Are you - Religious - ??

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by Imported, Jul 2, 2003.

  1. Imported

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    Javierdude22: Maybe a weird question...maybe a very weird question...but it was just a wondering i didnt feel like oppressing.

    So is any of you religious? What faith? In what ways, how strong, does your religion affect your life? Are you really serious about it? Do you go out of your way to do things for it? Even if you don't consider yorself to be religious, when bad times hit you, did you pray, just cause it was the only thing you could think of?

    Me personally, i am Christian...not in the freakish way some people might portray...if thats an honest remark, but i ám serious about it. It's not completely fair, cause i have had sex....and also with a guy....which...well...ya know...

    But i do do my things, and in every other part of every day life, i dó think about it, and try to put my actions in that perspective.

    I'd appreciate you guy's (and gals) persepctive on it.

    yowza...deep deep subject...:)

    Javier
     
  2. Imported

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    7x6andchg: I'm a lapsed Catholic who still won't eat meat on Fridays in Lent, and goes to Church occasionally.

    I believe in the Christian way of life but I wouldn't necessarily say I agree with everything coming out of the Vatican...after all, I do post in the occasional condom thread, don't I?

    My beliefs:  There is a God.  He had a son.  The son saved us.  Beyond that, things get tricky.

    Edited to add: Based on what's below - I feel somehow bound for Hell....

    7x6&C
     
  3. B_DoubleMeatWhopper

    B_DoubleMeatWhopper New Member

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    I am very Catholic and devout about it. I do not question anything that has been proclaimed an infallible matter of dogma. In matters of morality, the modern Catholic theological view is that one must follow his own conscience. What's wrong to one person's way of thinking may not be wrong to someone else. There are some absolutes, of course, but fewer than one might think.
     
  4. Imported

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    prepstudinsc: Yes I am religious...evangelical Christian, Pentecostal by persuasion, but attending a spirit-filled Baptist church.
    My faith is a very important part of my life. I consider myself conservative, but on the more liberal side of conservative. There are some doctrines that I think are definitely black and white, but there are many things that are a grey area. I don't condemn anyone for choices they make. All I want to do is show God's love and do what I think is right for me. I try to have strong morals, but sometimes I yield to temptation. That's where grace and forgiveness come in. God forgives me, doesn't judge me, so I'm not going to judge others.
    I pray a lot, not only when things are bad. I'm active in my church, but the bottom line is that I believe I'm saved because of my faith in Jesus and that He died for me and my sins. Ok, I'm out of the pulpit now.... :)
     
  5. Imported

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    bustyredhead: I'm a crappy Catholic. Yay Catholicism! I say crappy because I don't follow all the faith's rules in the same ways as is traditionally expected of me. And I realize what this tradition is because... yes, I went to a catholic school. (Insert lewd thoughts here.)

    (Insert more here.) What I've found interesting is that I had a friend tell me that he'd found that most religions really share a common set of beliefs, and that only human interference might cause the one true will of a single God get muddled up as it is in our world today. Also, he explained how religions might well have been set up oddly by God to serve the needed purposes for certain groups at certain times, and since God knows what everyone does as he sees it to occur, that the actual religion matters less than the faith in that religion. I think that's what he said; I still blow my mind with that stuff, and tend to jack it up midway.

    - Nene (Still Has Old Uniforms Somewhere)
     
  6. Imported

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    prepstudinsc: [quote author=bustyredhead link=board=99;num=1057179521;start=0#5 date=07/02/03 at 19:40:25]yes, I went to a catholic school. (Insert lewd thoughts here.)

    - Nene (Still Has Old Uniforms Somewhere)[/quote]

    Nene-
    A lot of my family is Catholic, very devout, old-school, kind of Catholic...say the Rosary every day, mass most days, etc. They are very good friends with some nuns that have a monastery/retreat house in a neighboring town. When I go to visit this side of the family, the nuns usually end up coming over to visit. These nuns are old style, with full habits, and only their faces sticking out of the little white thing under their black veil.
    I've developed a whole thing for the nun in habit....it's really kind of sexy in a perverted way. I wish I knew some cute, young nun, because I think I could work my magic on her and get her out of the convent and into a Protestant church LOL. School uniforms do it for me, too. Britney Spears in the school girl uniform on that video doesn't do it because she looks like a whore trying to be wholesome....oh, wait, that's what she really is!
     
  7. Pecker

    Pecker Retired Moderator
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    Christian here.

    It's taught me to be humble, tolerant, nonjudgemental, compassionate.

    Isn't it a comfort trusting that life doesn't end with the grave? I guess it helps that we have eternity to get it right.

    Pecker
     
  8. Imported

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    H8Monga: I'm Baptist with a dash of Episcopalian... being brought up in a Baptist family and going to an Episcopalian private school. Religion to me is very personal usually. I am not a missionary and I don't shout praises for all to hear. I'll say small prayers throughout the day mainly in thanks. Like today, a woman came within inches of hitting me as she turned and I was stopping at a corner. I often say I am not the Pope. I am far from perfect, but why not strive to be? I really need to read the Bible in its entirety and study it. I am not one who likes a lot of fellowship... and there are some things about going to church that drives me crazy... dressing up... a certain dialect and word syntax (might be a black church thing)... that praise dancing thing (yuck)... preacher who yell and sing-ha when they-ha... preach-ha and start-ha talking-ha... like this-ha... (again probably a black thing).

    I sometimes say I'm at a crossroads when it comes to religion though... or maybe a-drift because I don't like conforming to the traditional stuff. I think too much. I analyze why they did what they did way back then... I also don't believe in following every word in the Bible since it's been edited and people added and took out stuff. But I do find support in the Bible though. I didn't decide to be abstinent because the Bible says so or because it was taught to me. I was rebelling (as one of my friends said) but I found out what I was doing was encouraged as the right way in the Bible. At times I feel, maybe I should just live and experience, but most christians would say that is the devil talking trying to tempt. But it's not like I have a choice anyway. I am also set in my determination. I'm still wresting with what I believe here. I feel strongly about following a straight path and waiting until marriage, but there is curiosity and a part of me that says, it's ok in a relationship. I flip flop between those thoughts at times.

    I don't know what else to say. I know won't convert to anything else. I have work to do to be better, but I wonder too if I should be "normal" and do stuff... it's forgiven right? And you do need testimony to strengthen your faith. I have had a lot of blessings but I don't think I have experienced enough pain to fully appreciate them or become "born-again." I don't know...
     
  9. Ralexx

    Ralexx Member

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    I'm always derailing concerning religion... Baptised as Christian Orthodox, I have in my family Uniates (Greek-Catholics), Roman-Catholics, even Protestants (Lutherans).
    At 14, I was strongly attracted to Islam...
    One year later, I thought I have discovered the goddess Rationality and I made Voltaire the demi-god of my own rational credo... this lasted for a long while, but always haressed by the final taste of Dostoievsky's novels, every time I read them : "What If ?..."
    ...Rationality played its part, till the moment I felt (more than discovered) that Rationality could not explain everything. There is something Beyond.
    I got back to religion, this time reading both cathehesis [sp ?] and critical points of view. I decided I do want to be a Christian, and nothing else - Catholic, Orthodox, Protestant: it didn't matter... Because Christianity seems to me, indeed, the most transcendental religion, the deepest, the most fertile, and whose ferment is beyond conception... I'm still an Orthodox, though I have a strong penchant for Catholicism and I think, finally, I'll make my conversion... But I would have loved to be able to simply say: "I'm a Christian", in the most oecumenical way possible.
    My relation with the Guy Upstairs (says the irreverent in me...) is still tinted by a bit of deism and the pessimistic vision of Baruch d'Espinoza... but... who knows... maybe it will change one day... maybe I'll be able to really believe and have no doubts.
     
  10. Imported

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    Javierdude22: I Kinda asked this, cause it is sometimes not always easy to align what has been said in the Bible, and my (sex)life...

    I see most here are in one way or the other Christian...but how did that affect your sexlife? Me having certain sexual desires towards my own sex is not really something that is accepted here. Premarital sex: neither.

    Of course some of us will say: i interpret it this and that way....but of course, certain things are pretty clear cut, and interpret it all you want, but it is still not accepted.

    What is your view on this? To what extent can you make your own interpretations, and to what extent is it a set case of rules? To what extent do you live by them, how did it (if it did) affect your sexual activeness?

    Thanx
     
  11. Imported

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    prepstudinsc: Javier-
    I was raised very conservative, but as I've gotten older, my views have relaxed a lot. I've realized that some things are not always right or wrong, that you have to look at specific situations. Regarding premarital sex, I am not very active because I don't want to be known as being promiscuous and also because I do believe it is wrong. I am not going to say that I've been perfect because I have had a few partners. God forgives us of our sins. The church as a whole makes a big deal over sexual sins but kind of looks away at "minor" sins like lying, jealousy, etc. God knows we are human and are going to make mistakes. I try to uphold my morals and beliefs, but sometimes I don't manage to suceed. I don't beat myself up over it. As my mother says, "just give it over to God....let Him deal with it." Ask for forgiveness if you think it's wrong. I'm not here to judge. God is the only one who can judge, and I have an idea that He's probably not going to be too upset if you have had sex a few times before marriage. If all you do is sleep around and lust after people, that's a sign of a deeper problem. But I'm not here to preach and I've rambled on enough, and probably really didn't answer your question.....there's no easy answer.
     
  12. B_DoubleMeatWhopper

    B_DoubleMeatWhopper New Member

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    God has endowed us with intellect and the ability to reason. Many Christians condemn homosexuality based on that one pesky verse in the Old Testament, Leviticus 18:22 ... "You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; such a thing is an abomination." However, Leviticus is the same book that tells us that it's wrong to eat shellfish, wrong to eat meat and dairy products together, wrong to plant more than one seed in a single garden. How many Christians say that people are going to Hell for eating shrimp and cheeseburgers? How many of them rant against 'evil' vegetable gardens and flower beds? Who is qualified to pick and choose which verses bind us to Mosaic law and which are irrelevant? And why should we observe Levitical dictates anyway? Keep in mind what Leviticus is. It has three main purposes:
    1.) To assure that the Children of Israel would reach the Promised Land alive and healthy after spending forty years of wandering in the waste.
    2.) To set the Jews apart as a separate people, distinct from the pagans.
    3.) To set practices that assure God's promise that the descendants of Abraham would be 'as numerous as the stars.'
    Reasons #2 and #3 are why homosexuality was considered an abomination: it was practised by the pagans and produced no little Jewish babies. Remember that in Leviticus wet dreams and menstruation were 'unclean' because semen and ovaries were wasted: no little Jewish babies resulted.
    Well, guess what ... I'm not Jewish! I think God doesn't mind that I eat shrimp and cheeseburgers or tend my mixed seed gardens, and I don't believe that He's going to knock me upside the head for being gay. The God I worship is the God that created me and loves me and accepts me for who I am. I believe that I am a Child of God and not an aberration of nature, regardless of what Dr. Laura might think: God is the Author of Nature. I believe that God is a lot more tolerant than most of His 'followers'!
     
  13. D_Martin van Burden

    D_Martin van Burden Account Disabled

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    Well, I do believe that I'm the first to respond with a bordering-on-disgust for religion.

    No, I don't find people who are religious or practice a particular sect disgusting. Hardly. If anything, I respect the courage and devotion with which someone tries to lead their life. But I would hardly excuse people who are pagan, Wiccan, shamanistic, Zen Buddhist, etc. who don't really speak the language of the Judeo-Christian God. Devotion takes many forms and knows all kinds.

    I have been baptised twice... once, shortly after my birth, and again, when I was 15.

    It's a really humorous story. Mom dated a particularly devout Hispanic man, and to make him more comfortable with the home, for a short while, we started attending the local Baptist church. There was something inevitably hokey about the whole thing. When we first joined that congregation, the youth minister, he would drop over at my house periodically to talk, to say hi, to do the whole communion thing. Mom was never good at speaking her mind with people. She played out, smiled nicely. He said something about accepting Jesus Christ as my Saviour, and though I nodded, I thought, "What am I getting myself into?"

    So fast-forward through a bunch of social awkwardness with the rest of the Jesus kids.

    I went to college, took a hell of a lot of interesting courses, and one I'll never forget was Metaphysics (PHIL 3004). I was in charge of the "God and Evil" unit, and reading the text and articles by J.L. Mackie, David Hume, and others... I, well, a bunch of logical contradictions (even really preliminary ones) started my descent into a pool of really thick skepticism. Or maybe I was more open to the notion of no-God as ever, but that I finally had an outlet with which to express that. Mom and I to this day show little understanding. When I told her that I'm an agnostic and that I'm of age to make decisions like that, she patted my knee and said, "As long you come home an Orthodox, that's fine, honey."

    I don't think she was joking...
     
  14. benderten2001

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    I am a Christian---a believer and a follower of Christ.

    But, through the years, I have grown weary of the term "religious". It has bad connotations in many ways.
    It tends to set immediate mental "boundaries"and limits in the minds and attitudes of people.

    Instead of "religious", I prefer to say I have strong spiritual faith. And, it happens that I am a Baptist.

    I also have issues with my denomination and the way Baptists have applied "labels" to people whom God created in His image. I think for the most part, many Baptists have hurt the cause of Christ in the way they have treated the homosexual community especially.
    I grieve over it. While I can't personally accept everything the gay lifestyle represents, Christ himself would still extend compassion, love and understanding. So, HE is my example, or at least I am trying to live my life in that manner.

    The other matter I have learned (the hard, difficult way) is that God intends sex to be His gift to us to be used for both the procreative process and for pleasure. I will never accept that God EVER wanted all the confusion, misguided and misdirected thinking towards sex that we have currently (and, have had for centuries!). We are so mixed up as a society!

    I have finally accepted my sexuality as a wonderful sacred part of life to be nurtured and cherished,
    and ...to a great extent--celebrated!.

    My life is enriched further when I can extend encouragement and a listening ear to other men (maybe some women) and especially the younger folks here in the forum. I want my life's experiences to count for something and it would be terrific if someone else can indeed be helped from my difficulty throughout my entire life in feeling good about sexual matters.

    I have finally broken through all that bondage.

    What liberation I enjoy! :)
     
  15. B_DoubleMeatWhopper

    B_DoubleMeatWhopper New Member

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    I understand people's negative views about religion. People have been hurt by the way religion is misused by many of its practitioners. Certain priests and ministers use doctrines and interpretations to condemn the faithful and convince them that they are unworthy of salvation. Even worse are those who abuse their authority to seduce members of their congregations. Of course such acts are going to leave a sour taste in the mouths of many. Religion should be a comfort. The whole purpose of religion is to make one feel good about himself, to let him know that God loves him and values him. Any religious leader who fails in this task and who leaves people feeling forsaken and worthless is not fit to wear the cloth. Going to Church should feel like going home. Unfortunately, some clergy have left their flock homeless.
     
  16. Imported

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    Javierdude22: [quote author=DeeBlackthorne link=board=99;num=1057179521;start=0#14 date=07/05/03 at 17:19:31]"As long you come home an Orthodox, that's fine, honey."

    I don't think she was joking... [/quote]

    HAHAHAHAHAHA....lol....mom's are great like that aren't they??...that was funny

    so anyway...:)

    Anonymous, i think that that is absolutely great, and it must take great strenght. Can i ask why you came to do that? Cuase it's not asked for specifically in the bible. And (not asking this in a negative way) why then this site?

    Prepstud - i guess i'm totally where you're at. Can't add much more to that.

    DMW - i think theres also mention of it in Romans, don't know where exactly, but it's there (by St. Paul). But still, there is open interpretation possible there. But DMW, also an honest question: even besides being gay, you've mentioned once that you would'nt even be able to count the many partners you've had, how do you look at that part?
     
  17. Imported

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    View_From_Below: [quote author=DoubleMeatWhopper link=board=99;num=1057179521;start=0#13 date=07/05/03 at 15:56:24] The God I worship is the God that created me and loves me... [/quote]For many people there is an insurmountable problem here. Religion claims that
    (a) God creates each of us; and
    (b) God loves each of us; and
    (c) each of us is infinitely worthy and uniquely precious to God...

    Many people cannot reconcile those assertions with the reality of human experience. God loves my friend's child so much that he created her with dysautonomia, dooming her and her family to a life of excruciating pain? I don't need to spin out a list of other appalling genetic diseases and conditions with which a personal creator-God has favored certain of the ones he "loves." And there are plenty of less dramatic but still deeply painful circumstances as well: another friend of mine who is intelligent, insightful, compassionate--and who physically is so extremely unattractive that she has never and will never experience sexual love. She has been gradually beaten down, defeated, by the "love" with which God created her condition on this earth.

    The fact is that some of us are created with every advantage--physical, social, economic, every variable. Others are created (in "love," as religion asserts) with every disadvantage. Some assert that God subjects some of us to dreadful lives "to make us stronger," or to give us "greater spiritual insight." This is strange love, I would think... I'll decline the gift, thank you very much.

    Others get around the problem of having to be angry at God by saying that God is not really omnipotent, not really able to affect individual lives, a sort of observer God-- he sympathizes with us, but can't really do anything to give all of those he loves a level playing field. A kind of "Hey, shit happens" approach--even God is not in charge.

    As far as I can see, God will have a lot to answer for at the End of Days.
     
  18. D_Martin van Burden

    D_Martin van Burden Account Disabled

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    [quote author=View_From_Below link=board=99;num=1057179521;start=20#20 date=07/06/03 at 09:58:09]Others get around the problem of having to be angry at God by saying that God is not really omnipotent, not really able to affect individual lives, a sort of observer God-- he sympathizes with us, but can't really do anything to give all of those he loves a level playing field.  A kind of "Hey, shit happens" approach--even God is not in charge.[/quote]

    Good words, View. When I had to do that presentation on God and Evil existing in the world, that seemed the consensus among my group members. God, provided He does exist in the first place, many rather potent, powerful, knowing, but omni-anything surely not. I remember one poster around here mentioning in his signature file something about, "Could Jesus microwave a burrito so hot that he himself couldn't eat it?" If he's that powerful, then... that's a paradox.

    Mom once told me that God blessed me with two things: one, survival, for I came out of the womb two months prematurely and had to go through quite a bit of grief in my first year of life (hospital trips and all); and two, intelligence, for I have this "gift" to succeed academically. If we were to count blessings this way, though, why on earth did God bless me with more pagan-oriented powers like Tarot reading? With that in mind, I remember being told to put away my cards during my break because, according to one particularly devout woman, I was inviting "bad spirits" to the workplace. (Mind you, those 15 minutes off the clock are mine, right?)

    One thing I've been told rather consistently is that this sort of talk -- whether or not God exists, whether or not religion is corrupt, whether or not an afterlife exists, what will become of us eventually -- is the product of God's "benevolent" choice on bestowing free will to the world. But wouldn't it be fair to wonder whether or not God should relinquish that free will... say... to the terrorists involved in the September 11 attacks, to corrupt leaders like Hussein, or to racists, bigots, the maniacal, the murderous?

    The more and more we talk, the less it all makes sense. And View's right: Before I'm cast into Hell, I really wouldn't mind having a 15- to 20-minute heart-to-heart with The Big Guy Upstairs, just so that He can clear up quite a bit of stuff.
     
  19. D_Martin van Burden

    D_Martin van Burden Account Disabled

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    Next comment: It seems quite a few devout and/or practicing religious people seem to qualify God as "their God" or "my God." Faith seems tempered by one's own individual agreements or acceptance with the tenets being taught and passed down.

    Unfortunately, when brought to mass groups, the "my God" backing the venemous speak of Reverend Phelps and other figures seems to trump some of the more nurturing, understanding, loving elements involved in subjective faith.

    So, what to say and how to deal?
     
  20. Imported

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    View_From_Below: [quote author=AnonyMs link=board=99;num=1057179521;start=20#23 date=07/06/03 at 13:07:49]
    Ahhh... the heart of the matter:  how can a so-called loving God permit suffering if He (or She) is indeed all powerful and all loving?The theological term for this issue is theodicy.... [/quote]

    Yes, indeed.  The heart of the matter.

    With respect... I believe one can strive toward greater holiness.  Holiness is not binary, either off or on.  You are not equivalent to Hitler or Saddam. I doubt seriously that you have murdered millions or gassed your own people or stolen your nation's treasure.

     
    My own thought is:  a religious system must address this question.  It cannot be avoided.  It is, as AnonyMs said earlier, the heart of the matter.  Whatever the theological system you devise, it must attempt to answer the problem of theodicy.

    And just because God chooses to create some of his people in breathtakingly cruel circumstances, doesn't mean we have to accede to it.  Someone needs to be outraged on their behalf, and hold God to account.


    <VFB notices that everyone is looking skyward nervously and moving out of his vicinity>
     
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