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Author Topic:   Belief Statement - jar
jar
Member
Posts: 32967
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 2.4


(1)
Message 3 of 300 (322925)
06-18-2006 2:46 PM
Reply to: Message 2 by iano
06-18-2006 2:28 PM


Re: Jars essay on enlightenment
GOD, like the rest of my family was simply always there. She is not someone that I met one day, but like mother and father, sister and brother, aunt and uncle, grandfather and grandmother, part of the family, there, real, personal, intimate and pervasive. But just as with understanding your father and mother, my understanding of GOD changed with time. As I grew older, as I experienced more, as I learned and suffered and enjoyed, my own internal map changed.

But the Territory was always there.


Aslan is not a Tame Lion

This message is a reply to:
 Message 2 by iano, posted 06-18-2006 2:28 PM iano has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 4 by iano, posted 06-18-2006 3:00 PM jar has not yet responded
 Message 19 by Brian, posted 06-20-2006 2:12 AM jar has responded

  
jar
Member
Posts: 32967
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 2.4


(1)
Message 8 of 300 (323191)
06-19-2006 10:03 AM
Reply to: Message 6 by GDR
06-19-2006 2:36 AM


How do you believe God deals with someone from a loving Godly home as compared to someone with FAS and who is abused as a child.

I would imagine that GOD deals with that situation with love and compasion.

How does God arbitrate the cut off point. Is it done on a points basis? I'm not trying to be glib but the whole idea of our being judged as in a court of law doesn't seem right to me.

Why? I don't understand the difficulty some folk have with the idea of being judged. What else could there be? And who better to understand whether or not we tried to do what is right and to not do what is wrong than GOD? I doubt it will be a court of LAW but rather of Justice.

Lewis was a prolific writer and one we all read while in school, one I continue to read to this day. I imagine that you have seen my signature.

I think we choose to make life pretty much what it is, heaven or hell, both while living, and for the future. In the Last Battle there is an interesting exchange between Aslan and one of the Calormene soldiers. He had worked all his life to support Tash, and so is understandably expecting not to pass through the door. It is one of the more profound parts of the series but on the off chance you have not yet visited Narnia, I will not spoil it for you.

I do believe we choose our path and destiny, that it is by those small decisions we make, those triffling everyday mundane moment to moment activities that we determine our future.

Finally, I'd like to address something in your first paragraph. You said:

Some people seem to have a "road to Damascus" experience and for others like us find the LOrd through a search for truth.

I don't think I went searching or ever found GOD. There was never a time when GOD was not already present, already with me. Just as you grow older you gain additional insight into your parents, your friends and yourself, I have over time learned more about GOD. I changed, GOD did not.


Aslan is not a Tame Lion

This message is a reply to:
 Message 6 by GDR, posted 06-19-2006 2:36 AM GDR has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 10 by GDR, posted 06-19-2006 10:56 AM jar has responded

  
jar
Member
Posts: 32967
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 2.4


Message 9 of 300 (323200)
06-19-2006 10:18 AM
Reply to: Message 7 by Ben!
06-19-2006 4:06 AM


Lots of good points. Speaking of my confirmation you cite what Joe Woods said and part of my later experience at St. Paul's.

This says to me that belief, faith, is a decision. You chose to affirm your belief without fully understanding, without being able to fully support.

I think this is life. Life always seems to be working with imperfect knowledge. Working not with hard and fast rules, facts, but more like constraints, soft boundaries, possibilities and probabilities. It is up to us to make a decision on what the facts are, to make an adult decision about it, and to live up to those decisions.

Yes. We are always dealing with insufficient information and even today my beliefs are challenged. Note that I said that the questions began to get resolved. It is an ongoing, never ending process.

I have often said, GOD's message is simple. Following it though is not easy.

I am happy for you, that you were able to participate in such an atmosphere. But I don't think the average joe has this type of experience at the age you were. The average joe might confirm their own beliefs without such intense practice in reasoning and logical thinking.

Sure. And reasoning is a skill which needs to be learned and practiced. But it is also something that can be done at any age, any time, by anybody.

By the way, I use chopsticks but I don't eat bait.

I guess I have a question. It is, why is reason the way to God?

It isn't the way to GOD. GOD is there, always, in all times and situations. You may not be aware of Her, but She is there.

Reason is a way to understand YOU, to understand what it is that GOD wants you to do.


Aslan is not a Tame Lion

This message is a reply to:
 Message 7 by Ben!, posted 06-19-2006 4:06 AM Ben! has not yet responded

  
jar
Member
Posts: 32967
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 2.4


Message 11 of 300 (323225)
06-19-2006 11:16 AM
Reply to: Message 10 by GDR
06-19-2006 10:56 AM


Reading from the BCP
I often refer back to the BCP, in particular the Confession.

Most merciful God,we confess that we have sinned against you
in thought, word, and deed,
by what we have done,
and by what we have left undone.
We have not loved you with our whole heart;
we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves.
We are truly sorry and we humbly repent.
For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ,
have mercy on us and forgive us;
that we may delight in your will,
and walk in your ways,
to the glory of your Name. Amen.

I take that charge seriously. But I also don't believe that being a Christian, or not a Christian, really has much to do with anything. I don't think GOD worries much about whether or not we love or even know him, but rather what we do. If we do really try to do what is right, and do really try not to do what is wrong, if we really regret those things we do do wrong, and try to do better in the future, I doubt that She much cares whether it is done For GOD, or just because it is the right thing to do.


Aslan is not a Tame Lion

This message is a reply to:
 Message 10 by GDR, posted 06-19-2006 10:56 AM GDR has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 12 by GDR, posted 06-19-2006 11:59 AM jar has responded

  
jar
Member
Posts: 32967
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 2.4


Message 13 of 300 (323311)
06-19-2006 2:21 PM
Reply to: Message 12 by GDR
06-19-2006 11:59 AM


Re: Reading from the BCP
I believe that we will be judged individually and by the standards appropriate to the individual.

The Bible writes, (paraphrasing here), that to whom much is given much is expected.

I think that is accurate, and the base for my belief that most Christians will end up as Goats, not among the Sheep. They have been given much, the whole instruction book as well as a personal tutor. The sad part is that most will never get it.

Many believe all are born damned and sinful, and that they have some sinful nature. It's not their fault, mankind is fallen. But they have this Get Outta Hell Free card.

Unfortunately, when it comes to judgement day I believe they will see the card stamped "Not Valid".

GOD will judge us with full knowledge. We cannot lie, bribe, flatter or fake our way though that.


Aslan is not a Tame Lion

This message is a reply to:
 Message 12 by GDR, posted 06-19-2006 11:59 AM GDR has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 14 by GDR, posted 06-19-2006 2:28 PM jar has responded

  
jar
Member
Posts: 32967
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 2.4


Message 16 of 300 (323374)
06-19-2006 4:21 PM
Reply to: Message 14 by GDR
06-19-2006 2:28 PM


Re: Reading from the BCP
I agree but as to where most Christians wind up I'm not prepared to say, but of course that brings up the unanswerable argument of who is a real Christian.

I don't believe so. I would say that anyone who professes to be a Christian is a Christian. I never doubt that anyone who says they are a Christian is one.


Aslan is not a Tame Lion

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Replies to this message:
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 Message 18 by sidelined, posted 06-20-2006 1:46 AM jar has responded

  
jar
Member
Posts: 32967
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 2.4


Message 20 of 300 (323804)
06-20-2006 9:16 AM
Reply to: Message 19 by Brian
06-20-2006 2:12 AM


Re: Jars essay on enlightenment
Saying that God was always there, like a part of the family, could mean you were (accidently) subjected to a kind of 'brain washing'. Is this a possibility, and if not why not?

Certainly that is a possibility.


Aslan is not a Tame Lion

This message is a reply to:
 Message 19 by Brian, posted 06-20-2006 2:12 AM Brian has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 23 by Brian, posted 06-20-2006 10:06 AM jar has responded

  
jar
Member
Posts: 32967
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 2.4


Message 21 of 300 (323805)
06-20-2006 9:19 AM
Reply to: Message 18 by sidelined
06-20-2006 1:46 AM


Aren't they all Christians?
OK so we need to tell the real Christians from the others eh? Right then! Release the lions. Now who cares to stick about?

Why do we need to tell the real Christians from the others? Aren't they all real Christians?

Edited by jar, : fix subtitle


Aslan is not a Tame Lion

This message is a reply to:
 Message 18 by sidelined, posted 06-20-2006 1:46 AM sidelined has responded

Replies to this message:
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 Message 35 by sidelined, posted 06-20-2006 1:20 PM jar has not yet responded

  
jar
Member
Posts: 32967
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 2.4


Message 24 of 300 (323817)
06-20-2006 10:19 AM
Reply to: Message 23 by Brian
06-20-2006 10:06 AM


Re: Agnostic Xian?
I freely admit that my religion is a belief. I personally am sure of my belief, but honesty compels me to say I know I could be wrong.

PS, You did know there's no Santa or tooth fairy didn't you, I'd hate for you to have found out this way.

Well, I know about the Tooth Fairy but Santa is, for me, very real. Santa lives inside each of us that carries on his work, that sacrifice hours and knuckles and moments when we could be doing more enjoyable things than trying to follow instructions written in English that was translated from Cantonese by a Pakistani.

Yes, Santa is very real, and can be seen in the sparkle in the eyes of the six year old who gets the Big Boy Bike he wanted "All his life". He can be seen in the eyes of the child whos little hand clasps her fathers tightly one a dark night as they look for the source of the loud, scary quacking sound and the amazment in those same eyes when the source turns out to be a tiny green frog the size of a quarter.

Yes, Santa is very real.


Aslan is not a Tame Lion

This message is a reply to:
 Message 23 by Brian, posted 06-20-2006 10:06 AM Brian has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 25 by Brian, posted 06-20-2006 10:26 AM jar has responded

  
jar
Member
Posts: 32967
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 2.4


Message 26 of 300 (323820)
06-20-2006 10:38 AM
Reply to: Message 25 by Brian
06-20-2006 10:26 AM


Re: Agnostic Xian?
As an agnostic Xian, why do you feel that the God of the OT is the one true God when you openly admit that the OT is essentially a book of propaganda, 'fairy tales', legends, and scientific and historical impossibilities.

What makes you think that is what I believve?

I believe that there is GOD. One true GOD. Religion, whether Christianity or Islam or Buddhism or Taoism or Wicca or Satanism or Hinduism or any other form is but a human centric search for that GOD.

Religion is but a Map, not the Territory. It is a human construct and subject to all the limitations, the lack of knowledge, the misconceptions, the contemporary points of view as any other human construct. Christianity is no more GOD than Judaism is. They are but tools used by man to try to understand something that is beyond human comprehension.


Aslan is not a Tame Lion

This message is a reply to:
 Message 25 by Brian, posted 06-20-2006 10:26 AM Brian has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 27 by Brian, posted 06-20-2006 10:55 AM jar has responded

  
jar
Member
Posts: 32967
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 2.4


Message 28 of 300 (323826)
06-20-2006 11:11 AM
Reply to: Message 27 by Brian
06-20-2006 10:55 AM


Re: Agnostic Xian?
I'm not sure that this will answer your questions, or that I can answer them to your satisfaction but I will try.

My beliefs really are just My Beliefs. They are personal, individual and intimate. Yes, I believe that Jesus Christ is GOD and that He came down as a human, a man, to be a teacher. But that does not make other religions wrong.

I try not to limit GOD. I see no reason to limit either how GOD can reach out to people or how people can reach out to GOD. You specifically mention Islam and the fact that they do not recognize Jesus as being GOD as though that were some great point. Frankly, I don't see the import. I disagree with them, but that does not make me right or them wrong. Neither of us knows, both of us believe.

But, this is smoke and mirrors, you specifically state that you are a Xian, which teaches that Jesus Christ is God incarnate, this is incompatible with the teachings of Islam, are you sure that it is accurate to describe yourself as a Xian?

Why not identify yourself as a Buddhist (ignoring the teaching about an eternal being of course) or a Muslim?

Certainly it is accurate to describe myself as a Christian. I believe that Jesus Christ is GOD incarnate. What is your point?

Does that mean I am right and they are wrong? I don't think so. If I was a Buddhist I would be expressing the tenets of the Buddhists.

But, you are basing your beliefs exclusively on these 'maps', since you havent had a personal experience of God.

And what makes you think I have not?


Aslan is not a Tame Lion

This message is a reply to:
 Message 27 by Brian, posted 06-20-2006 10:55 AM Brian has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 29 by Brian, posted 06-20-2006 12:23 PM jar has responded

  
jar
Member
Posts: 32967
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 2.4


Message 31 of 300 (323860)
06-20-2006 12:38 PM
Reply to: Message 29 by Brian
06-20-2006 12:23 PM


Still struggling to find something significant in any of your post.
Brian, I really don't understand what your point is. Do I think Islam is Christianity? Well, no, they are different religions. Are the core beliefs of the different religions significantly exclusive? Sure, they are different religions.

Do I question my beliefs? Sure.

Is it possible I'm wrong? Certainly.

What is your point?

Well, what would arguably be the most important event in a Christian’s life would, IMO, at least be included in that Christian’s statement of belief, perhaps I missed it in your essay but I don’t see any personal experience of God in it.

Well, guess what? It is personal. It is between me and GOD, would convince no one else, and so has no point beyond its personal significance to me. It was not one event but a continuing, constant, on going relationship.

But, when you describe yourself as a Christian you limit YOUR beliefs.

Sure. I am a Christian. So that does define those beliefs. But they are defined for me. Others may and should hold different beliefs. It is personal.


Aslan is not a Tame Lion

This message is a reply to:
 Message 29 by Brian, posted 06-20-2006 12:23 PM Brian has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 33 by Brian, posted 06-20-2006 1:09 PM jar has responded

  
jar
Member
Posts: 32967
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 2.4


Message 36 of 300 (323887)
06-20-2006 1:22 PM
Reply to: Message 33 by Brian
06-20-2006 1:09 PM


Re: Still struggling to find something significant in any of your post.
Well, most of your post seems just to be rant so I'm going to ignore those and address what I can understand.

Again, I need to question if you have met God.

Okay. you are free to do so.

The point is, someone who is truly convinced that they are a Christian or a Muslim would not entertain the possibility that they are wrong.

Well, if that is true I find it sad.

I don’t agree. I think more people are more people would at least take your claim to be a Christian a little more seriously if you had mentioned a relationship with God, maybe you can put it in version 2?

That is there problem, not mine. And no, I do not plan to put that in ANY version or rendition. To steal an old song title, "'taint nobodies business but my own."

In a denomination with a membership of one?

Again, it is certainly a relationship of two, me and GOD. But I am a member of a denomination that does have a history of both internal and external controversy. Sometimes we seem to be right, often we have been wrong.


Aslan is not a Tame Lion

This message is a reply to:
 Message 33 by Brian, posted 06-20-2006 1:09 PM Brian has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 38 by Brian, posted 06-20-2006 1:27 PM jar has not yet responded

  
jar
Member
Posts: 32967
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 2.4


Message 43 of 300 (323919)
06-20-2006 2:02 PM
Reply to: Message 39 by Jazzns
06-20-2006 1:38 PM


Re: Christianity is....?
Jar didn't mention his baptism.

Well, kinda.

If you look at the Confirmation, you will find that it is the reaffirmation of your Baptism. In the Episcopal Church children are baptized as an infant. At that time, your parents and God-Parents assume the responsibility for your upbringing. Confirmation is that point in a persons life when you assume personal responsibility for those things.

Even there there is a communion, everyone affirms they will try to support the candidates, and all others, in living.

As to the difference between belief and knowledge, yes, many folk KNOW, and are usually quick to tell you so. I believe. I personally believe I am right, but I do realize I could be wrong.

As to the whole thread, particularly the title, "Belief Statement".

This was an attempt to put into a short statement something that took over 60 years to experience. Much was left out, far more left out than I included. I really believe the actual Belief Statement is the one you live. What I or anyone else says is not as important as what I or anyone else does.


Aslan is not a Tame Lion

This message is a reply to:
 Message 39 by Jazzns, posted 06-20-2006 1:38 PM Jazzns has not yet responded

  
jar
Member
Posts: 32967
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 2.4


Message 53 of 300 (323992)
06-20-2006 4:53 PM
Reply to: Message 50 by Jazzns
06-20-2006 3:57 PM


Jesus Divinity
While I personally believe Jesus is divine, what I have said, and will willingly repeat, is that even if Jesus never lived, if he was but a myth told around the campfires, the message of GOD and of the Bible would still be true.

Love GOD and love others as you love yourself.

It really is that simple.


Aslan is not a Tame Lion

This message is a reply to:
 Message 50 by Jazzns, posted 06-20-2006 3:57 PM Jazzns has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 54 by iano, posted 06-20-2006 5:00 PM jar has responded

  
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