May I say that as always, your comments ring true. I share much the same view of existence.
Endorsing your elucidation saves me a lot of typing.
You know what’s interesting? Many people, even many people on this Board, use the narrative about Abraham sacrificing his son Isaac as a means of being angry at and condemning God for asking such a request (that of killing his son). What’s also interesting is the biblical FACT that Jah never intended for the deed to be carried out. The Bible states this. God only asked it of one person—Abraham—and even then it was only a test to see if Abraham would comply. And at the moment of compliance to said request, God prevented it from being carried out by one of his angels. It was a test for Abraham. God has never asked it of anyone ever again. That narrative was a symbolic drama or allegory, so to speak, of what He, God, was going to do for us—sacrifice His son. Christ basically said, when you look at him you pretty see God. As a matter of fact, it is stated that Christ is the “exact representation” of God’s being. The question follows: Would Christ instruct others to kill someone, anyone, AND have it be carried out? From what you already know about the person of Christ, I think you will answer, No. And if Christ wouldn’t, then neither would, and in reading the narrative, neither did God. So then, when you hear of know of people who say or said they hear voices telling them to kill someone—YOU KNOW it is not coming from God or Christ. And remember too, that we (Christians who have indeed received holy spirit) have been instructed to “test” the inspired utterances to see if they “originate with God.” You “test” such utterances by the Law of Love. If the “utterance” comes from a place of love or a place of being loving, you can pretty much bet it does come from God. But, and this is a pretty big BUT, if the “utterance” does not come from a place of love or of being loving, you can pretty much bet it DOES NOT come from God and then you can choose to ignore it and/or say to it: “Begone! Get behind me, Satan.” No fear of it is necessary—just your Christian strength and faith is necessary for they have no power over you, as Christ himself stated.
I worry about not having some sort of check device (in this case the bible) and going off on my own feelings and emotions.
Just keep it simple. Start with ...
1) Am I breaking any laws of the country I live in?
2) Am I hurting anyone intentionally? Am I being mean-spirited?
Once you are ready, I highly suggest crafting your own Personal Mission Statement. You can start very simply using the above 2 principles. Move into expanding it over time. This is a living document, meaning that it can be, and should be, changed and updated as you move through life.
Stephen Covey speaks of aligning oneself to what he calls "true north" principles of a character ethic that he presents as universal and timeless. These are principles that are unchanging, unwaivering, steady, true, and always work. An example would be "Honesty couched with Kindness".
Use the Internet and Google "Personal Mission Statement". Have fun with this.
ALL RELIGIONS HAVE SOME "TRUTH", THAT IS HOW THEY HOOK YOU. THE WATCHTOWER SOCIETY IS DIFFIDENTLY A "CULT". FOLLOW BIBLE PRINCIPLES AND LIVE YOUR LIFE FREE FROM ANY RELIGION HERE ON EARTH.
Before I even started my fade I asked myself the very same question; for a while, I was leaning strongly towards Unitarian Universalism because I'd realizied what a Liberal/Progressive-type guy I already was. Still lean that way a bit, but holding hands and singing, lighting candles and such, seemed to me to be just a bit too ritual-ish; don't know if that's my cup of tea. I do like the round-table-type spiritual/philisophical discussion angle, though.
Three-plus years into the fade, and I've realized just how much my family and I seem to be getting by without any kind of organized religion at all.
Still dig Jesus' "flip-the-bird-at-authoritarianism" style, though.
Still read faith-oriented material, too; Pastor Dan, John Shelby Spong, etc.
Remember, the phrase "Where Else Will You Go?" is designed (either intentionally or otherwise) to be a thought-stopper.
OnTheWayOut - You don't need organized religion. That's a leftover from JW thinking. Or you can find some sort of organized religion that simply encourages you to look at things for yourself and it isn't so rigid in insisting that you do things or believe things exactly the way the rest of the flock does.
How about semi-organized religion? Or disorganized religion?:D
It's funny, I'm sure there are a lot of people from different religions trying to figure this whole thing out. I know at the KH I attended, there were many previous Catholics, many people, over time, seem to change or drop their religion.
Makes me wonder why there wasn't a different way it was presented to us, us, meaning humans, so we could easily see which was right, which was wrong.
Even the apostles fell short and they were in Jesus' presence and had the holy spirit.
People of many faiths have been spreading the gospel, to many areas of the world, and I have to think they are just as confused everywhere they hear it, just like we are.
That people subject themselves to religions that hurt them, either through cult like practices, or their very lives, like in Jim Jones cult, shows the yearning we have for God, and the things people will give up in order of the hope to find him.
I would think then innately we have a need for God, or did, otherwise there wouldn't be so many churches of different kinds, and those like Martin Luther, who was trying so hard to clean up religions act, according to what he thought was right. Although lately I see many of the young ones today who don't give him any thought, or hate him which they don't even know.
Even the bible which we have, is hard to understand, and at times seems to contradict itself. I often wondered if it was like a book of clues, that someone with very high intelligence could truly figure out, then let the rest of us know. If he did know the truth, and it was the truth, being a man, he might use that power to corrupt. But as yet, even though we had Einstein, and people of his high intellectual calibur, still nothing that has ever resonated over time, to bring God's word to the masses in a very easy to understand and follow way.
Is that the struggle, we are to endure to the end, to keep searching, even when we hit locked doors, time and time again?
That people subject themselves to religions that hurt them, either through cult like practices, or their very lives, like in Jim Jones cult, shows the yearning we have for God
I don't believe that this yearning is born into us at all.
Is a yearning for Allah any more born into a child than a yearning for Bible god or for scientific knowledge? or are these yearnings just the results of the cultures and/or religions children are born into?
I think it is born into us all, otherwise why would there be so many different religions, from the earliest man. Many people now a days, I think replace religion with science, but I think it's still innate, why are we here? Are we alone? I haven't ever seen apes or monkeys build a shrine or have some sort of worship. I think it's a need in us, and I don't think it's there by accident.
Yes it is innate. That innateness enables inquiry that doesn't need to be contaminated by others and their belief systems
Those who came before us knew this also. And were willing to stuff our mind with BS before our mind could develop,
they too were captives.
Just do your best in life as a Christian, under your own circumstances, and not someone else's circumstances.
Don't let anyone 'guilt' you into doing things you know you cannot do.
My wife has a problem similar to yours, PLUS two other problems that also affect her immune system. I have to keep reminding her of her limitations.