help with rural town usa

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Re: help with rural town usa 16 Feb 2012 02:12 #50598

Nope, that sounds about right. A Shadow Jedi (he happens to be Christian) once made the statement that most Christians are "Churchians".
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Re: help with rural town usa 16 Feb 2012 04:30 #50614

Proteus wrote:
This comment here is not intended for any offense toward any Christians here. It is simply an observation and a view that I have been learning about slowly, more and more through the years and simply reflects that learning.

Christianity from my point of experiencing and watching it, both inside the box and later, outside the box, has come to express, in many places I've lived, more as an institution than just a personal belief. As Alan Watts has talked about in certain articles, it is a monarchical religion, and reflects a system in which the followers are servants of a "king" who "protect the king and his throne" from ever being questioned and threatened. There are a great number of people in America (and probably in other countries as well) who seem to follow Christianity as only because it is a trend and not because it is actually what they believe. Many people think that if they don't follow the major trend, that those around them will condemn them (and many do unfortunately).

What really makes me think about things, is the idea of the "preacher who quits the church" (and I'll explain why this seems important to me). There have been many former Christians who have worked for their church's clergy, who, after a point, begin coming to more and more of a personal conclusion about exactly what in the bible is not literally true. They do come to discover a great deal of factual history surrounding the bible and then come to realize how the bible is used and interpreted by the church to sway the church's followers into certain frames of mind. Once he discovers so much of this, he cannot bear continuing to do what he has done any longer and quits the clergy. However, sometimes I come to suspect that certain people like Christian preachers, may actually already know factually what the bible is and what the bible is not. However, their goal with the church, as an institution is no more a personal one, but rather ... well, an institutional one. For all you know, he could be completely and utterly aware of reality as, say, a pure land Jedi might see it, for example, but will never reveal such a thing. In turn, having now existing outside of the box, he may use this knowledge to further power clever ways of using Christianity to fulfill the church's institutional goals, including how to word and phrase things that he has learned triggers people more and more into conviction toward his denomination of Christianity. Not only that, but this knowledge and awareness gives him a very acute advantage toward outsiders who come to debate against Christianity. Seeing as how the preacher is not living inside the Christian "box", and actually knows the various weak points that exist both inside and outside of it, he learns how to block out outsider's "ammo", and even how to turn their own words against the outsider. I've actually watched this happen several times with a guy who ran a Christian coffeehouse. He loved to debate because he knew, psychologically how to turn anybody's words around on them to diffuse any point they attempt to make.

Anyway, like I said, this is simply an observation I've had. And who knows, maybe I'm way behind the progress line of awareness of this view among many Jedi here at this temple about it, but I still find it a pretty legitimate thing to consider when confronting a dedicated follower of Christianity and the church.



HA! I guess I'll share a little of my personal story. I was just asking my dad last month to describe to me his personal bliss. I told him that "God" was a perfectly acceptable answer, but I find many people have something outside of religion that makes them at peace with the world... Being that he is a chaplain/preacher, I got this answer... [When I'm in the middle of a sermon and people are really into what I'm preaching. It's like my voice is the word of god, and I have the congregation in the palm of my hand. I could lead them to do anything in that exact moment....] It was very telling to me! What he REALLY wants is control of a congregation. He's a performer! My mom used to tell me, he could make the Bible say anything knowing ancient Greek and Latin. So, I'm careful of anybody who claims to have the direct gospel now.. There's always undercurrent of hypnotist and the schemer!

Re: help with rural town usa 16 Feb 2012 04:46 #50617

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Proteus wrote:
This comment here is not intended for any offense toward any Christians here. It is simply an observation and a view that I have been learning about slowly, more and more through the years and simply reflects that learning.

Christianity from my point of experiencing and watching it, both inside the box and later, outside the box, has come to express, in many places I've lived, more as an institution than just a personal belief. As Alan Watts has talked about in certain articles, it is a monarchical religion, and reflects a system in which the followers are servants of a "king" who "protect the king and his throne" from ever being questioned and threatened. There are a great number of people in America (and probably in other countries as well) who seem to follow Christianity as only because it is a trend and not because it is actually what they believe. Many people think that if they don't follow the major trend, that those around them will condemn them (and many do unfortunately).

What really makes me think about things, is the idea of the "preacher who quits the church" (and I'll explain why this seems important to me). There have been many former Christians who have worked for their church's clergy, who, after a point, begin coming to more and more of a personal conclusion about exactly what in the bible is not literally true. They do come to discover a great deal of factual history surrounding the bible and then come to realize how the bible is used and interpreted by the church to sway the church's followers into certain frames of mind. Once he discovers so much of this, he cannot bear continuing to do what he has done any longer and quits the clergy. However, sometimes I come to suspect that certain people like Christian preachers, may actually already know factually what the bible is and what the bible is not. However, their goal with the church, as an institution is no more a personal one, but rather ... well, an institutional one. For all you know, he could be completely and utterly aware of reality as, say, a pure land Jedi might see it, for example, but will never reveal such a thing. In turn, having now existing outside of the box, he may use this knowledge to further power clever ways of using Christianity to fulfill the church's institutional goals, including how to word and phrase things that he has learned triggers people more and more into conviction toward his denomination of Christianity. Not only that, but this knowledge and awareness gives him a very acute advantage toward outsiders who come to debate against Christianity. Seeing as how the preacher is not living inside the Christian "box", and actually knows the various weak points that exist both inside and outside of it, he learns how to block out outsider's "ammo", and even how to turn their own words against the outsider. I've actually watched this happen several times with a guy who ran a Christian coffeehouse. He loved to debate because he knew, psychologically how to turn anybody's words around on them to diffuse any point they attempt to make.

Anyway, like I said, this is simply an observation I've had. And who knows, maybe I'm way behind the progress line of awareness of this view among many Jedi here at this temple about it, but I still find it a pretty legitimate thing to consider when confronting a dedicated follower of Christianity and the church.

I've said elsewhere on TOTJO before that I think that Christianity seems to vary wildly across factions and countries. It always really saddens me to hear of some of the ways that Christianity is used to try to bully and scare people (particularly in America it seems, although at the same time I am sure that the majority of American churches do not do this) - I have never really encountered Christianity being used in this way in the Anglican Church of England, and I have experience of many different churches, cathedrals and clergy so it can't just be my church! Over here it's very much about finding your own path and respecting the Bible whilst also acknowledging that a lot of it cannot be taken literally (and definitely not used to threaten people!), in much the same way that we approach Jediism, I might add. It is a shame, and rather shocking, to hear so many stories of places where this is not the case. :(
Last Edit: 16 Feb 2012 04:48 by V-Tog.

Re: help with rural town usa 16 Feb 2012 05:17 #50623

V-Tog wrote:
Proteus wrote:
This comment here is not intended for any offense toward any Christians here. It is simply an observation and a view that I have been learning about slowly, more and more through the years and simply reflects that learning.

Christianity from my point of experiencing and watching it, both inside the box and later, outside the box, has come to express, in many places I've lived, more as an institution than just a personal belief. As Alan Watts has talked about in certain articles, it is a monarchical religion, and reflects a system in which the followers are servants of a "king" who "protect the king and his throne" from ever being questioned and threatened. There are a great number of people in America (and probably in other countries as well) who seem to follow Christianity as only because it is a trend and not because it is actually what they believe. Many people think that if they don't follow the major trend, that those around them will condemn them (and many do unfortunately).

What really makes me think about things, is the idea of the "preacher who quits the church" (and I'll explain why this seems important to me). There have been many former Christians who have worked for their church's clergy, who, after a point, begin coming to more and more of a personal conclusion about exactly what in the bible is not literally true. They do come to discover a great deal of factual history surrounding the bible and then come to realize how the bible is used and interpreted by the church to sway the church's followers into certain frames of mind. Once he discovers so much of this, he cannot bear continuing to do what he has done any longer and quits the clergy. However, sometimes I come to suspect that certain people like Christian preachers, may actually already know factually what the bible is and what the bible is not. However, their goal with the church, as an institution is no more a personal one, but rather ... well, an institutional one. For all you know, he could be completely and utterly aware of reality as, say, a pure land Jedi might see it, for example, but will never reveal such a thing. In turn, having now existing outside of the box, he may use this knowledge to further power clever ways of using Christianity to fulfill the church's institutional goals, including how to word and phrase things that he has learned triggers people more and more into conviction toward his denomination of Christianity. Not only that, but this knowledge and awareness gives him a very acute advantage toward outsiders who come to debate against Christianity. Seeing as how the preacher is not living inside the Christian "box", and actually knows the various weak points that exist both inside and outside of it, he learns how to block out outsider's "ammo", and even how to turn their own words against the outsider. I've actually watched this happen several times with a guy who ran a Christian coffeehouse. He loved to debate because he knew, psychologically how to turn anybody's words around on them to diffuse any point they attempt to make.

Anyway, like I said, this is simply an observation I've had. And who knows, maybe I'm way behind the progress line of awareness of this view among many Jedi here at this temple about it, but I still find it a pretty legitimate thing to consider when confronting a dedicated follower of Christianity and the church.

I've said elsewhere on TOTJO before that I think that Christianity seems to vary wildly across factions and countries. It always really saddens me to hear of some of the ways that Christianity is used to try to bully and scare people (particularly in America it seems, although at the same time I am sure that the majority of American churches do not do this) - I have never really encountered Christianity being used in this way in the Anglican Church of England, and I have experience of many different churches, cathedrals and clergy so it can't just be my church! Over here it's very much about finding your own path and respecting the Bible whilst also acknowledging that a lot of it cannot be taken literally (and definitely not used to threaten people!), in much the same way that we approach Jediism, I might add. It is a shame, and rather shocking, to hear so many stories of places where this is not the case. :(

You English folk will never know the horror of the Southern Baptist Convention... I never thought I'd say this, but for once, my Irish-American self envies your people.
I love the doctrine.

Re: help with rural town usa 16 Feb 2012 05:36 #50628

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Star Forge wrote:
V-Tog wrote:
I've said elsewhere on TOTJO before that I think that Christianity seems to vary wildly across factions and countries. It always really saddens me to hear of some of the ways that Christianity is used to try to bully and scare people (particularly in America it seems, although at the same time I am sure that the majority of American churches do not do this) - I have never really encountered Christianity being used in this way in the Anglican Church of England, and I have experience of many different churches, cathedrals and clergy so it can't just be my church! Over here it's very much about finding your own path and respecting the Bible whilst also acknowledging that a lot of it cannot be taken literally (and definitely not used to threaten people!), in much the same way that we approach Jediism, I might add. It is a shame, and rather shocking, to hear so many stories of places where this is not the case. :(

You English folk will never know the horror of the Southern Baptist Convention... I never thought I'd say this, but for once, my Irish-American self envies your people.

You're right I expect, I probably wont, and I wasn't really aware of how bad it is in some places before reading some of the stories and reasons behind some of the anti-Christian views here, and it is impossible to be offended by such opinions when they have often been influenced by such rigid views and general bizarre behavior from the Christian church itself. Can't speak for other people from England, but I seem to be horribly ignorant of Christianity outside of the confines of my comfortable first hand experience, and although it is not nice to hear about, I suppose it is an important part of spiritual development to understand the different ways in which a religion is put across to people. I certainly feel a lot more understanding of 'Christianity-bashers' for having been here and learnt a bit more about what some of you in America (and other places) have to put up with! It feels important to note that despite all of my positive experiences I am sure that not every church in England is perfect in this respect either.

I'm getting slightly off topic, but I think that there is little that I can add to all of the helpful advice that has already been given. Good luck BDPulver, may the Force be with you as you try to sort out this complicated situation.

Re: help with rural town usa 16 Feb 2012 11:12 #50641

Just thought that as a Christian, I should chime in here. These are my personal opinions and beliefs. Even though I do call myself a Christian, I don't particularly follow the the church. I do believe it to be a bit institutionalized. I believe that the church guides us, but at the same time, controls us.

I am a Methodist. I have talked to many Methodists who have come to this denomination from the Catholic church, because of how strict and how controlling it is. There was a couple that just recently joined the church that I occasionally go to. They left because they wanted to have their child baptized. BUT, because the father had come in from a different denomination (I believe he was Baptist) he and his wife would have had to go through some year long process, which included classes and approval from the clergy. They also were told that in order to take communion, they had to go through classes. The strictness and the control were just too much for them.

They came to our church, and were immediately greeted by numerous people with genuine smiles. They talked with the pastors who immediately set up a meeting with them to discuss the Methodist church, answer any questions, and then set up the time and date for the baptism of their child.

Now I don't mean to demean the Catholic church, just pointing out my observations of what I have seen and heard personally. Of all the denominations, they are ones with the most rules and are VERY strict. I would say that the Methodists seem to be the most laid back, but this would be because I've only ever been in small churches (200 members and below...I grew up in a 40 member church, worked in a 60 member and another 150 member church, and now attend a 200 member church).

Anyway, I don't always follow the teachings of the church. I fight for gay rights, as I believe in equality among all human beings. I fight for the right of people to worship whatever deity they wish, and I do not condemn them for it (3 of my best friends are agnostic). While I am open about my relationship with Christ and God, if I get the feeling that i'm starting to shove my religion down someone's throat, I stop. I don't want to be that person. I like to mix in some maturity with my Christian faith, which, let's admit, most of us Christian lack. In America, we believe in freedom and equality...as long as you're a Christian. It's sad, but true. The "as long as you're a Christian" is not written, but it's obviously there.

I can go on and on all day about this, and I am always learning more about the gaps between my beliefs that those of the church. So yes, I am a Christian, but I am not a church Christian...I guess that's the best way to describe it, lol.
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