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Source: (consider it) Thread: Credo
anteater

Ship's pest-controller
# 11435

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I like to ask people why (honestly - no BS) they are and remain Christians. I'd be interested in other's views. Mine follows. If this thread sinks like a stone, maybe that'll teach me not to imagine that people are interested in hearing mine. But you may be interested in telling yours. And I'd be interested in reading it. So... Now....

I believe in God for reasons that I would not care to set out in detail because there is something intuitive about them. I am well aware that there are arguments against my belief but they just do not strike me as plausible. Reality as I know it just does not strike me as the results of purposeless chemical interactions.

Next, I believe that the quest to understand God and in some way tune in to spiritual reality seems to be a worthwhile quest, even despite its obvious difficulties.

Next, and here some would leave me, I find it much more likely that knowledge of God will be obtained by seeking within the context of a community rather than as a solitary activity. I can't prove that, it just strikes me as likely.

Here I have to confess that a big factor in
choosing Christianity is that this was the default option, although I did start from the JW's so I'm not monodox.

Nothing has made me think that I would be better off elsewhere. I am not a conservative believer, and I can think of aspects where other faiths may have a better take on things. But I do not have to leave my community to benefit from that.

I believe the foundational stories of Christianity are inspiring and whilst I am very unsure how they relate to "what actually happened", I know I will never know that, so I try not to worry about it.

And I find the regular worship and fellowship of the Church strengthening and would not like to be without it.

That's where I am now.

When I was first converted it was very different. I was troubled, and having been brought up to believe I had the key to unlock all knowledge, I found that hard to give up. And my initial attraction to Evangelicalism was simply the fascination that some people seems to hold life together without consuming large quantities of booze and fags.

And at that stage I needed still to live in an alternative world, and became a very conservative Calvinist.

Me as a 24 year old and me today, would view the other's faith a pretty daft. Is that general?

[ 30. December 2017, 17:50: Message edited by: anteater ]

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Schnuffle schnuffle.

Posts: 2535 | From: UK | Registered: May 2006  |  IP: Logged
mousethief

Ship's Thieving Rodent
# 953

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I am a Christian because at 18 I chose to throw in my lot with Christ. I remain a Christian because Jn 6:68-69.

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“Religion doesn't fuck up people, people fuck up religion.”—lilBuddha

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Rossweisse

High Church Valkyrie
# 2349

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I threw mine in earlier, then fell out, then recommitted - but amen, MT.

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I'm not dead yet.

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Ian Climacus

Liturgical Slattern
# 944

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I remain stubbornly convinced, despite doubts. Virgin birth. Miracles. Resurrection. It all makes sense to me. If I believe in a God who created the universe, those things don't seem like much of a stretch.

I read the early Church Fathers, wise, wise people, and their arguments make sense. I read latter theologians, again, wise people, and am convinced. Was it Chesterton who said tradition was giving your ancestors a vote? I don't think we are necessarily wiser in all things than they.

Mousethief's quote is a wondrous one, but mine is more, "I believe, help my unbelief."

As a single 40 yo, I need community, but oddly have estranged myself for 4 years due to various personal reasons and failings. But my belief remains. And the desire for communion with God, spiritual and physical in the Eucharist, still burns within.

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Gill H

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# 68

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I've just always, always known that God was there and He loved me. Everything else is just details.

I did come to a point in my late teens when I realised that this relationship would benefit from some action on my part, and pursued a more active and personal faith, but I can't honestly say I 'wasn't a Christian' before then.

As for the church, I've never known what it is to be outside it, and never wanted to. I grew up in a close-knit community mostly centered around my father's church (MOR Church in Wales) and over the years have been involved with Baptists, Elim Pentecostals and now Anglican-but-Odds. They have all had their limitations, but I can't imagine not having that community to fall back on.

Of course, I have the same worries, fears and doubts as everyone else about the specifics of what God is up to and what it all means. But I find myself completely unable to doubt that God is there and that He loves me. I might just as well doubt that the sun will rise tomorrow. There's a chance it might not, but I can't bring myself to worry about it.

The older I get, the more I realise what a rare gift this is. I can't claim any credit for it whatsoever - I think it's a mix of how I'm wired and a good history. OK, parts of my life were unmitigated crap, and I have plenty of psychological scars from my school days, but 'home' and 'church' were always safe places for me.

Sometimes I think that those who have fought hard to forge and then hold onto their creed have insights which I'll never have. But I can only follow the road in front of me.

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Searching for a new sig...

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Martin60
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# 368

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Anteater
mousethief
Rossweisse
Ian Climacus
Gill H

Drink has been taken. I want to say something gnomically self importantly profound. But will fuck me I love you do?

Credo. I got nothing left but Jesus.

[ 30. December 2017, 21:54: Message edited by: Martin60 ]

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Love wins

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mousethief

Ship's Thieving Rodent
# 953

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quote:
Originally posted by Ian Climacus:
Mousethief's quote is a wondrous one, but mine is more, "I believe, help my unbelief."

And the second is like unto it. Every day, friend. Every day.

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“Religion doesn't fuck up people, people fuck up religion.”—lilBuddha

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simontoad
Ship's Amphibian
# 18096

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I had a spiritual experience while turning right at a busy intersection in Prahran, a suburb of Melbourne. At the time I was 33, and in the midst of the most serious crisis of my life so far. I had been thinking about powers greater than myself for some time prior, but mostly with a sense of irony. I despised Christians as deluded idiots.

I chose to interpret that experience in line with my childhood religious instruction, and went on a trip that began with the bible and what passed for the internet in those days and ended up in seven years intensive study at a theological school. I stretched it out because it was fantastic fun. I also attempted to hoodwink the Uniting Church into letting me become a minister with a strong sacramental focus. Fortunately for the Church and me they found me out.

The foundation of my faith is therefore my personal spiritual experience, which might also be interpreted as a manic episode founding my diagnosis of bi-polar disorder. But as an ex-Jesuit Psychologist I consulted on the point said to me, why can't it be both?

I do not experience any doubt on the question of whether there is a power for good in the world that is beyond humanity. Theology is therefore an exercise for me, rather than a quest to know God. I know all I need to know, I know how I know it and I know when and where I was when I came to know it. God knows why...

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Human

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anteater

Ship's pest-controller
# 11435

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Some interesting answers, most different from mine. Quite a lot of self-authenticating experience.

Part of my interest is that I think it helps for the Church to have a clear message about what it is offering. I know that sounds a bit salesly, but I have to say that some if not most of the replies, including mine, are likely to get the response: Well that's your thing, and that's fine, but what's it got to do with me?

So if I could broaden it out to ask: Is your faith that which is right for you, without the implication that it is right for others? Where would you place it on a rough subjectivity scale from:
1: Objective - taking a drug that is needed to save your life. Like snake anti-venene
2: Persuing classical music (or other art).

I note, and expected, that nobody sees is as escaping punishment - and neither do I. I can see it as escaping isolation and meaningless, but then I would view it more like Psychotherapy: i.e. only for those who need it. Jung did call Religion the Psychotherapy of the people.

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Schnuffle schnuffle.

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Schroedinger's cat

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# 64

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Why I became and why I am are very different answers.

I became because I felt the force of God pushing me, making me realise I had to do something. And yes, it was physical, I felt the presence of the almighty.

I stay because i have experienced the reality of the spiritual, I know that there is more than the purely physical realm, and the God I believe in fits with that understanding. A God who is more-than human, but also is connected to and part of all humanity. A story of the exploration of the nature of the divine that I can understand, because it is not unlike my own.

And because, in my deepest, darkest times, I have still felt his presence with me. No others.

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Blog
Music for your enjoyment
Lord may all my hard times be healing times
take out this broken heart and renew my mind.

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Raptor Eye
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# 16649

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I believe because I remain convinced of God's existence. My conversion took four years, but during that time and since there have been sufficient spiritual experiences to last a lifetime.

While faith is personal, it is also communal. God made it clear to me that the Church is an important factor in our development. We complement each other in the gifts we are given. We are meant to co-operate in service. We are bonded in love with our fellow Christians.

It's not about a desire to be within the Church but, the Church being the body of Christ, it's about the necessity of it.

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Be still, and know that I am God! Psalm 46.10

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churchgeek

Have candles, will pray
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I'm a Christian because I was born into a Christian family. I remain a Christian for a long complex list of reasons. It would be disingenuous of me to pretend that inertia weren't part of the equation: even though I've changed a lot of my beliefs and practices, and go to a very different church now than the one I grew up in, it's still essentially what I grew up with.

That said, I also credit experiences of divine love, and studying theology, and thinking about it a lot. And the ability of Christianity to make room for other religions and adapt to discoveries and developments in human knowledge. I wouldn't be a Christian if it forced me to believe in spite of what the world around me presents to my senses.

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I reserve the right to change my mind.

My article on the Virgin of Vladimir

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Ian Climacus

Liturgical Slattern
# 944

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quote:
Originally posted by anteater:

So if I could broaden it out to ask: Is your faith that which is right for you, without the implication that it is right for others? Where would you place it on a rough subjectivity scale from:
1: Objective - taking a drug that is needed to save your life. Like snake anti-venene
2: Persuing classical music (or other art).

I would say objective. With a number of caveats.

I honestly believe Jesus is the Son of God. I believe it is an objective fact. I believe God created, and sustains, the world. I believe He will come again, in what form I have no idea. I'll sign up for the whole lot.

This necessarily, to me, happy to be proved wrong, means many if not all of the other religions are wrong. As I'd expect Hindus or Muslims or Jews to believe that of me. Or we're both wrong. But we can be, and are, friends or acquaintances.

Caveats: other religions have good, believers of other religions are not on their way to hell, we can share and talk among ourselves...

The practice of my faith is more the perusing and choosing classical music. I like a quiet service most times (Easter and Christmas I want an orchestra!), i.e. give me Vespers with 5 people rather than Divine Liturgy with 100. I like to read theological books, perhaps too much. I love poetry and imagery over hard facts. Others will want different things. We are a broad religion, thankfully.

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simontoad
Ship's Amphibian
# 18096

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My faith was necessary to rescue me from the pit of addiction in which I wallowed. I don't say that it is necessary for anyone else's survival. However, my human experiences are echoed in the writings of an itinerant heretic who was around in about 50AD. I therefore reckon my experiences, while not universal, happen a bit.

I am leery of evangelism. I veer from 'we are all called to do different things. I'll do what I'm called to do and let others do the converting.' to 'conversion is the work of the Spirit. Get out of the way.' I expect the truth varies, and that there are all sorts of paths to God. Very post-modern of me (and therefore suspect, as post-modernism is the soup we breathe).

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Human

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Gladly The Cross-eyed Bear

Fixed Bearly Tone
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It’s a mystery.

I became a Christian because I was drowning in the river of fear and doubt. I grew up knowing that I could know everything that could be known, that there was no mystery, only darkness covering the facts. I fell into life without a plan, and found myself further and further from anything I could hold on to. I had no reference, no one to tell me what I ought to do, and no hope of ever finding a bottom to my despair. Nothingness became more and more palpable around me. Then someone lit a light on the shore. I met a woman who did not hide her light under a bushel basket. She insisted (and still does) on turning her bushel over, standing on it to get the extra height, waving her light back and forth and yelling “Hey, you guys!” She handed me a towel as soon as I got out of the river. She taught me that it is possible to be a Christian without letting go of who we are. She taught me about the beauty that surrounds us at all times. She taught me about the ugliness of hatred and the danger of certainty when it comes to understanding God’s will and applying it as one person to another. She is a true evangelist. I was starving, and she showed me where I could find bread.

I remain a Christian because I feel God wanting to work through me. Because God loves me, enough to die for me, and wants me to love my fellow humans in the same way. Because God helps me deal with my fears, helps me to work through them without discounting them, and has given me gifts to help others deal with their fears. I remain a Christian because Jesus gives me hope that I can know God’s will in spite of my imperfections. Jesus forgives all my wrong assumptions, all my arrogance, all my contortions to prove that I am right and others are wrong.

I remain a naive Christian, comforted by the probability that we are all wrong. The Simpsons once had an episode where Ned Flanders had a vision of Heaven just before dying. “Oh boy, have I been barking up the wrong tree!” resonates with me when I think of how we try to make sense of everything God has done for us. I am sure I will not be the only one to echo it when it comes time to understand everything.

And even then it will remain a mystery.

Gladly

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Percy, Mace, and Grease be with you!

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Schroedinger's cat

Ship's cool cat
# 64

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quote:
Originally posted by anteater:
So if I could broaden it out to ask: Is your faith that which is right for you, without the implication that it is right for others? Where would you place it on a rough subjectivity scale from:
1: Objective - taking a drug that is needed to save your life. Like snake anti-venene
2: Persuing classical music (or other art).

This is a lot trickier than it sounds for me. My faith is a journey, an exploration, a movement. Even within the more conservative evangelicalism that I have embraced, there was always a journey, a desire to learn more and understand more - something that it has lost sadly.

I would say that a spiritual journey is important. To be seeking truth is vital for all people. But to seek it in my way, with my aim or basis - not really. My job is to show people Jesus in me. My task is to encourage people to journey. Buut it is not to tell them where their journey should lead or even pass through.

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Blog
Music for your enjoyment
Lord may all my hard times be healing times
take out this broken heart and renew my mind.

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Karl: Liberal Backslider
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# 76

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Because I lack the moral courage to give it all up as a pile of wish-fulfillment. Because I'm too stubborn to admit that atheism makes more sense. Because if God is out there somewhere, perhaps one day he'll make his presence a bit less insubstantial.

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Might as well ask the bloody cat.

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quetzalcoatl
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# 16740

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That's an interesting point about atheism making sense, from Karl. I was a Christian for over 20 years, but I don't think it made sense to me in an intellectual way, but I found it satisfying in other ways.

And I didn't stop because it didn't make sense. I just began to find it irrelevant. It doesn't move me. Things like sin and redemption seem obscurantist. Or, as I sometimes say, it's like finding a solution, and then searching for the problem.

But maybe other people do weigh up what makes sense, it just seems very intellectual to me.

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the main fear that flat-earthers face is sphere itself.

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rolyn
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# 16840

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That is almost exactly as I view it Q.
Having said that, after 16 years I'm still bumbling with sporadic Cof E worship.

In this rural area church attendance is in terminal decline. When I go I am made aware of are people who no longer alive or have failing health. There is something both peculiar and tragic about this, and with Christian worship itself, which can produce an inverted form of 'joy' .

As the the song lyric puts it — a certain kind of sadness is addictive.

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Change is the only certainty of existence

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quetzalcoatl
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# 16740

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Yes, I used to find the eucharist addictive, and also other things. There was a statue in my church that said 'prayers for a happy death', and I liked staring at it. (Catholic, by this time).

I don't see it as rational, and that's fine. I didn't join out of rationality, and I didn't leave, ditto. 'The heart has its reasons ...', and so on.

I think some atheists make too much out of rational arguments gin God.

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the main fear that flat-earthers face is sphere itself.

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chris stiles
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.. because at some level I believe the Christian faith to be historically true. This belief waxes and wanes over time, but should I ever reach the point where I cannot - in good conscience - believe that an important subset is factually true I can think of more attractive beliefs to embrace than Christianity.

I believe in Rev 21:4 sometimes peacefully, sometimes grimly.

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rolyn
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# 16840

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quote:
Originally posted by quetzalcoatl:
Yes, I used to find the eucharist addictive, and also other things. There was a statue in my church that said 'prayers for a happy death', and I liked staring at it. (Catholic, by this time).

I don't see it as rational, and that's fine. I didn't join out of rationality, and I didn't leave, ditto. 'The heart has its reasons ...', and so on.

I was hit with some sort of born-again as an adult. Long story, had some crap going down... something had to give and all that.
It was a very powerful feeling at the time yet by no means rational. Recalling a Confirmation discussion with the Vicar, I had to say to him the Resurrection made no sense to me at all as an historical event. He winced a bit yet we decided to go ahead.

Some Sundays at Church can feel very dry, I do always make an effort to sing out the hymns. Singing has psychological health benefits, (so they say), I find the words of a hymn can often penetrate deeper that those of the Bible.
< crossing over to the other Thread, singing can indeed drive out doubt >

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Change is the only certainty of existence

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Martin60
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# 368

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We went on Sunday morning, to the char evo church where we met as homeless volunteers 8 years ago. The hymns without PSA were good. Even some of them are good until you realize what you're saying. Taking on board what rolyn and q. said. I love communion. We love the curate, we're close neighbours in every way, he led. He still came out with God made us exactly and fully as we are, warts and all. Difficult to de/re/construct to where we are. The emphasis on PSA is always there in the worship, which is so intense because of it for all who believe it. 99.9% Go to another church? This is the devil we know. We know and love people there. Hugs. MAN-hugs! I see some on a Friday night with the homeless. We went to a very high up the candle church on the doorstep one evening a couple of months ago. Lots of hymns with lots of verses. It felt like a sung eucharist without the eucharist. So we'll keep going where we know and are known. Warts and all.

So why this in response to the OP? The thread seems to be going that way (and I do apologize for the profanity) and although I have answers for myself, I can't transfer them to my wife in answer to the question, no PSA, so what's about then?

Which is the question of the century at least.

Posts: 17218 | From: Never Dobunni after all. Corieltauvi after all. Just moved to the capital. | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
anteater

Ship's pest-controller
# 11435

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Part of my aim was to see how many people had an experience a bit similar to mine, because my own journey makes me quite pessimistic about the chances of persuading the new generation to come into the Church.

And this is because I do think that young people (say up to mid-twenties) are attracted to radical solutions and often because they have found "life as it is going on around me" to be unsatisfactory.

They want a life that is different, not just in the way they are changed, but one in which they are granted power to overcome what they have failed to overcome. And it did work for me. And I was not in a nutty Church at all. It does seem ungrateful for me to say that I now reject the type of faith which helped me become (relatively) successful in handling life. But the cognitive dissonance of believing what I used to believe (Banner of Truth Calvinism - think J. I. Packer) is just too great.

And I really do not think the 22 year-old Me that was converted would have been attracted to the type of Liberal Christianity I now hold. And this is a problem, which I have not solved.

I wonder how many on the Ship think that the type of Christianity they hold to now would have attracted them when they were young.

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Schnuffle schnuffle.

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Martin60
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# 368

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Ijit: no PSA[?], so what's [JESUS] about then?

Liberalism repelled me as a teenager anteater.

[ 03. January 2018, 11:32: Message edited by: Martin60 ]

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Love wins

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Mudfrog
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# 8116

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Jesus.

That's it.
Without him I'd probably hug trees.

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"The point of having an open mind, like having an open mouth, is to close it on something solid."
G.K. Chesterton

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Marvin the Martian

Interplanetary
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quote:
Originally posted by anteater:
And I really do not think the 22 year-old Me that was converted would have been attracted to the type of Liberal Christianity I now hold. And this is a problem, which I have not solved.

22 year old me would have hated spending a day going round a National Trust Manor House and garden, but that's exactly what 39 year old me has just done. People change as they grow older, and it's perfectly reasonable for the variety of Christianity they prefer to change as well. I don't see it as a problem in the slightest.

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Hail Gallaxhar

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Mudfrog
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Not equating church membership with a state of salvation, I'm not sure that my 55 year old self would join the church - or ecclesial community - that I'm in.

But that's not really because I've changed but because the pesky yung uns have gone and changed it.

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"The point of having an open mind, like having an open mouth, is to close it on something solid."
G.K. Chesterton

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Gamaliel
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quote:
Originally posted by Mudfrog:
Not equating church membership with a state of salvation, I'm not sure that my 55 year old self would join the church - or ecclesial community - that I'm in.

But that's not really because I've changed but because the pesky yung uns have gone and changed it.

That's an interesting observation, Mudfrog.

I wonder whether it applies across the board?

Without naming names, my sister-in-law and brother-in-law moved from Scotland (where they'd lived for the last 20+ years) to a large city in the north of England.

When they started looking for a church they began with some big-name, well-known and well-recommended outfits in that city.

What they saw repelled them. Young bloods preaching inane sermons that went something along the following lines, 'Jesus and his mates, like, yeah? There were down by the Sea of Galilee like innit? You know, preaching and teaching and stuff. And Jesus was like ...'

Eventually, they stopped investigating the large and the lively and ended up at their local Methodist church which they both love to bits.

The preaching is nothing 'special'. The hymnody can be dire (what happened to all those wonderful Wesleyan hymns?) but the warmth of the welcome and the genuineness of the concern expressed(my sister-in-law has MS) has been outstanding. My brother-in-law goes to a house-group which he feels is one of the best he's encountered - great discussion, heart-felt prayer, close fellowship - and none of it 'forced' or whipped up in any way.

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Let us with a gladsome mind
Praise the Lord for He is kind.

http://philthebard.blogspot.com

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SvitlanaV2
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quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
quote:
Originally posted by anteater:
And I really do not think the 22 year-old Me that was converted would have been attracted to the type of Liberal Christianity I now hold. And this is a problem, which I have not solved.

22 year old me would have hated spending a day going round a National Trust Manor House and garden, but that's exactly what 39 year old me has just done. People change as they grow older, and it's perfectly reasonable for the variety of Christianity they prefer to change as well. I don't see it as a problem in the slightest.
It's an institutional problem, because the more liberal churches find it relatively difficult to attract and keep hold of young people. They attract some older folk, but not enough of them; and a church that only caters to the middle aged and elderly will be missing out on the vitality, originality and vision that younger people can bring.

I also get the impression that some young people who drift into evangelicalism would have a less difficult time if they'd started off in more liberal churches - if only those churches were more appealing, and had a more evangelistic spirit.

But regarding the OP, I agree that it's Jesus. When I reflect on the wider religious community round about, which is heavily Muslim and very confident, I realise that it's Jesus that's special. (However, I can see why Islam has a certain appeal, and I do know some people who've converted to that religion.)

I accept that ownership, tradition and community are huge components in my faith. Christianity is a narrative I know and feel spiritually connected to, and even in my failure I feel able to grapple with its truths, in as far as I understand them. I'm also comforted to know that it fed my ancestors in very difficult times, and feeds my extended family to this day. It provides a caring network of believers who can offer support if necessary.

By contrast, although atheism sometimes feels like a simple alternative to the weariness of my spiritual inadequacy, it seems very bland to me. No narrative, no transcendence to be a part of, no global and personal connectivity that overlaps very much with my demographic, etc....

Of course, I can see that not everyone needs such things, or else they don't need religion to provide them. I know that personality and circumstances have a lot to do with one's religious choices.

[ 03. January 2018, 17:06: Message edited by: SvitlanaV2 ]

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Chorister

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The problem with liberal Christianity is that it is often where people pass through on their way to atheism. For someone who finds the creative tension of living with uncertainty very exciting, I do get rather despondent when I see yet another liberal Christian defecting to 'the other side'. There really ought to be more two way traffic to make up for it, but the whole point of liberal Christianity is not to force anyone into anything. A dilemma indeed.

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Retired, sitting back and watching others for a change.

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rolyn
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I understand what you are saying about 'dilemma'
It could be that the future of Christianity is one of fluidity. Laspsed Christians, Christians agnostics and Christians from the what is it.... 70,000 different denominations? All making some iota of a contribution to the Greater Good.

With society in a state of rapid change with ideological territory up for grabs, some will cleave to their certainties others will go with the flow.
Dunno, bit of a ramble.

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Change is the only certainty of existence

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Karl: Liberal Backslider
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quote:
Originally posted by Chorister:
The problem with liberal Christianity is that it is often where people pass through on their way to atheism.

Yet without it, when people could no longer cope with conservative theology, they'd have had to go straight to atheism, or at least to non-Christianity.

I suppose this is another way of asking the question, as I have done before, of those who sneer at liberal Christianity - "what would you have us do, given we cannot believe some of the things you consider important, try as we might have? Give up the faith entirely?"

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Might as well ask the bloody cat.

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SvitlanaV2
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I don't think Chorister was 'sneering' at liberal Christianity at all, but simply highlighting a problem that she's come across.

We need the moderate and liberal churches for precisely the reason you mention, but that's all the more reason to be concerned by their relentless difficulties and general long-term decline.

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simontoad
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For me, the most important part of Christianity is the death to life bit, because it echoes my personal experience. Through my addiction (gambling) I was engaged in a process of withdrawing from life. It was a spiritual death, peppered with thoughts and plans for actual death. By a sudden and mostly unlooked-for experience of good, a conviction of good placed in me, I was impelled to look for God and to look for a way in which I could do good myself. I was given in that moment the tools to turn away from death.

This is not an experience of Church. I did and do experience Church. I began to heal in churches and in a faith community, and they equipped me for good. But the founding moment, the moment that got me to a church, was something else.

So, the sin/redemption thing for me is real. The forgiveness thing is central to the practice of Christianity and the death to life thing is biographical.

Damn, I have a sermon but not a call to action. [Hot and Hormonal]

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Human

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Chorister

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quote:
Originally posted by SvitlanaV2:
I don't think Chorister was 'sneering' at liberal Christianity at all, but simply highlighting a problem that she's come across.

I would describe myself as a Liberal Christian, not sneering at anyone.

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Retired, sitting back and watching others for a change.

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HCH
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I think many church-goers, if asked about this, would have no thoroughly-considered answer. They were raised to attend Sunday School and church, and they have not encountered sufficient reason to change the habit. This applies to many other customs in life: you continue doing as you have done because it works satisfactorily.
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Karl: Liberal Backslider
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I didn't mean to imply Chorister was sneering; I was thinking more widely.

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Might as well ask the bloody cat.

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Pomona
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I loved liberal churches and visiting National Trust properties at 22, but I realise I am maybe not the norm. But you would perhaps be surprised how many young people see the shallowness of lots of what's aimed at them, but feel like there aren't many other options with other young people. Having attended churches where I am by far the youngest, it is a lonely business and hard to stick to - it's natural to want to socialise with people your own age, and belonging to a church usually involves some socialising.

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Consider the work of God: Who is able to straighten what he has bent? [Ecclesiastes 7:13]

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rolyn
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quote:
Originally posted by HCH:
I think many church-goers, if asked about this, would have no thoroughly-considered answer. They were raised to attend Sunday School and church, and they have not encountered sufficient reason to change the habit. This applies to many other customs in life: you continue doing as you have done because it works satisfactorily.

Like celebrating Weddings and Christmas for example.

I have often thought that a survey of Church goers would produce a whole variety of answers to a question about why we attend.

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Change is the only certainty of existence

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SvitlanaV2
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I think there's already been a lot of research into that, especially since churchgoing appears to attract or repel certain kinds of people disproportionately.

The statement above that some people only attend out of custom is less and less true for British people, though. Churchgoing is a very easy habit for us to lose, surrounded as we are by other people who don't do it, and having a range of alternative things to do.

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ACK
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Mudfrog's answer 'Jesus' kind of says why I am and remain a Christian.

Brought up Christian. Went through various analysis of what I believed and different reasons for believing, winding up with the 'crux' of my faith: Jesus loves me, he hung on a cross and died for me.
Everything else, even if He actually exists, is secondary to that.
Then somehow He stopped being a concept, but an actual person - a friend. I think it was when I pondered why I cried at Infant Nativity plays at my children's school, and realised Mary was real for me.
I do not think I would ever have got to the point of killing myself, but the times when I have got really low, I became aware of Jesus being there, and the point where suicide might have been an option passed. So it is potentially something I need to save my life.
Persuading the new generation to come into the Church. Don't know. With my children going to church is not something for debate - they go. Whether they will continue to go regualar to Mass when they leave home - don't know. (On being asked the first born said 'probably' then followed it up with the assertion that if he didn't want to go he wouldn't go - so maybe I am not forcing him to go currently).
I moved from URC to RC when I was 5 and remain RC 40 years later and, back living in the town I was born in, I am back going to the same church I went to as child.
If I had chosen which strand of christianity I practise, it might not have been RC. But I want Jesus, and I can find him there, so see no reason to change.

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'It's the only thing that worries me about going to Heaven. Would I ever get used to the height.' Norman Clegg

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Martin60
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Wherever you find Him is right ACK. I want Him too.

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Love wins

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