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Believing All Faiths Are Equal Before God Is Hypocritical


sonoman
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One of the major reasons I cannot subscribe to being labeled a "progressive Christian" is that I do not believe all religious paths are equal in spiritual truth. I have to seriously question anyone who makes that claim that it doesn't matter what spiritual path you take, the all roads lead to Rome sort of thinking, and any will get you there if you are sincerely seeking God. I do not know of anyone who chooses their spiritual path on that basis. We choose our particular spiritual paths because we think they are the best ones available. We don't choose in any eeny, meeny, miny, moe fashion but choose believing we've found the best one. So how is it that we can turn around as progressive Christians want to do and say all religious paths are equally legitimate in spiritual authority when we ourselves as well as everyone else have not chosen our paths with this ecumenical philosophy in mind? Isn't that hypocritical?

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Hi Stephen,

 

We did not say they were equal No i don't believe it is hypocritical. From a conscious standpoint i didn't choose my path. It was part of my social upbringing. Someone born elsewhere in the world might be brought up with a different religion that they didn't choose. Our conditioning has a great influence on our religion. Just look at demographics.

 

Religion is just an approach to God. (TCPC point 1)

Now having said that, I am of the opinion that God is not found in a particular religion but rather within each individual.

TCPC never said all religions are equal. You did.... perhaps by making a possibly hasty assumption. TCPC point 2...

By calling ourselves progressive, we mean that we are Christians who recognize the faithfulness of other people who have other names for the way to God's realm, and acknowledge that their ways are true for them, as our ways are true for us.

We are all unique. Coffee in moderation may be good for one but make another react in an unhealthy way. Foods react differently in different people. Diets need to be tailored to the individual. Not all foods are equal or the same but there is a variety to serve all and remain healthy.

 

 

Religion in my view is man made. The reality of God on the other hand is not. All paths, even those that are of error which eventually are show to lead nowhere, are of use. Sometimes one must discover the false to recognize Truth. All paths are not equal but the end of all paths is God. God is not confounded by the choice of men. I believe that in the fulness of times all will return to God. A man/woman 's life says more of them than their religion. I may choose to be called a PC but the label is irrelevant to what I am.

 

Just one man's view to consider. I'm sure their are more here.

 

Love Joseph

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I have a good friend who is an Ahmadiyah Muslim who also believes all spiritual paths lead eventually to the same God. We are in mutual sympathy for our heretical beliefs, Ahmadiyahs being considered not "real" Muslims by the Muslim majorities and of course my heretical gnosticism. I've gone through some of the major points of disagreement with Muhammad's Quran as I found like many other non-Muslims Quranic verses that could easily be understood as promoting a violent ideology against non-Muslim populations. I asked him how he dealt with these verses and heard much the same apologetic explanations one gets from Muslims on interfaith discussions. I asked him how he squared these Quranic verses that are actually used to persecute his sect and was somewhat surprised to hear how he more or less just glossed over these hard sayings in the Quran. It may be the way Ahmadiyah Muslims come out of Islam behaving like good non-violent Christians, this ability to revere the good instructions and ignore those that have led Muslims to persecute others. My problem is, it isn't spiritual truth to me, this white-washing of past religious instructions that have throughout the past and even now lead Abrahamic religious fanatics into evil acts. It's like if the foundation is rotten the building is going to collapse at some point. A good tree brings forth good fruit, not bad and "even now the ax is laid to the root of the trees."

 

Spiritual fire is necessary to cleanse the world of unnecessary violence. The men of peace and harmony have only part of the full load of spiritual truth. Fire of judgment cannot be bypassed or overruled without the world becoming choked to death with crime and corruption. Periodic spiritual fires are as necessary to spiritual health, the basis for physical and mental well-being, as periodic natural fires are to the life of the land.

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(snip for brevity)

My problem is, it isn't spiritual truth to me, this white-washing of past religious instructions that have throughout the past and even now lead Abrahamic religious fanatics into evil acts. It's like if the foundation is rotten the building is going to collapse at some point. A good tree brings forth good fruit, not bad and "even now the ax is laid to the root of the trees."

(snip) for brevity

 

Possibly not to me either, never-the-less, if he wishes to operate within those parameters, even if the building collapses, he will have learned something that will take him a step closer to truth on his path. Who am I to say what is best for him when I am found without knowledge?

 

Joseph

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Possibly not to me either, never-the-less, if he wishes to operate within those parameters, even if the building collapses, he will have learned something that will take him a step closer to truth on his path. Who am I to say what is best for him when I am found without knowledge?

 

Joseph

 

Can't be a spiritual activist if you don't believe in yourself as a vessel of spiritual knowledge. When someone's drowning, you toss them a lifeline or give them a hand or jump in and save them. And if they're family, you jump in even if you don't know how to swim.

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Can't be a spiritual activist if you don't believe in yourself as a vessel of spiritual knowledge. When someone's drowning, you toss them a lifeline or give them a hand or jump in and save them. And if they're family, you jump in even if you don't know how to swim.

Sonoman,

 

Perhaps your spiritual knowledge is greater than mine. Perhaps i am rather an instrument of peace than division. I also do not consider myself a spiritual activist. Any other comments in line with the topic you started?

 

Joseph

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If you go back to ancient Greece and Heraclitus you will find the same "fire" hypothesis. The contrast between order and change is probably as old as human thought. Whitehead puts it fairly well. The art of progress is to preserve change in the midst of order and order in the midst of change. This ties to other on-going threads, so forgive me if I repeat myself.

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Sonoman,

 

Perhaps your spiritual knowledge is greater than mine. Perhaps i am rather an instrument of peace than division. I also do not consider myself a spiritual activist. Any other comments in line with the topic you started?

 

Joseph

 

I am a follower of Jesus Christ and what he said about bringing peace into this world is spiritual truth. A garden cannot be planted without tearing out the weeds and preparing the ground for the new seed. It is the fate of those of us who follow Jesus Christ to bring division between old and new because new life cannot be poured into old vessels. I am full with spiritual revelation and whether or not it is useful knowledge remains for future appraisal but in the here and now I must deliver what I've received. It's in my job description. Someday Prophets Local 215 will even get us paid vacations so I hear..

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I am a follower of Jesus Christ and what he said about bringing peace into this world is spiritual truth. A garden cannot be planted without tearing out the weeds and preparing the ground for the new seed. It is the fate of those of us who follow Jesus Christ to bring division between old and new because new life cannot be poured into old vessels.

 

Sounds like a quote from Dick Cheney. An old quote in an old vessel.

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I am a follower of Jesus Christ and what he said about bringing peace into this world is spiritual truth. A garden cannot be planted without tearing out the weeds and preparing the ground for the new seed. It is the fate of those of us who follow Jesus Christ to bring division between old and new because new life cannot be poured into old vessels. I am full with spiritual revelation and whether or not it is useful knowledge remains for future appraisal but in the here and now I must deliver what I've received. It's in my job description. Someday Prophets Local 215 will even get us paid vacations so I hear..

 

Hi Stephen,

Ignore my question concerning if you accept in principle the 8 TCPC points that I asked earlier. It would seem to me from what you say here you cannot. You would have a problem with point 7 and some of the others if you you believe you are called to bring peace through division between the old and the new unless you are speaking figuratively or allegorically. Are You? Whereas PC would be more inclined to bring unity and peace rather than division or destruction to the old through selfless love and bringing hope to those Jesus called the least of his sisters and brothers. And we are Christians who know that the way we behave toward one another and toward other people is the fullest expression of what we believe.

For us to bring or propagate division in the name of God is in my view to go backwards from progressiveness. You are of course welcome to express that view but I do not wish to debate it with you.

Hopefully and Perhaps I have misinterpreted your statement and is easy to do if taking it literally when it was not meant that way, if so please correct me or clarify so I may understand your view better. However, if I have understood correctly I do not wish to debate the point with you but rather only understand where you are coming from. Perhaps another might want to engage you here.

 

Love Joseph

 

Edited,,,, added

PS. Received your PM

Joseph,

I have no problem with those 8 points.

Sonoman

 

To all,

Just goes to show you we can all be hasty as I was in the response to this post by assuming it meant something before I asked a question. I apologize but of course i would enjoy a clarification of it.

Love Joseph

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I am one of those PCs who does believe that many faiths have an equal chance of reaching God. The key is that none of us have all of the information, and we are limited by our ways of speaking about God (not only because of culture and language differences - but those are big). I conversely believe that any faith provides an excuse for people to run away from God. An example is the people who are so focused on salvation that they miss the point of how we should act toward others.

 

As we are in dialogue with other religions, I hope to find that Love is the commonality we are searching for.

 

I believe my faith is best for me. I'm not sure what's best for you, but if you want to hear about how my faith has drawn me closer to God and helped me be free from old ways of behaving that disconnected me from others, I'd be happy to share.

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Does no one here remember the words of Jesus re how he didn't come to bring peace into the world but a sword and how following him would divide families up? Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called "sons of God". A peacemaker who advocates social justice for all, a peacemaker who advocates forgiveness of sins while the Law and territorial men cannot forgive and seek revenge, such a peacemaker in ancient societies was a Troublemaker, a Provocateur, a traitor to the flag of God and country. Such peacemakers did not bring peace to their communities but without them, peace would not be known as a goal of God. In Revelation, Jesus wars against evil using the sharp sword of his mouth and that is how it works. The Word of God can be a sharp sword that divides cruelty from humaneness, divides evil from goodness. There is no other way to formulate the necessary choice between two opposing ways of being a human being.

 

As I said in the topic post I believe it is hypocritical to say as Christians all spiritual paths lead to God and are of equal value. Jesus set the example of how he didn't believe his own religious leadership (Pharisee and Saducee) was capable of leading men to God's goodness. Without Jesus' attack on Pharaisic Judaism, would Christianity exist today? If Jesus had not gone far out of his way to create division between followers of a good God and followers of traditional religious practices, would Christianity exist today? My point is that the modern trend of ecumenical tolerance of all faiths is due in my mind to lack of confidence in Christian doctrine. When confidence in Christ is restored one understands why One Way through Christ is the root of Christianity and its spiritual power. Most all organized religions have their sets of Golden Rules so it isn't this that marks a Christian believer as different from other faithful. It is spiritual knowledge of God that makes the difference between a Christian and say a Jew or a Buddhist. Christ compels a familial relationship with God and preaches the same familial relationship between all who believe in God. Much of Christian social behavior comes from this standpoint or at least it should. And to think that every religion offers this is to condone a universality of God consciousness that just does not exist. It must be learned through either direct spiritual contact with God or blind faith in the Word of God that comes without hypocrisy, i.e., that comes direct from the heart.

 

It would be nice if all religionists saw each other as equals before God but this isn't the way it is. Religions, like most everything social that human beings do is fraught with territorial control issues which is one of the main reasons the Solitary Path is chosen by those seeking Knowledge of God. Will the Pope honor Buddha someday? In political expediency at which Popes partake in large measure, this could happen but would it mean anything at all re spiritual authority? I think not because where is the resolution of the great divide between God worshiping Christians and godless Buddhism? It cannot be buried by covering it with a happy face. The foundations must be aligned before true universality of belief can have any real spiritual meaning. It's the difference between careless love and careful love.

Edited by sonoman
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That all religions are equal is not a principal by which I believe but that each is entitled to their own religious beliefs that they deem true to them is. I do not remember Jesus ever attacking another persons religion or others religions. In my view, He did speak of the hypocrisy in his own and use truth to divide what is wholesome and just from what is not. In that case Truth may surely divide members even of ones own family but peace is always the end goal of Truth. Division in that case would seem to come from the self and rejection of truth and that which is wholesome.

 

If we go about wielding what we perceive as truth for all as if it is best for all and push it down the throat of others, in my view, we accomplish nothing but division that emanates from our own ego whose end goal is never peace and unity but rather separateness. Of course it is always good to be led by the Spirit and let it be your guide. It seems I remember there where those who did not want to hear Jesus and he turned and did not enter their country. He never seemed to force himself on anyone not interested but if asked he spoke the words of God.

 

Somehow today it seems many interpret Jesus message to say that Christianity is the only way to God because of some words written in the NT and are largely interpreted that way. I do not believe as such. To me the way to God is not a Religion or a Man or a Book though all of them may point to the way. To me the way is to connect with ones source which runs equally within each and through every created creature of God. If someone has a different religion that does no harm to me then it is my view that if he/she deems it best for them then I will accept that as right for them. If asked , we can share but there is no need to attack their religion as in doing so i am attacking myself. It seems to me that Truth will always prevail in the long run in the invisible power of non-force.

 

Just one view to consider.

 

Love Joseph

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So it was OK with you guys when the Catholic Church killed and killed again in the name of God? And it was OK when the Protestant Europeans came following the Catholics into the New World to kill and kill again in the name of God? And it was OK that GWB and Evangelical Christians decided America should be at war with Islam and support Israelis no matter how fascist they act towards Palestinian Muslims? This is all OK because the Pope can sit down with rabbis and schmooze and say "Why can't we all just get along?"

 

You know, you can turn the Smiley Face Towards All around and see how tyranny goes unchecked because people won't speak up against it. When you do speak up against social injustice you take a stand and face the consequences. And more often than not, acting against social injustice will get you into more trouble than you bargained for. A Smiley Face won't serve to stop abusers of social or military power. Gandhi and Aun San Su Kyi turned to the model of Jesus not as a smiling guru or Buddha but as the only way to overthrow tyrannical government without resorting to armed struggle.

 

I am a Christian who knows why one can only come to the Father through Jesus Christ. No other religious path will get you there because no other religion holds the knowledge of the identity of the Father. Knowing the Father is key to overcoming male territorial battling without resorting to mental emasculation which is the Buddhist option. Now, having that opinion of Buddhism would only make me a hypocrite if I went up and hugged a Buddhist as a spiritual brother or is the Smiley Face just an image for show? Fundamentalist Christians consider the we are all One so why the fuss concept that drove UU, Unity, and now Progressive Christianity it seems, a tepid watered-down Christian belief system more concerned with creating a social club where all can join in as long as they don't look too deeply at each other's doctrines and they have a point. All unity breaks down under stress when the underlying principles are at odds with each other. Why not be real and deal with differences that are made to be overcome, often by the process of replacing bad ideas with better ones, but still each has to stand trial in the Arena of history.

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So it was OK with you guys when the Catholic Church killed and killed again in the name of God? And it was OK when the Protestant Europeans came following the Catholics into the New World to kill and kill again in the name of God? And it was OK that GWB and Evangelical Christians decided America should be at war with Islam and support Israelis no matter how fascist they act towards Palestinian Muslims? This is all OK because the Pope can sit down with rabbis and schmooze and say "Why can't we all just get along?"

 

You know, you can turn the Smiley Face Towards All around and see how tyranny goes unchecked because people won't speak up against it. When you do speak up against social injustice you take a stand and face the consequences. And more often than not, acting against social injustice will get you into more trouble than you bargained for. A Smiley Face won't serve to stop abusers of social or military power. Gandhi and Aun San Su Kyi turned to the model of Jesus not as a smiling guru or Buddha but as the only way to overthrow tyrannical government without resorting to armed struggle.

 

I am a Christian who knows why one can only come to the Father through Jesus Christ. No other religious path will get you there because no other religion holds the knowledge of the identity of the Father. Knowing the Father is key to overcoming male territorial battling without resorting to mental emasculation which is the Buddhist option. Now, having that opinion of Buddhism would only make me a hypocrite if I went up and hugged a Buddhist as a spiritual brother or is the Smiley Face just an image for show? Fundamentalist Christians consider the we are all One so why the fuss concept that drove UU, Unity, and now Progressive Christianity it seems, a tepid watered-down Christian belief system more concerned with creating a social club where all can join in as long as they don't look too deeply at each other's doctrines and they have a point. All unity breaks down under stress when the underlying principles are at odds with each other. Why not be real and deal with differences that are made to be overcome, often by the process of replacing bad ideas with better ones, but still each has to stand trial in the Arena of history.

 

We are in debate and dialogue, so I'll just tell you this. I have spent the last 20 years of my life with my same sex partner who is Asian. He is about to earn his PHD from one of the highest ranking universities in the world. Our conversations over dinner make toast of your points. As many Christians lack a full understanding of Christianity, many Buddhists lack a full understanding of Buddhism. There is no one conception of Christianity and there is no one conception of Buddhism. Your task then is to name the brands of Christianity and Buddhism you are talking about.

 

You make your claims, and they are valid for you. If your claims were valid for me, I would have to make you God. That, I'm not willing to do. Sorry.

Edited by minsocal
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Jesus never warned us about other religions.

 

World English Bible

Jesus said to him, "Don't forbid him, for he who is not against us is for us."

 

Jesus my Lord and Savior is big, My God is not small. My God is a universal God, He is not a small and petty God, who favors one particular culture and religion over another.

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Sonoman,

 

Perhaps you misunderstand us here. We are not condoning harmful acts in the name of God nor are we saying that all people under the umbrella of a religion represent their basic and fundamental beliefs. We are merely recognizing that there are other religions that when practiced in a non harmful of others way, can point to the same and only One God regardless of the words and language and style used. Therefor while we may choose Christianity over another as best for us , we do not propose to know what is best for the other. This creates an atmosphere whereby constructive discussion and change can take place in my view.

 

Love Joseph

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Jesus never warned us about other religions.

 

World English Bible

Jesus said to him, "Don't forbid him, for he who is not against us is for us."

 

Jesus my Lord and Savior is big, My God is not small. My God is a universal God, He is not a small and petty God, who favors one particular culture and religion over another.

 

"So the Jews said, 'Will he kill himself, because he says, 'Where I go you cannot come'? And he said to them, 'You are from beneath; I am from above, You are of this world; I am not of this world. Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins."

Jn 8:22-24

 

"Jesus said to them, 'If God were your Father, you would love me, for I proceeded forth and came from God; nor have I come of myself, but He sent me. Why do you not understand my speech? Because you are not able to listen to my word. You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it. But because I tell the truth, you do not believe me. Which of you convicts me of sin? And if I tell the truth, why do you not believe me? He who is of God hears God's words; therefore you do not hear, because you are not of God."

Jn 8:42-47

 

If you want a Buddy Jesus, rent the movie Dogma, but if you follow Christ you will come up against religious differences and you will have to make a choice.

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Sonoman,

 

Perhaps you misunderstand us here. We are not condoning harmful acts in the name of God nor are we saying that all people under the umbrella of a religion represent their basic and fundamental beliefs. We are merely recognizing that there are other religions that when practiced in a non harmful of others way, can point to the same and only One God regardless of the words and language and style used. Therefor while we may choose Christianity over another as best for us , we do not propose to know what is best for the other. This creates an atmosphere whereby constructive discussion and change can take place in my view.

 

Love Joseph

 

That may be all fine and good for you, Joseph, but this UU/Unity ideology is completely at odds with the teachings of Jesus Christ. See my post above quoted from the Gospel of John.

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We are in debate and dialogue, so I'll just tell you this. I have spent the last 20 years of my life with my same sex partner who is Asian. He is about to earn his PHD from one of the highest ranking universities in the world. Our conversations over dinner make toast of your points. As many Christians lack a full understanding of Christianity, many Buddhists lack a full understanding of Buddhism. There is no one conception of Christianity and there is no one conception of Buddhism. Your task then is to name the brands of Christianity and Buddhism you are talking about.

 

You make your claims, and they are valid for you. If your claims were valid for me, I would have to make you God. That, I'm not willing to do. Sorry.

 

How did you jump to this false conclusion? "If your claims were valid for me, I would have to make you God." So you could make this following statement seem like an appropriate response? "That, I'm not willing to do. Sorry."

 

If you're going to disagree with me I do hope you can do it without recourse to slandering me. Nowhere do I claim to be God so your argument is meaningless. What I do claim is to be a voice of God in our times.

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How did you jump to this false conclusion? "If your claims were valid for me, I would have to make you God." So you could make this following statement seem like an appropriate response? "That, I'm not willing to do. Sorry."

 

If you're going to disagree with me I do hope you can do it without recourse to slandering me. Nowhere do I claim to be God so your argument is meaningless. What I do claim is to be a voice of God in our times.

 

There are numerous variations of Buddhism and there are numerous variations of Christianity. I simply ask which variation(s) you consider valid and those you do not in both categories and why. Perhaps you can list them out on a table for us? If you claim to be a voice of God in our times, this should be quite simple. If you need a list of the variations in both categories, I'd be happy to give them to you.

 

For a starter ... let's discuss the basic schools of Buddhism: Theraveda, Mahahayana and Hinayana. How do these schools agree or disagree with your views?

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John 3:31 "He who comes from above is above all, he who is of the earth is from the earth and speaks of the earth. He who comes from heaven is above all.

 

If you knew Christ better, you would know the Father better. Sonomon this quote is talking to you. Those who become vain in their imaginations concerning God will not learn or know Christ. You say you are a Christian than take what is said to heart and change your heart so you can love and accept your brothers and sisters. Those who don't know the glory and grace of Christ and his love will not know the Father that sent him. Sonomon you want to put Buddhist down when you should be concentrating on your Christianity. The mind is tricky and will find ways to bring people away from Christ and into the world of division. The key is to rise above such pettiness an bath in the glory and love of the Father.

 

It seems you don't know Buddhism so why do you talk about it. Go deep into your Christianity and talk about the glory of Christ living and not the negative dogma you have read. I hope that negativity is not coming from within you because then it is more serious. The savior will appear in glory if you open your heart and realize he is already there.

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That may be all fine and good for you, Joseph, but this UU/Unity ideology is completely at odds with the teachings of Jesus Christ. See my post above quoted from the Gospel of John.

 

Sonoman,

 

Well, I must be honest with you. I do not accept the NT as translated as the Word of God. Most of it is just letters to churches and I don't believe intended to be a Bible. Jesus himself of course wrote nothing and the writers of the gospels as translated also have their problems. There is a lot of inspiration and truth to it but there seems to me to be much I don't buy and has been revealed by the Spirit to me differently. What you are saying God has not revealed to me. Others may have their own view here but that's the way I feel. Some preach division and some unity. To me God is unity for he makes the sun to shine on the just and unjust and since god is Love, I believe God loves all equally regardless of what you may speak from the Book. Just my view to consider,

 

Love Joseph

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