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Everything posted by RevTom

  1. I don't follow your context. The statement about there being many paths up the mountain refers to more than one spiritual path, while each path's adherents often have the mindset that theirs is the only valid one. There is nothing at all that should give anyone the illusion that anything said is remotely connected to letting others pick one's goal.
  2. Well, with all the input, especially from Brother Jonathan, I have altered my perceptions about earned degrees a good deal. I still think there is a place for them, but as you. Brother mererdog and others have pointed out, there are many flaws in the college and degree systems, and one can be just as effectively self read and trained through entities such as this at ULC. You have reminded me that all the learning and book knowledge in the world won't instill a compassionate heart nor common sense. Thank you all for your discourses that have caused me to alter my views appreciably. I was of those of the times in the 60s, and one of the protesters against the status quo. I am one that likes the references available from the books and studies, but one size does not fit all, and I realize that there are many avenues available to reach a goal, or as a Hindu proverb states, "There are many paths up the mountain."
  3. What an inherently dangerous major!!! The sham I think, is on the college's part. What is the "employment rate" of student athletes into their Football careers? Not very great at all. For those lucky few that make it into major league football though, the rewards can be staggering!!!
  4. Yes; in this, schools are failing in their mission to prepare students for a future in their chosen careers. This not only affects the student athlete, but the student body and ultimately the school as a whole.
  5. I was speaking of the ramifications of hate, particularly if hate should predominate. My thoughts are that it would beget lawlessness for lawlessness is a product in most instances of hate. Love outweighs hate, and for now at least, balances it, keeping hate and its byproduct, lawlessness, in check.
  6. Thank you SisterSalome for the thought provoking questions: Why do we have to die? Biblically, we are told in James 4:14 "Yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes." I hesitate to bring scripture that states specific numbers, because each has its supporters and detractors. However, all living things - plant and animal - will reach the same end, speaking of our mortal flesh. I do not worry or bemoan the fact that I will one day die. I like the speech by Julius Caesar in the play by Shakespeare "Cowards die many times before their deaths. The valiant never taste of death but once. Of all the wonders that I yet have heard, It seems to me most strange that men should fear, Seeing that death, a necessary end, Will come when it will come." We have an allotted time. It is not that we will die but how we live that will be our testament and legacy.
  7. Why do humans intentionally seek to evolve into something far greater beyond their realistic needs? From SisterSalome's Difficult Questions. Man has always wondered what is around the corner, what is the meaning of life, etc. Why we seek to evolve into something greater than our realistic needs is the impetus that has driven mankind to discover new worlds, discover new medicine, to reach beyond our current understanding and seek that which is seemingly unknowable. This quest for the unknown has given us the discovery of things as complex as the quark, and as simple as an ink pen that can be used in space. It is this quest to evolve that will let us continue to solve dilemmas that face us.
  8. There is much hatred, to be sure. However, if hatred outweighed the good or love, the calamity we see now is nothing compared to what utter hate and lawlessness would be and IMO lawlessness would rule in the presence of unmitigated hate. For now at least, love outweighs the hate by a good margin.
  9. Sadly- and disturbingly - money outweighs what would normally be a common sense approach to safety, and what is supposedly the primary objectives and missions of schools to provide an education which will prepare students for a career in their field of choice.
  10. It was unfortunate that I brought the athletic question into play. It is a travesty that Ga Tech, UGA, and others are able to bend the rules and even violate them to have good athletic programs. The alumni at these colleges condone and support these transgressions. Be that as it may, it detracts from the larger point, which was a solid background in one's chosen field is advantageous I believe, in being an effective minister and to be well prepared for all the situations that will present themselves. A reference was made to "what seminary did the apostles attend?" That is in my view a very dismissive and poor argument. The apostles were the pioneers. Jesus was a Rabbi, and it was under his tutelage that they learned. The same might be asked "what flight school did Wilbur and Orville Wright attend?" They were the pioneers, and I will absolutely not board a plane if I know the pilot did not attend a competent flight school (which would include military training as one of the pathways to being a pilot). I do not believe that graduating from a reputable school is the only avenue to being a good minister, but I believe it certainly helps one prepare adequately.
  11. I knew an ordained minister with less people skills than a turnip. He may have gotten better. I would ask what college he graduated from? Again, I know in my experience it wouldn't have been from Candler School of Theology, for instance. I can't vouch for schools I have no knowledge of. As you iterated, the pastor who does not serve the needs of his congregation will not last long.
  12. I had quite a few teachers who had no real idea how to handle a class full of rowdy kids. Some figured it out. One quit halfway through the year. Unfortunately the demand for teachers is so great that qualifying them is minimal at best. The schools they come from in some instances are not solid colleges with high standards. That the teacher you mentioned quit halfway through the year is evidence of the weeding out process - a bit late, albeit but true nonetheless.
  13. I know people who have degrees they never really used, and as a result have forgotten most of what they learned on their chosen subjects. How does never using the degree or forgetting what they learned over time equate with having had the knowledge? They are two separate entities or circumstances. I remember how to solder, how to weld, how to fit pipe together from when I was a plumber years ago but I do not remember how close a commode must be to a riser (the stack or pipe that goes through the roof in a drain line). I do not remember the cubic feet in a 16 foot 11/2 in diameter pipe. That doesn't mean I never knew it. Not using knowledge is either a choice or a situation due to circumstances. Not ever acquiring that knowledge is a different matter.
  14. What does being an athlete have to do with scholastic achievement? I worked at Ga Tech for 12 years. I employed many students on a work/study program. I know they have a rigid curricula and I saw quite a few have to go home because they couldn't stand up to the rigors of Ga TEch requirements. A couple of the students had asked me to hire them on permanently (Printing and Photographic Center), but I wouldn't do it while they were in school. You have the misconception that I equate reputable with perfection. That thought and idea came out of your head.
  15. Yes, and that is where the weeding out process starts. For instance, in the UMC, a candidate for ordained ministry must undergo a mentoring process and during that process the candidate's mentor teaches him what he needs to know to be successful, and the steps to achieve that success. In addition to completing the coursework, the candidate is required to do home visitations, demonstrate empathy toward others, and demonstrate that he indeed does care for others and their needs and situations.
  16. These people should not have graduated in their chosen fields respectively then. I did qualify my statement with the waiver that the school should be one that is reputable, and I also stated that IMO a lack of degree does not necessarily convey incompetence. While your point is taken, those schools that graduate students without insuring the students have a firm foundation of their chosen field should not be allowed to remain accredited. I know of no graduate of Emory, Ga Tech, or Harvard for instance, that cannot display a firm grasp of his or her field.
  17. I don't believe it takes a degree to understand God's word: What I believe is someone teaching God's word should have an advanced understanding and knowledge of not only God's word, but of the forces that compel people to seek advice, to have at least some introduction to pastoral counseling, and an advanced understanding of theology. Without that, it is only a sham, in my opinion, to call oneself a minister. How can one minister if he or she has no understanding beyond those ministered to? There are many reasons people come here to get their various certificates. Some of those reasons are rather spurious, while others have a genuine desire to make a difference in people's lives, and/or a genuine interest in the discussions and debates here. I don't disparage or question anyone's reasons, but I do think the minister should be able to minister effectively, and IMO that calls for a higher degree of knowledge and understanding.
  18. Again, I beg to differ. A degree from a recognized college is most certainly a guarantee that the degree holder has the competency to know and understand the subject matter and its implications upon real life situations. While a lack of degree does not necessarily convey incompetence, I do believe a minister should be able to exhibit a grasp of the fundamentals in practical terms. I would not attend services in which a minister did not exhibit this understanding and grasp of knowledge. I have gone to services in both cases, and in both cases (degreed and non degreed pastors) I have elected to never attend their services again. The non degreed in most instances because of a lack of understanding of the Bible and practical knowledge of the minister, and the degreed because of the ministers' lack of humanity. The LaGrange District of the UMC once told me "God chooses. we decide (speaking of admission into ordained ministry). While I find that to be a bit overboard and overreaching on the UMC's part, it does indicate that inclusion into the ministry there is a multiple endeavor: One must not only pass the academics, one must also show works, competence, and commitment to the pastoral life.
  19. I am not sure I understand your position on this. There are experts on both sides of the fence so to speak, regarding evolution. I am Christian, yet believe the contrast between evolution and the Bible is not a deficiency in either, but the inability of us in our limited understanding to reconcile the two.
  20. I do not believe the jump can be made that "...and man became a living soul" to saying that soul is just a living being. The living being contains the soul, but is not all that the soul is, nor is the soul all that the living vessel is: most major religions have a means to describe this; for instance, the Buddhist and other religions' concept of reincarnation, etc.
  21. Point taken. I had decided to go ahead and get the PhD of Divinity, and of course, since I can't find my ordination certificate, I will order a new one. Regarding the thought "delegitimization of the hierarchical systems that rely on an assumption that a title indicates some degree of superiority", I disagree that is the only or even main purpose of systems that do have a structured learning program and hierarchal system. I firmly believe that a pastor should have a firm grasp of theology, philosophy, apologetics, and counseling to lead his flock. The schools of theology providing this have exhaustive courses of study, and they make sure one is fully prepared to undertake the situations that will arise in dealing with people's spiritual and practical needs regarding faith and daily living. It is difficult to teach math if you do not have an intimate knowledge of math. It is the same with ministry: One cannot minister to the needs of the people without a firm foundation.
  22. Honestly, I don't even know why ULC offers any "Degrees" at all. Basically they are just pretty pieces of paper to satiate one's ego. Outside ULC, they are worthless, it seems. I have done extensive study, but it was all decades ago. My life experiences won't even count toward any type of divinity degree on the outside, but I can take exams to shorten my length of study time in a college that uses those type tests. All in all, I think I will just get the book so I can see what Dr. Hemsley's and the others that wrote the books for ULC thoughts were regarding the doctorate. I still have my coursework books from the UMC and can buy more textbooks to keep up with current thought.
  23. The definitions are rather vague, don't you think? Maybe Google and the other self proclaimed guardians of knowledge aren't as knowledgeable as they would have us believe? It is the attempt to understand the unfathomable, the desire to know the unknowable. Their definition of God will suffice insofar as also knowing it is "the short answer", and cannot encompass a full description of what they do not know, and seemingly, they do not believe.