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cynthia mosher's Avatar cynthia mosher 04:53 PM 01-02-2002
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In search of closure: a question for Christians turned Pagan


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Author Topic: In search of closure: a question for Christians turned Pagan
lynn_n
unregistered posted 05-29-2001 07:37 AM
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For those of you that grew up Christian and eventually became pagan (or Wiccan, or any type of earth religion) , was there a specific point where you just knew that Christianity didn't match what you truly felt, or was it just a gradual process?
I am looking for closure on the Christian part of my life so that I can fully embrace my pagan beliefs, but am having a bit of trouble cutting all of the ties, so to speak. I think I am just worried about what my family will think, know what I mean? Did any of you do any kind of personal ceremony to officially help you gain closure on your former life? I think that would really help me. Also, I don't have a community of pagans (like Christian churches) that I can be a part of who have similar ideas. I wouldn't even know how to find one. So it makes it harder to cut the ties because I really like the social aspect of church. I just don't agree with their teachings

Any ideas?

Thanks!
Lynn



Pallas
Member posted 05-29-2001 12:51 PM
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I can only tell you what I do ... I didn't have a ceremony of any sort because it was such a gradual process, it would have been impossible to say when "it" happened. I still go to an Episcopal church with my family sometimes, the priest is a well educated and open-minded man and we've had some great talks. Dh was feeling weird about being in church at first, he said he felt hypocritical saying certain things which I completely respect. However, it's not necessary to say those things, you can just be quiet without making a big deal of it if that's your concern. Personally, I dont' have a problem with most of the catechism that is spoken during the service -- I just "translate" it into terms I like better. The sentiments are almost always acceptable, few people pagan or otherwise would suggest that you SHOULDN'T treat others as you would be treated, for example! Whether you say god, goddess, earth, or spirit really doesn't matter (I suspect) to the PTB. It's just the Christian terminology that isnt' always comfortable. So translate it in your head, and where that doesn't work, be silent. You might be surprised how much your new beleifs have in common with your old ones, when seen in a non-confrontational light. (I say this not knowing anything about yoru former church -- mine may be unique)
As for community, I prefer to practice solitary. However, I've noticed that there are certain spots that attract my kind more than others: hit the coffee houses, the homeschooling groups, the environmentalists, that sort of thing. Or go to your local bookstore, hang out in the Freaks and Geeks section (Pagan books are often lumped in with UFO sightings for some reason) and see if you can start a casual conversation with a likely-looking candidate. Be warned, though, that this is a tactic evangelists sometimes use to find a target, so dont' be offended if people hesitate to respond -- they might think you're trying to find a convert!

It might turn out that your need for community and your spiritual practice can be separate things.

Best of luck on your path!

Namaste,

Pallas



steph
Member posted 05-30-2001 07:01 AM
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My change was semi-gradual. During high-school and shortly thereafter was when I started really seeing what for seemed like so much hypocricy in the church. But in following my own path, I didn't have a name to put to it till I was in my late 20's. I have learned in the long time since then (I'm in my 40's now), to separate out the church from what I personally think may have been the intention of the man (see related thread about Pagan/Christian connection). I still consider myself a pagan, no question there, but I don't harbor ill feelings toward the J. guy just because everyone after him mis-interpreted his message (in my humble opinion). Finding other like minded folk to give you some social intereaction may be tricky depending on where you live. One place can also be women's gatherings, or even the womens studies dept. at a local college/university (if they have one). Also, some of the mags out there - Sage Woman, The Wiccan Times, can have networking info. The closure part is something to craft in your own heart. There are always simple burning rituals (write on a pieces of paper what it is that you want to release - be specific as possible- and toss it into the fire and release it with love (or whatever emotion you need to release it with!). The other side of that ritual is a drinking ritual, where you have a cup/chalice of juice/wine/water/whatever, and state what you want to bring into your life (more as qualities than "things") and take a sip for each (feeling yourself nourished by the action). That way you can replace whatever you want to release with whatever you want to receive. Blessings!


Ms. Mom
Moderator posted 05-30-2001 09:57 AM
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Lynn_n - Thank you for starting this post. I'm having a similar struggle. I'm still exploring my spirituality and beleifs. My biggest problum right now is the Catholic Guilt thing! I feel like a sinner for looking at Pagan beleifs? It's very confusing. When my MIL got wind of my spiritual journey she started cramming God down my throat!
~~Gentleness



lovewend
Member posted 05-30-2001 10:11 AM
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Interesting question--for me Christianity started falling apart when I was 9 and asked to be baptised (Baptist). I realized (with a 9 year old's vocabulary and insight of course) that the process I was interested in was ego driven, not spirit led--and to my surprise, it didn't matter. It was years and years before I could pray or believe much of anything. Those years were useful though, as I came out on this side of it able to meditate and pray. I still have an inner-Baptist (among other inner voices) and what a strident voice she has. I try to avoid situations where my inner-pagan might have to vigorously defend my beliefs or practices--but I think its caution more than guilt. Check out the resources Steph mentions here--Sagewoman is beautiful. Women's studies groups are rich and valuable in certain contexts, and the local Unitarian churh here has a women's Goddess Circle...enjoy your path wherever it leads, and however long.
lovewen


RedOwlLady
Member posted 05-30-2001 10:22 AM
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wow! I don't have time now to check out all the words here, but i want too!
also, lynn, until i can put my 2cents in
did you ever check out Peace Pilgrim?/
I am a catholic--christian--very loosley pagan, more stress on earth spirituality, maybe bordering native american, but i realized after reading Peace, that you don't need RELIGION! God is cool , Love and peace, too, but organized anything can be scary at times!......
maybe i can catch you all later...
amy



lynn_n
unregistered posted 05-30-2001 01:44 PM
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Wow! Thank you for all the honest responses. It's a very strange time in my life as I feel much closer to Truth but still kind of bogged down in my past relationship with religion.
Pallas: I have gone to church many times and tried to reconcile the words with what I believed. SOmetimes it is successful, sometimes not. I had really mixed feelings about having my son baptised. I think it's great that you were able to talk with your priest about it. I am Lutheran (similar to Episcopalian) and wonder if our Pastor would be as open to discussion. Can I ask if you take communion anymore? If you do, how do you justify it in your mind. I feel like any ritual that brings people together in the name of God and goodness has power, no matter what the religion. However, I don't want to be a hypocrite either.

Ms. Mom: I can totally relate

Thanks to the rest of you for your suggestions on reading and community. I am going to start looking into some of those ideas.

When I started this thread, I wasn't too sure how it would be received. Thank you for your honest and heartfelt responses.

Blessings
Lynn



k'smami
Member posted 05-31-2001 07:29 AM
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quote:
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Originally posted by Pallas:

Or go to your local bookstore, hang out in the Freaks and Geeks section (Pagan books are often lumped in with UFO sightings for some reason) and see if you can start a casual conversation with a likely-looking candidate. Be warned, though, that this is a tactic evangelists sometimes use to find a target, so dont' be offended if people hesitate to respond -- they might think you're trying to find a convert!
Pallas


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Yes, this is true. I worked in the New Age section at Barnes and Noble and have been approached by Evangelists. Is this an instruction? I mean is there an Evangelist Seminar where they tell them to go to bookstores to find conversion candidates? One time I had a nasty confrontation with someone. I mean it's like she didn't realize that I was WORKING!

Lynn_n, good luck with your search.





willow wind
Member posted 05-31-2001 02:43 PM
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Lynn,
I am so glad you asked this question. I have really enjoyed reading everyone's replies. I too amd at the close of my Chrisitian beliefs. It began about 7-8 years ago. I just asked myself one day, "Why do I believe this way?" And my reply was "Because that is what my mom and dad believe." Well, this was just not good enough for me. So began my journey. I personally like the idea of burning. Writing down those things that will bring closure and burning has a way of giving such a sense of release.
I wish you well on your path. Go with your gut - it will never fail you.

Willow



Ginger in the woods
Member posted 06-01-2001 06:34 AM
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Wow. I am going through the same thing. My H found this church. Not mentioning the name of the chuch. Anyway, we were together 6 years. In order to join this church, we had to be married, which I vowed never to do again. It was So important to my H, he was a 1% biker, and his "finding" God was actually pretty cool. So I (GRRRR) got married. We had a great relationship until we did that. Then we joined the church. They have such off~the~wall concepts, they have their own book, with their own prophet, and it is just too hard to accept as fact. I did feel a sense of connection to a higher being, so that worked for awhile. But I couldnt complete all the qualifications it took to be an upstanding member of their community. Guilt is something I abhor, and I refuse to feel guilty about my personal choices. Sorry, but I NEED my coffee in the morning!
Anyway, my son is way into witches and things like that, from movies like scooby doo, among others. He expressed an interest in Wiccan philosophy, so We've talked about wicca, and things wiccan, and I felt really peaceful explaining to him what I do know about it. I told him they believe in Earth, that it is alive, and we all came from the Earth, it is our mother, and I found myself wanting to know more about it. I found myself not having any real answers. I never made it sound "Bad", which I think my H was looking for, We discussed it right in front of his father, which, he never said a word. To make the point, I think my Son wants to be Wiccan! Well, needless to say, my son & I did not go to church that Sunday, and I want to find out more about the Wiccan community.
I will look for the magazine Sagewoman, is that Wiccan? Are there any books that are standards in Wiccan? Please let me know. I share your feelings of wanting to change religions. ~Ginger


steph
Member posted 06-01-2001 06:58 AM
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Ginger, Sagewoman is not Wiccan per se, it's more generally about women's spirituallity, which includes Wicca, but is not limited to that. There is the Wiccan Times (I'm pretty sure that's the name), out of somewhere in Wisconsin. There's also, a magazine called PanGaia which is very broadly pagan, much like Sagewoman, but without the women's specific focus. You probably won't find any of these on you average generic newstand. If there are any metaphysical bookstores nearby, or alternative kinds of newstands you might find them there, or some natural food stores sell them too. The other thing to check out would be any of Starhawks books. She's an excellent writer and I personally really resonate with her approach. Best wishes on your journey!


Tigresse
Member posted 06-01-2001 11:27 AM
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I've seen Sagewoman at Borders, but I didn't buy it, so I can't make any comments on the contents. I also have gotten samples of Blessed Bee which addresses Pagan Family Living. That is a nice one. Check out www.blessedbee.com
Also, can anyone tell me the difference between Pagan and Wicca? I understand Wicca is a type of Paganism, but what kinds of things would one believe/practice if one is Pagan but not Wiccan?

I am on a similar path as you, lynn_n and Ginger, but my background is Jewish, and I'm not completely willing to give it up. I feel it's important to retain some aspects of our heritage in our family life/ritual. We'll see where it all leads.




RedOwlLady
Member posted 06-01-2001 07:50 PM
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I got to read all of everyone's words--some heavy stuff here The most exciting is that..ME TOO! I just as recent as this winter "denounced" my Christianity. I have taken religion and spirituality very seriously since my first dd was born 61/2 yrs ago. Having to deal w/ the secular part of religion was tuff. I searched hi and lo for reasons why I would tell her why we did certain things. I found very little answers that I was comfortably w/. Mainly commercialism, mass-marketing, and $ (am i saying anything youall don't know???)
I tried to focus on Jesus during these popular christians holidays. That was tuff!
I found it easier celebrt. the solstice than J.'s b.d.

I started asking myself (prompted by the writings of Peace Pilgrim) "what's w/celebrating the life and times of J. anyway??" I think the deal is following hiw WAY of life. He was a pretty heavy person, after all. Peace explains that we ALL have the potential to live like that--we all have "Christ" w/in.

As I started to piece together feelings abd started really checking out the pat I was following, it lead to "Paganism" Where we all came from before Christianity. My brother and I had this incredible sweat lodge ceremony in which we both set right the closure which we needed. I cannot express the wieght lifted off me now because I no longer fell obligated or guilty, or nothing towards the Bible/my past teachings in Catholisim or Jesus himself. So we lightly say we are "born again Pagans"

However, I have no prper "teachings in Paganism/wiccan religions. Since my re-awakening, I'm shying away from all forms of organizations or crutches as Tom Brown Jr. has put it. I lean soley on my heart and gut to lead me--

so far so good.

thanks again for this great posting. It sure feels good to hook up w/ like-minded folks!!
--amy



steph
Member posted 06-02-2001 06:57 AM
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Tigress, Paganism is more a generic term to describe (usually) Earth-based spiritual beliefs, which includes Wicca, but is not limited to it. Even Wicca, is often used to generically describe someone who leans towards a Celtic/European form of paganism. So, the terms can be a bit confusing. Other forms of paganism can include any form of Earth-based indigenous spirituallity, such as Native American beliefs, Australian Aboriginal, etc. Also, there are a lot of folks who again use the term pagan to describe a totally personal amalgam of beliefs, that may be predominately Earth-based, but may also incorporate forms of New Age spirituallity, or even Christian gnostic beliefs. So, as you can see it covers a broad range of territory. In fact most pagans I know, rarely narrowly define their beliefs into one catagory (i.e. Wicca), but pick and chose. Pagans by nature are pretty individualistic! The term Wicca gets thrown around alot and has become very popular lately (esp. w/the media) for better or for worse. I hope this helps shed some light on the subject! Blessed Be!


willow wind
Member posted 06-03-2001 03:39 PM
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Wow, I am soo happy to have found this post! I have felt so alone these past few months. Living here in the biblebelt (Oklahoma) dare I even mention paganism lest I be burned at the stake or hanged???? It is so refreshing to visit this board and read that I am not the only one following my conscious, afterall, that is all we have to answer to right? That voice inside us that warns us of danger, gently whispers at the right time what is right and wrong? Kudos to all of you for listening to your small voice.


momof4
Member posted 06-09-2001 10:56 PM
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i am so glad i read this. i stopped "subscribing" to christianity several years ago, but i, too, find that there are things hard to let go of. mainly from the christian guilt i was taught in church as a child- sometimes it sneaks up on me and i think that if i let go completely then the patriarchal god-figure i was raised with will "get me" for it. i did read something a couple of months ago that helped- it wasn't anything big, but it stuck with me. i did the "artist's way" this past fall,
the author mentions re-evaluating your god-image, and how it's likely that we hang on to same god image we created as a child. for me this was very eye-opening: it's o.k for me to let go of an image that i created as a 3 year old and recognize that as a 30 year old i'm allowed to believe in something different. this is a great time of year to come to these realizations- the solstice is a time meant for letting go. this year it seems more important for me, because i've finally realized what that nagging feeling was (leftover christian guilt) and i'm ready to let it go. good luck to all of you, and blessed be! dana


Sofiamomma
Member posted 06-10-2001 10:38 AM
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What refreshing folks you all are! Ginger, subtle, very subtle! hee hee The church I grew up in has the same origins as the one you were 'not mentioning'. I was very involved as a young child and teenager, blessed, baptised, patriarchal blessing, ordained as a deacon (one of the first women, I might add, that change caused quite a hubbub!), the whole nine yards. I even went to my church's college. The funny thing is, that is where I really started to question my beliefs. My parents had begun to question their own beliefs when I was growing up and shared that with me, so I already had "permission" to question and explore. They attended a church called Unity, founded by Charles and Myrtle Fillmore. They're the ones who did "A Course in Miracles". They introduced me to reincarnation, meditation, the power of positive thinking, using the mind to heal, and different ways to pray.
Anyway, in my late twenties I finally got aggravated enough to ask to be formally removed from the membership books. I had remained because of the strong sense of community and because I liked the helping ministry and focus on world peace that were part of the organization. The church has always been a strong proponent of the concept of agency and individual choice. The more enlightened members were very understanding of my dilemna and suggested I put my priesthood on inactive status and become a member-at-large, which I did.

I've really enjoyed studying New Age, pagan, goddess worship, and earth-based spiritual beliefs and have incorporated many into my own unique set of beliefs. I think of Jesus as a teacher, with powerful insights into Truth and way of being. I jokingly call myself a messianic-pagan, after hearing about messianic-jews.

I would really like to reach a place where I feel I have a firm hold on what my beliefs are and why so I can explain them to my daughter. So far, I have been telling her that we are all here to learn and take care of one another and the Earth. I've explained reincarnation, my belief in a higher power, which exists in and through all things, including ourselves, and that voice will speak the Truth to us, we have to remember to listen. I've also explained that others have different beliefs.

Lynn_n, best wishes to you and let us know how things work out for you and the question of closure.



menanny
Member posted 06-10-2001 01:12 PM
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This is my first opportunity to hear from other people experiencing what I'm experiencing. I've talked to a few close people about questioning the Jesus/God connection, but they are all pretty much Christian.
MOMOF4 -- as soon as I finish this post, I'm going to go get my copy of "The Artist's Way". I read it about 3 years ago, but never did the work in each individual chapter. I look forward to the new image of God I can come up with!!

SOFIAMOMMA: I, too, would like to get my beliefs on a more solid ground so that I can share them with my two DS's. I visited a Unitarian church last week and would like to go again. A church that accepts all religions is incredibly attractive to me. I would love for my DS's to learn of all the ways to worship GOD and then pick the one that is best for them.

It's been such a challenge for me to accept that I can be a deeply spiritual person while not believing that Jesus is the son of God. I am happy to accept that Jesus is one of the great teachers of humankind. And that there are other great teachers to learn from as well.

The wiccan/pagan stuff is new to me -- I've only read about it since joining the discussion boards here at Mothering in the last month or so. I fight against my life-long, Christianity-instilled fear against wiccan/pagan. Seems my family would immediately label such activities as "evil" and "against God". Obviously, wiccan/pagan are just examples of how some choose to live a spiritual life. However, is my understanding correct that there is not one, "big boss" God in the wiccan and/or pagan beliefs?

Oh well, off to get my Artist's Way -- it really is a wonderful book!!





Pallas
Member posted 06-10-2001 08:21 PM
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Lynn,
Of course you can ask! I do take communion. For one thing, it's available to all who are baptised (and I was) and are Christian (literally, follower of Christ, rational to follow). For another, the premise is that you are taking into yourself the qualities of JC through a mystical process. JC was an amazing man, no less worth emulating because many of his followers have twisted his ideas. I do try to follow his example, as I do Lao Tsu, Gandhi, Kwan-yin, and many others. Some were mere mortal, some were mortals deified, and some were deities.

It's difficult to separate the philosophy of the man with the actions of some of his followers, but it's worth the effort, IMO. I completely understand the impulse to turn away from All Things Christian, believe me! I felt betrayed by my old faith and liberated by what I'd learned of my new faith. It took many years to realize (what I now see as) the obvious: that I was doing myself and JC a disservice by ditching a great spiritual example. If you look at what he actually said and did, esp. within the context of his culture, there's precious little incompatible with alternative religions. He never meant to become a religion unto himself anyway.



lynn_n
unregistered posted 06-11-2001 11:05 AM
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Wow! I am humbled by all the responses this thread has gotten and grateful for the openness and honesty. I truly felt I was alone in my feelings before I started this thread and am happy there are just as many people out there as confused as I Thank you for all the warm wishes of luck on my journey. I almost come to tears reading other people's stories because I can relate so much.
Pallas ~ thank you for your response. I feel exactly as you do about JC and I do still take communion because I feel it is a unifying experience and I'm sure everyone brings slightly different beliefs to the bread and wine. I am considering talking with my pastor. I know he would be open-minded. He's had a lot of education and studied many other religions so maybe there's hope?

Thanks again everyone! Good luck to all on their journey. Maybe we'll meet along the way





lovemommy
Member posted 06-24-2001 12:20 AM
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Hello everyone. Just to be totally upfront I am a devout (or working on it...) Catholic Christian who was raised basically with no faith so I'm journeying in the opposite direction as you all seem to be. I am not here to tell you how superior I am to you or preach to you in any way but I really wanted to ask a few questions. Feel free to ignore them if you don't feel they are in the spirit of the topic- I'm very new to this BB thing and I do not want to be rude or inconsiderate. Some of you are folks I'm learning to like and respect very much at other boards, so in all humility I ask:
How can you be sure that Jesus Christ is not who He said He was, the Son of God? And didn't He say "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life" not "I am one of many ways, truths, and lives"? It also sounds like a lot of you are rejecting a God who was taught to you as someone to be feared and one who was controlling, rather than One who has always loved you with infinite tenderness and longs for you to freely choose to be with Him forever. If God had been introduced to your young hearts as the source of all love and goodness, rather than the giver of punishment and squelcher of enjoyment, do you think you might have responded differently? I only say this because I have felt many of the things you are saying, until I finally began to open my mind and heart to the possibility of a God beyond any dry little description I'd ever heard. I'm rambling- I'm sorry. I'm up at 2:30 am because of the horrible Texas thing- can't sleep and my mind is racing. Again- feel free to ignore me if this doesn't fit in. Maybe I'll think this was a stupid impulse tomorrow. Take care all-


Pallas
Member posted 06-24-2001 04:21 AM
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I can't speak for everyone here, but I can say that I'm not rejecting God, by whatever name you choose to use for that entity. I'm rejecting organized "christian" churches, which is a very different thing.
I don't believe that JC intended to found a new religion, separate from Judaism. He was a nice Jewish boy who quoted Hillel a lot and tried to do what God told him to do. When asked if he were divine, he replied that he was, just as everyone else is divine. To me that implies a great responsibility on those who follow him -- there's no supernatural reason they can't live like he did. What pressure! But I don't think he'd enjoy being worshiped and prayed to. Emulated, yes. Worshiped, no.

Son of God? Of course. Just as I am a Daughter of the Earth, and you are deeply connected to your spirituality. The Way, Truth, and Life? Most great religious leaders say something similar. I don't think it means that it's My Way or the Highway.

I hope this isn't offensive, I know how sensitive a person's spiritual path can be. I just want to make it clear that I'm not rejecting God, just a certain manmade version of "him". I have a deep spiritual connection the the power of the universe, I just don't choose to anthropomorph it. And I don't reject JC, just a Pauline puppet that emerged after his death. (Paul's really not my favorite guy!)

I'm also not saying that I'm right and you're wrong -- this is what works for me. Whatever belief structure helps to make people rise above themselves is the one they should follow. Yours works for you, and you (I can tell from your tone) get great joy out of it!

Namaste,

Pallas



lovemommy
Member posted 06-24-2001 08:00 AM
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Dear Pallas, thank you for your thoughtful and enlightening reply. It was so NOT offensive, and I definitely asked for it! I think I understand a little better where you're coming from now, but a couple of things are still unclear (again, please just ignore it if this discussion isn't really of any interest to you and I'll take the hint and go away.).
Are there parts of the Bible you believe are true historically and parts that aren't? And how do you distinguish between the true parts and the untrue?

The reason I ask this is that in every translation I've ever seen Jesus says to His friends, "Truly I say to you that unless you eat of My Body and drink of My Blood you shall not have life within you." One could take this as speaking symbolically, of course, but doesn't it make you wonder why a great teacher like Himself would let His students just freak out and leave over that statement without clarifying it? Because many did. It was too tough for them to take. What do you mean, eat your Body??! All He had to say was, "I'm speaking figuratively, here's another parable." and they just would have said, "Oh, a parable, got it." But He didn't.
And a lot of them left.

Also, I can see not being a big fan of Paul (whom, ironically, I am learning to love), but what about Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John?
They talk about the Virgin birth of Jesus and though I'm happy to claim a place as a child of God I have never fed thousands on a few fish and a couple loaves of bread. I've never turned water into wine, raised the dead, or made a blind man see either. I've never died on a cross for what I believe either (though I hope if it came to that I would), but He did, and many others after Him in His name, which is so convincing to me.

The part I keep coming back to is when, at His trial, the High Priest asked Jesus, "Are you the Messiah, son of the Blessed One?" and Jesus answered, "I am; and (here He quotes the prophetic scripture) 'you shall see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of the Power and coming with the clouds of heaven.' This saying of Jesus' was enough to condemn Him to death for heresy and He knew it. So He was either a liar and a blasphemer or He was who He said He was, or He was totally insane. He was willing to die a horrible death to prove He meant it anyway.

I guess what I'm trying to say is if you read the whole new testament you realize that Jesus really doesn't leave us the option of gently fitting Him into a panreligious philosophy. He's too clear about who He is and what He came for.

Here I go again- my best friends will tell you I'm an endless stream of unbridled verbosity. I really love these kinds of theological discussions and I don't get to have them often enough with thoughtful people of good will. I hope to hear back from you, but if you don't want to, I respect that. Thanks.




Becca
Moderator posted 06-24-2001 08:34 AM
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I haven't replied here before as my brush with christianity seems almost non-existant. I grew up in England in a small village where the church was the center of social life, the vicar the most important figure in the village and being excluded from the "Mother's Union" a fate worse than eternal damnation. We went to church every Sunday, however, it has been said before that the Church of England is the only denomination where belief in God is optional and ardent displays of faith are in bad taste. I'd have to agree with that.
I did not have any negative experiences with christianity, it was a pleasant, snobbish and slightly insipid social club. There was however no spirituality in it.
I believe I was born pagan. By the age of eight or nine, I had had several experiences with other deities who seemed a great deal more real and immeadiate than the christain pantheon. As a teen and adult I found community with other pagans, my dh is wiccan too (we met at a wiccan temple).
I don't think I have ever done any rituals to cut the ties, so to speak, as they were always tenuous to begin with, but if you need to it might be a good idea to bring closure.
To answer your question Lovemommy, Most pagan do not deny the existence of Jesus, or any of the Judeo-Christian pantheon, we have simply a stronger connection to other Gods and Goddesses. For us, Pan, Aretemis, Isis, Cernunnos and many others are more real, they affect our lives in stronger ways, we feel them more deeply in our hearts. We know them and love them as passionately as a Christain loves Jesus or a Muslim loves Allah.
We know there are many Godds just as you know there is one. Such are the mysteries of the universe.
OK, I'm done rambling
Blessings, Becca


lovemommy
Member posted 06-24-2001 01:53 PM
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Dear Becca- thank you for engaging in this discussion. I know exactly what you mean about a pleasant and insipid social club with little spirituality. That's pretty much what I encountered until a few years ago. I don't blame you for being unimpressed. That said, could something be true even if a set of people who claim to believe it are weak and tepid and uninspired?
Here's an interesting thing: not only do I believe that there are many Godds, but I also believe that you do love them passionately. My question for you is this: do they love you back?

Let me posit something scary: open your mind wide and imagine that there was one true God who loved and made the world and all the creatures in it. Imagine that He had also made other beings whom He loved and gifted beyond imagining, but some of whom turned on Him in pride and rebellion. Imagine that the sole desire of these beings became to attack and hurt those creatures and creations of God as their only means of hurting Him who loved them so much. Imagine that some of the creatures were tempted away from the One God to worship these beings. How do you imagine these rebels would go about getting free willed, intelligent, loving creatures to turn from God and worship the Godds? Would they appear as slavering fire breathing hideous apparitions or would they try other methods, more attractive, extremely subtle methods? Mightn't they, in fact, ape God and His ways so closely that they could be taken for good and loving entities? Might they not attempt to turn people from love and worship of the Creator by subtly encouraging them to love and worship His creation, the earth, not in addition to Him but instead of Him?
Mightn't they also intervene in our lives in beneficial ways to woo us, in ways that the one God who respects our freedom refrains from?

What if, after meeting with success in deceiving the creatures as to their true nature, they would turn and consume and devour those creatures to the agony and sorrow of the loving God?

I guess it's pretty obvious what I'm saying here. I too have had some experience with these Godds and so while I do not doubt their existence, I am in terror of their motives.

How can I know that the God I love and serve imperfectly will not turn on me? Because He became Man and died on the cross to prove His love. No other religion in the world can make that claim. To me, the hallmark of love is service. The greatest acts of love I can think of were ones of outstanding sacrifice of self-interest in the interests of others. Maximilian Kolbe, who stepped out of line in a Nazi prison camp to volunteer to take the place of a condemned man, to starve in the dark for ten days and be finished off by a lethal injection to the heart by a Nazi guard. Gandhi, the "Great Soul," who was willing to starve also to stop the violence in his country. Mother Teresa lifting lepers out of the gutter with utter disregard for her own health. The examples are, excuse the bad biblical joke, "legion."

Well, I'm sure I've gone way beyond the limits of everyone's tolerance but thanks again for letting me jump in.




lynn_n
unregistered posted 06-24-2001 04:26 PM
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lovemommy,
Some of the questions you are asking are the very ones I set out to answer for myself when I began my journey. It has been a long day so I will try to be coherent, but forgive me if this response seems a bit scattered. I think I will just try to address several points separately.

First: yes I do believe many parts of the Bible record actual historical events. But you have to consider the historical time in which the Bible was written. It was not even fully the Bible until about 325 A.D. when the Council of Nicea met to determine what would go into the Bible. At this time, Christianity was competing with many polytheistic religions at the time that were just as popular and many were more so. There is evidence that at this council, many things were edited out (including many references to reincarnation although there is still evidence for that in the current Bible) to form a religion where the people would be much more dependent on the church/state for their salvation instead of relying on themselves. This was all to the political gain of Rome in seeking to control the people more efficiently. Sort of, if you do what we say, you'll go to heaven. Otherwise you won't.

Secondly: the Bible you are now reading has been translated hundreds of times into what is now modern English. If you have ever taken another you language, you understand how easy it is for many things to "get lost in the translation" so to speak. Take for instance the original Aramaic word for Messiah. It actually meant "King". There is quite a bit of evidence that states Jesus was a descendant of the House of David which would in essence make him heir to the throne of Jeruselum. So his claim to be the Messiah was accurate without him being God or a liar. When you begin to study the translation of the Bible from Aramaic straight to modern English, there are so many subtle differences. But subtle differences can add up to quite a different picture of Jesus.

Third: The Gospel of Thomas. In the early part of the 20th century at Nag Hammadi, there were many scrolls that were found that were also Gospels of Jesus. Many think that the Gnostics at the time hid them so they wouldn't be destroyed by the Church. The gospel of Thomas includes many sayings by Jesus that lead you to believe that you find God and peace within yourself and not through any person or thing or way of worship. If you do a simple internet search you will be able to find the Gospel of Thomas and read it for yourself.

Fourth: simple logic. Jesus said "I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. No one enters the kingdom of Heaven except through me". Simple logic therefore equates Jesus with "the way the truth and the life" and therefore "No one enters the Kingdom of Heaven except through the way the truth and the life". It is each our personal journey to discover the "Truth" as it relates to each of us and our individual relationship with God(s) and the Universe.

Fifth: I do believe in an all-loving God(s) who created this universe and therefore Christianity does not make sense. Four-fifths of the world is NOT Christian and therefore doomed to hell. Does this sound like the act of a loving God? To send one person down two thousand years ago and say that everyone must believe this person IS God and if you don't you will go to hell does not seem very efficient? Now, I'll tell you that I CAN believe he is God, as are ALL of us because we are ALL Divine and carry the spark of God within us that was split off from God to create our soul. God is all knowing, static knowledge and we were created to be the experiencing side of God. (my opinion). Yes it is true that Jesus performed many miracles. But he is not the only one in history to perform miracles. Yes he was a GREAT prophet filled with the Holy Spirit of God to bring us a message that God loves us and the Truth is so simple. We are all apart of God and we are all saved whether we believe it or not. Love one another and love God, that is his message.

Last: There is much evidence for some things that most Christians would find controversial. Namely, that Jesus did not actually die on the cross. It was all setup from the beginning and Jesus' followers (including Pontius Pilate) helped with the cover-up. He did not hang for the typical three days that it takes to normally kill a healthy man but was cut down much earlier than that. There is evidence that Jesus survived and then went on to live a full life with many of his followers far away (the same people that hid the Nag Hammadi scrolls). But don't take my word for it. Please research it yourself. A good place to start is the book "Holy Blood Holy Grail by Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh and Henry Lincoln. In your quest for the truth, please consider documents outside the normal church realm as all church documents are purposely slanted towards their own beliefs (obviously).


Very lastly: something to consider Genesis 1:26 And God said, Let US make man in OUR image, after OUR likeness..." biblical evidence for more than one God?

Whew...that was a mouthful. I hope this helps. There is so much more on this subject but I have no energy left. Good luck with your search to answering these questions for yourself.




lovemommy
Member posted 06-24-2001 08:56 PM
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Hey there Lynn! What fun to get such a long answer with so much to talk about.! Thank you so much for spending your time and energy dealing with this stuff. Let's get to it! (Are you getting the impression I don't get out much.....?)
The Bible I am now reading is the Douay-Rheims translation of the Bible, which is a result of exactly two (not hundreds of!) translations from the original Greek gospels and St. Matthew's Hebrew or Syriac gospel, so you don't have to take too many steps to check up on language.

Also, about the books of the Bible being made canonical by the Church at the council of Nicaea. Actually that council was convoked by the Emperor Constantine to combat the Arian heresy. The books of the Bible weren't actually finally fully declared canonical until much later, the council of Trent in 1545 AD, though these books had long been accepted among Christians as trustworthy because of the fact that over such a long period of time no one had been able to assail their authority effectively. And no one has yet!

Did you know that more than a third of the bishops present at the Nicaean Council were in fact from Asia Minor? Many were also from Egypt, Palestine, Syria, Jerusalem, and Carthage? It hardly sounds like a Roman power grab!. Another way to look at it might be that the Church was actually interested in saving people's souls and protecting the defenceless, uneducated, and the gullible from attractive and believable falsehoods that could lead them away from God.

For instance the Gospel of Thomas you mention. Ironically, what was found in Nag Hammadi was a Coptic or Sahidic adaptation of the lost original, probably written in Greek, c. 140 ad. A contemporary of that time, Cyril of Jerusalem, writes of a Gospel of Thomas that was a fabrication of a disciple of Mani. The adaptation that was found dated from the 4th century, so we're talking about a translation into an entirely unrelated language three centuries after the original, which is now lost and was probably a fake in the first place. And as you point out, this questionable book wasn't even found until the twentieth century, 500 years after the Church finalized the books of the Bible offically. I for one appreciate the Church's discretion in not making that book canonical! There are no such glaring charges against the four canonical gospels; and notice that because the Church does not make certain ancient texts canonical does not mean that She suppresses them. They are available as you point out for people to read; it's just that the Church will not set Her seal of legitimacy upon them as part of the Bible. People are fond of pointing out how the "repressive" Church would not disseminate written works approved or not among the people so they could "make their own choice." This charge ignores the obvious fact that most people throughout history have been illiterate, and would therefore be at the mercy of any second rate shyster that wanted to pawn off third rate doctrine on an unsuspecting populace.

It also struck me as a little inconsistent to assert that one should reject as uncertain the words of a faithful translation, and then turn around and suggest that the use of the words "our" and "us" by God in Genesis might be evidence for more than one God. There are in fact two explanations for this usage: 1. most Christians accept the triune nature of God as Creator, Redeemer, and Sanctifier which would justify such phrasing and 2. the royal "we" is a linguistic tradition from time immemorial in countless languages.

Also, Messiah means anointed one or one who is sent, not simply King. And Jesus doesn't just say, "I'm the Messiah," He says "Eat my flesh and drink my blood." That doesn't sound so much like a King as a sacrificial victim speaking, to my mind.

Your fifth point about four-fifths of the world going to Hell is definitely not consistent with Church teaching. Catholics believe that the Church is the one way to salvation, yes. You must become part of the mystical Body of Christ in order to enter into eternal life with Him. One becomes part of the Body through baptism, but the Church teaches of several kinds of baptism: by water and spirit, which is the surest way, but also by blood and importantly for this point, by desire. The Church teaches that if one seeks the truth ardently according to the light given one, desiring to know the truth and to live according to it, that one is baptized by desire even in the furthest reaches of the earth unbrightened by the light of the knowledge of Christ. Of course God is not a gamesman, creating a bunch of little insects, most of whom will roast for eternity if they don't happen to stumble upon a missionary.
You make the rest of your point beautifully and eloquently, and I agree wholeheartedly that we all carry that spark of the divine within us; but I must say that if we are all automatically saved, what happened to freedom? What if we don't WANT to be saved? And, by the way, saved from WHAT?

You mention that I should read books other than Christian or Church-approved ones if I want to seek truth. I think it's funny you assume I haven't done that. Of the three books I'm reading right now, one is by a Catholic, one is by a pre-Christian Greek philosopher and one is by a Freemason. I have never hesitated to throw anything and everything at the Church to see if She can stand up to it. I love a challenge- so far every challenge has been met with more satisfying answers than I could have wished for. I'll never stop challenging, but I have begun trusting that the Church will have an answer that satisfies if I look long enough. You know, if I wanted to know about paganism, which I do, I would read books about the subject from without and within. I saw some recommendations above and I am looking forward to checking them out. I have read Holy Blood Holy Grail and found it poorly supported and based on sketchy and unproven sources. It is well-written and seems to make a good case, but ultimately too many of the authors' assertions are unfounded and in a few cases, demonstrably false. As fictionalized history it makes fun reading, as an academic historical study it's pretty lame. It would be fun to get into it more specifically but I'm afraid I have already driven everyone nuts with this lengthy post.

Thanks to you all again for your hospitality and patience. I look forward to hearing from you again if you have a few minutes. Is it really Monday tomorrow? Sigh....



Becca
Moderator posted 06-25-2001 09:46 AM
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Lovemommy, thank you for your thoughts on this topic. I'd like to reply to a few of your comments.
"I too have had some experience with these Godds and so while I do not doubt their existence, I am in terror of their motives."

Christianity has in it's roots the Zorostrian belief that the world can be divided into good and evil forces. What is good can not be evil, and what is not good must necessarily be evil. Applying this to Christian beliefs then, good is Jehovah and Jesus and evil is Satan. So how do other deities fit in to this? Disregarding for a moment the biblical teaching that Jehova is the only god and aknowledging the existence of godds outside the christian pantheon; these godds must be placed somewhere in the Zorostrian dichotomy. They are not Jehovah so they therefore must be evil.
But if we remove the Zorostrian principle, we can allow many different deities to exist each with their own expression of creative force. Many cultures and religions do not adhere to Zorostrian beliefs and can therefore express deity in many different forms without dividing them into good and evil.


"Let me posit something scary: open your mind wide and imagine that there was one true God who loved and made the world and all the creatures in it."

I'm not entirely sure what is scary about this. It is one of hundreds of creation myths from many, many different faiths. Each myth has it's own validity, but I do not believe any one of them more valid or "true" than the rest; they all express our limited understanding of existence.


"Here's an interesting thing: not only do I believe that there are many
Godds, but I also believe that you do love them passionately. My
question for you is this: do they love you back?"

Does the Great Mother provide for all her children? can I find solace in the arms of Rhiannon? Does Pan allow the wild spirit in me to connect with the forest? does Isis teach me her mysteries? does Kali protect my children? Will Cerrnunos recieve my soul when I die and give me rest and healing? Yes, Yes and Yes.

Blessings, Becca




Pallas
Member posted 06-25-2001 10:33 AM
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Wow! lovemommy, I think most of your points have been addressed by those more educated and articulate than I, but I do have one thing to add.
Many of JC's miracles were duplicates of those performed by other, older gods. (born of a virgin, three-day resurrection, feeding the multitudes) This can be interpreted in (at least) two ways: either he was proving himself to be the equal of the older gods, or his PR firm revamped his image to include these time-tested miracles. We forget that he was not only living in a spiritually intoxicating time, but also a highly-charged political time. Religion and politics were often indistinguishable. There were as many "messiahs" running around as there are self-help gurus these days. I cannot believe that JC, as educated as he was, acted unaware of the political ramifications. I suspect that his actions were both a response to the will of his God, and political statements directed at the varying mortal powers. 'Twas no coincidence that he rode in on an ass, he knew precisely what the prophecies were and intentionally set out to fulfill them.

This in no way weakens what he did or how he did it -- but it must be remembered that he was not only a Prophet of God but also an Agent of Politics. The authors of the biblical books had a political and social agenda as well, and those books must be read with that in mind. Doesn't make 'em evil or wrong, just makes 'em human, which they were.



lovemommy
Member posted 06-25-2001 10:41 AM
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Hey Becca,
Thanks so much for the speedy reply- I'm desperate for intellectual stimulation...

I can see that a major difference between us is that while we agree that the understanding of human beings is limited, we disagree on the implications of those limitations. I don't think the fact of human limitations means that there is no objective truth. I think A=A, and A cannot simultaneously be not A. Therefore if I believe that God is the one true God as He has said, then I must disbelieve that others Godds are true Gods. Also, I do accept the Zorostrian principle because if words mean anything, good is not simultaneously evil and evil is not simultaneously good. I think other cultures and religious adherents are sincere, I also think they are completely mistaken based on right reason.

BTW, there is no Christian pantheon, pantheon meaning many gods. The whole distinctive aspect of JudeoChristian belief (as well as Islam), is that there is one God and one God only. As I mentioned, anyone who believes Christ is God does not of necessity believe in two (or three including the Holy Ghost) gods; there are three persons in One God, three aspects of His unity, the creative, the redemptive, and the sanctifying.

What I meant by a scary hypothetical was the conclusion of the scenario where the misguided human beings are betrayed by the seemingly loving Godds and devoured eternally. That is a frightening thought to me and I would think, hypothetically, to you. You obviously do not believe that the entities you mention are out to hurt you in any way. You say they have only done good things for you, and so you love and trust them. I'm asking you a wide open possibility question: could it be possible that you are mistaken about their true natures, and that when you die you will become theirs and it will not be so good? Just consider the possibility. You can justly ask me in return have I considered that my God will deceive me similarly and consume me once I die? And I can truly answer that I have considered it, and the fact that my God has chosen to become a human being, be tortured, and die on a cross for love of us, is my soul-satisfying answer. Have any of your Godds sacrificed anything for you? What has serving you cost them? It may sound like I'm getting argumentative now but I really ask in good faith. Oops, the natives are getting restless- thanks and talk to you soon-



DebraBaker
Member posted 06-25-2001 11:34 AM
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Pallas,
Would you elaborate "We forget that he was not only living in a spiritually intoxicating time"

What do you mean by "spiritually intoxicating time"?

Debra Baker



lovemommy
Member posted 06-25-2001 01:04 PM
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Hey there Pallas!
I know this thread has become something different from what was intended - I hope you all know I'm grateful for the conversation we've had and I will not be offended if someone is yearning to get back to brass tacks, so to speak. I am really enjoying this so thanks a lot.
I think you make two interesting points, first about competing gods and god-stories and second about Jesus' intentions as He lived His life according to the prophecies of the Old Testament. Milton has a remarkable poem called "On the Morning of Christ's Nativity" in which he speaks of the oracles falling silent on the night of Christ's birth, and the pagan deities vanishing when the true light comes into the world. This of course proves nothing except that this most worthwhile debate we are having has been going on for a long time. It also is a lovely poem so you may want to check it out if you haven't already, though it is obviously wildly Christian and might be offensive.

More to the point, I think that all times of human existence are spiritually intoxicating to an extent, and also that because politics exist does not mean that one must take them into consideration when acting, though it's certainly not an unreasonable thing to do. In fact, I think if Jesus were simply a human being trying to accrue power unto Himself then He acted with singular stupidity in returning to Jerusalem at all. As you point out, He knew the prophecies. He knew He was going to die and that He would look to the left and to the right but there would be no one there to help Him. Not exactly the shrewd moves of a political player.
As to intentionally fulfilling well-known prophecies, I have two points to make: one, as a simply human infant Christ could have had nothing to do with deciding on His Davidian bloodline or His scripturally prophesied place of birth. Secondly, everyone who had any Hebrew education knew about the Sriptures and prophecies. Anyone could have ridden around on a donkey and organized campaigns of mass deception to make thousands of people think they'd seen a miracle. You say there were messiahs running around all over the place. They apparently weren't very convincing. Jesus was.

An interesting question is, what about John the Baptist? Many thought he was the Messiah, and he could easily have gained a lot of personal power by agreeing with them. Instead, he insisted emphatically that he was not the Messiah, in fact he explicitly recognized Jesus as the true Messiah. One could argue that he was hoping for some personal political gain in doing so but seeing as how his head ended up on Herod's platter, I don't think so. John was not a political animal, or if he was, he was a really bad one.

Did you ever notice how a lot of people who followed Jesus and proclaimed Him ended up dead in horrible ways, including St. Peter, St. Paul, the gospel writers and countless martyrs? For centuries it was not particularly safe to be a Christian, let alone try to gain political power through espousing Christianity, so I think the comments about the early church members and authors of the bible having political aspirations were pretty far off base. A social agenda? I guess so. What does that mean, really, other than saying what you think about the best way for human beings to live and be happy and good to one another? We all do that, or we should. The fact that what these people had to say was particularly beautiful and compelling can't be seen as some sort of ulterior motive. They laid their cards on the table, and whoever wanted to read them could.

As to the repeated miracle part, it reminds me of people who have seen nothing but modern movies all their lives which ape the great innovations of the classic movies they've never seen. Then when they happen to see the real innovative film, the original, they yawn and say, "Seen it already." Don't you think a clever entity would know all about the prophecies and try to lessen their impact by doing cheap imitations in advance? It happens in human politics all the time, and what I say is, anything a politician can think up is sure to have already been tried by a lesser demon....

take care all-




Michellecat
Member posted 06-25-2001 01:05 PM
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Hello everyone! I've been keeping up with this thread and haven't chimed in yet as I find this to be such a personal journey.
I was raised in the South. My father was a Baptist/Methodist preacher. Let me explain: he was a Baptist preacher for a while -- went to seminary, got his doctorate in clinical psychology, et cetera. But he encountered lots of small mindedness in the Baptist church. So, he started to explore Methodism. He found that the theology was not that different and so he switched to being a Methodist preacher. Anyway, prior to the big switcheroo, I was a very conservative Baptist 13 year old. Only Baptists were going to heaven, not Methodists, Episcopalians or Presbyterians and certainly not Catholics! Anyway, all of a sudden, our family was Methodist! I had to seriously rethink my view of God and Heaven/Hell real quick or --- I was going to Hell!!! I am sure that forcing my mind to open at such an early, impressionable age changed the course of my spiritual life. If I wasn't right about the Baptist thing, what else was I not right about? Or, to put it another way, if Methodists could go to heaven, then perhaps Catholics could and (shock of all shocks) Buddists and Hindis. This rocked my world!

So, when I went to college, I was still pretty Christian, albeit a pretty open minded one. I took a comparative religious studies class between my Sophomore and Junior year and learned about many other different kinds of religious belief, including earth based spirituality. Well, this seemed right to me. I was hooked. Read tons of books (The Spiral Dance, Mists of Avalon, among others) and discovered that Wicca/paganism resonated very strongly with me.

I went through a period of turning my back on the church - secretly at first, and then when I moved across country, more openly (because my parents weren't around). That was a difficult period in my life. I basically found that I had to start over in many ways - started therapy, did lots of work on myself.

I've finally come to a place that feels really good to me. It took me many years to realize that I don't have to shut out my heart to Jesus (whom I loved as a child). That he is as much a part of my spiritual experience as is Diana or Kali or Pan. I've found that I can go to church at my parents house and appreciate the heart of Christ's message because it is no different that the message I feel the earth and sky give us. We are all connected. We all can learn to love each other and ourselves more fully. We have much to learn and every heart deserves to learn their spiritual lessons in a manner that speaks most directly to their heart. My heart resonates with wicca/paganism with a dash of Christianity thrown in.

Lovemommay, I don't experience god/the goddess as something outside of myself. I believe that we are the reflection of god/dess and that if we open our hearts up (to ourselves, to our own pain and compassion, to the earth, the other inhabitants of this planet, the vast beauty of creation) we will be able to experience this oneness. If this is true (and it is for me) then when I die I will return to the love that created me, regardless of the trappings, that I, in my infinite ignorance, needed to experience that love in. Does that make sense? For me, these ways of experiencing the divine are ways for me to connect so that I may have a visceral understanding in my life and live my life more fully and compassionately.

Sorry this was so long. See why I've been putting this off? Hope this didn't bore anyone.

BB,

Michelle



lovemommy
Member posted 06-25-2001 02:28 PM
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Michelle- what a lovely heartfelt post. Thank you so much for telling your story, and as you can see, I'm the last person to be upset by long posts...
Two quick points (yeah right lovemommy):

I loved your last paragraph and I wanted to point out that as Christians we are called to experience God in our souls, and as Catholics we experience Him in our physical selves- heck, we eat His Body- how intimate can you get??? So I completely understand what you are saying. I also recognize in you, as in many others here, someone who is honestly and humbly seeking the real truth, and who will not let pride get in their way if they find they have been wrong. I hope I won't.

The other point I wanted to make was about loving Jesus in addition to other Godds. While I can't question your right to love where you will, it's vital to recall that Jesus Himself declares that He is the All for humankind. "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end. Blessed are they that wash their robes in the Blood of the Lamb: that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter in by the gates into the city. Without are dogs, and sorcerers, and unchaste, and murderers, and servers of idols, and every one that loveth and maketh a lie. I Jesus have sent my angel to testify to you these things in the churches. I am the root and stock of David, the bright and morning star. And the spirit and the bride say: Come. And he that heareth, let him say: Come. And he that thirsteth, let him come: and he that will, let him take the water of life, freely."


You are free to love Him, but he sets himself apart from all others who try to claim our worship. If we love Him for what He says as well as what He is and does, then we must either accept His exclusivity completely- or reject it.
love to all-



dragonmama
Member posted 06-25-2001 02:42 PM
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OMG I LOVE THIS POST.

mists of avalon is a great book, it was my introduction to wicca and paganism. i also own the spiral dance by star hawk, awesome!
i found myself always questioning the christian/catholic religions. i can't understand the whole idea of going to some big building to worship when "god" is outside.

also, the bible, in my opinion, is a great "novel", however, i prefer NONFICTION books, thank you LOL

so, i'm sure i've offended someone, i usually do, and it was not intentional.

blesings



merebear
Member posted 06-26-2001 05:56 AM
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Dragonmama, I'm enjoying reading this thread, too! May I comment on some of your comments?
You said that, "i found myself always questioning the christian/catholic religions. i can't understand the whole idea of going to some big building to worship when "god" is outside."

Okay, first of all Christian and Catholic are one and the same. Though some of our separated brethren like to think otherwise.

Second, the spirit of God is INDEED outside. I stand in awe of His creation. Just looking out my window right now I see a forest of trees with a small pond that has baby ducks and a few bunnies are scampering around. Glorious!

However, the spirit and BODY of God are found inside a Catholic church. When the priest consecrates the bread and wine they cease being mere bread and wine and become the body and blood, soul and divinity of Christ. You can't get closer to God than to receive Him through communion.

I liken it to talking to someone on the phone, versus being there in person. Yes, we can communicate clearly via the telephone lines. But I prefer to see them, embrace them and be in their physical presence.

You don't offend me when you say that you prefer non-fiction books to the Bible. You're wrong, but not offensive



lovemommy
Member posted 06-26-2001 05:56 AM
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Hi everyone. Dragonmama's reply may be a sign I'm wearing out my welcome. One thing, Dragonmama, is that while it's important to question, it's also important to look for real answers.
I am trying to be respectful of your beliefs, and I have been happy and proud that so far everyone here has been kind and respectful of mine. I hope I have managed to disagree respectfully, and not somehow imply that any of you are fools for believing what you do. I have the greatest respect for your motives and intelligence, as well as for your freedom. I am also, as I've said, very grateful for your continued patience and hospitality and will bow out without a murmur if the folks here would like me to. Thanks and love to all-



lynn_n
unregistered posted 06-26-2001 08:28 AM
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Michellecat ~ I think your post was beautiful and expresses much of what I feel about god/dess.
I'm glad this discussion has stayed polite.

Merebear~ I think you expressed yourself well and I completely respect how you feel about your religion and your connection with God, especially through communion. I have to say for myself that I feel much more of a connection to God now than I ever did in a Christian church. I always felt like a zombie or cattle being herded through the line for communion. I tried to make it more spiritual for myself but just never felt it in my heart. Yes I was baptised, and confirmed and studied about communion so I understood WHY we were doing it but never actually FELT the connection.

I think my closer feelings to God/dess now which have slowly evolved through prayer, meditation, etc...are equally valid expressions of God/dess's love for me and equally valid proof of his/her/their existence.

I am not trying to change any Christian's mind about their own religion because I also think that is a valid path to God for many people. I am just trying to impart some of the emotion and feelings behind why I think my turn from Chritianity towards paganism feels right for me. I really don't feel that God/dess cares how we love him/her (i.e. which religion) but just that we do. And I think the Truth is that simple.

Hope this explains my mindset a little more. Thanks again to all of you for continuing to keep this discussion respectful.



lovemommy
Member posted 06-26-2001 12:31 PM
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Hi there again. I'm going to take the simple fact that no one has directly told me to bug off yet as a go ahead to post again... [Quick! Someone tell her to bug off!!! ]
Michellecat and lynn_n- you have expressed yourselves beautifully about love and goodness being at the heart of faith. Lynn, I remember, during the occasional spasmodic attempts at church we made as a family when I was young, feeling the EXACT same way about Holy Communion lines. Like everyone was just shuffling forward with no real idea of what they were doing or even what they were SUPPOSED to be doing. I know what a dangerous effect lukewarm, insipid practice can have on someone's belief.

I have found the suburban parishes, very often but not always, to be filled with people who would really rather be watching the game or snoozing than receiving the Lord of the Universe into their bodies. I empathize, because I used to feel that way too. I try to be patient with lukewarm believers because I think a sense of the transcendent is hard in this spiritually anaesthetizing culture we've made for ourselves. Don't you think so? No one is ever given a chance to be alone with their thoughts, the TV is on at the tire store, the doctor's office, the radio's on at the supermarket. It drives me crazy, no peace anywhere; it seems like people are afraid of the quiet.

Actually that's why I attend an inner city parish now where they still do the Latin Mass. The church is filled with really devout people who approach God with love and awe. I found that it wasn't knowledge I was lacking, but love and closeness to Jesus, and the grace to recognize Him in the Blessed Sacrament. Once I began a true interior life of prayer I began to receive graces that have made Communion an entirely different experience.

I have a question(uh oh): do any of you believe in such a thing as evil? If no, wow. And if yes, what is it? Or who?



lovemommy
Member posted 06-26-2001 01:07 PM
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Hello everyone. You might be relieved to know I'm writing to say goodbye.
I've gotten the message through another thread that I'm not welcome here and I will, as promised, respectfully sign off. Hmmm, even though I was half-expecting this, it surprises me how much it hurts. I'm actually crying.
I want to thank you for being so kind and tell you how much I respect your loving hearts and inquiring intellects. Now I'm doubting myself- I thought that I had shown that respect throughout my time here but one person was so hurt and offended, there must be others who feel the same way. If I put a foot wrong somewhere, I truly do apologize and want to assure you this was not a sneak evangelization effort- I'm Catholic- we don't do that, sneakily or otherwise. Picture a trying-to-be-smiley face- I'm too down to even type one. Love to all.
Goodbye.


daisymae
Member posted 06-26-2001 01:32 PM
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Lovemommy, what thread are you talking about? I hope you are still around and reading this, because everyone here offends someone at some point, if you have other things you agree on maybe you can get past it... in this thread you have been respectful, I strongly disagree with some things you have said, but I have been appreciating the effort you have gone to to be nice...some people don't put that effort in at all, and they stay


lynn_n
unregistered posted 06-26-2001 01:40 PM
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Lovemommy, I also do not know what thread you are talking about. I feel you have been nothing but respectful here even though our views are totally different. Even though you don't believe what I do, it's nice to see someone with so much passion for and education about their own religion. I'm sorry you feel hurt. I hope you'll come back to this board.


driad
Member posted 06-26-2001 01:58 PM
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Lovemommy,
I must confess to feeling manipulated by your last post here... I am not sure that is fair. No one on that thread uninvited you to be part of this discussion - personally, I was expressing how I felt about the way I perceived your participation and what it meant in light of the discussion we were having. I beleive that anyone else posting did the same.
I think that you need to acknowledge you leaving being your choice to leave - no one here has asked you to go.

For anyone who is confused... I started a new thread here that may (or may not) explain.

My apologies - I feel like a real crumb.

Non Serviam



k'smami
Member posted 06-26-2001 02:17 PM
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I too apologize if you inferred from my post that you should leave this discussion. I did not say that and I wouldn't say that, especially given the fact that Lynn_n and the others discussing it have no issue with the way in which you participated.
That said I will finally shut up about your posts on this matter and I will point out that I didn't call you "stinky", I just thought what you did "stunk". Even so, I apologize for that because it hurt your feelings.

I too am very sad that the discussion has turned into something so emotional and hurtful, (I would say that that is my definition of evil) and I am regretting that I inadvertantly did partake in it. In the seven months I've been here I don't think I ever upset anyone to tears and I apologize for you having to be the one.



dragonmama
Member posted 06-26-2001 03:24 PM
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ok, here's a classic example of why i usually stay out of politic and religion conversations.
LOVEMOMMY; i was by no means responding to your post, in fact i just read it for the first time, alot of times i don't have enough time to read every post in a thread. i was one of those kids who had a very bad experience with the whole god thing. my foster parents in vallejo made me do things in the "name of god" and if i didn't i got beat with a skinny belt, bare assed and i had to beg "god" for forgiveness for being such a horrible hippy child.
jesus had long hair. he was a hippy with alot to say.
in fact, when he said "i am the way" he actually was saying "you are the way". hebrew translates different than english.
i'm not bashing anyone for being of the church, to each his/her own, right?

also, alot of the christian holidays are stolen from the pagan celebrations. example:christmas.....hmmmm, seems awfully close to our solstice celebrations.
easter.......hmmmmm, that is mysteriously close to Ishtars day{goddess of fertility/thus the eggs!}LOL
does that make sense?

i was just trying to put a little fun into a very serious thread. i am pagan/wicca, i don't go to church anymore because i find it rather boring listening to some guy tell me "how it is", get my drift?

so, everyone is entitled to their own opinion, and i appreciate yours, it is valuable and informative. please don't leave because of some opinionated post i posted, you are as much a part of this community as i am.
peace


[This message has been edited by dragonmama (edited 06-26-2001).]

[This message has been edited by dragonmama (edited 06-26-2001).]



madison
Member posted 06-26-2001 03:36 PM
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Hmmm. I have not read this thread before because I'm a Christian asimilating some aspects of Buddhism, but not Paganism, and now it seems like it's over. Darn. I would have turned to an earth religion or paganism if it weren't for the fact that while I don't think Jesus is the God the present day charismatic Christians think he is, I also don't think he was "just" a man. All of which has led me to some unusual spiritual quests and I now call myself a non-theistic Christian.
I just wanted to say to Pallas and Lynn_n that I really like your ideas. Pallas, your quote was fascinating "JC was an amazing man, no less worth emulating because his followers have twisted his ideas....it took me many years to realize the obvious...that I was doing a disservice to myself and to JC by ditching a great spiritual example".

Have either of you read any of the works of Bishop Spong? He is my spiritual teacher (on paper only, though I'd LOVE to meet him; come to think of it, I don't even know if he's still alive, lol). Anyway, I"m reading one of his books right now titled "Liberating the Gospels: Reading the Bible With Jewish Eyes". He has a fascinating take on how, when and why the gospels were written. And to remember that these were Jewish stories/midrash written by Jewish writers in a very threatened Jewish world conquered and dominated by the Roman empire as an occupied country. The gospels were never written as a biography of Jesus' life - they are the written experience of the Jewish people who believed they were having a new experience with the God of Israel, and they filtered that experience through the remembered history of their peoples as it had been recorded in the Hebrew Scriptures. They were mostly written in a midrashic style of writing and storytelling - this style is not concerned with historical accuracy, it is concerned with meaning and understanding. It was a way of interpreting the surprising and amazing life of Jesus and attributing to him the feats and miracles of past men whom God had spoken and acted through.

I would urge you to read some of his books. It really does illuminate the role of the scriptures (both Hebrew and Christian) and show why those books are still relevant today - but not in the traditional way or manner.

Lynn, I guess my point is, if you are abandoning Christianity because well, maybe you don't need to throw out the baby with the bath water. And I'm with you on a great many things you've said. The God of the "Old Testament" is not someone I could worship in good conscience. But Jesus, he was something different, someone I cannot toss out.

This is far off from what you were asking in your original post I realize. I just love finding other thinking people to discuss this stuff with. I cannot help but think if you had another historical POV of what occured in 1st Century Palestine, you could have more or different information at your disposal in order to refute the religiosity of your extended family. I also think that seeing HOW and WHY the gospels and NT were written might help you break away from traditional Christianity without disregarding the truths contained therein (those teachings of Jesus you were refering to as being worth emulating).

I'd love to talk more if you are both still around? Or is this another topic now?

[This message has been edited by madison (edited 06-27-2001).]



MilkyDay
Member posted 06-26-2001 03:56 PM
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Lynn_n....
You probably already know that Jesus the Bible, and Christianity in general are powerful teachings that you don't want to discard like so much bathwater, and I would like to encourage you as you expand your philosophy to include Paganism.
Keep in mind that Paganism is limited too.
All religions are. They can take us to a certain point, but we cannot allow them to limit our spiritual evolution when they are too small to contain us or supply the meaning we all seek.
WE must remain aloof...because our pereptions are limited, and our religions are too.
Fear not! Magic awaits you...


Michellecat
Member posted 06-26-2001 04:05 PM
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Hey Madison,
I really like what you've said. As I posted earlier, I have found that I (finally) am able to incorporate JC into my belief system which is wicca/pagan. I know that there are many wiccans who feel that Jesus cannot be incorporated and I totally respect and understand that. For me, I have great love and respect for what Jesus did and taught in his life. Since I had such a great love for JC as a child, my core feeling about him is all about unconditional love. At the same time, I am able to more fully experience myself and my place on this planet by incorporating other gods and goddesses into my spiritual, earth based practice as well. I get to experience another part of myself and another aspect of creation through other deities. This is very satisfying to me as I recognize my own limitations. On the whole, though, I recognize that all of the gods/goddesses/Jesus/Holy Spirit/God are merely our attempts to understand an energy/love that is vastly larger than we are IMHO. I don't know if I'll ever be ever to understand such love and power -- but one way I can try to understand is by finding what speaks most directly to my heart. The heart is, well, the heart of it all. We are only here for such a short time, really, and experiencing the love and joy of being alive is such a gift. Since becoming a parent, this becomes even more clear to me.

Life is such a mystery, such a wonderful journey. What if we're all right? Wouldn't that be cool?

And Lovemommy, though I, at times, felt your postings were a bit preachy, evangelical and a bit off topic, I appreciated your input. Sometimes, It felt to me as if you were more interested in sharing your own POV rather than finding out about others' spiritual experience. Even so, I don't think anyone here would want to cause you pain. I hope you will stay and we can all learn from each other.

Blessed Be and All You Need Is Love,

Michelle



Ginger in the woods
Member posted 06-26-2001 04:45 PM
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Lovemommy, I hope you didnt mean what you said about being asked to leave. DONT LEAVE US!!! Another momber started feeling that way, and I 'll tell you the same thing I told her. The opinoin of whover said that to you is 1 ONE person. Or maybe evern 2 or 3. there are 3,000+ people here who love you and want you to stay. Plus, I have to tell you what I think of what you said. You were talking about "eating the bread of my body,.." I do take that literally to mean when we pass the wine & eat the bread. It also says something to the effect of whosoever takes this bread/wine undeservedly will surely be damned. Great. So who's to say who's damned? I stopped taking the bread because I didnt want to be damned (Guilt, guilt, and more guilt. A mainstay in organized religion.) I know I smoke cigs, and I dont want to be "Damned" because I defile my temple. And this is right back where I started from. Cant I find a place where I can be accepted for what I am? I'm in a pretty good band, and I cant even tell the people in the church the NAME of the band, for fear of But I'll tell you guys. Pallas, lets TALK ! I have to get to band practice, but PLEASE get back to me. My E-mail is [email protected]. Thanks all> I'll be back, ~G


madison
Member posted 06-26-2001 05:36 PM
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Lynn, by the way, it is not my intention through my post to "lure" you back to Christianity, and I hope you see what I mean.


lovemommy
Member posted 06-26-2001 06:57 PM
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Hi everybody. I wasn't going to check back in but my dear friend who introduced me to the Mothering boards told me how kind everyone was and so I had to come back and say thank you again. Lynn, as the originator of this thread you have been particularly lovely to me and I appreciate your invitation to continue the discussion. I'm so relieved to know that you, too, felt it was worthwhile and not just an annoyance. Daisymae- thanks for making me smile. And Ginger, I won't forget you wanted me to stay.
Michellecat- I have to agree with you on 2 out of 3- I was way way off the original topic but I've never even posted on a bulletin board before this week and to start a new topic- I didn't even know it could be done much less how to do it. I think I was just in need of a break from talking about the color of my kids' poop and I gladly jumped into the kind of discussion I can't get enough of. Evangelical? Wow. I have never been called that before- usually it's my fundy friends calling me out for not being evangelical enough.... As to preachy... yeeeeeaaah, maybe a LITTLE... but did you ever notice how when a pagan shares the inmost thoughts of her heart she's "expressing herself" and when a Christian does it she's "preachy." All I can tell you is I don't have big hair, perfect teeth, a comfy fund of sucker donations and a big finger wagging around in the air. Yet. My apologies to those of us here who really like televangelists... anyone? anyone?
As to expressing my own POV over asking about others', I was pretty sure I had done both. I come of wordy stock so I tend to yatta yatta a lot but that's part of my offbeat charm. or that's what I tell myself when everyone at the party edges their way to the other side of the buffet table.

Driad, all I can say is that I honestly spoke from the heart in my last post and had no intention to manipulate you at all. I just sincerely felt bad, that's all. I gladly accept your apology, and k'smami's too, and hope you will accept mine for any pain I have caused you. Ditto for you, dragonmama. Thanks for your kind words, and I just hate that you got hurt by some fool in the name of God.

I hope you all won't think I'm taking my bat and ball and going home when I say I think I'd better do the honorable thing and leave you to a great discussion. I find a real joy in connecting with people and I'm so glad to have met you all. I'm going to give it a break for a while but if anyone wants to start a comparative religions thread, I'll be there. With gratitude and love- lovemommy




cat
Moderator posted 06-26-2001 09:48 PM
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I was going to suggest just that, Lovemommy. Why not start the thread yourself? You seem to enjoy the topic and can debate others with knowledge, respect and eloquence.
Peace!
Cat
(A former Catholic who now believes in the human spirit and taking responsibility for our actions, with a big and grateful bow to our wonderful mother earth because her life and spirit is in every living thing.)

[This message has been edited by cat (edited 06-26-2001).]



Ginger in the woods
Member posted 06-26-2001 10:09 PM
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Ok, it's very late, but I couldnt wait until tommorrow to write more. Pallas, I LOVE what you said about Jesus being the son of God, but you are a daughter of the Earth. This makes SO much sense to me. You really touched my soul on a deep level with that one. I need to get to where I am going spiritually, and I think it is along Pagan lines. Pagan was explained to me as meaning "without Gd." Pagan to me means, without an organized religion, or well, maybe what our ancestors here (on the American continent) believed. The Native Americans. Who believed in and respected The Great Spirits.The spirits of the Earth, of the trees, of the rocks, and the animals, and music. Etc. These are the things I want to learn more about. Well, I heard someone else say that the God of Old doesnt deserve worship. Before anyone freaks out, I'd like to elaborate on what that means, IMO. Back when the Israelites were trapped in the wilderness for some 40 years, after being freed from the clutches of the Phaeroh and the Egyptians, "God" didnt feel the need to supply them with a MAP to GET OUT OF THE WOODS, but he allowed them manna to eat every day, which would rot after the days end, so they had to go out daily and gather more, except on Sunday, when the manna would miraculously stay fresh, so that they could execute their duty and obey the sabbath. What really made me STOP reading the bible, Honestly, was that there were a few little boys, sons of some type of holy man, and they happened to be enjoying doing what little boys do, and they happened to light some insense at a party of some sort. A festival? I cant quite remember the occasion, but I assume it was a holy thing. Now, I assume that the lighting of the insense was only to be done by certain people. So, GOD put them to death. For lighting insense. He would also put to death anyone caught working on the sabbath. Say, collecting sticks for the family firepit. I do believe this was meant for the people of the times to get a healthy fear of god. Whatever that means. I dont mean any disrespect to Christians, or to God himself, I am just making the point in as easy terminology as I can. This is how I took what was said about God of the Old Testement. And I wholeheartedly agree! Hopefully, the Old testement is just a story, told by old people to make the young ones listen to them. I'm leery to want to go to a Heaven where I'd have to spend Eternity with THAT GUY. Now, Sophiamomma!
HA! Arent we coy! I am under siege as we speak, because I havent been to church. I would love for you to E-mail me, as we have SO much in common, and I have no one to talk to about this. I cant very well post an anti-_____________ thread here. I'd really like to talk more about what I'm going through with you. For me, I might have already told you that I came into this religion because my dh bit the bait, hook line & sinker, and wanted to become a member. Well, they told us we either had to get married, or split up. So I am now a married _________, and it's too much to go into here. I cant say more, because I respect the boards wishes not to disrespect any religion. I am strangled by the "True Church" because I really dont believe ANY church is the have all be all, I dont believe that one church ONLY has god's blessings and the rest are faking it, or only THINK They do. I think ALL churches have their place in the Great Universe. And its late, I'm rambling. Please dont anyone take what I've said here to be disrespectful. There's so much rebuttle here lately, cant we all just GET ALONG??? I really love you guys, and its starting to hurt. All the disagreements are healthy, as differences of opinion are to be expected, and we all learn from hearing views other than our own, but can we agree to disagree? ~G


DebraBaker
Member posted 06-27-2001 04:22 AM
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Madison,
Why don't I know you in real life, you sound like such a kindred.

I love Jesus but simply cannot stand the western Church.

Drives me nuts.

Can understand Lynn(? original poster) feelings so completely.

....And I'd *love* to get my hands on that book you mentioned.

I'm Christian with Jewish background and the Jewishness (openminded tendency to question) has surely been trouble in the Christian community.

I've been ex-communicated from a church and kicked out of too many narrowminded boards (just got kicked out of one doozey of a board last week)

...I am openminded and believe there's a heck of a lot more going on on the spiritual level than most Christians are willing to admit. (and it isn't the devil in every shadow)

Came into this board to lurk, oh whattheheck, how can a bigmouth like me simply lurk.

Just wanted you all to know that you can keep Jesus (baby) and ditch the Church (bathwater) because the modern church isn't even an accurate reflection of G-d it's merely a Western Northern European (WASP??) white conservative thing.

Jesus was a progressive, freethinking, (likely) dark skinned, Jew (troublemongering Jew to boot)

Debra Baker



lynn_n
unregistered posted 06-27-2001 04:33 AM
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Wow! This thread has really taken on a life of it's own. It seems like we are coming full circle again closer to the original topic
Madison~ sounds like interesting reading. You've got some neat viewpoints and it is something to think about. And don't worry, I don't think you're trying to reconvert me

Milkyday~ I totally agree! All religions are too small to really encompass the great, loving energy of the creator(s), but it is the best we can do with our limited human minds. I don't disregard everything about Chrisianity. I think there is a lot we can learn from Jesus. Just because I don't think he is God doesn't mean I don't think his teachings have value. I just say pagan because it seems like everyone needs a label nowadays, and that allows me to have a conglomeration of my own beliefs into my own unique religion. I guess instead of pagan I could call myself eclectic (Or is that a style of decorating?)

Michellecat~ you are too cool for words. How do you always seem to express exactly what I am feeling?

Lovemommy~ I'm glad you came back! If you start a comparative religion thread, I'll be there!!!! I love debating with educated people



Ginger in the woods
Member posted 06-27-2001 06:42 AM
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Dragonmamma, you are absolutely correct that the christians of old did indeed incorporate the holidays of their beliefs with the Pagan beliefs. They wanted to gather more christians, and to do that, they found a way that the pagans could keep their traditions and celibrations, while injecting a christian theme, thus, giving the people what they want. This also explains the crosses on the tops of gravestones with the circle around them. The circles represent the sun... and the celtics were big on the sun. Just wanted to let you know that your observations are indeed correct. ~G


driad
Member posted 06-27-2001 08:11 AM
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DebraBaker,
I couldn't agree more (I was kicked out of my first church when I was 7 - asking too many questions!).
I also LOVE that you remind us that JC was not/would not have been light skinned, blue eyed (maybe, but unlikely) and fair haired! Yeesh, I get so sick of the anglo pictures of him!

It is my belief that if more Christians could actually keep to the teachings, I could respect and like them/the Church more - but there are some distinctly un Christ like things that go on in the name of Christianity.

Non Serviam



madison
Member posted 06-27-2001 08:31 AM
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What you said, driad, yeah.
I try as close as I can to stick to the intent and love behind Jesus' words and use my brain as well as I can in order to live a useful life of integrity (I hope) and service. The traditional church provides me with little support or encouragement, though it serves a purpose for others. Whoever he was, he changed the world. He changed MY world, and that is why I still call myself a Christian, though my theology is far different than that of most "traditional" Christians.



madison
Member posted 06-27-2001 10:46 AM
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Lovemommy, please do stay around here! I've enjoyed your articulate posts and your mind! Thinking mamas are always welcome here, even when our discussions get a bit heated


dragonmama
Member posted 06-27-2001 03:41 PM
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thank you ginger in the woods, i noticed that i got no response from lovemommy, and i figured people were thnking i was nuts.
i am actually going to exit this particulaar thread, simply because any time i'm in the midst of a discussion about "god" and jesus, i get uncomfortable. i can't get over what a big deal people make out of it.

in fact, i don't see pagans standing on street corners yelling how the "goddess is coming and everyone must repent" or even knocking on your door telling you that your god isn't the "one".

'nough said, i want to keep my couth



foreasylife
Member posted 06-27-2001 10:06 PM
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Hi all searching hearts in this spiritual realm. Yes, I have been drifted away from the mainstream Christianity. Tried different churches where Jesus is our life everlasting. Though just have been hurt so many times. As for other beings/creatures that may haunt us (evil)like lovemommy first mentioned, they do exist. So Yes to your last question lovemommy. I feel for all your best reaching inquiries into the existence we have here...and how many of us came off the mainstream..from those who reiterate their bogged-down merry-go-rounds/or small minds of replies and answers. Too much for my husband and I to take. Lovemommy, I would communicate with you. If you like, my email is [email protected]. thank you for the forum. Mothers and fathers who want to do their best are complimented. foreasylife


Pallas
Member posted 06-28-2001 06:41 AM
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ARGH! I cannot finish a post! By the time the cub permits, my response is stale ... I've still got "reply" screens up from a week ago! Obviously what I need is some good voice-recog software so I can just dictate. Maybe Santa will bring me some?
At least I can *read* with a squirmy person on my lap ...



Gendenwitha
Member posted 07-04-2001 02:07 AM
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Hey, I just found out that my terriffic magazine has seemingly terriffic BBs, and find a discussion that's facinating and respectful and I get down to the end where I can particpate too--- and some big meanie has run off lovesmommy.
And she doesn't even have an email address posted. I hope at least she's lurked back here to see me say I'm sorry she's gone.

I understand someone questioning her leaving one faith for another may have not been the appropiate place to have this discussion, but haven't you ever started out talking about breastfeeding with someone and wound up on the topic of Global Warming? So what! The thread could have been moved couldn't it?

um---OOPS!! THERE'S A PAGE 2?!! As I said, it's my first time posting here. My apologies for the above statements.

[This message has been edited by Gendenwitha (edited 07-04-2001).]



dragonmama
Member posted 07-05-2001 11:43 AM
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Welcome Gendenwitha!
I don't think some "meanie" ran off lovesmommy, if she left, she did it on her own. What she said here, in this thread wasn't necessary, and offended some others. There's a thread for every one here, and this was a thread posted by someone wanting some support from pagans, not a preacher of chrisianity. Like I said, there's a thread for everyone, and this wasn't a place for preaching the bible.




taverner
Member posted 07-05-2001 06:35 PM
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Perhaps Lovemommy simply has the good sense to step back from a heated argument and allow it die out peacefully, Dragonmama.
BB,

Taverner



driad
Member posted 07-05-2001 08:52 PM
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Dragonmama,
Thank you, I would like to believe I am not a "meanie".


Non Serviam



Michellecat
Member posted 07-05-2001 08:58 PM
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Yeah, thanks Dragonmama! You're a sweetheart!!!! I was beginning to believe I was a big meanie! BTW, Driad, I don't think you're a meanie at all. As a matter of fact, I really love reading your posts and find you say exactly what I want to say. You say it soooo well that I don't even bother to post, I only read in awe and gratefulness!! Just wanted to let both you women know you are appreciated!
Peace,

Michelle



dragonmama
Member posted 07-06-2001 08:34 AM
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Wow, you're welcome! I was thinking, maybe we could start a thread about how to post here, since we have so many newbies {NOT a derogatory term!} and it seems that a lot of toes are being stepped on and many of us elders are not wanting to post.
This troubles me, and I wish there was a way to remedy this. Are we not here to find solace and comfort? I always find it great to hook up with other like minded chickie mamas, but so many times I find a bunch of animosity and anger. Admittedly, I was a bit harsh when I was in deep denial of my post pardum depression, and now that I have come out of the cloud that surrounded me so long I see the patterns.

If we want to be "accepted" then shouldn't we tread lightly on others? That includes their posts and feelings. I, personally, would rather respond to a happy, light hearted thread, or give comfort to a sister whom is asking for guidance. Too many times I see us responding to negative s**t, and that is such a waste of our precious time here.

So, with that said, let's all agree to be groovy, and let the negativity stay in the government!! LOL

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