homepage
  roll on christmas  
click here to find out more about ship of fools click here to sign up for the ship of fools newsletter click here to support ship of fools
community the mystery worshipper gadgets for god caption competition foolishness features ship stuff
discussion boards live chat cafe avatars frequently-asked questions the ten commandments gallery private boards register for the boards
 
Ship of Fools


Post new thread  Post a reply
My profile login | | Directory | Search | FAQs | Board home
   - Printer-friendly view Next oldest thread   Next newest thread
» Ship of Fools   » Community discussion   » Purgatory   » Am I allowed/accepted?

 - Email this page to a friend or enemy.    
Source: (consider it) Thread: Am I allowed/accepted?
Rob B
Apprentice
# 18910

 - Posted      Profile for Rob B     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
Hi all,

Brief biography: CofE school, then an Elim church (which scared me off), to reading Dawkins etc, to agnostic/atheist to Buddhism, to now, for the past year, regularly attending my local CofE church. I was christened but never confirmed.

With the blessing of my rector, I take communion.

I now help with the service being an acolyte.

I would now describe myself as a pragmatic Christian, an agnostic. My question is, should I be an acolyte and take communion without being confirmed and whilst being agnostic?

Any thoughts would be much appreciated.

Many thanks,

Rob

[Smile]

Posts: 20 | From: Clevedon, England. | Registered: Feb 2018  |  IP: Logged
Alan Cresswell

Mad Scientist 先生
# 31

 - Posted      Profile for Alan Cresswell   Email Alan Cresswell   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
Jesus was in the habit of eating with people who the religious people of the day considered outside the fold. And, his last supper was with a bunch of people who would before too long betray him, deny knowing him, or simply run away and hide. In joining in Communion you seem to be in good company.

--------------------
Don't cling to a mistake just because you spent a lot of time making it.

Posts: 32411 | From: East Kilbride (Scotland) or 福島 | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Doc Tor
Deepest Red
# 9748

 - Posted      Profile for Doc Tor     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
The one thing the CofE does beautifully is that it asks exactly nothing of its parishoners.

There are no purity tests, no oaths, no membership requirements, no windows into men's souls. And neither should there be. Other denominations can order themselves as they see fit.

You won't be alone, either. There'll be some in the congregation you serve who either no longer believe, are no longer certain, who teeter on the brink of uncertainty, and who might, with the light coming through the stained glass, just manage to stumble through the Creed.

I don't think you're doing anything inappropriate. Some might. God's table is wide enough for all who come.

Thank you for your service.

--------------------
Forward the New Republic

Posts: 9131 | From: Ultima Thule | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
Eliab
Host
# 9153

 - Posted      Profile for Eliab   Email Eliab   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
I personally would not take communion if I self-identified as "agnostic". But you may mean something by that word that differs from what I would mean.

I do think communion is a serious business. It's (at the very least) a potent memorial to Jesus's sacrificial death, and a symbolic joining of oneself to Christ in that death (and in the hope of resurrection). Some sort of commitment is, in my view, required for that act to be meaningful, and we are, of course, warned in Scripture against receiving unworthily.

I'm absolutely not saying that you can't receive worthily* while describing yourself as agnostic - I'm sure many can and do - but I personally would not use "agnostic" to describe any level of faith at which commitment is present. As a label of identity it implies (to me) more than mere doubts, questions and uncertainties (which most of us have to a greater or lesser degree), and suggests insufficient knowledge to commit to Christianity at all**.

Since you are committed to Christianity to the extent of regularly attending services and volunteering, and since communion means enough to you for you to take questions like this seriously (you wouldn't have asked your rector, and us, if you didn't), if it were my call (which it absolutely is not) I'd guess that your act of faith in receiving communion is a proper response to Jesus's invitation, whatever doubts you may have. But I think you are probably also right to be unsure about that because communion ought to challenge as well as comfort us.


(* of course, none of us receive communion 'worthily' in the full sense of that word - the whole point of the sacrifice is that Christ died for sinners - what makes us more fit to receive communion as if we were already worthy is God's grace.)

(** literally it only implies not knowing, but "knowing" is such a high standard of certainty that I doubt that many Christians really attain to it. Using "agnostic" to describe anyone falling short of that pinnacle of conviction might be technically correct, but doesn't make agnostic a particularly useful word, IMHO.)

--------------------
"Perhaps there is poetic beauty in the abstract ideas of justice or fairness, but I doubt if many lawyers are moved by it"

Richard Dawkins

Posts: 4619 | From: Hampton, Middlesex, UK | Registered: Mar 2005  |  IP: Logged
L'organist
Shipmate
# 17338

 - Posted      Profile for L'organist   Author's homepage   Email L'organist   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
Your Parish Priest is happy for you to take communion. I suspect that he has a far better idea of where you stand on faith /belief than you realise so if he is happy then don't tie yourself in knots about it.

--------------------
Rara temporum felicitate ubi sentire quae velis et quae sentias dicere licet

Posts: 4950 | From: somewhere in England... | Registered: Sep 2012  |  IP: Logged
Bishops Finger
Shipmate
# 5430

 - Posted      Profile for Bishops Finger   Email Bishops Finger   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
Just so - and welcome aboard, by the way.

As Doc Tor rightly says, you're not alone in honestly admitting your uncertainties!

IJ

--------------------
Our words are giants when they do us an injury, and dwarfs when they do us a service. (Wilkie Collins)

Posts: 10149 | From: Behind The Wheel Again! | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged
cliffdweller
Shipmate
# 13338

 - Posted      Profile for cliffdweller     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
As I read and hear conversion stories (including stone here on the Ship-- maybe that would be a nice Lenten thread...), I'm always struck by how diverse they are. A few are fast & dramatic, more are slow and gradual, with times of doubt and uncertainty. Some begin as an intellectual pursuit, and build that way. Some begin experientially with worship or silence or nature leading to a dramatic or quiet experience of God's presence or grace.

And some begin in action with doing the things Christians do, and somehow finding oneself gradually becoming a believer thru that process. Pres. Obama is probably the most famous example of this as he began just by working for the poor on the streets of Chicago and finding himself knit into a community of social justice minded Christians when he did so.

You are doing the things Christians do. You're not doing so out of laziness or complacency, you are clearly thinking deeply about faith and wanting to know whatever god there might be in the world.

So come. Come and do what Christians do, come with an open heart, and pray that, whether quickly or gradually, the living God will meet you there

--------------------
"Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don't be afraid." -Frederick Buechner

Posts: 11242 | From: a small canyon overlooking the city | Registered: Jan 2008  |  IP: Logged
Raptor Eye
Shipmate
# 16649

 - Posted      Profile for Raptor Eye     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
Welcome to the Ship, Rob.

When I was first given holy communion, no questions asked, I listened to the story of the last supper and it seemed the most natural thing in the world to do this in remembrance of Jesus.

Over the years my faith grew ever deeper, I was confirmed as a mature adult, and later studied Christian theology. I understand why different people put different meanings in to the Eucharist. I do so myself.

The C of E as others have said is a broad and inclusive church. You are welcome to receive Holy Communion if you want to. What you see in it is between you and God.

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

Posts: 4359 | From: The United Kingdom | Registered: Sep 2011  |  IP: Logged
SusanDoris

Incurable Optimist
# 12618

 - Posted      Profile for SusanDoris   Author's homepage   Email SusanDoris   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
I hope you don't mind my asking, but, as an atheist, I would be interested to know how near do you think you were to stepping right away from belief in a God? Was your agnosticism a sort of 50-50 one?

--------------------
I know that you believe that you understood what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.

Posts: 3079 | From: UK | Registered: May 2007  |  IP: Logged
LutheranChik
Shipmate
# 9826

 - Posted      Profile for LutheranChik   Author's homepage   Email LutheranChik   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
If most Christians are honest with ourselves we realize we’re agnostic much of the time... if that were a barrier to Communion, we’d never partake.

In my theological neck of the woods, Communion is a divine gift to you and not something you earn the right to partake by thinking or feeling the “ correct” things about God. You’d certainly be welcome to receive in my church. Your rector is a wise person.

--------------------
Simul iustus et peccator
http://www.lutheranchiklworddiary.blogspot.com

Posts: 6462 | From: rural Michigan, USA | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
Rob B
Apprentice
# 18910

 - Posted      Profile for Rob B     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
Hi all,

Wow what a great response, thanks so much to all of you who replied. I am most encouraged.

Alan Cresswell: That's how I think of it too.

Doc Tor: Most encouraging, thank you.

Eliab: Thanks for your detailed reply. I am a doubting Thomas I guess! I was called to church and haven't left because I have got so much from it and want to give something back. I do take communion seriously, which as you say, is why I'm asking, but I can never be certain about the 'divinity' of Jesus or certain that 'God' is there. All I can say is that I do and have always felt God's presence and that Jesus has given me a direction to life by following his example.

L'organist: Yes perhaps you're right!

Bishops Finger: Thanks for the warm welcome! I am genuinely really excited about finding this forum! Thanks for the encouragement.

cliffdweller: Thanks so much. Beautifully put. I was bewildering called and have continued going to church to discover why! My faith seems to be growing simply through going through the motions and following Jesus.

Raptor Eye: Thank you, I love 'What you see in it is between you and God'.

SusanDoris: 50-50 perhaps? I guess to me it doesn't really matter whether it's true, it's more a question of what works. And for me, going to church and following Jesus is working for me. I simply think it's impossible to be 100% sure of any stand point really, but I do think some things work better than others and I have come to believe that humans need some form of religion/spirituality to be whole.

LutheranChik: Hi! Thank you so much. I too believe what you believe I just want to get it right.


[Smile]

Posts: 20 | From: Clevedon, England. | Registered: Feb 2018  |  IP: Logged
Rossweisse

High Church Valkyrie
# 2349

 - Posted      Profile for Rossweisse     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
Welcome aboard, Rob.

"Praying shapes believing" is the title of an excellent book by Leonel Mitchell; it's also the truth. Just keep going as you're going now (some would say "Fake it 'til you make it"), and accept Our Lord's gracious gift.

--------------------
I'm not dead yet.

Posts: 15117 | From: Valhalla | Registered: Feb 2002  |  IP: Logged
SusanDoris

Incurable Optimist
# 12618

 - Posted      Profile for SusanDoris   Author's homepage   Email SusanDoris   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Rob B:
SusanDoris: 50-50 perhaps? I guess to me it doesn't really matter whether it's true, it's more a question of what works. And for me, going to church and following Jesus is working for me. I simply think it's impossible to be 100% sure of any stand point really, but I do think some things work better than others and I have come to believe that humans need some form of religion/spirituality to be whole.[

Thank you. Of course, nothing can ever be completely 100% proved, not even gravity, but I am ancient, so I do not give a great deal of consideration to my necessary 0.00001% agnosticism! [Smile] However, I do strongly assert that all human beings have a strong aesthetic side and I most certainly think I'm as spiritual as anyone.

[ 14. February 2018, 17:59: Message edited by: SusanDoris ]

--------------------
I know that you believe that you understood what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.

Posts: 3079 | From: UK | Registered: May 2007  |  IP: Logged
RdrEmCofE
Shipmate
# 17511

 - Posted      Profile for RdrEmCofE   Author's homepage   Email RdrEmCofE   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
[Rob B] Welcome aboard:

Faith is something quite removed from either 'belief' or 'certainty'. Faith, I think, is the desire to accept a proposition rather than the 'done do' of having already accepted a fact. The first is a willingness to accept the testimony of a person, the others would be the inability to deny reality in the face of the available evidence

I was once told by my vicar that he was uncertain of the resurrection. I replied "what would you have liked to have happened"? "Well, that He did of course". He said. "That's just as well then", I replied. "Because only thugs and murderers would want it not to have happened. Every one else would like to believe it happened, even if they can't believe it did. Probably because it would mean that there was some justice at least somewhere in the whole sorry business. The human race did not come out of it all with much credit really."

My point is that believing something without any convincing evidence is not really faith.

Faith, the kind that God requires, is more a matter of wanting something to be true than actually knowing that it is to the extent of having not a single doubt about it.

So long as you are sure you are not being deliberately insincere I don't think God or the CofE will want you to leave their company. We all struggle with belief while we remain sane, but Faith is not belief.

Think what it must have been like in the early church. Not only were most members unsure of what they should believe themselves but the church they joined was also unsure of just about everything to do with "The Faith" as we think we know it today.

We have The Bible, they didn't. The New Testament had not yet been even written. Most of them could not even read anyway, and Gentiles didn't even have the Old Testament scriptures.

They didn't even have a name for themselves. It was the pagans who started calling them "Christians".

Their description of themselves was "Followers of the Way". The implication being that belief was not a defining feature of their brotherhood/sisterhood. The defining feature was their determination to follow Christ's teachings, Him having declared himself to be The Way.

--------------------
Love covers many sins. 1 Pet.4:8. God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, not holding their sins against them; 2 Cor.5:19

Posts: 255 | From: Southampton | Registered: Jan 2013  |  IP: Logged
Jengie jon

Semper Reformanda
# 273

 - Posted      Profile for Jengie jon   Author's homepage   Email Jengie jon   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Rob B:
Eliab: Thanks for your detailed reply. I am a doubting Thomas I guess! I was called to church and haven't left because I have got so much from it and want to give something back. I do take communion seriously, which as you say, is why I'm asking, but I can never be certain about the 'divinity' of Jesus or certain that 'God' is there. All I can say is that I do and have always felt God's presence and that Jesus has given me a direction to life by following his example.

That paragraph caught my eye and the bold bit in particular. I am not wanting you to explain but I think my advice would be to live with this. It is in someways in different circumstances advice I am trying to take myself.

Jengie

[ 14. February 2018, 20:28: Message edited by: Jengie jon ]

--------------------
"To violate a persons ability to distinguish fact from fantasy is the epistemological equivalent of rape." Noretta Koertge

Back to my blog

Posts: 20894 | From: city of steel, butterflies and rainbows | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Martin60
Shipmate
# 368

 - Posted      Profile for Martin60   Email Martin60   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
Eeeeee. Makes yer proud ter be English.

--------------------
Love wins

Posts: 17586 | From: Never Dobunni after all. Corieltauvi after all. Just moved to the capital. | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
Tortuf
Ship's fisherman
# 3784

 - Posted      Profile for Tortuf   Author's homepage   Email Tortuf   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
Rob B,

I am not in the CofE, so I will not speak for it except to point out that people who can have been clear that you can take communion.

What I can address is doubt.

As far as I can see doubt is all a part of being a human being. Concerning that which we cannot grasp, see, or fully understand, we doubt.

So, you have doubt, yet you forge ahead and act. This is how an intelligent, proactive, person deals with issues. Experience says it works. Modern theory in neurological science says it works.

Instead of wondering if it is OK, I think you ought to feel a little pride in how you are handling your doubt.

In any event a religion that will not accept you as you are may not be a worthwhile religion. It certainly is not what my experience with the CofE tells me it requires.

Posts: 6963 | From: The Venice of the South | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
Callan
Shipmate
# 525

 - Posted      Profile for Callan     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
Originally posted by Rob B:

quote:
I am a doubting Thomas I guess! I was called to church and haven't left because I have got so much from it and want to give something back. I do take communion seriously, which as you say, is why I'm asking, but I can never be certain about the 'divinity' of Jesus or certain that 'God' is there. All I can say is that I do and have always felt God's presence and that Jesus has given me a direction to life by following his example.

I am reminded of a quote from St. Catherine of Siena: "God does not always give comfort but he does give grace." In the real world it would be nice if we knew for certain but as we can't we get on with it as best we can. The process of preparing for Confirmation might help you process your thoughts and I would encourage you to give it serious thought - you don't have to go through with it if, at the end, you feel you can't - but from what you have told us your Rector has made the same call as I would in those circumstances.

--------------------
How easy it would be to live in England, if only one did not love her. - G.K. Chesterton

Posts: 9757 | From: Citizen of the World | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
simontoad
Ship's Amphibian
# 18096

 - Posted      Profile for simontoad   Email simontoad   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by cliffdweller:
As I read and hear conversion stories (including stone here on the Ship-- maybe that would be a nice Lenten thread...), I'm always struck by how diverse they are. A few are fast & dramatic, more are slow and gradual, with times of doubt and uncertainty. Some begin as an intellectual pursuit, and build that way. Some begin experientially with worship or silence or nature leading to a dramatic or quiet experience of God's presence or grace.

And some begin in action with doing the things Christians do, and somehow finding oneself gradually becoming a believer thru that process. Pres. Obama is probably the most famous example of this as he began just by working for the poor on the streets of Chicago and finding himself knit into a community of social justice minded Christians when he did so.

You are doing the things Christians do. You're not doing so out of laziness or complacency, you are clearly thinking deeply about faith and wanting to know whatever god there might be in the world.

So come. Come and do what Christians do, come with an open heart, and pray that, whether quickly or gradually, the living God will meet you there

Beautiful!

Welcome aboard Rob! I love the Anglicans. I suppose that's why I go there quite often.

--------------------
Human

Posts: 1571 | From: Romsey, Vic, AU | Registered: May 2014  |  IP: Logged
SusanDoris

Incurable Optimist
# 12618

 - Posted      Profile for SusanDoris   Author's homepage   Email SusanDoris   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by RdrEmCofE:
Faith, the kind that God requires

This is often confidently asserted. This requires 100% faith alone in my opinion. How do you think you know what God requires?

--------------------
I know that you believe that you understood what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.

Posts: 3079 | From: UK | Registered: May 2007  |  IP: Logged
Fuzzipeg
Shipmate
# 10107

 - Posted      Profile for Fuzzipeg   Author's homepage   Email Fuzzipeg   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
Of course we are agnostic about much of our faith, especially its more arcane beliefs and practises.
Without doubt there can be no faith and the intensity of that doubt varies within the day, almost.
If I rushed around saying that I was a semi agnostic Catholic I am sure I would be asked why do I bother to go at all. The answer to that is "I don't know but I need to and if I don't I feel guilty," and that's not cultural guilt!
I take Holy Communion to the sick and in hospital and that's where I come away seeing true faith and often the emotional acceptance of people who haven't received Holy Communion for years. That's where faith trumps my natural cynicism and I become the receiver of grace not the giver.
LutheranChik and I are coming off the same page.

--------------------
http://foodybooze.blogspot.co.za

Posts: 929 | From: Johannesburg, South Africa | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged
Rob B
Apprentice
# 18910

 - Posted      Profile for Rob B     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
RdrEmCofE: Thanks for your reply, I like it, very helpful, thanks!

Jengie jon: Thanks, I guess that's what I have been doing, so I'll keep on!

Martin60: [Smile]

Tortuf: Thanks very much, very helpful.

Callan: Thanks, I will look into it, I don't see why not!

simontoad: Thanks for the warm welcome!

SusanDoris: Interesting. Perhaps we can have faith in what God requires of us, because God is Love. Therefore if we follow Love, we are following God?

Fuzzipeg: Lovely, thank you.

Many thanks everyone, I will continue being uncertain and instead have faith, because what I am currently doing is working (to my amazement!).

Much love,

Rob
[Smile]

Posts: 20 | From: Clevedon, England. | Registered: Feb 2018  |  IP: Logged
no prophet's flag is set so...

Proceed to see sea
# 15560

 - Posted      Profile for no prophet's flag is set so...   Author's homepage   Email no prophet's flag is set so...   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
I'm at the point that if someone says they're Christian or agnostic even atheist, it seems necessary to ask "what do you mean?". I hold fast to certain comforting practices and people but am fairly unhinged re faith. Ideas get us into such trouble whereas decent and kind behaviour gets us out of so much.

--------------------
Out of this nettle, danger, we pluck this flower, safety.
\_(ツ)_/

Posts: 11498 | From: Treaty 6 territory in the nonexistant Province of Buffalo, Canada ↄ⃝' | Registered: Mar 2010  |  IP: Logged
SusanDoris

Incurable Optimist
# 12618

 - Posted      Profile for SusanDoris   Author's homepage   Email SusanDoris   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Rob B:
SusanDoris: Interesting. Perhaps we can have faith in what God requires of us, because God is Love. Therefore if we follow Love, we are following God?

Or, from my atheist point of view, following the evolved, inherited, and very often altruistic behaviours and traits which have ensured our species' continued successful survival! [Smile]

Also, of course, following and learning from wise thoughts and advice from those of every generation and culture, teachers, philosophers and wise leaders, passed down through our uniquely human ability to communicate through language and, of course, stories.

--------------------
I know that you believe that you understood what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.

Posts: 3079 | From: UK | Registered: May 2007  |  IP: Logged
ExclamationMark
Shipmate
# 14715

 - Posted      Profile for ExclamationMark   Email ExclamationMark   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
The question which interests me is this; if you have little or no belief, then what attracts you to rituals and events aimed at those who have?
Posts: 3845 | From: A new Jerusalem | Registered: Apr 2009  |  IP: Logged
quetzalcoatl
Shipmate
# 16740

 - Posted      Profile for quetzalcoatl   Email quetzalcoatl   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
I can see why people who are fairly agnostic might be attracted to Christian symbols and stories. Some of them are very powerful, as are symbols in other religions.

After all, people are attracted to all kinds of stories without 'believing' in them. I doubt if Hamlet really happened.

--------------------
I can't talk to you today; I talked to two people yesterday.

Posts: 9878 | From: UK | Registered: Oct 2011  |  IP: Logged
no prophet's flag is set so...

Proceed to see sea
# 15560

 - Posted      Profile for no prophet's flag is set so...   Author's homepage   Email no prophet's flag is set so...   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by ExclamationMark:
The question which interests me is this; if you have little or no belief, then what attracts you to rituals and events aimed at those who have?

This seems entirely naive to me. As if belief is what commands humanity's adherence to a religion.
Posts: 11498 | From: Treaty 6 territory in the nonexistant Province of Buffalo, Canada ↄ⃝' | Registered: Mar 2010  |  IP: Logged
LutheranChik
Shipmate
# 9826

 - Posted      Profile for LutheranChik   Author's homepage   Email LutheranChik   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
I think human beings are hardwired for ritual. Even people who are adamantly opposed to “empty ritual” engage in all sorts of rituals. Belief isn’t necessarily a prerequisite to appreciating a ritual. I personally find evocative many pagan rituals relating to the seasons...I don’t have to “believe in” all the mythic stuff around the Winter Solstice, for instance, to enjoy Yule logs and greenery and the idea of people getting together in the darkest hours of the year to celebrate the return of the light and a new beginning.

--------------------
Simul iustus et peccator
http://www.lutheranchiklworddiary.blogspot.com

Posts: 6462 | From: rural Michigan, USA | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
quetzalcoatl
Shipmate
# 16740

 - Posted      Profile for quetzalcoatl   Email quetzalcoatl   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
Yes. Humans love symbols and stories - think of children who (mostly) love a story at bedtime or any time actually.

Clearly, the stories don't have to be 'true' in a factual way, but they probably usually resonate in some way. Well, people seem to enjoy novels, and films and TV thrillers, without demanding factuality. But they are evocative.

--------------------
I can't talk to you today; I talked to two people yesterday.

Posts: 9878 | From: UK | Registered: Oct 2011  |  IP: Logged
no prophet's flag is set so...

Proceed to see sea
# 15560

 - Posted      Profile for no prophet's flag is set so...   Author's homepage   Email no prophet's flag is set so...   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by quetzalcoatl:
Yes. Humans love symbols and stories - think of children who (mostly) love a story at bedtime or any time actually.

Clearly, the stories don't have to be 'true' in a factual way, but they probably usually resonate in some way. Well, people seem to enjoy novels, and films and TV thrillers, without demanding factuality. But they are evocative.

You found the word I'd not found! "evocative" That's the one. The second is comfort, and the third is pleasure.

--------------------
Out of this nettle, danger, we pluck this flower, safety.
\_(ツ)_/

Posts: 11498 | From: Treaty 6 territory in the nonexistant Province of Buffalo, Canada ↄ⃝' | Registered: Mar 2010  |  IP: Logged
Rob B
Apprentice
# 18910

 - Posted      Profile for Rob B     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by ExclamationMark:
The question which interests me is this; if you have little or no belief, then what attracts you to rituals and events aimed at those who have?

Hi ExclamationMark,I find that the rituals, psychologically speaking, put me in the right frame of mind. For some reason I am attracted to the aesthetics of anglicism. I think my experience is something like what Blaise Pascal spoke about: ‘The heart has its reasons which the mind knows nothing of’
Posts: 20 | From: Clevedon, England. | Registered: Feb 2018  |  IP: Logged
Rob B
Apprentice
# 18910

 - Posted      Profile for Rob B     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
[/QUOTE]Or, from my atheist point of view, following the evolved, inherited, and very often altruistic behaviours and traits which have ensured our species' continued successful survival! [Smile]

Also, of course, following and learning from wise thoughts and advice from those of every generation and culture, teachers, philosophers and wise leaders, passed down through our uniquely human ability to communicate through language and, of course, stories. [/QB][/QUOTE]

I wouldn't necessarily disagree with you Susan. I do wonder though if having at least the ideal of a God is better than none at all, and whether when having no 'gods' simply means that humans would start to naturally have other 'gods' e.g. pop idols, consumerism, ego, blah blah blah. but that's a whole other conversation!

I define God as an anthropomorphic interface with: The Universe, the Unknowable, Silence and Love. But it is difficult to explain through words, it's more of an experience that words cannot describe. Like describing the colour red to a blind person.

Posts: 20 | From: Clevedon, England. | Registered: Feb 2018  |  IP: Logged
Rob B
Apprentice
# 18910

 - Posted      Profile for Rob B     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
LutheranChik quetzalcoatl
: Yes! Absolutely :-)

I like Nicholas Buxton's view on things about how basically everything is stories:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Tantalus-Pelican-Exploring-Monastic-Spirituality-ebook/dp/B0076TZCT2/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid= 1518722324&sr=1-1&refinements=p_27%3ANicholas+Buxton

[ 15. February 2018, 18:23: Message edited by: Rob B ]

Posts: 20 | From: Clevedon, England. | Registered: Feb 2018  |  IP: Logged
Martin60
Shipmate
# 368

 - Posted      Profile for Martin60   Email Martin60   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
Well WAH-HOO!!!

--------------------
Love wins

Posts: 17586 | From: Never Dobunni after all. Corieltauvi after all. Just moved to the capital. | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
Stercus Tauri
Shipmate
# 16668

 - Posted      Profile for Stercus Tauri   Email Stercus Tauri   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
I've been an elder in the presbyterian church for a long time - too long perhaps - and things are beginning to look different to me as I get older. One of the most basic rules of hospitality is to offer food to the stranger, and rather than being at the pinnacle of our rituals, it seems to me that Communion is where we begin. You start with the symbol of physical nourishment, welcoming everyone, and work towards an understanding of the historical and spiritual version of the same thing. I don't think that's the official party line, but my simple mind feels that's where inclusion begins.

--------------------
Thay haif said. Quhat say thay, Lat thame say (George Keith, 5th Earl Marischal)

Posts: 905 | From: On the traditional lands of the Six Nations. | Registered: Sep 2011  |  IP: Logged
Rob B
Apprentice
# 18910

 - Posted      Profile for Rob B     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
@Martin60: Yeah! Woohoo!! Are you being sarcastic!? ;-)

@Stercus Tauri: Sounds good to me. Thank you!

[ 16. February 2018, 14:01: Message edited by: Rob B ]

Posts: 20 | From: Clevedon, England. | Registered: Feb 2018  |  IP: Logged
cliffdweller
Shipmate
# 13338

 - Posted      Profile for cliffdweller     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Rob B:
@Martin60: Yeah! Woohoo!! Are you being sarcastic!? ;-)

Don't worry too much about trying to figure Martin out. Just buckle up and hang on for the ride.

--------------------
"Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don't be afraid." -Frederick Buechner

Posts: 11242 | From: a small canyon overlooking the city | Registered: Jan 2008  |  IP: Logged
RdrEmCofE
Shipmate
# 17511

 - Posted      Profile for RdrEmCofE   Author's homepage   Email RdrEmCofE   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
The question which interests me is this; if you have little or no belief, then what attracts you to rituals and events aimed at those who have?
One might ask the same question of spectators at a Civil War re-enactment or a WW2 military vehicle rally. The fact is that ceremony and ritual are not only attended by 'those who have'. It is a community of 'haves' and 'have-lesses' and even 'have nots'.

Drama, is even more engaging when one is actually involved in it than when one is merely a spectator.

I once took part in a reenactment of the trial of Christ. At the point where we all had to scream "Crucify Him", "Crucify Him", I was profoundly aware of the dark side of myself that I like to keep hidden from others, but I know I can never hide from God. Stations of the cross, when done with dramatic effect can evoke much the same feeling. It can promote a better understanding of the event by stirring the emotions along with the intellect.

--------------------
Love covers many sins. 1 Pet.4:8. God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, not holding their sins against them; 2 Cor.5:19

Posts: 255 | From: Southampton | Registered: Jan 2013  |  IP: Logged
mousethief

Ship's Thieving Rodent
# 953

 - Posted      Profile for mousethief     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by RdrEmCofE:
Faith, the kind that God requires, is more a matter of wanting something to be true than actually knowing that it is to the extent of having not a single doubt about it.

What a fascinating definition! Thank you for sharing this. That gives me a great deal to think about.

--------------------
This is the last sig I'll ever write for you...

Posts: 63536 | From: Washington | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
churchgeek

Have candles, will pray
# 5557

 - Posted      Profile for churchgeek   Author's homepage   Email churchgeek   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Jengie jon:
quote:
Originally posted by Rob B:
Eliab: Thanks for your detailed reply. I am a doubting Thomas I guess! I was called to church and haven't left because I have got so much from it and want to give something back. I do take communion seriously, which as you say, is why I'm asking, but I can never be certain about the 'divinity' of Jesus or certain that 'God' is there. All I can say is that I do and have always felt God's presence and that Jesus has given me a direction to life by following his example.

That paragraph caught my eye and the bold bit in particular. I am not wanting you to explain but I think my advice would be to live with this. It is in someways in different circumstances advice I am trying to take myself.

Jengie

The same bit caught my eye as well.

It's a common sentiment among many believers that we were "grasped by" God / our faith / whatever words we use to describe it, rather than us choosing God / it. That sense of being called or grasped is a good way to describe religious experience or feeling. Following that call, and staying, is a response of faith.

Faith, after all, is more like trust than intellectual assent to ideas. You don't have to understand how your lungs work - or even that you have lungs - in order to be kept alive by them; you just have to breathe. Do the things you're finding to be life-giving. Belief will wax and wane, especially if you are looking for certainty or confidence; but the way you live and pray will shape your belief. That's really what faith is, I think. Putting one foot in front of the other. (That's also a huge part of being an acolyte, btw. [Big Grin] )

--------------------
I reserve the right to change my mind.

My article on the Virgin of Vladimir

Posts: 7773 | From: Detroit | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged
jacobsen

seeker
# 14998

 - Posted      Profile for jacobsen   Email jacobsen   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by no prophet's flag is set so...:
Ideas get us into such trouble whereas decent and kind behaviour gets us out of so much.

[Overused] [Overused] [Overused]

--------------------
But God, holding a candle, looks for all who wander, all who search. - Shifra Alon
Beauty fades, dumb is forever-Judge Judy
The man who made time, made plenty.

Posts: 8040 | From: Æbleskiver country | Registered: Aug 2009  |  IP: Logged
Rob B
Apprentice
# 18910

 - Posted      Profile for Rob B     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
Thanks Churchgeek - I like it [Smile]
Posts: 20 | From: Clevedon, England. | Registered: Feb 2018  |  IP: Logged
Martin60
Shipmate
# 368

 - Posted      Profile for Martin60   Email Martin60   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Rob B:
@Martin60: Yeah! Woohoo!! Are you being sarcastic!? ;-)

@Stercus Tauri: Sounds good to me. Thank you!

When I am there's no doubt about it. Although I can be guilelessly sly. Nope, I'm a total postmodern, oecumenical, creedal, neo-orthodox, Trinitarian, emergent, old Hector.

--------------------
Love wins

Posts: 17586 | From: Never Dobunni after all. Corieltauvi after all. Just moved to the capital. | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged


 
Post new thread  Post a reply Close thread   Feature thread   Move thread   Delete thread Next oldest thread   Next newest thread
 - Printer-friendly view
Go to:

Contact us | Ship of Fools | Privacy statement

© Ship of Fools 2016

Powered by Infopop Corporation
UBB.classicTM 6.5.0

 
Check out Reform magazine
sip of fools mugs from your favourite nautical website
 
  ship of fools