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man o' the year

Just back from Church

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Oddly enough...

JFK and I attended mass here this morning

 The cathedral in Funchal dates from 1514.

The service was very beautiful, I felt a profound sense of peace there.

Even JFK who is normally an unmovable agnostic was moved.

The place was bursting with worshipers and had a real community atmosphere.

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I love looking at and going into churches to admire and appreciate the beautiful buildings if they’re open outwith religious service times but apart from that the only time I’m in a church is for weddings and funerals.

I haven’t found god in my life experiences but I have no problem with religious people and respect their life view.......as long as they don’t try and inflict their beliefs on me! 

Christians, IME, are generally nice folk who get on with their lives......unlike some other religious adherents....the extremist ones who shoot, and blow dissenters up!

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37 minutes ago, Economic Exile said:

 

Christians, IME, are generally nice folk who get on with their lives......unlike some other religious adherents....the extremist ones who shoot, and blow dissenters up!

You leave the Ulster Presbetyrians out of the discussion, they’re not allowed post on the Internet on the Sabbath....

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1 hour ago, Soft lad said:

if there is a dosbods chaplains position going I recommend this geezer

<Snipped Gavin Ashenden>

He's extremely erudite and easy to listen to.

The church has appeared paranoid and conservative probably ever since it was founded. Decrying Plato, neoplatonism, gnosticism then and in more recent times warning about postmodernism, deconstructionalism, neopragmatism, insular and atomized society, breakdown of family. It has been  banging a drum about a certain cultural danger for centuries so, in some ways, it got there before us. Some churches now don't record sermons after pastors started being prosecuted for hate speech. Jesus said something about offering the other cheek to your enemy as well if he slaps you, but quite what are meant to do if it is a machete?

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28 minutes ago, Horrified Onlooker said:

You leave the Ulster Presbetyrians out of the discussion, they’re not allowed post on the Internet on the Sabbath....

Perhaps I have left them out but I don’t live in that area of the divided uk and don’t really understand the nuances of arguments between. Christian factions.

Whatever Christian folks choose to argue about isn’t on my radar these days.

O.o

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3 hours ago, Soft lad said:

if there is a dosbods chaplains position going I recommend this geezer

 

Wasn't he the Queen's chaplain who was sacked / forced to resign for speaking out?

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1 hour ago, Lone Lurker said:

Wasn't he the Queen's chaplain who was sacked / forced to resign for speaking out?

If it was/is, then this rather underlines the point made to me about 15 years ago, when I could well have been described as a royalist, that, if the Royal Family were so important to maintaining the standard of life in Britain, then, why under their watch had things collapsed so catastrophically.

I changed my view that night and have been republican ever since. 

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According to his website, he's a much more complex figure than the stereotypical card-board cut-out identikit vicar we love to parody.

But my word! Even I need a dictionary to fully understand what he's getting at, rather than just skim-read.

I give you Exhibit A - An obituary of Billy Graham - it's thought provoking, but not an easy read if you're not familiar with concepts like theodicy and pelagianism. He doesn't use the words egregiously, but I suspect his intended audience isn't forum warriors like me looking for a soundbyte to sum up his theology in one easy sentence.

 

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Question for the religious types.

How do you decide which bits of your religious book are true and how to interpret them?

There's can hardly be any who believe exactly the same thing.

I know fundy Christians and they think catholics aren't Christians.

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Posted (edited)
15 hours ago, Fischer said:

Last time I entered a Church I found it a very enjoyable experience.

 

  Hide contents

Charlotte%20Church%2004.jpg

 

In your dreams mate, in your dreams.

 

Edited by Bornagain

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Someone local has a wicker flying spaghetti monster on their thatched roof, I nod my approval as I pass on my daily commute. That's enough religion for me, but I'll happily take the bank holidays :)

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5 minutes ago, Fischer said:

Question for the religious types.

How do you decide which bits of your religious book are true and how to interpret them?

There's can hardly be any who believe exactly the same thing.

I know fundy Christians and they think catholics aren't Christians.

Not a 'religious type' - I just know the man upstairs reasonably well. ;)

Some things are obviously poetry and are not meant to be taken literally. For example, when Jesus says, "I am the door," He's not saying that He's a 6' x 4' plank of wood. My first rule of hermeneutics is to interpret the difficult passages in the light of the easy passages. Who is saying what to whom, and why are important questions you need to establish to work out what the text is actually saying to you, now.

Otherwise, you could go around saying that the Bible teaches there is no god; by ripping the first verse of Psalm 14 out of context. A contrived example I know - expounding Ecclesiastes ch.10 v.19 is much more subtle.

Telling people they all need to believe exactly the same thing in order to "achieve" salvation is a form of spiritual abuse in my book. It leaves no room for personal or cultural expression. There are timeless principles, which can be experienced in an infinite variety of ways in order to improve your own life and the life of those around you. I found that my spiritual experience matched what was outlined in the Bible and that it gave me a framework, a model to explore further. I've made plenty of mistakes along the way. But I don't regret the choice I've made.

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14 minutes ago, snagger said:

Someone local has a wicker flying spaghetti monster on their thatched roof, I nod my approval as I pass on my daily commute. That's enough religion for me, but I'll happily take the bank holidays :)

I'd say the church of the FSM (in all his noodly goodness) the most intellectually honest form of atheism out there. They actually do 'get' some important spiritual principles that 'religious' people find hard to swallow. I can imagine Jesus saying to someone in a FSM t-shirt, "You're not far from the Kingdom of God."

FSM.jpg

 

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7 hours ago, Bkkandrew said:

If it was/is, then this rather underlines the point made to me about 15 years ago, when I could well have been described as a royalist, that, if the Royal Family were so important to maintaining the standard of life in Britain, then, why under their watch had things collapsed so catastrophically.

I changed my view that night and have been republican ever since. 

It cracks me up when people say "Imagine a President Blair", completely failing to notice that we already had one.

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, Fischer said:

Question for the religious types.

How do you decide which bits of your religious book are true and how to interpret them?

There's can hardly be any who believe exactly the same thing.

I know fundy Christians and they think catholics aren't Christians.

In the CofE the general rule is that everything rests on the three 'pillars' of scripture, tradition and reason. Each 'pillar' is viewed in the light of the other two. 

So when 'deciding which bits of your religious book are true' (ie, scripture), you have to look at it in the light of tradition and reason also. So, you need to ask yourself how much of this passage is based on tradition, and does it conform to reason? 

Eg, scripture says that Jesus died but then came back from the dead. Is this a tradition of the church, added later? Unlikely, because it is in the gospels, the earliest parts of the New Testament, and is referred to by St Paul. What is the approach in the light of reason? This is where it becomes tricky. Can a man come back from the dead? This, in my opinion, to conform to reason, either has to be either viewed literally - ie, it really happened and some sort of 'miracle' - a suspension of normal physical laws took place, or, metaphorically, ie, Jesus did not come back from the dead in a physical sense, but the gospels are picture language and legend, to use modern parlance, 'bigging up Jesus' to describe the continuation of His philosophy on earth despite his physical death.

Personally I tend to the latter view but both employ reason (rather than dogma). 

BTW to answer the OP I was in my local parish church on Thursday, Friday and Sunday. I feel we are fighting something of a rearguard action against militant Islam in the west and that it's important to maintain some sort of post-Englightenment link to the church, lest we are left with nothing other than a cultural blank slate for Islam to impose itself upon. 

 

Edited by Austin Allegro

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