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Are religions unfair to women?
Yes 75%  75%  [ 43 ]
No 25%  25%  [ 14 ]
Total votes : 57

LKL
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16 Feb 2014, 10:37 pm

91 wrote:
@LKL

Sati is not a Hindu doctrine it is a cultural practice (and one that occasionally finds its way out of India). It is more akin to Seppuku than to a specifically religious duty, it is utterly illegal in India. It was traditionally practiced (rarely even at its hight) by the Brahmins, which is now the most westernised caste within India. But I agree with your interpretations of two of the versus you have focused, they probably won't sit well with modern views of gender.

I stand corrected wrt. religious vs. cultural significance on sati; that said, women still did it, and did it without being violently forced to do it. It's really bleeding hard to break out of the tradition you are raised in, even when it literally involves you burning to death.



91
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16 Feb 2014, 10:46 pm

LKL wrote:
91 wrote:
@LKL

Sati is not a Hindu doctrine it is a cultural practice (and one that occasionally finds its way out of India). It is more akin to Seppuku than to a specifically religious duty, it is utterly illegal in India. It was traditionally practiced (rarely even at its hight) by the Brahmins, which is now the most westernised caste within India. But I agree with your interpretations of two of the versus you have focused, they probably won't sit well with modern views of gender.

I stand corrected wrt. religious vs. cultural significance on sati; that said, women still did it, and did it without being violently forced to do it. It's really bleeding hard to break out of the tradition you are raised in, even when it literally involves you burning to death.


Absolutely true, but it is not necessarily the case that all traditions are bad. The practice of Sati, as a cultural tradition is horrible and disgusting. The idea that girls would be forced, coerced or culturally shoved into it should trouble all thinking people. However, it is important not to lose all of one's culture. I have female Brahmin friends and they love their culture and reject parts of it, especially the more troubling views on women. But cultures are if anything adaptive and I reject utterly, a flat Earth approach to religious and cultural practices.


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17 Feb 2014, 1:03 am

I'm suffering through yet another cold and sinus infection, so bear with me…

I'll start with the 1 Timothy passage mentioned.

First of all, Skeptic's Annotated is a blatantly biased source, which is my chief objection to LKL's post. It's a quote mine, pure and simple. The context in which 1 Timothy 2:11-12 is presented in Skeptic's is for the express purpose of exposing misogyny in the New Testament, and I don't believe this is Paul's intention.

For starters, the purpose of the Timothy letters appears to be read more like a manual for church leadership. Among other things, it is intended to establish an ordered worship and teaching experience within church meetings. It has nothing to do with one sex being systematically dominant over another. Women being quiet in the church, as I've said before, is a rule more akin to requiring school children raise their hands and waiting to be called upon before responding.

Second, establishing a leadership structure that parallels the Adam/Eve pattern is intended to provide and promote unity within the church. Wives ought to be supportive of their husbands, anyway, and that's a timeless principle. Being mutually compassionate, kind, and supportive promotes unity within the family and ensures a healthy structure that allows each family member to act in harmony to reach mutually beneficial goals. It's not "cool" for men to take a stand within the home these days, but without an universally agreed upon and effective conflict-resolution strategy for dealing with an impasse, you breed discord in the home. I like to call it the husband's "veto power," and it's a strategy that recognizes from the outset that my wife is MUCH more intuitive than I am and can head off trouble in the home much more easily than I can. At the same time, it's a strategy that accepts that we are both fallible human beings. If I'm seeing red flags and hearing mental alarms going off, if something sharply violates our already-agreed-upon values, part of my role may at times require I overrule a decision my partner made. If I end up in the doghouse, so be it, but I'm unwilling to accept unreasonable risk to the integrity of my family. What is important to note here is the discretion required regarding time/place for disagreement. For example, I NEVER openly question disciplinary actions. I end up enforcing a whole lot of decisions I disagree with, but it would be inappropriate for our children to witness those disagreements or to start thinking if they don't like what mom says, they can just come to me. What I WILL do, however, if I really feel that strongly about it, is tell my wife in private that the decision in question was the wrong decision and to never do that again. And I expect the same from my wife: If I'm undermining her in the home, that is something I need to know…but it is inappropriate to call me out in front of our children. We've caught our daughter trying to play us against each other, and while I know that I can trust our children for the most part, that doesn't stop me from verifying and teaching our daughter an important lesson in parental consistency. The same is true outside the home and in front of the church--just as parents should never openly challenge each other in front of their kids, it is inappropriate for a wife (who should be supportive of her husband in a teaching/leadership role) to call her husband out in front of a crowd of worshipers. The ideal is unity, and disruptive behavior breeds discord.

Third, and somewhat related to my previous point, SAB seems to use a poor interpretation of the passage to grossly distort its intended meaning to suggest something it doesn't. When Paul says he doesn't allow a woman to usurp authority over the man, he uses the greek word authentein. The usage of this word is important because it refers to a woman having an undue domineering role over her husband. If we take issue with domineering men being unfair to women, then we certainly should take issue with the opposite. It is fairness and equality that are in view here. Women are not denied leadership roles within the church, and individual women have played important roles throughout the New Testament (throughout the entire Bible, really). Paul doesn't deny this or take an issue with it, at least not here if he does elsewhere. Paul merely recognizes the harm inherent to a church leader's ministry if he's being dominated by a domineering wife. If this is the case in the home, that's bad enough; however it is potentially catastrophic in public and especially if this is carried out in the course of teaching.

Fourth, it relates to a teaching/learning relationship. Women here are given equal opportunity to learn from scripture, not something that was always common in Hebrew tradition and represents a shift within Christianity. I'm not sure why women are singled out here, but it seems to be something that would be equally applicable to both men and women learners. If Paul felt the need to mention this here, it could be related to a disruptive practice that was current at the time in which women were often guilty of some kind of disruptive (domineering?) behavior.

Finally, false teachings were not unknown in the period immediately following the ascension. It is entirely possible that the whole thing relates to a false teaching that specifically dealt with female worshipers. It could have been there was a false teaching at the time that specifically targeted a female audience, so the practice of learning in relative silence and saving questions/debating issues for a home activity was intended to dispel the dissemination of false teachings/doctrines within the early church. The place for a dissenting opinion would have been more appropriate in private, and wives would have had a more appropriate forum for discussing it. Once again, it points to unity within the leadership as well as among believers, as opposed to openly fighting about whatever false teaching is causing the problem in the first place.



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17 Feb 2014, 8:25 am

Regarding women in the church, there is a little bit of a discrepancy between the two

1 Corinthians 11 wrote:
any woman who prays or proclaims God's message in public worship with nothing on her head disgraces her husband


The woman can go ahead and preach, as long as she is wearing a hat.

1 Timothy 2 wrote:
Women should learn in silence and all humility. I do not allow them to teach or to have authority over men; they must keep quiet.


The women have to shut up, even if they do have a hat.



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17 Feb 2014, 8:35 am

AngelRho wrote:
It is entirely possible that the whole thing relates to a false teaching that specifically dealt with female worshipers. It could have been there was a false teaching at the time that specifically targeted a female audience, so the practice of learning in relative silence and saving questions/debating issues for a home activity was intended to dispel the dissemination of false teachings/doctrines within the early church.


So, you're saying that these particular passages are no longer applicable, because we aren't living in early church times any more, and nobody is spreading false teachings targeted at women? So, women are now free to make all the noise they want, even if they aren't wearing a hat? Blaspheme!



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17 Feb 2014, 9:06 am

Oh, just wait until the Southern Baptist Convention hears this one!

"Hey, everybody! AngelRho says that the women don't have to wear hats to church any more! And, they can MAKE ALL THE NOISE THEY WANT!! !!"

Sure, they'll just be praying, prophesying, preaching, singing hymns and speaking in tongues at first.

But, once you start sliding down that slippery slope, it won't be much longer until the women are playing the cymbals and gossiping. Maybe some of them will even be usurping authority over men!! !



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17 Feb 2014, 9:52 am

LKL wrote:
Shunning works as a punishment in religious communities because it is genuinely painful.


Just shun them back.

Make your religion earn your tithe. Don't just give it to them. It's your money, and your life.



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17 Feb 2014, 10:09 am

ArrantPariah wrote:
Regarding women in the church, there is a little bit of a discrepancy between the two

Not really…unless you count two completely separate things as a discrepancy. :?

ArrantPariah wrote:
1 Corinthians 11 wrote:
any woman who prays or proclaims God's message in public worship with nothing on her head disgraces her husband


The woman can go ahead and preach, as long as she is wearing a hat.

Has nothing to do with it. I don't imagine attitudes among classes have really changed much in the past few thousand years, and dress conventions seem to always have been part of the dialogue. I don't think we can know for certain what practice this refers to, but there are a couple of possibilities. First, women of higher social standing might have had elaborate headdresses or some kind of ornament that indicated who they were…it was basically a display of wealth. Since equality among believers is emphasized, it would have been appropriate for wealthy women to wear some kind of head covering in order to subdue flashy hair ornaments that others would have found distracting or demoralizing. Another possibility might have had to do with the association of certain types of headwear with temple prostitution or some other pagan practice. Even if it were an innocent practice, outsiders might have found it misleading, indicating perhaps tacit approval of other pagan practices. I forget where it's written, but there is something to the effect that a woman should cut her hair if she's serving under specific circumstances, and I think it's related to that.

ArrantPariah wrote:
1 Timothy 2 wrote:
Women should learn in silence and all humility. I do not allow them to teach or to have authority over men; they must keep quiet.


The women have to shut up, even if they do have a hat.

Again, talking about completely different things here. And I already addressed this. Anyone who wishes to learn should keep quiet and listen to instruction. I mean, this apparently applies equally to men as well as women, which leads me to wonder what was going on that Paul felt the need to emphasize its relevance to women.



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17 Feb 2014, 11:14 am

AngelRho wrote:
ArrantPariah wrote:
Regarding women in the church, there is a little bit of a discrepancy between the two

Not really…unless you count two completely separate things as a discrepancy. :?

ArrantPariah wrote:
1 Corinthians 11 wrote:
any woman who prays or proclaims God's message in public worship with nothing on her head disgraces her husband


The woman can go ahead and preach, as long as she is wearing a hat.

Has nothing to do with it. I don't imagine attitudes among classes have really changed much in the past few thousand years, and dress conventions seem to always have been part of the dialogue. I don't think we can know for certain what practice this refers to, but there are a couple of possibilities. First, women of higher social standing might have had elaborate headdresses or some kind of ornament that indicated who they were…it was basically a display of wealth. Since equality among believers is emphasized, it would have been appropriate for wealthy women to wear some kind of head covering in order to subdue flashy hair ornaments that others would have found distracting or demoralizing. Another possibility might have had to do with the association of certain types of headwear with temple prostitution or some other pagan practice. Even if it were an innocent practice, outsiders might have found it misleading, indicating perhaps tacit approval of other pagan practices. I forget where it's written, but there is something to the effect that a woman should cut her hair if she's serving under specific circumstances, and I think it's related to that.

ArrantPariah wrote:
1 Timothy 2 wrote:
Women should learn in silence and all humility. I do not allow them to teach or to have authority over men; they must keep quiet.


The women have to shut up, even if they do have a hat.

Again, talking about completely different things here. And I already addressed this. Anyone who wishes to learn should keep quiet and listen to instruction. I mean, this apparently applies equally to men as well as women, which leads me to wonder what was going on that Paul felt the need to emphasize its relevance to women.


OH god..people who want to learn should keep quiet and listen to instruction...

That's called censorship...
in our modern times...

To question..
is the true
path
to
knowledge..

to silence..is the
path of censorship...
and stuff like

the holocaust...
crucifixions..and other stuff like that...

Please..women were told to wear headdresses..to cover their sexy hair..
thereby lessening the chance..that any other man
would get in their
pants...

Same s**t that still goes on in Muslim countries..

and yes..

even a few 'broads'..that are still repressed..like this..
in my Catholic..church..currently..

living in the dark ages..
and all of that..covered up and such...like a dark full bodied condom...

So so..so much..
just..
common sense...

It shouldn't really take a 'rocket scientist' to figure this out..
and perhaps that is usually because..
'they' don't have as 'much'
common sense as 'most'
other
folks...


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17 Feb 2014, 11:23 am

AngelRho wrote:
Not really…unless you count two completely separate things as a discrepancy. :?


Of course two completely separate things count as discrepancies. If they both said the same thing, then they wouldn't be discrepancies.

But, I have another idea as to the reason for the discrepancies.

1 Corinthians 9 wrote:
I am a free man, nobody's slave; but I make myself everybody's slave in order to win as many people as possible. While working with the Jews, I live like a Jew in order to win them; and even though I myself am not subject to the Law of Moses, I live as though I were when working with those who are, in order to win them. In the same way, when working with Gentiles, I live like a Gentile, outside the Jewish Law, in order to win Gentiles. This does not mean that I don't obey God's law; I am really under Christ's law. Among the weak in faith I become weak like one of them, in order to win them. So I become all things to all people, that I may save some of them by whatever means are possible. All this I do for the gospel's sake, in order to share in its blessings.


In trying to become "all things to all people", Paul is bending his message a bit, depending upon the audience.

The Corinthians, I think, were gentiles, and perhaps converts from Mithraism (or some other competing religion). Their original religion may have allowed women to participate, if they were wearing hats. So, Paul is applying the same standard, now that they are Christian.

In particular, the Lord's Supper seems to have been a direct import from Mithraism.

1 Corinthians 11 wrote:
In the following instructions, however, I do not praise you, because your meetings for worship actually do more harm than good. In the first place, I have been told that there are opposing groups in your meetings; and this I believe is partly true. (No doubt there must be divisions among you so that the ones who are in the right may be clearly seen.) When you meet together as a group, it is not the Lord's Supper that you eat. For as you eat, you each go ahead with your own meal, so that some are hungry while others get drunk. Don't you have your own homes in which to eat and drink? Or would you rather despise the church of God and put to shame the people who are in need? What do you expect me to say to you about this? Shall I praise you? Of course I don't!

For I received from the Lord the teaching that I passed on to you: that the Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took a piece of bread, gave thanks to God, broke it, and said, “This is my body, which is for you. Do this in memory of me.” In the same way, after the supper he took the cup and said, “This cup is God's new covenant, sealed with my blood. Whenever you drink it, do so in memory of me.”

This means that every time you eat this bread and drink from this cup you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes. It follows that if one of you eats the Lord's bread or drinks from his cup in a way that dishonors him, you are guilty of sin against the Lord's body and blood. 28 So then, you should each examine yourself first, and then eat the bread and drink from the cup. 29 For if you do not recognize the meaning of the Lord's body when you eat the bread and drink from the cup, you bring judgment on yourself as you eat and drink. That is why many of you are sick and weak, and several have died. If we would examine ourselves first, we would not come under God's judgment. But we are judged and punished by the Lord, so that we shall not be condemned together with the world.

So then, my friends, when you gather together to eat the Lord's Supper, wait for one another. And if any of you are hungry, you should eat at home, so that you will not come under God's judgment as you meet together. As for the other matters, I will settle them when I come.


Paul imported the Mithraic communion directly into Christianity. There was no basis in Judaism for this form of worship.

Now, as for Timothy,

Acts 16 wrote:
Paul traveled on to Derbe and Lystra, where a Christian named Timothy lived. His mother, who was also a Christian, was Jewish, but his father was a Greek. All the believers in Lystra and Iconium spoke well of Timothy. Paul wanted to take Timothy along with him, so he circumcised him. He did so because all the Jews who lived in those places knew that Timothy's father was Greek. As they went through the towns, they delivered to the believers the rules decided upon by the apostles and elders in Jerusalem, and they told them to obey those rules. So the churches were made stronger in the faith and grew in numbers every day.


The poor guy had to be circumcised. But, anyway, he was apparently preaching to Jews, or at least abiding by the rules decided upon by the Jewish Christians in Jerusalem. And, I think that Jewish custom dictates that women not make a peep during religious services. Which was reflected in Paul's letter to Timothy.



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17 Feb 2014, 2:00 pm

aghogday wrote:
AngelRho wrote:
ArrantPariah wrote:
Regarding women in the church, there is a little bit of a discrepancy between the two

Not really…unless you count two completely separate things as a discrepancy. :?

ArrantPariah wrote:
1 Corinthians 11 wrote:
any woman who prays or proclaims God's message in public worship with nothing on her head disgraces her husband


The woman can go ahead and preach, as long as she is wearing a hat.

Has nothing to do with it. I don't imagine attitudes among classes have really changed much in the past few thousand years, and dress conventions seem to always have been part of the dialogue. I don't think we can know for certain what practice this refers to, but there are a couple of possibilities. First, women of higher social standing might have had elaborate headdresses or some kind of ornament that indicated who they were…it was basically a display of wealth. Since equality among believers is emphasized, it would have been appropriate for wealthy women to wear some kind of head covering in order to subdue flashy hair ornaments that others would have found distracting or demoralizing. Another possibility might have had to do with the association of certain types of headwear with temple prostitution or some other pagan practice. Even if it were an innocent practice, outsiders might have found it misleading, indicating perhaps tacit approval of other pagan practices. I forget where it's written, but there is something to the effect that a woman should cut her hair if she's serving under specific circumstances, and I think it's related to that.

ArrantPariah wrote:
1 Timothy 2 wrote:
Women should learn in silence and all humility. I do not allow them to teach or to have authority over men; they must keep quiet.


The women have to shut up, even if they do have a hat.

Again, talking about completely different things here. And I already addressed this. Anyone who wishes to learn should keep quiet and listen to instruction. I mean, this apparently applies equally to men as well as women, which leads me to wonder what was going on that Paul felt the need to emphasize its relevance to women.


OH god..people who want to learn should keep quiet and listen to instruction...

That's called censorship...
in our modern times...

Actually, it's the opposite of censorship. It's allowing someone their time to speak. You don't get free expression with people being heckled and/or shouted-down.

Even when I was doing graduate studies, most of my professors had no issue with students speaking up in the middle of a discussion. But it's just polite to let the guy say what he has to say before correcting him or asking leading questions. And even then, there were certain things you DID and DID NOT DO. Being a perfect jerk to someone who, sooner or later, is going to evaluate you on what you learned in class isn't going to put you in his good graces. It might even get you put out of class, and if all you plan on doing is being contentious towards a respected teacher, why are you even there? Blog about it, write an essay, compose an article for peer review, make it the focus of your master's thesis or Ph.D. dissertation. But DON'T blatantly disrespect or insult someone who has the floor and has earned the right by contributing to his field of study. There's a time and a place for all that, and I'd be in my favorite prof's office once or twice a week talking things over, debating a few things, and overall developing a deeper understanding on points I disagreed with. But I DIDN'T try to make him look like an idiot in the middle of class. For one, he'd have ended up making me look like the bigger idiot, and for another I genuinely WANTED to know everything about how he thought about his field and made every effort to absorb everything he had to say. Now, I could say whatever I thought with classmates and undergrads, and I could do that on my own time. in the process of spiritual teaching, there is a time and a place for everything, and there are certainly times/places when/where discussing spiritual issues are appropriate and others that are inappropriate. When I used to attend Sunday School regularly, it at times could be an open forum in which the teacher(s) were simply moderators. You learn a lot in small groups. You gain NOTHING disrupting a worship service and shouting down a pastor. If you really hate it that much, don't attend.



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17 Feb 2014, 2:23 pm

AngelRho wrote:
aghogday wrote:
AngelRho wrote:
ArrantPariah wrote:
Regarding women in the church, there is a little bit of a discrepancy between the two

Not really…unless you count two completely separate things as a discrepancy. :?

ArrantPariah wrote:
1 Corinthians 11 wrote:
any woman who prays or proclaims God's message in public worship with nothing on her head disgraces her husband


The woman can go ahead and preach, as long as she is wearing a hat.

Has nothing to do with it. I don't imagine attitudes among classes have really changed much in the past few thousand years, and dress conventions seem to always have been part of the dialogue. I don't think we can know for certain what practice this refers to, but there are a couple of possibilities. First, women of higher social standing might have had elaborate headdresses or some kind of ornament that indicated who they were…it was basically a display of wealth. Since equality among believers is emphasized, it would have been appropriate for wealthy women to wear some kind of head covering in order to subdue flashy hair ornaments that others would have found distracting or demoralizing. Another possibility might have had to do with the association of certain types of headwear with temple prostitution or some other pagan practice. Even if it were an innocent practice, outsiders might have found it misleading, indicating perhaps tacit approval of other pagan practices. I forget where it's written, but there is something to the effect that a woman should cut her hair if she's serving under specific circumstances, and I think it's related to that.

ArrantPariah wrote:
1 Timothy 2 wrote:
Women should learn in silence and all humility. I do not allow them to teach or to have authority over men; they must keep quiet.


The women have to shut up, even if they do have a hat.

Again, talking about completely different things here. And I already addressed this. Anyone who wishes to learn should keep quiet and listen to instruction. I mean, this apparently applies equally to men as well as women, which leads me to wonder what was going on that Paul felt the need to emphasize its relevance to women.


OH god..people who want to learn should keep quiet and listen to instruction...

That's called censorship...
in our modern times...

Actually, it's the opposite of censorship. It's allowing someone their time to speak. You don't get free expression with people being heckled and/or shouted-down.

Even when I was doing graduate studies, most of my professors had no issue with students speaking up in the middle of a discussion. But it's just polite to let the guy say what he has to say before correcting him or asking leading questions. And even then, there were certain things you DID and DID NOT DO. Being a perfect jerk to someone who, sooner or later, is going to evaluate you on what you learned in class isn't going to put you in his good graces. It might even get you put out of class, and if all you plan on doing is being contentious towards a respected teacher, why are you even there? Blog about it, write an essay, compose an article for peer review, make it the focus of your master's thesis or Ph.D. dissertation. But DON'T blatantly disrespect or insult someone who has the floor and has earned the right by contributing to his field of study. There's a time and a place for all that, and I'd be in my favorite prof's office once or twice a week talking things over, debating a few things, and overall developing a deeper understanding on points I disagreed with. But I DIDN'T try to make him look like an idiot in the middle of class. For one, he'd have ended up making me look like the bigger idiot, and for another I genuinely WANTED to know everything about how he thought about his field and made every effort to absorb everything he had to say. Now, I could say whatever I thought with classmates and undergrads, and I could do that on my own time. in the process of spiritual teaching, there is a time and a place for everything, and there are certainly times/places when/where discussing spiritual issues are appropriate and others that are inappropriate. When I used to attend Sunday School regularly, it at times could be an open forum in which the teacher(s) were simply moderators. You learn a lot in small groups. You gain NOTHING disrupting a worship service and shouting down a pastor. If you really hate it that much, don't attend.


Well it's okay if there is a balance...

But you know as well as i do..that some questions..are not allowed in these classes at church...and if they are they are quickly smacked down...

It's a tribal thingy..YES OBVIOUSLY JUst try to convince your preacher man..that biology..and YES GOD is responsible for at least 20% of homosexuality..

And see how that goes..

Unless ya attend a fully Christian church...where everyone IS ACCEPTED..REGARDLESS OF GOD GIVEN..SEXUAL ORIENTATION...AND OTHER ATTRIBUTES OF GOD GIVEN DIFFERENCES...

COLLEGE PROFESSORS IN PUBLIC COLLEGES.. DON'T GET TO SMACK DOWN HOMOSEXUALS ...AND OTHER SO CALLED UNACCEPTABLES AS PREACHER MEN AND OR PRIESTS..and related professionals..DO IN SOME SO CALLED STRUCTURED CHRISTIAN CHURCHES..

And IF THEY...DO.. THEY USUALLY GET FIRED....OR SEVERELY REPRIMANDED..IT MAKES THE COLLEGE ENVIRONMENT SAFER FOR EVERYONE...ATTENDING..AND PATIENTLY LISTENING...

Culture NOW in the US.. more often does not allow this type of treatment of women..but yes the new testament..2 was used to back up this type of treatment against women..for hundreds of years....

And remnants of this subjugation of women...still occur in some churches..even NOW in the US..but times are changing..and if the structured housed churches..don't change along with..the NOW TIMES..

They eventually will close their doors..

That is already happening...on Wednesday and Sunday night..as ya likely may knowNOW..at least...

WE LIVE IN THE INFORMATION..AGE. AND YOUNGER FOLKS ARE NO LONGER FALLING FOR THESE CRAP PARTS OF THE BIBLE..

ANYMORE..OVERALL...

IT'S JUST TOO EASY TO REFUTE IT..
AND ONLY A FEW KEYSTROKES AWAY...

THE EVIDENCE IS ALL THERE..

FOR THOSE WHO THINK...OR CAN...


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17 Feb 2014, 2:44 pm

ArrantPariah wrote:
AngelRho wrote:
Not really…unless you count two completely separate things as a discrepancy. :?


Of course two completely separate things count as discrepancies. If they both said the same thing, then they wouldn't be discrepancies.

But, I have another idea as to the reason for the discrepancies.

1 Corinthians 9 wrote:
I am a free man, nobody's slave; but I make myself everybody's slave in order to win as many people as possible. While working with the Jews, I live like a Jew in order to win them; and even though I myself am not subject to the Law of Moses, I live as though I were when working with those who are, in order to win them. In the same way, when working with Gentiles, I live like a Gentile, outside the Jewish Law, in order to win Gentiles. This does not mean that I don't obey God's law; I am really under Christ's law. Among the weak in faith I become weak like one of them, in order to win them. So I become all things to all people, that I may save some of them by whatever means are possible. All this I do for the gospel's sake, in order to share in its blessings.


In trying to become "all things to all people", Paul is bending his message a bit, depending upon the audience.

The Corinthians, I think, were gentiles, and perhaps converts from Mithraism (or some other competing religion). Their original religion may have allowed women to participate, if they were wearing hats. So, Paul is applying the same standard, now that they are Christian.

In particular, the Lord's Supper seems to have been a direct import from Mithraism.

"All things to all people" just means he's being flexible and forging relationships with people he can witness to. Being open-minded is always a good thing.

I dunno about Mithraism, about whether that was a standard practice within that culture or whether elements of it are being woven into Christianity. My thing is, I don't believe that God granted those who believe in Him an exclusive line to wisdom. There are elements of virtually all religions that are to be praised. Heck, even Satanism has a rebellious attitude towards a corrupt status quo that is virtuous at heart, and an important lesson of Christianity is the dangers of simply following the crowd. Sure, a Satanic's faith is inherently misplaced, but the motives aren't 100% evil. There's TONS of wisdom to be gained from Buddha. And there are traditions all over the planet that appear to have developed separately that say essentially the same thing. So IF there are certain elements preserved from Mithraism, I think it's because Mithraism developed, as all religions probably did, from a common tradition that eventually got lost. Same reason I have no issue with pagan holidays being "converted" to Christian days since it places proper reverence for the real reason the holiday exists in the first place: To glorify God. Jehovah's Witnesses take this kind of thing to the extreme, but there is nothing inherently evil about any given day of the year. All Christianity does is restore cultural elements with spiritual purposes back to their original perspective. The Lord's Supper is tied to the Passover feast. Jesus at least for one moment used it as an illustration of what was about to happen to Him, and it became not a symbol of hope for Christians, but a memorial to remember what Jesus did for us in the way of our salvation.

ArrantPariah wrote:
1 Corinthians 11 wrote:
In the following instructions, however, I do not praise you, because your meetings for worship actually do more harm than good. In the first place, I have been told that there are opposing groups in your meetings; and this I believe is partly true. (No doubt there must be divisions among you so that the ones who are in the right may be clearly seen.) When you meet together as a group, it is not the Lord's Supper that you eat. For as you eat, you each go ahead with your own meal, so that some are hungry while others get drunk. Don't you have your own homes in which to eat and drink? Or would you rather despise the church of God and put to shame the people who are in need? What do you expect me to say to you about this? Shall I praise you? Of course I don't!

For I received from the Lord the teaching that I passed on to you: that the Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took a piece of bread, gave thanks to God, broke it, and said, “This is my body, which is for you. Do this in memory of me.” In the same way, after the supper he took the cup and said, “This cup is God's new covenant, sealed with my blood. Whenever you drink it, do so in memory of me.”

This means that every time you eat this bread and drink from this cup you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes. It follows that if one of you eats the Lord's bread or drinks from his cup in a way that dishonors him, you are guilty of sin against the Lord's body and blood. 28 So then, you should each examine yourself first, and then eat the bread and drink from the cup. 29 For if you do not recognize the meaning of the Lord's body when you eat the bread and drink from the cup, you bring judgment on yourself as you eat and drink. That is why many of you are sick and weak, and several have died. If we would examine ourselves first, we would not come under God's judgment. But we are judged and punished by the Lord, so that we shall not be condemned together with the world.

So then, my friends, when you gather together to eat the Lord's Supper, wait for one another. And if any of you are hungry, you should eat at home, so that you will not come under God's judgment as you meet together. As for the other matters, I will settle them when I come.


Paul imported the Mithraic communion directly into Christianity. There was no basis in Judaism for this form of worship.

IF it's a Mithraic import, which I kinda doubt, but whatever… Agreed there's no basis in Judaism, but there need not be. Hebrew tradition is for the Hebrews. I'm not a Jew, and every Jew I ever knew discouraged me from converting, stating that a Gentile converting to Judaism isn't necessary and might be more trouble than it's worth. The Laws of Noah are sufficient for righteousness for Gentiles. I don't find a cross-cultural tradition for communion to be problematic at all.

ArrantPariah wrote:
Now, as for Timothy,

Acts 16 wrote:
Paul traveled on to Derbe and Lystra, where a Christian named Timothy lived. His mother, who was also a Christian, was Jewish, but his father was a Greek. All the believers in Lystra and Iconium spoke well of Timothy. Paul wanted to take Timothy along with him, so he circumcised him. He did so because all the Jews who lived in those places knew that Timothy's father was Greek. As they went through the towns, they delivered to the believers the rules decided upon by the apostles and elders in Jerusalem, and they told them to obey those rules. So the churches were made stronger in the faith and grew in numbers every day.


The poor guy had to be circumcised. But, anyway, he was apparently preaching to Jews, or at least abiding by the rules decided upon by the Jewish Christians in Jerusalem. And, I think that Jewish custom dictates that women not make a peep during religious services. Which was reflected in Paul's letter to Timothy.

I'm not entirely sure, here. I need to check Timothy's background a little more, and I'm feeling too frickin' miserable to devote much time to it right now…not to mention my work life caught up with me this morning and slapped me HARD against both cheeks without even waiting for me to turn them. Perhaps I should say all FOUR cheeks…long story, but one of those involved admitted that perhaps the situation could have been handled sightly differently. For a brief moment I thought I was being singled out for a mob hit, and that has really ruined my day…

OK, enough whining…

From what I understand, what Timothy did through circumcision was more covering certain bases that Jews would potentially have used against him in challenging his authority. Timothy didn't HAVE to do it, and somehow I suspect Timothy wasn't the first to be approached in this way. He was just the best candidate and the only one to follow through. But it stands that it was a voluntary gesture. We both know that there had been a divisive contention between the Greek camp and the Judaizer camp on circumcision and acquiring Jewish identity before becoming a Christian. I see nothing WRONG with it, but it's not necessary to go through with it, either. It also carries a strong risk of misplacing faith on one's good deeds rather than on God's grace alone. What Timothy did voluntarily was more of a stop-gap measure than an absolute requirement.

I think you're probably right about Jewish custom, of women keeping absolute silence. I don't get the impression that the OT REQUIRES that women be completely kept out of and apart from regular spiritual instruction…after all, wives were perfectly welcome in homages to religious assemblies and the Temple, but they also had to be aware of purity laws concerning their presence. I think the silence thing at prayer houses, synagogues, and the Temple had to do with some Talmudic hedge law, because I just don't see any evidence for that in the OT. We know Pharisee custom was to be especially icked out by women, because *gasp* she MIGHT be on her period… But even then, purification laws did exist that made accidental brushing up against a menstruating woman in a crowd a kind of non-issue. It just meant you washed your hands, took a bath, or something, and you could return to the Temple that night or some such (can't remember, but that was the general pattern in the OT). I think keeping women from participating in instructional activities is silly, but we do know that attitudes towards women were a lot different at that time and Christian practices must have been seen as radically progressive by comparison. I don't read Paul's instructions as forcing women to accept Jewish practices by any means, but it does seem to indicate that whatever the custom or activity was in force at the time had a disruptive effect, and this would appear to be what Paul is trying to correct.



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17 Feb 2014, 3:21 pm

aghogday wrote:
AngelRho wrote:
aghogday wrote:
AngelRho wrote:
ArrantPariah wrote:
Regarding women in the church, there is a little bit of a discrepancy between the two

Not really…unless you count two completely separate things as a discrepancy. :?

ArrantPariah wrote:
1 Corinthians 11 wrote:
any woman who prays or proclaims God's message in public worship with nothing on her head disgraces her husband


The woman can go ahead and preach, as long as she is wearing a hat.

Has nothing to do with it. I don't imagine attitudes among classes have really changed much in the past few thousand years, and dress conventions seem to always have been part of the dialogue. I don't think we can know for certain what practice this refers to, but there are a couple of possibilities. First, women of higher social standing might have had elaborate headdresses or some kind of ornament that indicated who they were…it was basically a display of wealth. Since equality among believers is emphasized, it would have been appropriate for wealthy women to wear some kind of head covering in order to subdue flashy hair ornaments that others would have found distracting or demoralizing. Another possibility might have had to do with the association of certain types of headwear with temple prostitution or some other pagan practice. Even if it were an innocent practice, outsiders might have found it misleading, indicating perhaps tacit approval of other pagan practices. I forget where it's written, but there is something to the effect that a woman should cut her hair if she's serving under specific circumstances, and I think it's related to that.

ArrantPariah wrote:
1 Timothy 2 wrote:
Women should learn in silence and all humility. I do not allow them to teach or to have authority over men; they must keep quiet.


The women have to shut up, even if they do have a hat.

Again, talking about completely different things here. And I already addressed this. Anyone who wishes to learn should keep quiet and listen to instruction. I mean, this apparently applies equally to men as well as women, which leads me to wonder what was going on that Paul felt the need to emphasize its relevance to women.


OH god..people who want to learn should keep quiet and listen to instruction...

That's called censorship...
in our modern times...

Actually, it's the opposite of censorship. It's allowing someone their time to speak. You don't get free expression with people being heckled and/or shouted-down.

Even when I was doing graduate studies, most of my professors had no issue with students speaking up in the middle of a discussion. But it's just polite to let the guy say what he has to say before correcting him or asking leading questions. And even then, there were certain things you DID and DID NOT DO. Being a perfect jerk to someone who, sooner or later, is going to evaluate you on what you learned in class isn't going to put you in his good graces. It might even get you put out of class, and if all you plan on doing is being contentious towards a respected teacher, why are you even there? Blog about it, write an essay, compose an article for peer review, make it the focus of your master's thesis or Ph.D. dissertation. But DON'T blatantly disrespect or insult someone who has the floor and has earned the right by contributing to his field of study. There's a time and a place for all that, and I'd be in my favorite prof's office once or twice a week talking things over, debating a few things, and overall developing a deeper understanding on points I disagreed with. But I DIDN'T try to make him look like an idiot in the middle of class. For one, he'd have ended up making me look like the bigger idiot, and for another I genuinely WANTED to know everything about how he thought about his field and made every effort to absorb everything he had to say. Now, I could say whatever I thought with classmates and undergrads, and I could do that on my own time. in the process of spiritual teaching, there is a time and a place for everything, and there are certainly times/places when/where discussing spiritual issues are appropriate and others that are inappropriate. When I used to attend Sunday School regularly, it at times could be an open forum in which the teacher(s) were simply moderators. You learn a lot in small groups. You gain NOTHING disrupting a worship service and shouting down a pastor. If you really hate it that much, don't attend.


Well it's okay if there is a balance...

But you know as well as i do..that some questions..are not allowed in these classes at church...and if they are they are quickly smacked down...

It's a tribal thingy..YES OBVIOUSLY JUst try to convince your preacher man..that biology..and YES GOD is responsible for at least 20% of homosexuality..

I don't necessarily AGREE with you on the issue, but I've long let that go. There are more important issues than who you fall in love with/are attracted to/have sex with when it comes to the church.

And I really have no idea what you mean by "not allowed." If you attend a church that accepts as a presupposition that Biblical patterns of behavior are acceptable, then, no, you can't be surprised if some things simply aren't open to discussion. It would be, in my opinion, grossly unintelligent for an atheist to stand up in a Sunday School room or sermon and carefully lay out his argument for why God doesn't exist. That God exists at all is one of the main tenets of Christianity or any religion that involves devotion to a deity. That God exists in universally agreed-upon in that setting, so it really isn't up for discussion. YEC vs. OEC is a matter that Christians ARE divided on and might be an appropriate topic (they both acknowledge that God created the universe…but evidence appears to make one or both positions questionable to the other regarding the age of the earth), ALTHOUGH the age of the earth has zilch theological significance whatsoever. Free will vs. predestination is a good topic. Appropriate role of women in the church (the point of this thread at the moment) is a worthy issue. Examining scripture and making a determination as to a particular interpretation is the result of false teaching is an excellent topic. Calvinism is making a very strange resurgence in the Southern Baptist Convention, something I find somewhat disturbing, yet it is due to our preference for keeping the dialogue open. Whether the Bible justifies keeping slaves was an issue during the Civil War era, and I believe most Christians have accepted the position that freedom is valued more highly than slavery. Some issues are more/less welcome than others, some issues are a lot hotter than others, and some things are more divisive than others at various times. But the fact that we ARE divided and attempting to move forward in the dialogue is indicative that the door certainly isn't closed.

I'm a Baptist, sure, but I'm a staff musician and have a role in worship leadership at my church. So having grown up Baptist and having heard negative things said about Pentecostals doesn't mean I'm not following trends in Pentecostal churches. There's a good reason for that: I like to know what Baptists are going to be doing in the next 10 years, and Pentecostals excel at keeping their fingers on the pulse of worship styles. And I also know there's a debate among Pentecostals who, like Baptists, can certainly be just as seeker-sensitive and experience conflicts with regard to just how far they should go in any one direction. I love listening to what's coming out of the mega-churches and listen to the Jimmy Swaggart radio station to get a more traditional perspective on it (I don't have that much respect for Swaggart, but I'll listen to him because he's more accessible). There's the traditional "gospel-only" camp and then there's the contemporary P&W camp--CCM devotees feel alienated by traditional worship music and hymns while the traditionalists believe that CCM is nothing but a stage show designed to be more entertaining than spiritually uplifting. There is a huge divide between the two, so part of my concern is with presenting new music in such a way that it communicates to the traditionalists, presenting traditional music in ways that communicates to the younger crowd, and blurring the lines between the two such that neither side necessarily feel alienated.

So, yeah, I'm not afraid to stand up and tell fellow volunteer musicians and our worship leader I think we need to do more black gospel music at our church. And as a pianist, I'm not afraid to emulate Jerry Lee Lewis or Floyd Cramer (within reason, of course) in a worship setting. I can turn from Hillsong to Gaither on a dime and haven't heard any significant objections. I also improvise all throughout the first half of a service and nobody complains. Sometimes I even use a synthesizer or a laptop. Some Sundays are better than others, which I admit. But there's no point in saying "we can't talk about this or that" because that's not really true. If you don't like what we teach, don't attend. However, if there's something to be gained from attending a church and you WANT what it is they have to offer, by all means go to church.

Somewhat beside the point, but I used to date a U/U. Still crazy about her, I won't deny it. But it's incorrect to assume that all Christian churches or "professing" Christian churches are completely closed to any/all discussion. There are a FEW U/Us who hold to their Christian roots, but I get the impression that this is less and less the case. You aren't a universalist by any chance are you? Your poetic approach that you insist on leads me to think you're somewhere between a Quaker and a U/U, or some variant thereof. I don't really think of U/U as being a Christian church, but I suppose, like anything, that is open for debate.



aghogday
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17 Feb 2014, 4:39 pm

AngelRho wrote:
aghogday wrote:
AngelRho wrote:
aghogday wrote:
AngelRho wrote:
ArrantPariah wrote:
Regarding women in the church, there is a little bit of a discrepancy between the two

Not really…unless you count two completely separate things as a discrepancy. :?

ArrantPariah wrote:
1 Corinthians 11 wrote:
any woman who prays or proclaims God's message in public worship with nothing on her head disgraces her husband


The woman can go ahead and preach, as long as she is wearing a hat.

Has nothing to do with it. I don't imagine attitudes among classes have really changed much in the past few thousand years, and dress conventions seem to always have been part of the dialogue. I don't think we can know for certain what practice this refers to, but there are a couple of possibilities. First, women of higher social standing might have had elaborate headdresses or some kind of ornament that indicated who they were…it was basically a display of wealth. Since equality among believers is emphasized, it would have been appropriate for wealthy women to wear some kind of head covering in order to subdue flashy hair ornaments that others would have found distracting or demoralizing. Another possibility might have had to do with the association of certain types of headwear with temple prostitution or some other pagan practice. Even if it were an innocent practice, outsiders might have found it misleading, indicating perhaps tacit approval of other pagan practices. I forget where it's written, but there is something to the effect that a woman should cut her hair if she's serving under specific circumstances, and I think it's related to that.

ArrantPariah wrote:
1 Timothy 2 wrote:
Women should learn in silence and all humility. I do not allow them to teach or to have authority over men; they must keep quiet.


The women have to shut up, even if they do have a hat.

Again, talking about completely different things here. And I already addressed this. Anyone who wishes to learn should keep quiet and listen to instruction. I mean, this apparently applies equally to men as well as women, which leads me to wonder what was going on that Paul felt the need to emphasize its relevance to women.


OH god..people who want to learn should keep quiet and listen to instruction...

That's called censorship...
in our modern times...

Actually, it's the opposite of censorship. It's allowing someone their time to speak. You don't get free expression with people being heckled and/or shouted-down.

Even when I was doing graduate studies, most of my professors had no issue with students speaking up in the middle of a discussion. But it's just polite to let the guy say what he has to say before correcting him or asking leading questions. And even then, there were certain things you DID and DID NOT DO. Being a perfect jerk to someone who, sooner or later, is going to evaluate you on what you learned in class isn't going to put you in his good graces. It might even get you put out of class, and if all you plan on doing is being contentious towards a respected teacher, why are you even there? Blog about it, write an essay, compose an article for peer review, make it the focus of your master's thesis or Ph.D. dissertation. But DON'T blatantly disrespect or insult someone who has the floor and has earned the right by contributing to his field of study. There's a time and a place for all that, and I'd be in my favorite prof's office once or twice a week talking things over, debating a few things, and overall developing a deeper understanding on points I disagreed with. But I DIDN'T try to make him look like an idiot in the middle of class. For one, he'd have ended up making me look like the bigger idiot, and for another I genuinely WANTED to know everything about how he thought about his field and made every effort to absorb everything he had to say. Now, I could say whatever I thought with classmates and undergrads, and I could do that on my own time. in the process of spiritual teaching, there is a time and a place for everything, and there are certainly times/places when/where discussing spiritual issues are appropriate and others that are inappropriate. When I used to attend Sunday School regularly, it at times could be an open forum in which the teacher(s) were simply moderators. You learn a lot in small groups. You gain NOTHING disrupting a worship service and shouting down a pastor. If you really hate it that much, don't attend.


Well it's okay if there is a balance...

But you know as well as i do..that some questions..are not allowed in these classes at church...and if they are they are quickly smacked down...

It's a tribal thingy..YES OBVIOUSLY JUst try to convince your preacher man..that biology..and YES GOD is responsible for at least 20% of homosexuality..

I don't necessarily AGREE with you on the issue, but I've long let that go. There are more important issues than who you fall in love with/are attracted to/have sex with when it comes to the church.

And I really have no idea what you mean by "not allowed." If you attend a church that accepts as a presupposition that Biblical patterns of behavior are acceptable, then, no, you can't be surprised if some things simply aren't open to discussion. It would be, in my opinion, grossly unintelligent for an atheist to stand up in a Sunday School room or sermon and carefully lay out his argument for why God doesn't exist. That God exists at all is one of the main tenets of Christianity or any religion that involves devotion to a deity. That God exists in universally agreed-upon in that setting, so it really isn't up for discussion. YEC vs. OEC is a matter that Christians ARE divided on and might be an appropriate topic (they both acknowledge that God created the universe…but evidence appears to make one or both positions questionable to the other regarding the age of the earth), ALTHOUGH the age of the earth has zilch theological significance whatsoever. Free will vs. predestination is a good topic. Appropriate role of women in the church (the point of this thread at the moment) is a worthy issue. Examining scripture and making a determination as to a particular interpretation is the result of false teaching is an excellent topic. Calvinism is making a very strange resurgence in the Southern Baptist Convention, something I find somewhat disturbing, yet it is due to our preference for keeping the dialogue open. Whether the Bible justifies keeping slaves was an issue during the Civil War era, and I believe most Christians have accepted the position that freedom is valued more highly than slavery. Some issues are more/less welcome than others, some issues are a lot hotter than others, and some things are more divisive than others at various times. But the fact that we ARE divided and attempting to move forward in the dialogue is indicative that the door certainly isn't closed.

I'm a Baptist, sure, but I'm a staff musician and have a role in worship leadership at my church. So having grown up Baptist and having heard negative things said about Pentecostals doesn't mean I'm not following trends in Pentecostal churches. There's a good reason for that: I like to know what Baptists are going to be doing in the next 10 years, and Pentecostals excel at keeping their fingers on the pulse of worship styles. And I also know there's a debate among Pentecostals who, like Baptists, can certainly be just as seeker-sensitive and experience conflicts with regard to just how far they should go in any one direction. I love listening to what's coming out of the mega-churches and listen to the Jimmy Swaggart radio station to get a more traditional perspective on it (I don't have that much respect for Swaggart, but I'll listen to him because he's more accessible). There's the traditional "gospel-only" camp and then there's the contemporary P&W camp--CCM devotees feel alienated by traditional worship music and hymns while the traditionalists believe that CCM is nothing but a stage show designed to be more entertaining than spiritually uplifting. There is a huge divide between the two, so part of my concern is with presenting new music in such a way that it communicates to the traditionalists, presenting traditional music in ways that communicates to the younger crowd, and blurring the lines between the two such that neither side necessarily feel alienated.

So, yeah, I'm not afraid to stand up and tell fellow volunteer musicians and our worship leader I think we need to do more black gospel music at our church. And as a pianist, I'm not afraid to emulate Jerry Lee Lewis or Floyd Cramer (within reason, of course) in a worship setting. I can turn from Hillsong to Gaither on a dime and haven't heard any significant objections. I also improvise all throughout the first half of a service and nobody complains. Sometimes I even use a synthesizer or a laptop. Some Sundays are better than others, which I admit. But there's no point in saying "we can't talk about this or that" because that's not really true. If you don't like what we teach, don't attend. However, if there's something to be gained from attending a church and you WANT what it is they have to offer, by all means go to church.

Somewhat beside the point, but I used to date a U/U. Still crazy about her, I won't deny it. But it's incorrect to assume that all Christian churches or "professing" Christian churches are completely closed to any/all discussion. There are a FEW U/Us who hold to their Christian roots, but I get the impression that this is less and less the case. You aren't a universalist by any chance are you? Your poetic approach that you insist on leads me to think you're somewhere between a Quaker and a U/U, or some variant thereof. I don't really think of U/U as being a Christian church, but I suppose, like anything, that is open for debate.


Well..i'm glad to here you are open to the idea of differences..among human beings like this...

As to what religion i am part of...i go to the Catholic church.. the one i was raised in..every Sunday morning..attend southern baptist gospel singings regularly with my wife and her friend...but adhere to no religious structured dogma in life..at all..

I consider myself a part of the human race..that is connected with the GOD that is ALL..

I'm comfortable in any church as a visit..although i would not go to any church regularly that openly promoted any oppression toward any natural segment of society..other religions..sexual orientations or whatever..

Seriously the way i connect with GOD the best..is through an elaborate..free style method of dance walking up to 20 miles a day..that allows me the similar type of oneness and connection with Universal love that Yogi's experience...

And i use musicK in all fashion..for resonances..of chakra balance..with the movement as one...and i love to sing in church..in this same way of Universal connection...

So in effect..my religion moreover than anything else..is musicK and dance..

as a way of life..

And i make everything..and yes i do mean everything in life sacred..in the NOW
Even the disagreements..that i have with diverse individuals..on almost anything...

The greatest thing in the world to me..is the literal balance of life..nature..and overall GOD...

Every step for me..in any type of movement..or song...is a sacred balance for that

way...

And while many people here would pooh pooh..it as simply coincidence...and random chance...

i do have personal proof...that GOD communicates with me and others..through what JUNG described as Synchronicity..for as close to science as that currently gets...which i do believe is natural..but just beyond the current purview of science...

But again..my communication with GOD is movement..musick and song...

It's a very cozy relationship in the now..WITH GOD...
Literally in
deed...

AND REQUIRES ABSOLUTELY NO so called intellectual KNOWLEDGE..
and very little abstract language...
JUST THE FLOW..OF BEING AS ONE
WITH ALLITIS...

BUT TO GET THERE..AT LEAST FOR
ME.. WAS
IN PART..

LITERALLY HELL...TRUE HUMAN HELL...

i plan on staying in that other place in the NOW..forevermore..NOW...

GOD willing...
with my
WILL...


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17 Feb 2014, 5:16 pm

OH yeah….I remember you mentioning going to a Catholic church in a different thread. Cool! I'd forgotten.

As to my own attitudes, sure, I've got my mind made up about a bunch of things. Some things I picked up when I was young and survived that period of my life when I was prone to doubting more things. Some things were outright disturbing, and I came to learn that my teacher (at the time) was likely misinformed--well-meaning, but misinformed. Of course, not EVERYTHING I was ever taught was wrong, but I had to endure some time doubting a lot of things before I learned the difference; and of course I picked up a TON of things on my own and not attending church at all. For me, church is all about the experience of worship as a group of fellow believers and learning as a collective.

I had a great relationship with the U/U I mentioned. The down side of attending her church with her is that I learned just how bigoted self-styled liberal theologians can be. Central to universalism is that all religions are accepted, that there is no one way to relate to God, and the "preacher" I heard was going on and on spewing so much hatred against Christians and Christianity. I was, like, "no, I AM a Southern Baptist and what you're telling me is nothing like anything I've ever experienced among Christians." The guy was trying to make the point that ALL people are welcome at that U/U church, but it sure did seem everyone EXCEPT Christians were accepted there. I've lived in the South most of my life, heard about people like that, and even when I lived amongst a more liberal demographic I never encountered that kind of attitude. I thought liberals were all about love and peace…er…NOPE!! ! Not THIS guy! I'm sure most U/U congregations are friendlier than that, but WOW did this guy have some hate.

You don't seem hateful to me, but the way you've expressed your views strikingly resemble unitarianism and universalism.