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Need some relief from Bible Thumpers?

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I didn't quite know where to share this and I preface to say my intention is not to start the Great Debate or new Holy War, so if that's your thing, please start your own thread, Having said that, please let me share:

I consider myself a spiritual Christian that is saved by God's grace not some religion. I'm not fond of religion at all. I do really love God and God loves me. I don't like being called an abomination, but I far hate it worse when I hear sad stories here, that my sisters and brothers have to take that flack. Somewhere about ten years back I heard about a book and I bought it, read it, cherished it, lent it out and lost it. It is still in print and available at the public Library, where I checked it out after I waited for it to come back. Oh yeh, the book? The Ragamuffin Gospel by Brennan Manning ISBN0-7862-5704-0. For me, and only me, this book is the searchlight into the darkness of oppressive religion. It may also let others here feel just as uplifted as it did for me. I read this way before my transition, but now today it is even more pointed and helpful for me. It is a message that makes me feel good about me and a tool (not a weapon) to push away the hate. I call it a must read.

The book is funny. thought provoking and a feel good about yourself kind of information, for all people that are broken inside and human. Hmmm... I guess that covers about everybody on the planet. Giggle. One of my favorite things he said I will paraphrase. Horrible sinner comes to God, broken hearted that the church won't let him in. God replies, I don't know what you are complaining about they won't let me in either! LOL! This is the wit of a Minister and Author that was broken by his own addictions and finding recovery and a new slant on God. I'm not sure just how many Bible Thumper would be willing to have their beliefs challenged by this information, so it may only be here to strengthen us. God loves us too, we are perfectly acceptable as we are, at what ever phase of our transitions and transformations. Thanks for letting me share this and I hope you take the time to read the book. Hug. JodyAnn

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Guest Jenn348

Horrible sinner comes to God, broken hearted that the church won't let him in. God replies, I don't know what you are complaining about they won't let me in either!

That's great :)

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VickySGV

A couple of books I would recommend are both by John Shelby Spong who is a retired Episcopalian Bishop. Rescuing The Bible From Fundamentalism and Reclaiming The Bible For A Non-religious World are "behind the scenes" looks at what is really being written and more importantly why they were written as they were. They are not as homey as the book Jody mentions, but they are eye openers and have sent me into new spiritual paths within Chriistianity.

The truth of the matter is that very few people who quote the Bible have read the Bible. Even fewer look at it as a book that tells the story of its authors and the times they were writing, as well as the story ABOUT (and not BY) the diety they were looking to for cultural and spiritual life. The Bible is a book that shows a history of cutural introspection and change that seems contradictory, but was not since it was a "growing up" experience from a very tribal group of people with a tribal centric identity into broader cultural settings and the beginning of person centered identities in urban cultures. I like my Bible better seeing it from that point of view, and think its time for a new version to be put in the presses.

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Guest DianeATL

Timely post, did you hear the Pope's comments this week? Paraphrasing, the church needs to get off of the hyperfocus on issues like gay marriage or it will collapse like a house of cards.

I too have a personal spiritual connection but don't have a lot of love for the buildings and power structures that try to represent the 100000 flavors of religion. I think my fed up point came when they told my sister that despite having undergrad degrees in religion with languages and seminary post grad degrees she could never be a full minister because she lacked a Y chromosome. Gee, imagine birth gender assignment being a sensitive subject for me. ;-)

There are certainly many good people and good works from those organizations but rigid interpretations and hard line dogmas keep me away.

Hugs

Diane

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Guest Andrea_Heilotes

Timely post, did you hear the Pope's comments this week? Paraphrasing, the church needs to get off of the hyperfocus on issues like gay marriage or it will collapse like a house of cards.

I too have a personal spiritual connection but don't have a lot of love for the buildings and power structures that try to represent the 100000 flavors of religion. I think my fed up point came when they told my sister that despite having undergrad degrees in religion with languages and seminary post grad degrees she could never be a full minister because she lacked a Y chromosome. Gee, imagine birth gender assignment being a sensitive subject for me. ;-)

There are certainly many good people and good works from those organizations but rigid interpretations and hard line dogmas keep me away.

Hugs

Diane

I have been seeing what the Imam of Rome has been saying lately, my family are devout Catholics and they're in touch with the rest of the local Catholic nutcases and it seems there is popular perception that the Pope's more compassionate remarks are being taken out of context and that at face value they sound good and tolerant, but in reality it's not what the Pope is really saying at all. Which is a shame because it almost makes me want to like the Catholic church again.

I don't know if the Papists are aware that they're shooting themselves in the foot here by undermining the more tolerant remarks of their most holy father.

If the Pope said that the church needs to unfocus on things like gay rights or else the church will collapse... he's only partially right. It occurred to me the other day that the Church has already collapsed in western Europe and most of North America. It's just not present anymore. It's dead as dead can be. Sure there's a handful of old stalwarts amongst the post-catholic population, but the Church has no more influence there.

It seems that the forces of modernity have overtaken the forces of the medieval primitivism. The Church in Europe is in its death throes and it's only a matter of time until it disappears completely. It has collapsed. They might as well just move the Vatican to Buenos Aires or Rio.

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VickySGV

It is very hard for most people to realize that the "bedrock" of their beliefs is actually turning in to mud that will create a sink hole for them. Maybe I am lucky to live in an area where earthquakes cause a condition called "liquifaction" where hard dirt and rock take on the qualities of soupy mud even for just a moment or two and life comes down around your ears!! That is the physical equivalent of what is happening to many religions today. What an earthquake does is pretty hard on your internal belief systems in the physical world, what about a spiritual shaking of magnitude 10?? Onlly a few people really believe an earthquake is going to hit at any time and have little or no preparation for it. Thus the folks who revere and then despise a religious leader who predicts an earthquake.

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