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Anyone For A Personal God?


des
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Hi, I'm new here. Have been posting over at UCC.org but I'm afraid there are a LOT more fundie UCCers than I ever thought possible. I had the good fun of being with my born again Campus Crusade for Christ sister for a week. Whew, a breath of fresh air over here!!

 

Anyway have given this personal God thing a lot of thought (both before and aft). My sister is quite literal about this. God knows everything, God has personal conversations that are quite specific, God answers prayers in specific ways, and God finds your parking space (not sure how this all works into the dying on the cross to save you from sin...). I guess it is nice as it is all quite well mapped out without any kinds of nuances. But I don't buy all that.

If God finds you a parking space right up close, this might be convenient but isn't this not so good for your physically? (and so on) (And of course the whole thing with the Tsunami is a bit troubling-- if God knows everything why did He-- as they say-- allow it; and if He let it happen then why since He is omnipotent. That's pretty mean, no? Or since they are mostly Muslims and so on, is it ok for God, since God is a Christian God--- YIKES.)

 

OTOH, I am a bit bothered by the God that I was raised on as a child from a good Christian Scientist (it's neither ,but then that's a whole other topic)... The God of Life, Truth, Love. The God of Love that loves you but doesn't know you in any sense personally so that Love is just a quality. Love is some kind of metaphysical reality that really makes no sense, imo, as it doesn't ahve anything to do with your experience.

 

So I've come to some nuanced thoughts: God is both personal and not personal. God loves and knows me in an individual way, as a person, but doesn't know all particulars. God doesn't know (and/or doesn't care) that I like Star Trek, Harry Potter, dogs, etc. etc. God doesn't know or care that I am good in art but poor in math. Those sorts of things are beneath God as God. I would guess that God wants us to be well for lack of a better term "inline"-- whatever gifts you have you use for God. Of parking spots, God knows nothing. I would guess He/She is ticked off at the way we are treating creation (the Earth), the poor, etc. because it's out of line with God-- but as to the specifics like acid rain and welfare reform, it isn't God's thing. Jesus said "render on to Ceasar", I'm guessing this has more to do than coins (and wouldn't be just Roman coins.) This seems unimaginably complex and nuanced. But I do feel God gave us intelligence, imagination and so forth, to think about things, to question things, etc. I also feel God has shown a sense of humor. God created cats for example. :-)

 

 

Any comments?

 

--des

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My sister is quite literal about this. God knows everything, God has personal conversations that are quite specific, God answers prayers in specific ways, and God finds your parking space (not sure how this all works into the dying on the cross to save you from sin...).

Hi Des,

 

Thanks for your thoughtful comments. There's so much to think about.

 

Re: parking spaces sent to you by God.

 

Been there, done that. My spiritual journey can be tracked by my evolution of the "God finds you a parking spot" theory.

 

When I first started on my path, I didn't believe God could or would want to find me a parking spot.

 

Then I met a person at a conference who insisted that if he prayed with intent ahead of time, there would always be a parking space waiting for him at his destination. I was impressed. I thought that surely if God did this for him, God would do this for me. God didn't. I was crushed. I thought I was worthless, not good enough to "deserve" a parking space. I grovelled. I prayed. I took a turn(thankfully just for a short while) down the road of believing that I had inherent "sin" or "karma". This was not an uplifting period.

 

Then I started to connect with my guardian angel. I began to clamour for his help in learning how to love unconditionally the way I could feel that he loved me unconditionally.

 

Enter Phase 3 of the Parking Lesson.

 

For two years, I sincerely believed that God's unconditional love meant that I should be utterly selfless -- that I should only give, give, give, and never ask for or even want anything in return. For two years, I asked my angel to show me the parking space that would allow to be of the greatest service to the greatest number of people. Naturally, I was always parked blocks from my true destination. But, ever eager to prove my worth and my selflessness, I would slog those bags of groceries all the way past all those empty parking spaces to my car. Sheesh. I was a slow learner. Two years of sore arms for nothing.

 

Finally, in a fit of exasperation, my angel sat me down and had a little chat with me. He said, "Jen, don't you think maybe you're missing something here? God's unconditional love isn't about dissolving yourself completely. It's about finding a balance between your legitimate needs and the needs of others. It's about respecting yourself as much as you respect others. It's about believing that you're worthy of getting the space closest to the mall at those times when you're having a really bad day and need a little boost. Why not share the good parking spaces with intent? Some days you get the space, other days you gladly and intentionally pass up the space if I suggest somebody else needs it more than you that day."

 

That's where I am today. Parking is a spiritual adventure. When I pull into a lot, I never know where I'm going to end up parking, but I always know I'm working in synch with my soul and the angel I love so well.

 

Love Jen

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Welcome aboard, Des,

 

This family member of yours who is all into Campus Crusade For Christ...does she inform you that because you have decided that you are a Progressive Christian Christian Rather than a Fundamental one..that you are an unsaved "cult"? Just curious. Heard alot about Campus Crusade For Christ and Young Life. Both are said to try and trick people's kids into joining the far right wing.:/

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Hi, I'm new here. Have been posting over at UCC.org but I'm afraid there are a LOT more fundie UCCers than I ever thought possible.

 

Hi Jen. I've posted over there a few times under this same name.

 

I'm still interested in getting to know more of the people there, but I'm a little tired that the only topic appears to be homosexuality.

 

I have no problem with anyone's being gay. It's just that, once in a while, I'd like to see some theological or metaphysical discussions going on.

 

So I come back here. The people here are great, but the board is WAY TOO QUIET! Wake up people and post! :D

 

God finds your parking space (not sure how this all works into the dying on the cross to save you from sin...).

 

I hold the view, like Judaism, that humans were not born into "original sin".

 

I think we were born with a radical free moral will to do good and a radical free moral will to do evil. By "evil" I mean the opposite of any action or lack of action.

 

I know this opens up a whole "Well, then what did Jesus come for" can of worms. Marcus Borg's "The Heart of Christianity" has very good answers. So do many other progressive Christian thinkers.

 

But I don't buy all that.

 

Good for you! It took me a long time to say: "I can't swallow this anymore. I'm outta here!" :angry:

 

And of course the whole thing with the Tsunami is a bit troubling-- if God knows everything why did He-- as they say-- allow it; and if He let it happen then why since He is omnipotent.

 

A discussion I've longed to have on this board: Which is the greater good? To have complete free will? Or to have the possibility of evil removed? I've hinted at this question in other posts, but no one seems to be biting. <_<

 

Having free will means more than my being able to choose to murder someone. It also means I can choose to walk out my front door in the morning and get into my car to go to the store. The "butterfly effect" that this simple action sets into motion is STUPENDOUS.

 

Having the possibility of "evil" or pain removed means more than God's stepping in to stop the Holocaust or a tsunami.

 

Unless we want God to be a cosmic superhero that does pretty much nothing but interfere in every action that could bring harm to us or any other living creature, then God would have to set things up from the beginning so that "evil" could not happen (ie no free will).

 

There would be no more death or disease or injuries or pain, but the possibility that I could get in my car and drive to the store (and possibly hit someone) would have to be removed as well.

 

I guess God could make us immortal supermen (like Jehovah's Witnesses believe), but then would have to take away our abiblity to procreate because no one would ever die. :rolleyes:

 

OTOH, I am a bit bothered by the God that I was raised on as a child from a good Christian Scientist (it's neither ,but then that's a whole other topic)...

 

It's been a somewhat popular topic around here lately though (at least with me). :D It's my understanding that Christian Science is a New Thought church (although no longer affiliated). That means the God you were raised with is Pantheistic.

 

The God of Love that loves you but doesn't know you in any sense personally so that Love is just a quality. Love is some kind of metaphysical reality that really makes no sense, imo, as it doesn't ahve anything to do with your experience.

 

A pantheistic God is truly an impersonal God.

 

I don't know how much New Thought churches truly explore the implications of pantheism though. Basically, from that perspective, there is NO YOU at all. You are God. God is basically having an existential crisis or a daydream.

 

However, panENtheism is making an inroads into New Thought churches. From those members that I've talked to however, it's very slow going.

 

So I've come to some nuanced thoughts: God is both personal and not personal.

 

The impersonal God of pantheism combined with the personal God of theism is basically where panentheism came from.

 

Other names are "qualified monism" or "qualified non-dualism" or "Monistic Theism". It could go on and on I think. :unsure:

 

I'm a panentheist.

 

God loves and knows me in an individual way, as a person, but doesn't know all particulars ... Those sorts of things are beneath God as God.

 

I believe that God does know all the particulars of you. I don't think anything is beyond God's notice.

 

But, I don't think God is particularly concerned with the things most people think s/he is. For example, I don't think God cares if you eat pork. I don't think God cares if you are in a same-sex relationship. I don't think God cares if you swear. Etc, etc ...

 

I would guess that God wants us to be well for lack of a better term "inline"-- whatever gifts you have you use for God. ... I would guess He/She is ticked off at the way we are treating creation (the Earth), the poor, etc. because it's out of line with God ... But I do feel God gave us intelligence, imagination and so forth, to think about things, to question things, etc.

 

Exactly. I do think God wants us to be kind to one another with all that entails and s/he hopes that we can learn to get along and to take care of this planet.

 

But should s/he force us to do so? Would that be the greater kindness or good?

 

I also feel God has shown a sense of humor. God created cats for example. :-)

 

I love that particular sense of humor so much that I have FIVE cats. :rolleyes:

 

Any comments?

 

See above. :P

 

It's very nice to have you here. Please stick around!

 

Aletheia

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Welcome aboard, Des,

 

Heard alot about Campus Crusade For Christ and Young Life. Both are said to try and trick people's kids into joining the far right wing.:/

 

 

 

Thanks for the welcome!

 

>This family member of yours who is all into Campus Crusade For Christ...does she inform you that because you have decided that you are a Progressive Christian Christian Rather than a Fundamental one..that you are an unsaved "cult"? Just curious.

 

Oh my sister is MUCH more sophisticated than that! She is a skilled middle aged proselitizer (which makes me an unskilled sophisticated progressive Christian-- I really really like the 8 points btw). Anyway, she doesn't say anything negative in her proselitizing, she tries and takes your position and show it as limited, but she will sort of side with you as far as she can. I think she retains the cult status for something like Christian Science or JW.

I may be (in her eyes) a cultish follower, but she is a better arguer than that.

 

After you say you agree with several points that she says, then she says you ought to read _____, you'd really like him (which I doubt). She also asked me who I read, adn I evaded that as I ahve read folks like Matthew Fox and Spong. :-)

 

--des

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Hi, I'm new here. Have been posting over at UCC.org but I'm afraid there are a LOT more fundie UCCers than I ever thought possible.

 

Hi Jen. I've posted over there a few times under this same name.

 

I'm still interested in getting to know more of the people there, but I'm a little tired that the only topic appears to be homosexuality.

 

I have no problem with anyone's being gay. It's just that, once in a while, I'd like to see some theological or metaphysical discussions going on.

 

So I come back here. The people here are great, but the board is WAY TOO QUIET! Wake up people and post! :D

 

God finds your parking space (not sure how this all works into the dying on the cross to save you from sin...).

 

I hold the view, like Judaism, that humans were not born into "original sin".

 

I think we were born with a radical free moral will to do good and a radical free moral will to do evil. By "evil" I mean the opposite of any action or lack of action.

 

I know this opens up a whole "Well, then what did Jesus come for" can of worms. Marcus Borg's "The Heart of Christianity" has very good answers. So do many other progressive Christian thinkers.

 

But I don't buy all that.

 

Good for you! It took me a long time to say: "I can't swallow this anymore. I'm outta here!" :angry:

 

And of course the whole thing with the Tsunami is a bit troubling-- if God knows everything why did He-- as they say-- allow it; and if He let it happen then why since He is omnipotent.

 

A discussion I've longed to have on this board: Which is the greater good? To have complete free will? Or to have the possibility of evil removed? I've hinted at this question in other posts, but no one seems to be biting. <_<

 

Having free will means more than my being able to choose to murder someone. It also means I can choose to walk out my front door in the morning and get into my car to go to the store. The "butterfly effect" that this simple action sets into motion is STUPENDOUS.

 

Having the possibility of "evil" or pain removed means more than God's stepping in to stop the Holocaust or a tsunami.

 

Unless we want God to be a cosmic superhero that does pretty much nothing but interfere in every action that could bring harm to us or any other living creature, then God would have to set things up from the beginning so that "evil" could not happen (ie no free will).

 

There would be no more death or disease or injuries or pain, but the possibility that I could get in my car and drive to the store (and possibly hit someone) would have to be removed as well.

 

I guess God could make us immortal supermen (like Jehovah's Witnesses believe), but then would have to take away our abiblity to procreate because no one would ever die. :rolleyes:

 

OTOH, I am a bit bothered by the God that I was raised on as a child from a good Christian Scientist (it's neither ,but then that's a whole other topic)...

 

It's been a somewhat popular topic around here lately though (at least with me). :D It's my understanding that Christian Science is a New Thought church (although no longer affiliated). That means the God you were raised with is Pantheistic.

 

The God of Love that loves you but doesn't know you in any sense personally so that Love is just a quality. Love is some kind of metaphysical reality that really makes no sense, imo, as it doesn't ahve anything to do with your experience.

 

A pantheistic God is truly an impersonal God.

 

I don't know how much New Thought churches truly explore the implications of pantheism though. Basically, from that perspective, there is NO YOU at all. You are God. God is basically having an existential crisis or a daydream.

 

However, panENtheism is making an inroads into New Thought churches. From those members that I've talked to however, it's very slow going.

 

So I've come to some nuanced thoughts: God is both personal and not personal.

 

The impersonal God of pantheism combined with the personal God of theism is basically where panentheism came from.

 

Other names are "qualified monism" or "qualified non-dualism" or "Monistic Theism". It could go on and on I think. :unsure:

 

I'm a panentheist.

 

God loves and knows me in an individual way, as a person, but doesn't know all particulars ... Those sorts of things are beneath God as God.

 

I believe that God does know all the particulars of you. I don't think anything is beyond God's notice.

 

But, I don't think God is particularly concerned with the things most people think s/he is. For example, I don't think God cares if you eat pork. I don't think God cares if you are in a same-sex relationship. I don't think God cares if you swear. Etc, etc ...

 

I would guess that God wants us to be well for lack of a better term "inline"-- whatever gifts you have you use for God. ... I would guess He/She is ticked off at the way we are treating creation (the Earth), the poor, etc. because it's out of line with God ... But I do feel God gave us intelligence, imagination and so forth, to think about things, to question things, etc.

 

Exactly. I do think God wants us to be kind to one another with all that entails and s/he hopes that we can learn to get along and to take care of this planet.

 

But should s/he force us to do so? Would that be the greater kindness or good?

 

I also feel God has shown a sense of humor. God created cats for example. :-)

 

I love that particular sense of humor so much that I have FIVE cats. :rolleyes:

 

Any comments?

 

See above. :P

 

It's very nice to have you here. Please stick around!

 

Aletheia

Re: UCC board. Yes, well that was me des. I used my real name as they asked for that, so it is a different name. I HATE using my real name, this is the net where they archive things basically forever. Also things have gotten quite contentious, lots of anti-gay talk though that has very recently gotten a bit better-- and they limited to two discussions. Fundie UCCers. That really annoys me. Don't Fundies have enough churches? (Chuck Corrie--sp? blog talks about a fundie wing of the UCC which would like to "save" the UCC from itself, ie prob. most esp the Open and Affirming stuff).

 

>I think we were born with a radical free moral will to do good and a radical free moral will to do evil. By "evil" I mean the opposite of any action or lack of action.

 

I would go along with that as well. Yes, it complicates the why did Jesus come thing. But I think that our radical will to do evil needs work. :-) Part of the reason it didn't take me long to say I don't buy it, is somethings I never bought in the first place. Christian Science is so different, such a different view of God, that I had more of a hard time getting away from that.

 

>Unless we want God to be a cosmic superhero that does pretty much nothing but interfere in every action that could bring harm to us or any other living creature, then God would have to set things up from the beginning so that "evil" could not happen (ie no free will).

 

Yes that would be one annoying God alright. "You think you want to do that, think again, no wait, you really didn't think it did you." Without free will both for good and evil we would have no individuality accept whatever it was that God allowed, meaning you wouldn't have any.

 

>It's been a somewhat popular topic around here lately though (at least with me). :D It's my understanding that Christian Science is a New Thought church (although no longer affiliated). That means the God you were raised with is Pantheistic.

 

Well it's kind of that CS started New Thought. I think most of the founders of New Thoguht churches (Unity, various Divine Science, etc. etc. were ex-disgruntled and maybe ex-communicated CSists). This was all at a time of lots of "new thought", Mesmer, the Transendetalists, etc. I never saw the CS God as pantheistic, ie God is everything. But God is definitely everywhere. They teach you that in the numbingly boring CS Sunday Schools. For a really interesting read, "God's Perfect Child: Living and Dying in the Christian Science Church". Though it helps if you know a bit about it first. And God is definitely not any*thing*, more qualities that are anomolous, like Love. Everyone knows what Love is, but it is not like Love in the CS church. But maybe I'm confused on pantheistic.

 

>I don't know how much New Thought churches truly explore the implications of pantheism though. Basically, from that perspective, there is NO YOU at all. You are God. God is basically having an existential crisis or a daydream.

 

Well that's getting real close. You as you, are basically an illusion. There is some spirtual you that is real. Of course, you don't exactly know who that spiritual you is. It has no body (body is imperfect, a lie). It doesn't eat, or like to do things, etc. So you do exist at some level, but I always thought that it didn't mean anything. It's a hard concept to sink your teeth into, esp. since you have no teeth. :-) Fraser points out that there is a big philosophical problem when the focus is on healing. If your body doesn't exist, why is health really a better condition than illness?

 

Yes, I'm familiar with the term panentheism, it basically I think mean God is IN everything vs God IS everything. Or that's what I think. It sounds like nitpicking but it is a big difference. God can't be everything as there is evil in the world. I think it is what I am most comfortable with.

 

>But, I don't think God is particularly concerned with the things most people think s/he is. For example, I don't think God cares if you eat pork. I don't think God cares if you are in a same-sex relationship. I don't think God cares if you swear. Etc, etc ...

 

I could go along with that. I think God knowing your particulars and not being concerned with them is and not knowing particulars, while not quite the same, sort of comes down to

the same. But I would guess it says qualifiable differences about God. It says God knows everything vs God might not really know some things.

 

I have two cats and a dog. I think God is having a very good time around here. Esp. when the cat tries to swim in my fish tank. :-)

 

Sorry re: double posting but these were such different topics.

 

--des

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Jen,

 

Just an FYI: Don't use the "Quote" button at the top of the post. Use the "Reply" button at the bottom. That way it won't repost the entire thing.

 

Unless of course you meant to do that. :D Then it's ok.

 

Once you get "inside" the reply function, you can use the little buttons to put the quote box around things.

 

Yes, I'm familiar with the term panentheism, it basically I think mean God is IN everything vs God IS everything. Or that's what I think. It sounds like nitpicking but it is a big difference. God can't be everything as there is evil in the world. I think it is what I am most comfortable with.

 

It's not nitpicking. It is a big difference.

 

Panentheism is "Everything is IN God" but God is More, as well.

 

Aletheia

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BeachOfEden:

 

>This family member of yours who is all into Campus Crusade For Christ...does she inform you that because you have decided that you are a Progressive Christian Christian Rather than a Fundamental one..that you are an unsaved "cult"? Just curious.

 

" She is a skilled middle aged proselitizer (which makes me an unskilled sophisticated progressive Christian-- I really really like the 8 points btw). Anyway, she doesn't say anything negative in her proselitizing, she tries and takes your position and show it as limited, but she will sort of side with you as far as she can. I think she retains the cult status for something like Christian Science or JW.

I may be (in her eyes) a cultish follower, but she is a better arguer than that."

 

I would agree. My mom is devote JW and that is her way of proselitizing as well.

 

Yesterday I was watching the Ellen when she commented that she was raised Christian Science and in so many words she was it understood that that she did not care for it. I think it would be interesting to here some more views from her on this..because I have always felt a commom ground between the fundamentalism between Christian Science, JW, LDS and Fundamental Protestants.

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Anyway have given this personal God thing a lot of thought (both before and aft). My sister is quite literal about this.

 

To say that God is "personal" doesn't mean that God is an individual looking over our shoulders. Too often, "personal" is equated with "individual" in our highly individualistic world. In fact, in the trinitarian formulation, the idea of three"persons" is meant to mean three distincts ways of existing. (Have I mentioned this on this board somewhere else? Oh well, here it is again...) For example: I exist. I know I exist. I love my existence. That is the basis of the trinitarian formula: In all the ways that I exist, I am related to myself. It does not mean that I have three mini-me's running around between my ears (though sometimes I wish they'd keep it down in there :P ). Instead, it seems better to emphasize that to be a "person" is to be relational. To be in relationship means to be affecting and affected, a fully participatory existence.

 

This approach to understanding God as "personal" can also be used to describe the "impersonal" approaches to God, such as God as Ground of Being since the Ground is always in relationship with all being. But if we start going down that path, it only muddies the waters and really makes the whole attempt to understand whether God is "personal" or "impersonal" hopeless quagmire, so forget that I said it. :D

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Thanks for the tip. No, I didn't mean to do this all that quoting within quoting. Yikes.

 

Interesting comments.

 

>Yesterday I was watching the Ellen when she commented that she was raised Christian Science and in so many words she was it understood that that she did not care for it. I think it would be interesting to here some more views from her on this..because I have always felt a commom ground between the fundamentalism between Christian Science, JW, LDS and Fundamental Protestants.

 

 

Yes, Ellen D. and a no. of other celebs (Robin Williams, Alan Shepherd, etc.) among them have CS in their backgrounds. It used to be quite respectable and it is even mentioned as "toney" and "better" (in class) than Episcipals according to NASA in "The Right Stuff" (book not movie). Robin Williams says his mother was a Christian Dior Scientist. :-)

He captures the quintissential CS idea that material things are to be sought after, even as you deny them. I think there are some correlations between CS (JW, LDS, and Fundies). Some of them relate to the whole world view being that faith. You can't have a normal conversation with a Fundamentalist or a CS (I know the others less well). Everything gets filtered thru the lens of that religion which has it's own terminology. IMO, CS is the worse because it could actually kill you. (Though isn't JW where you don't have blood transfusions?)

 

 

As for the definition of Panentheism vs Pantheism, thanks. I think I wasn't really thinking about that difference. Panentheism is God is IN everything COMMA. Pantheism is God IS everything PERIOD. (God is not listening? :-))

 

>To say that God is "personal" doesn't mean that God is an individual looking over our shoulders. Too often, "personal" is equated with "individual" in our highly individualistic world.

 

This is where it gets taken to extremes. God is not just looking over your shoulder but involved in the most mundane and silly aspects of your life. He's (it's always HE) is telling you the most mundane things you can imagine. Unfortunately God used to forget to tell my sister say to be nice to me. Then lately He has changed His mind.

 

> In fact, in the trinitarian formulation, the idea of three"persons" is meant to mean three distincts ways of existing. (Have I mentioned this on this board somewhere else? Oh well, here it is again...)

 

Haha, well I haven't read everything on the board so I luck out. :-)

The "persons" thing gets a bit overdone, however, in my church they say "Creator, Christ and Spirit" more so than anything else. The only person in the mix was Jesus. But Christ is a title, no?

 

>they'd keep it down in there ). Instead, it seems better to emphasize that to be a "person" is to be relational. To be in relationship means to be affecting and affected, a fully participatory existence.

 

Wow! That's like heavy man! (as they used to say). :-)

 

--des

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"Yes, Ellen D. and a no. of other celebs (Robin Williams, Alan Shepherd, etc.) among them have CS in their backgrounds."

 

I 'think', and this is just a guess on my part, but I think Ellen may have damagaed feelings from her days being raised CS..and if so she should exchanged thoughts with Robin Williams. For one thing Robin Williams is great and at seeing the humor in things and maybe this could help both of them with their ultra fundie CS burned backgrounds.

 

."I think there are some correlations between CS (JW, LDS, and Fundies). "

 

Yeah, I agree but since all these groups are equally fundamental they all get really p-ssed off when you tell them this.

 

"IMO, CS is the worse because it could actually kill you. (Though isn't JW where you don't have blood transfusions?"

 

True. They site Scriptures where God said not to eat meat with blood in it. They believe that traits of of a person's soul or even an animal's in in the blood. They also quote medical health reasons like Hep B and C and AIDS. I never made the Scriptural connection..but the Hep B and C and AIDS part has been medically verified.

 

 

"As for the definition of Panentheism vs Pantheism God is not just looking over your shoulder but involved in the most mundane and silly aspects of your life. He's (it's always HE) is telling you the most mundane things you can imagine."

 

I not sure if this makes sense..but I really like the way the natural theists like Waldo Emerson talk..even though I myself do not subscribe to the World Oversoul idea. I believe in the Web of Life concept that humans and animals and nature are all one big family and that God's Holy Sprit can be felt most strongly in nature..but the idea of God being an impersonal force that lives in the center of the earth is too abstract for me....Though I CAN understand God's Holy Spirit dwelling on and through the earth and the cosmos..If that makes any sense...

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>I 'think', and this is just a guess on my part, but I think Ellen may have damagaed feelings from her days being raised CS..and if so she should exchanged thoughts with Robin Williams. For one thing Robin Williams is great and at seeing the humor in things and maybe this could help both of them with their ultra fundie CS burned backgrounds.

 

 

I think CS is kind of a damaging religion in many ways. It's good to be able to see the lunacy in it. But the whole idea that you are perfect means that a lot of your experience isn't valided. If you are sick, you aren't really sick. If you get picked on by other kids that's not really happening. Clearly being sick or picked on are never good things but at least in normal families you have your parents on your side saying it's a bad thing. In CS you don't, you are kind of left on your own as a young child. So that's why I think it can be damaging in a psychological way.

 

From the sounds of it, Ellen, Robin and I shared a more Fundamentalist CS background. I know there are some CS who don't take everything quite as seriously. My dad esp was VERY devout.

 

>Yeah, I agree but since all these groups are equally fundamental they all get really p-ssed off when you tell them this.

 

yes, and they are quite sure they are totally right. Have a market on truth and no body else has any. Quite like Christian Fundamentalists in that respect.

 

>True. They site Scriptures where God said not to eat meat with blood in it. They believe that traits of of a person's soul or even an animal's in in the blood. They also quote medical health reasons like Hep B and C and AIDS. I never made the Scriptural connection..but the Hep B and C and AIDS part has been medically verified.

 

It's interesting but CS always talk about the medical disasters (and there are lots of them). But they don't acknowledge anything in their own positions. I see that here as well. How many more people lived due to blood transfusions than died. Prob. quite a lot more.

 

> I believe in the Web of Life concept that humans and animals and nature are all one big family and that God's Holy Sprit can be felt most strongly in nature..but the idea of God being an impersonal force that lives in the center of the earth is too abstract for me....Though I CAN understand God's Holy Spirit dwelling on and through the earth and the cosmos..If that makes any sense...

 

Yes, it makes sense. I also wouldn't place it specifically in some place like the center of the Earth.

 

--des

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"I think CS is kind of a damaging religion in many ways. It's good to be able to see the lunacy in it. But the whole idea that you are perfect means that a lot of your experience isn't valided. If you are sick, you aren't really sick. If you get picked on by other kids that's not really happening. Clearly being sick or picked on are never good things but at least in normal families you have your parents on your side saying it's a bad thing. In CS you don't, you are kind of left on your own as a young child. So that's why I think it can be damaging in a psychological way."

 

Yeah, that is kinda the same problem with Hindu thought..that evil is an issue..and it's not. What just happened in Hindu was not all in our minds.

 

"It's interesting but CS always talk about the medical disasters (and there are lots of them). But they don't acknowledge anything in their own positions. I see that here as well."

 

That is the most annoying..when they don;t even try to explain their reasons for beliving something.

 

"How many more people lived due to blood transfusions than died. Prob. quite a lot more."

 

That's true. My brother got in a serious car accident about 15 years ago and nearly died. He took blood..but just last year he found out that he got Hep C..So it's a gamble either way.

 

> I believe in the Web of Life concept that humans and animals and nature are all one big family and that God's Holy Sprit can be felt most strongly in nature..but the idea of God being an impersonal force that lives in the center of the earth is too abstract for me....Though I CAN understand God's Holy Spirit dwelling on and through the earth and the cosmos..If that makes any sense...

 

"Yes, it makes sense. I also wouldn't place it specifically in some place like the center of the Earth."

 

I think the Natural Deists actually believes that God as the universal collective soul lives in the earth and breaths life into everything living upon the earth.

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>Yeah, that is kinda the same problem with Hindu thought..that evil is an issue..and it's not. What just happened in Hindu was not all in our minds.

 

I wasn't aware that Hinduism placed was quite so absolute about the existance of evil. Might be just showing my own ignorance as I don't really know that much about Hinduism. I know that CS is quite absolute. Evil does not exist, it doesn't exist in the world and it is an illusion.

Unfortunately for CS, they do live in the world. Absolutist faiths are very difficult to conterbalance. I had a lot of difficulty reconsiling what I felt in reality to religion.

 

 

>I think the Natural Deists actually believes that God as the universal collective soul lives in the earth and breaths life into everything living upon the earth.

 

 

I have no problem with that one, EXCEPT what about the God of the Klingons? Or Gray guys? Or the bacteria that might be on Europa? Or our "Four headed thing" friends?

 

 

BTW, this is NOT entirely fascious. We only go from an anthropocentric God to a Geogod.

If God is God s/he/it created the universe.

 

 

 

--des

Edited by des
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explains how the founders of Religious Science church and Unity admit that Hindu thought had a great influence on their religious views on Christianity

 

But what form of Hinduism, I wonder?

 

There are just as many sects of Hinduism as there are of Christianity and just as many differening viewpoints on the nature of God.

 

You could compare the range of thought within Hinduism to the range of thought between conservative and liberal Christians. It's huge.

 

Qualified Monism is making an inroads into New Thought. I doubt it will make any inroads into Christian Science. <_<

 

Aletheia

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>My book by Timothy Miller intitled, "America's Altternative Religions," explains how the founders of Religious Science church and Unity admit that Hindu thought had a great influence on their religious views on Christianity.

 

That's interesting. You know that both of these (Unity and Religious Science) were founded by people who were dissidents of Mary Baker Eddy. I've heard some people saying there are similarities between Eastern thought and CS. (Though I thought it was a bit of a slap on Buddhism. :-)) To my knowledge, Eddy didn't have any ideas or knowledge of Hinduism (or Buddhism). She wasn't really all that well educated or traveled. She did study with people who might have had some knowledge though (?).

 

>Qualified Monism is making an inroads into New Thought. I doubt it will make any inroads into Christian Science.

 

I'm sure you're right. The board of the CS church has made some attempts to make their views more pallitable to the rest of the world (you think mainline churches are losing members? They have nothing on CS. I think that they have lost more members than any other church.). They commonly go on panels with doctors like Weil to claim they have lots in common with him, etc. But I don't think the beliefs themselves have changed any in 200 years. I don't know how they would. They don't read anything but what Eddy wrote (and a few loyalist writers) and they can't even write anything.

 

There are dissident CSists. Some of them have merely gotten more extreme over the years, claiming such things as that Eddy is some kind of direct discendent of Jesus. And so on. I'm sure there are internet panels but I haven't tried infiltration. :-)

 

 

--des

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"That's interesting. You know that both of these (Unity and Religious Science) were founded by people who were dissidents of Mary Baker Eddy."

 

The says all of these thoughts can first be traced back to a belief in Sweden called Swedishborgism.

 

" I've heard some people saying there are similarities between Eastern thought and CS. (Though I thought it was a bit of a slap on Buddhism. :-))"

 

The Unity church here in Ventura advertises that a Buddhist class meets at their church to teach Buddhist mediational beliefs.

 

"To my knowledge, Eddy didn't have any ideas or knowledge of Hinduism (or Buddhism). She wasn't really all that well educated or traveled. She did study with people who might have had some knowledge though (?)."

 

Humm..I can't rememebr what the book said on that..But I Do rember that it said that both the founders of Self Realizationship and Ventenda Society (Both American neo-Hindu faiths) have read Unity and New Thought books and found them agreeable.

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