Re: ORI for the Cynical Christian
I do agree with your take on religion and the 'workshop' idea. I grew up in the Methodist Church as well and felt a closer spiritual connection when I was a child. I loved roaming the church and felt some sort of spirit. Only as I got older did I see the fallacies of organized religion - the drama created when humans associate. I was disappointed to see our choir director run off with a woman in the church. Humans are human. It taught me that if they talked the talk but didn't walk the walk - then I wanted no part of it. At age 57, I now see that humans are fallible and I have no right to judge. I still don't go to church. I went back to my Pagan Celtic roots but have to admit that I'm a fallen Pagan as well. Just too much trouble with all the rituals and whatnot. When I pray, I do pray to Jesus primarily, though on occasion I include Buddha and Catholic saints just to cover my bases. I've lived the past nineteen years with a Mormon and totally admire their philosophy. I will fight for the Mormons when I hear disparaging comments - such unChristian behavior to put another religion down - but when the Bishop asked my why I didn't convert, I said that it was too Patriarchal a religion. I find also, that the women in the LDS church tend to be the strong ones in the family but aren't given any leadership roles equal to the men. Of course, this applies to many religions. I send money once a year to our local Jewish Synagogue because they are lacking a Rabbi. I'm in the deep South and our town doesn't have a large Jewish population. I love helping them in any way that I can.
Now, about the Old Testament. I will admit that I'm ignorant on the Bible - period. So tell me about what you've found in the Old Testament that should be brought out in a Christ-filled life. This isn't a challenge. I'm seriously ignorant about in my studies. I tend to think that the Bible has some good verses - good standards to live by. I do find it written in a misogynistic fashion. A former coworker who is a Catholic nun told me that many chapters in the Bible were taken out and put in the Vatican archives including one on Reincarnationn. She is a counselor and has to abide by the Catholic doctrines but feels differently in her heart. It is her love and career and she chooses to abide by the rules.
I'm afraid of religious fanatics and fundamentalists. I find that they have NO sense of humor and I don't understand that. I'm the eternal optimist and only enjoy being around nice, spiritual, caring people.
I have to say. When my roommate and I bought our house 11 years ago, I went over to introduce myself to my neighbor who is a Baptist. First question she asked was about our religions. I told her I grew up Methodist and my roommate was Mormon. She almost fainted and said, "I'm more worried about the Mormons than I am the Catholics." I didn't know what to say except that we'd have to agree to disagree. My cultish, brainwashed evil Mormon roomie is an Occupational Therapist and gave the neighbor's elderly mother free therapy when she visited before she died. I believe we've made a peace with this woman. Though we've had a celibate relationship for nineteen years because of her feelings for her church, my neighbor has always assumed that we were active lesbians with a Mormon to boot. After a two week vacation up North, my neighbor said, "I thought you two had broken up." I didn't have the heart to tell her that there was really nothing to break up. That we were truly roomates. I could tell that she was trying to be understanding and liberal. So I just said, "no, we've just been on vacation."
One last thing. I do believe in Christ but take exception when I hear preachers say that 'only through Christ, do we get to heaven.' Jews, Buddhists can't be excluded. I see the God or Higher Power as the center of a wagon wheel. All the religions are the spokes. As they get closer to the center, they simply get closer and become the same. Just some thoughts.