appropriate. Religion and spirituality are
approaches
to God. We can never have certain knowledge of everything spiritual, or everything in general. We will forever be approaching God and asking "What about this?" -- I feel that is accurate for my life, at the very least.

 

 

2. What language would you have used for you own spiritual journey?

 

An unfinished story... that only gets better and better.

 

 

3. Do you feel as the life and teachings of Jesus have brought you closer to an experience of God? How so?

 

I really feel I've answered this in a later question. (#5)

 

 

4. How does the absence of salvation language help or detract from your spiritual path?

 

It doesn't detract, that's for sure.

 

Salvation is a concept that breeds exclusionary tactics among people, and that is quite negative in my opinion. A lack of salvation language assists in bringing people together, rather than driving them apart by saying "This is the way you must be, the things you must say, the acts you must do, to be considered 'saved' in my/our/God's eyes."

 

I appreciate the absence very much.

 

 

5. How does the Jesus of history or his teachings affect your understanding of God?

 

I enjoy the word "or" in this sentence, as I feel there is not enough historical evidence to claim for certain that Jesus ever existed as a physical man in history. But I remain a fence-sitter on the issue, open to the other side of the fence, but firmly facing the side that sees the value in the Christ story more so than Jesus Christ the man.

 

I digress, however.

 

The teachings of Jesus affect my understanding of God in a positive way. I was raised Agnostic (which left me wanting, I wanted more definition in my life than "I simply don't know"), and proceeded into Paganism at an early age after I felt called to seek God. It was only when I found the teachings and stories of Christ that I felt a real connection to God, and these stories and teachings inspire me to strive to be a better person in so many ways, and to reach for a personal relationship with God that I never thought I would ever find. I realize that sounds cliche, but apparently I'm full of those. Though what terrible thing is a cliche if it brings a positive note to your life...

 

I don't believe Christianity is about "salvation" in the traditional sense, but about salvation as a form of
reconciliation
with God. I think we start out having a connection to Him, and slowly drift away as we age. As a result, I'm brought closer to God by understanding the message of Christ and how it applies to my life.

 

 

6. How might our understanding of who and what we are, as human beings, change if we remove the need for the sacrifice of Jesus as the Pascal Lamb, our redeemer?

I do not believe our understanding of
who and what we are as humans
would change at all, actually, if Jesus' sacrifice (be it historical/physical or more mythological/allegorical) were removed. Or if God were removed. I believe those who are not at all connected to God in
any
way can understand what and who we are as human beings... though perhaps not necessarily
why
we are what and who we are.

 

I believe my (as an individual, I cannot speak for anyone but myself) relationship with God would change drastically if I removed it from my life, however. Or my spirituality would be forever altered had I never came upon the teachings of Christ's death and resurrection. For me though, it is not about a historical event that must have happened exactly as described, but rather it is about the concept of reconciliation to God from my extremely flawed life and ways. The idea that there is great love for me in God, and that even if my actions may not be even remotely perfect or even Godly, my faith can still live on beyond that, and I still have every opportunity to be the child of God He wants me to be.

 

The sacrifice of Jesus for me is more about faith living on eternally after attempted destruction -- rather than a man in body.

 

7. What is the difference between savior, hero, master, teacher, or prophet for you?

 

Savior
-- Someone or something that intervenes to save a subject from something else. It suggests I needed to be saved
from
something. I believe we are saved more from ourselves than anything else, mind you. I suppose that is a vague concept left in such short statement, but it would take too many more paragraphs to define further.

 

Hero
-- Too romanticized for my tastes or use, to be honest. Something I attribute to fiction novels and TV shows more than religion and spirituality. But that could be because I watch too much TV
;)

 

Master
-- A term I feel is negative. It suggests domination in a not-so-positive way... someone who controls. It is not a term I apply even to God, as I do not believe Christianity is a religion of fatalism with God as the puppet-master.

 

Teacher
-- Someone who instructs, by purpose or by accident. Someone from whom I can learn something of which I previously ignorant.

 

Prophet
-- Someone who reveals meaning or truth -- not necessarily in the same capacity as teacher. A teacher may instruct a point, but they may never be able to provide you further insight to truly understand it.

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Thanks for the input, ada. I am glad to see more activity and discussion on the 8 points that define PC. I'm not much on labels or defining creeds. I think both serve to create borders and limitations, but i appreciate the 8 Points and the related study questions for the contemplation, reflection, and the discussion they generate within a diverse community. My perspective on the points seems to differ from yours in detail, but I appreciate the opportunity to contemplate from a different point of view. Thanks, and hope to read more of your posts soon.

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I truly think if we all saw the world in exactly the same manner, the world would be an incredibly dull place :)

 

My views will always be radically contrasted with those of others, I've come to accept that a long time ago and have found peace in a very unique and personal relationship with God. I've yet to find an accepting community to talk about my views, I do spend a lot of time on a mainstream Christian forum where the common attitude is to be a spiritual bully instead of a loving example of Jesus, I sort of hope this forum will be a much more mature (and diverse) experience.

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Language? What do we mean by 'language'? Before answering let me back up a bit.

 

The old 'language' was that of the spoken word. Very few could read let alone write. Narratives were the medium by which information was passed - the spoken word - which is why market places and temple precincts were favorite haunts for those wanting to pass on some form of information. Jesus made use of this public space to tell his own message. We now use the internet.

 

But between the use of narratives and the internet something was invented called the 'texts' - or the written word. It was at this point that the things confined to the spoken word and which were readily acceptable became a problem - how does once convey the meanings and the subtleties inherent in the narrative form across into the written word? With some imprecision I would suggest - it was all too new. Both the process of recording those narratives and in trying to read those texts based on that imprecise reading and collating.

 

My own view is that the period of this transcription whereby 'language' went from one form to another has left us that much poorer - we can never recapture the real 'language' (meaning) of the narrative.

 

This process of 'language' is even now undergoing another dramatic change - from books to the internet.

 

So the 'language' we use is as much the product of technology as it is of 'meanings'.

 

Living in the 21st century means for most of us living with computers and the 'net. Therefore the 'language' about God will change as it surely did some 1800 odd years ago - as it surely did with the invention of the printing press.

 

Our 'language' about God has changed. No longer are we the minnows of the Church. We are not only more highly educated than the average priest even some 50 years ago - we have access to almost the entire corpus of human knowledge - at our fingertips. This is nothing short of revolutionary - it changes forever how we do things and how we create meanings. I rather suspect it also signals the death knell of the Church - except for those areas of the world where the local population cannot afford food, let alone computers.

 

What God means (the 'language' of God) will surely change in the next century. Perhaps in that change we humans may come to recognise the need for a newer fresher 'language' of God - a language that no longer is afraid of the edicts of a Church too tired to even offer up anything other than a retreat to fundamentalism. (I acknowledge there are ares within the Church which are desperately changing but I fear it is all too little too late).

 

So our language will reflect our beliefs as much as it reflects technology. In this our spirituality will, likewise, change. I also suspect that God will change and respond accordingly to these new challenges.

Edited by Wayseer

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I enjoyed reading this. It makes sense.I am fully in agreement.

Edited by johnk

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