Of course, everything I say here at RedLetterLiving is my opinion, but sometimes it seems particularly necessary to make that declaration. Since I am going to compare some religious establishments on the post, this is one of those times As … Continue reading The Church Needs Shame…
I have heard comments from some who have visited RJsCorner that seem to believe that I am anti-religious. This post will hopefully dispel that belief. Learning of things spiritual is a very fundamental part of what it means to be human. The primary method to accomplish to start this journey are religious establishments. They are the holder of the history of mankind in that context. In my grade school times I spent seven years being taught by Jesuit priests about Jesus. While at that young age I couldn’t fully comprehend what I was being taught, it did teach me to later be able to question some of what I learned.Continue reading “About My Religious Beliefs”
I seem to get a fair share of email and comments about my “religion” posts here at RJsCorner and also over at RedLetterLiving. Some are in agreement, some take the post where I never intended it to go. And then there are others who assume that I hate religion and see me as attacking what they hold as sacred. In this post, I want to try and address those issues. As I mentioned a few posts ago I lead a joyous life as a nuanced skeptic. That is, I see small and sometimes not so small slices of various topics … Continue reading A Nuanced Skeptic & Religion
At one time or another everyone who is true to their thoughts doubt religious beliefs. I found it surprising to see that even Mother Theresa doubted on a regular basis that God even existed. The more I studied religious documents including the Bible the more doubt I had as to the beliefs of the variety of religion that I was then a member of. …according to a recent study in the journal, Society and Mental Health, individuals who consider leaving a faith, but do not, tend to experience more depression than those who decide to leave… There are good reasons to not … Continue reading Faking Religion
This is the fifth post on this series about the Bible. If it is not obvious by now I want you to understand that I put my Christianity on Jesus Christ not on a book about him. I will try to keep this brief as it is really a wrap-up of the past posts. About the Literalists: Panic – In some cases I see almost total panic in people when I say not all the words in the bible are literally true. This belief is so ingrained in the foundations of their faith they cannot imagine it could not be true. Irrational – Some say if … Continue reading My View Of The Bible — Part 5 Summing It Up..
My intention going into the new RJsCorner was that I would use Sunday to sometimes post about things religious. With that in mind I thought I would start a new series about the founding of the U.S. by people escaping religious persecution in other countries. I probably have a couple of dozen of these type communities I have visited over the years of traveling across this country. This post will start us off on this direction. These posts will probably be more about our country’s history than religious beliefs. They will highlight communities throughout the country that were started … Continue reading Sunday’s Religion In America Series..
Morf Morford considers himself a free-range Christian who is convinced that God expects far more of us than we can ever imagine, but somehow thinks God knows more than we do….. As he’s getting older, he finds himself less tolerant of pettiness and dairy products. SOURCE: Morf Morford: It’s NOT the economy, stupid | Red Letter Christians. I am going to do a rare cross post here between two of my blogs. I am doing so because I think this post has a spiritual as well as general message. While the referenced source above is about life being more than just … Continue reading God Knows More Than I Do…..
As Jesus started on his way, a man ran up to him and fell on his knees before him. “Good teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” “Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered.“No one is good—except God alone. Mark 10:17-18 These words have always troubled me to one extent or another. Let me explain why. The story which they came from was about the rich man and the kingdom of God. It is a well known and often cited story to indicate that God’s grace is a gift and impossible to earn but when the … Continue reading Except God Alone….
I want to close out this series of posts with some unfounded complaints about the emergent movement. This list is mine and therefore might not align with the leaders of this movement. Emergents don’t have a foundation, they allow their members to believe anything — While it is true that emergents don’t, as most common denominations do, try to prove anyone wrong about their current beliefs they do have fundamental things that guide them. They believe that Jesus is God and gave us the Great Commandment to love him and to love each other. They believe that God intends us to … Continue reading Common Complaints About Emergents…..
One thing that seems so hard for many fundamentalist Christians is the idea that much of their religious traditions and beliefs come from man, not God. They seem totally unable to even conceive of that idea. Without that acknowledgement they have doomed their version of Christianity to the trash heap of time. Science, that they generally deem as the enemy, will eventually become just be too convincing for them to deny. Before I was excluded from a Lutheran church for my belief that the Bible is not totally literal or inerrant I had a lengthy discussion with a clergy leader … Continue reading Man’s Fingerprints…..
In 1997 Richard Carlson wrote a very popular book entitled Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff…. and it’s all small stuff. In that book he listed one hundred things to make our lives more peaceful. Some of those topics that I took to heart included: Let Others Be “Right” Most of the Time Learn to Live in the Present Moment Surrender to the Fact that Life Isn’t Fair Most of the things we worry about the most have little real impact on our lives. They are just clutter that gets in the way of having a happier life. As I have come … Continue reading And Its All Small Stuff…..
Most Christians today only know of two creeds: The Apostles Creed and the Nicene Creed. In reality there were hundreds if not thousands of creeds generated during the 4th through the 10th centuries. It seemed that every time a bishop felt his power threatened he claimed to have another creed dictated by God. Here is what Harvey Fox said about that in his book the Future of Faith about the times after Constantine nationalized Christianity: Meanwhile the Christian bishops went on debating the fine points of theology. Now they argued over what homoousios really meant and the nature of Mary’s … Continue reading About Those Creeds…..
This will probably be my last post about the early christians for a while. Next time I will begin to concentrate on some of the early theologians,bishops/historians/leaders or whatever you want to call them, and how they influenced the direction of the church. Closing this chapter, at least for now, it is important for you to remember what “faith” was to the early Christians. Here are a couple of quotes from Harvey Cox in his book The Future of Faith that I think summarizes this important topic. At its outset “faith” meant a dynamic lifestyle sustained by fellowships that were … Continue reading How Faith Changed….
For the month of July we will be studying just how the early Christians went about practicing their faith. As will be typical of many of my posts I will start them out with quotes from one of my many sources that got me to thinking about the current post. This quote comes from a book by Robin Myers entitled The Underground Church – Reclaiming the Subversive Way of Jesus. We forget to distinguish between history as a record of the elites and history as a record of the people. While most academics concentrate on the theologians who wrote the treatises and on … Continue reading Just Ordinary People….
In this post I will try to give you a very high level view of what I believe is the critical history of the church. Of course, as this study progresses there might be some things I change likely my mind about. As with most everything else I am open to different views and one of them may change my overall concepts (but I kind of doubt it 😉 ) Before I get into the view I will be using I want to give you some idea of other ways church history has been viewed: Here is a very colorful … Continue reading A High Level View….
Have you ever wondered about how we got to where we are in Christianity in the U.S. ? I started this blog in 2008 to study of how well current Christian denominations follow Jesus Christ’s words. As reported here (see the About This Blog button above) I found that hardly any of them pay much attention to Jesus’ words especially putting them into action. Instead they seem to be more interested in our sex lives and many other “empire” issues (empire meaning worldly issues). I was so disappointed in what I found I no longer call myself a Christian but simply … Continue reading How Did We Get Here??