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About RevBates

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  • Birthday 03/29/1982

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    Columbus, Nebraska

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  • Your Motto
    Light dispels darkness. Wisdom dispels ignorance
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  1. The is the same link up in the browser.
  2. Well I just checked and this forum link is still on the ULC site. ULCHQ Links
  3. As far as Buddhism there's different sects and a small presentage of them are religious. The Buddha never considered himself as a god and Christian's like myself practice Buddhism.
  4. In the Hebrew Bible Sheol (he'll) is considered the grave. Jew's believe that all people will go to sheol until judgement day. When the Hebrew Bible was translated into Greek the Hebrew word was translated into the Greek word hades which also means the grave.
  5. RevBates

    Ceremonies and My Marriage Policy

    As a libertarian I feel you should have the right to Merry who you want or don't want. No one should force you to perform a same-sex marriage or non Christian marriage. I may not agree but I don't have a say how you run your marriage business.
  6. Love your motto! Wisdom dispelling ignorance.

  7. RevBates

    Congregation Directory

    I don't know who's in charge of the Congregation Directory but I'm trying to reset my password but I'm not getting a password reset email. I checked all my folders but nothing. josh
  8. I consider myself a freethinking Christian.
  9. The Fourteen Mindfulness Trainings of the Order of Interbeing When individuals becoming members of the organization, they take the vows of the Fourteen Mindfulness Trainings in a formal ceremony. The Fourteen Mindfulness Trainings are the very essence of the Order of Interbeing. They are the torch lighting our path, the boat carrying us, the teacher guiding us. They allow us to touch the nature of interbeing in everything that is, and to see that our happiness is not separate from the happiness of others. Interbeing is not a theory; it is a reality that can be directly experienced by each of us at any moment in our daily lives. The Fourteen Mindfulness Trainings help us cultivate concentration and insight which free us from fear and the illusion of a separate self. The First Mindfulness Training: Openness Aware of the suffering created by fanaticism and intolerance, we are determined not to be idolatrous about or bound to any doctrine, theory, or ideology, even Buddhist ones. We are committed to seeing the Buddhist teachings as guiding means that help us develop our understanding and compassion. They are not doctrines to fight, kill, or die for. We understand that fanaticism in its many forms is the result of perceiving things in a dualistic and discriminative manner. We will train ourselves to look at everything with openness and the insight of interbeing in order to transform dogmatism and violence in ourselves and in the world. The Second Mindfulness Training:Non-attachment to Views Aware of the suffering created by attachment to views and wrong perceptions, we are determined to avoid being narrow-minded and bound to present views. We are committed to learning and practicing non-attachment to views and being open to others’ experiences and insights in order to benefit from the collective wisdom. We are aware that the knowledge we presently possess is not changeless, absolute truth. Insight is revealed through the practice of compassionate listening, deep looking, and letting go of notions rather than through the accumulation of intellectual knowledge. Truth is found in life, and we will observe life within and around us in every moment, ready to learn throughout our lives. The Third Mindfulness Training: Freedom of Thought Aware of the suffering brought about when we impose our views on others, we are determined not to force others, even our children, by any means whatsoever – such as authority, threat, money, propaganda, or indoctrination – to adopt our views. We are committed to respecting the right of others to be different, to choose what to believe and how to decide. We will, however, learn to help others let go of and transform fanaticism and narrowness through loving speech and compassionate dialogue. The Fourth Mindfulness Training: Awareness of Suffering Aware that looking deeply at the nature of suffering can help us develop understanding and compassion, we are determined to come home to ourselves, to recognize, accept, embrace and listen to suffering with the energy of mindfulness. We will do our best not to run away from our suffering or cover it up through consumption, but practice conscious breathing and walking to look deeply into the roots of our suffering. We know we can realize the path leading to the transformation of suffering only when we understand deeply the roots of suffering. Once we have understood our own suffering, we will be able to understand the suffering of others. We are committed to finding ways, including personal contact and using telephone, electronic, audiovisual, and other means, to be with those who suffer, so we can help them transform their suffering into compassion, peace, and joy. The Fifth Mindfulness Training: COMPASSIONATE, Healthy Living Aware that true happiness is rooted in peace, solidity, freedom, and compassion, we are determined not to accumulate wealth while millions are hungry and dying nor to take as the aim of our life fame, power, wealth, or sensual pleasure, which can bring much suffering and despair. We will practice looking deeply into how we nourish our body and mind with edible foods, sense impressions, volition, and consciousness. We are committed not to gamble or to use alcohol, drugs or any other products which bring toxins into our own and the collective body and consciousness such as certain websites, electronic games, music, TV programs, films, magazines, books and conversations. We will consume in a way that preserves compassion, wellbeing, and joy in our bodies and consciousness and in the collective body and consciousness of our families, our society, and the earth. The Sixth Mindfulness Training: TAKING CARE OF Anger Aware that anger blocks communication and creates suffering, we are committed to taking care of the energy of anger when it arises, and to recognizing and transforming the seeds of anger that lie deep in our consciousness. When anger manifests, we are determined not to do or say anything, but to practice mindful breathing or mindful walking to acknowledge, embrace, and look deeply into our anger. We know that the roots of anger are not outside of ourselves but can be found in our wrong perceptions and lack of understanding of the suffering in ourselves and others. By contemplating impermanence, we will be able to look with the eyes of compassion at ourselves and at those we think are the cause of our anger, and to recognize the preciousness of our relationships. We will practice Right Diligence in order to nourish our capacity of understanding, love, joy and inclusiveness, gradually transforming our anger, violence and fear, and helping others do the same. The Seventh Mindfulness Training: Dwelling Happily in the Present Moment Aware that life is available only in the present moment, we are committed to training ourselves to live deeply each moment of daily life. We will try not to lose ourselves in dispersion or be carried away by regrets about the past, worries about the future, or craving, anger, or jealousy in the present. We will practice mindful breathing to be aware of what is happening in the here and the now. We are determined to learn the art of mindful living by touching the wondrous, refreshing, and healing elements that are inside and around us, in all situations. In this way, we will be able to cultivate seeds of joy, peace, love, and understanding in ourselves, thus facilitating the work of transformation and healing in our consciousness. We are aware that real happiness depends primarily on our mental attitude and not on external conditions, and that we can live happily in the present moment simply by remembering that we already have more than enough conditions to be happy. The Eighth Mindfulness Training: TRUE Community and Communication Aware that lack of communication always brings separation and suffering, we are committed to training ourselves in the practice of compassionate listening and loving speech. Knowing that true community is rooted in inclusiveness and in the concrete practice of the harmony of views, thinking and speech, we will practice to share our understanding and experiences with members in our community in order to arrive at a collective insight. We are determined to learn to listen deeply without judging or reacting and refrain from uttering words that can create discord or cause the community to break. Whenever difficulties arise, we will remain in our Sangha and practice looking deeply into ourselves and others to recognize all the causes and conditions, including our own habit energies, that have brought about the difficulties. We will take responsibility for the ways we may have contributed to the conflict and keep communication open. We will not behave as a victim but be active in finding ways to reconcile and resolve all conflicts however small. The Ninth Mindfulness Training: Truthful and Loving Speech Aware that words can create happiness or suffering, we are committed to learning to speak truthfully, lovingly and constructively. We will use only words that inspire joy, confidence and hope as well as promote reconciliation and peace in ourselves and among other people. We will speak and listen in a way that can help ourselves and others to transform suffering and see the way out of difficult situations. We are determined not to say untruthful things for the sake of personal interest or to impress people, nor to utter words that might cause division or hatred. We will protect the happiness and harmony of our Sangha by refraining from speaking about the faults of other persons in their absence and always ask ourselves whether our perceptions are correct. We will speak only with the intention to understand and help transform the situation. We will not spread rumors nor criticize or condemn things of which we are not sure. We will do our best to speak out about situations of injustice, even when doing so may make difficulties for us or threaten our safety. The Tenth Mindfulness Training: Protecting AND NOURISHING the Sangha Aware that the essence and aim of a Sangha is the realization of understanding and compassion, we are determined not to use the Buddhist community for personal power or profit, or transform our community into a political instrument. As members of a spiritual community, we should nonetheless take a clear stand against oppression and injustice. We should strive to change the situation, without taking sides in a conflict. We are committed to learning to look with the eyes of interbeing and to see ourselves and others as cells in one Sangha body. As a true cell in the Sangha body, generating mindfulness, concentration and insight to nourish ourselves and the whole community, each of us is at the same time a cell in the Buddha body. We will actively build brotherhood and sisterhood, flow as a river, and practice to develop the three real powers – understanding, love and cutting through afflictions – to realize collective awakening. The Eleventh Mindfulness Training: Right Livelihood Aware that great violence and injustice have been done to our environment and society, we are committed not to live with a vocation that is harmful to humans and nature. We will do our best to select a livelihood that contributes to the wellbeing of all species on earth and helps realize our ideal of understanding and compassion. Aware of economic, political, and social realities around the world, as well as our interrelationship with the ecosystem, we are determined to behave responsibly as consumers and as citizens. We will not invest in or purchase from companies that contribute to the depletion of natural resources, harm the earth, or deprive others of their chance to live. The Twelfth Mindfulness Training: Reverence for Life Aware that much suffering is caused by war and conflict, we are determined to cultivate nonviolence, compassion, and the insight of interbeing in our daily lives and promote peace education, mindful mediation, and reconciliation within families, communities, ethnic and religious groups, nations, and in the world. We are committed not to kill and not to let others kill. We will not support any act of killing in the world, in our thinking, or in our way of life. We will diligently practice deep looking with our Sangha to discover better ways to protect life, prevent war, and build peace. The Thirteenth Mindfulness Training: Generosity Aware of the suffering caused by exploitation, social injustice, stealing, and oppression, we are committed to cultivating generosity in our way of thinking, speaking, and acting. We will practice loving kindness by working for the happiness of people, animals, plants, and minerals, and sharing our time, energy, and material resources with those who are in need. We are determined not to steal and not to possess anything that should belong to others. We will respect the property of others, but will try to prevent others from profiting from human suffering or the suffering of other beings. The Fourteenth Mindfulness Training: TRUE LOVE [For lay members]: Aware that sexual desire is not love and that sexual relations motivated by craving cannot dissipate the feeling of loneliness but will create more suffering, frustration, and isolation, we are determined not to engage in sexual relations without mutual understanding, love, and a deep long-term commitment made known to our family and friends. Seeing that body and mind are one, we are committed to learning appropriate ways to take care of our sexual energy and to cultivating loving kindness, compassion, joy and inclusiveness for our own happiness and the happiness of others. We must be aware of future suffering that may be caused by sexual relations. We know that to preserve the happiness of ourselves and others, we must respect the rights and commitments of ourselves and others. We will do everything in our power to protect children from sexual abuse and to protect couples and families from being broken by sexual misconduct. We will treat our bodies with compassion and respect. We are determined to look deeply into the Four Nutriments and learn ways to preserve and channel our vital energies (sexual, breath, spirit) for the realization of our bodhisattva ideal. We will be fully aware of the responsibility of bringing new lives into the world, and will regularly meditate upon their future environment. [For monastic members]: Aware that the deep aspiration of a monk or a nun can only be realized when he or she wholly leaves behind the bonds of sensual love, we are committed to practicing chastity and to helping others protect themselves. We are aware that loneliness and suffering cannot be alleviated through a sexual relationship, but through practicing loving kindness, compassion, joy and inclusiveness. We know that a sexual relationship will destroy our monastic life, will prevent us from realizing our ideal of serving living beings, and will harm others. We will learn appropriate ways to take care of our sexual energy. We are determined not to suppress or mistreat our body, or look upon our body as only an instrument, but will learn to handle our body with compassion and respect. We will look deeply into the Four Nutriments in order to preserve and channel our vital energies (sexual, breath, spirit) for the realization of our bodhisattva ideal.
  10. RevBates

    House Church

    Yeah I'll teach what I've learned and I'll also bring in guest speakers. Some sangha's invite Buddhist monks to speak but the sangha has to pay travel arrangements.
  11. RevBates

    House Church

    I have taken a new approach at the same time keeping my religues beliefs. I've started studying Buddhism and meditation and now I'm in the process of getting a sangha (community) group started in my town for those interested in learning the teachings and meditation practice of Buddha. This sangha would be opened to all people regardless of their religious background, gender, sex and sexual orientation.
  12. At the moment I go to a church that has 2 denominations, one the Presbyterian USA and the other United Church of Christ. When my church is started we will meet in my home until we can find a place.
  13. Update: The Governor of Georgia vetoed the "First Amendment Defense Act" stating he can't sign a bill with all the anti-discrimination language in it. But, he did say he supported the "Pastor Protection Act" the was inserted into the other bill. Now I do support any "Pastor Protection Acts" Bills to protect pastors who feel they can't go against their belief.
  14. Well, the first amendment already protects Christians and the church but the Government needs to follow the First Amendment. And a gay couple shouldn't force a pastor to marry them when there are churches that will marry them. Madison was one of the first thinkers in colonial America to understand why church and state must be separated. His advocacy for this concept grew out of his own personal experiences in Virginia, where Anglicanism was the officially established creed and any attempt to spread another religion in public could lead to a jail term. Early in 1774, Madison learned that several Baptist preachers were behind bars in a nearby county for public preaching. On Jan. 24, an enraged Madison wrote to his friend William Bradford in Philadelphia about the situation. "That diabolical Hell conceived principle of persecution rages among some and to their eternal Infamy the Clergy can furnish their quota of Imps for such business," Madison wrote. "This vexes me the most of any thing whatever. There are at this time in the adjacent County not less than 5 or 6 well meaning men in close Gaol [jail] for publishing their religious Sentiments which in the main are very orthodox. I have neither the patience to hear talk or think any thing relative to this matter, for I have squabbled and scolded abused and ridiculed so long about it, to so little purpose that I am without common patience. So I leave you to pity me and pray for Liberty of Conscience to revive among us." Madison soon had the opportunity to translate his anger into action. As a member of the Revolutionary Convention in Virginia in 1776, Madison sought to disestablish the Church of England in that state and secure passage of an amendment guaranteeing religious liberty to all. The attempt at disestablishment failed, but Madison's ideas on religious freedom were included in an "Article on Religion" that was adopted by the Convention. The statement held that religion can be "directed only by reason and conviction, not force or violence" and guaranteed to all "the free exercise of religion, according to the dictates of conscience." Here Madison was responsible for a great leap forward in thinking. At the Revolutionary Convention, delegate George Mason had proposed an amendment guaranteeing "toleration" of all faiths. To Madison, this did not go far enough. He sought to expand religious liberty rights beyond mere toleration and argued for the "free exercise" of religion a concept that would later resurface in the First Amendment. Madison's proposal was turned over to an 11-member committee, of which he was a member, for consideration. Several proposed amendments were put forth. Some members favored allowing the federal government to endorse religion in a general way as long as it did not engage in preferential treatment of any sect. These proposals were rejected as too weak. The committee eventually settled on language reading, "Congress shall make no law establishing articles of faith or a mode of worship, or prohibiting the free exercise of religion." The House of Representatives refused to accept this version, so a joint Senate-House committee, which included Madison, was charged with the task of forging a compromise. The records of their debate is sketchy, but it was this committee that eventually emerged with the language we know today: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." Madison originally wanted to expand the First Amendment to apply to the states as well as the federal government. In fact, he saw this as the amendment's most important feature. His proposal cleared the House but was voted down in the Senate, and the amendment passed as a prohibition on the federal government only. But again, the debate showed that Madison was thinking ahead of the curve. Eighty-one years after his proposal, Congress passed the Fourteenth Amendment, which was designed to do what Madison argued for in 1787 apply the Bill of Rights to the states. - I can go on but people can read more about it from the website. As you can see Madison wanted to include the states in the first amendment, and when I hear people state the the first amendment was only for the fed government I want to tell them to re-look at history. The first amendment alone protects churches and Christians and it does apply to the states.