Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Five questions from Fr T

On his blog Father T. listens to the world, Terry Martin invites answers to 5 questions. Go read the post and especially the comments. They are very interesting.

Here are mine.

1. How do you feel about the term "born again"?

Negative. IMNSHO the Bible isn't about saving me. It is about living together successfully in community. If we loved each other, there would be no judgment or hell to worry about or be saved from. But there would be no need for church either. hmmmm. So far the religions in the tradition of Abraham have been remarkably unsuccessful.

2. Has anyone ever tried to save you?
Probably but I turn them off by asking what I'm being saved from, for, to, etc. The conversation always deteriorates after that. I don't believe in a man-created God with human prejudices and desires. Many can't deal with that.

By the way, I had a dozen wonderful conversations with two young Mormon missionaries awhile back. I don't exactly put that in the context of "save" but I guess it was in their sense.

3. Is there a difference between spirituality and religion?
Religion was created by men trying to explain the world around them. In that pursuit it certainly has spent a lot of money and killed lots of people over the centuries. It seems to have deteriorated to a mechanism for control and fundraising in many circles.
I dislike the term spirituality because it is often used in a derogatory sense. My rural neighbors would think lala stuff like crystals or nastiness like cults. I have no suitable replacement.
How a person thinks about their relationship to others, the earth and the afterlife can be radically different from what they consider their religion. I don't find many people "spiritual" regarding their religion or lack of it. I suspect many accept what their church tells them or reject what churches try to tell them without giving the matter much thought beyond the basics. It is too unsettling, even threatening and it takes a lot of work to find one's own way. What some religions try to impose is even scarier to me.

4. Which spiritual person do you most admire?
Desmond Tutu, Jimmie Carter, Dalai Lama, Gene Robinson, Carol Gallagher, Louie Crew, Susan Russell, Elizabeth Kaeton, Lee Allison Crawford, Terry Martin, Mark Harris, MadPriest and many other bloggers plus some folks I actually see fairly regularly. I'm a bit too into present reality to think much about the past. And I tend to not single people out as being "better" or "most". I admired Dad too but he's gone to the other side and has to witness some of the fun parts of my life invisible but present.

5. What would you say to Christians if they would listen?
What part of love God, love your neighbor as yourself, leave judgment to God, feed the hungry, shelter the homeless, etc. don't you understand?


Joan said...

What part of love God, love your neighbor as yourself, leave judgment to God, feed the hungry, shelter the homeless, etc. don't you understand?

That pretty well sums it up for me as well!!


Suzer said...

Thanks for linking this! I was wondering what Father T was up to now, and as of yet hadn't caught up with him.

I answered the questions in his comment section. Haven't had much time for blogging, but hope all is well with you. :)