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Navigator30
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I find it hard to classify myself in terms of Christianity. In truth, I am uncomfortable with the term given the ugly track record of the religion. It really came home to me when I was stationed in Germany. I noticed that in the small villages, the church was either catholic or protestant, but seldom both. I was informed that during the 30 years war (War of the Roses), the catholics slaughtered the protestants and vice versa in other villages.

 

I was raised in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), but my father was a "closet" Unity student and we were not allowed to leave the table until the Daily Word selection for that day had been read. I currently attend a Unity church. I don't believe the Virgin Birth myths in the bible and do believe that the beloved disciple was Mary Magdalene. I do believe that Jesus was a historical figure and was able to conquer death, though not in a physical body. I don't believe that he came to die for my sins, but to show us what the possibilites might be if we could wake up to our true nature. I believe that the story of the Prodigal Son tells us everything we need to know. I find the channeled material in A Course In Miracles and the Magian Gospel of Brother Yeshua to be more reliable than the bible and makes a lot more sense.

 

My wife is a full time minister of Jehovah Witnesses which gives me ample opportunity to practice non-resistance. My six children were raised as JWs, but all are out now (Thank God!).

 

I am comfortable with Bishop Spong's term "Believer in Exile".

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Welcome Navigator,

 

Interesting background and family makeup. Hopefully you will feel right at home here. I also read through the course in miracles that an ACIM member put a link to from this site. I found the subject matter of the course most interesting without even drawing an opinion on the source of its content. I think it could be a very helpful course in getting past some of the obstacles to truth by utilizing its deprogramming techniques.

 

Good to have you here,

Joseph

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Hello Navigator and welcome!

 

I think you will feel quite at home here. I call myself "Christian" because it is the best way to describe what I believe, not because I completely embrace many of the doctrins and practices of traditional Christianity. Many of us here do not believe in bible inerrancy, some do not believe in an actual, physical resurrection. The best and things about this forum are inclusiveness, the willingness to respectfully dialogue, and we can to agree to disagree. Again, welcome.

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The question of Christian identity has been discussed here several times. At one time, I felt that it required belief in the divinity of Jesus. I have since come to think that 'Christian' means that Jesus is the focus of one's theology, philosophy or ethics. This would encompass traditional Christians for whom his divinity is central as well as progressive 'Christians' who may have doubts about or deny his divinity but identify with his teachings.

 

I don't think that Muslims (who officially recognize Jesus as a prophet) could be rightly identified as Christian as he is not the focus of their faith. Jews who recognize and respect the ethical teachings would likewise not be rightly identified as Christian (and may even resent it) for the same reason. Secular humanists would not for the same reason.

 

I also don't think behavior is a good criterion. I think that Hitler was a Christian (although an awful person) and the Gandhi was not (although an exemplary person).

 

So, my tentative and present view is that the centrality of Jesus to one's theology or ethics is the determining criterion.

 

George

Edited by GeorgeW
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Navigator welcome. I call myself Christian, but many conservative Christians would balk at that move. I am comfortable with the hot coals they put on my path, it seems it is God's way of bringing me down to earth and in the present moment at the same time.

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Welcome to the forum Navigator.

I call myself a Christian. Not because I believe in a set creed or the like, because I do not, but because I see Christianity as more of a journey that one takes when one is led by the teachings of Jesus.

I know some will protest that you must believe this or that as well but no matter what they say you know what your led by and you do not need their permission or validation to journey as one does. Micah 6:8., Matt 22:36-40.

 

ps// I like the name Navigator. :D

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