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jugoso

Bishop John Shelby Spong: his views

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http://www.upworthy.com/best-explanation-of-religion-i-have-ever-heard-and-im-practically-an-atheist?c=cd1

It´s only a three minute video but I am in agreement with almost everything he says. Independent thinking is very refreshing IMO.

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Oh yes, I find him very refreshing as well. Of course, there are some on the more conservative side who see him as a heretic,but that's all the more of a recommendation in my book.

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Posted (edited)

http://www.upworthy....n-atheist?c=cd1

It´s only a three minute video but I am in agreement with almost everything he says. Independent thinking is very refreshing IMO.

I agree with the link. I agree with every word. Thank you.

Edited by Ben Masada

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What a lovely man.

But who was the idiot with white hair? why was he pulling that silly face?

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Bishop Spong is among that liberal group of Christianity that I disagree with almost everything he says. I agreed with his first sentence - "hell does not exist" - and then disagreed with virtually everything else. I don't think the church is in the reward/punishment business, though I believe some churches certainly do plug that idea. I don't agree with his view that churches want to keep us babies, though some churches certainly plug that view.

His final comments on God is not a Christian/Jew/Muslim/Hindu/Buddhist is all entirely true, but the implication is that all religions are basically the same (pluralism). On this, I would point you to the following, which pretty much sums up my view on pluralism. It's a small segment of a book I own called "A Spectator's Guide to World Religions", and I'd recommend it to absolutely everyone. Interestingly, despite being Christian, the author speaks quite positively and approvingly of every belief he looks at (Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam), his comments on pluralism are the only negative points he has to say about a belief system.

The great assumption of pluralism

In one of his books called The Rainbow of Faiths Professor Hick brilliantly explains his point of view by asking readers—as I'll ask you now—to look closely at a famous sketch first used by psychologists in early experiments on optical illusions:

Duck-Rabbit_illusion.jpg

As you can see, the sketch shows an ambiguous figure drawn to look like a duck (facing left) and a rabbit (facing right). Give yourself a moment to see both.

Now imagine conducting the following experiment. If you showed this picture to people who knew ducks but had never seen rabbits, what would they see? Obviously, a duck. If you showed it to a group that had seen rabbits but not ducks, they of course would see a rabbit.

Which group is correct, asks John Hicks: the duck group or the rabbit group? Both are correct, he says. Both groups are entirely justified in describing this image variously as a duck or a rabbit. The ‘contradiction’ between the opinions is a matter of perception rather than substance.

So far, so good.

John Hick then compares religious truth with this optical illusion. He says that the great religions of the world contain merely perceptions of Reality rather than actual descriptions of Reality....

...Without realising it, John Hick's analogy succeeds in exposing an embarassing, and rarely admitted, assumption of the pluralist point of view....

Further reading - see Source

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On this, I would point you to the following, which pretty much sums up my view on pluralism. It's a small segment of a book I own called "A Spectator's Guide to World Religions", and I'd recommend it to absolutely everyone.

Good article; "Pluralism ends up claiming to have discovered a greater truth that none of the religions has observed before, and then it suggests that the ‘lesser truths’ individual religions thought they could see are in fact cultural illusions—just ducks and rabits. (sic)"

Religious relativism, cultural relativism, gender as just a social construct; I have my views as to where all these concepts came from, but I won't belabour the point.

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Posted (edited)

Bishop Spong is among that liberal group of Christianity that I disagree with almost everything he says. I agreed with his first sentence - "hell does not exist" - and then disagreed with virtually everything else. I don't think the church is in the reward/punishment business, though I believe some churches certainly do plug that idea. I don't agree with his view that churches want to keep us babies, though some churches certainly plug that view.

His final comments on God is not a Christian/Jew/Muslim/Hindu/Buddhist is all entirely true, but the implication is that all religions are basically the same (pluralism). On this, I would point you to the following, which pretty much sums up my view on pluralism. It's a small segment of a book I own called "A Spectator's Guide to World Religions", and I'd recommend it to absolutely everyone. Interestingly, despite being Christian, the author speaks quite positively and approvingly of every belief he looks at (Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam), his comments on pluralism are the only negative points he has to say about a belief system.

Thanks for the link and I understand where you are coming from. Although it appears you agree fully or partially with many of his views. I see it more like this.

No matter how illusory or erroneous one´s theology, one´s religion may be wholly genuine and ever-lasting true. It really comes down to the values one both has and lives.

Edited by jugoso
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His final comments on God is not a Christian/Jew/Muslim/Hindu/Buddhist is all entirely true, but the implication is that all religions are basically the same (pluralism).

On this, I would point you to the following, which pretty much sums up my view on pluralism. It's a small segment of a book I own called "A Spectator's Guide to World Religions", and I'd recommend it to absolutely everyone.

Regarding the first sentence above, that was not how I interpreted what he was saying. I understood him to say there is one god, and then there are religions that are man-made and in a sense, totally seperate from that god.

Regarding your second sentence: what if there was a group of people who had only seen rabbits before, but on viewing the drawing thought they were seeing some sort of mythical creature that they had never seen in the flesh before i.e. a duck?

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One of my Pagan buds posted it on FB, the consensus was he is a Pagan in the wrong clothes.

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Oh yes, I find him very refreshing as well. Of course, there are some on the more conservative side who see him as a heretic,but that's all the more of a recommendation in my book.

What I don't understand about Bishop Spong is how he came to the understanding that Paul was a homosexual man. That's not from the video but from another article of his. That Paul's thorn in the flesh was his struggle to deal with repressed homosexual feelings. Any idea?

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Nice to hear the good bishop but of course he is a HERETIC! Here’s another heretic from the UK, talking about the issues surrounding an 'Occupy camp‘ out side of ST Pauls Cathedral in London (which has become basically a tourist site and a place for the very rich to get married and baptise their children) about what the church has let happen to itself.

take care
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http://www.upworthy....n-atheist?c=cd1

It´s only a three minute video but I am in agreement with almost everything he says. Independent thinking is very refreshing IMO.

I agree with him entirely, our religions are not out of place, they are an opportunity for the various traditions and peoples of the world to discover the possibility of God and by extension or alternatively the true wisdom teachings of the ages in their lives.

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http://www.upworthy.com/best-explanation-of-religion-i-have-ever-heard-and-im-practically-an-atheist?c=cd1

It´s only a three minute video but I am in agreement with almost everything he says. Independent thinking is very refreshing IMO.

I had a few of his books. He denies the divinity of Jesus in one of his books. Basically, he turns the Jewish Messiah into a New Age activist.

But as a critical reader, I feel like he is injecting his worldview into Jesus' writings so that they say what he wants them to say rather than what the author intended within the historical context of the reading. I have a hard time reading a lecture that ignores proper exegesis.

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Posted (edited)

What I don't understand about Bishop Spong is how he came to the understanding that Paul was a homosexual man. That's not from the video but from another article of his. That Paul's thorn in the flesh was his struggle to deal with repressed homosexual feelings. Any idea?

I think that is a projection of Spong's agenda. Spong is determined to open Christianity to accepting homosexuality as something that isn't unholy. I don't agree with him though.

Holiness and righteousness are two different things.

Edited by Bluefinger

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Nice to hear the good bishop but of course he is a HERETIC! Here’s another heretic from the UK, talking about the issues surrounding an 'Occupy camp‘ out side of ST Pauls Cathedral in London (which has become basically a tourist site and a place for the very rich to get married and baptise their children) about what the church has let happen to itself.

[media=]

[/media] take care

I like that one much better than the OP which is denial based on opinion.

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I think that is a projection of Spong's agenda. Spong is determined to open Christianity to accepting homosexuality as something that isn't unholy. I don't agree with him though.

Oh no, not again.

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Oh no, not again.

Oh us pesky Orthodox Christians making sure nobody perverts Christianity. But when YEC start making biblical statements about evolution, the scientific community freaks out. Double standard if you ask me.

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I think that is a projection of Spong's agenda. Spong is determined to open Christianity to accepting homosexuality as something that isn't unholy. I don't agree with him though.

Holiness and righteousness are two different things.

Take a look at Romans 7:13-25 and tell me if it is not about Paul's struggle against homosexual feelings.

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Take a look at Romans 7:13-25 and tell me if it is not about Paul's struggle against homosexual feelings.

It is not about a struggle against homosexual feelings.

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Posted (edited)

Oh no, as i said, this isn't going to turn into yet another debate about Homosexuality just because someone insists that a couple of lines in an ancient book of Old testament Law and a few of the opinions of Paul are the be-and and end-all of the basis of Christian theology, are they? No wonder (as has been argued in the hundred page-plus thread on the subject), people get the iimpression that Christians are obssessed with the subject to a perhaps unhealthy degree.

Edited by Colonel Rhuairidh
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Take a look at Romans 7:13-25 and tell me if it is not about Paul's struggle against homosexual feelings.

Its not a struggle against homosexual desire. Thats a projection from our current culture. You see that because its relevant to you not because it is what Paul was talking about.

Likely the only ones who know exactly what Paul was talking about is the original audience.

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Posted (edited)

Its not a struggle against homosexual desire. Thats a projection from our current culture. You see that because its relevant to you not because it is what Paul was talking about.

Likely the only ones who know exactly what Paul was talking about is the original audience.

So, if you were not a part of the original audience, how can you be so sure? There are so many different ways to interpret different passages from the bible. Those that insist theirs are correct should respect the interpretations of other IMHO.

Edited by jugoso
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Posted (edited)

So, if you were not a part of the original audience, how can you be so sure?

I can't be sure. All I know is that it was something he didn't like but couldn't get rid of. That can be any number of things.

But just because homosexuality is a big topic in today's culture, it doesn't mean that we can assign it to Paul.

We don't know for sure, so we are best not assuming.

There are so many different ways to interpret different passages from the bible. Those that insist theirs are correct should respect the interpretations of other IMHO.

Interpretations are one thing. And I respect interpretations. But I do not feel like the world progresses on interpretation alone. Even as a Christian, I appreciate cold hard facts. It keeps the discussions up and the accusations down.

But Paul isn't really specific. You can enter any kind of sin in the thing he struggled with and still end up with the same result. If one does not consider homosexuality to be a sin, then the discussion really just fades from there.

Edited by Bluefinger

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Even as a Christian, I appreciate cold hard facts. It keeps the discussions up and the accusations down.

So why are you using the bible then as your source? That book has many different versions and has been tinkered with and tweaked so much over time that I am rather hesitant to state unequivocally that it presents "cold, hard facts".

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This is a very good thought provoking thread. I seem to agree a little bit with everyone (in that I also disagree a little). So how to explain that? First off, in the sketch of the duck/bunny. It is afterall, still just a sketch. That will come into play later.

I definitely believe that the religions we have today all came from the same origin. That at the point which many identify as Tower of Babel, as the different cultures formed and migrated to other corners of the planet, ideology also diverged. The “Broken Telephone” experiment if you will. Sketches of ducks and rabbits and fish and horses but they were all from the same artist. All religions point to the same God. They all have a different part of the story.

Now I do agree that the Church unfairly uses its power to control the people but it also comfort them. It is very much a love/hate type relationship. In its best sense, it can strengthen and support a community, in the worse sense, a case of Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy. And too often, it is reduced to a life of reward and punishment. I believe that that is not what GOD wanted for us and hence, why Jesus appeared. Jesus came to set us free from the law. And so, what does that mean? Using Homosexuality or just sex in general, it is not the act or desire that is sinful. It is how it is used or misused. The law has been clear that it is against breaking trust relationships and unhygienic actions and that is the crux of the law. The Law is not to satisfy a sadistic killjoy of a God, but it’s to protect us. Jesus is telling us to respect one another and to understand why the law is so. Enlightenment is better education of maturity than a carrot/stick approach.

But we are sinful creatures, so we’re going to do this stuff anyway. That doesn’t condemn us to Hell. So how could a GOD send his people to Hell for acting on their natures? He doesn’t and that’s not the point. The whole concept has been to train us to learn respect. We are already in Hell and Jesus is offering a hand out of the mess. GOD doesn’t punish us as it is we who punish ourselves. To worry about living by the law is to lose focus on the prize. Worrying about if it is a duck or a bunny is a distraction. The reality is to seek out the artist. The only unpardonable sin is to die rejecting Christ. And that only makes sense. If you don’t believe in the Savior, then why would you want to follow? Why would you want to leave your predicament? Salvation is a very personal thing. The Church can’t help you. You must find the individual within you that takes responsibility for yourself. I also don’t think that Hell is a final destination for non tares but if you can avoid it, it only behooves one to do so. Who knows when the next chance you get for getting out of Hell will come around??

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