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13 Things Clergy Don't Want To Tell You


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My respects to the Rabbi for admitting this, I gotta read more of his stuff.  Seems like a reasonable man, admits his interpretation of his religion is his interpretation. 

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/rabbiramishapiro/2014/07/370/

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/rabbiramishapiro/2014/01/welcome-to-rabbi-ramis-guide-to-judaism/

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I like what he said, especially this part:

 

What you say about God—who God is, what God cares about, who God rewards, and who God punishes—says nothing about God and everything about you. If you believe in an unconditionally loving God, you probably value unconditional love. If you believe in a God who divides people into chosen and not chosen, believers and infidels, saved and damned, high cast or low caste, etc. you are probably someone who divides people into in–groups and out–groups with you and your group as the quintessential in-group. God may or may not exist, but your idea of God mirrors yourself and your values, and little else.

 

 

I doubt that many clergy would agree with him, though, sadly.

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Great article. I would love to post this on my facebook page, but the backlash and problems it would create for me aren't worth it. Thanks for sharing.

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I particularly liked this gem in the comments section:

 

Book: River, you don’t fix the Bible.

River: It’s broken. It doesn’t make sense.

Book: It’s not about making sense. It’s about believing in something, and letting that belief be real enough to change your life. It’s about faith. You don’t fix faith, River. It fixes you.

 

Christianity in a nutshell.

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His description of prayer is precisely the apologetic I used for prayer in the last 10 years of my Xianity:

... Prayer doesn't influence god, but it might influence you ...

Ironically this is why I had such trouble with C. S. Lewis's "The Problem of Pain," because while he created the Santa Claus straw man argument for God, I don't know a single Christian who seriously looks at God as a Santa Claus. Sure, you see people pray for sports teams or for that parking spot, something I never did. But the Christians I know, when they really get down to praying about something, are really serious about something serious. When you see a Christian fast, or give up free time, and really "get before the Lord" or what have you, there is no Santa Claus. They're not asking for freebies. They're really struggling with stuff. Real stuff. For me, part of figuring out there is no god, had everything to do with the difference between the Santa Claus fallacy of C. S. Lewis and others, and the real challenges I saw a lot of Christians praying about and dealing with.

But I privately held that apologetic the rabbi is using for prayer, albeit not so eloquently put. Had some Christians known of my thoughts, they would probably have said I was "denying the power" or something similar.

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#10 That is really resonating with me. I always thought of Aplogetics/Theology to be the pursuit of truth. But, for the first time, I am realizing apologetics and theology are only forms of reinforcing your own personally/relgiously defined version of truth. Its not a free pursuit of what is truth, or our closest understanding of thruth. This helps me a bit in my current struggles. Thank you for posting this, OP.

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Thanks for posting the article. It was an interesting read.

 

#10 That is really resonating with me. I always thought of Aplogetics/Theology to be the pursuit of truth. But, for the first time, I am realizing apologetics and theology are only forms of reinforcing your own personally/relgiously defined version of truth. Its not a free pursuit of what is truth, or our closest understanding of thruth. This helps me a bit in my current struggles. Thank you for posting this, OP.

 

Indeed, apologetics amounts to nothing more than propping up one's own preconceptions.

 

Even the apologetics that claims to be geared toward the nonbeliever is really for the believer, using arguments that are only convincing to the already convinced. It serves its purpose of making the believer think that the nonbeliever is rejecting sound arguments, when in reality it's mostly nothing more than circular reasoning.

 

13. Becoming less religious cannot save us. Because religion is a human invention reflecting the best and worst of humanity; becoming less religious will simply force us to perpetuate compassion and cruelty in the name of something else. Secular societies that actively suppress religion have proven no more just or compassionate than religious societies that suppress secularism or free thought. This is because neither religion nor the lack of religion frees us from the insanity of being human.
 
This is the only part of the article that bothers me. It only deals with the "secular societies that actively suppress religion," completely ignoring secular societies that allow religion, which is the type of society that I would argue is the most just and reasonable approach.
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  • 2 weeks later...
Guest sweetcakes

That was very interesting.  If I had to have a clergyperson in my life, I'd pick Rabbi Rami.

 

8. Nobody is born Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Catholic, Protestant, etc. People are born human and are slowly conditioned by narratives of race, religion, gender, nationality, etc. to be less than human. Identity is not value–neutral. Identity narratives tell you whom to love and whom to hate; and whom to befriend and whom to fear. If you imagine you must do or think this or that based on identity, imagine you were adopted at birth, and that your birth parents belong to the very group you are taught to fear, hate, and avoid.

 

This is what I was trying to say in chat room that time a few weeks ago or so, this is what I meant.

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Guest sweetcakes

Number 8 really hit it home for me because I remember being in chat room with a few others off of here telling them how when we are born we are an atheist, however, the website explained it so much better what I tried to tell people in chat room. Our parents taught us whatever religion they believed in. 

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my, another religious leader who actually talks something approaching sense, along with John Spong.  I wonder if people like this are more common in Judaism?  John Spong's core messages are considered heresy in Christian circles.

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my, another religious leader who actually talks something approaching sense, along with John Spong.  I wonder if people like this are more common in Judaism?  John Spong's core messages are considered heresy in Christian circles.

 

Though he would reject the notion, what I've read from Spong indicates to me that he's technically an atheist. Yeah, he talks about "God," but his description of God basically amounts to a feeling of connectedness. It's not an actual deity by any stretch of the imagination.

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