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Interpretations For The "predestination" Verses In Romans


Marsha
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Hi! I've been gone for awhile, although I do peek in here, once in awhile. Always interesting conversations, but a lot of it is over my head, I have to admit! :)

 

I am still very interested in Progressive Christianity and I have a question about the "predestination" verses in Romans 8. Specifically Romans 8:29-30.

 

29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. 30 And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.

 

Orthodox Christians (Calvinists, in particular), generally, believe that these verses mean God chooses for salvation. That God chose his "elect" before the foundation of the world, and those are the only ones who will be saved. I know that is not how a Progressive would interpret those verses, but I have no idea how they might be interpreted. I know the Mormons interpret these verse to mean that specific people are called for specific leadership roles here on earth (prophets, Apostles, teachers, etc). So, how would a Progressive interpret these verses and others having to do with predestination?

 

Thanks in advance!

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Romans 8:29-30

1 Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. 1 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, 2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death.

 

5 Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. 6 For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, 6 The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace; 7 because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God ; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, 7 the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God's law, nor can it do so. 8 and those who are in the flesh cannot please God. 8 Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God. 9 However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him. 9 You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ. 10 If Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the spirit is alive because of righteousness. 10 But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness. 11 But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you. 11 And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you. 12 So then, brethren, we are under obligation, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh - 12 Therefore, brothers, we have an obligation--but it is not to the sinful nature, to live according to it. 13 for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die ; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live. 13 For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live,

 

 

 

I feel Christianity is reverent and alive if one listens to the call from Christ inside. This is the spirit talking, patronizing, condemning or judging others as insufficient is the ego talking about Christ, not the religion of Christ. Jesus describes the experience of joy felt in the spirit. The supernatural enlightenment of Christ is about the glorious energy of the soul. I feel this passage is bringing one from the outer personality to the inner-self arousing one from immaturity and prejudice to wholeness. This is for spiritual aspirants seeking a deeper more fulfilling relationship with God. The immature Christians I feel will talk about sin, but miss the mark. The light of Christ in the spirit, I feel helps one witness the different levels of love all around so we walk closer to Christ on our spiritual journey to God. It guides us on the path with new wisdom and understanding bridging the gap that exists between Christians and non-Christians so we see everyone in spirit and not separate in the physical. Sin to me is seeing on the surface in the physical with everything separate from God and love.

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Those God foreknew are the patriarchs and the Israelites that have come before, not those now living or yet born. Clearly Paul is including everyone he is writing to during this time of persecution assuring them of God's protection and that they are all chosen for good .

 

To say that all are predestined by God before they were born is not consistent with the many passages about freewill. So if we let the Bible interpret the Bible then predestination cannot be understood in a Calvinistic view. We do not have to work hard to prove we are among the elect (Protestant work ethic).

 

35Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

 

36As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.

 

37Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.

 

38For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,

 

--- nor predestination. Again, letting the Bible interpret the Bible God would not predestine some but not all to salvation and some to hell, if the opposite, since it is implied, is true.

 

Dutch

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Hi! I've been gone for awhile, although I do peek in here, once in awhile. Always interesting conversations, but a lot of it is over my head, I have to admit! :)

 

I am still very interested in Progressive Christianity and I have a question about the "predestination" verses in Romans 8. Specifically Romans 8:29-30.

 

29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. 30 And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.

 

Orthodox Christians (Calvinists, in particular), generally, believe that these verses mean God chooses for salvation. That God chose his "elect" before the foundation of the world, and those are the only ones who will be saved. I know that is not how a Progressive would interpret those verses, but I have no idea how they might be interpreted. I know the Mormons interpret these verse to mean that specific people are called for specific leadership roles here on earth (prophets, Apostles, teachers, etc). So, how would a Progressive interpret these verses and others having to do with predestination?

 

Thanks in advance!

 

I don't know if this will help, but I'll give it try. I grew up with a modified understanding of the passage you quote along with a different view of the Protestant work ethic. Greater emphasis was placed on "those he called" meaning "those who listen" to the teachings of Jesus. The call is indeed to do "hard work", but not for some reward in heaven. The "hard work" meant to feed the poor, help those in need, build hospitals, establish nursing schools when none existed, reform institutions that mistreat human beings.

 

A variation of this appears now and then when "the call" is interpreted to mean that we should use any unique talent we have as a gift from G_D and apply it to the purposes just mentioned.

 

Myron

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Marsha, I agree with you, this is a tough one.

 

How I've reconciled that passage of text in my own beliefs system is that while it seems to refer certain individuals for whom God had a predetermined destiny for their lives, just as He did for the man Jesus to whom these individuals are likened, it does not preclude, or exclude, any others coming to faith, to Christ, without said predestination. I.E, that while some who are predestined to predetermined roles in their lives, not all that come to Christ of their own free will are among those so predestined.

 

Now, it also seems to me that in the words 'those whom God foreknew', it is God's foreknowing what they will do, being as that God is outside of time as we know it, doesn't mean God set these people apart to 'give' them special roles, but just that He foresaw what they would do. So even for these, what they would do is of their own free will.

 

Now, I think the bible has many examples of individuals "called" to certain roles or actions and even a special closeness to God. Call them prophets, apostles, or friends of God, whatever. But it also seems there are those on whom God will use extraordinary means to get their attention if need be. Clearly Saul was not on the self-determined, free-will path to Christ when he was struck down on the road to Damascus and so totally changed that he even needed a new name..Paul. That does not mean they are the ONLY ones that will turn to God in their lifetimes, or the only ones that will be 'saved' in whatever way one interprets that.

 

One of the common stumbling blocks to those trying to read and interpret biblical scripture is failing to consider just who is addressing whom about what under what circumstances. Not everything in scripture is addressed to everybody every where all the time. One commonly sees this error as when things Jesus spoke privately to His inner circle of disciples is presented as if it was addressed to each and every believer. Likewise, when things Paul said in adressing particular situations involving specific people and situations are interpreted as if applicable to everone or every congregation.

 

I see this passage about those predetermined not being something that addresses all who will come to beleieve. I also do not see that any that may be so predetermined and predestined as being in any way superior to others that come to faith in Christ. Quite the opposite, actually. Was Saul, who was so bull-headed and dead-set against Christ that it took that road to Damascus smack-down to get his attention superior to any of the masses of ordinary people that have traveled the more common path of ordinary lives to Christ? I'd think not! Hey, it would be EASY to choose that path if God were to knock any of us down like that!

 

Jenell

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I feel God knocks us down everyday and that is the main theme of the passage.

 

Romans 8:29-30

1 Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. 1 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, 2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death.

 

I feel this passage is saying if we don’t associate with The Consciousness of Christ in a harmonious state of mind, body and affairs, we have to depend totally on the created world and are subject to its pain and hardship. After becoming more and more involved with the external world and experiencing pain, the struggle of the flesh once again becomes a struggle for happiness. The nature of the flesh being self-centered, possessive, fearful, and trying to force its will on others after suffering in the world, finally returns our mind on a direction back through individual consciousness to a path leading to the soul. The soul is our connection to pure consciousness or God the Father as we imagine Christ connected to God the Father in Christ Consciousness.

 

Suffering is the key to predestination as it makes us not happy with the material world so our minds lead us back through the depths of our own being to the kingdom of God, the unity and joy of pure consciousness. It seems to the person engrossed in pure consciousness even pain is fruitful, for all things work together for the good of the whole even sin is a commitment to greater love because it humbles bringing out the best. It shows how a materialistic mind will act contrary to the will of God or unity so a person will rise above sin by turning to pure consciousness. Sin and suffering make us not happy with the material world so our minds lead us back to the spirit. Pain causes some to cast off the physical world to return to the divine life, a paradise lost.

 

5 Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. 6 For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, 6 The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace;

God acts as if the sin had never been committed. God’s consciousness or pure consciousness is in the present so He/She would never let former sins count against a person. God accepts people not for what they have been, but for what they are now. Sin is just a way to bring man to a better existence in spirit. Some can refer to this as Christ Jesus as below.

 

Romans 8:29-30

1 Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. 1 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, 2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death.

 

This reaping what one sows is nothing but the scientific law of cause and effect. Our present life is ruled by our past just as our future is affected by our present actions; we are therefore, punished only by our own actions. These actions form our destiny so it seems that the ego has not been created by nature to follow its own arbitrary impulses to an unlimited extent, but to help make real God's purpose, which is a kind predestination.

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I really appreciate all of the replies.

 

I have only had a chance to briefly read over them and not much time to reply. My youngest daughter gave birth this morning to a precious baby girl, so we have been very wrapped up in this happy event, today (and likely for a few days to come).

 

I have enjoyed reading, what I did read and thank you again for the wonderful responses. Will get back to this in a day or two. Didn't want anyone to think I just did a hit and run thread. :)

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...just an aside...Marsha, I hope you don't mind my going off topic here to use something in your post as an example of something that has arisen in another thread....

 

I mentioned in another thread the potential for mis-communications when people of different religious traditions, denominations, branches of Christianity, when they use words and phrases differently than another, that it can be as if they are speaking different languages without realizing it.

 

An example of that in Marsha's initial post, as she referred to "Orthodox Christianity" followed by "(Calvin, in particular)". This is one I've encountered before, so while it threw me for a loop the first few times I encountered it, I am now aware of it and know to watch out for it. But the first few times I encountered it, such as on Facebook or other contexts in which someone might give "Orthodox Christian" as their religious identiy, I managed to offend highly several of them in assuming they really meant they were "Orthodox Christians", as descended from the early split between the western (Roman Catholic) and eastern (Orthodox) church. In having met a number of Orthodox Christians, most of whom are either immigrants from or second or third generation descendants of immigrants, from regions of the east and middle east (Greek, Eastern, Egyptian Coptic Orthodox), as well as having done at least some intro level study into it, that is what first comes to mind when someone references "Orthodox Christianty".

 

I'm not sure when the term "Orthodiox Christianity" began to be commonly applied to (generally American) evangelical and fundamentalist Christianity, but it can sure be confusing when used outside those circles.

 

Jenell

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To say that all are predestined by God before they were born is not consistent with the many passages about freewill.

Dutch,

 

You make several good points including the excerpt above. How can we be both endowed with free will and be predestined from birth? Yet, it seems that many of us can hold both concepts at the same time.

 

Islam has a similar kind of theological paradox which is expressed in the obligatory expression insha'allah (God willing) before any statement about what might happen in the future (like: "I'll see you tomorrow, insha'allah"). However, as I understand it, there is a theological distinction made between natural processes and moral behavior, i.e. God is in control of the former, we are responsible, through the exercise of free will, for the latter.

 

George

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How can we be both endowed with free will and be predestined from birth?

I agree that we both need to feel that we were chosen from before the beginning of creation and that we freely choose. That is the power of Ephesians 1. If it were important, I would discuss how feeling predestined is different than feeling chosen.

 

Dutch

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Marsha, nice to see you again.

 

I was curious about that verse in Romans also, and looked up a commentary I trusted.

The most convincing explanation, for me, is that Paul was bringing every rhetorical tool he had, to give hope and encouragement to the disciples during severe persecution. To be “conformed to the image of his Son” was to take on similar suffering —a repeated theme in the letters -

 

“for just as the sufferings of Christ are abundant for us, so also our consolation is abundant through Christ”

 

“insofar as we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his”

 

The translation “predestined” doesn’t mean some mystical foreknowledge or predetermination of individuals before they were born—“those whom he foreknew” means the ‘saints of old’ God knew personally, communed with in ages past – Abraham, Moses, David etc. Paul refers to God’s historical relationship with his covenant people, to support the assertion in the previous verse, 8:28, that “everything works together for good, for those who love God and are called according to his purpose.”

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Guest billmc

Just to throw in my own 2c, I appreciate the responses in this thread concerning predestination and what it means. Most of us know that some hard-core Calvinists interpret these verses and others like them to mean that God picked Sally for salvation but rejected Bob. In this view, human will, it seems to me, is either non-existent or irrelevant. But as we read Jesus "calling" to people to follow him in the gospels, human will is very much involved; Jesus is inviting people to become part of God's saving work in this world. Therefore, as others have mentioned, predestination seems to have more to do with God having a "plan" or purpose in saving all of creation than with God picking and rejecting certain individuals. Hard-core Calvinists certainly hold to God's omnipotence to save for his glory and his glory alone, yet, IMO, they degrade God, not only with their interpretation of predestination, but with the way they demean humanity as totally depraved and bereft of the image of God.

 

At the same time, I'm not entirely comfortable with the Arminian notion of totally "free" will, as though we exist in a vacuum without God's influence from within or without. To me, we are surrounded by God, much as a fetus is surrounded by it's mother, and we are part of God, much as a child shares the DNA of it's parents. Something of the parent is always within and without the child and, therefore, "free" will seems to me to be an illusion. To me, in God we live and move and have our being. So though our will is not entirely free, it is not forced either. To me, God doesn't force us into salvation, but compassionately draws us and invites us into it.

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At the same time, I'm not entirely comfortable with the Arminian notion of totally "free" will, as though we exist in a vacuum without God's influence from within or without. To me, we are surrounded by God, much as a fetus is surrounded by it's mother, and we are part of God, much as a child shares the DNA of it's parents. Something of the parent is always within and without the child and, therefore, "free" will seems to me to be an illusion. To me, in God we live and move and have our being. So though our will is not entirely free, it is not forced either. To me, God doesn't force us into salvation, but compassionately draws us and invites us into it.

Bill,

 

I don't rule out the possibility of some measure of free will. However, IMO, it is highly constrained by genetic, psychological, social and personal experiential factors over which we have no control. In fact, I have a hard time thinking of a decision one could make that is not strongly influenced, if not determined, by these factors.

 

In his book Justice, Michael Sandel says he asks his Harvard students who claim to be there through hard work and study how many are the first-born in their family. He says 75-80% typically raise their hands. Without making claims about the effect of birth order he suggests that hard work and ambition may be influenced by one's place in the family, a factor over which we have no control.

 

I don't think there is any doubt that the religion one embraces is strongly influenced by the society in which they are raised. And, I think this goes deeper than 'indoctrination.' There are adjustments that all religions make to survive in the culture in which they are found. As a result, our enculturation influences our worldview which then influences our religious ideas.

 

George

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Guest billmc

In his book Justice, Michael Sandel says he asks his Harvard students who claim to be there through hard work and study how many are the first-born in their family. He says 75-80% typically raise their hands. Without making claims about the effect of birth order he suggests that hard work and ambition may be influenced by one's place in the family, a factor over which we have no control.

 

That's interesting, George. The notion (and associated privileges) of "first-born" is a strong one in the Bible. It is usually the "first-born" who inherits the most, who is the leader, who comes out on top. Jesus, according to the gospels, is, of course, first-born, not just of Mary but, according to Paul, of the new creation. How much of these notions concerning the spiritual superiority of first-born are overlays on genetic/cultural/social factors we probably cannot know.

 

At the same time, the gospel presents a counter-first-born view where the last are first, the servants rule, the despised are accepted, the "least of these" become important. This, to me, demonstrates how all-encompassing God's kingdom on earth can be, should it choose to be so. God's kingdom is inverted from the way the kingdoms of this world work, with the powerful on top and the "last borns" on the bottom. In God's kingdom, everyone becomes "first-born" by being "born again." :)

 

Where I suspect predestination (as currently understood by the Calvinists) has taken a wrong turn is in the purpose of salvation. According to the Hebrew scriptures, God chose Abraham. But God did not choose Abraham for Abraham's sake alone. According to the story, God chose Abraham "that in you all the nations of the earth would be blessed." Abraham was chosen, not to be a container of blessing, but to be a vessel of blessing. God isn't saving us for our sake alone, but for the sake of the world. Just like Jesus, we don't exist to be served, but to serve. Although there may be comfort in the deterministic view of predestination that the Calvinists hold to for themselves, such interpretations feed the "us versus them" views and actions that religions often fall prey to with devasting effects for our world.

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If we are indeed "unsaved" and in need of "saving" (predestined or otherwise) by God or whatever, what exactly is it that is in us that is in need of saving or what is it we need to be saved from? And if there is something in need of "saving" or to be saved from then are we created deficient?

 

Just some related basic questions for thought or dialog .....

 

Joseph

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Alfred Adler (1870-1937), an Austrian psychiatrist, and a contemporary of Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung, was one of the first theorists to suggest that birth order influences personality. He argued that birth order can leave an indelible impression on an individual's style of life, which is one's habitual way of dealing with the tasks of friendship, love, and work. According to Adler, firstborns are "dethroned" when a second child comes along, and this may have a lasting influence on them. Younger and only children may be pampered and spoiled, which can also affect their later personalities.[1] Additional birth order factors that should be considered are the spacing in years between siblings, the total number of children, and the changing circumstances of the parents over time.

 

Since Adler's time, the influence of birth order on the development of personality has become a controversial issue in psychology. Among the general public, it is widely believed that personality is strongly influenced by birth order, but many psychologists dispute this. One important modern theory of personality states that the Big Five personality traits of Openness, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness, and Neuroticism represent most of the important elements of personality that can be measured. Contemporary approaches to birth order frequently suggest that birth order influences these five traits.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Birth_order

 

 

Always a small measure of uncertainty ... Albert Bandura has developed a model called "Triadic Reciprocality", with behavior, person, and environment influencing each other.

 

Myron

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Guest billmc

If we are indeed "unsaved" and in need of "saving" (predestined or otherwise) by God or whatever, what exactly is it that is in us that is in need of saving or what is it we need to be saved from? And if there is something in need of "saving" or to be saved from then are we created deficient?

 

Just some related basic questions for thought or dialog .....

 

Joseph

 

That's a good question, Joseph, and probably merits its own thread: Do Progressive Christians believe in salvation?

 

But barring that, to me, when I speak of salvation, I mean wholeness or healing. Or another way to put it is the sense of separateness that we seem to come into this world with. We feel so alone. So we often do whatever we have to ensure our survival because we think that we have to each "watch out for number one."

 

So when I speak of salvation, I'm not at all referring to the paradigm of God moving us out of the "going to hell line" and into the "going to heaven line." I'm referring to the sense or experience of oneness that we have with "God or whatever" and with others that makes us aware that we are not alone, that we are made whole, healed, or complete by living in compassion with others. Predestination as typically presented in Calvinism may refer to "being conformed to the image of Christ" but by the time the doctrine hits the streets, it means that God has decided who goes to heaven and who goes to hell. I find such notions repugnant, just speaking for myself. Besides, I've never met someone who held to Calvinistic predestination who believed that they were NOT one of the saved. :lol:

 

Salvation, to me, is more about transformation and becoming mature than it is about destination. In fact, I'm an agnostic about the destination. So, yes, I would say that we come into this world immature and we need to grow. That, to me, is salvation.

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Joseph great question. I feel in evolution man is endowed with the attributes of free will and free choice. We can choose to serve either the mind and body or the Divinity within. I don't think we are mechanical individuals, but are left alone to discover the pure I, God ,or pure consciousness, which ever term applies. Man cannot be forced to love God or our higher self because to love one has to be free so to love God one has to love God with his own volition. I feel the element of freedom in love is due to the fact that the love we feel is from God. It is the pure love we are surrounded in, I like the analogy of being in the pure water of our mother, therefore the love we have is not our ego’s love to give. We have no love because God created everything; it all comes from the pure consciousness we are a part of so the love that we love God with is similar to shining a mirror at the sun because the light that we reflect on the mirror of our minds comes from the sun. The point I am trying to make is so long as man feels himself to be the ego; he is depriving himself of love and freedom. I feel this is what I or we need salvation from. This very sense of freedom in the ego is what ultimately leads the ego to the discovery that there is more to life. Evolution waits for man to discover the natural laws that guide him to pure consciousness and our relationship to the whole. I feel we need to be saved from our choppy selves with mindfulness so the calmness of awareness of the present moment can reflect the love or pure consciousness with accuracy.

 

Sorry if it doesn't make sense.

 

I feel the pure consciousness hidden in the garden of ecstasy is not in any particular country or in some private area away from civilization. It lies within each one of us so we just have to find the keys to open the keyless gate. The keys being hidden in the layers of the mind in our experiences,agonies and ecstasies. I feel when we enter the garden with mindfulnness, we see the river of life skipping down to the sea. Every obstacle causes the water to dance, every waterfall roars with excitement and every bend brings new enjoyments. The garden has one purpose and that is to show us the totality of life, and the river’s aim is to merge with the ocean of pure consciousness. When we find the river merging with the ocean, one can see Jesus walking on the waters in the ocean of pure consciousness. I feel this experience is predetermined for all with evolution guiding us there with pleasure and pain as our guides to salvation.

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Hi Marsha. There's an old Jewish saying that where there are two Jews you will find three opinions. It's much the same with Christians, Muslims, Hindus - et al - it seems to me. I wonder how many interpretations could be assembled for any one piece of scripture. From reading Jung I discovered the importance and effect of symbols. Then I realised that words are only symbols and that they don't contain meaning - the meaning is in the reader. This is what occurs to me: The purpose of the symbol (in whatever form) is to draw meaning into consciousness. However, because meaning is in the reader one symbol may draw many meanings into consciousness. A bird may be thought of as a bird, as freedom or as peace. So although a person writing words may be expressing the meaning he or she is experiencing, those who read it may experience something quite different - we've all experienced that, sometimes with disastrous effects. The same thing applies when we start interpreting things. So I suppose what I'm saying is that words are unreliable as they can only ever approximate meaning in any individual.

 

I was interested to read in the Bhagavad Gita that, to the wise, scriptures are like a well in the flooded land. I feel that if I try to tie things down to a form of words I'm going to lose out on the experience and it is the experience that counts, not how I explain it. Don't get me wrong, I love scriptures, but I don't try to interpret them anymore. I let them interpret me.

 

With love.

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I really appreciate all of the responses here. I have read through all of them and found each of your posts very interesting and helpful.

 

Joseph brought up an interesting question about salvation. I tend to sometimes get stuck in that old paradigm of heaven and hell, when I really don't believe in an eternal hell or the need to be "saved" from that. I, more, agree with Bill's explanation of salvation. I think the spiritual journey we are on is more about realization than salvation. We need salvation, in the sense that we "feel" separated from God (even though we are not). We need to be "saved" from ourselves, mostly. Our blindness. Realization, in that, through Christ, we may realize who we truly are, and how we can make a conscious connection with God.

 

Thank you, again, for all of these wonderful posts. I may have more comments, as I try and digest all that is here. :)

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Brian, that was a very interesting post, about language.

 

Not only do we all have different "pictures", when we see a word, but if you throw in translations from different languages (Hebrew/Greek or whatever), understanding can become even more difficult.

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