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Church

Discussion in 'Spiritual Growth & Development' started by Celera, Sep 18, 2013.

  1. lorrieclaudia

    lorrieclaudia New Member

    Quaker oatmeal is used by our family since '90 and we tried other brands but still this is our fav. oatmeal brand. :)
     
  2. I attended an unprogrammed Quaker meeting for several years, but stopped going. I have great respect for Quakers, but I realized I am not a Quaker. It felt too limiting to me. I was raised and confirmed Roman Catholic, but I am definitely not Catholic. I don't attend any religious services at the moment, and I don't see that changing in the foreseeable future.
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2013
  3. Jesse85uk

    Jesse85uk New Member

    I went to a Christian primary school, but my experience with "religion" has generally not been very positive.

    When I was 5 or 6 years old, 2-3 years after my mother's death, my father tried going to church and wanted to get me baptized (my mom was raised a Roman Catholic) and felt the church group would be good for me.....but the priest refused because my Dad could not commit to going to church every Sunday due to work.

    I grew up in a small village and my experience with the church has been nothing but snobbery and hippocrits. Our neighbour had an affair with another neighbour through the church group and it was very much an unwelcoming environment where people seem to go to gossip about people in the village and pat each other on the back because they're "doing good" by baking cakes for the after service club.

    The problem with organized religion IMO is that it opens the door for a lunacy of fanatics of every denomination that will justify their actions by calling it the will of God. It's not religion in itself - it's people....and all people are fallible.

    Of course, religion is a broad term, but generally I find religion too limiting and makes many people self righteous in their attitude.

    I love churches and enjoy being with people who are spiritual regardless of what religion they choose to follow, but I'm always slightly wary of any organization where you have large groups of people together trying to claim God.

    I do not respect a person based on their beliefs, religion or knowledge....but by their actions.

    At the basis of all religion is the same principles - love & compassion. You can not learn how to practice those things by rituals or ceremonies.
     
  4. I could go for hours on this topic, having been both well- and ill-served by Christians and churches over the years.

    One thing I like about the liberal Quakers is that they are almost entirely without doctrines or ceremony. They have some principles, such as pacifism and simplicity and honesty. They use the Bible but believe that divine revelation is ongoing and personal, hence the service where people sit in silence and only speak if they feel led to do so. They make no claim to be the one right way, in fact they are quite open and welcoming to people from other religious traditions.

    Rituals and ceremonies have their place in our psyche. They bind communities and generations together. Jewish adherence to ceremony and tradition has maintained their sense of a common heritage through centuries of diaspora. I know people who find deep meaning and inspiration in traditional liturgy -- but they also try to live with integrity and humility on a daily basis, and when they fail they admit it. Ritual and ceremony should be ways to reinforce faith and character, although sadly they often become a substitute for both.

    What passes for mainstream Christianity in the US these days is mostly revolting. I'm not telling anyone they should go to church. But for myself, I'm not comfortable with the idea that I can be "spiritual" through solitary pursuits alone. Being "spiritual but not religious" is easy and comfortable for me, which makes me suspicious that I'm not doing enough. Spirituality is reinforced by and acted out in community, a community that gives and takes and holds each other accountable. If one can find a church environment that takes this seriously, I think it's worthwhile -- but church is not the only way to go about it. For people who are more naturally outward-focused than I am, it may be enough to live according to your principles as you go about your daily life. But it's too easy for me to get wrapped up in myself, and the structure of a faith-based community helps me to be more balanced.
     
  5. bluebird

    bluebird Major Contributor

    "Ritual and ceremony should be ways to reinforce faith and character, although sadly they often become a substitute for both."

    Very well said.
     
  6. Jesse85uk

    Jesse85uk New Member

    Great point Celera....think you hit the nail on the head. I'm not against rituals or ceremonies by any means as long as they are things which enrich or reinforce faith and character as opposed to a substitute as you mentioned. I'd love nothing more than to feel part of a spiritual community, but I've yet to find that in religion.

    To me, I see a lot of religion as a failed attempt to express spirituality.
     
  7. bluebird

    bluebird Major Contributor

  8. I agree. G. K. Chesterton (himself a devout Catholic, I believe) said Christianity had not been tried and found wanting… rather it had been wanted and never tried.
     

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