I must have missed this before. I like this, I think there is a lot of good stuff in here.
One thing in particlar that jumps out at me is the part about gratitude. It is interesting to me to ponder the difference between gratitude, and thankfullnes, or appreciation. They are all kind of similar, but gratitude has a certain nuance that is really hard to express in language.
Does this strike anyone else similarly?
I just had an interesting lesson in sensivity here on Medhelp. I knew yesterday morning when I first posted this, that a mistake was made when it showed up in Current Events. (I had several tabs open in browser and thought I put it here first. I couldn't take it back out, but re-posted it here where it should have been to begin with. I went off to work and later when I got back & got online, I saw that April had responded in the CE group to it. I replied that I mistakenly posted it there and replied to what she wrote. Others wrote & it was well received, or so I thought...till about 15 min. or so ago when I got on for the first time today & read my message from the moderator. I had to send a reply message re-explaining what happened. It had been removed, which didn't bother me anyway as it was never meant to be there to begin with. Interesting that it got more responses than it did here. You are the first to reply on this.
I think a lot of sensitive people won't reply because they are not sure what to say, or if it will be received in a good way. I know there are times i don't say anything because someone else said something that was pretty much what I would have said or I think they said it better or that I am not sure that it won't be taken in a wrong way.
We have letter of the law people who fault find anything that doesn't fit the criteria and leave no leeway for mistakes and we have others who don't care who, what, where and when.....interesting how people perceive things.
Personally, I treasure those who are forgiving and understanding and who encourage others to be the best they can be and find ways to say...don't give up or maybe take a break and try again, or have you thought about doing it "this way" or "that way"...but it is your choice.
It is a good topic because we live in a changing society where we are not to favor one religion over another or race over another, yet those who are highly sensitive can see through the facades in the law and how people find other ways to disguise their intentions so they won't be easily detected.
I will not throw the Bible out because there is so much truth about "motives" etc.and it is very convicting. One example being how Jesus vented against the pharisees who cared more about "appearances" than how they were on the inside. They devised rules, etc. to keep others out....they wanted to maintain control and be in charge. They truly believed their way was right.
City ordinances...say you have to do this/that ...example: paint is chipping and you get a letter telling you that you have so many days to get something in the works to get your house, etc. painted. You can ask for an extension & give the reasons why, but do they care that you cannot afford it? Do they care you will have to get a loan and go into debt? Where is the compassion? Oh, if you can't afford it, you should have it?
With that kind of reasoning, none of us should have anything because we are not perfect and we lose our tempers, and make mistakes, make wrong choices that lead to someone being hurt. Oh, but then what is the percentage rate? Some have made "less" choices, hurt "less".....and so goes on. What is the point?
Meanwhile, city is broke and crime is up and people are discouraged as jobs are practically non-existent. Less police officers to patrol areas...less teachers so more kids crammed into rooms receiving less help. So they focus on what they can do to keep the image up, but the true things going on that are breaking down the structure go untended for many reasons.
Makes me think of what Jesus said about them being "white-washed tombs (sepulchres)" He had strong words of admonition. They didn't have "love" for people. It was about their image, their position and their control.
We need a good understanding of what sensitivity is and how it can best be used for everyone's benefit. We do have different personality types and it helps to understand them so we can work differences out :-)
I was wondering where that thread went! I never did see what you responded back to me. Why was it removed? Was it considered too religious for that CE forum or something?
Actually it was. I had responded & told you I mistakeningly posted it there as I had several tabs open & it was 5 a.m. in the morning before work....lol. I couldn't retract it but reposted here & then went to work. Some others put replies & so I thought it was ok there. Yesterday when I got on, I saw a message from Steve that it wasn't current events. I sent him a message explaining what happened & saw that the thread had been removed. End of story....lol.
It is a good subject and one that we run into a lot from lack of sensitivity to being accused of being over-sensitive.
............"I will not throw the Bible out because there is so much truth about "motives" etc.and it is very convicting. One example being how Jesus vented against the pharisees who cared more about "appearances" than how they were on the inside. They devised rules, etc. to keep others out....they wanted to maintain control and be in charge. They truly believed their way was right. "........
I think his "beef" with the pharisees is more than just a story about the life and opinions of a carpenter. The story about the pharisees is one that applies to all people, in all times, of all religions.
It is the story of the "haves" vs. the "have nots" (rich v. poor, meek v. hubris, etc.)
I take a lot from that story.
It is easy for religion to be used by someone to "prove" their own self worth. Sometimes people like to feel "superior" in their chosen religion. It is an easy trap to fall into. There are myriad ways for someone to be a pharisee. They are everywhere. ;(
I look at the Bible as being a mirror. It reflects a person's heart. We see what we want to see. If we want permission to do something, we will find a way to arrange the lines so they fit our reasoning. Continually asking "what is truth" keeps the heart pointed in the right direction.
Today I was meditating on "cleansing"..."purifying"...."healing". Cleansing is crucial to our well-being and not just external. I watched the rabbits cleaning themselves this morning....the chipmunk pops out of his home & cleans himself.
When people are not well mentally or physically, they have a hard time keeping it up.
I asked a question in another group about what is a seared conscience. I wanted to get perspectives from others as conscience is the means for sensitivity to be shown to God's spirit in dealing with good/evil...right/wrong.
The example of the frog in the water is often used to explain how someone gets used to things that are dangerous until it is too late. Cauterized is the way preachers explain a seared conscience.
I remember years ago a pastor sharing a story about a dog that would run off. The person called for it, and it would ignore the calling to go play. Then one day, it no longer heard the call. He said that is how it is with God trying to reach us with His truths. We cease to listen/have a sensitivity to His voice.
This is one of the most inspiring, understandably beautiful words of wisdom and that I have ever came across. The perspective on yin and yang were absolutely wonderful and true. I am a balance seeker. I have a yin yang tattoo inside of a swampy tree with a lotus above it all. My tattoo is very spiritual to me.
Thank you for your post is has lifted light out of my soul. I needed that. I sometimes get caught up in the darkness and negativity of this complex existence. I LOVE what you've said about the Bible! Ive had many contemplations about the Bible. I use to be pentecostal, baptist, and Ive practiced Wicca. I believe now that all Gods are One. And there are MANY gateways to reach the One and only God. I believe in religious diversity because ALL religion is Good.
All religion is Positive.
All religion is Light, the goodness of our souls. I do not consider myself a religious being but a spiritual being. I believe that Jesus is personally 'my' gateway to forgiveness and renewal. I think Buddha is another gateway for those that are called to Him. And so on and so forth. I LOVE Wicca but I'm scared of what people say about mixing the Two.
Please give me your advice. Am I wrong to love Wicca and Jesus to?
I am very glad you found something that made you feel good about yourself and gave you some encouragement. There are so many ways to go, aren't there? I believe that we each must do our own wrestling and reaching out for truth. I also believe our sincerity in seeking the truth is a beacon that God sees. He will draw us to Him and we will be able to let go of what is not for us to hold onto...it is our choice and we cannot do it until we are ready.
For me, I have chosen to believe that Jesus is the only way to God. I could interpet the passage in the Bible about having other sheep to mean other nationalities or other beliefs or even aliens on another planet. I realized that years ago. It is through faith. In other words, I am staking it all on it being true. It was my starting point. I felt more lost in the new age as there wasn't any way to know if one thing was more sure than another. I love new age music. So many beautiful thoughts. However, I felt safer staying close to Jesus/God/Holy Spirit. That is not to admit that I don't struggle with the theology. I have been accused of being too intellectual and it is hard for me as I cannot prove a darn thing...lol! It is subjective in the end as to what I believe God is in my life and how He set me free. I go exploring to understand life and how things came to be.
There are stages I believe we go through. During one, I so enjoyed reading Abraham Heschel's writings. I cling to God first and foremost because I believe in Him over all other possibilities and believe He knows the ways in which we get lost...so around and around I go back to what cemented my view that God sees the desire we truly have to know the truth and He will lead us home. Home sweet home, there is no place like home....home sweet home, be it ever so humble.
I believe in love and learning how to love others. Compassion, kindness...the fruits of the spirit that mentioned in the bible....haven't read every wisdom book by every religion to know if the same things are said....so if you know more about that, share by all means.
If I tell you that to love Wicca and Jesus is wrong, what would you think and feel? It is your decision to make.
What do you love about Wicca? What do you love about Jesus? Where do you see that they come together? Would you help us understand your perspective?
Jesus said "I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." John 14:6. He was plainly saying there was no other way to God except through him.
Here's another one:
" 1.I tell you the truth, the man who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber.2 The man who enters by the gate is the Shepherd of his sheep.3 The watchmen opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.4 When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice.5 But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger's voice."
Broken down, read it again:
Jhn 10:1 "I assure you, anyone who sneaks over the wall of a sheepfold, rather than going through the gate, must surely be a thief and a robber!
Jhn 10:2 For a shepherd enters through the gate.
Jhn 10:3 The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep hear his voice and come to him. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.
Jhn 10:4 After he has gathered his own flock, he walks ahead of them, and they follow him because they recognize his voice.
Jhn 10:5 They won't follow a stranger; they will run from him because they don't recognize his voice."
Jhn 10:6 Those who heard Jesus use this illustration didn't understand what he meant,
Jhn 10:7 so he explained it to them. "I assure you, I am the gate for the sheep," he said.
Jhn 10:8 "All others who came before me were thieves and robbers. But the true sheep did not listen to them.
Jhn 10:9 Yes, I am the gate. Those who come in through me will be saved. Wherever they go, they will find green pastures.
Jhn 10:10 The thief's purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give life in all its fullness.
Jhn 10:11 "I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.
Jhn 10:12 A hired hand will run when he sees a wolf coming. He will leave the sheep because they aren't his and he isn't their shepherd. And so the wolf attacks them and scatters the flock.
Jhn 10:13 The hired hand runs away because he is merely hired and has no real concern for the sheep.
Jhn 10:14 "I am the good shepherd; I know my own sheep, and they know me,
Jesus was pretty clear here. He is claiming to be the Messiah, God's son, and the only way to God the Father. He says any other way, any other gate is a lie, a deception from the devil.
As C. S. Lewis said in one of his books (I believe it was Mere Christianity. Awesome book, by the way! It gives some good historical accounts of who Jesus Christ was/is), he said "Either Jesus was a liar, a lunatic or he was telling the truth." Which was it? If he was telling the truth then he is who he claimed to be, the Messiah, the one and only way to the Father. If he was a liar or a lunatic it would have been revealed. It certainly would have come out when he was dying an agonizing death on the cross. I don't know anybody who would be able to hold up under that kind of pressure and not give in unless they were telling and living the truth. It's up to you what you want to believe. I believe he is who he says he is.
We must be very careful playing around with other religions. God is a jealous god and will not share his glory with another. He will not stand in a long line of our "gods". He wants to be first and only in our lives.
Wicca is a form of witchcraft, which is forbidden in the bible so if you truly love Jesus and want to follow him then you will want to please him and not grieve him or put other things before (or even beside him).
When we choose to follow Christ we do give up our lives to live for him but what we gain cannot even be measured. It is so worth it!
(((God, as viewed by many different religions;)))
A Cherokee prayer blessing.
"May the warm winds of heaven blow softly upon your house,
May the Great Spirit bless all who enter there,
May your moccasins make happy tracks in many snows,
And may the rainbow always touch your shoulder."
An Apache marriage blessing:
"Now you will feel no rain, for each of you will be the shelter for the other.
Now you will feel no cold, for each of you will be the warmth to the other.
Now you are two persons, but there is only one life before you.
Go now to your dwelling, to enter into the days of your life together,
and may your days be good and long upon the earth."
Buddhism, The 3 trainings or practices;
1.) Virtue, good conduct, morality. This is based on two fundamental principles:
The principle of equality: that all living entities are equal. The principle of reciprocity: This is the "Golden Rule" in Christianity -- to do onto others as you would wish them to do onto you. It is found in all major religions.
2.) Samadhi: Concentration, meditation, mental development. Developing one's mind is the path to wisdom which in turn leads to personal freedom. Mental development also strengthens and controls our mind; this helps us maintain good conduct.
3.) Prajna: Discernment, insight, wisdom, enlightenment. This is the real heart of Buddhism. Wisdom will emerge if your mind is pure and calm.
Quotes and Facts on Paganism;
"We are not evil. We don't harm or seduce people. We are not dangerous. We are ordinary people like you. We have families, jobs, hopes, and dreams. We are not a cult. This religion is not a joke. We are not what you think we are from looking at T.V. We are real. We laugh, we cry. We are serious. We have a sense of humor. You don't have to be afraid of us. We don't want to convert you. And please don't try to convert us. Just give us the same right we give you--to live in peace. We are much more similar to you than you think." Margot Adler 4
Their main rule of behavior is the Wiccan Rede which forbids them from harming people, including themselves, except in some cases of self-defense.
Most of Christianity is highly centralized within denominations whose beliefs, rituals, and other practices are well documented and available to us. So we describe the diversity of Christian beliefs in great detail.
* Wiccans worship a Goddess and her consort, a God.
* They do not recognize Satan or any other all-evil supernatural entity.
* Their prime symbol is the exact opposite to the symbol used by Satanists. It is the upright pentagram -- a 5-pointed star with two points downward and one up. Sometimes it is enclosed by a circle to form a pentacle.
* Their groups are called covens, not grottos or temples.
* Their rule of behavior is called the Wiccan Rede: "An it harm none, do what thou wilt." i.e. do whatever you wish, as long as it harms no one, including yourself. Unlike Satanists, Wiccans are not allowed do dominate, manipulate, control, or harm others.
They believe that they worship neither the Christian God nor the Christian devil. They worship a Goddess and a God. Neither is at all similar to Satan. Wicca, and other forms of Neopaganism, are as different from Satanism as Hinduism is from Christianity.
"Religious tolerance means to refrain from discriminating against others who follow a different religious path. Tolerance is more difficult to maintain when you know that your religion is true and their religion is wrong."
Religious Tolerance; accepting all religious faiths as being equally true. This is one meaning of the phrase "religious pluralism." Since religions teach different beliefs, this definition of tolerance implies that absolute truth doesn't exist. Most religious conservatives reject these beliefs, and regard their own faith as the only absolutely true belief system. Thus, many conservatives believe that religious tolerance -- using their definition of the term -- is evil.
"And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God." Paul, Ephesians 3:16-19 (NIV)
"Every sect is a certificate that God has not plainly revealed his will to man. To each reader the Bible conveys a different meaning."
"There will be peace on earth when there is peace among the world religions." Hans Küng.
Thank you for the scriptures. I personally have been "reborn" and saved through Jesus, my Lord. He is my Lord. He speaks to me in many different ways. I am a believer. I feel I don't have to attend church regularly to have a relationship with Him. Although I have gained so much knowledge through hearing the gospel. It is nice, I think I may go to church again sometime soon :) But I also believe in the right of "religious diversity"
There are so many Beautiful Spiritual gateways open to see the wonderful works of God. I feel the Holy Spirit upon me now it is truthfully the greatest way to feel. I use to have trouble receiving the light of the Holy Spirit until I REALLY met Jesus. I would not be alive today without His loving mercy and salvation! THAT is the truth. But getting 'plugged in' to a religion isn't the path I choose. It is and is not for some.
Buddhism, paganism, ect.. is not evil.
They are not negative.
Their colors may shine differently, but this does not mean they are wrong.
(((Our own conscience))) God and the devil's playground. Our conscience is where we discern right from wrong. Conformity to one's own sense of right conduct.The awareness of a moral or ethical aspect to one's conduct together with the urge to prefer right over wrong: Let your conscience be your guide. A good conscience is in all truth or fairness.
God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, Mother Earth, and everything positive in this existence guides me through my own conscience.
The reason I am so interested in paganism is because the religion is absolutely beautiful. Yes, they believe in God. No Jesus may not be "their way" of reception. Paganism has a long history and I respect that. I also respect my Lord and do not wish to dismay Him. I just feel that there are many gateways to the One God of this existence. I think as long as I opening admit that Jesus is my Lord and Savior above all, it is not harmful or wrong to reach the light from other portals.
I hope this makes a little bit of sense lol And I REALLY have NO intentions on discriminating or offending any beliefs because they are the truth. The truth. Never in History has anyone agreed and or establish what truth is. Because truth is our personal understanding of what is good, and true.
Thank you for sharing what you see are better aspects of each area. I mentioned the Biblical Analysis group to you because that is a place where those who want to get into the for/against could share their positions citing sources.
This group is for sharing what being spiritual is and most see it as a connection to God but how they are connected varies. It is good to share because someone may be struggling and what is posted may just be what they needed to encourage or point them in a better direction. Some need affirmation that they are on track.
We struggle with what it means to love in challenging times and to continue doing it when we are hurting or others are hurting and don't seem to notice or misunderstand our intentions. Hurt people hurt people. I think there was a book by that name.
I respect your right to believe what you want to believe. It's all a choice we make. You had asked if it was ok to love Jesus and love Wicca. I told you how Jesus feels about that. He says if we follow him we must give up ALL to follow him and put NO other gods before or even beside him.
The God of the Christian bible never has been nor ever will be tolerent of other gods or other religions. He made that pretty clear all through scripture. So, again, it just boils down to what you want to believe and the choices you want to make. It sounds to me like you've already made that choice.
CrazyKc, again I respect your right to believe what you want to believe but you've said some things that I just wanted to point out.
You said you didn't want to dismay Jesus because you love him but believe there are many gateways to heaven. That's a contradiction right there because Jesus very plainly states all through the New Testament that he is the ONLY way to the Father (God the Father) and that NO one can come to the Father EXCEPT through Him (meaning Jesus), John 14:6. Also, again, in John 10: 1-5 he said he is the gate into the sheeppen and that if anyone tries to enter any other way they are a thief and a robber. Over and over again he said very plainly that he is the only way to heaven and to the Father. To believe anything else is an insult to him and the horrific sacrifice he made for us to pave that way because we are basically saying his sacrifice was not good enough or not important enough and that we can figure out other ways to get to heaven without needing him or his sacrifice. Really, it's a form of pride on our part, which we all are guilty of. Every single one of us fall short of his glory. It's only through his blood sacrifice that he made for us that we even have that hope, that promise of being in paradise with him.
As the pastor preached on today at my church, following Christ will cost us. It will cost us everything. He asks us to give it all up to him and we have to be willing to say, "Yes, Lord". That path is narrow and difficult and many will not chose that path, but it is so worth it in the long run when we see him some day face to face.
Please just listen to what I said and go over those scriptures that I give again, s l o w l y, and then pray, really pray and ask God to reveal himself to you and speak to you the truth and be willing to listen to him because he speaks in different ways (through others, through nature but mostly through His Word).
He will not share his glory with another. To do so would be the greatest insult to him. If we are going to claim to be a follower of Christ then we must be willing to give up everything for him and truly put him first. I know it's hard but the end results are more than worth it.
Please understand what I wrote is not in any way to be taken as an insult to any other people's beliefs. What I wrote was only meant for anyone who says they are a follower of Christ because if we are to follow Christ we have to be willing to put him first and not try to put other gods up there beside him. He will not stand for that. Other religions may say it's alright to have several gods or be tolerant of other religions but the God of the Christian bible is probably the only religion that says no to that. It's either all him or not. He says he is a jealous God and will not share his glory with another. So, if we claim to love Jesus and claim to be his follower then we cannot follow any other god or religion.
Jesus gave his all for us. The least we can do is give him all of us.
Again, not trying to upset anyone. We just have to decide what we want to believe and who we want to follow.
I respect your right to believe what you want to believe. It's all a choice we make. You had asked if it was ok to love Jesus and love Wicca. I told you how Jesus feels about that. He says if we follow him we must give up ALL to follow him and put NO other gods before or even beside him. ".......
I just have to interject here, and I know it might make me seem "persnickity" But I would assert that you gave your opinion on the matter articulately, and backed it up with what you interpret as clear support for your opinion from the bible. But that is not the same as telling someone what Jesus intended. None of us knows any more than the other what was on J.C.'s mind while he walked this earth.
Seriously. Every single one of us is as blind as the other when it comes to "knowing" what Jesus intended. To claim that any one of us has special knowledge of Christ would be, in my humble opinion, pharisee-esque.
That said, I must reiterate, that is simply my personal opinion. Everything I write on this forum is only as "true" as it seems to me a tany given time based on my life experience at the time.(And to be honest, that changes all the time, as I have new experiences, learn more about the world, myself, etc.) I have a personal spiritual path that is a combination of paganism, saivism, buddhism, judaism, christianity, and a few other indigenous south american belief systems.
I truly believe each "system" of religion is any given cultures "best effort" to systemize and institutionalize a set of "rules for life", and as such I think they all have value. But what each individual may take from any combination of beleif systems, is unique to that individual.
I think whoever "God" is, well, that is different for every person. Is there any human being who can claim to truly "know" what God thinks about religions created by humans?
Just my opinion. No more, no less. Please don't take my post as a judgement. :)
I only wrote what I did because I felt as a fellow believer I should point out a few things as I would with any fellow believer because that's what the bible says we should do. Since she had specifically asked if it was ok to love Jesus and love Wicca I did feel like I had to tell the truth, that no, it's not ok. Jesus won't be shared with any other god or religion. It's pretty plain how God feels about that all through the bible (His Word). If you carefully read throughout the bible you will see many instances where he says you cannot put other gods before him. But I won't push for anyone who doesn't want to hear what I had to say. Didn't mean to offend anyone. I won't post anymore on the matter.
I am sorry I offended. I didn't mean to make you feel like you couldn't keep posting. I enjoy reading peoples posts about their spiritual selves.
I have come to believe ever single person who comes to the spirituality forum is here for a reason. Maybe it is something to share, maybe it is just a comment, or a link to some outside source of encouragement, for each person it is different.
But I think as much as spirituality can be a blessing, sometimes "religion" can be confining for people.
My life has taught me never to buy something labeled "one size fits all" because in truth, it usually doesn't fit well at all. I also tend to reject ideas or "rules" that are one size fits all, because quite frankly, the life I live is unique and varies from second to second. My spirituality does too.
Religion is different than spiruality. Religion is pretty straitforward, with rules and opinions on what is acceptable, and just as many rules and opinions on what is not acceptable. For some people, religion is what they need to give meaning to life, and I do not wish to deprive them of that.
But for some other people, traditional religions and their dogma can push people even further from a relationship with God. For some people, where they are on their path to God is spiritual rather than religious.
This is the place for spiritual seeking. For being open to, and supportive of ,the individual spiritual path that any one of us may be on. I respect the path that you are on, and I am glad that it works for you. I also respect the path that KC is on, and I am glad that it works for her.
There are many ways to interpret biblical scripture, and just as many other religious scriptures in the world that are seen as the words of God by their followers. The spiritual path that each of us walks down is different. Each life is unique and specific to the individual.
And spiritually, each path has something of value worth rejoicing in. Even the path that may seem full of darkness, can have a spiritual "light".
I hope I didn't discourage you from further posting :) I want everyone to feel their own spiritual path is welcome here. :)
I think we have the opportunity here to work with different views but same goal with wanting truth, to live in ways that are honoring and helpful to self/others & be close to God.
I take a traditional approach but also recognize that each person has to come to their awareness of God reaching them. I don't have a problem with some sharing what they believe is the way to be saved knowing it is done with a heart concern for someone's eternity standing.
Equal time though to those with differing views...then the person makes the choice. God gave free will and all things are possible with Him. It is my hope that none will perish and that God will find a way to reach everyone with what is necessary to save them.
Well said, Dazon.
You didn't offend me, painbrain. I guess I feel more sad or discouraged that some of us seem to be on different wavelengths but as Dazon said, it's up to God (or the Holy Spirit) to draw each person to Him and reveal Himself to Him. Our job is to mainly pray for each other and for ourselves.
Peace and blessings.
I agree with April2,
This is the way I look at it..
There is naturally friction between each major religion, on how each sees things differently. For example, Jesus is God in the Christian religion, while in Islam and Buddhism Jesus is only a good man or prophet. Judaism rejects Jesus’ claims to be the Messiah, and New Age doctrine says He is here on the earth now, and has made multiple appearances throughout history. Is Jesus the only God then?
Any differences in doctrine must be brought to the Word of God for examination with an open mind, so that the Word and the Word alone will dictate our doctrinal beliefs. This is the unity Christ wanted for His followers. Never did He mean that we could believe whatever we wanted about a particular doctrine, for Christ Himself quoted the Word and lived by it.
The confusion among religions explains why atheists and agnostics see religion, and especially Christianity, as a spiritual crutch. It seems that each person interprets the Word to suit his or her fancy, and that truth is unavailable, unattainable, and perhaps even non-existent. Truth becomes relative to each person’s perspective and experiences.
“For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy, for I have espoused you to one husband that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. But I fear lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him” (2 Corinthians 11:2-4).
I guess when I think religious unity, I ask: can all religions really be one? If every religion believes whatever they want, doesn't that directly affects the existence of truth? So can they all be true? If so, then truth is just an opinion and nothing more... and that's sad.
The idea that both Islam and Buddhism both see Jesus the same way is not an accurate statement about how Buddhism "sees" Jesus.
Perhaps I am being a highly sensitive person, but I think in order to speak with authority on the inner workings of other religions one is best served by asking questions about them and being open to the answers and information given.
It seems like most Christians want a non Christian to know about what being a Christian means before they make judgements about Christianity.
Most Christians want that, as do most Jews, Pagans, Hindus, Buddhist's, Muslims, Shintos, etc. etc.
I guess the point I am making (as a sensitive person :) lol) is that I think posts here are meant to be more about all types of spirituality, not am opportunity to Proselytize for a specific sect, of a specific religion.
Dazon and I share a lot of the same spiritual ideas, but our chosen religions are very different from each other. If we wanted to, we could spend our days posting about our way being the "true" way. And we can each post pages upon pages of scriptures from our own Holy Books that "prove" our opinions to be true.
But in the end, that is not spirituality. It would be excellent religious debate. Yet still be pages of quotes from books deemed "the true word of God" by those who see them as such.
But if we sit down together and talk about how many aspects of our spirituality are similar, we can experience something even better than proving to each other that our God thinks we are right. We can experience friendship with someone we might not otherwise have gotten to know, or I might learn about something Dazon posts, something that really touched me spiritually and helped me improve my relationship with God.
If I only post about my chosen religion and how everyone else is wrong, sooner or later, this forum would become the "religion forum" or the "conversion to the true word" forum.
I may be a bit over-protective of this forum in particular because it was so helpful to me. It is impossible to live the life I have without constant spiritual practice, and there are not very many places people can go to discuss spirituality, without facing the shame and guilt that comes with not "fitting in" to most organized religions. But there are lots of places a Christian can post on if they want to discuss what they do and do not consider to be the word of God.
I hope I don't sound too crabby, I am an HSP with PTSD and FMS and my acronyms are affecting my mood a tad.
That said, blessings all around!
Excellent...really couldn't say it better, just paraphrase.
You see my path whereas others question whether I am really hard-core Christian. They do so without knowing my struggles and path from childhood on. Yes, if put to the test...Jesus is my LORD and Savior!! Do I understand the theology...NO. Can the bible be interpreted many ways...you betcha!!!
I read through the whole bible. I agonized over God telling the Israelites to kill essentially "races" of people..old, frail, children, unborn. Some didn't obey and there was hell to pay. The Israelites never quite got rid of the groves and like now...the groves grew and other beliefs sprouted up. The Old Testament's admonition is to kill anything that sets itself up in God's place...the Israelite's God....the first 5 books of Moses.
I have gone the gamut of debates, of studying all sorts of angles, by no means totally exhaustive of everything out there. If you say someone is to be put to death for witchcraft, and that wearing mixed clothing is an abomination, along with eating shellfish and homosexuality, etc...you cannot pick/choose one and say the other was because of..... but we can do this/that because of..... To do that, someone is the authoritarian over what is meant.
When it comes down to it...each one of us claiming to have the Holy Spirit has a teacher already inside.
April, for your info...look up Norman Vincent Peale...he is considered off track as he is considered a "universalist". I was considered to be in the discernment ministry and could run down the list according to more main fundamental teachings the who is who on their list.
Joyce Meyers...off track. Any psycho babble ...off track. Promise Keepers ...off track....the list goes on. This is what drove me into a deeper relationship with God and saying I don't know you except through my limited view/understanding and through others.
I remember in my more fundamental days of learning Stuart Briscoe read non-christian books that had psychology, etc....thinking he was being led astray. What he was doing was learning what is out there and how it fit in.
People want to make nice rules (not easy) where everything fits in its place and makes semi-sense...but in doing so, they shut out so much and set themselves up to be the final authority. When you begin to really look, you see. How do you think the catholic church begin the separation and churches have been doing since. Not just them, but about every branch of anything? People do not live in each other's skin to do it exactly the same way and know it the same way. God is fully aware and gave us free will and individuality. There is more here than I can comprehend, but I believe God does. What it boils down to is what Jesus said....Love God with all your heart (can't go wrong there) and love others as yourself (can't go wrong there either...would you want your child to starve? then don't make it hard for other people's children to go without food. You want health care? Bring the prices down so everyone can have it to be healthy and live....goes on with a long, long list). There is clearly a lack of love . Every day we see it!
Some people argue over beliefs to be more right than because they love. Jesus saw that with the Pharisees. Who was the one who helped the man beaten up and left for dead on the side of the road? Who was the one who helped?
http://www.crossroad.to/Quotes/spirituality/peale.htm (Do research on Masons...rosicrucians, etc...occult mixed in). I was fully aware of this & stayed away from reading Norman's books because I didn't want to be "corrupted". Seems harmless at first, right???? In the discernment ministry, I realized when it came down to it, something could be found wrong with everything, even the people doing the discerning. I got to where everywhere I turned around, I had to be careful. That is no way to live a life. We are to rest in the Lord...the battle belongs to the Lord. We cannot win in our own strength. We are not to deal one on one with Satan. God is the only one with the knowledge and power to do so. He guides individuals & equips them to do His will.
(I posted only a few, but enough to get the picture). You quoted him in another group. I let it go by until now because this is a good object lesson.
We share info. to help and encourage. If asked, we can explain why we see it the way we do. Main thing is the living out daily of what we believe. Words have power....shared, they do what Hebrews 4:12 says...For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart
I used to believe it was only the Bible, but now I know "words" are under God's domain and we are living epistles. The Catholic church realized this & wrote volumes in addition....the Israelites realized this & wrote volumes in addition, and so on and so on..
However, the Bible, is what points us to God, to the story of how it all began. The NT is the fulfillment, but not in the Jews mind/heart. Those that are not messianic do not accept Jesus as the Messiah. Their interpretation says...Jesus did not fulfill it.
It bears looking at the reasons why once having studied the Bible and praying continually for wisdom, knowledge and understanding . That is where I am at this point in time.
OK I didn't say Islam and Buddhism both see Jesus the exact same way, but they still see Jesus less than what Jesus said he was. Both say that Jesus was a good teacher but doesn't say he was God...
To me it is not arrogant to believe that Jesus is the only way. The Bible clearly teaches that He is the only way to salvation and that all other ways are a counterfeit of the truth.
In order for all religions to unite in a one-world religion, the belief of Jesus as the only way to salvation must be downplayed. Buddhists, Hindus, and Muslims will not unify with Christians if Jesus is lifted up as the only source of salvation. This principle of Jesus as the only way is under attack in our world today.
I just think that there is a great effort to make Jesus small. The glorious work of Jesus is downplayed. He is being replaced by a "universal Christ that satisfies them all." This universal Christ bears many names and disguises, is acceptable to all religions, and isn't really God. This universal Christ claims to be just a teacher—no more divine than he claims all humans are. He speaks of global unity, world peace, and justice for all.
Although this false Christ's messages sound peaceful, in reality they will only bring peace to those willing to comply. The true Christ's message is of peace that will come when God eradicates Satan and the problem of sin from Earth and humankind.
I don't have a problem with people believing what they wish. I will not stop you from worshiping that way. But if I'm forced to make Jesus universal and I have to worship all Gods as equal I have a problem with that because Jesus has to come down to the level of every other god...
The Christian faith is based on the Bible alone. There are historical, archeological, prophetic, and personal reasons for some to place such faith in a book. But the Christian has also the natural world as evidence of a loving and wise Creator. Scientists and surgeons of all ages have admitted that only a designer and Creator could account for the lavish complexity of Earth. I do not need anything else..