For the context of the following comments please click on the hyperlinks above them.
(Responding to Guest at the Patheos blog “The God Article” – by Mark Sandlin – “At What Point Do We Get to Say Parts of Christianity are No Longer Christian?”)
You have said this:
“It’s because of the misunderstanding of the word ‘fear’. It’s more accurately described as ‘respect’ when referencing God.”
And you have said this:
“Salvation is guaranteed at the moment of believing upon Christ. It’s just that simple.”
If would say this. This idea “believing upon Christ” needs to be clarified. What does it mean?
I suggest, that as you “respect God”, you also recognize “Christ” as the imperishable knowledge that you are NOT separate from God.
The man Jesus demonstrated this to the Nth degree. But it does not mean that you manifest that understanding simply by “believing” him to be the Son of God.
You’ve only made him into a deity. Which frankly, is NOT respecting God.
Nimblewill – “What exactly should we be thankful for? Having food when others are hungry? Having shelter when others are homeless? Having a job when others are unemployed? Being saved when others are going to hell? I’m constantly hearing that gratitude should be our most spiritual attitude, yet we can’t be grateful unless we are comparing our plight to that of others. Or can we?”
In the spectrum of Thankfulness, gratitude for rain and a good harvest is appropriate, when it is the measure of what we know.
As we ripen (grow, learn, evolve etc.), Thankfulness arises in recognizing, not just the hand of God, but our very Being as God.
The above assumes that one even has an interest in such things. Though I would say, that there are always embers of satisfaction in the presence of pleasure. No matter how materially bound ones awareness is.
Sohahiyoh – “as a seated speaker for a tradition based Longhouse (Native American) I can certainly understand this dichotomy and can relate to this. Though not a diehard atheist, I haven’t yet met a god idea that’s not realistically problematic. The traditions we serve though are ancient, deeply significant, and symbolic especially in the present world that has become ultra individualistic,anti-community and more and more McDonaldized where our members are being sucked into a mainstream materialism. Our traditions are built on myths that define us and hold us together, keep women as sacred, and celebrate cyclical thanksgiving ceremonies in speeches, dances and feasting together. When giving speeches I’ll often interject “awedihǫ ⁿde wahtítǫhs” “the old ones taught us, or, the old ones said…” They may not be my personal beliefs, but they are still important teachings. Its important to the health of our indigenous nations to pass on our traditions, not as current evangelicals teach literal Ark n Flood as history, but we teach our stories as life lessons that can be used to reveal many kinds of applicable truths in any era.”
“Though not a diehard atheist, I haven’t yet met a god idea that’s not realistically problematic.”
Ideas about God are always just ideas. But myths and stories set us up for Intuitive leaps leading to direct knowing. I’m curious what the Native American terms for this might be. (Samadhi, Kensho, Gnosis, Tao etc.)
I know you can’t talk for all Native peoples but perhaps you are aware of more than I might be.
Sohahiyoh – “Our stories have always been ‘our stories’ as most cultures that predate the scientific age, whether a story was ‘historically accurate’ was not necessarily an issue. Now if someone embellished to much and told the story different than how it was handed down, they might have that pointed out to them in the form of a ‘gottcha‘ tease with much laughter.
Much Native American thinking of course is to be found within the languages themselves…not necessarily from the most vocal ones claiming to represent a ‘native view point’ I’m still learning our Language so i’m still a ‘student’ but here’s an example: our waⁿdat root stem for “to think” (-ęhe-) is the same root stem for ‘to want‘. The root stem ‘to know‘(-tuy-) is the same stem for constructing words that mean ‘it is true‘ ,’surely‘, ‘to suspect‘, ‘to feel’, ‘to notice‘, and to express-‘it is so.’ Of course its easy to over-interpret these patterns, but I think these are significant.”
Thank you. (tizameh?) I am delighted with the answer.
It is easy to make too much of Science. (much laughter here)
Ouch! Yea I was starting to use the term myself as a substitute for ethnocentric. (Or something like that.)
Going to have to find a work-around to make that point.
Sohahiyoh – “From the 1600s-1800s we really had no culturally supported system to judge proselytizers just as we had no established system to deal with those selling rot-gut whiskey.”
Once a cultural bubble is broken, the period of reassembly can get pretty ugly.
Trying to get back the lost sense of integration and “flow”, the conqueror’s ways are adopted. With mixed results.
I think that the thuggish need to co-opt the other’s initiative is the real problem.
Belief is natural. The more organically it evolves over long periods of time, the more beautiful and wholesome.
A lost luxury in recent centuries, I’m afraid.