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Thomas Jefferson's views on Jesus

Discussion in 'Spiritual Growth & Development' started by Goldie, Jun 4, 2017.

  1. mac

    mac Staff Member

    The book is a red-herring but if Roberta says it's OK to discuss religion then that will be an end to any disagreement. I was going on what she's written previously. She'll be the arbiter.
     
  2. mac

    mac Staff Member

    Now you're misrepresenting what I wrote - quite plainly I never did say you were pushing a religion. When Roberta says it's OK to continue this discussion because it's not about religion then that will be that. And if the discussion continues I'll likely join in with my tuppence worth. ;)
     
  3. mac

    mac Staff Member

    I never said you were preaching or debating a religion. I repeat from posting #10 "Discussing Jefferson isn't the issue but moving on to discussions about Jesus, the Bible and Christianity is heading in the direction of talking about religion.

    Roberta has said before that she wishes to keep her website religion-free.
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2017
  4. RobertaGrimes

    RobertaGrimes Administrator

    Understood. But he was a practical and even a skeptical man by nature, and he felt that the miracles (a) were not necessary to our understanding of the words of Jesus, and (b) were too often used by clergymen to manipulate people (after all, this is the man who said, "Upon the altar of God I have sworn eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man"). I haven't seen evidence that he ever questioned whether the words of Jesus on love, forgiveness, etc., were genuine, but he also didn't preach them; he sought only to better understand them for himself. The Jefferson Bible was his personal study Bible. He never intended that it be published!
     
    Goldie likes this.
  5. RobertaGrimes

    RobertaGrimes Administrator

    I guess I'd better try to resolve this conundrum! On ALF:

    1) It is not okay to talk about religion, but

    2) It is fine to talk about a figure who might also have a religious image so long as we discuss that figure in a non-religious way.

    Jesus is not necessarily a religious figure. His Gospel teachings are spiritual - not religious - teachings, and in fact He told us NOT to turn His teachings into a religion! When we talk about those teachings as spiritual truths that can be validated via communications from people that we used to think were dead, then we're fine. When we start preaching Christian dogmas - which did NOT come from Jesus - then we make Roberta really cranky.... ;-).
     
  6. bluebird

    bluebird Major Contributor

    Roberta,

    How/where are you drawing the line between "spiritual" and "religious"? How do you define each of those concepts?
     
    Goldie and dopier like this.
  7. dopier

    dopier Established Member

    These are questions that will probably never be satisfactorily answered until everyone realizes that we're each the captain of our destiny. It's probably intellectual laziness to rely on others' opinions (facts) for one's own direction, but then one should have the right to be intellectually lazy. Therefore, ultimately I don't necessarily think there will be satisfactory answers to your questions. My two cents.
     
    Goldie likes this.
  8. bluebird

    bluebird Major Contributor

    dopier,

    You may be right. I just don't think we can really have a discussion on these topics without first at least attempting to clearly define them. In my experience, people tend to call their own views on these matters "spiritual", and the views of others on these matters "religious". I have seen this in people from New Agers to Christian Fundamentalists, and everything in between.
     
    Goldie likes this.
  9. RobertaGrimes

    RobertaGrimes Administrator

    This is a great question, dear Bluebird! I understand that there is some confusion, because religions often claim to be spiritual; but actually, religions and spirituality are something like polar opposites. Religions are codified belief-systems based in man-made dogmas that might or might not have a spiritual base somewhere in their history. If you don't share the religion's beliefs in those dogmas (e.g. Jesus died for your sins), then you can't be a part of that religion. Spirituality, on the other hand, is a search for and development of one's own true eternal nature. It cannot be based in any dogmas; it cannot be limited in any way, but rather spirituality develops as we seek what is true and as we go ever deeper within ourselves. We do tend to develop beliefs as we grow spiritually - for example, we come to understand that the more loving and forgiving we are, the more spiritual and the happier our lives become; but spirituality cannot have canons or dogmas. It is utterly free. And this is something that the great teachers have told us uniformly, but it is at the base of no religion of which I am aware. Instead, every religion I ever have studied is fear-based, not love-based, so the irony is that being very religious actually makes spiritual growth to any extent probably impossible.
     
  10. bluebird

    bluebird Major Contributor

    Roberta,

    Thank you for your response. I would tend to agree with those definitions, but I do think that often people who view themselves as spiritual do still have codified belief systems, although they may not view them as such. To be frank, I see that as one of the issues on this website. You don't allow religious proselytizing, a position I understand and with which I agree. However, there have been instances where someone (sometimes me, sometimes someone else) offers a view that does not follow or agree with the general line of thinking in some spiritual circles, only to be told (albeit not necessarily harshly) that s/he is wrong. For example, when discussing the idea that one's "higher self" resides in an afterlife, even when one exists here on earth, or when discussing the idea that deep and abiding grief prevents our dead loved ones from contacting us -- both ideas with which I do not agree. (There are probably other examples as well, but those two come most readily to my mind.)

    I suppose what I'm saying is this -- if religious dogma is prohibited from discussion on this site (and I tend to agree that it should be), then it seems only fair to me that spiritual dogma must also be prohibited from discussion. Not spirituality in general (which, after all, is part of the point/purpose of this forum), but the insistence that only particular spiritual views are correct, which is a form of dogma in itself.
     
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