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Irrelevant

Real Faith verse the Social Group Experience

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Posted (edited)

Something I've been wondering lately regards people who have faith and are persecuted strongly as individuals for it , and then people who are part of a church for the social experience / friends.

My question is how would you handle it if your group/ religion ( eg zoroastrian) was one were you find yourself very alone all the time, and unconnected with society because there's so few people who follow such teaching or your teaching clearly can show you where many others are ( in your opinion ) way of the target of truth, something every religion claims, or its just there style of worship was something you can't relate to.

So I'm asking what would you do ? Would you just join a normal church with a large social following and try fit it as best you can ( harbouring your hidden secret!) or would you rather be lonley..

When I look at the life of prophets they often were reclusive , living in caves away from others, or they were outspoken and vocal in delivering there message to the point of death, but none seamed to try fit into a community and just live, i guess we would never of heard about them if they were not proactive, these both seam like hard roads compared to a easy road of following the masses.

I guess I'm asking you to imagine you were in a strange place with strange religions and your the only one of your kind, knowing its pointless talking about your faith to others as all they would do is try convert or crucify you..Run for the hills? Make a Stand? When in Rome do as they Do???

Edited by Irrelevant

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My understanding of the whole concept of a "church" is that it is an extension of Christ on earth. A place to gather with other believers to strengthen each other in life's trials and to proclaim the good news of God's salvation to the lost. It need not be perfect in this endeavor because human beings are not perfect, but if the goal of a person in joining is to have a "social life" then they may be missing out on the best part of the experience. True prophets were rare. Theirs was a very difficult life because they were messengers from God to the powers to clean up their act or face judgement. Not a popular group ... :) And can you imagine being chosen to do such a thing today? Can you imagine, in our modern world of information overload where every opinion can be subjected to the scrutiny of the masses in real time, standing up and saying that God actually spoke to you? Depending on the message and who it offended you might well lose your freedom, possessions, even your life. It would put faith to an acid test. Very few could stand the test.

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The majority of Pagans are solitary. One reason is there aren't a lot of us around, the other is when witches get together they sometimes behave like witches. Say joining a Abrahamic church became mandatory, I would run for the hills if I could. If I have to stand my ground then so be it. I have never been one to go along with the crowd, I been though the brainwash thing, thanks I'll pass. Cut off my head now, because you're going to do sooner or later anyway. I can't be anything other than what I am. As a dirt worshiping Pagan faith has nothing to do with it, I can pick up my creator Goddess and hold her in my hand, can you do that with your God?

The Druid path I follow was started by college students who were trying to get out of a religious requirement imposed by their college. I think that is how most religions get their start, people fighting the status quo.

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Posted (edited)

This is very much the reality I face. I have a personal relationship with god. I could maintain that for 50 years on a desert island or in a prison cell. I wouldnt compromise that relationship for a church, but i do happily attend churches for social reasons, for learning about other faiths, to sing loudly and out of tune without criticism, for potluck dinners, or because friends and relatives are members.

But I don't go to church much and have only been in a church a few times each year for the last decade or so. God is in me and all around me. I don't need validation from others, or a bulding, to connect with god. I like churches and people who are good people, who are christ like, and see their faith as an active one, designed to physically help the poor and needy, the damaged and the vulnerable. They can be pagan, muslim, gaean or jew, as long as they fit those criteria.

Edited by Mr Walker
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My understanding of the whole concept of a "church" is that it is an extension of Christ on earth. A place to gather with other believers to strengthen each other in life's trials and to proclaim the good news of God's salvation to the lost. It need not be perfect in this endeavor because human beings are not perfect, but if the goal of a person in joining is to have a "social life" then they may be missing out on the best part of the experience. True prophets were rare. Theirs was a very difficult life because they were messengers from God to the powers to clean up their act or face judgement. Not a popular group ... :) And can you imagine being chosen to do such a thing today? Can you imagine, in our modern world of information overload where every opinion can be subjected to the scrutiny of the masses in real time, standing up and saying that God actually spoke to you? Depending on the message and who it offended you might well lose your freedom, possessions, even your life. It would put faith to an acid test. Very few could stand the test.

Actually its not that bad. Most people just look at you with sympathy and recommend a good psychiatrist.

As you point out, in some ways it is easier today, because there is so much information that no one takes notice of one person claiming to be a prophet. I've spent over a decade telling people that god physically interacts with me and speaks with me, protects me, gives me skills and abilities, shows me different futures, etc. No one has ever even been rude, let alone threatened me in any way.

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This is very much the reality I face. I have a personal relationship with god. I could maintain that for 50 years on a desert island or in a prison cell. I wouldnt compromise that relationship for a church, but i do happily attend churches for social reasons, for learning about other faiths, to sing loudly and out of tune without criticism, for potluck dinners, or because friends and relatives are members.

But I don't go to church much and have only been in a church a few times each year for the last decade or so. God is in me and all around me. I don't need validation from others, or a bulding, to connect with god. I like churches and people who are good people, who are christ like, and see their faith as an active one, designed to physically help the poor and needy, the damaged and the vulnerable. They can be pagan, muslim, gaean or jew, as long as they fit those criteria.

So your harbouring that hidden secret, knowing you got that real strong connection, and even if you got dumped on a island you would know to talk with God instead of a soccer ball called Wilson.. That's real unwavering faith!

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Some people thrive in groups; others can bloom in solitude, not confusing 'alone' with 'lonely.' I think your quandary would have been greater centuries ago, or a mere 30 years ago. Now people can connect, as people are doing right now, via their pc's and other electronic platforms. Others find genuine spiritual connectivity through letter-writing, prayer, mysticism or even things such as socio-political activism (I'm the one in the rabble holding a placard, not waving it or shouting or chanting).

From a broader perspective, I have had "fellow travelers" join the faith communities I have coordinated, without a necessarily deep commitment to the tradition 'advertised' on the outdoor sign. Often they are the most committed, not to doctrine but to the spirit and mutual support of the group. I think it has always been thus.

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So your harbouring that hidden secret, knowing you got that real strong connection, and even if you got dumped on a island you would know to talk with God instead of a soccer ball called Wilson.. That's real unwavering faith!

Oh, might talk to the soccer ball as well but I'd be quite aware what i was doing and why.

I am lucky that, in my society I do not have to keep my relationship with god a secret. It can cause some odd problems, like not attending high school graduations for my students because alchohol is involved or refusing to swaer in a role playing exercise, but mostly people know me and accept me as i am. I lost a few wild friends at first (in my early twenties) but gained many others.

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The majority of Pagans are solitary. One reason is there aren't a lot of us around, the other is when witches get together they sometimes behave like witches. Say joining a Abrahamic church became mandatory, I would run for the hills if I could. If I have to stand my ground then so be it. I have never been one to go along with the crowd, I been though the brainwash thing, thanks I'll pass. Cut off my head now, because you're going to do sooner or later anyway. I can't be anything other than what I am. As a dirt worshiping Pagan faith has nothing to do with it, I can pick up my creator Goddess and hold her in my hand, can you do that with your God?

The Druid path I follow was started by college students who were trying to get out of a religious requirement imposed by their college. I think that is how most religions get their start, people fighting the status quo.

What you are describing though, is rebellion against a religion - a man made, man enforced set of rules - and I agree totally with that. I do not worship a church. I sometimes worship IN a church, but not always. My faith is in the Creator, the Lord Jesus Christ. I'm not overly interested in what is said OF Him...just what was said BY Him. I agree with you that if I was forced to join any faith -Abrahamic or not - I would prefer beheading.
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I rather stand on my own.

I don't like organized religion

The one I grew up in is summed up like this.

The leaders know all are connected to God.

To question them is to question God.

Be a good slave make us rich, be poor, be a loser.

It's God's will ... I don't buy that!

I can honestly say their boring routine didn't bring me happiness.

Now I do bow to God creator of the universe and gardens and life.

However I don't feel I need an organized structure to tell me how

to talk to him.

Now I am self empowered reaching my goals and dreams..

and living well!

Most organized religion will say I'm evil for that.

I say they are evil, for treating people like slaves.. and telling them

to be poor is something good.

It's all tools uses by the evil masters of this realm.

Well the people don't buy it anymore!

the chains of slavery have forever been broken!

For Wisdom and Knowledge is power...

and that all brings Freedom of the mind soul and body!

Blessings and peace to you all..

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Posted (edited)

Also I must say the Hypnotic and complete mind control

to make a church goer a zombie who can't question

or think for themselves.. is truly a dark power to have!

You have to be truly evil to use this method on anyone...

But then again the person who gets under mind control

was weak willed to begin with..

I think people go along with group mentality

and just follow the leader.. because they are full of fear..

But anyone who thinks for themselves ,

learns new things and gets self empowered?

Oh they are "demonic" They are "satanic"

they will burn in hell..

that's their answer..

Edited by LostSouls7

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