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New Disciple Of Bishop Spong


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It is a beautiful evening as I find myself ending my night here.


I was led here as a new disciple of Bishop John Shelby Spong. He has given me an abundance of information and contributed considerable insight into the Bible. He has reenergized my efforts to understand it, and helped me restart my journey as a progressive Christian. I have accepted his invitation to step beyond the restricted views of my church and the dead dogmas of my religion that I now believe has hidden from me the reality of God.


I was 12 when I first attempted to read through my family's copy of the King James Version of the Bible. I found it extremely confusing, and found few answers to my many questions on the topic of God and religion. It mostly only added to the number of questions. My mother was Catholic. Although she seemed to always have her prayer book open, I never saw her open this or any version of the Bible. My father decided long before I arrived that the Bible provided little benefit worth his time and effort, and religion even less value to his life. I know now that neither loving parent was adequately equiped to help me with that topic then.


I do remember at 13, I wrote my two final thoughts on the bible and religion in a notebook at the time, "man created God in his image," and "consider if all fact is fiction and all fiction is fact." These two thoughts, one my conclusion and the other a proposition, provided simple and easy answers to my long list of considerable questions. It was enough for me as that boy then.


I was in my 40s when I decided to reconsider and gave the bible a second extended look.

After spending over 4 years continuously studing the entire bible, I found I was back, for the most part, to the same conclusions that I made when I was that 13 year old boy.


The Jews did create God in their image. I now believe that it was the best they could hope for at the time with their limited understanding of the world and the limitations of our human languages to describe that understanding. It also served to satisfy the need to believe that something greater than humans was in control providing a needed sense of security and relieve the common anxiety shared by all human lives.


For every proposed truth there appears an opposing contridictory truth. How many times have we all experienced it. It appears to happen without fail. First we hear that a study has concluded that a certain chemical is toxic, only to hear a year later that a subsequent study disproves the first study, which causes a retraction by that previous study.. I find each of us must work through the contridictions to come to a final truth that we can hold self evident.

It is getting later into the night, certainly past that time when I'm less able to share my thoughts coherently, so I'll say it's good to be here, and good night.


Johnny Ray Gay

New Disciple of Bishop Spong

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Welcome. Yes, things are not always as they seem and old conclusions about things often change as you have said.

After all, they are only concepts of men seen at the time with ones limited view. Glad to here you finally feel like you are moving forward again. I myself have experienced such stopping points and even detours along the way. May your presence here be encouraging and beneficial to all.



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Welcome Johnny. I personally look at Christianity as a journey towards the divine rather than the arrival at some perpetual set of beliefs, statements or creeds, that can never change. I also think most of us in some way relate to God in our own image because that is our field of understanding of the personality of what God could be like. As Spong points out in one of his books, if a horse worshiped God then God would likely be seen as a horse. I recognise there is much we do not know of God because we are human but I believe the journey is worthwhile. I am glad your journey has led you to us. Welcome.

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