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Sherrie
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Hi. I'm new to the group. I've read JESUS FOR THE NON-RELIGIOUS and now I'm reading ETERNAL VISION. I have found both books to be transformative.

 

I have run the gamut religiously. I was raised by a Roman Catholic father and a Southern Baptist mother -- a bipolar religious experience, to be sure. I taught Sunday school to teenagers for 7 seven years, raised my son in the church for 7 years, started attending college, and then abandoned religion completely for about 20 years.

 

I found a Baptist church (from fire to the frying pan) -- and I attended it for a few months, and then I was kicked out because I was told that I didn't "fit in". I asked too many questions. I was devastated.

 

I tried a few different churches but was ultimately and sadly disappointed in each of them. They propagated hatred and judgment, and it hurt to hear their messages.

 

I finally, long story, found a church called the Metropolitan Community Church. This church was founded by Troy Perry, a gay man, and the church I attend has an almost entirely gay congregation. I'm among the 9% of hetero congregants. I love this church. It is ecumenical, as there are many faith traditions and people who have no faith tradition. I believe, even though I don't agree with some things about the church, that it is home from me.

 

I vacillate between going to seminary or getting a graduate degree in psychology. While I am not a "believer" in the fundamentalist sense, I do find value in the Judeo-Christian Bible. I think of it as crude science, romanticized, poeticized, but still of great value to humanity. I see a hurting world, one that has been duped for 2 millennia, one that is having the rug pulled out from underneath it, and I want to hold it in my arms and help to lead it back to wholeness.

 

My fears about seminary are real and worth deliberating about. I am not a young student. I am 54 years old. But the rest of my life, I want to be of service to my world, my fellow humans.

 

I know where I am spiritually, and in seminary, I will probably be "taught" doctrine with which I do not agree. I'm not a kid, and so I won't be tugged to and fro, or rattled. It's not about where one gets her education, it's about what she does with it. I want to help others to see that they are loved by whatever understanding of a [G]od they have. Most religions miss the mark in the unconditional love department.

 

Anyhow, I look forward to discussions here. I am a progressive and a liberal....and my philosophies often do not mesh with "Christians"...obviously, I've been kicked out a few churches.

 

Peace.

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Hi Sherrie,

 

Welcome to the Forum. I hope you enjoy it here.

 

I love your statement "...the Judeo-Christian Bible. I think of it as crude science, romanticized, poeticized, but still of great value to humanity. I see a hurting world, one that has been duped for 2 millennia, one that is having the rug pulled out from underneath it....."

 

I too think the Bible has value and much wisdom, but it is not THE word of God and it should not be put above all else, which so many associated with Christianity tend to do.

 

Cheers

Paul

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Welcome to the forum Shellie!

 

Im new here too... And I also concur with your perspective of the bible... I've long been interested in mythology, and to me (speaking in very broad strokes), religions are systems of mythology... their stories are not literally true, but they contain great wisdom and, as such, great truth... to interpret them literally, in my humble opinion, robs them of their real power and value - that is the tragedy of fundamentalism... Joseph Campbell has been a big influence on me, along with John Spong... I look forward to sharing in your journey!

 

All the best,

Lucas

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Hi Sherrie!

 

A good non-denominational seminary will not fill you with doctrine. You will spend your time learning Greek and Hebrew, Christian History and in writing your own ideas about biblical texts.

 

There are lots of non-accredited seminaries, 'bible colleges' and denominational training schools which will channel you into doctrines and you will likely be buying non-transferable credits which cannot be put towards a degree. Stay away from those.

 

Psychology is generally useless unless you get a PhD. A wiser choice is to work towards a MSW and take divinity electives. That way you get the best of theology and psychology, plus an in-demand career.

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Sherrie greetings to the Divinity within you because you are being guided and alive. I am sure you will make the right decision so look at your mind, beyond it, and recommendations from a variety of individuals and your path will appear. You are independent and free, a great example for your son and the rest of us. Keep up the good work.

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