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  1. #61
    Senior Member Anja's Avatar
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    Well, yes, I think that's what I've done as well.

    It becomes a living faith - faith in action.

    substitute talks about the power of the written word. You know, it occurs to me how little people actually think about the written word. And I can see why. Perhaps many say they live by the Bible and have some metaphorical idea in their heads. So many say one thing and do another with no apparent conflict.

    There is another forum I belong to where people are continuously saying, "I'll pray for you." And what I see on the board from some of the same folks is arguing and sometimes spite. What a disconnect there there seems to be!

    I don't know how this fits but is fresh in my mind: I had a series of infections which wouldn't heal. My Dr. had been raised in Nigeria by Christian missionaries and she was puzzled as to my diagnosis. Finally she decided on diabetes.

    One day during an office call she said, "I keep you in my prayers." I thought "How nice of her!" Shortly after that my thought was alarm. Boundaries? Lack of confidence in her practice? Didn't feel comfortable to me and I found a new doctor. This week I got the news that I have never had diabetes.

    How the heck do we bring our faith with us into our daily lives without causing confusion and mistaken judgements upon it by others?

    I think to tread silently.

    Maybe some who proclaim their faith the loudest are convincing themselves?

    Random thoughts here.

    I do find listening to others to be helpful.
    "No ray of sunshine is ever lost, but the green which it awakes into existence needs time to sprout, and it is not always granted to the sower to see the harvest. All work that is worth anything is done in faith." - Albert Schweitzer

  2. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anja View Post
    "Thou shalt not kill" means (unless I/we think someone is bad.) But if someone is suffering and trying to die then we shouldn't kill him. That's how I see that commandment playing out in a Christian nation.
    So let me clarify:
    - Don't kill.
    - Unless someone breaks a particular law.
    - No euthanasia or enabling self-termination.

    Is that right?


    I once saw a cartoon of God which gave me pause. He was crying over a battlefield and saying, "What part of 'Thou shalt not kill don't you get?'"
    Which causes a wonderful conundrum if the whole point of Jesus coming to earth was to have him be killed by others as a sacrifice, as per God's plan. Don't ask me what to make of that.

    In a rush to modernize ancient teachings, many of them excellent, and define does and don'ts while trying to be inclusive it is nearly impossible to define one's self as a Christian anymore. That's my perspective.
    I would agree that defining a Christian nowadays by some list of external standards is very difficult.

    I'm not here to convince or to be convinced. Just here to lsten to all you folks who have so generously shared the way you handle the many inconsistencies.
    I understand the approach but it makes it hard to generously share when I can't figure out what we are looking for.

    My comings and goings aren't an effort to sit in evaluation of what has been said but more an effort to think carefully about each post and say something worthwhile, or not, depending on how well I understand what each one is saying.
    Very NF facilitating.

    Operating on a "consensus" approach rather than "idea challenging" one.

    Wow. Is this a classical example of the T/F thing? Interesting. Anyone want to dissect what they see?
    Pretty classic to me.

    You do seem pretty FP to me. Like a butterfly that dances out of reach any time someone tries to pin you down and get some clarity on your specific thoughts. You seem very effusive. You want to avoid conflict that might occur in the evaluation of ideas, especially if the situation seems very muddy.

    Meanwhile, this is turn makes it hard for TP to respond. I know I keep looking for an indication of your motivation, direction, overall goal, and I can't find it in order to react to it. I also am trying to test and evaluate the ideas to see which holds up better and thus is a "better model" for the scenario, but I'm not getting any particular ideas to test.

    I was just reading Type Talk (Kroeger and Thuesen) this morning and found this gem:

    Thinkers defined conflict as "any discussion, conversation, or debate where win/lose is the only perceivable possible outcome."

    Feelers defined conflict as "when we have four sets of opinions/feelings, ideas/experiences, and we're trying to reach consensus."
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  3. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    Pretty classic to me.

    You do seem pretty FP to me. Like a butterfly that dances out of reach any time someone tries to pin you down and get some clarity on your specific thoughts. You seem very effusive. You want to avoid conflict that might occur in the evaluation of ideas, especially if the situation seems very muddy.

    Meanwhile, this is turn makes it hard for TP to respond. I know I keep looking for an indication of your motivation, direction, overall goal, and I can't find it in order to react to it. I also am trying to test and evaluate the ideas to see which holds up better and thus is a "better model" for the scenario, but I'm not getting any particular ideas to test.
    Then, what am I? I have set of beliefs in my mind (they are open for change, but still they have consistency), and I think I expressed them as well as I can, but what I believe is hardly similar to Anja's view or the way she expresses them, and very similar to what substitute has said.

    Well, anyways, something that came up in my mind while reading your post, Anja. If you have similar attitude to mine, in the way that you believe your faith is something like an attitude of living, then does it matter to you if people live good lives while believing something else than you do? I tend to be practical in these matters, and I never think about if I go to heaven or not, since I have long ago decided that this is something beyond my understanding. But, what I care about is that people should know what is good and what is not, and they should do what is good. This is actually the only thing that matters to me. I don't like people who treat others badly, use them, play with their feelings, or are otherwise so self-centered that they care only about themselves with no consideration to other peoples feelings.

  4. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by nolla View Post
    Then, what am I? I have set of beliefs in my mind (they are open for change, but still they have consistency), and I think I expressed them as well as I can, but what I believe is hardly similar to Anja's view or the way she expresses them, and very similar to what substitute has said.
    I don't know you well enough to comment intelligently on what you might be. I'll say that I've met lots of different types of INFPs, though. There's a small but substantial subgroup that will push for connection, then suddenly seem to get antsy and just disappear into the mist without explanation and seem to withhold a lot about their personal life (i.e., they're very self-protective)... and pop in and out in a cycle like that. But I've met other INFPs who are more open and willing to just put their ideas out there, without seeming fearful about it.

    There's a spectrum across each type. I'd probably look at specific function analysis for an individual, to get more clues.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  5. #65
    Senior Member Anja's Avatar
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    I'm confused and speechless.

    My specific thought is that it is impossible for me to be a Christian as I see it defined/ being practiced in present society. I thought I had been clear on that.

    I hope that there aren't too many here who thought that I was amusing myself at your expense in wanting to hear how you dealt with that conflict between what the Bible says and what Christians actually do.

    If I didn't do enough self-disclosing to be a satisfactory conversationalist I'l try again.
    "No ray of sunshine is ever lost, but the green which it awakes into existence needs time to sprout, and it is not always granted to the sower to see the harvest. All work that is worth anything is done in faith." - Albert Schweitzer

  6. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anja View Post
    I'm confused and speechless.
    Why?

    Quote Originally Posted by Anja View Post
    My specific thought is that it is impossible for me to be a Christian as I see it defined/ being practiced in present society. I thought I had been clear on that.
    How would you like the world to be? You have been clear on what your problem is, but you haven't provided much more. You know, some meat around the bones.

    Oh, I was thinking here that maybe the problem you have accepting the way church is has to do with it being so popular. You see, it has been the mission to spread the word, and the word has spread, it has spread so much that I bet many of the apostles would be surprised. The thing is, if Christianity is not inclusive, it is exclusive. You can't get it both ways. I don't know what is the amount of "by the book" strictness that you wish for, but the more strict the rules, the less there will be people. Then, if you want to spread the word, you will need to make people go to church. I could even say that at the moment there are more really religious people than thousand years ago. They were probably thinking more about getting food on the table than pondering about heaven and angels. Religion for them was just to not feel so weak and vulnerable. There was someone to help them, even if they couldn't see him. So, now that the amount of church going citizens is going down (at least here), maybe the quality is going up, don't you think?

  7. #67
    Senior Member Anja's Avatar
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    I hope that is true nolla.

    I think every religion needs by definition to be exclusive. And when an attempt is made to make it all-inclusive it gets watered down.

    Maybe that's one of the reasons I choose not to participate in it.

    At any rate I do believe that every person who wants to work on their spirituality needs to do so in a way that is comfortable for them. And I think I am most comfortable with those who feel the same.

    The new church has become more focussed on the positive aspects of Christianity but the "believe and be baptised or else the loving God who created you will burn you in hell forever" element is undeniably there and no amount of focus on positives or trying to put it into historical perspective can erase it to my thought.

    You'd asked a question earlier that I didn't have time to answer. What would I like the world to be?

    I don't think much about that anymore as I've realzed that there is no way I can make change in some of the smallest things. There is a woman on another forum who signs her posts with something to the effect that we need to be the change we want to see in the world and I think that makes sense.

    So I work on myself which is all I can manage to change. What do I want? I want joy in the gifts, to be helpful and constructive, to live with comfort in my own skin, harmony, to be accepting of what I cannot change. That's what I concentrate on. If change comes from that for others in my life that's a wonderful thing, and if not, I will have the benefit of the changes I've made for myself.

    Your question about confusion was that in reading of other's confusion I couldn't find a solution to their confusion and became confused. Hee. It IS and Eff/Tee thing. But so much more pronounced here than it would probably be in day-to-day social exchange.
    "No ray of sunshine is ever lost, but the green which it awakes into existence needs time to sprout, and it is not always granted to the sower to see the harvest. All work that is worth anything is done in faith." - Albert Schweitzer

  8. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anja View Post
    I think every religion needs by definition to be exclusive. And when an attempt is made to make it all-inclusive it gets watered down.
    I agree. The thing is that the way bible is interpreted is "go and make everyone Christian" while it could be "go and make sure everyone has the choice to become Christian".

    The perfect solution for both of us would be a society that is in every level atheistic except for churches. There wouldn't be people who pretend to believe in something because their parents do, and the churches would have real believers in them. We should forbid babtisism of children and make clear cut between church and government. Here church still has the right to collect taxes since Lutheranism is the "official" church. They have been thinking that this should change.

    Quote Originally Posted by Anja View Post
    The new church has become more focussed on the positive aspects of Christianity but the "believe and be baptised or else the loving God who created you will burn you in hell forever" element is undeniably there and no amount of focus on positives or trying to put it into historical perspective can erase it to my thought.
    Well, yeah... I feel a bit sick every time I hear that...

    ...but it's ok, since you still have this attitude:

    Quote Originally Posted by Anja View Post
    So I work on myself which is all I can manage to change. What do I want? I want joy in the gifts, to be helpful and constructive, to live with comfort in my own skin, harmony, to be accepting of what I cannot change. That's what I concentrate on.
    You probably concentrate more on yourself and less on preaching other people about what they should do. After all, I think that however we put it, the point in religion is to do it right yourself, and not run around disapproving people. If only all the fundamentalists understood that.

  9. #69
    Senior Member substitute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nolla View Post
    Well, yeah... I feel a bit sick every time I hear that...
    Me too. But Anja, if it's any consolation, I felt the same way from being brainwashed by fundamentalist style religion as a kid, but I managed to break free of it. There was a time when I thought I never would be able to, that it'd always have a hold on me. I wouldn't have thought back then that I'd be where I am now, laughing about it all

    I don't agree however, with the idea that not defining a religion as exclusive automatically means it gets watered down or weakened, necessarily. Perhaps you could define more clearly what you mean by 'inclusive'?

    The closest I could come to that way of thinking would be that each religion defines itself as ONE WAY among many equally valid ways, but that any one of those ways will only really work properly if you stick to it, commit to it and don't start messing around with it. Like a diet in a way - if you keep switching diets then you'll never lose weight, but if you stick to just one - most any one - the weight will drop eventually.

    After all, I think that however we put it, the point in religion is to do it right yourself, and not run around disapproving people. If only all the fundamentalists understood that.
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  10. #70
    Senior Member Anja's Avatar
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    Hah! You understand me! (How odd.)

    You know, My dad died after living a very highly prinicpled life and I watched over him for the last four days of his life.

    He was a pillar in the church all his life. And he rarely spoke of his feelings. But I could see that he was frightened. I spent time in that way of not saying what "it" is, since he didn't, comforting and reassuring him that he had been a good man and lived a good life.

    And more than his death itself, I mourn that such a good man had to go to his death questioning whether he had been good enough. No. He didn't say it, but I "saw" it.

    I'm wondering if Christianity doesn't put that burden on believers.

    I believe in daily self-checks to make sure I'm living up to my own standards and I want to go to my death with assurance that I have taken this gift of life and done the absolute best that I have been able. I was sad that he hadn't been able to do that and it was a gift to me to realize something that is important to me. If I measure myself by someone else's standards that will be a set-up for failure and self-doubt.
    "No ray of sunshine is ever lost, but the green which it awakes into existence needs time to sprout, and it is not always granted to the sower to see the harvest. All work that is worth anything is done in faith." - Albert Schweitzer

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