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  #61  
Old 02-05-2010, 11:01 PM
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LovingRadiance LovingRadiance is offline
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Originally Posted by FriedPie View Post
That said, I identify as Christian, but not as dogmatic or exclusive. I don't think we can really know very much about God, but I see God as love.
I see God as love as well.
I just think that when things get organized and grow.. they tend to lose sight of that on a grand scale. (individuals may not-I mean the institution) and the problem is that when others (not involved in the institution) look at it-they don't see the individuals, they see the institution-which spreads the wrong message...

That's what I mean when i say the modern christian church (doesn't matter which one) doesn't have it right.

I also think that there are individuals in EVERY walk of life (christian, or other religion or no religion) who have their ideals right. A lot of athiests/agnostics put love above all else-so if someone (like you or I) believes that God IS love, then we have the same ideal, just a different name for it.

(all just my thoughts. )
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  #62  
Old 02-05-2010, 11:05 PM
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Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I am always interested in how others see religion in their lives. Our spiritual lives are impacted not only by what we carry with us from our youth but also by what is currently transpiring. And your are very correct when you say what is taught in my faith traditions is not necessarily what the Bible really says.

Again, I appreciate your sharing and God bless you in your continued spiritual walk.
I greatly appreciate your kind way of talking Bugs! It's so... endearing AND so heartening.
It is THAT which I like to find in the world-and commune with.

I LOVE studying the Bible with people, just to talk through some of the differences. I miss going to church for the music. I listen to a lot of the music at home, but it's not the same.
I don't miss the drama though.
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  #63  
Old 02-06-2010, 12:42 AM
FriedPie FriedPie is offline
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I think a lot of people have become disillusioned with organized religion, and I suspect that's what has caused a decline in many of the more open-minded protestant denominations. Since the statistics continue to reflect a large majority who say they believe in something beyond the tangible, it looks like more people are becoming "unaffiliated." The contemporary world has indeed declared that there's a distinction between 'religion' and 'spirituality' (though semantically there isn't really a distinction) because old ways of doing religion no longer are satisfying, or meaningful, or fulfilling. I think people have gotten tired of religious groups pretending to know all the answers, and they seem to have more respect for those groups that acknowledge that nobody has a monopoly on truth.
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  #64  
Old 02-06-2010, 12:47 AM
FriedPie FriedPie is offline
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Originally Posted by LovingRadiance View Post
I also think that there are individuals in EVERY walk of life (christian, or other religion or no religion) who have their ideals right. A lot of athiests/agnostics put love above all else-so if someone (like you or I) believes that God IS love, then we have the same ideal, just a different name for it.
This is how I see it as well. Well said!
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  #65  
Old 02-06-2010, 12:50 AM
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I went to Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley.
I've heard good things about that school; thought about doing doctoral work there when I was younger, but I couldn't embrace the move to the other side of the continent; too far away from my family. I'm also a seminary graduate, though now I work in academia.
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  #66  
Old 02-06-2010, 01:19 AM
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Thank you Fried.
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  #67  
Old 02-13-2010, 06:51 PM
justme123 justme123 is offline
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I am a lifelong dedicated Christian but tend to lean more towards being considered "moderate" to "liberal" as opposed to conservative in my views about a lot of issues that I used to just take for granted or assume. I have not posted here before, usually just read, and I know some other Christians unfortunately did not feel very welcome here (not sure why). I have met several poly Christians, but most are quiet about it. It's not exactly a welcomed lifestyle or way of thinking among most people in mainstream churches, even those that might be "open and affirming." You hear a lot about "LGBT" issues -- lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered -- but "poly" isn't even included there either.
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  #68  
Old 02-14-2010, 05:28 PM
GroundedSpirit GroundedSpirit is offline
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I have not posted here before, usually just read, and I know some other Christians unfortunately did not feel very welcome here (not sure why).
This is really too bad and if they are truly interested in learning about poly and sharing with other like minded people I hope they (and you potentially) can keep that in proper perspective.

One of the most important things I go back to is something FriedPie mentioned. That more & more people really are understanding a difference between religion & spirituality. This reaction to possible actions regarding the use of the term 'religion' supports the divide.

It's very much an Identity thing. The term "christian" has developed a stereotype far beyond "a believer in Christ". This is a completely natural occurrence in that any group, once it becomes highly visible, will be viewed in total by the actions of it's members. This is also a point I like to try to point out to activists of any cause.

Once the 'group' has become identified with a lot of negative traits (which christianity certainly has) you take it on yourself by continuing to associate with that label. Those labels, once established in the collective mind, are difficult if not impossible to undo. This is in fact what contributed to all the various schisms within the christian movement itself.

So you have to pick your labeled associations carefully based on this natural occurrence. Which is why so many people who value some form of 'spiritual' life are refusing to bear the burden of that association/label. They have a wise desire to disconnect from all that is negative that has been (likely permanently) associated with it's label.

Some people ( I strive for this myself) are capable of more or less ignoring a banner (label) that someone comes waving until we can see more how closely that individual associates with the negative aspects of that label. If they do - good riddance to them. If they don't - the label is meaningless.
You can label yourself an 'ass' - but until you behave like one I'm not convinced

GS
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  #69  
Old 02-14-2010, 05:50 PM
justme123 justme123 is offline
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Yes, anybody can call themself a Christian or think just because they attend a certain church it means they are a Christian. I totally agree with what you have said.

To me, "Christian" means "a follower of Christ" in the commonly understood meaning of the term Christ, Jesus who came to earth as both God and man and died for the sins of mankind in order that we can have a restored relationship with God.

To me being a Christian also means I view the rest of my life through that "lens." I believe that Jesus was the Son of God and that He spoke the truth and that if I call myself his follower, that I should strive to live by His teachings.

I go to a Methodist church... most people there would not necessarily agree with my views on polyamory, but they would not kick me out of the church either. This is the type of church that I feel most comfortable in.

I do agree that there is a big difference between true Christianity and "religion."

When I hear someone say, "I'm spiritual but not religious" I understand what that means but in my mind it means pretty much that you could be absolutely anything. God... maybe there is a God... but who is He? What is He? Is He a personal God? Are WE God? Jesus... was He a good man? God in the flesh? A prophet? All of the above... just the above, or more?

Calling myself a Christian best describes my beliefs.... there is a God, He is a personal God, He speaks to us through the Bible... He sent His Son to earth as a man named Jesus to show us to the way to Him.

I believe A WHOLE LOT OF THE REST, for example, views about monogamy, are much more cultural than Biblical, and even though there are a lot of negative connotations about "Christianity," I think for me it still describes best what I consider myself to be.

But not all Christians are the same. Some do actually think for themselves. I'm glad there are other open-minded followers of Christ who understand that it's the intent of our hearts and putting love into practice that really matters, and not following the letter of the Law with no love in it at all towards God nor our fellow men/women.

A deep subject that could be discussed forever.... :-) but those are just a few of my thoughts about what you just wrote. Blessings to you.
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  #70  
Old 02-14-2010, 05:52 PM
justme123 justme123 is offline
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What does that mean (in your profile)... I was just curious?
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