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Greetings From Western Canada


Byrch
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I think this is one of the most difficult sorts of forums to share an 'intro' because this is the part of my life that affects me the most yet I understand the least.

 

I am a 44 year old female, mom and wife.

I was raised without much religion, though my Step/Adoptive dad is Jewish - we observed the most common Jewish holidays with his family but we also celebrated Christian holidays because my mom was a 'christian holiday raised' agnostic (lol, for lack of a better term)

 

I became Roman Catholic at 16 because I was pregnant and the father to be was from a strict Roman Catholic family which demanded I become Catholic so we could marry. However the church still wouldnt marry us do to my age - we had a justice of the peace quickie instead but the marriage didnt last. (good thing)

 

I loved the ritual of the Catholic church, but did not like what I felt was their stance on the domestic violence I endured during my short marriage.

 

In my mid twenties I started looking into Paganism and Wicca and became a practicing Wiccan . I didnt see the God and Goddess as literal however, I saw them as masculine and feminine forms of energy of the One Source - along the lines of Dion Fortune etc. What I did love was seeing divine presence through nature, and the ritual, candles, incense , celebration.

 

From there I started studying Gnosticism as found within the Nag Hammadi, as well as the other texts found at Nag Hammadi, such as Gospel of Thomas. I started learning about the early Jerusalem Church, Essenes,, Hellenism, Hermetism, Early Church Fathers and you name it. I suddenly was delving into the stories and myths from both canonical and non canonical as well as scholarly works by King, Meyer, Patterson, Davies etc.

 

I found out about the very non simple origins of Christianity, I found out about all the 'background' stuff. The redactions, interpolations, misinterpretations etc... however I still began to really enjoy this journey and finding a richness and depthness of people's varied understandings of God. I realised there MIGHT be a place for me within some variant of a Christian path.

 

I also have spent a lot of time reading about origins of Israel, the Cannanites/Ugarit and the discoveries at Ras Shamrah - I LOVE the Ba'al myth - I realized that the 'feeling of God' I had was very much the El of the bible and not the Yahweh. Yahweh always seemed so mad and thundering :) I realized I had felt a connection with this El the Compassionate.. El Elyon .. and all those other phrases that were also epitaphs of the Ugarit El.. it made me feel as though I was seeing the God that Jesus was connecting to. This ancient formless being, personified in myth as El of the Mountain.

 

Anyhow, so from there I realized I do have this connection to Jesus - but Christianity itself -- well I feel honestly like the way Christianity is now, in it's most common source, would have let Jesus down. Meager simple beginnings.. this man on foot in hot sand.. to huge temples and cathedrals, with 80% of the biblical writings not being about Jesus' teachings of God, but interpretations of what other people THOUGHT about what Jesus would have wanted.

 

I see scriptures that were most likely not the words of Jesus - except some excerpts in Mark and maybe Gospel of Thomas -- I see political agendas, and words and stories that I can not identify with.

 

Yet there is this calling, this drawing to the Way of Jesus. So mainly I call myself a Jesuist. Because I feel connected to the Core of Jesus' teachings, but not connected to the dogma and drama of the church.

 

I love writings by Thomas Merton, Cynthia Bourgeault, Marcus Borg and others. I enjoy Gospel of Thomas, Baal Epic (because I LOVE the old wordings and how it describes that ancient world) Upanishads/Vedas, and other non canonical texts.

 

I realized not long ago, when reading the Upanishads that there was this direct instruction of oneness and the veil that we see as separation, which is illusion and so many more words of unity and spiritual truths --- and how sad I was that the only similar writings I could find about Christianity are from modern people reinterpreting Christianity.

 

Yet although I have been seeking out to become a Hindu, here I am instead.. as a . Jesuist, or Progressive Christian or, Gnostic or.. who knows what. But here I am.

 

 

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Welcome Byrch,

 

Many here have questioned much about 'traditional' Christianity and there are a diverse range of views about Progressive Christianity and God in all sorts of shapes and forms (or not) here. Your journey thus far sounds very interesting - I hope it continues well for you.

 

I hope you enjoy participating here.

 

Cheers

Paul

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Thank you Paul - It is nice to have a venue to share expressions or ideas that surround Progressive Christianity. I know for the most part, since Facebook, forums have slowed down a lot - but this is still a great option :)

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