Faith and modernity

There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.

Re: Faith and modernity

Postby NapLajoieonSteroids » Thu Nov 06, 2014 5:07 pm

Speaking of the Heaven's Gate cult, there was a really interesting article on Gizmondo I got sent a while back, I think some of you would enjoy it:

The Online Legacy of a Suicide Cult and the Webmasters Who Stayed Behind

As for cults, and their definition:

Does anyone else imagine that the English-language distinctions between cults, religions, et al. is lacking and intellectually unhelpful? The fringe-'cult' confounding Nonc brought up is something I've thought about as well. A fringe or unusual belief too often gets dismissed in English as "cult-ish" (as is often seen in common discourse, ) even when there is nothing distinguishing about it, other than it being a sometimes novel, or more often, strange belief. So the term is empty of content outside of its perjorative power to simply dismiss and marginalize. And marginalization is its primary usage nowadays- how helpful is that?
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Re: Faith and modernity

Postby Nonc Hilaire » Thu Nov 06, 2014 6:33 pm

I agree with Nap that characteristic based definitions of cult have limited utility, but I think cults can be sociologically distinguished by function in Weber's sect-church cycle.

Churches are religious bodies in a relatively low state of tension with their environments.

Sects are religious bodies in a relatively high state of tension with their environments.

The sect-church process concerns the fact that new religious bodies necessarily begin as sects or new religious movements and that, if they are successful in attracting a substantial following, they will, over time, almost inevitably be gradually transformed into churches. That is, successful religious movements will shift their emphasis toward this world and away from the next, moving from high tension with the surrounding socio-cultural environment toward increasingly lower levels of tension. As this occurs, a religious body will become increasingly less able to satisfy members who desire a high-tension version of faith. As discontent grows, these people will become dissatisfied that the group is abandoning its original positions and practices. At some point this growing conflict within the group will erupt in a split, and the faction desiring a return to higher tension will found a new sect. If this movement proves successful, over time it too will be transformed into a church, and once again a split will occur. The result is an endless cycle of sect formation, transformation, schism, and rebirth. The many workings of this cycle account for the countless varieties of each of the major faiths (Finke and Stark 1992:44-45).

The church/sect cycle is proposed as a general theory of change in religious organizations over time. It is rooted in the work of Max Weber and Ernst Troeltsch, but has recently been taken up by rational choice theorists.

http://wiki.thearda.com/tcm/theories/churchsect-cycle/

Cults can be seen as expanding tension with society instead of seeking to lessen it. This defines cults as functionally different, and connects them with a well understood academic body of literature.
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Pope Francis, the Jesuit

Postby NapLajoieonSteroids » Thu Nov 06, 2014 7:58 pm

kmich wrote:Thank you for the words and link from the Holy Father, Nap.

I claim no expertise in Vatican history, but, as an outsider from a different, Orthodox, Christian background, Francis' approach seems to be rooted in the understanding that the renewal of the church must come from inspiring a clarity of spirit and intention informed by kindness, mercy, and justice in the spirit of the gospels. While it remains unclear what this portends for doctrine or structural renewal, Pope Francis appears to have an abiding faith that God will surely guide the Church’s regeneration in this way. I pray for him.


Well, it's as good a summary as any. There are two things we can say for certain about Pope Francis:

1) There is no doubt that he believes and trusts implicitly the Holy Spirit will guide the faithful as seen fit.

2) He is very much a Jesuit.

Thomas Carlyle’s remark in his "Sign of the TImes" essay may have a bit of truth in it when he says, “...men had served the Devil, and men had very imperfectly served God; but to think that God could be served more perfectly by taking the Devil into partnership; this was a novelty of Saint Ignatius.” The Society has this perennial self-image where they think so highly of themselves, that they are convinced their rule is universal, above criticism, and often akin to revelation. Pascal's view of the Jesuits in his fifth provincial letters is still true today, "Know then that their object is not the corruption of manners- that is not their design. But as little is it their sole aim to reform them – that would be bad policy. Their idea is briefly this: They have such a good opinion of themselves as to believe that it is useful, and in some sort essentially necessary to the good of religion, that their influence should extend everywhere, and that they should govern all consciences. And the Evangelical or severe maxims being best fitted for managing some sorts of people, they avail themselves of these when they find them favorable to their purpose. But as these maxims do not suit the views of the great bulk of the people, they waive them in the case of such persons, in order to keep on good terms with all the world. Accordingly, having to deal with persons of all classes and of all different nations, they find it necessary to have casuists assorted to match this diversity.
On this principle, you will easily see that, if they had none but the looser sort of casuists, they would defeat their main design, which is to embrace all; for those that are truly pious are fond of a stricter discipline. But as there are not many of that stamp, they do not require many severe directors to guide them. They have a few for the select few; while whole multitudes of lax casuists are provided for the multitudes that prefer laxity."

And history provides us- across Protestant and Catholic lines- that the sharpest criticism of the Jesuits is not about the individuals but the founding methods and principles of the order. The problem has never been that a percentage of Jesuits are lax in their teachings, but that the order, on principle, demands lax teachings. I think this has a vertiginous effect on all who attempt to understand or dialogue with them. It also helps explain why many of their self-perceived persecutions more often than not look like, to fair minded outsiders, incidents they have brought upon themselves.

Having said all of this, it cannot go unmentioned that the Jesuits have produced some of the great Catholic theologians of the 20th century like Joseph Maréchal or Cardinals Henri de Lubac and Jean Daniélou to name a few of more prominent ones. They have also produced many holy men and women, maybe in spite of their order. I may be pretty down on the Jesuits, but at the end of the day, it's not my call on them, and there must be something redeemable about them that I'm just not picking up on.

My point, with all of this, is to highlight that a lot of the criticism of Pope Francis pretty much falls along the same lines as his Order. I think to understand Pope Francis and how he operates (or wishes the Church to operate, ) one must attempt to understand the Jesuits. Good luck with that!
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Re: Faith and modernity

Postby Mr. Perfect » Fri Nov 07, 2014 12:40 am

NapLajoieonSteroids wrote:Does anyone else imagine that the English-language distinctions between cults, religions, et al. is lacking and intellectually unhelpful?

Yes. It has been fashionable among scholars of a certain set to consider Christianity a cult, as if there is no difference between Christianity and Heavens Gate. It is largely a trash talking pejorative that interrupts serious analysis of a pressing issue.
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Re: Faith and modernity

Postby noddy » Fri Nov 07, 2014 5:13 am

Nonc Hilaire wrote:I agree with Nap that characteristic based definitions of cult have limited utility, but I think cults can be sociologically distinguished by function in Weber's sect-church cycle.

Churches are religious bodies in a relatively low state of tension with their environments.

Sects are religious bodies in a relatively high state of tension with their environments.

The sect-church process concerns the fact that new religious bodies necessarily begin as sects or new religious movements and that, if they are successful in attracting a substantial following, they will, over time, almost inevitably be gradually transformed into churches. That is, successful religious movements will shift their emphasis toward this world and away from the next, moving from high tension with the surrounding socio-cultural environment toward increasingly lower levels of tension. As this occurs, a religious body will become increasingly less able to satisfy members who desire a high-tension version of faith. As discontent grows, these people will become dissatisfied that the group is abandoning its original positions and practices. At some point this growing conflict within the group will erupt in a split, and the faction desiring a return to higher tension will found a new sect. If this movement proves successful, over time it too will be transformed into a church, and once again a split will occur. The result is an endless cycle of sect formation, transformation, schism, and rebirth. The many workings of this cycle account for the countless varieties of each of the major faiths (Finke and Stark 1992:44-45).

The church/sect cycle is proposed as a general theory of change in religious organizations over time. It is rooted in the work of Max Weber and Ernst Troeltsch, but has recently been taken up by rational choice theorists.

http://wiki.thearda.com/tcm/theories/churchsect-cycle/

Cults can be seen as expanding tension with society instead of seeking to lessen it. This defines cults as functionally different, and connects them with a well understood academic body of literature.



the language is going to get even more messy now that we have the new atheist type progressives who dont even acknowledge their place in this processs and dont consider themselves a protestant cult/sect (which they should)
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Re: Faith and modernity

Postby kmich » Fri Nov 07, 2014 1:06 pm

“Cult” has become a fuzzy pejorative applied to whatever group people find undesirable for one reason or another. New, small, and apparently odd religious movements can bring challenges and questions that reveal the failures of the larger, more conventional religious culture. This can provoke fierce opposition and “cult” accusations. Nevertheless, if carefully listened to and respected, such groups can provoke reflections that can assist in the revitalization of religious life, perhaps in variants of the “church-sect cycle” NH posted above.

There are, however, destructive cults. These groups use deception, coercion, isolation, and intimidation for their development, typically under an unquestioned authoritarian leader or set of doctrines. Destructive cults can be political as well as religious, and they can possess entire societies as took place in Nazi Germany or Maoist China. Jonestown and the Führerbunker had much in common. Discernment is required here, and Jesus made clear guidelines for that:

Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore by their fruits you will know them.

(Matthew 7:15-20)
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Re: Faith and modernity

Postby Heracleum Persicum » Fri Nov 07, 2014 3:09 pm

.


Britons say : Religion does more bad than good, atheists ‘more moral’ than believers


Nearly two-thirds of British people stated that religion causes more harm than it brings benefits, according to a new poll . .

..

Religion has become a ‘toxic brand’ in the UK,"

..

"What we are seeing is not a complete rejection of faith, belief in the divine, or spirituality, though there is some of that, but of institutional religion in the historic forms which are familiar to people.”

..

Young people tended to be less skeptical. Roughly 30 per cent of 18-24 year olds believe that religion does more good than harm, while only 19 per cent of 55-64 year-olds agree.

70 percent of Jews, who constituted about 1 percent of those surveyed, claimed that religion was a force for the negative, more than any other group.



The participants also showed that they did not believe that belief was an indicator of being a good person, with 55 percent saying that atheists are just as likely to be moral as believers. In fact, more (8 percent) thought the irreligious were more likely to be good people than the theists, than vice versa (6 percent).

"This survey just confirms what we know is the common sense of people in Britain today - that whether you are religious or not has very little to do with your morality," said Andrew Copson, chief executive of the British Humanist Association.

"Most people understand that morality and good personal and social values are not tied to religious belief systems, but are the result of our common heritage and experience as human beings: social animals that care for each other and are kind to others because we understand that they are human too.”

"Not only that, people understand that religious beliefs themselves can be harmful to morality: encouraging intolerance, inflexibility and the doing of harm in the name of a greater good. We only need to look around us to perceive that fact."

The results show a continuation of existing trends, with church attendances halving to only 800,000 a week over the past half-century, and the number of Christians falling from 72 to 59 percent in just a decade between the 2001 and 2011 surveys, with a corresponding increase in those openly irreligious.

Indeed, the only religion to exhibit growth in the period was Islam, from 3 to 5 percent.

While only 2.5 percent of those surveyed were Muslims, those who were displayed a greater commitment to their faith. One in five UK Muslims describes themselves as “very religious,” and only 7 percent say they are not religious at all.


If Moh, Jesus or Moses were "moral" people, how come they did not forbid slavery .. if they were Lord's messenger, and did not say Lord considers slavery a sin, would imply Lord approves slavery .. only person (and nation) who said all humans are free and no slavery was "Cyrus the Persian" and the Persians

Western Hellenic model was a champion of slavery, a slave based economy and society

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Re: Faith and modernity

Postby Heracleum Persicum » Tue Nov 11, 2014 11:38 pm

.


Mormon leaders admit
founder
Joseph Smith had up to 40 wives,
including
friends’ spouses and teenage girls




:lol: :lol:


Poor Moh (the paedophile) .. to best of my knowledge, he came short of 40 wives, and, again, to best of my knowledge, he left his friend's wives
out of the game, though, seems, they both liked their's young :lol:

Any Mormons here ? ? ? Doc, you Mormon ? .. Plural Marriage in Kirtland and Nauvoo


How come you guys beatin on Moh and nobody sayin anything about "Joseph Smith" ? ?


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Re: Faith and modernity

Postby Doc » Wed Nov 12, 2014 3:53 am

Heracleum Persicum wrote:.


Mormon leaders admit
founder
Joseph Smith had up to 40 wives,
including
friends’ spouses and teenage girls




:lol: :lol:


Poor Moh (the paedophile) .. to best of my knowledge, he came short of 40 wives, and, again, to best of my knowledge, he left his friend's wives
out of the game, though, seems, they both liked their's young :lol:

Any Mormons here ? ? ? Doc, you Mormon ? .. Plural Marriage in Kirtland and Nauvoo


How come you guys beatin on Moh and nobody sayin anything about "Joseph Smith" ? ?


.


Mormonism is an odd religion. I had a gf when I was young from Salt lake city. By her descriptions I take it is, in some ways, very similar to Islam.

The polygamy stuff was made illegal as a condition of Utah becoming a state.
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Re: Faith and modernity

Postby Nonc Hilaire » Wed Nov 12, 2014 4:10 am

LDS is nothing like Islam except that both are wild offshoots of Christianity. LDS has everyone journeying into the stars to become gods. Islam started as a stripped down form of Ebionite and Iranian Christianities and draws a strict distinction between creator and the created.
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Re: Faith and modernity

Postby Doc » Wed Nov 12, 2014 4:28 am

Nonc Hilaire wrote:LDS is nothing like Islam except that both are wild offshoots of Christianity. LDS has everyone journeying into the stars to become gods. Islam started as a stripped down form of Ebionite and Iranian Christianities and draws a strict distinction between creator and the created.


Both believe in polygamy
Both believe in I dunno how to phrase this exactly but both believe they have personal accounts with God .

Mormons have a special temple in Salt lake city that is only for those that are believed to be to be closest to God. Muslim have similar beliefs. Though I am not sure if Mormons believe there can be a perfect man like Muslms believe.
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Re: Faith and modernity

Postby Heracleum Persicum » Wed Nov 12, 2014 6:00 am

.

To (legally) constitute a "Polygamy" situation, "marriage" is needed

In West, the "institution" of marriage on fast track of being "obsolete"

Meaning, in WEST, one can live, have SEX, have many children, and everything else, with 400 woman, as long as one does not go sign on the dotted line, it's OK

And, that already, routine in West .. 2 out of 3 children in Britain not from their legal father

Meaning, "Polygamy" has lost it's meaning .. "Polygamy" was a LEGAL phenomena, nothing to do with real world


In day and age, that 2 men marry each other, why 2 woman should not live with the same man

Come on


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Re: Faith and modernity

Postby Nonc Hilaire » Wed Nov 12, 2014 6:52 am

Doc wrote:
Nonc Hilaire wrote:LDS is nothing like Islam except that both are wild offshoots of Christianity. LDS has everyone journeying into the stars to become gods. Islam started as a stripped down form of Ebionite and Iranian Christianities and draws a strict distinction between creator and the created.


Both believe in polygamy
Both believe in I dunno how to phrase this exactly but both believe they have personal accounts with God .

LDS have eliminated polygamy. Some fundamentalist sects do have unlimited plural marriage. LDS also marry and baptize people posthumously, which is strange.

Islam limits wives to three based on Old Testament evidence. Mormonish plural marriage is unlimited.
Doc wrote:Mormons have a special temple in Salt lake city that is only for those that are believed to be to be closest to God. Muslim have similar beliefs. Though I am not sure if Mormons believe there can be a perfect man like Muslms believe.

Any professed Muslim may go into any mosque. LDS temples require special ID. Muslims do not believe in perfect men, not even Muhammed. Muhammed discouraged the veneration of himself or any other man to the extent of having others lead services, refusing to celebrate birthdays and having an unknown burial site. The Muhammed cult thing cropped up after he died, and is contrary to what Muhammed taught.
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Re: Faith and modernity

Postby Heracleum Persicum » Wed Nov 12, 2014 3:10 pm

Nonc Hilaire wrote:.

Muslims do not believe in perfect men, not even Muhammed. Muhammed discouraged the veneration of himself or any other man to the extent of having others lead services, refusing to celebrate birthdays and having an unknown burial site. The Muhammed cult thing cropped up after he died, and is contrary to what Muhammed taught.

.



quite accurate

Arab Islam of today, the wahhabi/Salafi folks, has not much common with Mohammad Islam .. Wahhabi/Salafi revert to Bedouin desert psyche, mindset/psyche/worldview of 1000s of yrs B4 Mohammad, that bit philosophical dept comes from Persian Islam philosophers and not from desert Arabs

Arab Islam of today a "Omar Islam", pure rubbish


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Re: Faith and modernity

Postby Doc » Thu Nov 13, 2014 5:58 am

Heracleum Persicum wrote:
Nonc Hilaire wrote:.

Muslims do not believe in perfect men,


http://www.al-islam.org/perfect-man-aya ... erfect-man


not even Muhammed. Muhammed discouraged the veneration of himself or any other man to the extent of having others lead services, refusing to celebrate birthdays and having an unknown burial site. The Muhammed cult thing cropped up after he died, and is contrary to what Muhammed taught.

.
.


That is not an answer dealing with "a perfect man" That is a statement about Mohammed being humble and worship of such.


quite accurate

Arab Islam of today, the wahhabi/Salafi folks, has not much common with Mohammad Islam .. Wahhabi/Salafi revert to Bedouin desert psyche, mindset/psyche/worldview of 1000s of yrs B4 Mohammad, that bit philosophical dept comes from Persian Islam philosophers and not from desert Arabs

Arab Islam of today a "Omar Islam", pure rubbish
.


http://www.israinternational.com/the-perfect-man.html

So were the men that wrote down the Quran perfect or not?
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Re: Faith and modernity

Postby Parodite » Thu Nov 27, 2014 11:03 am

Nonc, Kmich?

How do you sell God in the 21st century? More heaven, less hell

Growing up as an evangelical, I was terrified of hell. But in recent years, Christian pastors have abandoned damnation in favour of a more upbeat vision

A couple of years ago, a Chicago-based corporate-identity consultant Chris Herron gave himself the ultimate challenge: rebrand hell. It was half gag, half self-promotion, but Herron took the project seriously, considering what it would take for a place like hell to become a premier destination in the travel market. Herron decided that what hell needed was a complete brand overhaul. The new hell would feature no demons or devils, no tridents or lakes of fire. The brand name was rendered in a lower-case, bubbly blue font designed to evoke “instant accessibility and comfort”. The slogan, which was once “Abandon Hope All Ye Who Enter Here”, would be “Simply Heavenly”. The joke was posted as a “case study” on Herron’s personal website and quickly went viral in the marketing blogosphere – a testament to the power of effective branding.

[...]


The concept of Hell itself seems to torture people enough to make you wonder.. who needs it?
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Re: Faith and modernity

Postby Nonc Hilaire » Thu Nov 27, 2014 12:50 pm

Lots to say here.

First, the popular conception of hell is drawn more from Dante and Milton than Scripture. Scripturally, hell is not a place of eternal torture. It's more an incinerator for unsaved souls - poof and they are gone. The idea of eternal torment is inaccurate.

Second, the age of the "hellfire and brimstone" preacher was a day when death was unexpected, sudden and often struck the young. This type of preaching offered a type of security and comfort then, but doing this today would be the equivalent of training skywalkers by haranging them about how bad it would be to fall off a building.

The overemphasis on hell in preaching was a relatively brief Protestant distortion. The message of Christianity has always been the love of God for His creation.
“Christ has no body now but yours. Yours are the eyes through which he looks with compassion on this world. Yours are the feet with which he walks among His people to do good. Yours are the hands through which he blesses His creation.”

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Re: Faith and modernity

Postby kmich » Thu Nov 27, 2014 1:12 pm

"Heaven" and "Hell" are about desire and fear, the carrots and sticks traditionally applied to keep the participants in religious communities in line. It can be sold like home security systems and new cars.

Faith cannot be sold, coerced, or seduced, it must be received without conditions. Faith must find its source in what Paul Tillich described as our "ultimate concern," the holy mysterium tremendum et fascinans — that which grasps a person ultimately that lies in a substratum below good and evil, appearing as both creative and destructive. Tillich wrote, “Our ultimate concern can destroy us as it can heal us, but we never can be without it." Faith requires existential courage, the acceptance of uncertainty within the element of certainty. The preoccupation with rewards and punishment, of heavens and hells, suffocates the space in which faith can grow and flourish.
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Re: Faith and modernity

Postby Doc » Fri Nov 28, 2014 8:39 pm

kmich wrote:"Heaven" and "Hell" are about desire and fear, the carrots and sticks traditionally applied to keep the participants in religious communities in line. It can be sold like home security systems and new cars.

Faith cannot be sold, coerced, or seduced, it must be received without conditions. Faith must find its source in what Paul Tillich described as our "ultimate concern," the holy mysterium tremendum et fascinans — that which grasps a person ultimately that lies in a substratum below good and evil, appearing as both creative and destructive. Tillich wrote, “Our ultimate concern can destroy us as it can heal us, but we never can be without it." Faith requires existential courage, the acceptance of uncertainty within the element of certainty. The preoccupation with rewards and punishment, of heavens and hells, suffocates the space in which faith can grow and flourish.


Throw in 72 virgins in heaven and that works for a lot of people.
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Re: Faith and modernity

Postby Parodite » Sat Nov 29, 2014 7:46 pm

Yes.. to Hell with Hell! Being "faithful" with a gun pointed at your head or being lured into a candy store don't count in a decent religion.

But the question that begs itself then is: what good or bad should we be concerned with if they are about things outside, above or beyond this life here-now on planet earth? Beyonder projections with false threats and false promises easily become toxic. Better stay away from them.
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Re: Faith and modernity

Postby kmich » Sat Nov 29, 2014 10:56 pm

Parodite wrote:Yes.. to Hell with Hell! Being "faithful" with a gun pointed at your head or being lured into a candy store don't count in a decent religion.

But the question that begs itself then is: what good or bad should we be concerned with if they are about things outside, above or beyond this life here-now on planet earth? Beyonder projections with false threats and false promises easily become toxic. Better stay away from them.

Ethics are, in one sense, a clear, practical matter. Behave yourself; stay out of trouble, and do good and life will be easier, you will belong, etc.

From the standpoint of faith though, ethics are not primary but protective and supportive. Through experience, one learns that certain thoughts, words, and deeds obscure and confuses one’s awareness of whom you really are, and separates you from your faith, from what you are meant to be, from God’s will. That is the nature of sin.

Heaven and hell exist and are real. See the hate in the eyes of a father whose wife, family and children had been raped and hacked to death by the Janjaweed, and you will view hell. Be lovingly held up by the people at the Church of Saint Mary of Zion during an Easter Vigil, and you will experience heaven. I have seen and experienced both. There are no guarantees, no promises in life or an after life. One can only do our imperfect best one can do to be true to God's will in life without expectations or conditions. I am infinitely blessed that the sacrifice of my imperfections has already been paid.
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Re: Faith and modernity

Postby Parodite » Mon Dec 01, 2014 2:42 pm

kmich wrote:
Parodite wrote:Yes.. to Hell with Hell! Being "faithful" with a gun pointed at your head or being lured into a candy store don't count in a decent religion.

But the question that begs itself then is: what good or bad should we be concerned with if they are about things outside, above or beyond this life here-now on planet earth? Beyonder projections with false threats and false promises easily become toxic. Better stay away from them.

Ethics are, in one sense, a clear, practical matter. Behave yourself; stay out of trouble, and do good and life will be easier, you will belong, etc.


Indeed.

From the standpoint of faith though, ethics are not primary but protective and supportive. Through experience, one learns that certain thoughts, words, and deeds obscure and confuses one’s awareness of whom you really are, and separates you from your faith, from what you are meant to be, from God’s will. That is the nature of sin.


But it is an extra layer of meaning given to a mental, emotional and social state that I don't believe is necessary. Nor is it proven that this extra layer is actually operating, or clear how it is operating.

Heaven and hell exist and are real. See the hate in the eyes of a father whose wife, family and children had been raped and hacked to death by the Janjaweed, and you will view hell.


Yes, "hell" is a useful description of terrible things and situations. Sort of slang.

Be lovingly held up by the people at the Church of Saint Mary of Zion during an Easter Vigil, and you will experience heaven. I have seen and experienced both. There are no guarantees, no promises in life or an after life. One can only do our imperfect best one can do to be true to God's will in life without expectations or conditions. I am infinitely blessed that the sacrifice of my imperfections has already been paid.


"Doing God's will" I find problematic. ;) Why can't it be my own will?

add: Theology often appears to me juggling with concepts. So let me try some verbal acrobatics too.

Presupposing that "my will "and "God's will" are two different things functionally and/or qualitatively has consequences. I could try to adopt the will of something/somebody by internalising it or by submitting to it.. but then it is still my will operating in relation to external realities feeding back and forward; there is no absolute independence of either my will or the will of an external. They are interactive and as such having an impact on each other.

The idea that humans can change the mind (and will) of God is not entirely un-theological. The idea that there is an ongoing dialogue between God and humans that can change both. On the two extreme ends of that spectrum there are people who want God to submit entirely to their own will and conditions to the point where God is exorcised out of reality.. and on the other the belief that humans should surrender to God's will entirely and will only then be given/granted all the benefits (blessings included) promised. In between people who prefer to quarrel with each other and God till the end of time.

This however means that under all circumstances "my will" is always separated, to a degree, from "God's will". Without such a separation there could be no relationship on way or other.

Now a modern interpretation of Hell is a state of being separated from God. This implies that "doing God's will", but also rejecting God's will... and even merely being in a perpetual dialogue.. we live in Hell already. That theology is for people who live hellish lives. But what about people who don't live hellish lives? They might need a different theology.
Outside, away from the noise, grows a flower.
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Re: Faith and modernity

Postby NapLajoieonSteroids » Tue Dec 02, 2014 12:28 pm

Both St Maximus the Confessor and St Isaac of Syria teach that every human being is destined to see God in His uncreated glory. “For those who love the Lord, His Presence will be infinite joy, paradise and eternal life. For those who hate the Lord, the same Presence will be infinite torture, hell and eternal death,” says St Maximus the Confessor.

“For our God is a consuming fire” (Hebrews 12:29) who “dwells in unapproachable light.” (I Timothy 6:16) For those who love God and who love all creation in Him, the “consuming fire” of God will be radiant bliss and unspeakable delight. For those who do not love God, and who do not love at all, this same consuming fire” will be the cause of their “weeping” and their “gnashing of teeth.”

“It is not right to say that the sinners in hell are deprived of the love of God,” says St Isaac of Syria, “but love acts in two ways, as suffering of the reproved, and as joy in the blessed!” (Mystic Treatises)
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Re: Faith and modernity

Postby Typhoon » Sun Dec 07, 2014 9:41 am

Nonc Hilaire wrote:Lots to say here.

First, the popular conception of hell is drawn more from Dante and Milton than Scripture. Scripturally, hell is not a place of eternal torture. It's more an incinerator for unsaved souls - poof and they are gone. The idea of eternal torment is inaccurate.

. . .


While I have read the Christian bible, my impression of the Old Testament is more from Cecil B. de Mille's The Ten Commandments and my impression of the New Testament is more from Norman Jewison's Jesus Christ, Superstar.



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Re: Faith and modernity

Postby Miss_Faucie_Fishtits » Mon Dec 08, 2014 5:51 am

The Spiritual Shape of Political Ideas
How it is that we once again find ourselves rooting out sin, shunning heretics, and
heralding the end times


http://www.weeklystandard.com/articles/ ... 19707.html

In my book An Anxious Age: The Post-Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of America, I note that the Protestant churches in early America were widely divided on theological and ecclesial issues—and yet they somehow joined to form what Alexis de Tocqueville would call the nation’s “undivided current of manners and morals.” We can debate how long-lasting and all-encompassing that central Protestantism really was, but many of those churches would eventually coalesce into the denominations of the Protestant mainline, and the collapse in recent decades of the mainline churches (from around 50 percent of the nation in 1965 to under 10 percent today) remains one of the most astonishing cultural changes in American history.
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