Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
john_wales

Hello From Wales In United Kingdom

Recommended Posts

Hi everyone

 

I was raised as a fundamentalist without knowing it and about three years ago in my forties I started hearing alternatives to that theology and am gradually looking into progressive Christianity as a lot of what I learned about it so far makes more sense than my previous stance.

 

There are still a few beliefs I hold on to as I can't find alternative interpretations of certain scriptures but am open to being taught further,

 

I will now trawl through this forum and see what I can find.

 

John

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Croeso John. I hope your journey and membership of the forum brings you many blessings :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

John,

 

You are in for an awakening, I am sure.

 

I too was raised fundy for my first 20 years, only to reject Christianity entirely until revisiting it when I learnt about Progressive Christianity in my forties also.

 

At the very least, what I have learnt about:

  • the timeline of the writing the books of the bible,
  • the cultural conditions in which they were individually written
  • what the meaning of the words Jesus spoke 2000 years ago would have meant to the people of that time, as opposed to trying to hold onto those 2000 year old thoughts with the belief they have the exact same meaning for us and our culture today
  • the differences between the Christianity of Paul and the Christianity of the surviving Disciples

makes much, much more sense to me than the mind-bending apologetics I was raised within.

 

I hope you enjoy learning more about PC and participating here.

 

Cheers

Paul

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi John, it can be a very exciting and liberating time, but also discouraging during the chasm when old belefs fall away and new comforts have yet to emerge. This is a good place to work through it. Welcome.


Eric

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi John, I think many of us just get to the point where things just don't make sense to us anymore so we search. I found I was led deep into history, Egyptian, Greek, Persian, and the Roman and learning about the cultures at the times of the writings made me take a much different view of the Bible. Its a journey.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

John salutations to the voice of Divinity within you which is guiding you deep within where the surface view is not deep enough. May you have many more insights and share them with us.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you for all the messages of support. One thing I am struggling with 2 Timothy 3:5 that talks about people who have a form of godliness but deny its power. I worried that's what I'm becoming,

 

The basis for this is as a member of a pentecostal church, the Cwmbran revival is big in the circles I mix in and I'm sceptical of these kind of meetings where people are filled with the spirit but for no apparent reason. That's the 'power' that I'm used to hearing about in the evangelical churches I've attended for over 40 years. Does that make me a person having a form of godliness but denying its power?

 

Or is the power that Paul (or whoever) writes about the power to not just appear godly, but to strive to be godly in trying to live a life of love for others that Jesus lived.That takes the power of God to live up to. I don't consider myself to be someone who loves pleasure more than I love God so I'm trying to see this passage in a different light.

 

A progressive opinion on this would be interesting.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi John, I guess you may get a varied response on this. I personally would go with allowing the spirit and love to guide you. I am not big on always trusting 100% how others saw and wrote about things 2000yrs ago. Although there is much to ponder upon in 2 Timothy I do not see it as my singular guiding light as do many conservatives. At the time this was written the world was seen in a very differing way.

I used to go to Elim Pentecostal Evangelical church as a child and I get what you mean by the way services go. I remember the excitement expressed by all. There was little place for questioning and expressing alternative views or ever doubting what one was being told. It was only later I looked at things for myself and for me I could not feel I could return to that type of service again.

 

(IMO) if you let the power of love guide you then I do not think one is going to go far wrong.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

John , Jesus said to love God and one another, that is what I go by. I never like had a aha moment or got slayed by the spirit, even when confirmed, as RC we get confirmed and that is when we are to receive the HS or agree to, can't remember, and we pick out a Saints name. I have seen some shows on TV of people going up to the altar and receiving the HS and crying an that. I thought wow did I miss something here being a RC. I have never spoke in tongues or nothing.

 

As RC we are taught about the darkness of the soul , like some of the Saints have had, Mother Teresa, had darkness the last part of her life. We just carry on an live by the teachings of Jesus. I just know God is always with me, to be honest, I believe Jesus was a human being like us, so I worship the God he worshipped, and Jesus is my way to the God of life, his Father and our Father. Remember how Jesus said he and the Father are one, we are all part of God, an extension of God, but not God,

 

but this is just my opinion and how I feel about God and Jesus.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hers a little inspiration, I found while channel checking, I never even knew who Mr Swaggart was before.

 

Anyway here is Bob Henderson on the Sax, For the love of Jesus. Must turn up speakers.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you for all the messages of support. One thing I am struggling with 2 Timothy 3:5 that talks about people who have a form of godliness but deny its power. I worried that's what I'm becoming,

John,

 

I agree with Pete & Luvtosew, so I won't reiterate their points.

 

But I would point out that most biblical scholars agree that 2 Timothy wasn't even written by Paul. So fundamentalists aren't off to a good start in my book, trusting the words of somebody pretending to be somebody else.

 

But even if we did accept those words, have a read of what it means in the preceding verses to have that form of godliness but deny its power. These verses quote such people as "lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God".

 

Really, is that you? I doubt it.

 

Cheers

Paul

Edited by PaulS
  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think you have (IMO) brought up a major point for me Paul. As I understand it 2 Timothy first appeared in Northern Spain (somewhere that Paul did not go) during a time Paul was either already killed or at least in prison in Rome. It was not accepted by many including the Syrian Orthodox church for some time. However, that said I personally do not believe Paul believed the same as the disciples in Jerusalem and his connection with them and the faith that Jesus had is for me very debatable.

I accept there are things to be learnt from writings from many sources. However, I think you will find many progressives, unlike conservatives, do not see the word of God and the Bible as the self same thing. It is (IMO) just the opinion of those who lived before us and like now, written by people who can be subject to being wrong as well as correct. . The mistake is that many conservatives give Jesus the credit for things said by Paul and quote 2 Timothy 3:16 to back them up. The trouble with that notion is that most of the Gnostic Gospels were also seen at one time as scripture and bible followers dismiss those. It took to the second council at Carthage (in 397 AD) to decide what to put in the Bible and we as they have/had no original text and many variations of the available text. It is also worth noting that the oldest bible we have today is on line and even in the 1600s there were books that do not appear in our present bible. see:- http://www.codexsinaiticus.org/en/

In short our present bible is a synthesis over the years and from many and varied sources. There is also much debate about the authors of the NT. Did they have any connection to Jesus or his disciples? It is very hard to prove that they did.

 

I still think despite this there are many valuable lessons in the bible whether one takes it literally or not.

That said, I personally would go with the word of God does exist and God has been said to speak to mankind in that still small quiet voice within each of us long before one word of the bible was ever written or since. I would suggest that you listen to that inner voice with the spirit of love. There is (IMO) more understanding and compassion there and it has more about meaning than the message of fear and damnation for not following every word of a book of collected and edited works of possibly 2000+/- yrs ago.

A friend of mine was challenged to say which bible he got his sermon from. He said the same one Jesus used. It was then met with silence.

 

Well that is just my personal point of view. I am sure your journey will lead you to yours.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome John from Wales,

 

I think the power that it was talking about was the transformative power of God in peoples lives. There are indeed people today who have a show of godliness in church attendance, participation, finances, dress and other things but may at this time still refuse to allow the spirit to remove them from their pride , un-forgiveness and other things that PaulS mentioned above in his post. To me, the power of Love goes far beyond the belief of any physical healings or temporary manifestations in the flesh. Although i personally do believe in healings and such, it seems to me the power to transform an individual or change ones choices and direction in life toward one another is far more important and awe inspiring than what some people call the power of God.

 

Joseph

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi all. Thanks for the replies. I'll try and visit this forum a bit more in months to come. I've been very busy at work and going through a house sale/purchase and move a long way from where I am now so time to study theology has been limited. I'm hoping that once I move into my new house by the sea I'll have more time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×