Brave Christian Worship

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Re: Brave Christian Worship

Postby felix dakat » Thu May 13, 2021 6:08 pm

Fixed Cross wrote:As I experience Christianity in France, it is different from what we experience in other nations, be they catholic or protestant.
Wherever it is held as a reverence of a masculine aspect of Godhead, it is truly failing. But where it is the reverence of the Virgin, somehow the whole spirit of it is different.

Image

This is the palace of the popes in Avignon.

Note its order of rank.

Palais des Papes.jpg


A massive golden Mary towers over the stone, crucified Jesus.
It is not proper for men to revere a martyr as the god above them. It can only leads to an increase of despair, as it has done. There is nothing a martyred man can give another man, he can only take, their sympathy, their heart even - their souls -
but Mary does not ask anything, nor does she compel the sort of horror-inspired apprehension christians typically mistake for piety or faith, she inspires genuine compassion, as well as courage.


To pit the feminine and the masculine against each other is a mistake on every level be it symbolic, psychological, social or institutional. Depth psychology has shown that balance is the key to psychological integration and wholeness.

History shows this is true on the other levels as well. In the person of Mary the divine feminine found symbolic expression in the historic church despite its patriarchal heritage and structure.
The purpose of my life would seem to be to express the truth as I discover it, but in such a manner that it is completely devoid of authority. By having no authority, by being seen by all as utterly unreliable, I express the truth and put everyone in a contradictory position where they can only save themselves by making the truth their own.
Soren Kierkegaard– Journals, 432
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Re: Brave Christian Worship

Postby Bob » Fri May 14, 2021 9:06 am

felix dakat wrote:To pit the feminine and the masculine against each other is a mistake on every level be it symbolic, psychological, social or institutional. Depth psychology has shown that balance is the key to psychological integration and wholeness.

History shows this is true on the other levels as well. In the person of Mary the divine feminine found symbolic expression in the historic church despite its patriarchal heritage and structure.

Marian devotions are external pious practices directed to the person of Mary, mother of God, by members of certain Christian traditions. They are performed in Catholicism, High Church Lutheranism, Anglo-Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy and Oriental Orthodoxy, but generally rejected in other Christian denominations.

Such devotional prayers or acts may be accompanied by specific requests for Mary's intercession with God. There is significant diversity of form and structure in Marian devotions practiced by different groups of Christians. Orthodox Marian devotions are well-defined and closely linked to liturgy, while Roman Catholic practices are wide-ranging – they include multi-day prayers such as novenas, the celebration of canonical coronations granted by the Pope, the veneration of icons in Eastern Christianity, and pious acts which do not involve prayers, such as the wearing of scapulars or maintaining a Mary garden.

Marian devotions are important to the Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Lutheran, Oriental Orthodox, and Anglican traditions, but most Reformed Christians do not accept them, because such devotions are not recorded or promoted in the Bible. They believe this devotion may distract attention from Christ. According to practitioners, devotion to the Virgin Mary does not amount to worship, which is reserved for God. Both the Catholic and Orthodox traditions view Mary as subordinate to Christ, but uniquely so, in that she is seen as above all other creatures. In 787 the Second Council of Nicaea affirmed a three-level hierarchy of latria, hyperdulia and dulia that applies to God, the Virgin Mary and then to the other saints.
Marian devotions - Wikipedia

Having been part of a reformed church, I had relatively little to do with Mary as the “mother of God” and to me it is still a highly conjectural stance to take. Symbolically, I can fully understand the balance that has been affected by Marian devotions, idealising the feminine in Mary, but it has always meant that women have been restricted to that role model in the church where it is practised. The wider expression of the feminine in Christian society has only come about since the last century, accompanied by the rejection of faith-based models.

Especially today, where gender studies suggest that male and female are just social constructs, the “traditional” feminine, as a natural phenomenon, is further under attack. The whole idea of balance, as has been understood by traditional societies, is particularly in disrepute with younger people or academics. I believe that this makes society unstable and lacking a “two legs on the ground” idea of solidity and undermines social cohesion. I have the feeling that this is, in fact, the intention. This argues the point that faith based models have, in fact, aimed at stability, even if our experience in the last century has suggested otherwise and there are numerous arguments against the practise of organised religions.
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Re: Brave Christian Worship

Postby felix dakat » Fri May 14, 2021 4:49 pm

The premise of this thread with regard to courage strikes me as wrong. For anyone to actually follow the teachings of Jesus takes remarkable courage.

Most people who claim to believe in Christ don't live as if they do. The few people who actually live as if they believe in Christ are usually considered to be saints.

The occurrence of such people is unfortunately rare. That is why the historic church has seldom lived up to the vision in which it was conceived.

That said, thanks to Fixed Cross for bringing up the matter of courage in the context of Christianity. Too often the notion of courage has been forgotten when faith is discussed.
The purpose of my life would seem to be to express the truth as I discover it, but in such a manner that it is completely devoid of authority. By having no authority, by being seen by all as utterly unreliable, I express the truth and put everyone in a contradictory position where they can only save themselves by making the truth their own.
Soren Kierkegaard– Journals, 432
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Re: Brave Christian Worship

Postby Bob » Fri May 14, 2021 5:55 pm

felix dakat wrote:The whole premise of this thread strikes me as wrong. For anyone to actually follow the teachings of Jesus would take remarkable courage. Most people who claim to believe in God don't live as if they do. The few people who actually live as if they believe in God are considered to be saints. The occurrence of such people is unfortunately rare. That is why the historic church has seldom lived up to the vision in which it was conceived. Too often the notion of courage has been forgotten when faith is discussed.

The world of the past has always demanded courage in comparison to today’s western standards. It is still required of people throughout the world, who don’t have the protection of the state, as we frequently see in the news.

But standing up for what one believed in on principle was something foreign to Greek and Roman society, which provided ample freedom of choice amongst the gods, and to begin with the Christians lived under the protection of the assumption that they were a Jewish sect and were exempt from sacrificial rites. The stories of martyrdom amongst the early Christians had to do more with no longer identifying with the Jews (or the Jews denouncing the Christians) and standing up to Roman law that required allegiance to the state and to Caesar by making a sacrifice to the emperor.

To begin with, Christians were split on their course of action. It was definitely a courageous act to abstain, knowing what kind of deaths were in store, and required of the victims a firm conviction. However, the Christian martyrdom for this reason was sporadic, although it took many lives. It took centuries to leave its mark on Roman society, so that sacrifices ceased, which eventually came as a result of Constantine, who personally abhorred sacrifice, removing the obligation to participate in them.

But courage has also been necessary for those who dissented from Church dogma, who had a different opinion than the teaching of the church, or who spread a teaching that hadn’t been authorized. This started at the same time as Constantine was cancelling sacrificing and was a surprise for those it struck. So, it has required courage to be a Christian, but it has required courage not to be as well.
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Re: Brave Christian Worship

Postby felix dakat » Sat May 15, 2021 2:00 am

...the Church gave an antidote against the threat of anxiety and despair, namely itself, its traditions, its sacraments, its education, and its authority. The anxiety of guilt was taken into the courage to be as a part of the sacramental community. The anxiety of doubt was taken into the courage to be as a part of the community in which revelation and reason are united. In this way the medieval courage to be was, in spite of its difference from primitive collectivism, the courage to be as a part. The tension created by this situation is theoretically expressed in the attack of nominalism on medieval realism and the permanent conflict between them. Nominalism attributes ultimate reality to the individual and would have led much earlier than it actually did to a dissolution of the medieval system of participation if the immensely strengthened authority of the Church had not delayed it.

Tillich, Paul. The Courage to Be (The Terry Lectures Series) (p. 95). Yale University Press. Kindle Edition.


In Reformation and Renaissance the medieval courage to be as a part, its semicollectivist system, came to an end, and developments started which brought the question of the courage to be as oneself to the fore.


Tillich, Paul. The Courage to Be (The Terry Lectures Series) (p. 96). Yale University Press. Kindle Edition.


Critics who see things from a modern nominalistic individualistic point of view often miss or disparage this positive aspect of the church as a source of courage to medieval Europeans.
The purpose of my life would seem to be to express the truth as I discover it, but in such a manner that it is completely devoid of authority. By having no authority, by being seen by all as utterly unreliable, I express the truth and put everyone in a contradictory position where they can only save themselves by making the truth their own.
Soren Kierkegaard– Journals, 432
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Re: Brave Christian Worship

Postby Bob » Sat May 15, 2021 7:54 am

felix dakat wrote:
...the Church gave an antidote against the threat of anxiety and despair, namely itself, its traditions, its sacraments, its education, and its authority. The anxiety of guilt was taken into the courage to be as a part of the sacramental community. The anxiety of doubt was taken into the courage to be as a part of the community in which revelation and reason are united. In this way the medieval courage to be was, in spite of its difference from primitive collectivism, the courage to be as a part. The tension created by this situation is theoretically expressed in the attack of nominalism on medieval realism and the permanent conflict between them. Nominalism attributes ultimate reality to the individual and would have led much earlier than it actually did to a dissolution of the medieval system of participation if the immensely strengthened authority of the Church had not delayed it.

Tillich, Paul. The Courage to Be (The Terry Lectures Series) (p. 95). Yale University Press. Kindle Edition.

Quite sure that Tillich was correct, and that the church gave solace to many people in very uncertain times. It appeared to them as something stable in the instability of life, it gave them hope in a time of uncertainty and its community was a source of solidarity. My question would be, whether the threat of nominalism was something that the simple people would have viewed as a threat to their faith? I am quite sure that the numerous conflicts, wars, droughts, floods, crop failures, sickness, and poverty, was more of a threat to medieval Christians than nominalism as a philosophical standing. The struggle with doubt and anxiety was connected to existential threats, and the church at that time will have contributed to overcome these fears.

By the time of the so-called Reformation, the church had already adopted many practices that Luther found to be un-biblical, especially the Indulgence (Latin indulgentia), referring to an act of grace regulated by the Church through which, according to Church teaching, temporal punishments for sins are remitted (but not the sins themselves forgiven). There were partial indulgences or plenary indulgences, which the faithful can obtain under conditions determined by the Church. Indulgences could also be granted to the deceased. The 95 Theses in short:

1: Since our Lord and Master Jesus Christ speaks "Repent" etc., He has willed that the whole life of believers should be repentance. (Matth. 4,17), he willed that the whole life of believers should be repentance.
2: This word cannot be understood of penance as a sacrament - that is, of confession and satisfaction - administered by the priestly ministry.
3: It does not refer only to an internal penance, indeed such a penance would not be one at all if it did not outwardly effect some works for the mortification of the flesh.
4: Therefore, as long as the hatred of self - which is the true repentance of the heart - remains, the punishment remains, that is, until the entrance into the kingdom of heaven.
5-6: The Pope can only remit punishments which he himself has imposed.
7: God remits punishments only to those who submit to the Pope (God's representative on earth).
8-9: The Church's provisions on penance and the remission of punishments apply only to the living, not to the deceased.
10-13: Punishment may not be pronounced for the time after death.
14: The less faith in God, the greater the fear of death.
15-16: This fear alone marks purgatory as a place of purification before heaven and hell.
17-19: It is certain that the deceased in purgatory cannot change their relationship with God.
20-24: The preachers of indulgences are mistaken when they say, "Every punishment is remitted."
25: The same power that the Pope has concerning Purgatory in general, every bishop and every pastor has in his sphere of work.
26-29: The Pope achieves purgatorial forgiveness through intercession, but the preachers of indulgences err when they promise forgiveness in exchange for money. Thus the income of the Church increases, but intercession depends solely on God's will.
30-32: No one can obtain forgiveness with certainty through indulgences.
33-34: The Pope's indulgence is not a gift from God in which people are reconciled with God, but only a forgiveness of punishments imposed by the Church.
35-40: No one can receive forgiveness without repentance; but those who truly repent are entitled to complete forgiveness - even without a paid indulgence.
41-44: Buying indulgences has nothing to do with charity, nor does it only partially exempt one from punishment. More important are good works of charity such as support for the poor or those in need.
45-49: Whoever does not help a needy person, but instead buys indulgences, incurs the wrath of God.
50-51: If the Pope knew the extortion methods of the indulgence preachers, he would not let St. Peter's Basilica in Rome be built by them.
52-55: No salvation is to be expected on the basis of a letter of indulgence. It is wrong for a sermon to talk longer about indulgences than about God's Word.
56-62: The treasure of the Church, out of which the Pope distributes indulgences, have not been sufficiently specified nor recognised among the people of Christ. But grace for the inner man works without the Pope through Jesus Christ. The true treasure of the Church is the Gospel of the glory and grace of God.
63-68: Indulgences are the net with which one now catches the wealth of the possessed.
69-74: Let the bishops and pastors watch the preachers of indulgences, lest they preach their own opinions instead of the papal ones.
71-74: Let him who speaks against the truth of apostolic indulgences be rejected and accursed. Rather, the Pope wants to hurl the ray of banishment against those who, under the pretext of indulgences, are bent on deception with regard to holy love and truth.
75-76: Indulgences cannot forgive grave sins, nor can they forgive minor sins.
77-78: The Pope can receive abilities from God just like the Apostle Simon Peter, as it is written in 1 Cor 12:1-11.
79-81: It is blasphemy to equate the indulgence cross with the Pope's coat of arms in the churches with the cross of Jesus Christ. Those who preach such impudent sermons can endanger the Pope's reputation, for example by asking pointed questions of the laity:
82: Why doesn't the Pope clear out purgatory for everyone?
83: Why do funeral masses remain for the deceased when it is not permitted to pray for the ransomed?
84: Why can a godless person forgive sins in exchange for money?
85: Why are penitential statutes, which have been practically abolished, still redeemed with money?
86: Why doesn't the rich Pope at least build St. Peter's with his money?
87: What does the Pope remit to him who, through perfect contrition, has a right to complete remission of sins?
88: Why does he grant forgiveness to all the faithful only once a day and not a hundred times a day?
89: Why does the Pope cancel previous indulgences?
90-93: If indulgences were preached according to the Pope's view, these objections would dissolve. Therefore, away with these false preachers of indulgences.
94-95: Christians should be encouraged to follow Jesus Christ and not be misled by indulgences.

This conflict brought further uncertainty, wrapped up, as it was in the rebellion of the peasants. In the late Middle Ages, the Latin term reformatio denoted a return to an idealised order of the past, but also reform measures. The rebellious peasants took up the traditional reformatio term in their struggle against the landowners and nobility, which finally came to mean the split of the protestant from the catholic church in Rome.

There were numerous other examples of Roman overbearing, such as the attack on people prior to Luther, who wanted to translate the Bible, but they are too many to cite here. Of course, the Roman church refers to the “church itself” and not to those presently administering in it and claims the church itself could never be guilty of the crimes of individuals. I think that the wars that caused so many deaths between the protestant and catholic church could, in themselves, give cause to the rise of nominalism.

felix dakat wrote:
In Reformation and Renaissance the medieval courage to be as a part, its semicollectivist system, came to an end, and developments started which brought the question of the courage to be as oneself to the fore.

Tillich, Paul. The Courage to Be (The Terry Lectures Series) (p. 96). Yale University Press. Kindle Edition.


Critics who see things from a modern nominalistic individualistic point of view often miss or disparage this positive aspect of the church as a source of courage to medieval Europeans.

I think my position is rather one of balance, in that I acknowledge the church as a source of courage, but also as a source of fear and superstition. In fact, it was often the lack of understanding of the rituals that led to the parody of satanism and superstition. The church was its own worse enemy at times, undermining the gentle spirituality of people like St. Francis, only later to accept his teachings. So it has been with many people who are accepted by the church today, but were suppressed to begin with. Celibacy has been compulsory for priests in the Latin Particular Church of the Roman Catholic Church only since 1073, despite the problems it has brought, not least in the modern age.
That is why the infallibility dogma of the Catholic Church, proclaimed by Pope Pius IX at the First Vatican Council as late as 18 July 1870, was an untimely slap in the face of reformers in the church.

As with all human institutions, to which I include the organised church, it is rife with contradiction. As long as this is accepted and actively combatted, and not rejected with doubled down dogmas, all is okay, but it has been rejected and people have suffered because of it. Not only recently has it been clear that due to the given authority of the church, those abused by priests, monks and nuns, despite the considerable health issues it has caused, have only come forth after decades. The same has applied throughout the centuries of church dominance.
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Re: Brave Christian Worship

Postby felix dakat » Sat May 15, 2021 3:44 pm

That which calls itself the church has, in general, failed to embody the biblical vision of Christ. Divided into thousands of denominations, it has become like the fallen Tower of Babel speaking with a cacophony of conflicting voices. But the modern synthesis that came out of the Enlightenment is also fragmented as shown by the postmodern critiques. The way of the world today is nihilism. So I think what is needed to overcome the meaning crisis is a new vision of the perennial wisdom. But only a relatively few are finding it. The prevailing trend seems to be toward disillusion and fragmentation.
Last edited by felix dakat on Sat May 15, 2021 5:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
The purpose of my life would seem to be to express the truth as I discover it, but in such a manner that it is completely devoid of authority. By having no authority, by being seen by all as utterly unreliable, I express the truth and put everyone in a contradictory position where they can only save themselves by making the truth their own.
Soren Kierkegaard– Journals, 432
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Re: Brave Christian Worship

Postby MagsJ » Sat May 15, 2021 3:52 pm

MagsJ wrote:
promethean75 wrote:I mean the minor doctrinal differences don't change the fact that they both have the same oranges.

The dispute isn't always about the historic truth of some or many of the events described in the text. The dispute is about the claimed revelatory nature of the text. That it claims evidence of the existence of a god and spins wild stories of miracles and burning bushes and resurrections and voices from the sky and all kinds of crazy shit.

There is an immediate disconnect here now. I'd not spend much time trying to convince myself that I'm not supposed to take those stories literally and that the big g put em in there just to fuck with me. I just dismiss the whole mess and put the burden on god to produce a better text (which he finally did through Spinz, thank god).

That's the basket, anyway. Claims to divine knowledge and experience. If u do that, u go in that basket.

What made you think I was referring solely to the texts? I wasn’t.. I was referring mainly to the Sects.

Depending on historical timeline, different Peoples and Nations make up the Faith, and use different bible versions, and worship different figure heads and Saints.

One size Faith, does not fit all Rites and Sects.. they are much and varied.
The possibility of anything we can imagine existing is endless and infinite.. - MagsJ
I haven't got the time to spend the time reading something that is telling me nothing, as I will never be able to get back that time, and I may need it for something at some point in time.. Huh! - MagsJ
You’re suggestions and I, just simply don’t mix.. like oil on water, or a really bad DJ - MagsJ
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Re: Brave Christian Worship

Postby Bob » Sat May 15, 2021 9:53 pm

felix dakat wrote:That which calls itself the church has, in general, failed to embody the biblical vision of Christ. Divided into thousands of denominations, it has become like the fallen Tower of Babel speaking with a cacophony of conflicting voices. But the modern synthesis that came out of the Enlightenment is also fragmented as shown by the postmodern critiques. The way of the world today is nihilism. So I think what is needed to overcome the meaning crisis is a new vision of the perennial wisdom. But only a relatively few are finding it. The prevailing trend seems to be toward disillusion and fragmentation.

The church is a one-off thing, which can’t be copied. It has been ruined, at least in the West – I’m not sure about the Eastern Church. I get the feeling that I’m missing something there. I can’t at present see us forming anything similar, because, as you say, the world is full of conflicting voices. The special role of the church, despite all its faults, was that it unified many people for quite a long time under common values, until the schisms started taking place. Postmodernity has us confused and in pieces. A new nationalism contributes to that as well.

I do think that all the world's religious traditions share metaphysical truths, and that all esoteric and exoteric knowledge and doctrine has some common origin. Which is where we need to go if we want to achieve some kind of unity. The question is whether it is something internal in the body, or external in the world, or somewhere in between? The archetypes seem common to all societies in some way or other, at least that is how I read Jung. This is probably a result of experience, but how is it passed on? We all have basically different experiences with people but end up with similar dreams and truths.

In the end I think that a modernized “church” that is able to understand the diversity of traditions as different roads leading to a centre, where we can all gain from our diversity, instead of seeing each other as a danger to one’s own beliefs, is the only way ahead. It also means that we need to understand that none of us has the ultimate explanation, but each tradition is an attempt to gain direction based on their unique experience, and that direction is towards each other. If the message of reconciliation and compassion is at that centre, we have a chance.
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Re: Brave Christian Worship

Postby felix dakat » Mon May 17, 2021 3:09 am

I agree with all that Bob. I find myself outside of all formal churches. As I have said elsewhere, to me Christianity is a spirit to be lived in. It's the spirit of Jesus. To practice Christianity is to live in the spirit of Jesus and to enact that spirit in the world. It is entered by accepting love and forgiveness toward yourself. It is a spirit of love and forgiveness toward everyone. No membership in an organization is required. No one is excluded.
The purpose of my life would seem to be to express the truth as I discover it, but in such a manner that it is completely devoid of authority. By having no authority, by being seen by all as utterly unreliable, I express the truth and put everyone in a contradictory position where they can only save themselves by making the truth their own.
Soren Kierkegaard– Journals, 432
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Re: Brave Christian Worship

Postby Bob » Mon May 17, 2021 6:25 am

felix dakat wrote:I agree with all that Bob. I find myself outside of all formal churches. As I have said elsewhere, to me Christianity is a spirit to be lived in. It's the spirit of Jesus. To practice Christianity is to live in the spirit of Jesus and to enact that spirit in the world. It is entered by accepting love and forgiveness toward yourself. It is a spirit of love and forgiveness toward everyone. No membership in an organization is required. No one is excluded.

As you say, it puts you right with yourself and then shows you people who are the same, and asks why you shouldn't be right with them as well. The situations in which the church places people, the Catholic Church in its rejection of so much or the Evangelical in its militancy against so much, undermine that love and forgiveness and make it bravery to hold on to that spirit.

I think that the Christian spirit is something unifying, it reaches out to people, supports them, helps them, and loves unconditionally. If we could find a way to come together to embody and demonstrate that, we would be a lot closer to the Church of Christ.
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Re: Brave Christian Worship

Postby promethean75 » Mon May 17, 2021 10:33 am

Only if u don't cherry pick the testaments and throw the bath water out with the baby.

What we'd rather do is attribute all the morality demonstrated in religious life\living to naturally evolved behaviors that can be explained in terms of what works to increase group survival, rather than to the dictates of some imagined creator that rules by divine providence (when he's not wiping out entire civilizations).

In fact we'd venture to say that not only is any religious interpretion of all this as unnecessary as it is confused, but it is (or at least can be) also downright dangerous.
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Re: Brave Christian Worship

Postby promethean75 » Mon May 17, 2021 10:47 am

Here lemme explain. Take joe. Joe's a great guy and he's a Christian. But he's not a great guy because he's a Christian. Rather, sometimes great guys become Christian because a wide range of human behaviors and habits that facilitate strong, effective social interaction - general good will - is 'reverse-attributed' to the christianity practiced, and believed to be the origins of the disposition allowing that kind of behavior.

In other bad news, there is no more significance to calling yourself a Christian than there is to calling yourself a Bobbyian and copying what the guy named Bobby who lives down the hall does.
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Re: Brave Christian Worship

Postby promethean75 » Mon May 17, 2021 10:59 am

And wut I don't understand is why - if you absolutely have to pick a god - u don't pick Prometheus. He's the indisputable badass of the whole fucking pantheon and prolly the most important one to man's spiritualization of purpose. For one thing, his defiance characterizes better than anything else, man's age of enlightenment and turning away from god. In a sense he's the last god, because he banishes the gods by giving man fire and liberating them from the god's tyranny. Bro there's all kinds of critically important and empowering symbolism in that dude's myth. Who even compares? He's the ultima-archetype.

Find a promethean near u and b like him instead, Bob.
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Re: Brave Christian Worship

Postby Bob » Mon May 17, 2021 11:26 am

promethean75 wrote:Only if u don't cherry pick the testaments and throw the bath water out with the baby.

What we'd rather do is attribute all the morality demonstrated in religious life\living to naturally evolved behaviors that can be explained in terms of what works to increase group survival, rather than to the dictates of some imagined creator that rules by divine providence (when he's not wiping out entire civilizations).

In fact we'd venture to say that not only is any religious interpretion of all this as unnecessary as it is confused, but it is (or at least can be) also downright dangerous.

Whilst I agree that there have been too numerous ways in which religion and the church have failed, the way you are describing what you’d like to do is not working. The church is waning, but nothing is moving in to take its place. In fact, that is what has been seen to cause a meaning crisis with a moral vacuum resulting in mental health issues. Since the beginning of the enlightenment, we haven’t seen too many non-religious movements that have motivated people to join together in achieving higher moral goals, in fact were there any? Instead, there are new ideologies like wokeism causing even more division.

On the other hand, the church and diaconal social welfare policies have driven the building of hospitals, and care homes for the old and disabled at a time when it wasn’t profitable (especially in Germany, where I am). There are relatively new companies, like the Planetree Project that were doing good things in America, but people don’t seem to do things just because its good. Profit drives much of it today, whereas in the past it has been devotion.

promethean75 wrote:Here lemme explain. Take joe. Joe's a great guy and he's a Christian. But he's not a great guy because he's a Christian. Rather, sometimes great guys become Christian because a wide range of human behaviors and habits that facilitate strong, effective social interaction - general good will - is 'reverse-attributed' to the christianity practiced, and believed to be the origins of the disposition allowing that kind of behavior.

In other bad news, there is no more significance to calling yourself a Christian than there is to calling yourself a Bobbyian and copying what the guy named Bobby who lives down the hall does.

The fact remains that these great guys may be attracted to an organisation gives ample space for “a wide range of human behaviours that facilitate strong, effective social action”. It would be good if they could find that space anywhere, but they usually can’t. I have known these great guys who have chosen non-Christian organisations and struggled with the profit orientation having priority over social action, even though the long-termed effect would be profitable.
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Re: Brave Christian Worship

Postby Bob » Mon May 17, 2021 11:32 am

promethean75 wrote:And wut I don't understand is why - if you absolutely have to pick a god - u don't pick Prometheus. He's the indisputable badass of the whole fucking pantheon and prolly the most important one to man's spiritualization of purpose. For one thing, his defiance characterizes better than anything else, man's age of enlightenment and turning away from god. In a sense he's the last god, because he banishes the gods by giving man fire and liberating them from the god's tyranny. Bro there's all kinds of critically important and empowering symbolism in that dude's myth. Who even compares? He's the ultima-archetype.

Find a promethean near u and b like him instead, Bob.

Zeus chained Prometheus to a rock where an eagle daily tore at his liver, great.

He may have taught humans agriculture and all the arts of civilization and stole fire from the gods and gave it to them, but that doesn't actually compete with the Sermon on the Mount.
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Re: Brave Christian Worship

Postby felix dakat » Mon May 17, 2021 2:06 pm

promethean75 wrote:Only if u don't cherry pick the testaments and throw the bath water out with the baby.

What we'd rather do is attribute all the morality demonstrated in religious life\living to naturally evolved behaviors that can be explained in terms of what works to increase group survival, rather than to the dictates of some imagined creator that rules by divine providence (when he's not wiping out entire civilizations).

In fact we'd venture to say that not only is any religious interpretion of all this as unnecessary as it is confused, but it is (or at least can be) also downright dangerous.


There's no cherry picking going on here. Nothing of history is being thrown out. There's no denial of evolved behavior. Are you suggesting that there is no such thing as human freedom? Cuz on that point I'm going with the phenomena of freedom as experienced. In what system of values do you stand to make your judgment regarding all religious values are dangerous. The nihilism devoid of meaning that drives people to mass murder is rather dangerous too.
The purpose of my life would seem to be to express the truth as I discover it, but in such a manner that it is completely devoid of authority. By having no authority, by being seen by all as utterly unreliable, I express the truth and put everyone in a contradictory position where they can only save themselves by making the truth their own.
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Re: Brave Christian Worship

Postby felix dakat » Mon May 17, 2021 2:09 pm

promethean75 wrote:Here lemme explain. Take joe. Joe's a great guy and he's a Christian. But he's not a great guy because he's a Christian. Rather, sometimes great guys become Christian because a wide range of human behaviors and habits that facilitate strong, effective social interaction - general good will - is 'reverse-attributed' to the christianity practiced, and believed to be the origins of the disposition allowing that kind of behavior.

In other bad news, there is no more significance to calling yourself a Christian than there is to calling yourself a Bobbyian and copying what the guy named Bobby who lives down the hall does.


Who claimed that calling oneself a Christian results in being a great guy? No one here.
The purpose of my life would seem to be to express the truth as I discover it, but in such a manner that it is completely devoid of authority. By having no authority, by being seen by all as utterly unreliable, I express the truth and put everyone in a contradictory position where they can only save themselves by making the truth their own.
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Re: Brave Christian Worship

Postby felix dakat » Mon May 17, 2021 2:15 pm

promethean75 wrote:And wut I don't understand is why - if you absolutely have to pick a god - u don't pick Prometheus. He's the indisputable badass of the whole fucking pantheon and prolly the most important one to man's spiritualization of purpose. For one thing, his defiance characterizes better than anything else, man's age of enlightenment and turning away from god. In a sense he's the last god, because he banishes the gods by giving man fire and liberating them from the god's tyranny. Bro there's all kinds of critically important and empowering symbolism in that dude's myth. Who even compares? He's the ultima-archetype.

Find a promethean near u and b like him instead, Bob.


Just like with Christianity it depends on how the myth is interpreted. Fire can stand for technology. Technology has improved our lot as human beings in many ways. But humanity is also using it to destroy the planet. And the threat of nuclear war and outcome of technology hangs over us. So it's no panacea. It needs to be encompassed by a higher vision of values if we are not to destroy ourselves with it. Where is that going to come from? Evolution? That process is too slow. If it comes it'll have to be a matter of cultural evolution. And whether that can happen remains to be seen.
The purpose of my life would seem to be to express the truth as I discover it, but in such a manner that it is completely devoid of authority. By having no authority, by being seen by all as utterly unreliable, I express the truth and put everyone in a contradictory position where they can only save themselves by making the truth their own.
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Re: Brave Christian Worship

Postby felix dakat » Mon May 17, 2021 3:18 pm

Incidentally, the interpretation which sees Jesus as a god walking on earth is an error. The story of the temptations of Jesus illustrates his true humanity. Serious temptation presupposes desire for that by which one is tempted. Like Adam and Eve, Jesus, as fully human, stood between innocence and guilt.
Last edited by felix dakat on Mon May 17, 2021 4:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
The purpose of my life would seem to be to express the truth as I discover it, but in such a manner that it is completely devoid of authority. By having no authority, by being seen by all as utterly unreliable, I express the truth and put everyone in a contradictory position where they can only save themselves by making the truth their own.
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Re: Brave Christian Worship

Postby promethean75 » Mon May 17, 2021 4:32 pm

"Zeus chained Prometheus to a rock where an eagle daily tore at his liver, great."

That's because Zeus's bitch ass got all mad because prom wuz teaching folks how to survive and shit.

"but that doesn't actually compete with the Sermon on the Mount."

You lost your mind dude prom would kick Moses's ass any day.
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Re: Brave Christian Worship

Postby felix dakat » Mon May 17, 2021 8:05 pm

promethean75 wrote:"Zeus chained Prometheus to a rock where an eagle daily tore at his liver, great."

That's because Zeus's bitch ass got all mad because prom wuz teaching folks how to survive and shit.

"but that doesn't actually compete with the Sermon on the Mount."

You lost your mind dude prom would kick Moses's ass any day.


In other words "My god can kick your god's ass." Brilliant argument! :wink: Incidentally the "Sermon on the Mount" was not a reference to Moses.
The purpose of my life would seem to be to express the truth as I discover it, but in such a manner that it is completely devoid of authority. By having no authority, by being seen by all as utterly unreliable, I express the truth and put everyone in a contradictory position where they can only save themselves by making the truth their own.
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Re: Brave Christian Worship

Postby Ecmandu » Mon May 17, 2021 8:13 pm

felix dakat wrote:
promethean75 wrote:"Zeus chained Prometheus to a rock where an eagle daily tore at his liver, great."

That's because Zeus's bitch ass got all mad because prom wuz teaching folks how to survive and shit.

"but that doesn't actually compete with the Sermon on the Mount."

You lost your mind dude prom would kick Moses's ass any day.


In other words "My god can kick your god's ass." Brilliant argument! :wink: Incidentally the "Sermon on the Mount" was not a reference to Moses.


Actually, if you read the Bible ... Elijah and Moses were the teachers of Jesus, Jesus even said it himself.

And who the fuck am I? The teacher of all of you.
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Re: Brave Christian Worship

Postby promethean75 » Mon May 17, 2021 8:58 pm

Wait u mean Jesus did the sermon on the mount? Wtf. My whole life I thought that was Moses. Well what's the one where Moses got the commandments? He was up on a mountain wuddint he? That's why I wuz thinking 'mount'.

Anyway if I shot a porn I would call it 'Sherman on the Mount' and the protagonist's name would be Sherman.
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Re: Brave Christian Worship

Postby Fixed Cross » Mon May 17, 2021 10:19 pm

Bob wrote:
felix dakat wrote:
...the Church gave an antidote against the threat of anxiety and despair, namely itself, its traditions, its sacraments, its education, and its authority. The anxiety of guilt was taken into the courage to be as a part of the sacramental community. The anxiety of doubt was taken into the courage to be as a part of the community in which revelation and reason are united. In this way the medieval courage to be was, in spite of its difference from primitive collectivism, the courage to be as a part. The tension created by this situation is theoretically expressed in the attack of nominalism on medieval realism and the permanent conflict between them. Nominalism attributes ultimate reality to the individual and would have led much earlier than it actually did to a dissolution of the medieval system of participation if the immensely strengthened authority of the Church had not delayed it.

Tillich, Paul. The Courage to Be (The Terry Lectures Series) (p. 95). Yale University Press. Kindle Edition.

Quite sure that Tillich was correct, and that the church gave solace to many people in very uncertain times. It appeared to them as something stable in the instability of life, it gave them hope in a time of uncertainty and its community was a source of solidarity. My question would be, whether the threat of nominalism was something that the simple people would have viewed as a threat to their faith? I am quite sure that the numerous conflicts, wars, droughts, floods, crop failures, sickness, and poverty, was more of a threat to medieval Christians than nominalism as a philosophical standing. The struggle with doubt and anxiety was connected to existential threats, and the church at that time will have contributed to overcome these fears.

By the time of the so-called Reformation, the church had already adopted many practices that Luther found to be un-biblical, especially the Indulgence (Latin indulgentia), referring to an act of grace regulated by the Church through which, according to Church teaching, temporal punishments for sins are remitted (but not the sins themselves forgiven). There were partial indulgences or plenary indulgences, which the faithful can obtain under conditions determined by the Church. Indulgences could also be granted to the deceased. The 95 Theses in short:

1: Since our Lord and Master Jesus Christ speaks "Repent" etc., He has willed that the whole life of believers should be repentance. (Matth. 4,17), he willed that the whole life of believers should be repentance.
2: This word cannot be understood of penance as a sacrament - that is, of confession and satisfaction - administered by the priestly ministry.
3: It does not refer only to an internal penance, indeed such a penance would not be one at all if it did not outwardly effect some works for the mortification of the flesh.
4: Therefore, as long as the hatred of self - which is the true repentance of the heart - remains, the punishment remains, that is, until the entrance into the kingdom of heaven.
5-6: The Pope can only remit punishments which he himself has imposed.
7: God remits punishments only to those who submit to the Pope (God's representative on earth).
8-9: The Church's provisions on penance and the remission of punishments apply only to the living, not to the deceased.
10-13: Punishment may not be pronounced for the time after death.
14: The less faith in God, the greater the fear of death.
15-16: This fear alone marks purgatory as a place of purification before heaven and hell.
17-19: It is certain that the deceased in purgatory cannot change their relationship with God.
20-24: The preachers of indulgences are mistaken when they say, "Every punishment is remitted."
25: The same power that the Pope has concerning Purgatory in general, every bishop and every pastor has in his sphere of work.
26-29: The Pope achieves purgatorial forgiveness through intercession, but the preachers of indulgences err when they promise forgiveness in exchange for money. Thus the income of the Church increases, but intercession depends solely on God's will.
30-32: No one can obtain forgiveness with certainty through indulgences.
33-34: The Pope's indulgence is not a gift from God in which people are reconciled with God, but only a forgiveness of punishments imposed by the Church.
35-40: No one can receive forgiveness without repentance; but those who truly repent are entitled to complete forgiveness - even without a paid indulgence.
41-44: Buying indulgences has nothing to do with charity, nor does it only partially exempt one from punishment. More important are good works of charity such as support for the poor or those in need.
45-49: Whoever does not help a needy person, but instead buys indulgences, incurs the wrath of God.
50-51: If the Pope knew the extortion methods of the indulgence preachers, he would not let St. Peter's Basilica in Rome be built by them.
52-55: No salvation is to be expected on the basis of a letter of indulgence. It is wrong for a sermon to talk longer about indulgences than about God's Word.
56-62: The treasure of the Church, out of which the Pope distributes indulgences, have not been sufficiently specified nor recognised among the people of Christ. But grace for the inner man works without the Pope through Jesus Christ. The true treasure of the Church is the Gospel of the glory and grace of God.
63-68: Indulgences are the net with which one now catches the wealth of the possessed.
69-74: Let the bishops and pastors watch the preachers of indulgences, lest they preach their own opinions instead of the papal ones.
71-74: Let him who speaks against the truth of apostolic indulgences be rejected and accursed. Rather, the Pope wants to hurl the ray of banishment against those who, under the pretext of indulgences, are bent on deception with regard to holy love and truth.
75-76: Indulgences cannot forgive grave sins, nor can they forgive minor sins.
77-78: The Pope can receive abilities from God just like the Apostle Simon Peter, as it is written in 1 Cor 12:1-11.
79-81: It is blasphemy to equate the indulgence cross with the Pope's coat of arms in the churches with the cross of Jesus Christ. Those who preach such impudent sermons can endanger the Pope's reputation, for example by asking pointed questions of the laity:
82: Why doesn't the Pope clear out purgatory for everyone?
83: Why do funeral masses remain for the deceased when it is not permitted to pray for the ransomed?
84: Why can a godless person forgive sins in exchange for money?
85: Why are penitential statutes, which have been practically abolished, still redeemed with money?
86: Why doesn't the rich Pope at least build St. Peter's with his money?
87: What does the Pope remit to him who, through perfect contrition, has a right to complete remission of sins?
88: Why does he grant forgiveness to all the faithful only once a day and not a hundred times a day?
89: Why does the Pope cancel previous indulgences?
90-93: If indulgences were preached according to the Pope's view, these objections would dissolve. Therefore, away with these false preachers of indulgences.
94-95: Christians should be encouraged to follow Jesus Christ and not be misled by indulgences.

This conflict brought further uncertainty, wrapped up, as it was in the rebellion of the peasants. In the late Middle Ages, the Latin term reformatio denoted a return to an idealised order of the past, but also reform measures. The rebellious peasants took up the traditional reformatio term in their struggle against the landowners and nobility, which finally came to mean the split of the protestant from the catholic church in Rome.

There were numerous other examples of Roman overbearing, such as the attack on people prior to Luther, who wanted to translate the Bible, but they are too many to cite here. Of course, the Roman church refers to the “church itself” and not to those presently administering in it and claims the church itself could never be guilty of the crimes of individuals. I think that the wars that caused so many deaths between the protestant and catholic church could, in themselves, give cause to the rise of nominalism.

felix dakat wrote:
In Reformation and Renaissance the medieval courage to be as a part, its semicollectivist system, came to an end, and developments started which brought the question of the courage to be as oneself to the fore.

Tillich, Paul. The Courage to Be (The Terry Lectures Series) (p. 96). Yale University Press. Kindle Edition.


Critics who see things from a modern nominalistic individualistic point of view often miss or disparage this positive aspect of the church as a source of courage to medieval Europeans.

I think my position is rather one of balance, in that I acknowledge the church as a source of courage, but also as a source of fear and superstition. In fact, it was often the lack of understanding of the rituals that led to the parody of satanism and superstition. The church was its own worse enemy at times, undermining the gentle spirituality of people like St. Francis, only later to accept his teachings. So it has been with many people who are accepted by the church today, but were suppressed to begin with. Celibacy has been compulsory for priests in the Latin Particular Church of the Roman Catholic Church only since 1073, despite the problems it has brought, not least in the modern age.
That is why the infallibility dogma of the Catholic Church, proclaimed by Pope Pius IX at the First Vatican Council as late as 18 July 1870, was an untimely slap in the face of reformers in the church.

As with all human institutions, to which I include the organised church, it is rife with contradiction. As long as this is accepted and actively combatted, and not rejected with doubled down dogmas, all is okay, but it has been rejected and people have suffered because of it. Not only recently has it been clear that due to the given authority of the church, those abused by priests, monks and nuns, despite the considerable health issues it has caused, have only come forth after decades. The same has applied throughout the centuries of church dominance.

I appreciate the scholarship on this. It's clear that you're the most serious in building an argument here. Though Felix has something to offer he is, Im afraid, entirely tied by his wish that Christianity could be absolved of all its perversities. which it cannot. Just like nazism cant be 'reinvented' and suddenly be decent, Christianity cant just all of a sudden be something separate from what it has done to people - thats just what it is, its legacy, and forever will be. It has all the cruelty and of the Roman empire but added to that, a belief in itself as being innocent. So it is the most dangerously violent religion earth has seen. At the very least Islam, which is almost equally violent, doesnt quite have that pretense of being innocent, it knows itself as descendent of a warlord and respects itself as such.

It is due to Islam that knowledge of the Greeks has survived. Through Alexander, those writings were exported, gratefully kept and built on in Asia, and after the worst of Christianity was over in Europe, Islamic scholars came to Venice and such cities to share the old classical treasures.

That said, I think the age of spinoffs of Judaeism is sort of spent. I dont see great things coming for the two big monotheistic faiths. I just see that the Jewish god has delivered on his promise, and the others have not.
The strong act as they may, the weak accept what they must.
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