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Agnostic Christianity?

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posted on Jun, 3 2006 @ 05:03 PM
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I was using the term Unitarian when I really meant Unitarian Universalism, which sprung from Unitarian. Sorry for the confusion. My bad.



Universalism
A religious movement which historically promoted the belief that every person will go to heaven after death. This is in contrast with the traditional Christian belief that one's natural destination is eternal torment in hell. Only those who are saved will attain heaven. Today, the latter beliefs are still held by some conservative Christians. Other mainline and conservative Christians are drifting toward the Universalist belief. Liberal and most mainline Christians are already there.
..
According to a 1997 survey of almost 10,000 UUs gave their theological perspective as:
- 46.1% Humanist. This is the most common belief system.
- 19% identify themselves as Nature or Earth centered religion (e.g. Wiccan, Druid or other Neopagan tradition.
- 13% describe themselves simply as Theist.
- 9.3% self-identify as Christian.
- 6.2% are mystic.
- 3.6% are Buddhist.
- Other perspectives listed are Jewish at 1.3%, Hindu at 0.4%, Muslim at 0.1% and other at 13.3%


I suppose every person uses whatever text they desire. There is common ground throughout almost all of these religions and (from my experience of other non-traditional churches) I imagine they would speak in terms of "whatever God means to you"

[edit on 3-6-2006 by Benevolent Heretic]




posted on Jun, 4 2006 @ 01:07 PM
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Ah, I see the difference BH
. That theory is kinda cool. It reminds of of Hindus and the way they believe that everybody will eventually reach Moksha, but some will take longer than others.



posted on Jun, 4 2006 @ 06:27 PM
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It reminds of of Hindus and the way they believe that everybody will eventually reach Moksha, but some will take longer than others.

This reminds me of something interesting I heard in the world religions class I took. According to my professor, Hindus have different paths to God within their own religion (I think there are 4 paths), one of which is love and devotion to God. Apparently, Hindus view Christians as following this path and so in a sense Christians are considered to be Hindus.



posted on Jun, 4 2006 @ 11:07 PM
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Originally posted by Rock Lobster



It reminds of of Hindus and the way they believe that everybody will eventually reach Moksha, but some will take longer than others.

This reminds me of something interesting I heard in the world religions class I took. According to my professor, Hindus have different paths to God within their own religion (I think there are 4 paths), one of which is love and devotion to God. Apparently, Hindus view Christians as following this path and so in a sense Christians are considered to be Hindus.


Yeah, just like with the caste system there are 4 "paths" that hindus follow to reach Moksha. In their religion, though, everybody will eventually reach Moksha, but some take a different path. Even atheism can be a path to them. So yeah, Christians, Muslims, Jews, Buddhists, will all reach Moksha, but they're on the "wrong" path so it will take them longer. I believe the 4 paths are something like the way of the student, "family man" (These have different names but I can't remember them off of the top of my head), asthetic, and vagrat. Something like that, anyway

I got a perfect score on my final, but I have a forgetful memory unfortunately... I try not to forget things that are important to me, though.



posted on Jun, 5 2006 @ 03:00 PM
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Originally posted by Rock Lobster
saint4God,
Could you elaborate on this statement? If it's something personal that you'd rather not discuss, I understand, but if not I am interested to know what you mean.


It was a painful experience obtaining proof. Having faith would have saved me much of that, and would have arrived at the same spot I am now in my relationship with God I believe.

I can try to elaborate but I won't be specific on the forum. I had once before with no avail. Long and short of it is I used to be an "agnostic oblivionist" by my own terming. Basically I believed one of two things existed:

A.) What you see is what you get. When you die, you cease to exist. Nothingness. Death is pointless, therefore this blink in time called life is also pointless.

or

B.) If something beyond the human realm existed, it was "messing with me" by failing to prove itself. (This I thought was HIGHLY unlikely)

After about a year of depression, I'd issued a challenge since I was considering ending my life to find out anyway. Without going into the specifics, I can say this was a very stupid thing to do. I got an answer, but not one I expected and it sent me on a figurative sprint for more than just my life. After receiving the gift of eternal life, that threat was abolished and knew new things like assurance, understanding, peace, and compassion. I have a MS word doc with the details that I'll share on an individual basis if you'd like to U2U me (about 3 pages long and wouldn't make anyone believe anything anyway), but would much rather receive a U2U from a sender asking how they could receive the gift of eternal life for themselves. This is much more valuable than any history I could tell about me.



posted on Jun, 5 2006 @ 07:42 PM
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saint4God,
Thanks a lot for sharing your personal experience. It sounds like you went through a pretty dramatic series of events and I'm happy to know that you found peace. If you want to U2U me, I would definitely be interested to read more about your experiences, but only if you're comfortable with that. I don't want to be that "shady" guy who makes people uncomfortable by asking too much about their personal business.

Herman,
I found some more info on our Hinduism discussion in the book "The World's Religions" by Huston Smith. I should mention that this book gives an excellent overview of the world's major religions if anyone is interested in learning about this subject.

"The number of the basic spiritual personality types, by Hindu count, is four . . . Some people are primarily reflective. Others are basically emotional. Still others are essentially active. Finally, some are experimentally inclined. For each of these personality types Hinduism prescribes a distinct yoga that is designed to capitalize on the type's distinctive strength."

He goes on to list the four yogas, which are:
1) Jnana yoga (the way to God through knowledge)
2) Bhakti yoga (the way to God through love)
3) Karma yoga (the way to God through work)
4) Raja yoga (the way to God through psychophysical exercises)

About bhakti yoga the author says, "All the basic principles of bhakti yoga are richly exemplified in Christianity. Indeed, from the Hindu point of view, Christianity is one great brilliantly lit bhakti highway toward God, other paths being not neglected, but less clearly marked."

Also, Hindus have a bunch of other things falling into divisions of four such as: the four pursuits of life, the four stages of life, and the four castes in the caste system.

[edit on 5-6-2006 by Rock Lobster]

[edit on 5-6-2006 by Rock Lobster]



posted on Aug, 7 2006 @ 02:36 PM
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So it looks like this thread kind of died. Anyway, in the case of anyone coming back I wanted to post some thoughts I had about the accuracy of the Bible. In the question of the two thieves who were crucified next to Jesus, there's no clear indication that one author was picking up where the other left off. Of course I'm not denying that possibility, but in reading over the two accounts they just seem like separate accounts where different observations are made.

After reading both stories, I thought that maybe the different accounts had some sort of symbolic significance. I can't really elaborate on this that much because I'm not even sure what it would be. Or maybe the story of the thief who asked for forgiveness was added on top of the account of the historical facts to teach a moral lesson.

This kind of relates to something I've been thinking about lately - allegorical meaning. I really think the Bible has a lot of this and that's why it's so hard to understand in some parts. For example, look at the Genesis account of creation. If you read Genesis 1, you'll notice that man is the last creation of God. However, immediately after this in Genesis 2:4-7 it says




This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created. When the LORD God made the earth and the heavens- and no shrub of the field had yet appeared on the earth and no plant of the field had yet sprung up, for the LORD God had not sent rain on the earth and there was no man to work the ground, but streams came up from the earth and watered the whole surface of the ground- the LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.


Here it appears that man was created before plants, which is contradictory to the Genesis 1 account. While many people would simply dismiss the Bible at this point, I don't. I think that the way creation is described is an allegory containing deep spiritual truths. I have just started to research this so I don't have that many revelations to give right now, but if anyone is interested in this and has something to add I'd like to hear what you have to say.

[edit on 7-8-2006 by Rock Lobster]

[edit on 7-8-2006 by Rock Lobster]



posted on Aug, 7 2006 @ 03:28 PM
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Firstly I'd like to apologize for not U2U'ing you. It looks like I somehow lost track of this thread and never took you up on the offer. I'd be glad to and certainly will after this post.

Genesis. My World Religions professor and I had numerous arguments, to which this was the first. The gripe I had was the book he'd selected from the course. A very poor translation of the Bible called "The Oxford Study Bible" made by who knows and for whatever reason. This version fails to put in paragraphs, verse numbers and barely chapters it seems. I just checked it on Amazon and it's no longer available. Imagine that
. Anyway, the reason why this is significant is if you can pick up a New International Version, it was translated by over a hundred Biblical scholars over a period of 6 years. In that it's more accurately read that the first chapter, Genesis 1 is the beginning. The creation, everything. Chapter 2 is the experiment known as The Garden of Eden.

Genesis 2:8 "Now the LORD God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed. And the LORD God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground—trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. "

Yes, the sequencing is different there since earth already existed, and Adam wasn't "created" in the garden, rather placed there.

Genesis 2:16 "The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it."

Also point of interest is when Adam and Eve were banished, they went to a different land that was named. And, there was a least one city during the time of their son. One cannot have cities without people, yes? This makes clearer the distinction between the Garden of Eden and the rest of the world:

Genesis 4:16 "So Cain went out from the LORD's presence and lived in the land of Nod, east of Eden."

Genesis 4:17 "Cain lay with his wife, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Enoch. Cain was then building a city, and he named it after his son Enoch."

Cain, mind you, is the only surviving son of Adam and Eve...so it makes sense that he's building a city for other people.

[edit on 7-8-2006 by saint4God]



posted on Aug, 7 2006 @ 09:44 PM
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Originally posted by saint4God
Also point of interest is when Adam and Eve were banished, they went to a different land that was named. And, there was a least one city during the time of their son. One cannot have cities without people, yes? This makes clearer the distinction between the Garden of Eden and the rest of the world:
[edit on 7-8-2006 by saint4God]


This is interesting. So are you saying that people were created and then God took Adam away from everyone else and put him in the Garden of Eden?



posted on Aug, 8 2006 @ 07:16 AM
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Originally posted by Rock Lobster
This is interesting. So are you saying that people were created and then God took Adam away from everyone else and put him in the Garden of Eden?


Unknown, but would make sense why his son was building a city when his father got booted out of the garden. Also, it said they were sent to "the Land of Nod" afterwards. As far as ancient Biblical civilizations go, lands were named after people. For example, later on in the Old Testament there's the land of Judah, the land of Israel, and so on for the 12 tribes. The exception to the rule seems to be the garden itself. Check this out:

"Now the LORD God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden;"

In the east...of what? East of where man was hanging out? If civilization began in Eden, shouldn't that be the centerpoint and all other things are north, south, east or west of it? Just some thoughts. We really have to fill in the blanks to get a full story, but it can be dangerous IF we insist that it is fact, since it is not written. Different possibilities, but I've come to the conclusion that after heaven and earth were created, God set up this garden of Eden experiment to allow mankind to learn how to make choices. What to y'all think?

[edit on 8-8-2006 by saint4God]



posted on Aug, 13 2006 @ 10:59 AM
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I have to say that this is an interesting thread.

ive read some nice theorys on Christian agnosticism and the view of there being two Gods (Jesus coming from the loving God).



posted on Aug, 14 2006 @ 07:55 AM
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Originally posted by infinite
I have to say that this is an interesting thread.

ive read some nice theorys on Christian agnosticism and the view of there being two Gods (Jesus coming from the loving God).


"Why do you call me good?" Jesus answered. "No one is good—except God alone." - Luke 18:19

"No one has ever seen God, but God the One and Only, who is at the Father's side, has made him known." - John 1:18

"For even if there are so-called gods, whether in heaven or on earth (as indeed there are many "gods" and many "lords"), yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live." - 1 Corinthians 8:5-7

There are many, many quotes regarding why there is One God...so for someone to believe in more than one and label themselves "Christian" is inconsistent.

The explanation on how this works is here:

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning." - John 1:1-2, "The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only,[d] who came from the Father, full of grace and truth." - John 1:14

[edit on 14-8-2006 by saint4God]



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