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An Invitation To Sub_zer0 And Any Fundamentalist To Discuss Spirituality


Antlerman
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This is a separate invitation to sub_zer0 and/or any other Christian Fundamentalist, away from the easy distractions of getting caught up in endless quibbling over Bible verse interpretations, to just sit down and discuss how their Biblical interpretations and general doctrinal beliefs have affected their lives on a spiritual level, and namely how this is being manifested in their actions and attitudes.

 

Rules for this discussion:

This is open to anyone who wishes to discuss the practice of spirituality in the life of a fundamentalist Christian

 

The focus needs to remain about the manifestation of a spiritual life within the fundamentalist approach to religion

 

Bantering back and forth over the "correct" interpretation of Bible versus is
not allowed
. We can reference the Bible when appropriate, but a consuming focus over "correct" interpretations will bear little fruit to this discussion and offer too easy a distraction from the more pertinent questions

I am asking for this discussion because there have been numerous conversations on these boards about spirituality for those who have left the Christian faith, and I am struck with seeing no such conversations coming from those who place such a huge emphasis on knowing God, namely the fundamentalist Christian.

 

Not only am I am not hearing these things even mentioned by them, but I am seeing a near blindness to this central focus at the heart of the Christian message they claim exclusive knowledge of! This is remarkable considering that the end of all this “knowing the Truth” should be the manifestation of a spiritual life?

 

If sub_zer0 is unwilling to speak about how his beliefs have made him a more spiritual person, then I sincerely hope another fundamentalist Christian will approach this subject, which all others to date I have tried to engage have avoided completely without fail. We can quibble till the moon falls out of the sky about who has the correct interpretation of the Bible, but everyone knows a heart of humility and grace, and everyone knows arrogance and pride without needing a degree in Bible Arguments.

 

Let’s discuss the manifestation of spiritual fruits that come from a fundamentalist approach to a spiritual life. I believe that would make a better argument for any belief being valid, than any apologetic ever could hope to do.

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Guest runaway

Hi antlerman,

 

I wouldn't describe myself as a fundamentalist christian although I used to go to quite a fundamentalist church and have many friends in those circles. I'm still a christian albeit a confused and struggling one.

 

Perhaps i can shed some light on why fundamentalism has so many problems and why fundamentalists may fail to display a lack of those fruits you mentioned. I am of the opinion that there are many things in the fundamentalist or evangelical churches which take the place of God. Often its the bible. The Bible is almost loved and cherished more than God. Spiritual maturity and growth are often measured in terms of bible knowledge. The more bible verses you can

quote the more spiritual you are seen as being. Bible knowledge then replaces

spirituality.

 

In addition Christianity is often presented in these circles not as the call to change direction and follow Christ but as the acceptance of a theological statement, or the acceptance of forgiveness. This perhaps is why the journey aspect of faith is often missing in fundamentalist churches which is where spiritual, moral and emotional growth is likely to happen. So often becoming a christian is about praying the sinners prayer and thats it, you have heaven at your fingertips. No more growth required. (Except in bible knowledge, church attendance, speaking christian jargon etc)

 

I also think the teaching of Christ is often neglected in evangelical churches. There is more emphasis in the theology of the cross (which i also beleive to be incomplete and one dimensional in evangelicalism but thats off the point) and the teaching of Paul than there is on the life and teaching of Christ. This may be why many fundamentalists dont live how Jesus said to live. Its just not focused on enough.

 

When i was an evangelical i absorbed the culture of scoffing at other types of church and thinking evangelicalism was superior to all other brands of Christianity. However since leaving and looking into other expressions of christianity i find that elsewhere in the church there is a focus on a more

meditative reflective approach, centred on Jesus life and teaching. If evangelicals weren't so cut off from the rest of the church perhaps they would be more spiritual, i don't know.

 

By the way I read your testimony the other day and I loved it. It was so interesting and quite similar in many ways to my own story. (atheist -> fundamentalist -> moderate) Except that Im still in the moderate church. I know exactly what you mean about the lack of joie de vive (i probably spelt that craply) in church circles. Sometimes I would come out of a typical arm waving happy clappy service and feel my soul uplifted a thousand times more by the wind in my face and the sight of the sun setting over the church car park than by the church meeting.

 

There is not much soul food in fundamentalist christianity. My soul too needs music and literature. But its like the only thing anyone is allowed to get excited about is the idea that Jesus died for them.

Those churches and everything about them, including the worship etc seems to be rather one dimensional. A christian should get excited about life. To me I live in a beautiful world that God created, and everywhere I am surrounded by amazing people made in his image. The whole universe and everything and everyone in it reflects God to me. Sadly in my old church God is confined to church life and the bible. My mum summed it up well when she said that now church is a part of her spiritual life whereas before church was her spiritual life. I think this is true

for many fundamentalist christians. Church life, the bible and doctrine are the some total of their spiritual life.

 

I hope I haven't rambled on too much. Please understand I am not trying to defend Christianity here, just offer some thoughts on why some christians may come across as hypocritical or unspiritual.

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My mum summed it up well when she said that now church is a part of her spiritual life whereas before church was her spiritual life. I think this is true

for many fundamentalist christians. Church life, the bible and doctrine are the some total of their spiritual life.

 

I hope I haven't rambled on too much. Please understand I am not trying to defend Christianity here, just offer some thoughts on why some christians may come across as hypocritical or unspiritual.

Wow. No you haven't rambled on too much! I sincerely appreciated your candor and your insights. It's really great to have you here. Welcome. I will not doubt enjoy further discussions with you about your thoughts, but for now it is a beautiful Sunday afternoon with the sun shining and a balmy 20 degrees outside. I've got to go take some of it in before it slides back down to 10 below again here. B)

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Perhaps i can shed some light on why fundamentalism has so many problems and why fundamentalists may fail to display a lack of those fruits you mentioned. I am of the opinion that there are many things in the fundamentalist or evangelical churches which take the place of God. Often its the bible. The Bible is almost loved and cherished more than God. Spiritual maturity and growth are often measured in terms of bible knowledge. The more bible verses you can quote the more spiritual you are seen as being. Bible knowledge then replaces spirituality.

 

Wow.... New information ... new information. :clap:

 

Everytime I think I'm getting a handle on fundamentalist thinking .. some other dimension comes to light. Thank you Runaway. ;)

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Nice one runaway. Your story matches my own experience of evangelicalism When i was there I was worried about what was actually true or not true - always getting bogged down in details and theology Now I am free and can see myself on a spiritual path that is not set in stone. That can change as I grow and experience more of life, love and knowledge. And crucially does not condemn me!

 

Is this spiritual path one that is more in line with buddhist thinking?

I have met one or two Christians who were more spiritual than scriptually dogmatic but funnily enough they were of Indian / Hindu (I think) background.

 

so now we are just waiting for a response from the fundamentalists ..

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When i was an evangelical i absorbed the culture of scoffing at other types of church and thinking evangelicalism was superior to all other brands of Christianity.

Since when did God have a brand? That's a marketing term. Don't tell me that God hired a Fifth Avenue Ad Agency to develop the God Brand. I am not being funny, I am being completely serious. Just the use of that word has turned me off to whatever is being said thereafter in a major way. Just the fact that you were taught to feel somehow superior is only proof to my whole view on Christianity!

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I think you sum it up well runaway.

When I was a fundy there was plenty of teaching on being saved, end times, spiritual warfare, and a heavy emphasis on the old testament, prophets etc. Actually , thinking about it there was alot more gentle, tolerant, reflective approach on the life of Jesus in my anglican (episcopal) church I started with. If I stayed there I might still have a christian faith.

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Guest sub_zer0

I am asking for this discussion because there have been numerous conversations on these boards about spirituality for those who have left the Christian faith, and I am struck with seeing no such conversations coming from those who place such a huge emphasis on knowing God, namely the fundamentalist Christian.

 

Not only am I not hearing these things even mentioned by them, but I am seeing a near blindness to this central focus at the heart of the Christian message they claim exclusive knowledge of! This is remarkable considering that the end of all this “knowing the Truth” should be the manifestation of a spiritual life?

 

Christian truth is not exclusive and I hope nobody claims they have "exclusive knowledge of it", as a Christian that is damaging to a very fundamental element. Namely of bringing the Gospel of Christ to all nations.

 

It is not only knowing this truth but believing in Him (Him is Jesus which is the ultimate truth), having faith and basing your personal life around Him. With that in mind, manifestation of the Holy Spirit should surface if you are indeed submitive to that spirit which is the will of God.

 

If sub_zer0 is unwilling to speak about how his beliefs have made him a more spiritual person, then I sincerely hope another fundamentalist Christian will approach this subject, which all others to date I have tried to engage have avoided completely without fail. We can quibble till the moon falls out of the sky about who has the correct interpretation of the Bible, but everyone knows a heart of humility and grace, and everyone knows arrogance and pride without needing a degree in Bible Arguments.

 

Let’s discuss the manifestation of spiritual fruits that come from a fundamentalist approach to a spiritual life. I believe that would make a better argument for any belief being valid, than any apologetic ever could hope to do.

 

Now through the knowledge of Him, I have aquired great admiration, if not love in Christ. With that it instills courage to proclaim Him not only through works but by my words. Works being good deeds of bringing ones to Christ and a character that is produced in a Christian which is then showed outward to all that person encounters.

 

Here is what the Spirit of a Christian does NOT produce... "19Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, 21envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. "

 

The Spirit of a Christian should be one of "... love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. " Galatians 5:22

 

It goes on to give us examples to live by in our lives.

 

5:25"If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. 26Let us not become boastful, challenging one another, envying one another. "

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Here is what the Spirit of a Christian does NOT produce... "19Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, 21envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. "

 

What about the verse where Jesus said that "prostitute and tax collectors would inherit the kingdom of heaven"

 

And whatever happened to "ye are justified by faith".

 

Isn't that what christians say, that it is faith in christ which is gonna get you into heaven not "works"?

 

The above sounds like "justification by works". The above verse which you presents sounds "justification by work+faith". Which is a catholic position.

 

Since the other day you claimed that the Verses in Ezekiel and John doesn't apply to you, why do these verses apply to you, since the context of this book shows that this was written towards the churches in Galatia(Gal 1:1)?(Cherry Picking again)

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Christian truth is not exclusive and I hope nobody claims they have "exclusive knowledge of it", as a Christian that is damaging to a very fundamental element. Namely of bringing the Gospel of Christ to all nations.

 

Hi Sub zero In case this thread gets too heated I would like to thank you for contributing to it :grin:

 

As you can see from most of the posts here you are not talking to people who know nothing about Christianity. Most have probably been in the place you are in now

 

You said Christian Truth is not exclusive... I am not sure what you mean It DOES exclude everyone who is not a believer in the Gospel You said anyone who proclaims to have exclusive knowledge is fundamentally damaging to Christianity How? Is this not what Christianity claims for itself?

 

Now to the main point of the dicussion ..

Now through the knowledge of Him, I have aquired great admiration, if not love in Christ. With that it instills courage to proclaim Him not only through works but by my words. Works being good deeds of bringing ones to Christ and a character that is produced in a Christian which is then showed outward to all that person encounters.

 

Your first line or two I think clarifies the problem here. Everything you do or think is through Him and a knowledge of Him. So your thoughts are preoccupied with Him.

Now you say that through this your are given fruits of the spirit and then quote the verses

 

I understand where you are coming from - I have been there believe me

 

But what about a persons spirituality that is NOT based on Him alone (Christ). What if a person through their own inner feelings reaches out and helps a needy person even if that action costs the giver something in the way of pride or material gain etc. Is this not a spiritual action ?

Is Love to others not a spiritual sign ..or the appreciation of beauty?

 

Do you think these things in non Christians are not spiritual? If not why not ?

And can you conpemplate the idea that within Christianity there COULD be an emphasis on the knowledge of Christ rather than the spiritual fruits ?

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Not only am I not hearing these things even mentioned by them, but I am seeing a near blindness to this central focus at the heart of the Christian message they claim exclusive knowledge of! This is remarkable considering that the end of all this “knowing the Truth” should be the manifestation of a spiritual life?

 

Christian truth is not exclusive and I hope nobody claims they have "exclusive knowledge of it", as a Christian that is damaging to a very fundamental element. Namely of bringing the Gospel of Christ to all nations.

 

OK, Sub ... I'm calling you out on that one.

 

Quote from Sub_Zer0: http://www.ex-christian.net/index.php?showtopic=6613&st=360 Post#370

 

(Sub_Zer0)
(Open_Minded @ Feb 9 2006, 05:39 PM)

 

Hell no ... I do not accept Sub as interpreter of scripture for me, or for 90 fricken percent of the Biblical scholars who view documentary hypothesis as valid.

 

You're on your own, Sub.... you're interpretations wouldn't hold water in the average seminary discussion. Hell they wouldn't hold water in my mainstream congregation.

If you do not believe in what I am saying you are not a Christian, point blank.

 

The reason I'm calling you out on your statement is it is important to keeping this discussion on track.

 

Rules Again.....

 

This is open to anyone who wishes to discuss the practice of spirituality in the life of a fundamentalist Christian

 

The focus needs to remain about the manifestation of a spiritual life within the fundamentalist approach to religion

 

Bantering back and forth over the "correct" interpretation of Bible versus is not allowed. We can reference the Bible when appropriate, but a consuming focus over "correct" interpretations will bear little fruit to this discussion and offer too easy a distraction from the more pertinent questions

 

One very important manifestation of a spiritual life is honesty. Honesty with self and with others.

 

So... Here you go Sub... WITHOUT QUOTING THE BIBLE .. Reconcile the two following statements that YOU made.

 

Christian truth is not exclusive and I hope nobody claims they have "exclusive knowledge of it".
If you do not believe in what I am saying you are not a Christian, point blank.
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Thank you Sub for participating. Before I post a reply I want to remind people that it is fine for Sub or anyone to quote from the Bible as a reference to what they believe , such as the reference the fruits of the spirit, but we do not want to go down the road of quoting back seemingly contradictory verses, then back and forth out of control. There is plenty of that going on elsewhere, and I will stop this thread from being derailed by that. This is why I posted this in the Colosseum instead of the Lion's den, and established these rules above in the first post of this topic.

 

This is a discussion about how these beliefs affect someone in their daily lives, not how to correctly interpret scripture. Sub and other fundamentalists believe certain things, whether right or wrong, and all I care about is seeing what that means in their lives and to discuss that aspect of it. Hopefully the expression of those feelings will not just be quoting a bible verse instead of using their own words to express their own feelings, but that's why I feel this discussion is an important one to have.

 

Thanks everyone for resisting the easy tempetation to just get into arguing about bible verses. I appreciate it :grin:

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Thanks everyone for resisting the easy temptation to just get into arguing about bible verses. I appreciate it :grin:

 

But sheesh, Antlerman, Bible Bingo and arguing single Bible verses is the fun part! D'ja ever hear of "pilpul"? (arguing single sentences from the Talmud.)

 

I think your spirituality question is enormous, actually. I am a pure materialist right now (Open_Minded, I may have sounded like a deist on another thread, but I'm not). So I will lurk and follow you guys on this thread with interest.

 

Cheers

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It is not only knowing this truth but believing in Him (Him is Jesus which is the ultimate truth), having faith and basing your personal life around Him. With that in mind, manifestation of the Holy Spirit should surface if you are indeed submitive to that spirit which is the will of God.

Again I appreciate your participation in this discussion. Obviously one cannot mean patterning specific actions based on Christ's actions since there really isn't an exhaustive list of how Christ did/would have done things, but rather within the sprit of how one would perceive how Christ might have acted. Would you agree with this?

 

The one thing I want to point out, and I'm not meaning to point a finger at you here, is that in the greater bulk of my history both inside and outside of fundamentalist Christianity has been one of seeing as the rule, not the exception, attitudes in their spirits that were extremely self-righteous and condescending to others outside those within the "common faith". I could quickly provide you with many links to proclaimers of Christ’s truth who have come here, such as TX and Daniel, who demonstrate anything but what I see as listed in the "fruits of the spirit" verse you provided.

 

I am quite sincere about this. It is very disturbing to see that those who proclaim the truth of Christ the loudest, the overwhelming majority of the time, walk the furthest from it.

 

Now through the knowledge of Him, I have aquired great admiration, if not love in Christ. With that it instills courage to proclaim Him not only through works but by my words. Works being good deeds of bringing ones to Christ and a character that is produced in a Christian which is then showed outward to all that person encounters.

Do you see your admiration of Christ coming through reading the Bible and learning theology? Are they any other ways exactly that you gain knowledge and admiration of him, and if so what might they be?

 

One thing I find interesting above is your word choice: “it instills courage to proclaim Him”. For me, the ultimate test of something having a genuine, deeply significant meaning in someone’s life would be a desire to share that experience, not “courage”. Courage seems to suggest something you feel you are obligated by some rules to perform something that may feel personally uncomfortable doing otherwise.

 

When I find something exciting and meaningful, I can’t wait to share it with people! Finding courage is totally irrelevant; unless I am trying to sell something that I don’t really, fully have a meaningful personal relationship with. I've just seen this time and time again when I was in the Church, where people felt obligated to do these things. Why do you need to tell someone to do these things? That's completely wrong.

 

The Spirit of a Christian should be one of "... love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. " Galatians 5:22

Agreed with 100%

 

I look forward to your feedback.

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(Open_Minded, I may have sounded like a deist on another thread, but I'm not). So I will lurk and follow you guys on this thread with interest.

 

Ficino...

 

Yes... I had noticed in the other thread that you were atheist. One of the things that I've discovered in interspiritual dialog is how close people are to each other when they make honest attempts to get beyond and underneath language and labeling.

 

If you are interested in pursuing the line of discussion we were involved in Understanding God As "supernatural" just add a post and I'll catch up. You seem like the type of person who is willing to work at getting past language and labels to the "core" of a thought process & it would be interesting to see where that line of discussion would lead. No doubt there are differences between the two of us .... but .... I wonder underneath the language we are comfortable using ... under the labels we have chosen for ourselves.... what we would find? ;)

 

Antlerman ... thanks for starting this thread ... I really do look forward to its unfolding.

 

Sub_Zer0 .... I look forward to your response to my question above, as well. :)

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Don't be surprised by _Zero or any other fundementalist minded person talking book when you want to talk spirituality. For these people, the only "spirituality" they feel they can trust, has been approved and regulated by book. In the process of fitting spirituality into an approved "box" the spirituality in question becomes something other than spirituality.....and results in leaving the individual's spirit wanting.

When this happens, the fundie refocuses their efforts on book, and effectively kill more spirituality in the search of spirituality. Eventually, cognitive dissonace must set in and convince the individual that they are actually very spiritual. More so than the others around them. When actually they have strangled and snuffed more spirituality than they've gained in this process.

Subconsciously they know the truth, which is why spreading "their" view becomes so important. If everyone around them is as spiritually "dead", then all is correct and as it should be.

 

Whe you really think about it, getting spiritual inspiration from a self conflicting book, rather than say, a sunset, a waterfall, or watching the waves roll in.......the book route seems pretty lifeless.

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Sub_Zero, what is your spirituality like? Not what is it supposed to be, hypothetically, like, but what is it actually like at the moment?

 

I find it funny that I have never heard a conservative-type (not just fundamentalist) christian be personal in their faith, just what they are supposed to believe.

 

To any other Christians in the area, I would be interested in your responses as well. Seems like it would be important to any discussion on spirituality to peg down what it actually is for people.

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Subconsciously they know the truth, which is why spreading "their" view becomes so important. If everyone around them is as spiritually "dead", then all is correct and as it should be.

 

Whe you really think about it, getting spiritual inspiration from a self conflicting book, rather than say, a sunset, a waterfall, or watching the waves roll in.......the book route seems pretty lifeless.

 

White Raven .... I couldn't agree with you more. That is precisely why I am challenging Sub_zer0 to reconcile his statements above WITHOUT USE OF THE BIBLE.

 

That is specifically why I am pointing out to him that ...

One very important manifestation of a spiritual life is honesty. Honesty with self and with others.
If he can NOT be honest about these very core things at the beginning of this discussion - then the discussion is an UTTER WASTE OF TIME.

 

He's a troll ... that has already been established.

 

Ex-C has not banned him, when other boards have. This board has given him more "grace" than any other board I found him on .... and trust me I've found him on plenty. Just check the One Verse at a Time thread.

 

Maybe the grace is being extended because there is still hope that Sub is capable of being honest with himself. :shrug: I don't know ... I'm willing to assume that possibility exists. But ... I want to know his intent up front. If he can't be honest about the conflicting (and judgemental) statements he has already made ... then why proceed any further in the discussion?

 

So ... how about it Sub ... are you going to put down the Bible .... look into your heart and reconcile the two statements YOU made? ....... Waiting ...... :shrug:

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When this happens, the fundie refocuses their efforts on book, and effectively kill more spirituality in the search of spirituality. Eventually, cognitive dissonace must set in and convince the individual that they are actually very spiritual. More so than the others around them. When actually they have strangled and snuffed more spirituality than they've gained in this process.

Subconsciously they know the truth, which is why spreading "their" view becomes so important. If everyone around them is as spiritually "dead", then all is correct and as it should be.

 

Whe you really think about it, getting spiritual inspiration from a self conflicting book, rather than say, a sunset, a waterfall, or watching the waves roll in.......the book route seems pretty lifeless.

This is well put. I can definitely see from my past experience this is what happened to me. It was on a subconscious (or emotional/spiritual) level, they you realize you are unfulfilled, despite having all the correct understandings of God's word. My thought, like you pointed out, is that the problem lays in trying to reconcile as a complete whole those ideas in the bible that are conflicting. It has some valid and positive ideals, but when you get caught up into trying to make the irreconcilable fit, you loose sight of the baby in the bathwater, it drowns and becomes a lifeless corpse.

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Maybe the grace is being extended because there is still hope that Sub is capable of being honest with himself. :shrug: I don't know ... I'm willing to assume that possibility exists. But ... I want to know his intent up front. If he can't be honest about the conflicting (and judgemental) statements he has already made ... then why proceed any further in the discussion?

 

So ... how about it Sub ... are you going to put down the Bible .... look into your heart and reconcile the two statements YOU made? ....... Waiting ...... :shrug:

I'm being a bit of an idealist and I guess would like to believe that down behind all the wall of Bible arguments, lays a human being who is sincere. We all had misconceptions that were part of our Christian experience, and I guess I'm just following those things I value from the heart of the Christian message, "Do unto other's as you would have them do unto you." I have not concluded entirely that Sub is a completely insincere human being. If I should reach that point, then dialog would be pointless.

 

I am extending a hand for a genuine dialog and am holding hopes this thread can make that possible without the easy distractions of getting caught up arguing bible verses. I know this because I was a fundi - it's much easier to deal with those far simpler "conceptual" issues, than ones about something tangible on a personal level.

 

That said I do hope to see Sub address your point. It is a valid one that needs to be discussed to help us understand where he comes from in his thinking on this question.

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The Spirit of a Christian should be one of "... love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. " Galatians 5:22

Agreed with 100%

 

 

But wouldn't a Jew, a Muslim, a Buddhist, a Taoist, etc., and even a humanist come up with the same list. What more is it that compels the Christian to believe in Christ? Or for that matter, what does believing in God add to any religious person above and beyond this list of human virtues? :shrug:

 

"Seek and ye shall find." What is it you found?

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.....

 

Spiritual maturity and growth are often measured in terms of bible knowledge. The more bible verses you can quote the more spiritual you are seen as being. Bible knowledge then replaces

spirituality.

 

......

 

Sometimes I would come out of a typical arm waving happy clappy service and feel my soul uplifted a thousand times more by the wind in my face and the sight of the sun setting over the church car park than by the church meeting.

 

......

 

There is not much soul food in fundamentalist christianity.

 

 

Runaway ~ I loved your whole post ... just quoted again my favourite bits ...

 

 

It is not only knowing this truth but believing in Him (Him is Jesus which is the ultimate truth), having faith and basing your personal life around Him. With that in mind, manifestation of the Holy Spirit should surface if you are indeed submitive to that spirit which is the will of God.

 

Sub - am I understanding you correctly here ... does this mean that you believe that manifestations of the spirit are a 'side effect' of submitting to the will of God? That somehow the fruits of the spirit will show or grow almost automatically - in the spirit of one who is 'submitted' to god's will?

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Spirit of a Christian should be one of "... love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. " Galatians 5:22

Agreed with 100%

 

 

But wouldn't a Jew, a Muslim, a Buddhist, a Taoist, etc., and even a humanist come up with the same list. What more is it that compels the Christian to believe in Christ? Or for that matter, what does believing in God add to any religious person above and beyond this list of human virtues? :shrug:

 

"Seek and ye shall find." What is it you found?

 

I guess I've come to think that the comment 'against such things there is no law' - is an acceptance of the universalism of the fruits?

 

 

The main hindrances to spiritual growth for me ~ as a fundamentalist, were firstly, the way arguing over the details and the 'meaning' of words and the insistance on the historical actuality of accounts so often distracted from the 'truth' in the tale.

 

Secondly - I don't think individual spiritual growth was ever really encouraged, it was almost as if my own spirit was 'without hope' and that the only way forward was to replace mine with that of Christ. I don't think that it is a spiritually lifting starting point and it doesn't feel like part of a 'loving or accepting' relationship to me. I can remember being taught that I was not to place any store in my emotions and feelings (I recall a book by the lovely James Dobson on this very topic)

 

I find it interesting that my experience is that many fundamentalists end up having similar human relationships as the relationship they are taught to accept with god - relationships full of rules, conditions and roles to play - all of which I found spiritually sapping.

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It is not only knowing this truth but believing in Him (Him is Jesus which is the ultimate truth), having faith and basing your personal life around Him. With that in mind, manifestation of the Holy Spirit should surface if you are indeed submitive to that spirit which is the will of God.

 

Sub - am I understanding you correctly here ... does this mean that you believe that manifestations of the spirit are a 'side effect' of submitting to the will of God? That somehow the fruits of the spirit will show or grow almost automatically - in the spirit of one who is 'submitted' to god's will?

I see this as both true and false...ironically. The huge difference being in my understanding of the word 'god'. God is not something we need to submit to because it already is us, IMO. So with this understanding, I can say that when I submit to 'god', I am submitting to that state of being that we are naturally. Unconditioned, we are naturally loving and happy and see life in this state and then the experience of wholeness or unity becomes available to us. This is why I think that everyone has the ability to 'feel' this state of consciousness. It doesn't matter what one calls it, it is a natural state.

 

Now when Sub states this, he sees it as submitting to a force that is not of himself. So, I wonder, how he could know this unity by submitting to a will that belongs to a separate being? He may have these same experiences, but he equates them to the will of a being that is not of himself. That seems like an impossibility to me. His experiences are just as genuine but he just places the source inappropriately outside himself when it is a personal experience.

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I agree with your sentiments here NBBLT ~ I think what I was trying to draw out was the fact that so often in literalist christianity, because the human spirit is seen as so debased - there is no encouragement to nurture the growth of the 'fruits' - they really are seen as by products - transplanted there by God in some sort of garden make over, rather than characteristics we can seek to produce/grow in our lives.

 

It sort of fits with some viewpoints about education of children (I think you were in on this conversation? - that I discussed some time back with SAA) where children are seen as 'potential oak trees' - acorns that contain everything they need to grow into oaks - and the role of the educator is to nurture this inherent potential, rather than the more 'this is what you need to learn' style of most schooling.

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I agree with your sentiments here NBBLT ~ I think what I was trying to draw out was the fact that so often in literalist christianity, because the human spirit is seen as so debased - there is no encouragement to nurture the growth of the 'fruits' - they really are seen as by products - transplanted there by God in some sort of garden make over, rather than characteristics we can seek to produce/grow in our lives.

 

It sort of fits with some viewpoints about education of children (I think you were in on this conversation? - that I discussed some time back with SAA) where children are seen as 'potential oak trees' - acorns that contain everything they need to grow into oaks - and the role of the educator is to nurture this inherent potential, rather than the more 'this is what you need to learn' style of most schooling.

I didn't mean to disagree...I just was thinking as I typed. I'm not good communicating sometimes! I understand now what you meant. I couldn't agree more with you! I would think it would be more meaningful if we were to grow our own garden indeed. We still have the fruit but it means so much more!

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