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Hey guys, fatherman here. I don't expect anybody to read this. It's more for my benefit. Plus this place, sadly, is pretty dead. I've been a member of this community since 2004, although I haven't posted much in the last few years because I'm a bit of a square peg. I always have been. I don't fit into the progressive churches because I'm too spiritual, too new agey, too emotional, and too conservative. I don't fit into conservative churches because I'm too liberal, too new agey, and an unapologetic heretic.

 

I identify as a Christian, but that's meant a whole lot of different things to me just since I've been with this community. If you read my posts from 2004 till the present you would see a wide range of perspective. I'm a work in progress. I may even have contradictory beliefs. I haven't sat down and articulated my beliefs for a long time, so here it is in a nutshell.

 

I believe

  • in one God with many forms
  • that God is the creator of the Universe
  • that God uses evolution to create
  • that God lives both within and without creation
  • that God loves all people of all religions equally and makes a place for everyone in whatever happens after we die
  • that God created humans for the purpose of experiencing love relative to himself, and this is possible only because humans were given free will
  • that there is evil in the world because of free will
  • that God desires a personal relationship with us
  • that the day of our death is preordained.
  • that we can choose the story by which we live our lives. Better that we choose a story that works for us.
  • that Jesus is an incarnation of God sent to show us what God is really like in terms that we can understand.
  • that there may be other incarnations of God (and that Mr. Rogers may have been one)
  • that Jesus, being an incarnation of God, performed miracles
  • that Jesus fulfilled the Old Testament prophesies about the Messiah
  • that Jesus came for the sinners, not for the righteous
  • that Grace is offered to everyone and that it is infinite and we can even accept it after death.
  • that when we die to self, we enter into the Kingdom of God
  • that the Kingdom of God is in the present
  • that Jesus' death was more than a martyrdom. Perhaps it even has power over sin and death
  • that Jesus rose from the dead
  • that a life force animates the world and that by becoming fully aware of this force we can feel connected to all of creation and that God can work "miracles" through us including: manifestion of desires, psychic communication, healing, communion with God and the saints and the angels, and that we might even be able to experience other dimensions
  • meditation is a way of tuning into the life force and entering into the Christ Consciousness
  • that some things happen for a reason, especially human encounters.
  • in angels
  • in what canajan 'eh (formally a member of this forum) called Quantum Communication (most of you guys won't remember her, but she claimed to channel Jesus, and we all thought she was crazy). And through Quantum Communication we can communicate with heavenly beings
  • that God can speak directly to humans
  • in sin
  • in forgiveness of sins
  • that we're created with sin in our genes so that we can grow and know what grace is.
  • that Mary may have had a virgin birth, but it really doesn't make a difference to me.
  • that creatures such as fairies may exist and that most people can't see them because we live at a lower frequency of energy. But we can elevate our frequency. The lower the frequency, the more poorly we behave and feel. the higher the frequency the more loving and happy we become
  • that the writers of the Bible in some cases were inspired, but fallible.
  • that the writers of the Bible condemned homosexuality and that their reasons were just. But that God never did condemn it and certainly does not today.
  • that Christ is somewhere in this universe and that he loves me personally.
  • in ghosts and that they are human spirits that are so attached to their human lives that they never go into the light.
  • that God can intervene directly in our lives
  • that there is no such thing as supernatural, but there are things that happen that cannot yet be explained by science. all miraculous occurrences are natural
  • that coffee is a gift from God

call me what you will

 

 

 

 

 

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I read it and you certainly do have a lot of beliefs. Personally i can't get to more beliefs than i can count on one hand. Doubts and uncertainties on the other hand number quite well but i have learned to live with them most peacefully. :lol:

 

Joseph

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I'm pretty much in agreement with Joseph on this one, fatherman. However, I don't think dropping belief systems necessarily leads to doubt and uncertainty, just the ineffable. The problem with belief systems is that they are mainly conceptual, and the real meaning of whatever we are trying to understand is not contained within them. Not only am I trying to drop all of my belief systems I'm trying to "drop the mind" as well!

 

But, I do still believe in coffee!

 

Steve

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I have simplified my beliefs in that I believe in everything, but choose not to participate in many things. If someone wrote or spoke of something I feel it is real, maybe only in his head, but he is a part of reality.

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  • 2 months later...

Hey fatherman, it's so awesome to hear about your journey! I love your list. Mind you, I was a bit surprised to notice my name part way down, but what the heck. What I'm really wondering is . . . why isn't chocolate on the list, too?

 

My list is similar to yours with a few differences. Like you, my list has got longer with time, and, like you. I feel like a square peg in a round hole in church circles. ( I still self-identify as a heretical Christian.) Yet when we believe with all our heart and mind and soul and strength in God's love, we end up needing faith community more, not less.

 

I especially like one of your final insights: "that there is no such thing as supernatural, but there are things that happen that cannot yet be explained by science. all miraculous occurrences are natural." Over the past few years, I've been working hard with Jesus and few other angels to understand better how God builds the fundamental forces (gravity, strong force, weak force, EMF) and how these forces relate to the "emotional" aspects we feel in Creation (Truth, Love, Forgiveness, and Diversity). I've also been using my background in chemistry to better understand the periodic table of elements from God's point of view. (Early days yet on that one.)

 

Yeah, I'm still doing the channelling thing you guys all hated. Maybe one day I'll be able to actually help with what I've learned through my years of quantum conversations. Maybe not. Everybody has free will, so nobody has to accept my contributions. Really. I'm realistic about that.

 

I do know for certain -- and rejoice in the daily wonder of it -- that there's no question and no struggle God the Mother and God the Father won't help us with each and every day of our lives.

 

Take care, all. Jesus says hi. :D

 

Jen

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Hey fatherman, it's so awesome to hear about your journey! I love your list. Mind you, I was a bit surprised to notice my name part way down, but what the heck. What I'm really wondering is . . . why isn't chocolate on the list, too?

 

My list is similar to yours with a few differences. Like you, my list has got longer with time, and, like you. I feel like a square peg in a round hole in church circles. ( I still self-identify as a heretical Christian.) Yet when we believe with all our heart and mind and soul and strength in God's love, we end up needing faith community more, not less.

 

I especially like one of your final insights: "that there is no such thing as supernatural, but there are things that happen that cannot yet be explained by science. all miraculous occurrences are natural." Over the past few years, I've been working hard with Jesus and few other angels to understand better how God builds the fundamental forces (gravity, strong force, weak force, EMF) and how these forces relate to the "emotional" aspects we feel in Creation (Truth, Love, Forgiveness, and Diversity). I've also been using my background in chemistry to better understand the periodic table of elements from God's point of view. (Early days yet on that one.)

 

Yeah, I'm still doing the channelling thing you guys all hated. Maybe one day I'll be able to actually help with what I've learned through my years of quantum conversations. Maybe not. Everybody has free will, so nobody has to accept my contributions. Really. I'm realistic about that.

 

I do know for certain -- and rejoice in the daily wonder of it -- that there's no question and no struggle God the Mother and God the Father won't help us with each and every day of our lives.

 

Take care, all. Jesus says hi. :D

 

Jen

No hate coming for me. You've been a very helpful influence. Glad to see you! And I'm still interested in the notion of quantum communication.

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Hey fatherman, no worries. I'm pretty used to being rejected. Anyway, it's great to connect with you again.

 

It's one of the things I love best about the Spiral Path -- the way God brings us back in a gentle spiralling pattern to relationships and places and ideas we've visited before when we're ready to see them with fresh eyes and a more open heart. Maybe that's why you and I have ended up here again.

 

If you're interested in talking a bit about quantum communication, maybe we could start a new thread. No pressure, though. Only if you (or maybe another reader?) are interested.

 

Let me know what you think.

 

Best,

Jen

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I started a non-fiction book a few years ago, too. Got about 45,000 words in and couldn't finish it without going back to university. So I know the feeling.

 

If I can help at all, let me know.

 

I hope your music is part of the novel.

 

Best,

Jen

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I started a non-fiction book a few years ago, too. Got about 45,000 words in and couldn't finish it without going back to university. So I know the feeling.

 

If I can help at all, let me know.

 

I hope your music is part of the novel.

 

Best,

Jen

There are a few musical elements. The key to the whole book is The Prayer of St. Francis which the main character knows from singing this song

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And when I said "we all thought she was crazy", I exclude myself from that list.

 

Fatherman, Perhaps using the word ALL is unfair not only to yourself but others also since you must know you couldn't be speaking for all here.

 

 

Welcome back Jan. Good to hear from you again and please know you are always welcome to voice your views here even if some find it difficult reading.

 

Joseph

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Fatherman, Perhaps using the word ALL is unfair not only to yourself but others also since you must know you couldn't be speaking for all here.

 

Although it may have been somewhat unfair for Fatherman to use the word "all," I do feel I'm in a position to accurately observe that (simply from a factual point of view, and not pointing fingers at any one person) "many" -- perhaps "most" -- members of TCPC over the years have assumed that I am indeed crazy and have treated me as such.

 

I also note -- simply from a factual point of view -- that no one challenged Fatherman's statement until I reappeared on the scene yesterday.

 

It's extremely difficult for a cataphatic mystic in the third millennium to find a safe place to lay his or her head. I'm accustomed to the prejudice and abuse that comes my way, and I've also learned the hard way what happens when I speak up to defend myself and others from those who are very, very sure of their own belief that claims of ongoing relationship with God are proof of a DSM-V illness.

 

(. . .Just for the record, for those who don't know me or don't recall the details, I'm a practising cataphatic nature mystic* who self-identifies as a heretical Christian and who can stretch my quantum biology to the point of being able to communicate with the soul who once lived as Jesus, whom I personally believe is not the only Son of God or of one substance with God, but who is, quite frankly, just a child of God like any, but who happens to be a philosopher/mystic/storyteller deep in his soul, which is why I'm able to communicate with him on a daily basis -- long story short. How's that for a sentence with too many clauses?)

 

 

* I draw on scholar Bernard McGinn's research on mysticism for my definitions.

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Hi Canajan,

 

I've been participating here for about 4 years but haven't come across you, so not sure if you've been away that long or whether perhaps I missed you're posts. Whatever the case, welcome back to the scene.

 

My own personal philosophy concerning what others believe is that if they aren't causing harm then they're fine by me. I might not accept their belief/testimony to what they say is truth, but it can make for interesting dialogue at the every least.

 

Personally I don't think there is any such thing as crazy, it's just that some people have brains that might operate a little differently than the mainstream, so are they the one with the issue or the mainstream? Who knows. Again, whatever the case, who cares if it's not harming anyone.

 

I look forward to reading from you more.

 

Cheers

Paul

Edited by PaulS
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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi to all,

 

This is a very interesting discussion and I am excited to sense the safety of this site to express beliefs. I have learned from all participating in this discussion over the years. thanks

 

 

Hi Bob,

 

Good to have you back. Haven't heard from you for about a year. Hope life has been treating you good.

 

Joseph

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  • 3 months later...

Hey guys, fatherman here. I don't expect anybody to read this. It's more for my benefit. Plus this place, sadly, is pretty dead. I've been a member of this community since 2004, although I haven't posted much in the last few years because I'm a bit of a square peg. I always have been. I don't fit into the progressive churches because I'm too spiritual, too new agey, too emotional, and too conservative. I don't fit into conservative churches because I'm too liberal, too new agey, and an unapologetic heretic.

 

I identify as a Christian, but that's meant a whole lot of different things to me just since I've been with this community. If you read my posts from 2004 till the present you would see a wide range of perspective. I'm a work in progress. I may even have contradictory beliefs. I haven't sat down and articulated my beliefs for a long time, so here it is in a nutshell.

 

 

Hello Fatherman,

It was interesting to read your list, especially because I found myself agreeing with most of it (while still having many questions) and also identify with the square peg syndrome :) .

I can see why some of the things on your list will have caused you to feel like a square peg in a conservative church...I grew up with their theology and can predict their responses (even having questions will make you "square").

But I don't quite understand how you would feel like a square peg in a progressive church (I am new to progressive Christianity)...?

From the reading I have done on the emerging church so far I was kind of getting the idea that a progressive church would welcome everybody's unique experiences and ideas as valid, without judging something as too this or too that, but instead simply letting it be there and including it in the ongoing discussion.

But it seems your experience differs from my initial impression?

Is my first impression of a progessive church perhaps a little naive?

They talk about being inclusive and accepting, but perhaps seeing they are still human, they cannot help but label others (starting with evangelicals) as "too much of x,y and z"?

Anyways, as you can see I am trying to figure out whether a progressive church is the way to go, seeing that, like you, I am a square peg in a traditional/evangelical church.

I was hoping to be able to find something where similar views to yours would be welcomed and that I wouldn't be labelled with a "too" for my own thoughts. Am I expecting too much?

I guess if you are right, then I am also still too "Christian" for the progressives?

Do I maybe just have to accept that labels are part of human nature and therefore inescapable? Adapt a sort of *@#*-it attitude and follow Christ as authentically as I know how?

Seems a little lonely to me...

What are your thoughts on that?

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Hello Fatherman,

It was interesting to read your list, especially because I found myself agreeing with most of it (while still having many questions) and also identify with the square peg syndrome :) .

I can see why some of the things on your list will have caused you to feel like a square peg in a conservative church...I grew up with their theology and can predict their responses (even having questions will make you "square").

But I don't quite understand how you would feel like a square peg in a progressive church (I am new to progressive Christianity)...?

From the reading I have done on the emerging church so far I was kind of getting the idea that a progressive church would welcome everybody's unique experiences and ideas as valid, without judging something as too this or too that, but instead simply letting it be there and including it in the ongoing discussion.

But it seems your experience differs from my initial impression?

Is my first impression of a progessive church perhaps a little naive?

They talk about being inclusive and accepting, but perhaps seeing they are still human, they cannot help but label others (starting with evangelicals) as "too much of x,y and z"?

Anyways, as you can see I am trying to figure out whether a progressive church is the way to go, seeing that, like you, I am a square peg in a traditional/evangelical church.

I was hoping to be able to find something where similar views to yours would be welcomed and that I wouldn't be labelled with a "too" for my own thoughts. Am I expecting too much?

I guess if you are right, then I am also still too "Christian" for the progressives?

Do I maybe just have to accept that labels are part of human nature and therefore inescapable? Adapt a sort of *@#*-it attitude and follow Christ as authentically as I know how?

Seems a little lonely to me...

What are your thoughts on that?

If we're honest, we're all a bit of a square peg! I don't think we were made to conform to a dogma of any sort, progressive or otherwise. I know progressives are not supposed to have a dogma, and certainly it's not really a written thing (unless you count books by Spong), but I have found that there are certain ideas that get some resistance from progressives. That's fine. I was really upset once I began deviating from the beliefs of some of the members of my former (progressive) church and received some resistance. I started to feel out of place with using the name Jesus, especially in the same breath as words like divine, savior, or salvation. I've let that go since I wrote my square peg post. Most of us are fearful of or uncomfortable with some idea or another.

 

This church developed into a safe haven for people (mostly identifying as Christian, but not all) who felt beat up or rejected by other Christians, especially family members. I understand the significance of that. Something that our community needs, especially for LGBTQ folks. And so I understand that me expressing some of the same ideas that some people felt wounded by or which were attached to some sort of woundedness, may have been perceived as a threat to a sanctuary of sorts.

 

A cornerstone of progressive Christianity is inclusiveness and acceptance. This is true in the acceptance of other religious, other spiritual paths, LGBTQ, atheism, and so on. But I see 3 blind spots in that church. Race, socio-economic/education, and anything perceived as Christian conservationism. Which seems ironic to me because all religions have an orthodox branch which is accepted by PCs, except Christian orthodox..unless it's Greek or Coptic or something foreign. I say race and socio economic, because although this church wants to be inclusive, there are virtually no minorities or working class members. With race, the worship style just doesn't attract people of color. It's just super white. With economic/education, progressives tend to be very intellectual with their faith. In this church, nearly everyone has at least one college degree and earns a middle class salary. I'm not sure it can be helped. I make no apology for being educated, intellectual, and well-to-do, but I believe that a faith that requires academic accomplishment might need to be rethought. Faith of a child.

 

I do differentiate faith with intellectual study. Study and debate certainly informs faith, but it is not actually faith. In some cases, it may be a lack of faith. We have to fill that hole with something.

 

"too Christian for the progressives". I'm chuckling here. I've felt that way, but I try to give folks a little more credit. There will always be some hard core, anti-savior, anti-spiritual, atheistic Christians who will fight you and question the validity of your presence in a progressive church, but most won't.

 

Currently, I'm a music director at a moderate Methodist church. There are liberals, conservatives, working class, doctors, black, latino, asian, Native American, disabled all in a representative ratio. The one thing lacking is openness with LGBTQ. They're there, but not open. This will change. We have a high school student who is transitioning female to male. People will respond in love even if they don't all understand. It's not a political church otherwise the mix of perspective would be disastrous. It's just a focus on worship, fellowship, and mission. They're not breaking any new ground. Just serving together. I feel much more at home there, not because I agree with everybody. I don't really want to go to a church where everybody has to agree. I don't really share my beliefs that much. I'm on staff for one. But my personal beliefs don't seem so significant there. I think that what they really care about is me.

 

Perhaps that's the kind of church that would work for you?

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