Possible topics for discussion include: Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, Jainism, Sufism, Taoism, Confucianism, Shamanism, Aboriginal Spirituality, (Neo-)Paganism, Wicca (e.g. Gardnerian Wicca, Alexandrian Wicca, Dianic Wicca), Zoroastrianism, Voudon, Baha'i Faith, Rastafari Movement, Chinese Folk Religions, Shinto, Druidism, Catholicism, Protestantism (Anglicanism, Lutheranism, Baptists, Mennonites, Pentacostalism, etc), Restorationism (Mormonism, Temple Lot, LDS, Jehovah's Witness, etc), Gnosticism, African Diasporic Religions, Scientology, Nazi Occultism, Quakerism, et cetera.4/23/2009 . Edited 5/21/2009 #1
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Rawr. Okay. I've decided to read all the way through and catch up on this thread to maybe be a part of it.
May Elizabeth: "Magick to me is lighting a candle and praying and focusing my energies on the my goal/wish/desire and picturing my energy going there and that what I want is already there. I hold that focus as long as possible than I let it go and extinguish the candle."
I think this is beautiful, and what you said about magick and ritual.
Annie Jadin: "I love being able to connect with a different religious practice, realizing that it might actually be very similar to my own."
Wow. Yeah. I really agree with this, finding it was very close to what I was just thinking.
Isky: "I just thought of a question: do you think that all of the people we've met in our lives are the people who have always been with us?"
Whoa, I feel like I've thought about that before -- or perhaps I'm simply experiencing deja vu right now? Ahh, I think that's a very interesting idea/concept.
Annie Jadin: "No heaven or hell for me, as I touched on above it's either multiple life experiences or oblivion."
Hm. So you think that when you die your soul (or whatever part of a person it is you believe could be reborn/reincarnated), but you can't believe your soul could go to a place like Heaven or Hell?
Isky: "I know! The moon is just amazing. I love those moments when I'll be sitting in the back seat of a car, and all of a sudden, I have this urge to look out the window--and, BAM, there's the moon! :D"
Mmh. You've all talked about the moon a lot, and I also find it really amazing. And I've had moments like those, too! Yeah! I love it. :D
Isky: "Can our souls be 'damaged'? If so, what kind of things cause damage to our souls?"
Whoa. I think that's quite an amazing question/concept, and I'm now wondering too and don't have any sure idea. Now that I'm thinking about it, I feel like our soul is the part of us that is our thoughts/feelings/emotions. ... It's just an idea.
CyneNoir: "I don't think either side will win the everlasting debate between Atheism and religion. (Primarily Christianity.) This is because it is unlikely that either side can gain definite evidence to support their claims."
In response to that whole post by you, CyneNoir, I would like to say -- Yeah, there may not be any definitive or substantial evidence, and that is why faith (or belief) is so important.
Fragile: "I have heard people say that if they don't believe in heaven or hell it cannot exist, which doesn't make sense to me. Thoughts? What do you guys think?"
Yeah, I agree with you--it doesn't make sense to me either. Believing in something isn't what makes it exist.
DreamingEternal: "I think that if there is a higher being out there, He/She/It doesn't care who or if you worship, as long as you strive to be a good person."
DreamingEternal, I know we might be having a discussion on the other thread, but I wanted to respond to this. -- In my belief, God created humans because he was alone and didn't want to be, and he wants to have a relationship with each of us.
Lyllyth: "What are your favorite holidays? And which days do you think dont get paid enough attention?"
Mmh. I think Thanksgiving doesn't "get paid enough attention," is overlooked--or is just practically skipped. Y'know? Pretty much, the day after Halloween, there are Christmas decorations all over the place and Christmas music playing. It bothers me that Thanksgiving doesn't seem to be an important holiday to so many people. Also, Easter, as a Christian holiday, is meant to be a celebration of Christ's death and resurrection, and it's turned into pretty colors, egg hunts, and lots and lots of candy. Commercially, that is. -- My favorite holidays? Err. Well. I love Christmas. ... I kind of like the concept of Halloween, and I just never end up doing much for it. ... And I don't know, New Year's always feels like a big deal -- like, for me, it's like a time for retrospection/reflection, future goals/promises, personal growth. ...
Mm. I'd like to ask what anyone's views on organized religion might be. Yeah, I guess that was a question I ended up wording as a statement.
I mean, I feel like I don't have to go to a church to grow spiritually. I feel like I'm allowed to disagree with what a 'pastor' says the way I do in certain ways, because my personal beliefs aren't the same as his. Although, I have heard and might agree that fellowship is important. -- And I feel like my dad is a moron. I mean, he wants to force me to go to church. And he wants to punish me (i.e. not let me use a computer, and give me other little restrictions, because I'm wrong and that's righteous and that's gonna teach me, uh huh) if I stay home.12/16/2009 #2
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8D If when you get your own house you legitimately invite me I will most definitely be in attendance.5/1/2010 #3
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I'm upset. I'd spent two hours typing up a quality argument just for it all to be taken away. ... That's just really distressing.
Hello Cadeau. I don't think a welcome is any long necessary but I give you mine.
I suppose I shall explain where I am here. I'd figured I'd waited long enough to involve myself in this conversation.
I've been raised in a Christian [Baptist] family. I've gone irregularly to a Baptist church--I've been punished after not going. I've followed the Baptist beliefs, though. Sort of. I've been largely having doubts over a lot of things for the past few months. So. While I find I disagree with or believe differently from what Isca or CyneNoir say, I also find I disagree with a lot of what Cadeau has to say as well. I'm unsure of what to believe anymore. So I'll simply debate and discuss on this forum. And I hope to find this--enlightening.
"I'm a proud Christian. I'm not a religious Christian, I'm a spiritual Christian. I don't believe in 'religion,' I believe in 'faith,' and I believe that having a mutual, loving relationship with Christ is key. Just thought I'd let everyone know that straight away." You can see by my post I thought it was good of you to disclose your position before getting into this. I'm not a fan of religion. I don't like ... well, you must understand it. I also believe in spiritualism. In a way. At the moment, however, I'm very speculative of everything.
"Even though 'Father' is a masculine term, I believe Christ has no gender, but is both feminine and masculine." Do you believe Jesus was God and Jesus was a man? Do you realize it says in the bible that only men should be preachers/pastors/priests? I believe that the God you believe in is what we call 'male.'
"I find it quite hard to believe that Jesus never sinned. We hear of Jesus when he was a man, but nothing of his youth. Surely he must have made mistakes when he was young..." Yeah, the first thing coming to mind after I read this was what Cadeau had mentioned in reply to this. I've heard about that. I think I remember Jesus was supposed to be about seven years old. He had been attending a church or temple or something with Mary and Joseph, and afterward they sort of lost him to find him explaining things to older, religious--I think they were supposed to be "wise men," or "religious leaders" or something. And hey, why not? It's just God condescending and still being better than us.
"To play Devil's Advocate here, why *is* Christ better than Lucifer? Lucifer was a 'good' angel once, in the eyes of God; just because he had power and ideas of his own doesn't mean that he should have been banished from Heaven. What if God and Christ were simply scared of Lucifer? What if they realized Lucifer's power and prestige were greater than their own and they banished him to protect themselves, so that the angels would continue praising them as gods?" Wow. Interesting idea. -- Heaven is supposed to be this place for the perfect or perfected beings (the latter being the 'saved' with their new bodies). God is supposed to have created the angel for the glory of them, or to hear their praise, or for some kind of service from them. And apparently they weren't company enough for Him. Lucifer is supposed to have been, as I'm sure you know, the best and most glorious and all that. And he was prideful. Thought he was better. ... Well, while I don't dismiss it, I don't have any belief in the idea.
"If God gave us free will to choose whether or not we worship Him, why would he make a commandment clearly stating that we must worship Him above all others?" According to biblical beliefs: God was lonely. God created man. He didn't want them to blindly, mindlessly praise Him, so he gave them the free will meaning praising was their decision. Ugh, and after this it strikes me that the analogy of the shepherd and the sheep is stupid, as sheep are supposed to be essentially mindless. ... The best analogy I can think of is consensual sex versus rape.
""He created us just the way He wanted us to be." [Cadeau] The part in this I don't understand is if we're all just the way He wanted us to be- in other words, we're His "ideal," then why does evil exist in the world? Why do people murder, rape, pillage, torture, abuse, and commit so many other crimes? Why do we all sin so much? I find it hard to believe that any all loving God made us the way he wanted us to be, because I don't think that an all loving God would want so many helpless innocents to suffer so much. Why would he make humans capable of such atrocities? If his love for us is never-ending, how can he watch us suffer and not step in?" Okay. This is going to be a very arbitrary, all-over-the-place, unorganized response--whatever. ... As babies, it's like we're pure, y'know. Very impressionable, even for a lot of our lives. We're capable of anything. And we have this pesky free will thing. Satan is supposed to want to take as many souls with him as he can to Hell. To his purposes, all evil: kills some people before they can "accept Christ;" incurs large doubt into--yourself, Cyne, and many, many others. And apparently it's more worth it to God if we accept him over much doubt to do so? Huh. And if Satan is 'tempting' people to do all those things, there must be a desire somewhere in them to do it. ... Or maybe some reason they think they'd enjoy or be benefited by it. Hm. And of course, many believe it's our pain that motivates us. I mean--and some might not like this way of saying things, or this, as you might call it, 'analogy'--hey, authors seem to believe that there isn't really a good story unless there's a certain amount of turmoil in it. One might believe: We're just little beings He created, and no amount of misfortune is too much; we were created for Him, and while He doesn't like to see us hurt it doesn't kill Him. I don't know how well I like it, either. I'm just throwing ideas out here.
"There are many moments when I stop and question myself, when I think "Maybe they're right. Maybe there is a God," and I ponder and try to extend myself out into the divine. But I have not sensed him." [along with all of this paragraph and the one before it, I suppose] Yeah. I don't think it's ever a physical sense for anyone. It's probably only more psychological or conscious or something. Psychopyshical maybe. Once you just have that faith He exists and is there for you, you feel him. And I find myself afraid to have that faith anymore. I'm afraid I'll just be slipping into a delusion, and my 'feeling' of 'Him' will just be delusional. (Eh, this'll be responded further to when I get to Cadeau's response to it.
"For that matter, how can God know what evil is? He's perfect and good and loving, so there isn't any evil within him. How, then, could a being like him create something containing evil and hatred?" Well, I think evil's just a word. ... Y'know. According to Christian belief, yeah, God's perfect; ... I wonder what that really means. ... :/ Sorry, my explanation proved ineffable.
"And yes, I do go to church, but not very often. I don't like going every week because it feels too much like an obligation, which contradicts everything I believe about Christ. He does not want us to feel like we have to go to church to feel close to Him, He does not want us to feel obligated. To be honest, I can feel just as close to Him in my own bedroom than if I were sitting in Church, if not closer. That's just me, though. I don't believe it was Christ's plan for us to wake up early every Sunday morning and then groggily sit through an hour-long sermon. No. I'm fairly sure that in the Bible, Christ does not refer to the church as a building, but as His children." Oh gosh. Firstly, I'll ask how church feeling like an obligation contradicts everything you know about Christ. Secondly, I'll have to ask you to clarify what religion the church you now infrequently attend claims. In the bible, David is joyful to have a church to go to, and for the opportunity to worship his God. Despite my bad experiences and negative feeling towards churches, I feel there are still some pros: There's the opportunity to praise your God, if you want that opportunity; there's fellowship with other believers. I feel like one of the biggest reasons for my not going to church now is the fact of my dad practically forcing me: he wakes me up on a Sunday morning, if if I've made it clear, at one-thirty in the morning on the way home from a family event, that we're getting to bed too late and I'm definitely not going; and he, my dad, likes to take things away from me, when don't make it there. -- A little off-topic: I hate negative reinforcement as incentive to do something. My dad claiming he'll take things away from if I don't do something he wants doesn't get me to do it; on the contrary, I find that I simply go against him in those cases to prove that taking things from me is a method that will never work for me. -- But yeah, I feel like my parents are forcing me to choose their religion and beliefs. I mean, at this one church, which I at least liked a little better, there was a time the child of one of the deacons or someone like that had chosen Christ and accepted him as a savior--and they made clear that they hadn't forced anything on him; they had waited until he was curious to know and asked. ... It sucks seeing so many parents are better than mine. -- I haven't said all I wanted in respect to this, but I'm all disorganized in thought and have to let it go.
"Personally, I believe man has twisted the idea of church into something almost hypocritical. That's why I don't attend mass very often." I'm not saying I disagree with or disbelieve you, but I ask you to explain why you believe this; I'm mildly curious. One baptist church I attended for years turned out to have a main pastor who believed the church was his and not God's, and to have hired a youth pastor who stole loads of money from the church. I wonder if some people don't attend church and/or become pastors and deacons and all of that just to look good, and that gaining more people for the congregation hasn't turned into a popularity contest.
-- There are three different churches now that I've attended several times each. And they've all been pretty different. ...
"With Faith on the other hand, all that matters is believing in Christ, and what I do with the rest of my life is up to me." ... I like this statement. I like this belief you have here, although in some cases it can be a belief one has to live with whatever sin they have and still have their way into Heaven. Kind of an ideal belief for them, don't you think?
----- EDIT: Whoa! Whoa! A large chunk of my response appears to have disappeared. :/ .......... -----
I don't know--this is just a response, or rather something I'm throwing out there after a lot of what's been said. -- According to the Baptist belief: Like I said before, Satan wants as many people to go to Hell with him as he can manage taking. He tempts us into any evil. Accepting God as a savior is supposed to save you from Hell. God is then supposed to protect you on Earth--"if it's in his will." ...
"What if I give my life to save another and the only sin I committed is lying about eating cookies or something similarly trivial- but I don't believe?" Again, according to the Baptist belief: Our sin makes us imperfect and separates us from God, and gaining a personal relationship with God and accepting God (that decision being the one He is supposed to have created us to make) and asking us to save us will save us. And in all serious-ness, you have to know that there is no case in which a person only sins once. We're tempted every day, and most of us do sin every day.
By the way, Cyne, thank you for asking Cadeau that question you did. It was good to know what she thought on that. And originally, her response to that question is what I had spent the two hours responding to. ... So what about yourself? What is your opinion on being outside of heterosexuality?
Okay. And I feel like I've spent a little too long here and I need to venture out of my room. I'll have to respond to Cadeau's latest post another time.
I also feel I must say this in response to Cyne's post. I'd prefer if we didn't end this. I'm really curious. I think the point of this is to debate, discuss, and I hope to learn from this. And hey, look, you've got this totally different, Squiddly view that's about to be thrown in here! :P My view is personally, in a way, open right now and subject to change.6/15/2010 . Edited 6/15/2010 #4
Isky and May: What is your personal interpretation of the Wiccan law of three? Do you treat it literally, or consider it to be a moral guideline? Also, what are spells generally used for? :37/23/2010 #5
Do I take The Rule of Three literally? Generally no. I think it's more of a philosophy--a way to deter people from treating each other cruelly by using a sort of karmic threat tactic. I do, however, usually take it seriously regarding magical spells; the intent to harm someone only sullies your 'magical energy.' Spells can be used for anything (though they are mostly used for protection, luck, good fortune, etc).7/24/2010 #6
I kinda already said this on the karma thread, but i heard/read somewhere that the reason it's the Law of Three is because every action has physical, mental/emotional, and spiritual consequnces.
So its not like if you steal one hundred dollars someone is going to steal three hundred dollars from you. It's more like physically you may get caught or have to expend a lot of energy covering up your tracks, emotionally you'll feel guilt or paranoia about getting caught, and spiritually you have harmed another person in your own greed and are more liek;y to continue to commit negative acts in the future.7/27/2010 #7
DE: That sounds about right. It's the rule of three because any energy you expend comes back to you (whether spiritually, emotionally, physically, etc) three times as strong; so if you do a good deed, you'll get 3x the amount of good fortune; in contrast, if you do something bad, you'll get 3x the amount of bad fortune. It's basically the Wiccan version of "do unto others as you would have them do unto you."7/27/2010 #8
Yeah, I read about that somewhere. It's a good rule, I think. The part of the Wiccan Creed that says "And it harm none, do what ye will" is agood rule to live by.
As a sidenote, it really bothers me when people attack Wicca or fear it. I haven't actually met anyone that thinks Wiccans are Satanists, but I've seen a lot of things like that on the internet. Even some of my friends think Wicca is creepy or really weird. :\7/27/2010 #9
Cyne: People are afraid of what they do not understand. If the "norm" religion in your town is Christianity, for example, then having a Wiccan neighbour will most likely make you uneasy. Why? Because Wicca has been associated with Satanism. Why such an association? Because people associate magic with "evil/the devil." If this were hundreds of years ago, I'd be burned at the stake for my beliefs. The funny thing is is that Wiccans don't even BELIEVE in a "Satan," let alone follow him. I'm sure if people spent quality time with a Wiccan, observing their behaviour and practices, they'd come to realize that many of them are very quiet, peaceful people, who simply have a love for things like herbalism and nature. People have been brainwashed into believing that paganism is a "bad" thing. Why? Because during the crusades, the church tore down the pagan statues, etc, and forced everyone into Christianity. For example, you think Christmas is an "old" holiday? It came from Yule. What about "Easter"? It came from Ostara. Basically, in order to make pagans convert to Christianity, the church tried to blend some things together, to help with their transition. They got rid of feminine power, though--that frightened them in a way that it never did the pagans.
End rant. xD7/28/2010 #10
And yet, though so much emphasis is placed on male power and female submission, Christianity still includes the worship of the Virgin Mary.
Hmm...the Mother of God....A Mother Goddess figure....this sounds familiar--Another way to ease the transition from god and goddess-worshipping religions to "monotheism."
I find it interesting that Christianity includes so many deity-like figures that often correlate to pagan concepts. Miss your triple Goddess? There's the Holy Trinity! Need your female fix? Say a Hail Mary! Wish you had a personal spirit guide? Call on an angel! You're looking for someone more specific up there, an expert in the field? Whatever the subject, I'm sure there's a saint for that! And all this in a monotheistic religion.
In reality, I dont think Christianity is all that different from all the other religions around it. It just kinda expands to include everything. An interesting thought....7/28/2010 #11
"It just kind of expands to include everything." To gain more followers. Propaganda, anyone? :P [And that's enough Christianity-bashing from Isky. Sorry.]7/28/2010 #12
To join the rant about people associating Wicca with Satanism, there's two points i'd like ot make.
1.) not only does Wicca not have anything to do with all the Satanistic practices people accuse it of, Satanism isn't what most people think of it as, either. If you look at the official Church of Satan website, you'll see that Satanism isn't really about worshipping the devil or making human sacrifices; it seems to be mostly about living a self-centered (in it's literal sense--im not trying to insult anyone here) life, indulging in self-gratification through what others might consider sinful, only giving your respect and kindness to those who have earned it, and protecting yourself by taking revenge on those who have wronged you.
2.) If you read the above list, you'll see that it is nearly the opposite of Wiccan beliefs, because Wicca does not condone hurting anybody whether they have wronged you or not, etc.
So the people who say that Wicca is Satanism don't know the first thing about either of the two beliefs systems. And thus, ignorance is the source of their hate and fear.7/30/2010 #13
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I think it's people believing in one God and the devil thinking God wouldn't grant people any supernatural powers so it's only the devil this power could be drawn from.7/30/2010 #14
"People believing that God wouldn't grant people any supernatural powers, so it's only the devil this power could be drawn from." People who believe in The Bible, basically.7/30/2010 #15
Happy Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement. I'm staying home and fasting and cleansing myself. I would be apologizing to anyone I've wronged in the past year, but I can't really think of anyone. I guess that's good.
On the first day of school I was talking to one of my former history teachers. The topic of religion came up and I mentioned how I was interested in Wicca and other religions so he said he had a book to lend me that I might be interested in. It was a book called "The Great Cosmic Mother" by Monica Sjoo and Barbara Mor. Of the two authors, one is a Wicca and one is a major feminist. Anyone interested in ancient Goddess religions might find this an interesting read. Though I have to warn you, the authors are rather biased. Basically, the essence of the whole book is "For thousands of years of history, Goddess religions kicked ass. Women were loving, powerful, and intuned with the earth. These women-centered societies invented practically every postive part of your everyday life. Then the patriarchal societies came along and ruined everything!" So, yeah, they're a little harsh toward the men, but theres a lot of interesting history in here. You should check it out.9/18/2010 #16
Happy [very belated] Mabon.9/27/2010 #17
MERRY CHRISTMAS!!12/24/2010 #18
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