KevinI am not trying to push you at all...Sat Jun 16, 2012 7:58am220.127.116.11I really am not. I am not trying to be mean or vindictive nor do I want "stardom".
You think you are playing nice? Making comparisons with religion to "Nazis"?
You think you are being "objective" because you are talking about "crowd control"?
What bothers me, as I said -- is not that you disagree with me. It is that you act like you are objective and I am not. The thing is we are BOTH coming from particular points of view and you are interpreting the data in your way. I have yet to interpret any data at all really in this thread. I am only pointing out and clearing the ground to get us to talk about the same things.
For instance, you claim the bible teaches about whole sale slaughter of people....but that assumes a particular interpretation....a very literal/linear one. I have pointed out twice in this thread already that I don't read the bible that way nor is it meant to be read exclusively in that way. It is a book that is used in prayer and ritual. And we would have to get into what I meant by that....but you haven't asked that question.
I didn't realize that English was not your original language and so that is probably why we are talking past each other. That makes great sense as your posts are not clear to me and this conversation requires precision because the subtle difference between talking about God and prayer in the way I mean it and the way you are describing it is a very subtle distinction....but it makes all the difference in the world.
I am very sorry to hear of your pain. I wish no one to have to suffer like that and there is nothing to be happy about or grin about there. May you find peace and comfort in, from and through your pain.
Why do I defend the bible? Because it is a text that feeds me. Once read with the proper understanding and background, it gives believers a tremendous mirror and map of the journey toward inner depth and understanding. It helps one to see one's own prejudices, biases, fears, hopes. It is a much more psychological text where one can come to understand themselves and the journey to spiritual transfiguration. But in order to read it well, one must know the context and point of scripture. One must know about the multiple levels of meaning in scripture. One also must have a particular point of view to look at scripture the way I am talking about. One has to be a believer and trust that in the stories, God is offering things to reflect on.
1) For instance, reading the story of Noah's flood. To read it strictly literally and historically, one would think the story is about a recorded historical event of God destroying the world through water. But for centuries and centuries that story was read as the story of baptism...evil being washed away by the waters of baptism as God led his people through the water to freedom in the Ark that is God's Church (and Church here means MORE than just the organized institutional structures). That is a very different interpretation than the literal/historical one! The story was not used to talk about how God killed or hated....but how God continuously loves and saves. It was read for centuries in that way. As proof, there are tons of sermons written down that were preached to the average person for the first 1200 years of Christianity on this very topic.
2) Further, the story can be used in personal prayer where one looks to each character in the flood story and ask themselves, "How am I Noah? How am I the evil people? How am I God? What am I supposed to learn personally in this story? Are there aspects of my personality that are revealed or stirred up from this reading? Do I get angry, sad or happy about God saving through baptism, through the church, through Christ? Why?"
You see those are only two ways among many -- that pushes in a very different direction than assuming that God is literally killing everyone with a flood. It is asking very different questions and using the text very differently. As I said -- it is a ritual and prayer text. Not a book of information. It gives a language and symbols and categories to talk about how humans move from being self-centered and focused on control to one where one empties themselves as Christ does. "5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus,[a] 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant,[b] being born in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 9 Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." (Philippians 2:5-11).
The point of the reading is to "put on the mind of Christ" -- see as Christ sees -- live as Christ lives -- to be Christ in the world. Which means what? Learning to be willing to "no longer live but let Christ live in us" as Saint Paul says. Which means what? A complete loving and serving to all. Turning the other cheek, loving neighbor as self, being transformed into complete and self-giving love. The Christian message is to demonstrate that God is not one of power and control and manipulation but that what is meant by the word God is really love, service, compassion, non-judging. When the bible is read in a linear/historical/literal way only -- then we change the text rather than letting the text change us.
So that is why I defend the bible. When approached as it should be -- as a book of prayer -- as a book that reveals God through story -- and grounded in a good historical understanding of church, culture, the time period and the Jewish and Christian faith -- it makes sense. How can one claim to be objective and reading the bible story well if one doesn't know that it was an objective fact that the church interpreted the flood story to be about baptism? How can one read the text right if one doesn't consider it a prayer book that one sits silently with or uses to ask themselves personal questions about how God is teaching about Christ's service to the world through it?
It has been my experience, that I have come to deeper understandings of myself as a person through the study of it.
So I apologize if I have come across mean-spirited to you. It was not my intent. I was just pointing out to you that your views are coming from a completely different direction than mine. You assume the bible records historical literal atrocities perpetuated by God and "holy people". I hear the silent voice of Christ who is self-giving love shining through the book.
- If God didnít manifest itself as it is said in the holy Anonymous, Wed Jun 13 8:07pmbooks. And I use the word holy books with a lot of deserved contempt. So if god didnít do that than what evidence is there that a god even is. It is than very clear that a god only reveals itself in... more
- There IS no real evidence greenman, Sat Jun 16 3:57pmAll religion is purely and simply a matter of belief and faith. There IS no objective proof that ANY faith is real, much less unique and requiring one's belief.
- Hmm I didn't noticed that I didn't put it under Δι Διός, Fri Jun 15 7:09pmSorry about that. Διός
- Sophistry as usual. RthB, Fri Jun 15 12:57pmIf you didn't exist, you wouldn't exist, eh? RthB
- As usual learn to read Roberto. (nm) Διός, Fri Jun 15 7:17pm
- Inother words if god only reveals himself to the very few Anonymous, Thu Jun 14 4:49pmΔιός, then could God be a scam invented by those that would benefit by the scam, hence the priests and religious leaders who would gain both political lower and wealth from the... more
- Well it lets in a whole host of frauds of course. Διός, Fri Jun 15 7:15pmAnd the vision one might get in it personal life is no more than a personal experiance. But as we see everyday the frauds run the show. Which is getting very dangerous with the connections to... more
- Re: Well it lets in a whole host of frauds of course. yome, Sat Jun 16 12:59amFather God, help this man, he sees every one's sins but his own.
- How does that relate to what he said about frauds ChristopherBlackwell, Sun Jun 17 5:46pmyome, Christians often claim that other religions are frauds. So that does bring up the question of how can one tell if a religion is real or afraid, including Christianity. After all religions are... more
- great question. yome, Sun Jun 17 11:33pmyou'll know in your heart chris when all is at peace between you and your creator, there will be no doubt if you ever experienced Christ, i have peace and assurance in my being, my heart is at peace, ... more
- yome. but I have that already ChristopherBlackwell, Tue Jun 19 6:25pmYome, You cannot understand that people in other religions feel this in their own religion. It is not something unique to Christianity. I am sure that Jews,Hindus,and and most modern Pagans feel... more
- Another quickstep past the real question welldone! Διός, Mon Jun 18 3:25amTammy and Jim Baker weren't fraudsters? The raping preacher weren't fraudsters either? Holy Mary what a dirty mess! Διός
- Yome doesn't answer plain questions. Διός , Sun Jun 17 6:52pmBut is very good in pushing hid fraudulent sin thingie' Without much susses I might add. Διός
- Really what are they? Διός , Sat Jun 16 5:02pmAnd don't spare me, make me laugh I need one right now. Διός
- Oops my response , Διός, (nm) ChristopherBlackwell, Thu Jun 14 4:50pm
- Your question doesn't even compute. Kevin, Thu Jun 14 7:55amThe way you frame it already assumes an answer. You don't think holy books are holy? I would ask: What do you mean by Holy Book? What do you think holy means? Also, you are looking for "evidence of... more
- Okay let ask this simple question which might helps. in the Διός, Thu Jun 14 9:19pmend. When and how did you get involved with your religion? And what I think is a holy book doesn't matter the bible is called the holy bible isn't? Saintly it isnít and certainly not for children or... more
- How will an answer to that question help? Kevin, Fri Jun 15 6:07amAnd how can I answer? It is not as simple a question as you think. It would require an entire telling of my faith journey from birth until now. The answer I would give initially: When did I "get... more
- As seen from your reply you too were exposed to organized Διός, Fri Jun 15 7:04pmAs seen from your reply you too were exposed to organized religion and then followed a path that was uncertain but you were still seeking. That too is a normal thing the seed is sown in the young.... more
- THAT'S what you got out of my long reply? Kevin, Fri Jun 15 8:47pmA seed was planted as a child? Wow. I am very disappointed. Reducing a person's curiosity to ask the big questions about the universe and who wants to study everything that can be studied -- science, ... more
- Wrong and don't push me, I been nice and like to stay that Διός, Fri Jun 15 10:04pmway. I asked for you beginning to religion and not your whole journey. And you know why I ask that and be honest you can't claim now that you might have been looking at a later stage but again that... more
- I am not trying to push you at all... Kevin, Sat Jun 16 7:58am
- When I was saying donít push me might sounded too harsh. Διός, Sat Jun 16 7:11pmI meant donít make me go in to all the nitty gritty stuff. I do have no time for that and I was taken aback by you criticism of my interpretation of you post on you beginning of you introduction to... more
- Thanks for that I will reply tomorrow it is to late now. (nm) Διός, Fri Jun 15 6:39am
- The believer also works on assumptions ChristopherBlackwell, Thu Jun 14 5:01pmKevin, So one could also say that the believer assumes much, including that the alleged holy books was somehow influenced by God. there is no way to actually prove such a things so it becomes a... more
- Your response.... Kevin, Thu Jun 14 7:36pmdemonstrates that we are talking about totally different things or misunderstanding each other. I never said anything about facts or logical arguments. I am simply pointing out that there is no... more
- But your method does not work in screaming matches ChristopherBlackwell, Fri Jun 15 7:43pmKevin, And so much of what passes for religious discussion here ends up in being screaming matches. I have no problem with the idea that a god would be unknowable,that is beyond human understanding.... more
- Norhing you say... Kevin, Mon Jun 18 8:41pmGoes against the idea of orthodoxy or the tradition as I have come to understand it and teach it. As much as certain voices in and out of the tradition are sure they know what the tradition is, there ... more
- And you're right we still have many others that either fall Διός, Fri Jun 15 8:36pmunder (grin hopefully not busses) mainstream religion and are not the real self thinkers but mainly followers and do as told. And it is just those that are in the category you mentioned. That is why... more
- Might be wise to start anew string ChristopherBlackwell, Fri Jun 15 7:45pmKevin, Because who knows what direction this conversation will go.
- IMHO ... OldCM, Thu Jun 14 7:09am... that is happening by those who want to have power and control over other people. And what greater power can one have than to claim to hear from the Almighty? And have those who believe him or her ... more
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