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   Author  Topic: Religion  (Read 1233 times)
torporchair
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Religion
« on: Jun 29th, 2008, 7:24pm »
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If religion is a set of beliefs about the nature of truth and spirit and about a higher power (what is commonly called 'God'), and if that set of beliefs is changeable to make room for the growth of the religious person, then I can safely tell people I am religious. In most circles I think people feel better about you if you are religious. Why this is the case would require more insight than I am able to bring.
 
But in the popular sense of the word, 'religion' means you belong to a church of some kind, and that you have a fairly rigid set of beliefs. I like the Presbyterians for their tolerance of weird people like me, but they are still into the sacraments and so forth, although the pastor said I am welcome to come to church no matter what I do or do not believe. Most any pastor or minister I have talked to said they have no problem if I am agnostic or atheist or what have you; I am still welcome to their church. I never asked if they would welcome a member of the satanic church. It would be a good question, though. Of course, they prefer that they can 'help' me, but just going and hearing a refreshing sermon with some insights on bible references is good enough for me. I end up going to church these days just to be a better husband. I enjoy a little bible scholarship, and almost always the minister will fire off a couple of riffs about the interpretation from the Aramaic or Greek or Hebrew, or some kind of good cross reference between two parts of the bible, and in any case I am permitted to sit and read the KJV unmolested regardless. I am getting to where I like going to church.  
 
But I'll be d**ned if I'm religious.
 
Still, I believe in something I can not name or put in a category. This illogical belief is a good definition for insanity as well as mysticism and faith. What the hell, I figure the idea of being alive in this harsh place without some kind of mystic trampoline is crazy too.  
 
Now, one thing that church seems to emphasize is that one should spread the good news, spread the word about how we are saved by Christ and so forth. To be honest, I really, really think that limiting one’s religion to any set of specific beliefs is to do one’s self a disservice. My twisted belief is that Spirit is infinite. So how to say you can only get to heaven through Christ? To me, my good work is simply to try and live by that weird old golden rule and let people take their own spiritual trip. If someone comes to me crying and saying satan is after them, all I can do is tell them that I firmly believe good is more powerful than evil (good has an organizing principle, which is powerful, whereas evil ultimately is a tearing down or a reduction). I am not gonna lay the Christ trip on them, especially when they are down. And maybe I am hell bound and so forth, and my eyeballs will melt eternally after I die and I will scream horrible in hell forever. Would serve me right, huh?
 
Spirit is infinite. Any religion is a reduction of spirit; an attempt to codify spirit. I’m sure this is a twisted and wicked thing to say, but I believe it to be self evident and the best ‘code’ to live by when it comes to matters of the spirit.
 
But there are countless people who get a lot out of church, and who are perfectly served by a rigid set of beleifs. For these people church is a blessing, a wonderful thing. I see these people every week. It is a beautiful thing to see.  
 
But is church right for everyone? God loves the non-church goers, I think, just as much as the church-goers! And when I say 'God loves' them, all I mean is that the universe accepts them.  
 
You?
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mitakeet
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Re: Religion
« Reply #1 on: Jun 29th, 2008, 8:50pm »
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I think you have subconsciously decided you are somehow lacking because you do not feel that some Christian variant is sufficient.  All this talk of "hell bound and so forth, and my eyeballs will melt eternally after I die and I will scream horrible in hell forever" makes me think you feel that you are somehow deficient.  If you truly believe in your personal belief system, then you don't need to constantly compare it with any other belief system.  To thine own self be true.
 
Organized religion, like any organization with any sort of power, will attract corruptible people and given enough time, will be populated with corrupt people.  If it is just you (no organization), then there is no power to attract anyone, thus no corruption.  There is, however, strength in numbers, so I think a lot of people are attracted to groups because of their natural gregarious nature.  Groups need some sort of organization, that organization has some level of power, that power attracts corruptible people; the organization becomes populated with corrupt people.  Tis just human nature.
 
I am pretty sure, btw, that there is no 'hell', just like there is no purgatory.  When you die, you stay dead.  If, during the resurrection, you are judged acceptable, you get reborn, else you just stay dead.  However, since that wasn't scary enough for most people, various preachers invented a hell so that people would fear dying if they lived an unacceptably pure life.  Of course, this has a flip side: there is no heaven until after Judgement day.  Once dead, you are just dead, that is it.  Not very acceptable to those having lost loved ones, particularly if the loved one died under some sort of trying circumstance.  Thus instant arrival to heaven was also invented as a parallel with hell so the wicked would have something to fear and the pure would have something to look forward to.  But I think this is all in the minds of preachers, not in the bible.
 
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The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man.
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