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Christain Gays, tell me what you're thinking!


Trixie
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I know that there's at least a few of you on this board. You are Christian, yet gay. You are fornicators and ####, Sodomites, yet Christian.

You are a mystery to me. You embrace a religion (or religions, depending on how one feels about the Catholic vs. protestant debate) that would despise you.

Personally, I was raised in a born-again Baptist household. When it came time to reconcile my sexuality with my inherited beliefs, I nearly took my own life out of despair. From where I came from, there's little room for reconciliation. Either you fit the mold, or you don't. My choice was made over 20 years ago, but it would seem that little has changed in mainstream Christianity in that time.

I have suffered more than one death of Spirit in this World, due to my own beliefs and also due to the beliefs of Society. I have made choices in life, and they have sometimes left me bereft of comfort. I cannot take shelter in the Religion that I was raised with, and have certainly found no Earthly religion that has a true base that welcomes me.

Having said that, I must also admit that I have rejoiced in as many Spiritual rebirths as I have mourned deaths. I have yet to find a religion that can justify itself to me, be it Christian, Hindu, Buddhist, Muslim or "Other". But, I find a great amount of joy in the Promise of Life itself.

But... getting back to my question... how do you who've decided to stick with Christianity survive intact? How do you rationalize it? I am not meaning to be sarcastic, nor disrespectful. I merely want to know.

 

 

La Trix

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how do you who've

>decided to stick with Christianity survive intact? How do you

>rationalize it? I am not meaning to be sarcastic, nor

>disrespectful. I merely want to know.

>

>

>La Trix

 

Trixie:

 

You raise an issue I grapple with every day. If I subscribed to the fundamentalist Christian way of thinking, taking everything in the Bible literally, I suppose it would be pretty hard to reconcile that version of Christianity with being gay.

 

Much of Christianity, including some of the mainstream denominations like the one I belong to (United Methodist) still refuse to seriously grapple with issues like homosexuality. My denomination is no less infected with the fear of "difference" and the prejudices resulting in homophobia than many others. That said, I know many United Methodists who are working within the church for a more enlightened perspective.

Regardless of denominational background, I've yet to meet a self-professed Christian who adheres to every teaching of the Bible. For everyone, it's pretty much a "pick and choose" affair. This is true of the fundamentalists as well. They ignore many of the prohibitions found in Leviticus, rules against eating pork as one example, but elevate the rules against homosexuality to the level of ultimate concern. So, regardless of what they say, they pick and choose like everyone else. They've just decided to be dishonest about that fact.

 

I guess the bottom line for me is that Jesus himself had nothing so say about homosexuality, so it must not have been a hot button issue for him. He had a lot to say about poverty, but these days, so many church people are silent about that, because they think homosexuality is a much "sexier" issue to get stirred up about. Why would so called "Christians" say nothing about Dubya's failure to address issues of basic human need, but enthusiastically support his efforts to deny rights to gays? I'd say it is hypocrisy. The church is a human institution, and as such, flawed. Accepting that reality, I've chosen to work within for change, but I can appreciate the fact that many others have arrived at the conclusion that it is no longer worth the effort. Maybe my guarded optimism that someday, churches will "see the light" as they eventually did with slavery, is ill-founded. Just speaking for myself, I haven't yet decided to throw in the towel.

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I'm Jewish, not Christian, but I've done a lot of reading and study on the subject. Not all Christians read the Bible literally, for starters, and gay people who continue to be Christian believers focus, I think, on the the message and example of Jesus, who said absolutely NOTHING about homosexuality in his teachings. Zero! Zip! Nada! Instead, he taught his followers to love their neighbor as themselves, and chose to work among the outcast and despised of his society: lepers, beggars, prostitutes, etc. The Jesus who loved those people would have loved gays, too.

 

In spite of the efforts of the utterly materialistic and greedy to appropriate Jesus and Christianity to themselves, it's clear that Jesus spoke truth against power, and defended the poor and meek and unloved against the rich and mighty. That's a message that anyone can follow, even 2000 years later. By and large, it's the message the mainstream and liberal wings of Christianity follow, and gays find an increasing welcome in many of those churches, and a complete welcome in at least a few.

 

Even if you believe that the Bible is the literal word of G-d, the number of references to same-sex sexual relationships between men are extremely few, compared to proscriptions against other sins. The same-sex references are not phrased straightforwardly, even in the original Hebrew, and end in a formula associated with prohibitions against idolatrous practices, so there is reasonable doubt that they refer to every possible same-sex sexual relationship, as opposed to, say, male ritual prostitution (a feature of some of the heathen religions of the Biblical period and something that concerned the early Hebrews, who worried constantly about backsliding into paganism). Same-sex relationships between women aren't mentioned anywhere, which heightens the doubt about whether all same-sex intercourse is sinful, per se. It's also notable that the proscriptions aren't surrounded by blinking lights and arrows with signs saying: "Hey, these commandments are more important than any of the others!!!" In fact, the only commandments that fit that description are the famous Ten Commandments, and the only sexual sin mentioned in the all-important Ten is heterosexual adultery!!!

 

Not even the literalists and fundamentalists among Christians follow all of the hundreds of commandments and proscriptions of the Bible, among which are found the two references to proscribed same-sex intercourse. They eat pork and shellfish, cook meat and milk together, wear polyester-cotton blends, fornicate, screw their neighbor's wives, steal, commit murder, you name it! And virtually all of the commandments they choose not to observe are clear and unequivocal, unlike the more ambiguous same-sex proscriptions. So I guess they'll be going straight to hell for wearing that no-iron shirt!!! No rapture for them, no sirree, Bob!!!

 

Merely reading the Sodom story reveals that the sin that brought destruction on Sodom and Gomorrah was inhospitality to strangers, not homosexual sex. Claiming that the story is about homosexuality is a much later invention. The people who brought you that interpretation totally ignore, of course, a countervailing trend in the Bible, telling us about the love of David and Jonathan and of Naomi and Ruth in terms that imply more than mere friendship. In the New Testament, Jesus didn't preach against sex or love, and a gay Christian certainly is entitled to wonder about the sexuality of a 33-year old Jewish man with a good trade in Roman Palestine who remained single, doted on his mother, and hung out almost exclusively with 12 other guys and a former prostitute (Mary Magdalene: the first fag-hag? My gosh, there's the seed for a future best-seller!!!). Some people believe that Jesus and John the Baptist were lovers. In any case, the virulently anti-sexual thrust in Christianity doesn't come from Jesus, but from a couple of his creepier and most fanatic followers. Whether you choose to accept the teachings of the followers is strictly up to you.

 

Finally, the Genesis story, which both Jews and Christians believe, tells us that G-d found the Creation to be GOOD. If you believe, as I do, that your being gay isn't a matter of choice, but is something inherent in your being, then it's a part of that same Creation and is therefore, by definition, GOOD, even if some other allegedly religious people can't (or refuse to) follow that simple logic!

 

It's possible for gay people to be believing Christians or Jews or Muslims if they're capable of thinking for themselves, reading the scriptures carefully, looking at the many strands of interpretation, thought and belief within each of those great traditions, and finding and following the teachings which ring true in their hearts and souls and minds. All three of the great monotheistic religions are like oceans, filled with different streams and currents. You just have to dive in and find the stream or current that will carry you towards a greater understanding and communion with the Almighty, your fellow men and all of G-d's Creation!

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I must applaud the first two answers you received. I only wish that they had also mentioned some of the wonderful books which are out there on this subject, librariean's son that I am. Archbishop John Henry Stang (and I am sure that I did not get that name correct) (aand I think that he is a retired Episcopalean.) wrote one which I think is entitled "End Bible Abuse." And there is, I am told, a wonderful gay historian who has written books on the history on this change of thinking in the church. I'm not much for reading history, so I completely forget his name. Somebody help me out here! I think that a lot of the problem here can be traced back to Paul rather than to Jesus, or even Peter.

 

Have you tried Metropolitan Community Churches? True, for a church, we are very young and haven't yet, at least here in the U.S. been recognized as a denomintation by many of the other churches. But, if you haven't tried us, please do. We have open communion. Anyone, be he/she a member of any church or none, can share commmunion with us. And we do it every week. Oh, and our founder, who is just about to retire, has written some books, too - Troy Perry.

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Trixie,

I take your post a a poorly disguised attack on Christianity.

I'm a Christian and don't apologize to anyone for it.

 

At the same time I don't carry my Christian faith on my sleeve

and dont discuss it unless asked. For me religion is a personal thing.

]With my faith, I find it easy to just ignore the attacks on Christianity be the liberal-socialist here.

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Interesting question. I haven't read this whole post (may or may not), but thought I'd respond to the initial one.

 

I am NOT a Christian anymore. I say "anymore" because I was raised in a Christian household (also United Methodist), went to church for quite a while, went to a Christian High School, and then even went to a religious college...and considered myself a Christian for most of that time!

 

It was in college where I finally figured out I was gay (something that took longer probably because it was so...unthinkable... I had enough guilt just struggling with masturbation all those years, and I thought I was awful for sure for that.)

 

It was not an easy road, but eventually I figured out (partially prompted by my search after figuring out I was gay) that A) I don't necessarily believe Christianity and B) Even if the Bible (and thus Christianity) IS true, I've decided I don't believe it's entirely and perfectly good (as it's portrayed), and, in fact, it now seems like a very bleak and terrifying religion to me. (I realize some people may be very offended by this statement. That is not my goal. But, I do feel I need to call it as I see it.)

 

I could go into a lot of details as to why I feel this way (and a lot of it doesn't have anything to do with being gay - it's just the whole gay reconciliation attempt made me take a closer look at the religion in general), but it would be rather long and drawn out, so I won't unless asked to.

 

As far as being gay, that itself could be reconciled, but I'm not sure how successfully. I'm a bit rusty, but there are two main passages used to point out that being gay is unacceptable. I don't know their locations anymore, but I know the basics.

 

The first is the story of Soddom and Gomorrah (and I may have spelled those wrong). A lot of people point to that as a demonstration that gay sex is awful and condemned. But consider this... The population of that town basically wanted to GANG RAPE a couple of angels. MOST people agree that RAPE is awful. It can be, in my opinion, quite easily argued that God was so appalled by THIS and not necessarily homosexuality.

 

The second is a passage that states something along the lines that any man who lies with another man goes to hell. This is a pretty damning passage, but what people often ignore is that, if memory serves, in that same book, there are a TON of rules and regulations with severe punishments that aren't followed anymore today at all...or taken seriously. Things like what one is and isn't allowed to eat and when, etc.

 

These are the only two places I know of that really talk much about homosexuality, and because of the various problems with them, I think the arguments are somewhat weak.

 

I try to keep an open mind and respect everyone's belief. I consider myself agnostic. I do believe in some kind of force that created things (one that's not necessarily perfect), but beyond that, I really don't know the nature of "God" or the world or anything else. I don't necessarily believe in heaven or hell, but I'd like to think there is some kind of afterlife (and obviously I hope it's a pleasant one).

 

I also try to live my life with what I consider to be (and this is subjective) personal honor and treat others as I want to be treated.

 

I don't know what the answers are, but for me, Christianity just doesn't add up.

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You're in good company. Christianity doesn't add up for billions of people. People of other faiths outnumber Christians. Looking at Christianity as an outsider, I can only marvel that such a strange religious hash has produced so much beauty and goodness, coupled with so much ugliness and horror.

 

I've always thought that you had to be born Christian to really be a believer. Unlike the other two great monotheistic faiths (Judaism and Islam) Christianity requires a person to suspend too much disbelief and make too many leaps of faith to be able to accept its teachings easily. To be a Christian you have to believe in G-d being incarnated in human form, having a gender, somehow being Three Gods in One, Virgin Birth, Resurrection, Original Sin, being "saved" by the death of an itinerant Jewish preacher instead of by your own good deeds or any other virtue of your own, that Jesus was the Messiah when he didn't fulfill any of the Biblical prophecies relating to the coming of the Messiah (requiring belief in a Second Coming), that bread and wine become the actual flesh and blood of Christ (the ritual cannibalism is particularly hard for an outsider to accept) and on and on and on. . .

 

Hundreds of millions of people find it possible to believe all this, and even to an outsider the profound and unreserved faith of millions of Christians, especially the poorest of the poor in impoverished countries, cannot help but be moving. But I think you have to have grown up in the tradition to accept it wholeheartedly. Judaism and Islam don't make similar demands of faith on their followers. In the case of Judaism, the only leap of faith you have to make is that G-d exists and that G-d is One, eternal, omnipresent, omniscient and invisible. Islam asks for the same thing, and for an additional leap of faith: that Mohammed was the last and greatest of G-d's prophets. By comparison with Christianity they are faiths that are easier to accept because they don't ask their followers to suspend reason to the degree Christianity does. In Judaism and Islam you can choose not to believe many other stories or teachings in those religions without undermining the basic belief of G-d's existence and unity, which is their primary article of faith. But if you can't bring yourself to believe that G-d exists at all, then none of the three monotheistic faiths will be for you.

 

I'm afraid I don't know enough about Buddhism and Hinduism to speak with any expertise about their belief systems, but both require leaps of faith of their own, and an ability to believe in the unseen and the ultimately unknowable. Yet billions find anwers to the questions of existence in those faiths, too. And all of the great faiths that have arisen among humankind have endless streams and currents within them, among which it's more than likely that an inquiring soul will find answers to many of the questions we all have about the meaning of life.

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Wow, such great, thoughtful posts! Everyone who answered had very compelling things to say. I even found Muscle Lover's post fascinating... at first I thought of it as a result of a frail defense-mechanism, but really, if one wants to answer a query about one's religious values with "Mind your own beeswax!", it's perfectly acceptable.

It's just a pity that the conservative right feels that it doesn't have to mind it's own beeswax when it comes national legislation. But, there you have it.

 

My own history with Christianity has been tumultuous. Indoctrinated at an early age- yet always questioning- (I believe I was an Evolutionist long before I began to suffer the slings an arrows of outrageous sexuality... even as a child in Sunday school I was asking "But what about the dinosaurs?). When puberty hit, and desire filled my head(s) with unseemly thoughts, I went into a coma of paranoia... I remember very little of the 8th - 11th grades. I didn't dare reveal myself to anyone, not even my closest friends.

Ultimately, I had to trash my relationship with the church in order to let myself grow. For a decade at least, I harbored very hostile feelings towards Christianity. Eventually, I began to examine my wounds, examine my mindset, examine the World at large... and came to an intellectual reconciliation of sorts.

 

These days, I have mixed emotions about "Christianity". I've learned to separate Jesus Christ- the teacher- from Christianity- the moral governing institution. It's been many, many years since I've read the New Testament, but I feel that I have no argument with anything Jesus C. had to say. Do I believe that he is/was the Son of G*d, or G*d incarnate? I really have no opinion...

If I remember correctly, he was pressed more than once to say so, but he always side-stepped the issue. Or, allowed others to speak for him. IMOP, JC asked us not to worship him as G*d, but to follow his example. And if he at all suggested that he was Divine, it was only to show us the great potential that exists within each of us.

So I guess I'm not Christian. I don't see Jesus Christ as the Only Door into the big Ritz-Carlisle that is to be the afterlife. Although he's probably a pretty good shoulder to lean on if you're trying to get there, as long as you don't mind the company of his followers.

In the meantime, those of us who sail on the Small Raft find him to be a generous shelter. But, there's a questionable crowd on his lovely little isle, therefore I personally must continue on... .

 

La Trix

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Although they've become a bit amorphous (IMHO) you might want to look into Unitarian-Universalism, and particularly churches whose roots are more in Unitarianism than Universalism (the two denominations merged a few decades ago). From your self-description, it sounds like it could be a good fit for you.

 

Unitarianism emerged as a church for those Enlightenment Christians whose rational minds could no longer accept the divinity of Jesus and the extremely difficult and mysterious Trinitarian doctrine of mainstream Christianity. Early (and "traditional") Unitarians believed, as do Jews and Muslims, that G-d is One. Having originally been mainstream Christians, they continued to believe in Jesus as a teacher and prophet, and their services were very similar to those of the Christian denominations from which they came, purged of Trinitarian references. King's Chapel in Boston, for example, was originally Episcopalian, and continues to use its own revised version of the Book of Common Prayer. Most other Unitarian churches in New England, where the church first took root in the United States, were originally Congregationalist, and their services reflect that tradition.

 

On the West Coast, where there are fewer Unitarians, the church services seem to be more Universalist in style, omitting virtually all reference to the Deity. But they vary from church to church, and there are several in the Bay Area, so you should be able to find one whose worship style suits you!

 

Unitarian-Universalists are, by and large, liberals, and the church has been one of the first and strongest supporters of civil rights in general and gay rights in particular, including marriage rights. Any gay person will find a welcoming and positive environment in a U-U church.

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born and bred a jew...i guess i'll always be one,at least culturally if not religiosly.

 

with all the intolerance,ignorance,and hatred spewed by the mainstream superstitions...i just can't imagine myself or any other moral,decent person subscribing to (or even needing) the earth based ,money grubbing teachings of these groups.

 

i believe i am more connected to (for lack of a better word) "god" than all of the bible and koran thumping hypocrites combined.

i don't need some fool with a can of hair spray on his hair and a powder blue polyester suit covering his ass to tell me how to think.

 

i believe in a "god" i believe we have a responsibilty to all of "gods" creations...the air we breathe,the water we drink,the creatures we share this planet with,any less than that is not a true love of "god"

 

in my opinion all the organized superstitions are not much different than chevrolet dealers...all of them are selling the same flawed product,but each is saying the deal they offer is better than the other guy.

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I think you are confusing Christianity with the secularly founded churches based on Christianity.

 

That is a big difference. If you would bother to read the teachings of Jesus Christ, without all the embellishments added by humans thru their churches, then you would find that He preached only love, forgiveness and acceptance of all people. That is what sustains me and keeps my faith in Jesus, and why I love being a Christian. As such, I don't have any conflict with being gay and believing in Jesus as the savior and the Son of God.

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>I think you are confusing Christianity with the secularly

>founded churches based on Christianity.

>

>That is a big difference. If you would bother to read the

>teachings of Jesus Christ, without all the embellishments

>added by humans thru their churches, then you would find that

>He preached only love, forgiveness and acceptance of all

>people. That is what sustains me and keeps my faith in Jesus,

>and why I love being a Christian. As such, I don't have any

>conflict with being gay and believing in Jesus as the savior

>and the Son of God.

>

>

 

Give me a brake, how can you claim to support Jesus Christ's teachings of Love, forgivveness and acceptance when you just posted the following???

 

Please, this type of crap, really makes me want to vomit! The United States, once again, is to BLAME for what now, acts of nature? And yet ANOTHER opportunity to bash the US in the name of Bush? Yep, Bush is a fucking idiot! This latest crappola is proof positive of that, right?

 

Now, all those "enemies" of ours in the UN should shame us and demand that we tax? the American citizens to provide what "billions?" of dollars of aid to this disaster? Excuse me, but FUCK OFF, as I don't think we need any of those pansy assed countries like Norway to DEMAND anything from the United States, as none of them are supporting us in anyway whatsoever! Nothing novel there, huh?

 

DEMAND us to tax the already overtaxed American public to provide aid to countries that hate us, never support us and are hotbeds of Muslim jihad activities against the American people? I'm sure all the bleeding heart charity drives, will once again, provide the majority of dollars for rebuilding from the American public, without the tax demands that Norway and others are calling for in the UN.

 

Number one, India had ample opportunity to install early warning devices against tsunamis, but chose to spend their money on nuclear weapons for future use against Pakistan. Number two, Indonesia is one of the most anti-American countries on Earth, and one of the biggest hotbeds of AlQaeda support in the world. Have you forgotten the Islamic jihad mentality of this place, the very one that CONDONED the brutal bombings that killed 100's of Australian citizens? IMO, TOO DAMN BAD that the tsunami didn't bury that shithole at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean!

 

The only sad thing about this entire incident, is that Bush let these shit assed countries "shame" him into committing more of the American tax dollars into rebuilding the very countries that would GLADLY celebrate the death of America and Americans!

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SouthBeach, you've definitely got VaHawk's number. The sad thing is that he is not able to see the moral and logical inconsistencies of what he says from one moment to the next. I guess we should pity him, but of course such pity would only create rage with someone so absolutely certain of his moral rectitude and piety, as he is.

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>SouthBeach, you've definitely got VaHawk's number.

 

REALLY????? Just WTF is VaHawk's number? You don't know, never have known, and absolutely will never know!

 

>The sad thing is that he is not able to see the moral and logical

>inconsistencies of what he says from one moment to the next.

>I guess we should pity him, but of course such pity would only

>create rage with someone so absolutely certain of his moral

>rectitude and piety, as he is.

 

Wrong once again, but what more could I POSSIBLY expect from such a holier than thou, judgemental, name calling pos?

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>>The sad thing is that he is not able to see the moral and

>logical

>>inconsistencies of what he says from one moment to the next.

>

>>I guess we should pity him, but of course such pity would

>only

>>create rage with someone so absolutely certain of his moral

>>rectitude and piety, as he is.

>

>Wrong once again, but what more could I POSSIBLY expect from

>such a holier than thou, judgemental, name calling pos?

 

Now what were you saying about Jesus a few posts back? As I recall, something about love, forgiveness, and acceptance of all people? As soon as someone calls you on your hypocrizy, you throw Jesus right out the window.

 

This is so rich!

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Christian seems to get conflated with "Protestant" and implicitly many people seem to increasingly buy the claim of ownership to the term by evangelicals and fundamentalists (who don't think Catholics, Episcopalians, etc. are Christian unless they have been "born again" in a way that they prescribe). So-there are plenty of ways to be a Christian, including the essentially gay MCC. Some people (including members of the Church itself) would question whether to include the Unitarians.

 

I nevre quite got Christianity and it never had anything to do with sexuality. The Christ story made no sense. Evene later, as a metaphore, it made no sense. Many fundamental teachings of Christianity are present in Judiasm and Islam, and they didn't need vrigin birth, resurrection, etc. to make the point. For a skeptic, I think you have to suggest where the "value added" is in all of that which Tri equently catalogued. I doubt that one has to accept all of it, but if you don't, would you call yourself a Christian? And what about those folks who come from a Christian tradition but are frankly well off the main track like Quakers and UUs. Not to mention reconciling the propensity for Christianity to go in both enlightenment and "Know Nothing" directions, often at historically similar times. And liberal Christians have not always been great folks---read about missionaries in Asia and the Presbyterians, etc. come off as badly as the Baptists or the fundies and evangelicals who came later. Plus you have traditions like the Anglican which can be socially very liberal in England and pretty repressive in Kenya (or the Presbyterian tradition which is pretty liberal here but pretty paleo in Nortrhern Ireland). In other words, what does one do with virgin birth, etc. and a pretty dreadful history of judging and oppressing other people? Yes, this is blunt, but if you really believe, I think you should let us know.....

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>WTF? Got a point to make, as I didn't see one except your

>use of the word "brake". Btw: isn't that a word that applies

>to brake your car to stop? Once again, do you have a point,

>as all I see is a reiteration of what I posted?

 

You wouldn't get the point if we shoved it where the sun doesn't shine. You are so full of hate for The Asians and the Muslims and the Europeans or anyone else who has the balls to speak out against Bush that you will never understand the true teachings of Jesus.

 

Until you learn to respect people who are different than you, you will never get it. Got it?

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Anyway... Yes, I should've made it more clear that in my first post that it is most organized Christian demoninations that I find suspect, not Jesus himself. I have read the New Testament, and find the words of Christ to be inspiring. Again, I don't feel the need to hire him on as persoal Saviour, but nevertheless I feel that his teachings and message are beautiful- as have been the examples of certain individuals of his followers for these 2000 some years since he walked the Earth (and Seas!).

I also find equally valid, inspirational and holy messages in the teachings of Buddha, Lao Tse, various Hindu scriptures I've read, Mystic Philosophy, native american spirituality, and Bach's Toccata & Fugue in D Minor.

The problem (if one would want to call it a "problem" is that Jesus' teachings don't lend themselves well to organized religion, authoritarian power or government, at least as we understand them. His apostles immediately began framing them as such as soon as they dispersed, and his truths just as quickly began to get muddled.

The result is a series of denominations which have, for the most part, shown little predilection to take a moral higher ground historically. They are run like businesses, operate socially like fascist governments, and continue to use the ultimate Fear-Factor: Eternal damnation, to keep their citizens contained and unquestioning.

The most important thing about Jesus Christ is his guidance in living day-to-day life, in my opinion. Unfortunately that is the one thing that most Christain religions have majorly understated.

 

Trix

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Thanks for the suggesion, Miss Tri! I'm not really shopping for a denomination, but I appreciate the thought. I have a great respect for the Unitarian Church.

But really I'm happy being apart from any particular flock. Give me my staff, my lantern, my cloak... .

 

Trix

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One thing I think I should add is that I do still contemplate this to this day.

 

As briefly brought up here, some people believe strongly in the New Testament (Jesus as the Son of God) and don't put as much weight on the Old Testament. This to me seems like a much more preferable way to go. (On the other hand, I've always been taught the two have to go together...but who knows the accuracy of those saying that?).

 

I don't know. Sometimes I actually fear Christianity IS true. I have absolutely no wish to go to hell, and if it IS the truth, hope that God can read my heart and give me some sort of "grace" (along with everyone else of course).

 

But at the same time, I still can't stomach the idea of...let alone actually feel right about...hell. There's something about *eternal* pain and no further chance of redemption that just seems...very wrong to me.

 

It's just something that doesn't have any easy answers, and I'm not sure there are answers I'll ever find. I hope so.

 

Sometimes when I feel comfortable being agnostic, I see something quite troubling that makes me think again. (Anyone ever see History Channel's Bible Code series?)

 

But I also can't believe or follow something out of fear...

 

Anyways, I wanted to amend my post with these thoughts. Sometimes I look at this conundrum in different ways and wanted to reflect that.

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