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I hate cliches! Do you? April 20, 2005

Posted by roopster in Bible, Christianity, faith, God, Jesus, Religion, spirituality, Theology.
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“Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water!” I hate cliches, especially this one. I started my journey out of a spiritually abusive environment and just kept walking. Every time I stop to determine if maybe I’ve gone far enough, I realize that the next step would be a piece of cake, so I take it. Sometimes I take steps backwards but quickly realize that I’ve been there, done that, so I quickly turn around. I know that I’m shooting for the moon when I try to develop a set of consistent beliefs, but I keep my fingers crossed and with hope against hope, God willing, I proceed to the ever allusive light at the end of the tunnel. However, I’m constantly being accused of throwing out that damn baby.

Honestly, I’m not trying to think outside of the box just because I have too much time on my hands. In fact, I’m quite busy and live my life in a constant state of being under the wire. Why then can I not call it a day, take a chill, and just be content with where I am? At the end of the day, I do love the the teachings of Jesus and continue to contend that the core message of Jesus is a great way to live life to the fullest.

I no longer can see eye to eye with many of my friends. Spiritually, I’ve taken certain leaps that when push comes to shove, may strain some of my relationships. However, I do try to my best to not make mountains out of molehills and simply carry on like there are no issues. After all, I’m on a journey and really don’t know where I will end up.

I wanted to say a big thanks to all of you who participate in this blog and give input into my journey. Life is truly like a box of chocolate and I’m glad you all are here to share my box with me. For those of you who feel I’ve gone too far, don’t worry, even though I hate cliches, I love babies!

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Comments»

1. Monk-in-Training - May 30, 2005

Roopster,
I know how you are attracted to the Person of Jesus, yet less so to His followers.
I wanted to point you to this post ” Loving Jesus” at http://cgmom.blogspot.com/

A friend and memeber of my Parish, I think you will like it.

2. Roopster - May 30, 2005

Thanks MIT. I’ll check it out.
Paul

3. Mickey - May 30, 2005

Roopster, even though I have a lot on my plate right now, I wanted to take time out of my busy schedule to thank you for sharing.

You’ll never be in hot water with me because I view life from the paradigm of “Hate the sin but love the sinner.” 😀

Love,
Mickey

4. Novato - May 30, 2005

Roop,

I love you also you sinner you. I’ve been known to hug a sin once in a while too. So I can’t even use the “Hate sin, love…” cliché. The truth is, we only do the sins that we love and enjoy, so forget about the “hate sin” suggestion. Clichés do become tiresome. By definition, it doesn’t qualify as a cliché until it’s overused.

But, what about the spiritual side of knowing God? I mean, there’s a dimension to this conversation that’s intangible, unprovable, and of the heart. It’s on the same level (or perhaps even deeper) with what I have in my heart and soul regarding my love for my wife and children. I don’t need to dissect them and the relationship down to the level of their DNA to know who they are, that I love them, and that they love me.

How can I be sure that the children are really mine? I mean, I’ve never seen their DNA. And even if I wanted to “prove” the veracity of their origin, I couldn’t analyze the DNA myself; I’m not qualified or capable. I’d still have to rely upon the analysis and conclusions of someone else. Might they make a mistake?…have an ulterior motive?…or maybe just not be as qualified as their credentials suggest?

The truth is, I don’t care or need to know because what we share supercedes all that. My kids share some of my characteristics, but they each have more differences than similarities to me. If I could “see” their DNA it wouldn’t enhance our relationship in the least. I trust and have peace.

So what part do your heart and spirit have in this journey? Aren’t those dimensions of your being where you truly live, love, and have life? Or is this journey just an intellectual exercise and philosophical pursuit? How disappointing and boring if that’s all we can hope for.

I know what it is for me, but I’d like to hear your take on the heart, spirit, and spirituality itself.

Novato

5. Anonymous - May 30, 2005

Like it or not, a saying generally becomes a cliche because it’s true!
Perhaps a better way to say it is “I don’t like truth’s expressed in the same old phrasology!”

As to the rest Roopster, I’ve lurked here a while taking in your words. You’re apparently a man in tremendous flux and turmoil, trying to come to term with what appears to be a long and troubling relationship with Christianity. You sound like you may have been a dutiful “soldier” doing what you were told without the rich inner lfe available to a christian. You also seem to be unable to fully tear away from that past, trying to pick and chose from what appeals to you in the new testament while discrediting what you don’t embrace. I’d suggest that’s an unhappy place to be. I’d also suggest Zen would offer you more happiness as you could have a religion without God where you really can be the master of your universe and at the same time engage in any level of “mental gymnastic’s” you wish… I also think it’d be a lot more honest choice than what you’re engaged in now.

I say this in all sincerity, with no malice toward’s you. It’s just my honest observation.

Best Wishes,

Paco

6. Roopster - May 30, 2005

Novato,

You hit the nail on the head in that it’s now all about the heart and the spirit. In fact, I believe that’s all our spirituality can really be and by definition that is faith.

I see the Bible as our Holy Scriptures but I no longer can view it as “the” Word of God. The main point of this blog so far has been that it’s ok to get to this point but it doesn’t mean that we throw the baby out with the bathwater. There’s certain universal truths instilled in us by our creator that remains.

Paul

7. Roopster - May 30, 2005

Paco,

You can say that I’m stuck between a rock and a hard place. Sometimes I do feel like I’m up a creek without a paddle. However, I am a Christian and do not have any desire to be anything else. I do believe that the basic core of the teachings attributed to Jesus are the way that our creator intended to live. I know those teachings are also found in other religions but I’m not seeking a faith without God…. since I very much believe in God, our creator.

Paul

8. Paco - May 30, 2005

Roopster, working outside right now but tore away for a second to check your Blog.

I’d like to ask, “whoever said ‘the bible’ is the Word of God?” Most scholar’s, student’s of the bile, etc., (myself humbly incuded) would strongly maintain the bible “CONTAIN’S” the Word of God… ther is a vast difference.

Paco

9. Roopster - May 30, 2005

Paco,

I’m coming out of Fundamental Christianty which declares that the Bible is the inspired Word of God, with error and contradiction. More specifically the WOF movement, which if you read some of my previous blogs, elevate the Word to God status.

I too have come to the conclusion that it ‘contains’ the Word of God… hence my quest to determine what that is and where to draw the lines….

It’s nice to see folks like you and MIT who aren’t all freaked out about viewing the Bible this way… It’s way different for us ex-Fundies though.

Paul

10. Paco - May 31, 2005

Roopster, I’ve never considered myself a WOF’r even though I’ve been around them for 25 years. In fact, the teacher who first opened my eyes to the idea/fact that the Bible “contain’s the Word of God” was a Rhema instructor… maybe you’ve thrown the baby out with the bathwater (grin).

-Paco

11. Novato - May 31, 2005

Roopster,

So, how do you decide which parts of the scriptural record to accept and reject? Do you have a procedure, protocol, or guidelines for choosing?

Novato

12. Roopster - May 31, 2005

Novato,

Great question! I remember asking it myself a couple years ago. It was the question I could never get my arms around. Ultimately the answer is very relative and we’ve been taught not to think that way. We’ve been taught that faith is a knowing that we know when by definition that really wouldn’t require faith then.

Ultimately I believe that our creator placed this knowledge in us. Hence my conclusion that we’re basically good vs. evil and that we have to go against our design in order to be evil.

When I began to open my eyes to the many inconsistencies, contradictions, false historical events, etc. in the Bible, it took some time for me to deal with this reality.

Now it doesn’t really matter to me. Eternity is in our hearts. We have a concience that guides us. We can choose to go against it and if we do that enough, we can develop bad habits. Studying teachings like those attributed to Jesus does bring us back into line with the life we were intended to live.

Paco,

Who was the Rhema Instructor?

Paul

13. Roopster - May 31, 2005

Novato,

Here’s one for you (and I could go on all day with issues like this):

Matthew says Jesus was born when Herod was King of Judea. Luke says he was born when Cyrenius was Governor of Syria. He could not have been born during the administration of these two rulers for Herod died in the year 4 B.C., and Cyrenius, who, in Roman history is Quirinius, did not become Governor of Syria until ten years later. Herod and Quirinius are separated by the whole reign of Archelaus, Herod’s son.

Paul

14. Novato - May 31, 2005

“Now in those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus, that a census be taken of all the inhabited earth. This was the first census taken while Quirinius [Cyrenius] was governor of Syria.” Luke 2:1

Many claim that Quirinius was not made govenor of Syria until 10-12 yrs. after the birth of Christ. Quirinius was Roman consul in 12 B.C. and thus qualified to be a governor several years before Jesus’ birth. From 12 B.C. to 4 B.C. the names of govenors are recorded. From 4 B.C. to 4 A.D. the names are not given. It was during this time that the census took place; during this gap in the record. Therefore, it’s impossible to disprove the statement here that Quirinus, (called Cyrenius by Luke) was govenor during this time.

Also, the word protos, translated here “first,” can also mean “before,” as it does in Jn 1:15, 30, and 15:18. So acceptable alternate translations of the verse would read, “This census was before Cyrenius was govenor of Syria,” or “before the one [the census] made by Cyrenius.”

Paul, I’ve never been a defender of the Bible as the inerrant Word of God. And I don’t hold the conviction that it’s (the paper and ink) a HOLY book. I do believe however that it is inspired by God and accurate enough to trust. Are there parts that may be inaccurate? Could Luke have forgotten or confused who was govenor at the time of Jesus’ birth? I suppose so. It’s a human historical detail and not essential to the divine message preserved for us in the Bible.

So far, all of the so-called inconsistencies that you (and others) have pointed out are incidental issues. I think that there are reasonable explanations for all of them, even though I may not be able to prove it at this time since I’ve not devoted my time and energy to straining gnats. However, I do reject conjecturally derived conclusions that rely too heavily on the interpretation of what is not known or not understood. For example in this case, the absence of information is not proof that the information given is inaccurate.

Novato

15. Roopster - May 31, 2005

Novato,

This is an example of an apparent historical inaccuracy. Also another interesting point to note is that there is NO such record of a census during this time. However, as you stated, that does not PROVE it didn’t happen 🙂 Of course, MT would say the burden of proof is on us to show it happened.

Read Gen. 1 & 2. It contains 2 creation stories. Read the geneologies of Jesus. They do not agree. If you read the books on “alleged” Bible contradictions it’s an Encyclopedia size book, and the authors jump through all these hoops to prove that they’re not contradictions. Why was this even necessary? Why would the author of Gen., if really one person wrote it, contradict the creation timeline in the first few pages of his writing?

There’s just too many questions about the Bible to view is as anything but the Holy Scriptures of Christians. One cannot view it as “THE” Word of God without ignoring so many inconsistencies, not only in facts but in concepts and beliefs.

Paul

16. Roopster - May 31, 2005

BTW, We label Mormons as a cult and claim that Joseph Smith made up the Book of Mormon. Can we prove that Jesus didn’t come to the Americas? No! However we can show inconsistencies with historical facts, lack of supporting data, references to places that do seem to exist, etc. We feel this is a credible way for us to disprove the Book of Mormon. However, a sceptic approaching the Bible this way has no credibility. It’s now beginning to dawn on me why Mormons could not see this so logical line of reasoning. I’ve tried to tell them the burden of proof is on them to prove the Book of Mormon and they would try to get me to disprove it. Interesting.

17. Roopster - May 31, 2005

N,

The bottom line of what I’m saying is that I disagree with the premise that “we cannot know God apart from his word (implied the Bible).” I believe we know God through many other means – mainly our hearts & spirit. The Bible is our Holy Scriptures but it’s Holy only because we say it is. It’s authenticity has nothing to do with my faith in my creator and the way I believe we were designed to live – walking in love, compassion, mercy, kindness, forgiveness, tolerance, etc. to those around us and honoring and respecting creation in general. To me this is such a higher way to live than attempting to follow a confusing book that spawned zillions of denominations because we can’t agree on much. If I give my kids some direction, believe me, I make it as clear as day because I want them to understand it. I do not want any misinterpretations. The whole lets speak in parables so people won’t understand what I’m saying is just wierd. Stories are there to make things clearer and so people can relate to a higher concept.

I believe the basic truths are very simple – Love God, Love your neighbor – Be Kind one to another, etc. Beyond that, the rest is just noise and in most cases is the root of wars, terrorism, genocide, division, etc.

This makes so much sense to me. Who gives a damn about the meaning of Revelations? How does that apply to my life now and how I treat my wife, my kids, my co-workers, my neighbors, etc.?

Since I’ve quit trying to defend the Bible, its contradictions, its inconsistencies, its concepts that we just will never understand or agree on the meaning; and simply focus on these basic truths, I actually feel more in touch with God than I ever have before.

Paul

18. Monk-in-Training - May 31, 2005

WOW,
Roopster! You GO, boy! 😉

19. Paco - June 1, 2005

Roop, Stan Abbott.

20. Roopster - June 4, 2005

Paco,

?

Paul

21. Paco - June 4, 2005

It was 1981, probably before your time -grin

22. JOHN MARCUS - March 29, 2007

Hi there Roopster,
I think God has put something special in your heart. I think that you know that many things in the church today are not right. The structure of the church, the way leadership operates in the church etc etc, But you still know that Jesus is the way the truth and the life. You still know that God is working with the church, but at the same time He is wanting to change so many things in the church.

God has put a prophetic edge inside of your heart. Not just to accept things in the church the way they are. That’s why you often think outside of the box. That’s good, God can use you to help the church to move forward.

But also we must be careful of not being over rational in our thinking, to sometimes be too smart for God. Sometimes we just need to become like little children, and believe with childlike faith. Not leaning on our own understanding, but listening to the Holy Spirit and allowing God to open the eyes of our hearts and ears of our hearts.

Lets keep in touch now.
John Marcus

23. totaltransformation - April 17, 2007

If that is the case I wouldn’t listen to any Barrack Obama speeches any time soon. Not only does he offer plenty of cliches, he also spouts lots of bromides, chestnuts, old saws, platitudes, prosaisms, and trite remarks.

24. Solutiontotheposter's problem - December 15, 2007

“so I quickly turn around. I know that I’m shooting for the moon when I try to develop a set of consistent beliefs”

LIKE YOU I ALSO HAVE UNDERGONE A SIMILAR JOURNEY IN MY LIFE, AND HERE IS WHAT I HAVE LEARNT AS A HAPPY CONCLUSION. THIS IS MY MOTTO AND THEME IN LIFE -MY ONE AND ONLY SPIRITUAL MESSAGE (I’M ATHEIST0 -MY ONLY RELIGION -IT CAN BE SUMMARIZED IN ONE SENTENCE ONLY – WANNA KNOW?

“WHEN YOU STOP TAKING LIFE SERIOUSLY, EVERYTHING COMES YOUR WAY.”


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