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Open Challenge To Members Of Ex-c: "this I Believe"


Stormwarden
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I don't know where to put this, so here it goes. Move it wherever you wish.

 

The idea: To assemble the personal philosophies of 100 Thoughtful Ex-Christians.

 

Why: Perhaps to aid those in a similar plight, but mainly for the benefit of future Ex-C'ers.

 

Based on: "This I Believe" a book compiled and edited by Edward P. Morgan, and written for Edward R. Murrow. I have a copy of the second printing on my person.

 

I am currently compiling my own thoughts for an entry from myself. Yes, I plan to contribute to this work. I hope maybe this is something the entire forum can enjoy. And if more than 100 people get involved, so much the better.

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I don't know where to put this, so here it goes. Move it wherever you wish.

 

The idea: To assemble the personal philosophies of 100 Thoughtful Ex-Christians.

 

Why: Perhaps to aid those in a similar plight, but mainly for the benefit of future Ex-C'ers.

 

Based on: "This I Believe" a book compiled and edited by Edward P. Morgan, and written for Edward R. Murrow. I have a copy of the second printing on my person.

 

I am currently compiling my own thoughts for an entry from myself. Yes, I plan to contribute to this work. I hope maybe this is something the entire forum can enjoy. And if more than 100 people get involved, so much the better.

 

What do you need from me to make a contribution?

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What do you need from me to make a contribution?

 

All I need from you is a personal philosophy, whether through parable, a time in your life, some significant event that shaped you...ideally, some personal experience, and then some belief that came out of that experience. Here is my contribution to this challenge

 

I remember well an event that changed my life. I was a student enrolled at Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia. I remember in the early morning after class when I went to the Student Center there and saw a huge number of people swarming in front of the small-screen TV. I thought it had been some new action movie trailer.

 

Except that it was on CNN.

 

The day: September 11, 2001.

 

Of course, this is but a prelude. I remembered seeing something that to me was every bit as appalling as the Towers. The hateful rantings of Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, and others who claimed that the sins of gays, feminists, and everyone but the terrorists responsible had called down "the wrath of god on us."

 

I could not reconcile these thoughts with a merciful God. I researched, examining the issue as critically as I could, and I learned more in the next 72 hours than I ever did since.

 

God was the reason for it, all right, as he had been through many a war. I found, after much searching, that to me, at least, there was no good Xian faith.

 

I chose to leave God behind near the end of 2001, no longer able to believe what I once did. Once I freed myself both of political and religious dogma, I saw clearly for the first time. I understood truths in the scheme of things, such as why these things started, how past events shaped the present, and became a better person for my lack of dogma.

 

Even now, however, I have more sympathy for pagan faiths (Asatru, Wicca, etc) than I do for that which I had once been.

 

This I believe: That good and evil go beyond any religion, and that in order to understand truth, one must look beyond the dogma one is faced with, and instead examine critically a story, and above all: never believe the hype.

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what if I'm not an ex-C, nor was ever religious?

 

Go ahead and add your two cents to it :) I'd like to see what the personal philosophies of many here are.

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Well, let me give a shot at this.

 

Here's the story part. At the time I was living out on 5 acres of rural Colorado scrub. Part of this land was the traditional rural garden. The constant wind, dry heat, and bad clay made that a challenge so every carrot, every head of lettuce, every tomato was precious. I was in the midst of tomato season which had been heavily stunted by the arrival of a plague of tomato hornworms. I was on my way out the front door when I heard "PE-cos! PE-cos!" the calls of a bevy of Scaled Quail--in my garden-- eating MY tomatoes! (Notice my utter lack of recognition that they were there first). I saw tomato red. I ran out the door yelling "Get out of here you darn quail!"

 

I got to the garden to pick my tomatoes and to pick off that day's crop of hornworms. That is when I discovered that there were NO hornworms that day. None. The anger ebbed quickly as I realized that the whole reason why the quail were anywhere near my tomatoes was because they were eating the insects. I went back in abd grabbed the first birdbook I found which happened to be the Western edition of the Audubon Society book. In there they said that Scaled Quail ate mostly sunflower seeds and bugs. So I went and bought a simple bird feeder and got lots of birdseed with sunflower seed in there.

 

Long story short. The quail soon learned that the "Good Eats Here" sign was out, and no crazed woman was going to chase after them. I called them my "Lazy Insect Management Strategy" -- go fill the birdfeeder, go inside and pour a lemonade, and wait for the "PE-cos" calls. Watch their antics at the feeder and wait for them to go skitter through the brush to the garden. Let them do all my hard work for me. I took two feathers that had gotten stuck in a mess of one of the purloined tomatoes that fateful day and put them on my wand as a reminder of the lessons. My tomatoes (indeterminates, all) recovered from the hornworms and gave me a good crop. The quail, satiated from all the sunflower seeds, no longer messed with the tomato fruits.

 

So what were those lessons, and how does this define my spiritual philosophy?

 

1. While I am not specifically Wiccan, I do consider myself Pagan and I do consider the Rede to be a pretty good rule. The Rede says "An it harm none. do as ye well." Basically, life is not supposed to be a guilt-ridden maze of rules, it's supposed to be pretty simple. Really, most of religion advocates this at its core when you look beyond the bureaucracy and rules. When I was harming the quail by scaring them off, I was doing them wrong. Things sure started to work out the moment I quit that silliness.

 

2. Worse, when I was doing them wrong, I was doing me wrong. I really believe that whether you send out good will or ill will, that comes back to you. Notice how, when I set out the good will of the sunflower seed, the quail reciprocated. They no longer ate tomatoes, just the worms.

 

3. I believe that the more you attune yourself to the cycles of Nature, the better off you are. My garden was one aspect of that. I evolved from hacking at the bad clay and using Miracle-Gro to going more organic and enriching the soil with compost and composted manure that slowly transformed the soil into something I could work with my finger sometimes. I evolved from chasing the quail to feeding them... and really missing them out here in California. Out here life moves far faster than any natural pace, and I find myself often unbalanced by this. There are many levels and many aspects to this statement.

 

4. I also believe that God is interconnected in all of Life. God isn't "out there somewhere", It is a force, an energy if you will, that emanates from all of Life and connects all of us. I actually think that magick, in its pure form as the energy that we perceive, is somehow an aspect of God. So, in a way the quail and I were connected, each in our own way, to God. Perhaps that is how it is that miracles happen when you live your life well, and try not to harm others, instead seeking to send out good will in balance with Nature.

 

Hope that's along the line of what you were thinking.

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Gaura, that is exactly along the lines of what I was thinking :)

 

It is an excellent story, Gaura. You did great.

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What I've learned:

 

1.) Life is what it is at any given moment in time.

 

2.) Never try to pigeon hole yourself, God, you're beliefs, or your morality. Because you WILL run into times in your life when you have to go against everything you thought was correct in order to do what's right.

 

3.) Don't beat yourself up if the person you're trying to "save" doesn't want to be saved. You can guide, you can't command.

 

4.) Don't assume you know what God or what other people think. You don't.

 

May add more later when head is less fuzzy.

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what if I'm not an ex-C, nor was ever religious?

Omg, Asimov didn't use bold text.

 

There really is no god after all...

 

All I need from you is a personal philosophy, whether through parable, a time in your life, some significant event that shaped you...ideally, some personal experience, and then some belief that came out of that experience. Here is my contribution to this challenge

I'm sure you can go to the testimony page and find what you are looking for. There are many testimonies like that there.

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....I believe that the more you attune yourself to the cycles of Nature, the better off you are. My garden was one aspect of that.....

 

 

Guara, that story and what it means to What You Believe was just beautiful. Thanks for the insight; even an agnostic like me can relate to this. :)

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Some spontaneous thoughts by me, sponsored by Vodka Gorbachev ;) :

 

You don't need a definite goal every single time. Sometimes "the way is the goal in and of itself"... just to walk on. Like this life on earth.

 

Don't do anything to others if you don't have a good reason to assume they want it.

 

Freedom is a wonderful thing, but in the interest of your fellow humans, it has to have a few limits. Mostly they can be summed up with "Your own freedom ends where you intrude on the freedoms of your fellow human... unless you're defending against her own intrusion into your freedoms".

 

Leave this world (if possible) a more beautiful place than it was before you came around.

 

Gee, do I make any sense whatsoever? :lmao:

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....I believe that the more you attune yourself to the cycles of Nature, the better off you are. My garden was one aspect of that.....

 

 

Guara, that story and what it means to What You Believe was just beautiful. Thanks for the insight; even an agnostic like me can relate to this. :)

 

Curt, thanks. It is touching to hear your comment. :thanks:

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Guest Egregore

This I believe: Anything you GIVE power WILL have power. Subsequently, Absolute power corrupts, absolutely! Therefore, chose your "god" wisely. It may be better if you HAVE to choose a god to limit it's power, and make it subservient to YOU, and to YOU only. Unless, of course, you want to give others a piece of the pie. In chaos magic these are known as servitoires and egregores (respectively). So chose your godhead wisely, and make it very much like yourself. Then you won't have to have any more faith in it than you have in yourself.

 

That's my two cents.

 

What I've learned:

 

1.) Life is what it is at any given moment in time.

 

2.) Never try to pigeon hole yourself, God, you're beliefs, or your morality. Because you WILL run into times in your life when you have to go against everything you thought was correct in order to do what's right.

 

3.) Don't beat yourself up if the person you're trying to "save" doesn't want to be saved. You can guide, you can't command.

 

4.) Don't assume you know what God or what other people think. You don't.

 

May add more later when head is less fuzzy.

 

I like the way you think; we think a lot alike. Especially the part about Life being what it is at any given moment in time. I think you have to take life as it comes. :dumbo:

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Guest tigg13

This I believe:

 

Honesty is not just telling what you know, but admitting what you don't know.

 

The only divine faith you need is the belief that you don't really need divine faith.

 

Morality is not about making the right choices but in wanting to make the right choices.

 

It doesn't matter where you are going so long as you're having fun getting there.

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