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Ha, I had to go look up "collywobbles". I like it, and I'm gonna keep it!

Your story, and a few others I've heard before, has often made me wonder if the true purpose behind the story of the Forbidden Fruit in the Garden of Eden was to prevent the members of the church from questioning church authority & doctrine.

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Ha, I had to go look up "collywobbles". I like it, and I'm gonna keep it!

Your story, and a few others I've heard before, has often made me wonder if the true purpose behind the story of the Forbidden Fruit in the Garden of Eden was to prevent the members of the church from questioning church authority & doctrine.

Well, it certainly has been Used that way. I really prefer a more sophisticated read of this text (see, for instance, the forum discussion on Relativism!), since I tend to Believe that spiritual concepts worth writing down over and over and over and over are more sophisticated than Establishment-Types have been telling us.

Instead of Living-In-Oneness (God would come by daily to "Walk"), Eve was offered the Experience of Opposites (Knowledge of Good-and-Evil). Both Resident Humans bit at the chance!

God and Man were Divided.

Man and Woman were Divided.

Man and Animal were Divided.

Work and Leisure were Divided.

Birth and Death were Divided.

Literalist and Poet were Divided.

Bishop and Supplicant were Divided.

And so the Universe keeps Expanding Out.

We have chosen this Opposites Universe, so need to see it through to its End. Its just more super-painful for Some than for Others (a pair of Opposites!).

Peace Out.

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I've seen it but not experienced it other than mild disrespect and nastiness from the uninformed/unenlightened.

I think it is an obligation to stand up against it - whether the persecution is directed at our own or others

Happy Winter Solstice everyone.

Hey! Some of us actually celebrate the Winter Solstice. It has nothing to do with Christmas, it simply coincides (and has for hundreds of years) But I do understand your position

mm

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There were no nightmares, no sense of drifting farther from the God I was praying to give me wisdom and show me Truth at any cost - no loss of sense of peace, indeed there was an INCREASING sense of Peace.

This was the one sentence that impressed me in your post and also validates your/my journey. There was a day when I specifically prayed to "God," and I use quotes because up until that day, the God I knew God was the God of the Catholics. But it was that same prayer that I prayed, totally disenchanted with my religion, that God show me the way and the truth, regardless of my own impressions and beliefs. I wanted to "know God." I renew that prayer every time I am faced with confusion in spiritual matters (which is quite often). And you are right, TR, there aint no nightmares, no falling away, but rather more peace and more truth (which is why I also left the "Fundamentalists," ) because you and I became as little children and trusted God to take our hand and lead us, rather than follow blind leaders who cause us also to fall into the pit with them.

How you wound up where you are and I where I am...dunno the answer to that one, other than I learned that God is not just the God of Catholics...or Protestants...or fundies, et al, but THE God of All. If we pray in earnest for truth and seek it, fearing not what others say, but trust in Him and His guidance, we WILL wind up where He intends us to be, for He has directed our paths. And, yes, some will be catholics, some fundies and some...who knows. But their heart and soul will be with God, for they sought Truth and the Truth has made them Free.

Fear not, children, but seek after your heavenly Father, asking Him to guide you, and you shall not be disappointed. Amen.

Edited by RevRainbow
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Religious persecution - one of the many reasons the pilgrims left England for the New World all those years ago. And yet it continues to this day in every corner of the world, to people of virtually every faith.

Personally I've never experienced it, at least to a tangible degree. Most likely because I keep my beliefs private in the real world (and all the good and bad that comes with that). Still working on opening up that part of me.

I'm curious to hear of stories you might have dealt with in regards to you living/teaching your faith. What kind of persecution have you experienced? How have you overcome? Or have you been unable to and need advice from others?

welllll, a few years ago I encountered a very abusive * who "attempted to inflict his 'beliefs' on me"... this included insisting that women are not fit for the ministry "because Paul said so"... the fact that I am of an entirely different religion and therefore "what Paul said" isn't relevant to me kinda went over his head

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Thank you RevRainbow, ActingupAgain, and RevGen - and everyone who shared your experiences. The raging part of me has shrunk some more. I will try those meditations RevGen.

since the original poster asked for info re: the teaching aspect, I took that to mean those experiences were equally valid

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welllll, a few years ago I encountered a very abusive * who "attempted to inflict his 'beliefs' on me"... this included insisting that women are not fit for the ministry "because Paul said so"... the fact that I am of an entirely different religion and therefore "what Paul said" isn't relevant to me kinda went over his head

Were I in your position, if he'd expressed "what Paul said", I probably would have replied, "McCartney?" :lol:

One of my favorite plays I've starred in and directed, "Mass Appeal" (made into a movie starring Jack Lemmon) deals with the question of women in the Catholic priesthood in the very first scene. An older priest explains that the vocation of priesthood should be in the image of Jesus. But the young upstart seminarian expresses that women were there for Jesus at crucial and trying times in his life (pushing past the angry mob wipe his face of blood and spit, first to arrive at his tob upon resurection, etc.), and in doing so proved many times they were "in His image".

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Does not Paul (not McCartney), say that there is neither male or female in Christ? :coffee:

I dunno...But I do know that Paul (Mc Cartney) said:

Ebony and Ivory, living in perfect harmony...

That's sorta the same message, no??

Edited by Hexalpa
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Does not Paul (not McCartney), say that there is neither male or female in Christ? :coffee:

He's actually kinda fond of saying it...indicating that intimate knowledge of Christ can remove our weird Pair-of-Opposites experience. In terms of this discussion: if we can reduce the Them-vs-Us World View in ourselves, we may be able to reduce the aggressive reactions between other "disparate" parties. The things that people are urged to do for each other are not moral imperatives or rigid social paradigms, but Loving Gifts that will result in a Closer Life Experience. Women aren't Doormats, but Hard-core Helpers. Children are not Property, rather Disciples. Men are not to fancy themselves as Kings, but should dig into the emotional content of their relationships!

"4 When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.

5 Therefore consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry. 6 For it is because of these things that the wrath of God will come upon the sons of disobedience, 7 and in them you also once walked, when you were living in them. 8 But now you also, put them all aside: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive speech from your mouth. 9 Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices, 10 and have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him— 11 a renewal in which there is no distinction between Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and freeman, but Christ is all, and in all.

12 So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; 13 bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you. 14 Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity. 15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God. 17 Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.

18 Wives, be subject to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. 19 Husbands, love your wives and do not be embittered against them. 20 Children, be obedient to your parents in all things, for this is well-pleasing to the Lord. 21 Fathers, do not exasperate your children, so that they will not lose heart.

22 Slaves, in all things obey those who are your masters on earth, not with external service, as those who merely please men, but with sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord. 23 Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men, 24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve. 25 For he who does wrong will receive the consequences of the wrong which he has done, and that without partiality." --Colossians 3 (NASB, 1995)

"1 You foolish Galatians, who has bewitched you, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified? 2 This is the only thing I want to find out from you: did you receive the Spirit by the works of the Law, or by hearing with faith? 3 Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh? 4 Did you suffer so many things in vain—if indeed it was in vain? 5 So then, does He who provides you with the Spirit and works miracles among you, do it by the works of the Law, or by hearing with faith?

6 Even so Abraham BELIEVED GOD, AND IT WAS RECKONED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS. 7 Therefore, be sure that it is those who are of faith who are sons of Abraham. 8 The Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, “ALL THE NATIONS WILL BE BLESSED IN YOU.” 9 So then those who are of faith are blessed with Abraham, the believer.

10 For as many as are of the works of the Law are under a curse; for it is written, “CURSED IS EVERYONE WHO DOES NOT ABIDE BY ALL THINGS WRITTEN IN THE BOOK OF THE LAW, TO PERFORM THEM.” 11 Now that no one is justified by the Law before God is evident; for, “THE RIGHTEOUS MAN SHALL LIVE BY FAITH.” 12 However, the Law is not of faith; on the contrary, “HE WHO PRACTICES THEM SHALL LIVE BY THEM.” 13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us—for it is written, “CURSED IS EVERYONE WHO HANGS ON A TREE”— 14 in order that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we would receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.

15 Brethren, I speak in terms of human relations: even though it is only a man’s covenant, yet when it has been ratified, no one sets it aside or adds conditions to it. 16 Now the promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. He does not say, “And to seeds,” as referring to many, but rather to one, “And to your seed,” that is, Christ. 17 What I am saying is this: the Law, which came four hundred and thirty years later, does not invalidate a covenant previously ratified by God, so as to nullify the promise. 18 For if the inheritance is based on law, it is no longer based on a promise; but God has granted it to Abraham by means of a promise.

19 Why the Law then? It was added because of transgressions, having been ordained through angels by the agency of a mediator, until the seed would come to whom the promise had been made. 20 Now a mediator is not for one party only; whereas God is only one. 21 Is the Law then contrary to the promises of God? May it never be! For if a law had been given which was able to impart life, then righteousness would indeed have been based on law. 22 But the Scripture has shut up everyone under sin, so that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe.

23 But before faith came, we were kept in custody under the law, being shut up to the faith which was later to be revealed. 24 Therefore the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, so that we may be justified by faith. 25 But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor. 26 For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. 27 For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s descendants, heirs according to promise." --Galatians 3 (NASB, 1995)

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Guerrillas surround the home of Nazarene pastor Peter Nyabusa. They tie up his wife in a sitting position and force the pastor to sit on her. Then they slit his throat from one side to the other. Pastor Nyabusa's blood flows all over his wife as the guerillas watch him die.

In another nation, a group of young people waves a large banner reading “Tolerance is nonsense; slaughter Christians.” “‘Burn churches!’ shout others in the restless crowd, estimated at upwards of 200,000. Although it sounds like something from Nero's persecution of Christians in the first century, this particular scene took place only a few days ago in a country where the Church of the Nazarene is ministering.” So reported the January 21, 2000, edition of NCN Weekly Summary.

http://nph.com/nphweb/html/htol/archivedIC...02_article.html

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Article about modern religious war (killing on both sides) - http://newsblaze.com/story/20081130140511k...b/topstory.html

Reconciliation Attempts- http://www.probe.org/site/c.fdKEIMNsEoG/b...._Were_Wrong.htm

A giant leap backward - http://www.csmonitor.com/2001/0919/p12s2-woeu.html

When Christians Kill

By TESS HARPER

"Our troops" (preferred term. Avoid "military" or "bombs", as those words can get people upset) seem to have, regrettably, killed nine children inside a home in another inevitable accident in Afghanistan. This is going to present us with yet another challenge, linguistics-wise, because as you surely know by now, we have a very, very Christian President, which means that everything he orders his military to do, and everything his military orders our troops to do, is of course consistent with Christian principles.

I've been on the horn all morning with Washington on this potential PR disaster, and I know that my readers are concerned as well, lest our military missions or our rules of engagement be questioned (Tess Tip: "rules of engagement" reliably quells opposition, as it sounds too official and sophisticated for the average reader to dare question). But not to worry, Tess is on the case. A bit of shuffling around is in order, but if we work fast, we can prevent the usual whining about how "US aggression" has led to more civilian deaths, etc., blah blah blah.

Never fear, Dear Reader: As long as we get the words right, people will have forgotten all about those nine juveniles by, oh, Tuesday at the latest.

You see, when Christians kill, we have to have certain-wording. The right wording has been brilliantly used by our leaders these last two years to nip in the bud any dangerous notions that killing is somehow un-Christlike. I mean we all know that Jesus would be the first to commend the bombers for their good intentions after all, they were trying to kill "the enemy" and rid the world of evil, and just had a little, well, accident.

And Jesus said well never mind. Let's move on to pious-sounding words from the other parts of the Bible or from cherished old hymns that are, well, more amenable to our purposes than all that stuff that Jesus taught, which really has no pertinence here. (Tess Tip: you'll save a lot of time by skipping the Gospels altogether when justifying military defense killings, or when sanitizing military offense killings disguised as defense killings. I know all this is rather confusing, but the simple rule of thumb is in these situations is: Don't quote Jesus.)

Think with me for a moment. We need to strategize. What kind of phrase would make this nasty little incident more palatable to the good Christians of America?

For starters, we'll need a good Biblical-sounding word or two. "Evildoers" is usually a winner, but it's been a bit overused of late. How about-hmm-"freedom"? Good, but not quite Biblical enough to cover our.to convey the Christian impulse behind this regrettable incident (Tess Tip: always include the word "regrettable" when families are killed, preferably followed pretty quickly by the word "inevitable"-but don't use "collateral damage", as a lot of folks are starting to see through that one).

Still no ideas? Okay, let's just admit we're stuck for a moment, and go back to the AP story, 12/6/03. That should give us some ideas:

"An American A-10 aircraft struck a site south of Ghazni where a "known terrorist" was believed to be hiding at about 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Army Maj. Christopher E. West told The Associated Press. "Following the attack, ground coalition forces searching the area found the bodies of both the intended target and those of nine children nearby," he said. The U.S. military was sending a team of investigators to the site to determine if U.S. forces were at fault," West said."

Oh icky, that's no good-words like "attack", "bodies", "children", and fault" are to be avoided at all costs. Let's move on to another paragraph:

""We regret the loss of any innocent life and we follow stringent rules of engagement to specifically avoid this type of incident while continuing to target terrorists who threaten the future of Afghanistan," West said."

Much better! Our wording should include something about our dedication to preserving "innocent life", which we should, of course, quickly follow by reminding the reader or listener that, even though we did the killing, there were bad people (including a "known terrorist") out there threatening the very victims that we inadvertently killed.

Hey, are you thinking what I'm thinking?

Now we're getting somewhere. Try this on for size: Those nine were the very children that we were protecting, but, because of the bad people nearby-or, well, somewhere around there-anyway, in that region or that country (is Afghanistan the Middle East?!), oh you know what I mean-we had to drop some bombs. And -and -and they hit that house with the kids in it, and -and -and you see, (oh wait, this is good) if we hadn't done it, the terrorists probably would have, sooner or later! So, voila-We were actually protecting the children, but because the known terrorist wouldn't come out and show him- or herself to our bombers, those poor children got killed instead. The terrorists, you see, killed themin a manner of speaking.

Only one problem remains, and it's an important one, so let's not stop here. Where can we insert some Biblical wording to ease the conscience of any Bush supporter who might be fond of that troublesome "Christ" part of Christianity (compassion, millstone-around-the-neck for those who hurt children, blessed are the merciful, etc.)? Never fear, a quick look at the speeches of our own very, very Christian President may do the trick:

"They're nothing but a bunch of cold-blooded killers and that's the way we're going to treat them." George W. Bush, talking to soldiers at the largest US military base, Jan. 3, 2003.

OOPS! Never mind that one, strike it from the record please. There MUST be something better, somewhere here in my files, oh, what's this? Let's take a peek:

"I know that the families of our military are praying that all those who serve will return safely and soon. Millions of Americans are praying with you for the safety of your loved ones and for the protection of the innocent." George W. Bush, 3/19/03

"Prayer"! That's the ticket! It's on the cover of dozens of bestsellers-believe me, it's highly persuasive at this time. You see, as long as you link the word "prayer" with any kind of activity, and I do mean ANY kind of activity, it becomes "sanctified", in a sense: If you pray that the President's decisions will be right, then, well, think about it! Whatever decision he subsequently makes will bewhat? Correct, of course, and Godly, too! You wouldn't want to question God, would you?

That's why www.presidentialprayerteam.org is so successful. When you tell citizens to pray for political figures, this gives millions of well-intentioned Christians the subliminal message that, after praying for their President, whatever their President does or does not do is, ipso facto, the will of God Himself. Could you ask for anything more perfectly designed to squelch doubts or questions or pangs of conscience?

Okay, so now let's put it all together to develop our special wording (tactical words are underlined for your convenience): "We regret the loss of any innocent life, and pray that our actions will, in time, help us in our efforts to free the people of Afghanistan and Iraq from the terrorists who threaten their future."

Well we're pretty much finished, but, well, doesn't it lack-sparkle? Don't you think it should end with something that sounds righteous, patriotic, maybe even divinely inspired? Let Tess rummage around once more to see if there's anything fitting.

Here it is! George W. Bush, in his State of the Union address, Jan. 28, 2003: "For so many in our country -- the homeless and the fatherless, the addicted -- the need is great. Yet there is power, wonder-working power in the goodness, and idealism, and faith of the American people"

Ready? Set? Done! Our special wording, presented below, will ease every Bush-supporter's qualms, and even the most ardent Christian's concerns, about those nine little ones who were-well basically, in the wrong place (at home) at the wrong time (when we came a-bombing):

"We regret the loss of any innocent life, and pray that our actions will, in time, free the people of Afghanistan and Iraq (insert other countries as desired), from the terrorists who threaten their future. The people of Afghanistan and Iraq and (insert countries) long for freedom, and we are making the sacrifices to bring that freedom to them and to all the people of that troubled part of the world. We know that we will prevail because there is power, wonder-working power in the goodness and mercy of our troops and the American people."

All Spinitaway phrasing is a public service of Tess Harper Enterprises and may be used to sanitize and justify all regrettable but inevitable accidents on an as-needed basis by Mr. Wolfowitz, Mr. Rumsfeld, Mr. Bremer, Mr. Perle, Mr. Cheney, Gen. Sanchez, Fox News, CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS, Pat Robertson, Thomas Friedman and the New York Times, Jerry Falwell, Bill O'Reilly, James Dobson, Rush Limbaugh, the Rendon group, Clear Channel radio stations, Condi Rice and/or President George W. Bush entirely free of charge and without permission of the author.

Tess Harper can be reached at: spinitaway-at-hotmail.com

http://www.counterpunch.org/harper12082003.html

ZOIKS! - Hindu extremists offer reward to kill Christians - http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/worl...icle5186703.ece

oooo.... not a nice video game here - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muslim_Massacre

Edited by Tsukino_Rei
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When I was a child my parents were pretty active in our RCC parish.

A family moved into our street and wrote to the local paper complaining that no "so-called Catholics" were friendly. (I don't know how long after they moved in, but it can't have been very long).

So naturally my parents and several other catholic families in the street went to welcome them, befriended the mother (a housewife like many in our street) and I played a lot with their 2 kids who were about the same age as me.

This went on for about 5 or 6 months, until suddenly everything changed.

The woman started attacking the RCC neighbours verbally, and later physically.

She would cruise her car alongside RCC children walking home from school and threaten them, insult our parents (she told my 8 or 9 year old brother that my mother was an alcoholic and that our Dad was not his real father, for instance).

She would sit outside the church during Mass with her finger on the car horn and was twice cautioned by the police for it. One evening my Mum and I were out walking and met her and her children: she got them throwing stones at us.

Very very scary...and exceeding weird.

At least I can say I've been stoned for my religion.

The hassles ended when she sexually, racially and physically harrassed a lecturer at our local college (he was black, not RCC - apparently she didn't like black people either), got taken to court and lost... they moved house and were never heard from again.

Edited by Bluecat
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When I was a child my parents were pretty active in our RCC parish.

A family moved into our street and wrote to the local paper complaining that no "so-called Catholics" were friendly. (I don't know how long after they moved in, but it can't have been very long).

So naturally my parents and several other catholic families in the street went to welcome them, befriended the mother (a housewife like many in our street) and I played a lot with their 2 kids who were about the same age as me.

This went on for about 5 or 6 months, until suddenly everything changed.

The woman started attacking the RCC neighbours verbally, and later physically.

She would cruise her car alongside RCC children walking home from school and threaten them, insult our parents (she told my 8 or 9 year old brother that my mother was an alcoholic and that our Dad was not his real father, for instance).

She would sit outside the church during Mass with her finger on the car horn and was twice cautioned by the police for it. One evening my Mum and I were out walking and met her and her children: she got them throwing stones at us.

Very very scary...and exceeding weird.

At least I can say I've been stoned for my religion.

The hassles ended when she sexually, racially and physically harrassed a lecturer at our local college (he was black, not RCC - apparently she didn't like black people either), got taken to court and lost... they moved house and were never heard from again.

:fear: That's awful. What at terrible lasting memory that must have left the children with.

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