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Everything posted by Rocky

  1. No need to apologize for any part of it, agreeing or disagreeing with me.
  2. My goal in this is not to write a book, but to read one and discuss it. I hope you join me in that endeavor. Mark, rather than comment on your post, which I suppose many people (especially here at GSC) could debate, I'd like to highlight what I believe is important about Rob Bell's book. It isn't easy to develop a thoroughly biblical imagination that incorporates the comprehensive and eternal work of Christ in all people... etc. I hope you can get hold of a copy of the book and consider the many questions Bell raises. Pondering those questions is a great way, IMO, to expand our ability to imagine (some of) what might be that is beyond what we've been able to grasp thus far in our lives.
  3. This topic does not belong in Questioning Faith and does not presuppose the non-existence of God. It is based on something I've chewed on for years. I've started reading Rob Bell's book, Love Wins: a Book about Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived. The topic DOES pre-suppose that the Bible doesn't provide many of the answers we need to VERY important questions about life and living. Eugene H Peterson said about Bell's book, Bell raises numerous thought provoking questions that will help the reader think outside the box that both contemporary Christian churches and especially TWI stuffed God. For starters: "Of all the billions of people who have ever lived, will only a select number "make it to a better place" and every single other person suffer in torment and punishment forever? Is this acceptable to God? Has God created millions [billions] of people over tens of thousands of years who are going to spend etermity in anguish? Can God do this, or even allow this, and still claim to be a loving God?" "Does God punish people for thousands of years with infinite, eternal torment for things they did in their few finite years of life?" "This doesn't just raise disturbing questions about God, it raises questions about the beliefs themselves. Why them? Why you? Why me? Why not him or her or them?" For perspective, how freaking narcissistic does that make Victor Paul Wierwille and The Way International by claiming they had the ONLY way to be in the "Household of God?" How indeed? Or how about Vince Finnegan who reportedly has repudiated claims that once one gets saved (as we understood, by way of Romans 10:9-10), that's it. Has Vince really preached that God will cast believers in to the Lake of Fire if they don't toe Vince's (or anyone else's interpretation of what one must comply with to remain saved) line? I invite Greasespotters to read Rob Bell's book with me. More background on Rob Bell. From Time.com April 14, 2011 "The standard Christian view of salvation through the death and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth is summed up in the Gospel of John, which promises "eternal life" to "whosoever believeth in Him." Traditionally, the key is the acknowledgment that Jesus is the Son of God, who, in the words of the ancient creed, "for us and for our salvation came down from heaven ... and was made man." In the Evangelical ethos, one either accepts this and goes to heaven or refuses and goes to hell. "Bell, a tall, 40-year-old son of a Michigan federal judge, begs to differ. He suggests that the redemptive work of Jesus may be universal — meaning that, as his book's subtitle puts it, "every person who ever lived" could have a place in heaven, whatever that turns out to be.
  4. Thanks for the clarification. Why was I thinking that? Because you didn't previously specify. That's what asking questions for clarification is all about.
  5. I agree, it seems quite apparent in many areas of society and culture that there are "plenty of people (who) prefer to be led." There are plenty of other examples in societies and cultures these days -- not limited to twi and offshoots thereof. Bravo for you that you study and re-search bible stuff with a small group of friends. A caveat I would add, that you probably have already thought of -- don't translate ANY of your re-search into dogmas that others must follow. Further, perhaps you might find studying (and searching or re-searching) other, not necessarily limited to biblical, topics also electrifying. Some might also provide exciting insights into what might indirectly relate to "things of God." Just a few thoughts, FWIW.
  6. Mark, are you suggesting that's the ONLY expression of non-traditional sexuality the RCC "discipline" causes? If so, I would suggest otherwise. As in, ALL (or at least many) manner(s) of what contemporary societies would or have considered perverse. And from a couple other responses, I figure I'm not the only one who holds that view. For example, this news story in the NYTimes from February 2019, Feb. 6, 2019 ROME — The sexual abuse of nuns and religious women by Catholic priests and bishops — and the abortions that have sometimes resulted — has for years been overshadowed by other scandals in the Roman Catholic Church. That seemed to change this week when Pope Francis publicly acknowledged the problem for the first time.
  7. I disagree that candidates go in knowing the sacrifices and difficulties. There's a massive difference between hearing a teacher state the required "sacrifices and the difficulties" and knowing them as a result of having to deal with the inevitable changes in one's desires resulting from hormonal changes as time goes on. Maybe the RCC should openly study and explore the practice of voluntary castration with candidates for the priesthood. If THAT sounds bizarre, perhaps that's because failing to grasp the enormity of the challenge of celibacy has been such a humongous catastrophe.
  8. I personally think the notion of administrations/dispensations is malarkey. While I don't really view things the way covenant theology followers do, it still makes more sense to me. Frankly, that "God makes the rain fall on the just and the unjust" suggests to me that the framework of the Bible is a box into which certain humans stuffed God based on the limits of human imagination at the time the various books were written. I believe there are things going on beyond what humans can perceive with our senses (as God) but they aren't limited to what are experienced by Christian believers. That's just my two cents' worth of "insight." Ignore it if you choose. No skin off my nose and no prophecy of doom from me.
  9. LOL... yes, you certainly did. BUT, you did add to the conversation with the discussion of fiduciary responsibility and risk management.
  10. Now you're getting into church politics. Probably leads to a rabbit hole that would be counterproductive here. However, like waysider suggested, perhaps you could clarify/expound on that first sentence. Given generally accepted definitions of sodomy, why would you be concerned about what goes on in private/behind closed doors for a married couple? And how is that a "matter of [your] faith? "These guys at the Vatican...", I assume are not robots. They have hormones coursing through their bodies just like anyone else. Hormones are generally more powerful than "commitments" made without understanding said hormones. Also, it occurred to me when reading the article Socks linked, that the possibility exists that adopting the practice of celebrex... er, celibacy may have had an economic factor. As we know (in not nearly enough detail), the RC church is mega rich. Nevertheless, the underlying social sickness that has been exposed in the last 50 years can easily be traced to "the discipline." IT is unnatural, perhaps even more so than sodomy, IMO.
  11. Intriguing history, Socks. Thanks for sharing it. To me, the salient point in the article is in the final paragraph: "Despite the decrees from the Middle Ages, celibacy is still a “discipline” of the church, which can be changed, rather than a “dogma”, or a divinely revealed truth from God which cannot be altered. As the world has changed, the Church has had a harder time recruiting priests. Numbers have been dropping: between 1970 and 2014 the world’s Catholic population grew from 654m to 1.23bn, while the number of priests declined from 420,000 to 414,000. Some prospective priests don’t want to choose between having a life with God and having a family. It is not inconceivable that the time will come again when they can have both." Seems to me that a lot of the social sickness in the RC church could be mitigated if they change the "discipline".
  12. In the early 1990s, after reading a news story about corrupt goings on at a small private college in Prescott, AZ, I read this book, People of the Lie, by M. Scott Peck. That book informed my understanding of my experience in twi.
  13. My view is that speaking in absolutes about veepee is probably not fair or reasonable, but it seems fair and reasonable to surmise that he ultimately got around to having ulterior motives.
  14. An insightful article. Thanks very much. I suspect there is more to it than that, from a psychological perspective, but yeah, it makes very good sense. And thanks Annio for this thread.
  15. Thanks. I didn't expound, but I generally appreciate it, when someone makes a claim, that they share with us something showing how they came up with it, or support of some kind. I kinda figured the claim was intuitively reasonable, but still like to read up on it.
  16. If I'm not mistaken (and I am "from time to time"), many different geographical locations throughout the populated Earth where Catholicism has taken root have been influenced in practice (and belief) by local traditions. Having lived for nearly three years on an island in the Azores, they had Holy Ghost houses and festivals. The cult of the Holy Spirit (Portuguese: Culto do Divino Espírito Santo), also known as the cult of the Empire of the Holy Spirit (Culto do Império do Divino Espírito Santo), is a religious sub-culture, inspired by Christian millenarian mystics, associated with Azorean Catholic identity, consisting of iconography, architecture, and religious practices that have continued in many communities of the archipelago as well as the broader Portuguese diaspora. Beyond the Azores, the Cult of the Holy Spirit is alive in parts of Brazil (where it was established three centuries ago) and pockets of Portuguese settlers in North America. The cult of the Holy Spirit involves traditional rituals and religious celebrations of these faith communities.
  17. Not surprising. However, "illicit motive(not plural) for sex, money and power IS." Illicit motiveS (if they are not taken as a single motive) ARE. Doesn't matter to me whether you consider them individually or together. But it says something (a lot) about the vulnerability of humanity to abuse by those who would prey (not pray) over them.
  18. Rocky


    Here's link to one of those articles. Excerpt: In November 1994, my wife and I participated in a four-day training experience called Momentus. We were persuaded to take Momentus by John A. Lynn, head of a group called Christian Educational Services (CES). He said that Momentus was a Christian training that would help us "get closer to the Lord and to His people." It didn't. In the following testimony, I describe the training as accurately as I can and describe its nonChristian roots. We can never cease to be vigilant in these last days, since the scriptures warn us that some will preach false teachings which would turn some of the flock away from the greatest revelation of all- God's Word. So we must test what that message against both the spirit within us and the Word of God and look for the fruits that result from the teaching. It is both the message and its vehicle that I see that is wrong about Momentus. And I believe that the Word instructs us to take a stand against those, so that others are not harmed, as were many of us. I personally suffered as a result of my participation in the Momentus training, as did others I know who are close to me. That is why I struggled for more than a year with it, looking to God's Word for my answers, before I could be certain that I was not just judging the training carnally because of my own sufferings. A pattern that I'm seeing very strongly is that most people who hear of or become involved with Momentus realize right off in some way that it is wrong, that it's not of God. Some pay heed and are spared the damage of Momentus. Others let themselves be talked into taking the training by men they respect- and suffering the consequences. Too many Christians have let other men talk them out of what the scripture can tell them regarding Momentus and have succumbed to its promotion. One of the biggest problems I have with Momentus (other than its teachings and practices being derived from nonChristian sources) is the conspiracy of silence surrounding what it's really like.
  19. Rocky


    As your comment, James 3:17 occurred to me. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. 18And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.
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