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New To Pc And Have Lots Of Questions


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I have had a crisis of faith recently and have so many questions I don't even know where to start, so this may be a bit rantie/convoluted. I know that PC is inclusive to other faiths and belief systems, would anyone mind sharing how they believe this works? Do you believe there is one God over several others, or that there are other equal gods for different religions, or that there is no God? What do you think of the purpose of the Cross, or the Bible period for that matter? I hope this question doesn't offend anyone - It's definitely not meant to - But are you ever afraid that you are "going down the wrong path" so to speak? How did you deal with the fear or worry? How do we explain our faith to other people?

 

Like I said, this was a bit rambling, and I hope none of my questions were rude or anything, I'm just curious and have struggled with these questions for a long time. Any advice or resources would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!

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Hello and welcome, psychsteph.

 

Thanks for your questions. Progressive Christians are not a homogenous bunch. 'God' means something different to everyone, but the good part is, that's OK. But we do say we have "found an approach to God through Jesus", which suggests that 'God' is not exhausted by any one approach. God is like a jewel with many faces; God is like an ocean of wisdom and meaning. Something similar could be said for the bible -- no one opinion. Generally, though, we see it primarily as a human book. Its "purpose" for us has been to crystallize how people have related to God at certain times and places.

 

You may enjoy reading through some of the testimonies and replies in the "Personal Stories and Journeys" section of the forum...from others who have experienced crises of faith, who have sought to make sense of life, and the answers (and questions) they have found along the way. Sometimes a good question is better than ready-made answers.

 

As far as fear and worry -- and I suppose you are talking about anxiety owing to disbelieving what one has been taught -- that has been greatly alleviated for me as I've studied the human face of religions. Religions are culturally conditioned.

 

Peace,

Mike

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I have had a crisis of faith recently and have so many questions I don't even know where to start, so this may be a bit rantie/convoluted. I know that PC is inclusive to other faiths and belief systems, would anyone mind sharing how they believe this works? Do you believe there is one God over several others, or that there are other equal gods for different religions, or that there is no God? What do you think of the purpose of the Cross, or the Bible period for that matter? I hope this question doesn't offend anyone - It's definitely not meant to - But are you ever afraid that you are "going down the wrong path" so to speak? How did you deal with the fear or worry? How do we explain our faith to other people?

 

Like I said, this was a bit rambling, and I hope none of my questions were rude or anything, I'm just curious and have struggled with these questions for a long time. Any advice or resources would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!

 

There has always been a struggle between self and group determination. Yes ... some individuals claiming a group consensus have sought to sink or ground a certain 'path' and some individuals seek to source variations of 'paths'. And you have the right to to say whether you want to 'sink' or 'absorb' .... 'create' or 'expand'. But ... there is another view that holds both as being needed for growth. So ... the idea is to be both a 'sink' and a 'source' but knowing that being a source ... like Jesus ... is not without risk.

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Do you believe there is one God over several others, or that there are other equal gods for different religions, or that there is no God? What do you think of the purpose of the Cross, or the Bible period for that matter? I hope this question doesn't offend anyone - It's definitely not meant to - But are you ever afraid that you are "going down the wrong path" so to speak? How did you deal with the fear or worry? How do we explain our faith to other people?

 

As Mike has said, PCs are not a homogeneous bunch. I think that generally PCs accept that there are many different and valid views. We all differ in our social and cultural settings, our upbringing, our education, our psychological needs, etc. Therefore, it would be reasonable to expect that our views would differ.

Since these are questions about which there are no provable or falsifiable answers, we should, IMO, respect any benign beliefs about these questions. My problem is when one's subjective views are asserted as universal truth.

 

George

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Perhaps PsychSteph is asking how individually we see things.

 

First its a journey one of learning and doing.

 

Yes I have a sense there is a God or to quote Marcus Borg "a more" Exactly who or what or why God is ... I haven't a clue. I see no reason why this God, this more is limited to only those who view through Jesus. Why can't God be viewed through Buddha or Muhammad or Pagan? The only reason I can see is that our parents taught us Jesus is the only way.

 

My journey has been to find a manner that isn't contradicted by what I see in life... a way that always makes sense both in a current but also a historic view. My view of Jesus and the cross is one of respect and awl. At the very least Jesus was a remarkable man who lead his people on a path of redemption. ( my definition of redemption is a non-religious one ). I also see no reason why he couldn't be "chosen". My view is not reliant on his divinity.

 

The bible is a reflection of how the people of that time period viewed things and because much of the new testament was written within a generation of Jesus probably reflects to some extent his views. Because the bible is a product of its time it makes sense to think that it will contain the world view of its time. Slavery, treatment of woman, treatment of people not of our clan were always problem areas for me. If one looks at the bible as a product of the time these areas make sense. It gives me the flexibility to ignore these parts while taking very seriously to overarching story line of the Bible. Gives me the ability to learn the lessons of wisdom of the bible while avoiding the pitfalls of my fore-bearers. I can explain the passages that portray homosexuality in a bad light as a problem with the authors worldview because the overarching story of the bible is one of love for ALL people. I can rest easy when I read the passages that talk of Gods killing because I know what the overall story is.

 

Ones faith then becomes a way of life that is not inhibited by belief.

 

Yes I worry about going down the wrong path but not the way you might think. I don't worry about heaven or hell. I worry about always trying to do what is best. I worry about living up to Jesus's call to care of the least of my people. I worry about being a good parent, husband and community member. I fight selfish thoughts and ego-centric views within my self.

 

Good Luck on your journey

 

steve

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Hello and welcome,

 

First of all, I love your avatar!

 

Secondly, for someone with lots of questions, I would like to recommend a book if I may. I will preface the recommendation with "its for everybody, not just Catholics": the book "Tomorrow's Catholic" by Michael Morwood helped me so much when I first began to question what my traditional church taught.

 

I maintain that there are many paths to Truth. I choose Christianity because it is the one that makes the most sense to me. I know that others' paths make more sense to them. My approach to Christianity is very different, and many traditional Christians might not even recognize it. Still, its valid to me, I arrive at the sense of interconnectedness with God and one another - which is, after all, what I believe Jesus taught.

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phychsteph22,

 

I feel as a Christian that the Christian’s consciousness of acceptance that there is one God and that He created all things is a conceptual truth that frees my mind to think of God all the time.Therefore, I can see, hear, taste, feel and smell God everywhere I go if I am aware of it.

 

I look at doubt as an agent of evolution. Doubt tells me it is a time to change, move on, intensify, or contemplate if I am on the right path? It is self-evident; one doesn't have to be told. It is the Divinity within telling us something. When we eat a good meal we are satisfied, in the same way, we are satisfied with the spiritual path that we have chosen without a doubt, but sometimes we want to go further than the path we are on. I am glad I stepped over the line to fine there wasn't even a line there.

 

I can't understand spiritual pleasure intellectually because I can't accurately describe something that is beyond the mind so I have to experience this higher pleasure by myself and that is how I know I am on the right path. If someone is describing a piece of cake to you that doesn't mean you are eating the cake, eating the cake is much better. Everyone would rather delight in the taste rather than the description of spiritual bliss. Doubt is a sign that I have ventured away from the spiritual pleasure that helps me sacrifice, serve and help others with a smile. The path of renewing and reawakening the spirit in the present moment is not shutting things our. I is seeing clearly and deliberately positioning yourself in relationship to them. Enjoy the Change................you are being guided

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