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Old 03-13-2008, 08:56 AM   #811
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This is true, there were basically no crazies whatsoever in my Anglican church. We did not separate ourselves so much from the Catholics, unlike other churches in the area. I have also mentioned before that our (I say 'our' and 'we' for the sake of family and that I still in some way connect to the church) last two priests were well versed in history and theology. Sermons were more than just half hour metaphors about being a seed in the dirt of Christ, or whatever shit they'd talk about at AOG churches.
"A seed in the dirt of Christ"? You know, a collection of AOG sermons would be great as a comedy series.

And yeah, as an Anglican, I felt a fairly close affinity with Catholics. I never bought into any Catholic/Protestant divide, and as a historian, I'm naturally attracted by the Catholic reverence for history and tradition. I think their Pope's a bit of a loon, but I can tell you that 9 times out of 10, I'd rather go to a Catholic church than to an evangelical one.
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"And as for Bono, he needs a colostomy bag for his mouth."

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Old 03-13-2008, 08:57 AM   #812
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OH FUCK. Just checked tomorrow's Melbourne forecast. FORTY DEGREES. But there's some hope for Victoria, as here's the forecast for the subsequent days: 30, 36, 36, 36, 30, 21. BRING ON THURSDAY NEXT WEEK!
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Saddo, this is Melbourne. Earlier this year, we quite seriously had a run of 22, 28, 41, 40, 21. I remember one day, it dropped twelve degrees in half an hour. At lunchtime, I was too hot to make sandwiches; at dinner time, I had to close the kitchen window because it was too cold.
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is one of the reasons I absolutely adore this place: the weather is so FREAKING UNPREDICTABLE!

I'd love to work as a meteorologist here, it'd be cutting-edge stuff. Sometimes you could just make stuff up and you'd be right - just guess between 15 and 45...
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Old 03-13-2008, 09:00 AM   #813
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I personally view the Old Testament as Israel's way of dealing with the great questions that they have, answering why it is their society runs the way it does and a means of control over the population. God does shine through in it sometimes, but a lot of the time you have to wade through a lot of humanity for it.
You're very right about that. In that sense, I put a lot of it in the same box as Sumerian myths (Gilgamesh and the flood, anyone?) and other legends from the Egyptian-Mesopotamian area during that period.

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And, don't give up! The quest for an answer is, I believe, one of the best to be on in life, even if it may go unfinished! [/naivete]
Thanks. I am still kind of looking for a belief system. I have considered Islam, but I'm not sure if I'm devoted enough, and I also don't accept some of the more violent passages of the Qur'an (though its extent is exaggerated by people), some contradictory lines here and there, and the belief that all prophets were without sin. Now, I have respect for Muhammad (pbuh, just in case?) but he was a general as well as a prophet, and I don't think any general can be without sin. Or any human full stop, for that matter.

I have also been interested in Buddhism and Hinduism, though not to a huge extent yet (though I know a lot about Buddhism, I haven't done much meditation or the sort). For a while I even considered myself pagan and believed in the gods Hermes and Djheuty (Greek: Thoth), but that couldn't really last in any way 'cause I was just playing with a fascination I have had with ancient history since I was young.

But that's enough rambling. It's too hot to do that shit.
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Old 03-13-2008, 09:01 AM   #814
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"A seed in the dirt of Christ"? You know, a collection of AOG sermons would be great as a comedy series.
It's not that bad where I go to church, thank God - we're doing a series in our Young Adults group on the theology of God, which is interesting.

But when you go to the main church where it's catering for the whole crowd, then yes, it sometimes gets a bit... pointless.


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Originally posted by Axver

And yeah, as an Anglican, I felt a fairly close affinity with Catholics. I never bought into any Catholic/Protestant divide, and as a historian, I'm naturally attracted by the Catholic reverence for history and tradition. I think their Pope's a bit of a loon, but I can tell you that 9 times out of 10, I'd rather go to a Catholic church than to an evangelical one.
I love that about Catholics, but they take their saints waaay too seriously sometimes. The only things that I really disagree with them as a neutral Protestant Christian are their worship of Mary and their claim to be the sole true church of Christ through apostolic succession.
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Old 03-13-2008, 09:01 AM   #815
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Oh yeah, it's Adam's birthday isn't it? I hope he got a voucher for bass lessons or something.
Nah, he's got that book, "Bass playing for dummies"
(apparently true!)

I could have sworn I posted this before.
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Old 03-13-2008, 09:04 AM   #816
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Thanks. I am still kind of looking for a belief system. I have considered Islam, but I'm not sure if I'm devoted enough, and I also don't accept some of the more violent passages of the Qur'an (though its extent is exaggerated by people), some contradictory lines here and there, and the belief that all prophets were without sin. Now, I have respect for Muhammad (pbuh, just in case?) but he was a general as well as a prophet, and I don't think any general can be without sin. Or any human full stop, for that matter.

I have also been interested in Buddhism and Hinduism, though not to a huge extent yet (though I know a lot about Buddhism, I haven't done much meditation or the sort). For a while I even considered myself pagan and believed in the gods Hermes and Djheuty (Greek: Thoth), but that couldn't really last in any way 'cause I was just playing with a fascination I have had with ancient history since I was young.

But that's enough rambling. It's too hot to do that shit.
Buddhism might be the way for you then. I can't claim to know a lot about it, (despite being a Buddhist once ) but the Eightfold Path is one that rejects violence and "sin" until one reaches Nirvana, right?
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Old 03-13-2008, 09:04 AM   #817
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This "seed in the dirt of Christ" thing is basically one hundo percent true, by the way. That sort of thing appeals to rural areas because of all the farming and gardening. I swear, at least two or three sermons I've nearly fallen asleep through at AoG churches have been exactly like that! And they never really got to any conclusion, either. Their orators are surprisingly bad for being evangelists.
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Old 03-13-2008, 09:05 AM   #818
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Originally posted by Alisaura

Nah, he's got that book, "Bass playing for dummies"
(apparently true!)

I could have sworn I posted this before.
Not a teaspoon or a teacup or something?
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Old 03-13-2008, 09:05 AM   #819
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Sometimes I wonder if there's a Bad Theology 101 class out there that a lot of Christians know about that I don't. That kind of stock answer just gets ridiculed by anyone with half a brain.
My sarcastic response is that, yes, there is a Bad Theology 101 class - it's the Sunday service at the local church down the road.

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It is, and I'm still chewing on that. Is God, or can God be, fallible? It's not unreasonable to consider so, but it's probably heresy in most parts.
I think it's a point worthy of consideration. The traditional attributes ascribed to God seem to be almost arbitrary, especially as a good number of them are not even explicitly articulated in the Bible.

As a tangent, I find the notion of heresy to be one of the worst ideas of the church (not to say the church invented it, I've no idea who first conceptualised heresy, but it's certainly figured prominently in Christian history). I feel it has little to no valid conceptual use; it exists as a value judgement masquerading as scholarship, used to marginalise competing views and forcibly focus the mainstream on a select group of doctrines that suit the interests of certain people.

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I agree with you entirely - it's none of that "sin" rubbish, just the fact that human nature at its core, has an element of corruption, evil, baseness, whatever you want to call it, and God's nature doesn't, or shouldn't. Basically, God is God, and we're human. We're screwed.
Actually, we've an interesting difference here, in that we seem to discredit sin for similar reasons, but view humanity differently. I have a very positive view of humanity. I consider humanity good, brilliant even. It is simply constrained by its own finitude, and an inherent component of finitude is the manifestation of defects. Sometimes these defects are manifested in the most abhorrent manners, but the core of humanity is good, loving, curious, progressive, etc.

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The belief in a deity, I've found, is highly subjective in most people depending on circumstance, upbringing, culture etc. Some people are just conditioned to accept it, others aren't. Whatever it is, people find a way to fill the gap within them that asks "why?". Whether or not theirs is the right answer, well, who knows?
Yeah ... I was never comfortable as a Christian. It just didn't work for me. I never liked articulating my beliefs and I felt awkward at any religious events. I am much happier and more theologically at ease now that I am an agnostic. I have even less answers to the question I posed to you, though ...
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Ian McCulloch the U2 fan:
"Who buys U2 records anyway? It's just music for plumbers and bricklayers. Bono, what a slob. You'd think with all that climbing about he does, he'd look real fit and that. But he's real fat, y'know. Reminds me of a soddin' mountain goat."
"And as for Bono, he needs a colostomy bag for his mouth."

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Old 03-13-2008, 09:09 AM   #820
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Buddhism might be the way for you then. I can't claim to know a lot about it, (despite being a Buddhist once ) but the Eightfold Path is one that rejects violence and "sin" until one reaches Nirvana, right?
Uh, I'm not actually too sure at the moment if that's the Eightfold Path. I have learned most of Buddhism from one of my friends, who's right into it, though he's also very much a polytheist (not just restricted to the Bodhisattva). I like Buddhism a lot, but I'm not sure I want to labeled as anything in particular these days. Even calling myself an Agnostic doesn't seem right sometimes.
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Old 03-13-2008, 09:09 AM   #821
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Hillsong flaky's too kind a word to describe them. I'm one of the few in my church who dare to call Hillsong out for what it is - a money-making enterprise that is Christian almost by accident.

The history of the Anglican church is one of my favourite histories, right up there with Constantine and Christianity's going from a cult to a state-dominated religion!
That's spot on. Hillsong disturbs me. Genuinely disturbs me. Manipulating some of the most personal beliefs of people for financial gain is sickening.

I must admit, I think we're currently living in the most interesting period in Christian - indeed, general religious - history, as it comes to terms with a post-Enlightenment reality. I can't remember if I have argued this in your presence before, but I am coming to believe religion may be entering its terminal decline. The way the church deals with a post-religious society over the coming decades will be quite interesting.
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Ian McCulloch the U2 fan:
"Who buys U2 records anyway? It's just music for plumbers and bricklayers. Bono, what a slob. You'd think with all that climbing about he does, he'd look real fit and that. But he's real fat, y'know. Reminds me of a soddin' mountain goat."
"And as for Bono, he needs a colostomy bag for his mouth."

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Old 03-13-2008, 09:10 AM   #822
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And that, ladies and gentlemen, is one of the reasons I absolutely adore this place: the weather is so FREAKING UNPREDICTABLE!

I'd love to work as a meteorologist here, it'd be cutting-edge stuff. Sometimes you could just make stuff up and you'd be right - just guess between 15 and 45...
YES. It's just such a change from Queensland. In Brisbane, all you had to do was look outside and you knew the forecast for the coming week. Here, if you look outside, you barely know the forecast for the next five minutes. No wonder Crowded House wrote Four Seasons In One Day about this city ...
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Ian McCulloch the U2 fan:
"Who buys U2 records anyway? It's just music for plumbers and bricklayers. Bono, what a slob. You'd think with all that climbing about he does, he'd look real fit and that. But he's real fat, y'know. Reminds me of a soddin' mountain goat."
"And as for Bono, he needs a colostomy bag for his mouth."

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Old 03-13-2008, 09:11 AM   #823
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There's a book that exposes more about what goes on behind Hillsong, it was released last year. "People in Glass Houses", by an ex-AoGer named Tanya Levin. I haven't read much of it yet, but I thought it may be of your interest, to both of you.
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Old 03-13-2008, 09:12 AM   #824
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Nah, he's got that book, "Bass playing for dummies"
(apparently true!)
Really?! That's hilarious.

Though, to be fair, I think Adam was doing some very interesting stuff by the Pop album and I'm quite disappointed he's seemingly cast that to one side in the decade since.
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Ian McCulloch the U2 fan:
"Who buys U2 records anyway? It's just music for plumbers and bricklayers. Bono, what a slob. You'd think with all that climbing about he does, he'd look real fit and that. But he's real fat, y'know. Reminds me of a soddin' mountain goat."
"And as for Bono, he needs a colostomy bag for his mouth."

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Old 03-13-2008, 09:15 AM   #825
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My sarcastic response is that, yes, there is a Bad Theology 101 class - it's the Sunday service at the local church down the road.
If it's Planetshakers Boom Youth or Hillsong church, then definitely!


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Originally posted by Axver

I think it's a point worthy of consideration. The traditional attributes ascribed to God seem to be almost arbitrary, especially as a good number of them are not even explicitly articulated in the Bible.

As a tangent, I find the notion of heresy to be one of the worst ideas of the church (not to say the church invented it, I've no idea who first conceptualised heresy, but it's certainly figured prominently in Christian history). I feel it has little to no valid conceptual use; it exists as a value judgement masquerading as scholarship, used to marginalise competing views and forcibly focus the mainstream on a select group of doctrines that suit the interests of certain people.
I think people sometimes just read waaay too much into the Bible, or forget that God as shown in the Old Testament still has traces of polytheism clinging to Him (El, Yah, Jehovah, etc are all taken now to be "facets" of God - but could it just be the remnants of polytheism?)

Heresy I find hilarious, and always mention it for cheap lolz. Although, Jehovah's Witnesses and Mormons...


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Originally posted by Axver

Actually, we've an interesting difference here, in that we seem to discredit sin for similar reasons, but view humanity differently. I have a very positive view of humanity. I consider humanity good, brilliant even. It is simply constrained by its own finitude, and an inherent component of finitude is the manifestation of defects. Sometimes these defects are manifested in the most abhorrent manners, but the core of humanity is good, loving, curious, progressive, etc.
I think you misunderstood me a bit, old chap. I think humanity's great, it's just that it can never find God on its own due to its defects. Hence, "we're screwed". It does frighten me, though, that humans are capable of so much brilliance and so much violence at the same time - the atomic bomb being one example.


Quote:
Originally posted by Axver

Yeah ... I was never comfortable as a Christian. It just didn't work for me. I never liked articulating my beliefs and I felt awkward at any religious events. I am much happier and more theologically at ease now that I am an agnostic. I have even less answers to the question I posed to you, though ...
Like I said to Saddo, it's a search that can take a lifetime, and I'm just glad that you've found something that you find peace in. Answers, however... That's a much harder and much more frustrating quest altogether.
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