Author Topic: The Church Must Change  (Read 3395 times)

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rockclimber

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The Church Must Change
« on: September 10, 2007, 10:21:53 PM »
This came from a commentary that i read. Your thoughts please.
In order to understand this first macro change that the church must make, one has to have a proper understanding and respect for the word and term- MYTH! Let me begin by saying the concept here is much like that of a metaphor. Most people think a metaphor is sub-standard to a fact! Hardly! A metaphor is more than a fact, it is a truth! A thing does not have to be factual to be truthful! This may take some time to fathom, but you'll get there. It's the same with a myth which is a traditional story accepted as history; serves to explain the world view of a people. It is not necessarily history but it's understood AS history. So, it is then in this first of four macro changes that the church must change is Mythological concepts.

 
The church is losing credibility in today's modern society because it has lost a sense of the mystical and largely because the fundamentalists have dug their heels in proclaiming the Bible to be entirely LITERAL. The Bible is so much more than facts, literal, and fundamental doctrines. I am so happy to say that! 

Many equate myth with unreality. Nothing could be further from the truth! As John A. T. Robinson so aptly put it, "Myth relates to what is deepest in human experience, to something much more primal and archetypal and potent than the intellect." In so many ways (psychologically, sociologically) the myth has been the glue that's held communities, societies, and nations together.

Maybe all the church divisions is because of it's abandonment of myths. Think maybe?

Myths, down through the ages, have been taken quite seriously and realistically (though not literally). The Fall of Adam and Eve are MYTHS! I mean who was there to record "that event"? Neither CNN , nor FoxNews was that's for sure. Man has to have and had to have a "story" about the fall of man and how it all began and thus the Hebrew nation came up with one that's been told for century upon centuries. How else can you explain pain for a woman in child birth or man having to work by the sweat of his brow?

Makes sense to me: and neither do I have to think it was factual.

Here's what doesn't make sense. It's called the Apostle's Creed.

Jesus was conceived by the Holy Ghost
Born of the virgin Mary,
Suffered under Pontius Pilate,
Was crucified, dead, and buried,
He descended into hell;
He rose again from the dead,
He ascended into heaven,
Seated at the right hand of God,
judges the quick and the dead!

I'm to believe all of this actually happened, is factual, literal, and historical?

It doesn't wash, but it does make for great mythology which tells a story that's greater than the words ever could. There is a mixture of actual history and myth- and some of both in that Creed. It's impossible to go on using out-dated church language about events that are beyond a normal person's reasoning, not that all has to be reasoned. However, when the church can come to the place that it says those events are stories, metaphors, and myths about what we cannot explain, but what we know in our heart is a truth, the church will continue dying on it's own religious vine.




There is nothing being "taken away" from the Christian faith: far from it. We're just letting the Spirit speak to us in modern-day terms that is far better "spiritual bait" to attract fish (or whatever your metaphor might be). I'm now going to move from Mythological concepts to Metaphysical principles. The second area where the church needs to adopt a new paradigm, which is really the oldest one. Here's one way to look at it (these two). What myth is to the imagination, metaphysics is to the intellect. Metaphysics asks the question, what is REAL? It's the study of the ultimate and fundamental reality of life. Unfortunately, much of the world think that the church is out to lunch with some of it's unbelievable concepts. And, I do too, but since I love the church, I'm doing what I think I can to save it while I labor in a nearby vineyard called a COMMUNITY.

 

People don't see as REAL (definition of metaphysics) many of the stories that Christians tell. They don't believe in a virgin birth. They can't get the supernatural mumbo jumbo that they hear Christians praying, asking a God somewhere out there to come and intervene in our life. But, get this. They believe in the supernatural. Where has the church gone off track?

Tell me?

They can't see any reality in a man that was a Spirit, who was pre-existent, but somehow became one of us, and then went back to being who He was before He was one of us- whatever that might be, and who on earth could know that? Oh yes, and then in His ousia (being), He's going to come back some day (Parousia). The religious god language that the church uses may have had some value 1,000 years ago, but it doesn't make sense to the NOW world and so therefore people don't see what we say as anywhere near being REAL.

And none of the above denies the NOW divinity of Jesus, the Christ! 

And as Teilhard de Chardin is quoted as saying, "Even the index to a course of Christology doesn't have any mention of "pre-existence", while layman let it fall off their lips like slobber."

The mystery of Christos is one of the most deep puzzles that we treat with way too much familiarity: as we do other religious terms that are more like "passwords" to see if someone is worthy of entering "your club". The ontic (real being) rope to which Christianity has attached itself is frayed and about to snap. The church has got to come up with new language that speaks in a dialect that people today can grasp- that makes sense, and is REAL (to them). And I would venture to say becomes more REAL to us.

Praying to a parental Father out there somewhere who rewards us for doing good and spanks us for doing bad doesn't quite seem real to today's thinking person. Saying that there is a Consciousness that holds the world together that knows and created all makes far more sense. Saying that we are ALL a part of that One, Spirit, or Ground of Being (like a wave in an ocean or a beam of the sun) is inviting and non threatening- except to the devoutly religious.

All I can say church, is change or keep dying the slow death!


The third area wherein the church must change is in the language of ABSOLUTES! There really isn't any need to insult the other 70% of the world that's not Christian by saying that they are going to hell if they don't accept Jesus as Lord because there is NO OTHER NAME by which one can be saved. Now, while I totally agree with that statement in John 14:6, it's not so clear (if at all) just HOW that might come about. Is it here in this life time, in the life after death, or in some ways here that we're not understanding? What it automatically does though is make us look haughty (even if we're right who needs the heat?) and creates enemies that we already have enough. Is this so hard to see?

 

Never mind how each denomination thinks it is the ONLY WAY. You must be water baptized by sprinkling, speak in tongues, not eat pork, go to church only on Sunday, say your prayers in a certain way, and another thousand ABSOLUTES! Few people are in the market these days for such goods.

And then there's the "God said", or "God told me".

Well, that sure closes off the discussion doesn't it!   :sigh:

Paul Van Buren says that we're living in the "age of dissolution of the absolute". I couldn't agree more. How many things have I thought were absolute, no longer are, and I am a better follower of Jesus as a result. What that translates into is that any kind of exclusive uniqueness or finality of truths is not going to sit well with the world. It's not that everyone is a relativist. Hardly!

Christ IS and should be the CENTER for all who call themselves Christians, but a Christian doesn't put down a Muslim based on their Islamic faith, nor a Buddhist because he or she embraces Dharma. I could go on and on with such analogies, but I spare you. All things do eventually cohere IN Christ, but I sure don't know HOW all that happens so in the meantime, I'm just going to love people and BE the witness of LOVE. There'll more fish at the end of the pole with love than arrogance, absolutism.

As John A. T. Robinson said, "God is characteristically to be found on the shifting frontiers of social change, in the relativities of events, rather than in a timeless absolute or beyond it all."


For the last of the four major macro changes that I believe the church must embrace to prevent further decline. All one needs to do is look at England and the rest of Europe, which was once heavily weighted in favor of Christianity, and now see but a shell of what once was. We first looked at Mythological concepts, then Metaphysical principles, followed by Absolutism markers. And now on to Historical mining.

 
The "historic faith" that Christianity has so proudly proclaimed over the centuries has come under close scrutiny in the last 125 years or so by numerous archaeological digs and discoveries. Since almost everything (99.9%) that we know about Jesus comes from Biblical sources alone, Christianity is not firmly planted- outside it's own faith.

That's not necessarily bad, but neither is it a big kudo!   :Sparkletooth:

People want to know, do we have the ipsissima verba (Latin for "the very words") of Jesus? Or maybe another question would be, do we need those VERY WORDS, or is the parabale, the approximation good enough? When, in Don Cupitt's words, "There is one Jesus, and millions of Christs (how each individual sees Him), is an exactness a possibility?

The exact historicity of the Christian story ( Bible) is one of the most scrutinized endeavors for some 2,000 years now.

The Christian canon may be a closed book for some, but not for me. We are constantly discovering new facts about the development of our faith. To think that all there is to know is now known is to stick one's head in the ground and live in denial.

Unfortunately, many are!   :sigh:

We cannot predetermine what is yet to be discovered, but we can with eager anticipation, keep our eyes open, and be ready for whatever might be added to our Christian heritage.

In order for the American Christian church to survive and not fall into the quiet ruins that we observe in Europe, where 85% of the attendees are women, it's got to begin to live by faith again, led by the Spirit, and not by the church hierarchy.

Not easy to do since you're going against those who control it.

« Last Edit: December 08, 2007, 05:03:04 AM by rockclimber »

Jacob1207

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Re: The Church Must Change
« Reply #1 on: September 11, 2007, 08:36:08 AM »
A good post.  Looking it over quickly, I think I broadly agree with many of the points that you're making, though I'll hold off on posting more right now due to the late hour.  I do hope that a good discussion on this forum follows from the ideas you've presented.

-- Jacob

Bart Burk

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Re: The Church Must Change
« Reply #2 on: September 13, 2007, 03:17:04 PM »
How do you know that Adam and Eve was a myth?  I think you can accept the theory of evolution, etc., without deciding that Adam and Eve was a myth.  The story could have been handed down very easily from one generation to another. 

And you are  going to decide the Apostles Creed is a myth?  Why don't you just abandon the whole Christian belief altogether?  Are you willing to abandon the idea that Jesus was born of a virgin and that Jesus rose from the dead?  What then is your hope?

You are walking down the trail of Unitarian Universalism which basically denies the whole Christian story.  My hope for mankind rests in my knowledge that Jesus died for the sins of mankind and rose from the dead.  You don't have to abandon Christianity to believe in the larger hope that God desires all to be saved and can accomplish His desire.  That's why He came into the world in the person of Jesus Christ -- to save the humanity He had allowed to  go astray.  Without Jesus' birth, atoning death and resurrection we are without any promise at all.   

Transponder

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Re: The Church Must Change
« Reply #3 on: September 13, 2007, 05:16:48 PM »
Thoughtful post, rockclimber. You point up a problem - I've heard it called a crisis - in religion.

How are you going to persuade people to embrace a philosophy of life that sounds so antique as to be almost irrelevant? How are you going to pull in educated people that know that illness is caused by germ, not 'demons'? How are you going to appeal to young forward - minded people by telling them that women are not fit to be churchleaders? How are you going to attract young headbangers with Hymns?

Do you give religion a makeover? But that old saw about 'putting new wine into old bottles' may work the other way around, too. There' are a lot of people that seem to be getting God into them; do they head for the nearest church or do they find it quite enough to have their one-on-one with God? Is that going to solve the Ecclesiastical problem of falling gates?

How, indeed, do you bring the Church into the modern age without leaving the old Church behind?
« Last Edit: September 13, 2007, 05:37:46 PM by Transponder »

Offline Kratos

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Re: The Church Must Change
« Reply #4 on: September 13, 2007, 08:40:49 PM »
This just seems like another attempt to reduce a supernatural God to our level by dismissing the supernatural acts that He has done in our midsts. Taking away the awe of an awesome God will be a misrepresentation of who He is. I am not saying that men have not misunderstood what God was trying to teach in the deeper meanings of the Word, but making the accounts of the Bible line up with the natural observations of men and science negates the fact that our God is not subject to the laws of nature. Rather, the laws of nature are subject to our God.

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Offline 97531

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Re: The Church Must Change
« Reply #5 on: September 13, 2007, 08:58:12 PM »
Aah Transponder

You have just struck my harmonic chord.  This btw is not directed at you.

First of all, religion is just what is says, B O N D A G E

Religion does nada for anyone, why? It is a mixture of the old with the new aka the wine skins.

What happens, there are seasons in which God moves.  In the 1900's it was Pentecostal "revival" although this may well have been discovery of an old truth.  We look today and there are many splits within the Pentecostals now generally known as evangelicals.  This would include the charismatics and their 5-fold ministry.

The problem is, God brings a newness, a break from tradition, and it is not long before man has orated this into a belief system and/or creed.  Bang goes the move as now "it" must conform to the oracles of said church.  Any new move results in the same split and the cycle goes on.

It was never God's intent to have intermediaries on earth between the masses and Himself, this is the whole reason Jesus came to fulfil the law of the prophets and become the new one and only priest/intercessor.  If we look at the offices described by Paul, priest is not one of them.  The elders are supposed to teach the young ones and not a "priest"  The husband is the "priest" in the household and is supposed to be representative of the Father figure of God.

As for woman in ministry, nothing precludes them from being ministers of the gospel as each one of us are given the great commission.  C O M E and G O.  The "preaching" is merely the oration of the Good News and not our responsibility to convert, only God has that ability.  Even this is has become a tradition in the way of alter calls.  Looking at the early church, Peter merely spoke and the Holy Spirit fell upon the "congregation"

Some may hold to the "tradition" that because Eve sinned first, woman are not suitable for the ministry.  The truth is, woman (I know this sounds chauvinistic) are a "help meet" to the man/husband and is definitely endeared with qualities we men do not have.  The man again is given authority over the woman and you will find this in most cultures that are patriarch in nature.  One need look only at the animal kingdom to see the importance of the role of females and males, barring a few, most males do not participate in the rearing of the offspring, and the black widow spider male has the rawest deal of all.

Quote from: Transponder
How, indeed, do you bring the Church into the modern age without leaving the old Church behind?

Umpteen times, God has been trying to reestablish the "old" again.  There was a time when John Wesley's (now dated) Hymns were considered too modern by many folk.  In the last 50 years where electric whammy guitars, drums, Bass, the whole shidangle replace the mundane Pipe Organ the opinion remained.  Dancing came in :mshock: and finally people were able to express their worship with their whole being.  You now have rap, duff-duff gospel and yes us ol' fogies may not like the new sound.  Point is, does God see the heart or do you think He is offended by this raucous noise in worship?

Probably some of the best music around today is contemporary gospel music, from a pure musical technical perspective.

Enter the new generation.

Now if holiness is measured by the length of your face or the depth of your frown, then the young ones are definitely doomed to hell.  This generation is saying NO to the crap of the past and want to see real results.  But as they say pipe-drams only last so long.

The church system is now so legalised that any new move youth wise must still conform to the mainstream agenda's of the church.  The few that have listened to the ideas of the young, and have encouraged and supported it, things have happened.  Just look at some of the concerts of MW Smith, he still plays music even most oldies can appreciate yet it appeals to the young as he uses the same stage effects of the secular world, lights, smoke, bubble machines, laser lighting.

God gave us 5 senses, let us experience Him in all 5.  Taste and see that the Lord is Good.

May God have His way and break down the shackles of tradition.

For the time is coming when neither in the temple or on this mountain shall they worship, they shall worship in Spirit and in Truth, for the Father seeks such worship of Him (Paraphrased)

PTL

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Offline Taffy

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Re: The Church Must Change
« Reply #6 on: September 13, 2007, 10:24:16 PM »
Quote from: seekerSA
First of all, religion is just what is says, B O N D A G E

Religion does nada for anyone, why? It is a mixture of the old with the new aka the wine skins.

AMEN to that Seeker.
Blessings
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Michele

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Re: The Church Must Change
« Reply #7 on: September 13, 2007, 10:33:34 PM »
I can honestly say I've learned a lot from this thread.  Thanks guys!!  :thumbsup: :cloud9:

Offline reFORMer

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Re: The Church Must Change
« Reply #8 on: September 24, 2007, 09:19:27 AM »
rockclimber,

     The Church is changing for sure, and I'm committed to being a part of it; only it's not in the ways you prescribe.   I want to answer quotations from you in the order you made them.

> quote:  Many equate myth with unreality. Nothing could be further from the truth!
     You're right.  A myth is a female moth!

>quote: Maybe all the church divisions is because of it's abandonment of myths. Think maybe?
     The Church (Eclessia) is always only one.  As for Institutional Christianity's divisions, probably the most important reason is God did it out of mercy for the rest of us.  He brought the division at the tower of Babel which is the origin of "Babylon."  The tower was a lot of sweaty work.  Instead of "living stones" fitly framed they built with bricks conformed to their mold.  It would have possibly trampled down everyone and everything but for the intervention of God.
     Really, the body of Christ is only one.  It is living men inhabited and and animated by the living God.  The divisions since the Reformation of the 1500's are partly due to men trying to build on Teachers who are inadequate to support "The House for the Presence."  Today many still have a sermon every time they meet, which is a practice not supported by the Biblical text, specially not from the same paid man.  This is rather than, "Being built on the foundation of Apostles and Prophets" who have been formed into a more complete expression of Christ who is the Image and Glory of God.
     Let me go on to mention these are not bosses over lesser ministries.  That is the view of pulpit centric "gentile authority" bureaucrats.  All that Jesus is and does is in us because He is in us.  Our becoming available to Him is another way of describing maturation.   This is some of why it's so easy to believe in the actual events of virgin birth or resurrection in history, because we see this type of thing repeated in our own lives.  What God did in Christ cannot be undone.  It is the basis not terminus for us.

>quote, after stating "The (so-called) Apostles' Creed":  I'm to believe all of this actually happened, is factual, literal, and historical?
      To be a disciple of Jesus it is assumed you believe in the Biblical Jesus.  We've all heard of other "Christs" (about which we've been warned.)  Have you heard of " The Vampire Jesus?"  He gives his blood for you and then wants it back again.  "If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater: for this is the witness of God which he hath testified of his Son.  He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son."  (1 Jn 5:9-10)

>quote:  and then in His ousia (being), He's going to come back some day (Parousia). The religious god language that the church uses may have had some value 1,000 years ago, but it doesn't make sense to the NOW world and so therefore people don't see what we say as anywhere near being REAL
     "The reason the Church has no impact on the world is because the Church has no impact on the Church.  I went to church but the Church wasn't on the program."  (I'm quoting myself.)  We're spectators for a few professionals on stage.  Their concern is to service us and ours to be served.  If we were used to not waiting for someone else to do it or to tell us when and what we can do, but instead used to doing it ourselves, how impacted would the world be?  How would the culture around us be affected if rather than teachers with a room full of students that never graduate we were fathers with a room full of apostles all functioning under the direct leading of the Holy Spirit?  If every member participation was how we met we'd all be practiced in expressing Christ Who dwells within.
     Even if someone has crossed over into having been regenerated by the Spirit of God now indwelling, when that one comes to be a "Christian" they "go to church" (a phrase occurring nowhere in the Bible.)  Being novices they tend to know little of the options, often going back to whatever they may have been raised in as a child.  Almost anywhere they go they will be taught by what is done, "You don't have anything.  You can't do anything.  We have trained professionals to function here."
     "For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ." (1Co 12:12)  Conceive of two or more together with the ascended head present.  Now think of the veil on this many membered Christ being lifted as what to expect when He "comes to be present" (ie, "parousia") in like manner as He left. Coming forth out of glory clouds He will appear unto those He has chosen, just as before.  In the period of a generation He will bring out a people under His own authority who will be taught of Him.  Worldwide, they will act like and talk like Jesus (Lk 6:40.)  He will "seize them as His own possession" (ie, "harpazo" 1 Th 4:17.)  So we are coming unto the promised perfect man, defined as "the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ." (Ep 4:13)  "And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them . . . This is the first resurrection." (Rv 20:4-5)  They will become the determining factor for what occurs among the sons of men.

>quote:  Praying to a parental Father out there somewhere who rewards us for doing good and spanks us for doing bad doesn't quite seem real to today's thinking person. Saying that there is a Consciousness that holds the world together that knows and created all makes far more sense. Saying that we are ALL a part of that One, Spirit, or Ground of Being (like a wave in an ocean or a beam of the sun) is inviting and non threatening- except to the devoutly religious.
      If our Father is not in union with us, only out there somewhere, He's not our Father.  Of course we're all eager to become thinking persons so we can deny the Fatherhood of God.  We're all eager for the manifestation of our oneness with Stalin, Hitler, Mao, and just don't let me leave anyone out.

>quote:  And then there's the "God said", or "God told me".  Well, that sure closes off the discussion doesn't it!
     Do you have such a testimony?  God talks to all His children.  That's how they're His Children and how they know they're His children.

>quote:  Christ IS and should be the CENTER for all who call themselves Christians, but a Christian doesn't put down a Muslim based on their Islamic faith, nor a Buddhist because he or she embraces Dharma. I could go on and on with such analogies, but I spare you. All things do eventually cohere IN Christ, but I sure don't know HOW all that happens so in the meantime, I'm just going to love people and BE the witness of LOVE. There'll more fish at the end of the pole with love than arrogance, absolutism.
     Just go and just, "Love people and BE the witness of LOVE" in countries like Syria of Iraq or Iran and you'll find yourself at the other end of that fishy pole, being beheaded for their God's dinner.  A Christian sometimes MUST put down a Muslim based on their Islamic faith because their "scripture" is self evidently fraudulent and their very false God would make them cruel and wicked.  If we don't put them down for their faith they'll put us down as dead dogs for ours.  If I see you take up poison and begin to put it in your mouth I should be loving and not say anything lest you be offended?  Like we're not supposed to be aware of what the comparative differences among the belief systems of the world are?  While scripture says, "Men in wisdom knew not God..." I can assure you "stupid" is not going to get it for sure!

>quote:  In order for the American Christian church to survive and not fall into the quiet ruins that we observe in Europe, where 85% of the attendees are women, it's got to begin to live by faith again, led by the Spirit, and not by the church hierarchy.
Not easy to do since you're going against those who control it.

      We are led by the Spirit that breathed the Holy Scriptures.  Actually the religious hierarchy only have authority in their cage.  Don't expect them to change, no matter what you do.  The Reformation came and went but the Roman Catholic Church is still here.  That's why it's so easy to commend leaving them and theirs.  Just simply MEET WITHOUT HUMAN HEADSHIP as a body for Christ.  We already have homes we can meet in.  The challenge is to stay together.  Many do not see why we should.  How will you walk through fire for one another for no good reason?  The fire must come.  There's no other way.

     Your assessment of the human world and Christianity in particular is not accurate.  Try some of Barna's books for statistics.  The vast majority of  believers world wide are just that:  believers.  The majority meet in their homes.  We can in all sincerity quote the (so-called) Apostles'Creed in full persuasion of faith.  To say it's truth but not fact begs the question.  Yes Paul says, "Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more." (2 Co 5:16)  But he also says, "But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us." (2 Co 4:7)  We also expect our bodies of humiliation to be transformed into the likeness of His body of glory.  Again God gives us this understanding about scripture concerning Hagar, the slave of Sarah, "Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar.  For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children." (Ga 4:24-25) This is not to say there was no historical Abraham or Sarah.  One of the most touching moments in Scripture is the origin of "The - well - of - The - Living - One - Who - sees - me - and - in - Whose - sight - I - live" ("Beer LahaRoi.")

     There is a difference between Institutional Christianity and living people in union with a living God.  Only one of them is the Church or "Eclessia," the wife of the Lamb.  The other is probably Mystical Babylon, Mother of Whores.  Ecclessia means the "Called - out," out of relevancy to other men into becoming relevant to God.  Our lives are to be commended to men of enlightened conscience, not approved by men of darkened minds.  We don't come out of our Adam nature if we only come to a Jesus who is just another man.

     Very few would on their own come to read the authors you quote.   The proverb says, "Bad company corrupts good manners."  (What do you think of Derrida?  Does Appolyon have accomplices?)  The issue isn't if they're intelligent, with clever things to say; but, we are to "become followers of them who through faith and patience have inherited the promises."  Then too, the categories you present for our consideration and the agenda in your other posts all lead me to a conclusion.  My guess is you've had some seminary courses?  Chicago or Boston maybe?  I'm not trying to totally invalidate contemporary authors, but you could pick some others.  Ever read any McDowell (is that his name, if I remember correctly it used to be vol. 2, maybe now part of Evidence That Demands a Verdict) on "the documentary hypothesis" or books variously titled to the effect of, Alleged Discrepancies and Contradictions in the Bible?
     You think we should be so influenced by the scientific community.  I'm not proposing any "God of the gaps" here, that what we don't understand is where God becomes the explanation.  But do you realize they don't know how stars are formed?  They keep cranking out the idea that they know is false.  I guess they think we're gullible.  As matter coalesces, increasing the local gravity, the force from increasingly excited matter forcing it apart is greater.  All my life watching these things has sickened me to the whole discussion.  One of the things that struck me as a youngster was the total lack of intermediary forms in the supposed evolutionary process.  There were never any missing links.  They'd answer me with the example of the horse.  But I said we have all these alive today.  From miniature Pygmy to Morgans, they can all interbreed.  Recently they acknowledged the problem, suggesting "Punctuated Equilibrium" as the new Emperor's clothes.  Small triumphs.  What I understand you want of us is a belief in "Scientism."
     (Aside from other authors I could commend if you leave a message) I find it hard to say what will remedy lack of experience.  If one never seeks out where there's rumored to be something miraculous happening, like some little storefront church where looked down on people are acting funny, or maybe a Benny Hinn meeting...have you seen him wave his arm, saying, "Fire on you" and thousands of people fall on the floor?  They experience an irresistible and overwhelming power.  Watch "That's Supernatural" with Sid Roth for a while and seek out some of those with manifestations of power.  Some may be bogus.  Some not.  I don't want to mislead.  Remember, Jesus didn't say "Them that believe shall follow these signs."  But it's certain, "These signs shall follow them that believe."  I hope you don't think I'm talking down to you, condemning you.  I'm telling you what I've worked for myself, hoping other readers will be blessed.  Jesus promised to reward you if you fast, pray and give in secret.  (Mt 6)  Let me warn you that doesn't mean  you can  manipulate God, but you can enter the heavenlies.  You can become a "spiritual" man.  "Who would come to God must believe that God is and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him."  Again, not necessarily rewarded with God, but rewarded...something really good!

---James
« Last Edit: September 24, 2007, 09:31:11 PM by reFORMer »
I went to church; but, the Church wasn't on the program!  JESUS WANTS HIS BODY BACK!!  MEET WITHOUT HUMAN HEADSHIP!!!

Offline studier

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Re: The Church Must Change
« Reply #9 on: September 24, 2007, 07:36:47 PM »
Hello RockClimber,

Reading through the thread, I agree with the basic principle that Christianity is abominable in the form it is today. There does need to be a change.

I watched the first part of a movie called "My Summer of Love" about two girls who end up falling in love with each other, yes a lesbian movie. I never got to finish it because I had to leave before it ended.  Now, being that it was about lesbians wasn't what I found disturbing in this movie, but what was disturbing was her brother and it isn't disturbing as the classic cliche of sexism.

Her brother was a former criminal, owner of a pub who rapidly became a born-again Christian. He shuts down the pub, and turns it into a church. The scenes of him praying with the group, etc. just remind me of how the church is. The disturbing part about her brother was that when his sister needed help, she did not want religion, she wanted her brother. He said he was still her brother, but she insisted that her brother was gone and something else was in it's place. When she cried, instead of saying, "I am here for you sis." or any of the other ways he could have communicated that he was there (their parents died previously to this, she only has her brother), he started to pray for her! Now honestly, this is where it got disturbing, he did pray for Jesus to protect her and bring her security, but she did not want to be prayed for, she wanted her brother. She pushes him off with a "F-off" and he says, "I was not happy as that brother." and she said, "I was happy with my brother." He was genuine, he was sincerely hurt that he could not help his sister in the way he wanted to. What he did not realize is his sister did not need a prayer to Jesus, but a hug from her brother.

Michele

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Re: The Church Must Change
« Reply #10 on: September 24, 2007, 07:48:32 PM »
Interesting Craig.....I watched that same movie, and didn't finish it either.  I also had some of the same thoughts as you...

It's like sometimes we hand people religion when all they really want is a hand to hold or a hug or a genuine form of care.  Religious people can come across as phony sometimes......or scripted.....

I guess I've been guilty of that..... :sigh:
« Last Edit: September 24, 2007, 07:58:44 PM by StainedGlass »

rockclimber

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Re: The Church Must Change
« Reply #11 on: September 24, 2007, 09:05:09 PM »
about 15 When i was of the et belief. i felt it was my absolute duty and responsibility to get as many people saved as possible and by any means possible, whether it be through fear or love. one time i went to New Orleans to Marti graw just for the purpose of spreading the "GOOD NEWS". i was carrying a large poster sign on a tall pole that read "TURN OR BURN" and the other side read "FLIP OR FRY". i really thought i was working for the Lord spreading the "GOOD NEWS".
 
I had walked down by the river (I left my sign with someone), their was a large area where their were a large number of homeless people, alot of young runaways. I walked into the crowd of people and was standing at a rail over looking the water, i wanted to see the Mississippi river. as i was standing there i was listing to some of the stories the homeless were telling each other about how their day had gone. i had never heard stories like those and felt sad for them and wanted to tell them of a better way but could not think of anything but how sad that i was that they were going to hell and that i didn't know what to say to them to change that, i decided to leave, as i was walking away i heard other comments from different people, one was about us Christians up in the streets preaching to everybody and how useless it was, then i heard another say "i just saw Jesus, he gave me a blanket". , their was another group there, they were not preaching they were giving out blankets to the homeless. i almost started crying, wondering what i was doing there. i left feeling ashamed of what i was doing. but not knowing any other way i continued for many more years with et.
« Last Edit: September 25, 2007, 11:10:39 AM by SeekerSA »

Dean

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Re: The Church Must Change
« Reply #12 on: October 10, 2007, 03:13:10 AM »
 :2c:

I used religion to be a means to promote:

The denial of my being human...IMO, to be human is to be broken, wounded, without control.  Not... either all good or all bad.... but both, good and bad. To be human is to NEED...SAVING and to NEED SAVING in the life I'm living, right now.

My family of origen, my culture, schooling and religion told me ...that I need - BE certain..that I MUST establish my life around an almost endless amount of absolute assurances....AND, that to BE perfect IS really not an option, but necessary.

The need to be certain and the demand to persue perfection, were the two legs that most of my... being me...stood upon. My Church life served to offer me a FIX, for a future eternity...while it reinforced the unhealthy wisdom of this world for living in the NOW. It used the Bible and what men had told other men that other men had told other men ...about it.

The OTHER than ..to religion.. that I'm discovering, is that I'm NOT GOD....and since I'm NOT God...accepting the uncertainties of my life means I can stop asking for absolute assurances, and since I'm NOT God I'm permited to reject the very loud earthy voices that demand... that I be NOT human.

The Rabbi of Lelov said to his Hasidim:
  "A man cannot be redeemed until he recognizes the flaws in his soul and tries to mend them. A nation cannot be redeemed until it recognizes the flaws in its soul and tries to mend them. Whoever permits no recognition of his flaws, be it man or nation, permits no redemption. We can be redeemed to the extent to which we recognize ourselves.
  "When Jacob's sons said to Joseph: 'We are upright men," he answered: 'That is why I said to you saying: Ye are spies.' But later, when they confessed the truth with their lips and with their hearts, and said to one another, 'We are verily guilty concerning our brother,' the first glint of their redemption dawned. Overcome with compassion, Joseph turned aside and wept."


To-be-human is to be fundemantally finite, essentially limited, "not God." And yet, at the same time, to-be-human is to be capable of "more" - to be capable of both wisdom and love that transcend the limitations of time. E Kurtz

A preacher put this question to a class of children: "If all the good people in the world were red and all the bad people were green, what color would you be?"
   Little Linda Jean thought mightily for a moment. Then her face brightened and she replied: "Reverend, I'd be streaky!"


I'm not part of the religious church anymore. So, what I think GETS to change...is the streaky me.

Dean







« Last Edit: October 10, 2007, 03:36:53 AM by Dean »