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Found 8 results

  1. Continuing from another thread (No Religion): What is the difference between a religion, a philosophy, a practice and a church. I think this could be an interesting conversation.
  2. As Ministers, Priests, Chaplains, Shamans, etc., are we to assume we are allowed to create brochures that reflect the core values/beliefs of our religion (Christianity, Buddhism, Wicca & Druidry)? And what about brochures that discuss what the ULC is and does? Are they on the website for us to download and print as needed? Or are there really none that presently exist? Thanks.
  3. I just adore my friend who so eloquently wrote this.... Having accepted that social media is mostly absurd, I use FB to keep up with old friends, and share short stories from my life that I think might lighten your day. This will be neither short nor light. Many of you know that I was raised in a church. That it was, in fact, very important to me. If you knew me then, I probably gave you communion, or taught your children, or prayed and sang alongside you every Sunday. I've become mostly a holiday churchgoer these days, but my faith isn't held in those walls, and I'm nothing but thankful for my time there. Many of you know that I'm gay. This is also very important to me. I have the somewhat unique experience of not struggling between my faith and my sexuality. I've always been gay. I've always believed in God. In my own church I never heard hate. I came out to my pastor before I did to my parents. I certainly never heard bigotry at home. I knew it was out there, but, like anything scary, I tucked it away until I was stronger. Regarding the CA ballot intiative, Sodomite Suppression Act, which states: "Seeing that it is better that offenders should die rather than that all of us should be killed by God's just wrath against us for the folly of tolerating-wickedness in our midst, the People of California wisely command, in the fear of God, that any person who willingly touches another person of the same gender for purposes of sexual gratification be put to death by bullets to the head or by any other convenient method." And, Family Research Council president Tony Perkin's veiled call for violence if the Supreme Court clears the way for national marriage equality. I have this to say: Get out of the way. I can read these things, as an adult, and know that there will never be a law that allows you to kill a group of people who have found their voice. I know, as a married man, that society doesn't fall apart when we pay our taxes, and save for the future, and dream for our daughter. Kids hear these things though, and don't have the tools yet to figure that out. They look to you for guidance. If you choose to stand firmly on the shaky ground of Leviticus, have you ever read a bit further? Because in with me and my lot, you'll have to put the blind, people with acne, and dwarves. And women, oh my. Unclean seems to sum it up. So who will be left? After the cotton/poly blend wearers, anyone who has touched a real football, or eaten a shrimp, who's around. You? Awesome. Get a move on. If you believe that gay people are worse than terrorists. That we are the base of all that's wrong in this One Nation Under God. That we control the weather. If you believe that in our humanness we're any different from heterosexuals, then your faith has been handed to you. It hasn't been lived. Jesus, having never said a single word about homosexuality, never set out on a road that leads to hate. Humans did that. For narcissism, power, and wealth. Not for God, and certainly not for you. If you think he did, my guess is a bigoted parent, self righteous preacher, or Klan member taught you that. Could you be wrong? Would the world end if you were? Could you finally learn what forgiveness feels like? There are amazing Christians that are working for equality and inclusion. There are atheists that lift up and support their neighbor. There are buddhists that work for peace and love around the world. There are gays who work for justice, and some straight people are arm in arm with them. If you can't see the value in that. If you can't see Christ in that. Then get out of the way. The rest of us have work to do.
  4. I became ordained as a minister about a month ago. (I was raised Mormon but when I was 16 (so... 6-ish years ago) had a series of events that happened that made me not interested in following the normal conventions. Since then I've followed my heart to different paths and I'm currently an energy therapist/life coach with an emphasis in spiritual counseling, running my business to help clients in one-on-one situations and writing a book. I have struggled with the concept of religion and after delving into many, I've decided I don't like any that I've seen because I would benefit from something that has a few significant guidelines and almost no strict/specific rules.) I was guided to the ULC site and upon reading the quote on the front - "Do only that which is right" - and I literally felt like this was the best place for me to be right now and went through the ordination process immediately. I kind of forgot about it until I was adding the event to my Facebook timeline the other day and I've been told that it's a bit inappopriate for me to call myself a minister if I am not a Christian. Now, I know I'm treading the line of sounding like I am letting them convince me that doing what I feel is right is actually wrong, but they bring up a good point. Since I haven't been a minister for long, I don't feel like I can appropriately identify what it means to me to be a minister - all it means to me right now is being able to say I'm registered to perform spiritual rites including marriage with an actual church behind me. What does it mean to be a minister? What does it mean to YOU to be a minister? How have you dealt with people who express distaste because they don't think it's appropriate or fair that you have gone on this path?
  5. I would like to know more about your beliefs. I am willing to discuss beliefs or just read about yours, it's up to you. ^^ I am not going to try to preach or convert anyone, nor am I going to be converted, I'm just here to learn. Thank you for your time. ^^
  6. "Death added nothing to the intellectual possession or to the spiritual endowment, but it did add to the experiential status the consciousness of survival."1 A Personal Philosophy of Religion An idea is only a theoretical plan for action, while a positive decision is a validated plan of action. A stereotype is a plan of action accepted without validation. The materials out of which to build a personal philosophy of religion are derived from both the inner and the environmental experience of the individual. The social status, economic conditions, educational opportunities, moral trends, institutional influences, political developments, racial tendencies, and the religious teachings of one’s time and place all become factors in the formulation of a personal philosophy of religion. Even the inherent temperament and intellectual bent markedly determine the pattern of religious philosophy. Vocation, marriage, and kindred all influence the evolution of one’s personal standards of life. A philosophy of religion evolves out of a basic growth of ideas plus experimental living as both are modified by the tendency to imitate associates. The soundness of philosophic conclusions depends on keen, honest, and discriminating thinking in connection with sensitivity to meanings and accuracy of evaluation. Moral cowards never achieve high planes of philosophic thinking; it requires courage to invade new levels of experience and to attempt the exploration of unknown realms of intellectual living. Presently new systems of values come into existence; new formulations of principles and standards are achieved; habits and ideals are reshaped; some idea of a personal God is attained, followed by enlarging concepts of relationship thereto. The great difference between a religious and a nonreligious philosophy of living consists in the nature and level of recognized values and in the object of loyalties. There are four phases in the evolution of religious philosophy: Such an experience may become merely conformative, resigned to submission to tradition and authority. Or it may be satisfied with slight attainments, just enough to stabilize the daily living, and therefore becomes early arrested on such an adventitious level. Such mortals believe in letting well enough alone. A third group progress to the level of logical intellectuality but there stagnate in consequence of cultural slavery. It is indeed pitiful to behold giant intellects held so securely within the cruel grasp of cultural bondage. It is equally pathetic to observe those who trade their cultural bondage for the materialistic fetters of a science, falsely so called. The fourth level of philosophy attains freedom from all conventional and traditional handicaps and dares to think, act, and live honestly, loyally, fearlessly, and truthfully. The acid test for any religious philosophy consists in whether or not it distinguishes between the realities of the material and the spiritual worlds while at the same moment recognizing their unification in intellectual striving and in social serving. A sound religious philosophy does not confound the things of God with the things of Caesar. Neither does it recognize the aesthetic cult of pure wonder as a substitute for religion. Philosophy transforms that primitive religion which was largely a fairy tale of conscience into a living experience in the ascending values of cosmic reality.2 I would be delighted for you to share your personal philosophy of religion/living. Peace,Rev. Bill 1 From Morontia Mota [ HERE ] 2 An excerpt from The Urantia Book. See it in its original context [ HERE ]Important: The Urantia Book is in the public domain, and the original holder of the copyright, The Urantia Foundation, has granted permission to reproduce or copy the standardized English text without permission. TIN: UF-ENG-001-World-2009-0.19.SRT
  7. I tell you the truth. In every church that I have seen, the "Pastor" has invariably, and mistakenly, been the "Leader" or "Head" of the church. This is an incorrect leadership model. The churches "Leadership" team (Elders) consists of an Apostle, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers The Holy Spirit is the head of the church that speaks through the "Elders", who speaks to the "Pastors", who as a servant, ministers to the body of Christ, the congregation. Going the other way, the congregation speaks to the servant Pastors, who in turn speaks to the "Elders", who seeks guidance from the Holy Spirit. It is the "Elders", with the Holy Spirits urgings, who make the church decisions, and the Pastor who caries them out. The church meets nightly in homes about the city for the purposes of breaking bread and ministry to the body, this is where the Pastors and Teachers shine. Breaking of bread can be construed in two different views. It can mean the preparation and consumption of a meal, or it can be construed as sharing communion. The body meets whole, as one body, once a week, which has traditionally been on Sunday, for the purposes of unrestrained Praise and Worship.
  8. I'm going to try this again. ^^ I tried it in the open forum where people can't reply. ^^; I would like to know more about your beliefs. I'd like to learn about theisms and atheisms. You might think that all atheisms are the same, but they aren't. I am not here to preach, convert or be converted, I'm just here to learn. Even if you see your beliefs posted on here, I'd like you to comment. Thank you for your time.