Author Topic: An invitation...  (Read 824 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline muchlove

  • Student
  • **
  • Posts: 66
  • Darwins +3/-0
  • Gender: Male
  • WWGHA Member
An invitation...
« on: March 04, 2013, 01:08:04 AM »
So, I'm a Christian, and I love the idea of having a place (the shelter) where I can speak and dialog with atheists without the fear or concern of an out of control thread or being bombarded with dozens of questions at once.  So, consider this an invitation thread to discuss with me whatever you'd like about my faith.  I have a feeling that there are many of you in here who are curious what makes me "tick" since we see the world very differently.

Offline Traveler

  • Reader
  • ******
  • Posts: 2056
  • Darwins +142/-2
  • Gender: Female
  • no god required
    • I am a Forum Guide
    • Gryffin Designs
Re: An invitation...
« Reply #1 on: March 04, 2013, 10:55:46 AM »
Wonderful idea, thanks for the invitation.  :)

I'll have to look up your threads to see what you've already posted about your beliefs, but I don't know much about you. I did just do a quick "show posts" on you and see you talking about communication from god. I'd like to discuss that.

I have had a number of experiences that one might consider spiritual or something. I sometimes participate with a small group of people in a sort of spontaneous deep imagery. I began it after a friend told me of a workshop he attended at the Omega Institute for Holistic Studies. In this process, we get relaxed, a "leader" sometimes leads us in a "grounding exercise" and then we let happen whatever happens. Often we'll start with an issue and invite an animal or guide to come to us to help us. Sometimes we talk, sometimes we journey somewhere, or what-have-you. People who haven't experienced this kind of thing might think its silly. But as a life-long atheist, it was the first time that I "got it" about what *might* be what religious folks describe as a spiritual experience. Now. We all interpret these experiences differently. Some feel that its a journey with god or angels, who appear in our journeys in a way that we can accept. Some that these are animal totems or guides, similar to those of a shaman or native American medicine man. Some that its a way to access our subconscious. In other words, some feel that its a psychological process, some that its spiritual, and some that its simply our imagination.

To me, what matters is that these experiences have helped me heal, helped me grow, and helped me learn more compassion for both myself and others. It doesn't matter to me what these experiences are. Whether they are god, angels, guides, spirits, subconscious, imagination, or indigestion ... what matters is the help I've gained from them.

The difference between myself and religious folks, it seems to me, is that religious folks interpret these experiences (or whatever their experiences are) as coming from god. I do see that you understand and accept the difference between belief and knowledge. I'm glad to hear you say that. And maybe that means there isn't a question here. But I guess I don't really understand why humans insist on labeling or compartmentalizing things like this. I know I do it. I tend to think these experiences are psychological in nature, having to do with my subconscious.  My "animals" laugh at me when I say so. They say it doesn't matter at all what they are. And yet I honor them as if they are separate, *and* as if they are me. I suspect that if I'd grown up in a shamanistic family or society, that I would be convinced they are guides and that I have shamanistic tendencies. I don't know what I'd think if I were christian. All I know about that is that it has given me a little more sympathy or acceptance, I suppose, of those who claim to have had spiritual experiences. Where they totally lose me is when they try to preach it as an absolute that everyone must believe.

I'm not even sure anymore what I'm asking, but if you have any comments or questions or suggestions as to why people feel the need to proselytize about such things instead of simply enjoying and learning from the experience, I'm all ears.
If we ever travel thousands of light years to a planet inhabited by intelligent life, let's just make patterns in their crops and leave.

Offline muchlove

  • Student
  • **
  • Posts: 66
  • Darwins +3/-0
  • Gender: Male
  • WWGHA Member
Re: An invitation...
« Reply #2 on: March 04, 2013, 11:44:12 AM »
I'm not even sure anymore what I'm asking, but if you have any comments or questions or suggestions as to why people feel the need to proselytize about such things instead of simply enjoying and learning from the experience, I'm all ears.

Traveler, since you asked this question in particular, I'll answer it from a Christian perspective, and it is quite simple.  Five separate times, Jesus tells His disciples before he departs to go into the world, preach the gospel, and make disciples.  It's not a question for the Christian who takes the idea of being a disciple seriously.  So those "over zealous" preachy Christians are simply those who are attempting to be obedient to the one mandate Christ gives to do so.  Much like a supervisor or boss who says, "Guys, I'm leaving to take care of some things.  While I'm gone, I need you to get 'X' done, that's your responsibility while I am gone."

Offline muchlove

  • Student
  • **
  • Posts: 66
  • Darwins +3/-0
  • Gender: Male
  • WWGHA Member
Re: An invitation...
« Reply #3 on: March 04, 2013, 02:45:16 PM »
Hey guys, I have a suggestion.  Since I'm currently engaging with 3 different people on 3 completely different ideas/topics, perhaps we could break each discussion or major topic into it's own thread.  Traveler started with some basic ideas on why people feel the need to proselytize, Graybeard asked some questions regarding why Christianity is so popular in the West, and Screwtape asked some questions on belief. 

If you guys wouldn't mind, that might be easier than trying to keep track of all of this in one thread.  And while there are many who might have other questions, time limitations might prevent me from being able to handle more than 3 active threads, so please be patient, as I will try to do my best.

Offline screwtape

  • The Great Red Dragon
  • Administrator
  • *******
  • Posts: 12338
  • Darwins +677/-28
  • Gender: Male
  • Karma mooch
Re: An invitation...
« Reply #4 on: March 04, 2013, 03:16:14 PM »
Links:
Rules
Guides & Tutorials

What's true is already so. Owning up to it does not make it worse.