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  1. #41
    So she did. small.wonder's Avatar
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    I'm a 4, I love Jesus and I think it makes perfect sense. Here's why:
    - I have a personal relationship with Christ, not with an institution.
    - As someone already pointed out, it is counter cultural in the present day West to believe in God at all.
    - Jesus was such an awesome rebel! Even if you are just considering him as a historical figure, the guy was a revolutionary. He openly loved people that his culture hated, and ignored: prostitutes, the diseased, the poor and marginalized-- even criminals! The Jewish religious officials even hated him and constantly tried to trip him up but he only ever answered them with truth and kindness.
    - God created me (and you) brushstroke by brushstroke to be unlike anyone on the planet in the history of the world. He created such a magnificent tapestry of a universe, I cannot even look around me at nature or other humans without noting the intricate detail that my God has woven into being. The God I believe in is a highly creative being.


    There's so much more, but I digress.
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  2. #42
    this is my winter song EJCC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by small.wonder View Post
    - I have a personal relationship with Christ, not with an institution.
    ^ This is key, I think.

    I have seen so many threads, on this forum, claiming that such-and-such MBTI or Enneagram type would not be religious because of the institutions being either oppressive, illogical, or something else along those lines. But religious beliefs=/=institutional loyalty. And being "Christian", "Muslim", etc., doesn't mean "blindly adhering to such-and-such institution and following it like a sheep".

    Quote Originally Posted by prplchknz View Post
    any type can be christian, any type can be atheist, any type can be agnostic, any type can be anything

    [/end thread]
    ^ This. Rock on, prpl. \m/
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  3. #43
    Senior Member captain curmudgeon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by small.wonder View Post
    As someone already pointed out, it is counter cultural in the present day West to believe in God at all.
    Ironically, I hear that alot, in a comparatively heavily religious area of one of the most heavily religious wealthy western countries (USA). Where are you from that this is genuinely considered a part of counterculture, if I may inquire?
    Jarlaxle: fact checking this thread makes me want to go all INFP on my wrists

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  4. #44
    Senior Member autumnandtherain's Avatar
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    I'm a Christian 4.

  5. #45
    So she did. small.wonder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wheelchairdoug View Post
    Ironically, I hear that alot, in a comparatively heavily religious area of one of the most heavily religious wealthy western countries (USA). Where are you from that this is genuinely considered a part of counterculture, if I may inquire?
    Absolutely, thanks for asking!

    Yes, the US is heavily religious. I am not. Religiosity is following a set of rules to earn salvation, redemption, reward, etc. My faith is in a Savior who removed the cost of salvation by sacrificing his own life for me, thus removing my need to earn anything. I follow Christ out of love, gratitude and admiration for the captivating God who made, saved and accepts me wherever I'm at, no matter what. I have never known another love like that!

    I'm from Chicago and as a young adult the vast majority of my peers either:
    A. sneer at the notion of any one faith or deity (especially the Judeo-Christian God), and tend to believe in a vague spirituality, karma or living as their own god.
    B. blindly and legalistically follow a faith for tradition's sake not actually valuing or owning it at all, or desperately trying to earn their way into an angry god's graces. This is the religiosity you were referring to.

    I subscribe to neither A or B, both common approaches to spirituality in my culture.

    Is where you are in the US different?
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  6. #46
    Senior Member captain curmudgeon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by small.wonder View Post
    B. blindly and legalistically follow a faith ?
    My experience has been that people do what's outlined here, but out of a place of desire to have a genuine relationship to God. I would argue that most people here find that what is written in the bible is to be taken at face value- that no context is needed, and that the closer one adheres to literal scripture, the closer they will ultimately find themselves to God.
    Jarlaxle: fact checking this thread makes me want to go all INFP on my wrists

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  7. #47
    Sugar Hiccup OrangeAppled's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by small.wonder View Post
    I'm from Chicago and as a young adult the vast majority of my peers either:
    A. sneer at the notion of any one faith or deity (especially the Judeo-Christian God), and tend to believe in a vague spirituality, karma or living as their own god.
    B. blindly and legalistically follow a faith for tradition's sake not actually valuing or owning it at all, or desperately trying to earn their way into an angry god's graces. This is the religiosity you were referring to.

    I subscribe to neither A or B, both common approaches to spirituality in my culture.
    I would agree with this, although I hesitate to question the sincerity or critical thinking of the A Group of people, or at least, the same review should be done of those in the former camp (B Group). I'm from California, just FYI.

    As for the former, I don't consider it "blind" so much as being based on family & cultural tradition and making/keeping social ties in their community. Their church is more like a community center where they forge emotional bonds with other people through shared worship. I won't sneer at that or belittle its value to others.

    I do notice most of these people have not read the entire bible (or whatever holy book they claim to base their beliefs on), usually only a few commonly known verses. It's less about understanding, uh, "metaphysical" aspects of reality than having the social/community ties + some adoption of moral concepts to guide them & perhaps a little prayer & ceremony thrown in for something of a relationship with their God.

    Does this aspect appeal to me? Not to so much. I do belong to an organized religion, but have often felt "on the fringe", not due to core beliefs, but my reason for being there. I've found more of a niche when I started doing more volunteer work that involves a lot of spiritual mentoring of other people, because this felt like less of a social routine than actually relating and growing through discussion of beliefs and feelings and cultivating a more Christ-like mindset & lifestyle. There are also efforts to transcend national/cultural boundaries in practice & beliefs, whereas IMO, many other churches are nationalistic & too entrenched in cultural tradition to be any kind of vehicle for truth about the nature of the universe for me.

    The latter (B), however, is extremely common in my age group, especially those who share non spiritual interests (ie. arty, intellectual types). I see blind adoption of atheism or vague, new agey "feel good" beliefs. There's some underlying idea that intelligent people are not religious or theist. That's only for the backwards, uncultured, nationalistic, conservative, [insert another degrading stereotype] American. From my perspective, such people are "sheep" as well (although don't get me started on the distortion of that metaphor; a sheep is a beautiful thing)...following cultural trends to fit an image perhaps, but not humbly searching for truth. These people also have very little knowledge of what most ancient holy books say, or they take it out of historical context & interpret it very literally (ie. those who criticize the God of the Old Testament as "cruel"). I don't find them to be the independent critical thinkers they'd like to believe they are. I don't sneer at them any more than the other group though, because I understand the disillusionment with religion; I think much of it is corrupt, but I don't throw the baby out with the bathwater. I just see a parallel with these two groups...

    Anyhow, the idea of picking and choosing beliefs to what suits one's existing feelings seems, well, insincere to me. It seems self-serving, a way to justify anything. People who say stuff like "my heart guides me" are not people I relate to. It reminds me of Cartman from South Park: "I don't care; I do what I want!". Were I to have that mindset, I'd be blinded by my own desires and conforming to my animal side, so I see my religion as freeing me from this, as well as from the cultural values which shift like sand & have little to do with spiritual truth. It's not a matter of conforming to religion, but being set free from one's own inner distortions, the pressures of the world to be power/money/sex driven, and myths about human nature & the spiritual dynamics in the world. I built faith in ancient holy books because I put aside cultural values and perceived the actual messages about the nature of the soul, what death is, who or what is "God", etc. What perceived made sense to me, the same way one can observe some system in nature and finally understand the end results (I'm thinking like water cycles or movement of planets). It's as if you have an answer to a math problem, and then you're asked to choose from several formulas which is the one that produced that answer. Well, I settled on my beliefs after studying and seeing an inner congruency within the framework as well as how it aligns with existing reality. It "made sense", it did not make me "feel good", although applying principles from these insights improve my happiness.

    Anyhow, I don't like to discuss my religion, faith or spiritual beliefs much online, because it's quite vulnerable to me, but I thought I'd chime in on this one. So, no, I don't want to answer any questions, should anyone have any.

    Often a star was waiting for you to notice it. A wave rolled toward you out of the distant past, or as you walked under an open window, a violin yielded itself to your hearing. All this was mission. But could you accomplish it? (Rilke)

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  8. #48
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Mole's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by small.wonder View Post
    I'm a 4, I love Jesus and I think it makes perfect sense. Here's why:
    - I have a personal relationship with Christ, not with an institution.
    - As someone already pointed out, it is counter cultural in the present day West to believe in God at all.
    - Jesus was such an awesome rebel! Even if you are just considering him as a historical figure, the guy was a revolutionary. He openly loved people that his culture hated, and ignored: prostitutes, the diseased, the poor and marginalized-- even criminals! The Jewish religious officials even hated him and constantly tried to trip him up but he only ever answered them with truth and kindness.
    - God created me (and you) brushstroke by brushstroke to be unlike anyone on the planet in the history of the world. He created such a magnificent tapestry of a universe, I cannot even look around me at nature or other humans without noting the intricate detail that my God has woven into being. The God I believe in is a highly creative being.


    There's so much more, but I digress.
    The New Testament testifies that Jesus said not a word against institutional slavery although he was surrounded by it. And silence is complicity.

    And the Origin of Species, confirmed by genetics, tells us that life was not designed.

    And physics also tells us that the physical universe is also not designed.

    Of course it looks as though life is designed. And it looks as though the physical universe is designed. Just as it looks as though the personal interpretation of mbti gives us the truth about ourselves.

    Just as it looks as though the Sun goes round the Earth, but we know this is an illusion, just like the design of life and the universe.

    And Jesus was not a man of the Enlightenment values of evidence and reason , freedom and equality of the 17th and 18th centuries. Jesus, like everyone around him in the 1st century, took institutional slavery for granted as the natural order and the will of God.

  9. #49
    Senior Member Sanjuro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by small.wonder View Post
    I'm a 4, I love Jesus and I think it makes perfect sense. Here's why:
    - I have a personal relationship with Christ, not with an institution.
    - As someone already pointed out, it is counter cultural in the present day West to believe in God at all.
    - Jesus was such an awesome rebel! Even if you are just considering him as a historical figure, the guy was a revolutionary. He openly loved people that his culture hated, and ignored: prostitutes, the diseased, the poor and marginalized-- even criminals! The Jewish religious officials even hated him and constantly tried to trip him up but he only ever answered them with truth and kindness.
    - God created me (and you) brushstroke by brushstroke to be unlike anyone on the planet in the history of the world. He created such a magnificent tapestry of a universe, I cannot even look around me at nature or other humans without noting the intricate detail that my God has woven into being. The God I believe in is a highly creative being.
    WOW! This is such a great post, and a great perspective from a 4! Beautiful.

    Especially the bolded, I've considered many times over (being unaffiliated myself). This is even more true when I combine it with the perspectives I've acquired from world traveling. So many places still exist where human rights are minimal and the underclass (read: the "99%") is more or less objectified. So many people are utterly disregarded as human beings. I've seen many ugly things by the spoiled elite--running people down for sport, maid abuse, torture "for fun", I can't go on or I'll just start brooding. I suspect this was much like it was in Palestine 2000 years ago. Most people in industrialized countries with human rights and egalitarian notions don't realize this aspect of "the real world", and how radical Jesus really was in promoting equality and standing up to the powers-that-be.

    When I consider Jesus as a historical figure, set against this backdrop, it just makes the guy all the more awesome in my estimation. Very few people have the sort of courage and commitment to act as he did. Whatever you believe regarding the historical and biblical figure, it is unsurprising to me that he acquired such a following.

    I am happy that you have found meaning in Christianity.

    Quote Originally Posted by small.wonder View Post
    I'm from Chicago and as a young adult the vast majority of my peers either:
    A. sneer at the notion of any one faith or deity (especially the Judeo-Christian God), and tend to believe in a vague spirituality, karma or living as their own god.
    B. blindly and legalistically follow a faith for tradition's sake not actually valuing or owning it at all, or desperately trying to earn their way into an angry god's graces. This is the religiosity you were referring to.
    I once lived in the midwestern US, and it was much the same--believers vs atheists. Or the "vague" spirituality you mention. There wasn't much room for intelligent 3rd perspectives, and I ran afoul of both my step-father (B category believer) and a friend of mine (staunch over-literal atheist) for precisely the same way of thinking. LOL, America.

  10. #50
    So she did. small.wonder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mole View Post
    The New Testament testifies that Jesus said not a word against institutional slavery although he was surrounded by it. And silence is complicity.

    And the Origin of Species, confirmed by genetics, tells us that life was not designed.

    And physics also tells us that the physical universe is also not designed.

    Of course it looks as though life is designed. And it looks as though the physical universe is designed. Just as it looks as though the personal interpretation of mbti gives us the truth about ourselves.

    Just as it looks as though the Sun goes round the Earth, but we know this is an illusion, just like the design of life and the universe.

    And Jesus was not a man of the Enlightenment values of evidence and reason , freedom and equality of the 17th and 18th centuries. Jesus, like everyone around him in the 1st century, took institutional slavery for granted as the natural order and the will of God.
    Hey Mole, I respect your right to believe all of that! That however doesn't change my stance, because frankly none of it matters to me. I actually respect God more because he is literally incomprehensible. I will never fully understand him or figure out his ways, but that's what keeps me fascinated!

    Also, when you say that "we" know the design of life and the universe is an illusion, you are making a grand generalization. Many on this thread alone have acknowledged that they in fact do not agree with that theory. One you are obviously welcome to believe in, but a theory none the less. No theory about the construction or origin of the universe is even close to complete, much less acknowledged as fact by the world at large.

    The slavery issue is one you may be interested in talking to a biblical scholar about (of which, I am not)-- if you are truly interested in seeing all sides and finding truth, that is. It's a very good question that I have read many differing opinions on and still don't quite have an answer. There are a good many things I don't know, but I've made a large effort to meet those issues head on when I decide how to live my life.

    Thanks for your thoughts.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sanjuro View Post
    WOW! This is such a great post, and a great perspective from a 4! Beautiful.

    Especially the bolded, I've considered many times over (being unaffiliated myself). This is even more true when I combine it with the perspectives I've acquired from world traveling. So many places still exist where human rights are minimal and the underclass (read: the "99%") is more or less objectified. So many people are utterly disregarded as human beings. I've seen many ugly things by the spoiled elite--running people down for sport, maid abuse, torture "for fun", I can't go on or I'll just start brooding. I suspect this was much like it was in Palestine 2000 years ago. Most people in industrialized countries with human rights and egalitarian notions don't realize this aspect of "the real world", and how radical Jesus really was in promoting equality and standing up to the powers-that-be.

    When I consider Jesus as a historical figure, set against this backdrop, it just makes the guy all the more awesome in my estimation. Very few people have the sort of courage and commitment to act as he did. Whatever you believe regarding the historical and biblical figure, it is unsurprising to me that he acquired such a following.

    I am happy that you have found meaning in Christianity.

    I once lived in the midwestern US, and it was much the same--believers vs atheists. Or the "vague" spirituality you mention. There wasn't much room for intelligent 3rd perspectives, and I ran afoul of both my step-father (B category believer) and a friend of mine (staunch over-literal atheist) for precisely the same way of thinking. LOL, America.

    Thanks for sharing your perspective from experiencing those kinds of cultures, I'm sure that really would bring so much context to understanding scripture! I've always wanted to travel to the Middle East, and I believe I'll be going on a serving project to Africa (either Zambia or South Africa) this summer. It's heartbreaking and infuriating to see the way so much of the world lives, but I do believe some of us must see it so that the truth of those conditions can spread, and change can happen. You seem like you totally get that though.

    Yeah, Jesus was a pretty rad dude. It bothers me so much when people paint him as that docile, sheet-wearing guy with a perm in the painting at your Grandmother's house. He loved people well in the face of death and ridicule, and firmly but peacefully defended the little man, the outcast and the shamed. I also love the time he flipped some tables in the temple out of righteous anger at the disrespectful dealings happening there. I mean, not to mention all of the healing, miracles and such.
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