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Switch to Forum Live View Christianity is not a Religion to Me
5 years ago  ::  Dec 15, 2008 - 1:47PM #21
Skyshroud
Posts: 14
[QUOTE=theophilus1985;46835]forgive i have trouble understanding the phrase "organized religion" and why it is fashionable to denigrate it. what is the alternative? disorganized religion?  At the Exodus, God did not release from slavery individual Israelites, but the people of Israel. the Torah was given so that they may arrange and govern themselves as a people.  Why else were they given the three pilgrimage festivals of Passover, Shavuot and Sukkot in which every Israelite male was required to appear before God at the Tabernacle (the tent of meeting) and later the Temple? Christ may have abolished the necessity of the Temple, but he did not establish a solitary religion either. He established the Church. God wants a community of followers, not just followers. the current fad o denigrating organized religion is probably based more off of american individualism than spiritual insight.  one single human being cannot close to the truth, or effectiveness in ministry alone. 

however, it is understandable if you are dissappointed with churches (as opposed to the Church) they are made up of fallen (albeit forgiven human beings). thankfully there are many different forms of church polity. if you do not appreciate the hierarchies of the Orthodox, Catholic and Episcopalean churches, then you might prefer a more congregationalist setting (i.e. congregationalists, baptists, etc.) or you may prefer a Quaker church.  or you may even choose you form your own bible study with like minded individuals and worship with them.[/QUOTE]

    Theo, J.A.B,

   I realize this post has kind of moved on from this topic line but I still felt like I should respond a bit to this.  I totally agree with J.A.B.2007 that the quizzes and tests on here are at best quite faulty, I took one recently (which, even they admitted was just for fun, and not that scientific, but still) on which I had probably 8 questions out of 25 where the proper answer for my view wasn't even offered, and it ended up labeling me as a "fundamentalist" Christian when I'm actually progressive, so yeah don't put much stock in those...

   As far as Christianity being a religion, I'd oddly enough have to say that in the terms we're discussing it in it is both a religion, but more as well, also, the term religion, in general, seems quite arbitrary.  You can have differing spiritual practices all around the world, but what gives them the impetus, or more importantly, speaking from a "view from nowhere [nagelian reference, think view from the universe as a whole given all logical and applicable info. but not necessarily God's complete view]" the "right" justification to become religions isn't really known (note: I'm leaving out for this last one the consideration that God directly approves or disapproves of certain practices, because inevitably He does, but for us, without His omniscience it is more a question of things just springing-up many times without our input).

   So it seems to me the real cause, and difference for something being a religion vs. just a spiritual dedication or practice, is that a certain group of humanity (however large or small) decides to try and formalize it as such (whether the divine mandates or influences it or not).  So to me the question of whether or not Christianity is a religion is of course answered with a "yes" since we have various Churches with varying authorities, but that can't possibly negate the essentials either, and these are what are truly important (from my view anyway) as even though some over-sight at least can be positive, the entire structure of the organized portions of Christianity wouldn't exist if it weren't for the essentials they grew out of (the scripture, biblical events and teachings etc.).

  Theophilus1985, the aforementioned said, though I am thankful to see that someone offered a defense of organized religion (at least in the ideal) as I believe it does have positive purpose, I can still see J.A.B.'s side of things too.  For example, barring for a moment the belief that certain high officials of certain churches cannot err in theological judgment (say the Popes of Catholicism and the Patriarchs of Eastern Orthodox faith) I think it is fair to say that all human beings have within them the potential to be wrong about biblical issues of interpretation, thus, even priests and other clergy can mis-advise at times even if their intent is good and to help, and it is truly up to each believer to interpret for themselves at least at some level, when there is a disagreement between your church's clergy and yourself, and you deeply, strongly believe you are correct, all you can do is to follow your conscience on those matters, and if your church won't let up on you over it, organization can indeed become a VERY persistent stumbling block.
   
   This is why I have to disagree when you say that an individual can't come close to truth alone, in many cases, especially since Christ is a very personal God on most interpretations, an individually may come closer alone than with an entire group of disagreeing believers to hold them back, this is why Christianity must be both a personal search and relationship with God and and public one with fellow followers (when possible), so that (ideally, not necessarily when the aforementioned kind of disagreement happens) all may learn from each lesson gleaned by each individual follower and their search to be closer to God.

   So I guess what I'm saying in the end is that while I personally believe that organized religion, can, and ideally should be, in place since it can, when working properly, help teach and guide followers both through learned theological guidance via the clergy, and their support as well as shared experiences and support of followers, sometimes one really must step away for some period to get closer, and the alternative to organized religion isn't so much disorganized religion (although inevitably it would become more disorganized as a side effect of this), as it is and increased allowance in people's lives for further personal spiritual revelation and growth, which can lead to things such as mystic experiences (dig up some work on the desert mysticism of early Eastern Orthodox monks--which mirrors many famous biblical ascetics, including Jesus, when he ventured into the desert and was tempted by Satan only to return afterward spiritually stronger and much more theologically enlightened-- and the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius Loyola--who founded the Jesuit Order--from the Catholic perspective)  sometimes even being too tied to small churches can hinder.  So spiritual isolation, whether it's as a rule or as an as needed practice, does have its major benefits.  In the end, the best we seem to be able to do as humans is to find a Church or even just a congregation that seems to be headed solidly in the right direction and to link up with them for the long haul, but still have our moments of spiritual separation when it is required due to the needs of our mind, soul, or spirit.
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5 years ago  ::  Jan 02, 2009 - 12:58PM #22
kollo
Posts: 4,064
[QUOTE=theophilus1985;46835]forgive i have trouble understanding the phrase "organized religion" and why it is fashionable to denigrate it. what is the alternative? disorganized religion?  [/quote]
The alternative is 'religion' that is 'organized' by the Holy Spirit, and that doesn't take much obvious organization.

[QUOTE]At the Exodus[/QUOTE]
Long before Pentecost.
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5 years ago  ::  Sep 24, 2009 - 3:59PM #23
sonnymoon42
Posts: 1,760

"The alternative is 'religion' that is 'organized' by the Holy Spirit, and that doesn't take much obvious organization." 


My religion is organized by Casper the Friendly Ghost.

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4 years ago  ::  Oct 31, 2009 - 2:26PM #24
andrewcyrus
Posts: 4,252

Sep 24, 2009 -- 3:59PM, sonnymoon42 wrote:


"The alternative is 'religion' that is 'organized' by the Holy Spirit, and that doesn't take much obvious organization." 


My religion is organized by Casper the Friendly Ghost.




Is he gonna raise you from the dead and fit you with the new eternally improved jet powered body from God?

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4 years ago  ::  Oct 31, 2009 - 4:14PM #25
andrewcyrus
Posts: 4,252

Nov 2, 2007 -- 7:23AM, J.A.B.2007 wrote:

Christianity is not a religion to me. Therefore, I have scored low on the are you a believer or a atheist? I scored a 37, but that was because the questions were almost like equating God with organized religion which I choose not to do. If I were able I would be mostly on the streets helping people again like I was in the past through a church. I enjoy the more "roll up your sleeves" kind of Christianity where we are doing our faith versus trying to always tell others about it. On the other hand, if someone speaks out against God, I will definately speak my mind and say why I believe in him. I will also speak out why I believe any other issues are wrong as well. I don't try to "preach" per se. However, since I have some sin in my life that I need to dispose of. However, I do not try to justify any sinful behavior. I recognize it in myself for what it is and work to get rid of it ( not always easy of course, but I am willing most of the time).



 


 


I prefer the DNA from God's word.

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4 years ago  ::  Dec 27, 2009 - 9:08PM #26
Rockenforhim
Posts: 3

  missing  somone  who is  your  friend is  really  hard  i  put my  trust in  God   this past  3  monthes  has  beeen  hard  for  me   as  your   friend   im  still  your  friend   love  kevin

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4 years ago  ::  Dec 28, 2009 - 7:52PM #27
andrewcyrus
Posts: 4,252

Dec 27, 2009 -- 9:08PM, Rockenforhim wrote:


  missing  somone  who is  your  friend is  really  hard  i  put my  trust in  God   this past  3  monthes  has  beeen  hard  for  me   as  your   friend   im  still  your  friend   love  kevin




Don't get to hungry angry lonely or tired.


You have my number.

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3 years ago  ::  Feb 26, 2011 - 6:20PM #28
Cjbanning
Posts: 282

Are Buddhism, Hinduism, or Taoism religions? (Are there forms of them which might not be?) If so, what makes Christianity special? If not, what is a religion?

http://cjbanning.dreamwidth.org

"This is my prayer: that your love may overflow more and more with knowledge and full insight to help you to determine what is best." -- "St. Paul's" [deutero-Pauline] Epistle to the Philippians 1:9-10

"Come now, let us argue it out, says the LORD." -- First Isaiah 1:18
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