The Imperfections & Failings of The Catholic Church

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Re: The Imperfections & Failings of The Catholic Church

Postby ScaRZ » Wed Jul 09, 2008 2:21 pm

ryguy wrote:Okay...lemme get this straight. You're saying the man got on a donkey, rode into town to give himself up simply so that he could be tortured, crucified and murdered (all in front of large crowds of people) simply in order to play out the prophecies and "pretend" to be the messiah?

What's the motivation? Mental illness? Money? A "messiah" complex? lol...

Sorry - I agree with you about the Catholic Church Ray, but your theory that events surrounding Jesus and the apostles was staged for some larger far-reaching "hoax" or conspiracy goes a bit over the edge...


Well nothing new here,we've heard this many times. They also don't believe Christ died on the cross,that also was a hoax. The real Jesus was suppose to have been standing around in the distance watching some poor soul take his place.
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Re: The Imperfections & Failings of The Catholic Church

Postby You Can Call Me Ray » Wed Jul 09, 2008 4:17 pm

Ry,

ryguy wrote:Okay...lemme get this straight. You're saying the man got on a donkey, rode into town to give himself up simply so that he could be tortured, crucified and murdered (all in front of large crowds of people) simply in order to play out the prophecies and "pretend" to be the messiah?

What's the motivation? Mental illness? Money? A "messiah" complex? lol...


Perhaps you can answer that question for yourself when you answer the similar question of why young, able-bodied Muslim men sacrifice their lives to kill other people. Many things do not make sense when it comes to religion, Ryan, and I think you well understand that. I can appreciate that you wish to think that YOUR religion is different, and not like the others. But in reality, religion is a very very messy business. For this reason I prefer spirituality.

Sorry - I agree with you about the Catholic Church Ray, but your theory that events surrounding Jesus and the apostles was staged for some larger far-reaching "hoax" or conspiracy goes a bit over the edge...


I'm just sayin'... :)

There is certainly ample documented evidence that, during the time of Christ (the occupation of Israel by Rome), there were a LOT of self-proclaimed messiahs who wanted people (followers and potential followers) to believe that they were "the messiah". In such a competitive environment, (think: ATS hoaxers wanting to one-up each other!) :) someone is going to arrive at the conclusion that the more prophecies they can "fulfill", the more people will follow their new religion. Perhaps the Jesus (& Mary?) Chain finally came to the conclusion that to "top" all the others, they would have to pull off the hardest one of all... the "die and resurrect after three days" prophecy. Certainly, it has at least equal probability (I think higher, given the whole "death is final" thing) that this is what happened as compared to the view sanctioned by the Roman Catholic Church...

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Re: The Imperfections & Failings of The Catholic Church

Postby ryguy » Wed Jul 09, 2008 6:33 pm

You Can Call Me Ray wrote:Perhaps you can answer that question for yourself when you answer the similar question of why young, able-bodied Muslim men sacrifice their lives to kill other people. Many things do not make sense when it comes to religion, Ryan, and I think you well understand that.


Fair enough - although Christianity is actually technically a form of spirituality. Albeit based on the one prophet that actually rose from the dead. :)

Unfortunately Mohammad is still lying there buried in Masjid-al-Nabi. Many folks certainly work hard to prove that Jesus' never rose from the dead - some film makers even going so far as to create that "Jesus family tomb" media circus that you posted about a while back...essentially an elaborate hoax to create another blockbuster hit worth millions like the Da Vinci Code. :)

The Jesus Tomb Hoax

Amos Kloner, who originally excavated the tomb, and Joe Zias, former curator of archaeology at the Israeli Antiquities Authority. Kloner told the Jerusalem Post that the documentary is “nonsense.” Zias described it in an e-mail to The Washington Post as a “hyped up film which is intellectually and scientifically dishonest”


Jodi Magness, an archaeologist at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, expressed irritation that the claims were made at a news conference rather than in a peer-reviewed scientific article. By going directly to the media, she said, the filmmakers “have set it up as if it’s a legitimate academic debate, when the vast majority of scholars who specialize in archeology of this period have flatly rejected this,” she said.


Amos Kloner also said the filmmakers’ assertions are false.”It was an ordinary middle-class Jerusalem burial cave,” Kloner said. “The names on the caskets are the most common names found among Jews at the time.”


William G. Dever, who has been excavating ancient sites in Israel for 50 years and is widely considered the dean of biblical archaeology among U.S. scholars, writes, “I’ve known about these ossuaries for many years and so have many other archaeologists, and none of us thought it was much of a story, because these are rather common Jewish names from that period,” he said. “It’s a publicity stunt, and it will make these guys very rich, and it will upset millions of innocent people because they don’t know enough to separate fact from fiction.” Dever, a retired professor of archaeology at the University of Arizona, said that some of the inscriptions on the Talpiyot ossuaries are unclear, but that all of the names are common.


Interestingly, at least three of the scholars quoted above (Amos Kloner, Stephen Pfann, and Frank Moore Cross) are cited as experts on the official Jesus Family Tomb site - giving the impression that these leading scholars are actively lending credence to what is being claimed.



As to this:

I can appreciate that you wish to think that YOUR religion is different, and not like the others. But in reality, religion is a very very messy business. For this reason I prefer spirituality.


Actually - you've pigeon-holed me, for some reason, into something that you consider a "religion". It might surprise you that I practice zen meditation daily (at least I try to fit it in my daily schedule) - even though many Catholics, I'm sure, consider the practice "non-Christian". So what? I practice a spirituality based on a faith and an awareness of certain truths drawn from many forms of spirituality or "religions" that I believe - as do you, I'm sure.

I certainly don't consider mainstream Christianity any different than other religions (both mainstream and non-mainstream) in terms of what defines it as a religion - but I do think that many non-mainstream religious folk have convinced themselves that just because they adhere to certain beliefs that aren't mainstream, that makes them somehow non-"religious".

My contention isn't that MY religion is different - it is that OUR religions (if we are going to call it that) are all the same.

Meaning #3 in the Definition of Religion:

3. the body of persons adhering to a particular set of beliefs and practices.

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Re: The Imperfections & Failings of The Catholic Church

Postby Access Denied » Fri Jul 11, 2008 4:34 am

ryguy wrote:My contention isn't that MY religion is different - it is that OUR religions (if we are going to call it that) are all the same.

Not sure I follow you here… you mean in the sense that everybody’s religion, regardless of whatever set of specific beliefs and practices they adhere to, is spiritual in nature?

If so, I don’t agree.

Wiki makes this (surprisingly well put I think) distinction…

The spiritual and the religious
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spirituali ... _religious

An important distinction exists between spirituality in religion and spirituality as opposed to religion.

In recent years, spirituality in religion often carries connotations of a believer having a faith more personal, less dogmatic, more open to new ideas and myriad influences, and more pluralistic than the doctrinal/dogmatic faiths of mature religions. It also can connote the nature of believers' personal relationship or "connection" with their god(s) or belief-system(s), as opposed to the general relationship with a Deity as shared by all members of a given faith.

Those who speak of spirituality as opposed to religion generally meta-religiously believe in the existence of many "spiritual paths" and deny any objective truth about the best path to follow. Rather, adherents of this definition of the term emphasize the importance of finding one's own path to whatever-god-there-is, rather than following what others say works. In summary: the path which makes the most coherent sense becomes the correct one (for oneself).

I’m firmly in the “as opposed to” camp but I also think the “in” camp has merit. :)

[indeed by definition I would/should]

That said, and also by definition, I have a hard time with religions that don’t include an element of true spirituality… historically they tend to have a really bad habit of not minding their own business. ;)
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Re: The Imperfections & Failings of The Catholic Church

Postby ryguy » Fri Jul 11, 2008 2:35 pm

AD - I agree with you given the following criteria:

Spritituality as opposed to religion demands that the individual's beliefs are unique and not adhered to or common with a group. As the definition I posted above points out, all you need to classify a set of beliefs as a religion is for a body of folks to share common beliefs and practices.

Actually your quote above makes that point too:

Rather, adherents of this definition of the term emphasize the importance of finding one's own path to whatever-god-there-is, rather than following what others say works.


Which I agree with. If someone has found their own path (even if that involves drawing upon the beliefs and practices of a number of mainstream and non-mainstream religions... :) ), then they can call their beliefs purely spiritual in nature and not a specific part of any particular religion.

However, if that persons beliefs and practices align perfectly with a body of other folks who share those exact same beliefs and practices - that, my friend, constitutes a religion (although it could probably be considered a cult if the group is fairly small). This is why I chuckle whenever I read folks who follow common New Age and occult practices "poo-poo" organized religion...they are hardly any different. Similarly, they are allowing the beliefs and writings of others which influence and direct their own "spirituality".

In other words, it has become fashionable to attack certain forms of spirituality with the evil word "religion"...yet few people really understand (or are not willing to accept) that their own form of spirituality isn't a whole lot different.

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Re: The Imperfections & Failings of The Catholic Church

Postby You Can Call Me Ray » Fri Jul 11, 2008 3:17 pm

ryguy wrote:This is why I chuckle whenever I read folks who follow common New Age and occult practices "poo-poo" organized religion...they are hardly any different. (snip)
In other words, it has become fashionable to attack certain forms of spirituality with the evil word "religion"...yet few people really understand (or are not willing to accept) that their own form of spirituality isn't a whole lot different.


Oh but there is a major difference which you are not addressing, Ryan. That difference being that with a religion there is typically a "governing body" which sets-up things like "Church Law". In essence, you have one group of people telling other groups of people what the alleged God likes, or dislikes, and therefore that religious body determines what you can and cannot do, with the upshot of doing something you are not supposed to do as being branded with the "God is going to send you to hell for that." Spiritual traditions, whether they borrow from varied other spiritual traditions or religions (or not), are quite often "dogma-free zones".

Example: Whereas many religions have dogmatic laws about sex, such as if you have sex outside of marriage you will go to hell, or if you have sex AT ALL you will not be "redeemed", many groups of people who say they are "spiritual but not religious" believe in the power of the individual to make such decisions for themselves... with the most important aspect being that there is NO ONE laying down a penalty to scare you into doing what they want you to do.

In this regard, I have always adhered to the belief that spirituality is a "level above" any religion. The analogy I like to use is: spirituality is like the concept of cooking food that nourishes the body, whereas religion is akin to a specific cuisine (French, German, Asian, etc.). A specific cusine codifies things you do and do not do when cooking... and if you stray from those codifications, then you are said to not be cooking under that cusine. Yet just because I deviate from the rules of a specific cusine does not mean I am no longer cooking, does it?

Religion likes to pigeonhole beliefs and codify dogma. Spirituality simply acknowledges that there is something more than (greater than) the corporeal existence, and leaves it up to the individual as to how they recognize and/or pay homage to that higher level of existence.

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Re: The Imperfections & Failings of The Catholic Church

Postby ryguy » Fri Jul 11, 2008 5:04 pm

You Can Call Me Ray wrote:Oh but there is a major difference which you are not addressing, Ryan. That difference being that with a religion there is typically a "governing body" which sets-up things like "Church Law".


This is what defines a Church, not a "religion". Again - see my posted definition above. All you need to call something a religion is whether there is a particular spiritual system (whether personal or institutionalised) grounded in such belief and worship of supernatural power or powers.

In essence, you have one group of people telling other groups of people what the alleged God likes, or dislikes, and therefore that religious body determines what you can and cannot do, with the upshot of doing something you are not supposed to do as being branded with the "God is going to send you to hell for that."


I agree - although these are the characteristics of a highly dogmatic Church, not characteristics of all religions.

Spiritual traditions, whether they borrow from varied other spiritual traditions or religions (or not), are quite often "dogma-free zones".


Agreed - but as long as those spiritual traditions are also grounded in belief and any form of worship (including occult practices) in a supernatural power or powers - it's a religion. It might not be a "Church" with a governing body, but it is still a religion as defined here:

Definition of religion

1. a. Belief in and reverence for a supernatural power or powers regarded as creator and governor of the universe.
a. A personal or institutionalized system grounded in such belief and worship.
2. The life or condition of a person in a religious order.
3. A set of beliefs, values, and practices based on the teachings of a spiritual leader.
4. A cause, principle, or activity pursued with zeal or conscientious devotion.


As you can see the word "religion" has several meanings, and many metaphysical/spiritual/new-age belief systems meet the definition on #1a, #3, and/or #4.

You'll notice that 1a. identifies the belief and worship as part of a religion as being personal or institutionalized. Having an insitutional dogma is not a prerequisite to beling labeled a religion (it is for being a church however...which is what I think many people are attempting to refer when they mistakenly use the word "religion").

Example: Whereas many religions have dogmatic laws about sex, such as if you have sex outside of marriage you will go to hell, or if you have sex AT ALL you will not be "redeemed", many groups of people who say they are "spiritual but not religious" believe in the power of the individual to make such decisions for themselves... with the most important aspect being that there is NO ONE laying down a penalty to scare you into doing what they want you to do.


Agreed - this is why they choose not to become a member of a Church. However most of them are mistaken to claim they are not part of a "religion" because they do adopt an identical set of beliefs and practices as a large group of other folks out there. The lack of dogma only means that they aren't a Church. They most certainly make up a type of religion though, whether they would like to admit it or not.

In this regard, I have always adhered to the belief that spirituality is a "level above" any religion. The analogy I like to use is: spirituality is like the concept of cooking food that nourishes the body, whereas religion is akin to a specific cuisine (French, German, Asian, etc.). A specific cusine codifies things you do and do not do when cooking... and if you stray from those codifications, then you are said to not be cooking under that cusine. Yet just because I deviate from the rules of a specific cusine does not mean I am no longer cooking, does it?


If you are following any specific single recipe in practice resulting from a belief in higher supernatural power or powers, then you are not at any level above "religion" (although you've have likely escaped being pigeonholed into a Church - kudos). Not you specifically, by the way, just anyone trying to get to that higher level of "spirituality" that you've accurately characterised above. If your set of beliefs, such as many who practice the occult, is a result of a belief in a higher supernatural power or powers, then you are part of a form of religion.

However, if you do take various parts of recipes from the various religions out there and combine them to make it a form of personal belief and practice related to the spiritual world, then we are certainly talking about a person's "spirituality" that is separate from any religion. It does become a religion when it is based on a belief in a higher power, regardless of who or what that higher power may be.

Here's the clincher though...let's say you draw from Buddhism, Catholicism, Taoism, aspect of fundamentalist Christianity, as well as some beliefs/practices of the "occult". You've certainly created a unique spirituality all your own. But get this...you still meet the following definitions of adhering to a "religion":

- Belief in and reverence for a supernatural power or powers regarded as creator and governor of the universe.
- A personal or institutionalized system grounded in such belief and worship.
- A set of beliefs, values, and practices based on the teachings of a spiritual leader. (possibly)
- A cause, principle, or activity pursued with zeal or conscientious devotion.


Notice there isn't anything in any definition requiring "dogma" as part of that definition. However you can say that you are NOT a member of any particular Church. Which is pretty cool, if you ask me.

Religion likes to pigeonhole beliefs and codify dogma. Spirituality simply acknowledges that there is something more than (greater than) the corporeal existence, and leaves it up to the individual as to how they recognize and/or pay homage to that higher level of existence.

Ray


Again - you are using the word "Religion" where I believe you mean "Church". The two terms are not interchangeable.

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Re: The Imperfections & Failings of The Catholic Church

Postby ryguy » Mon Aug 04, 2008 1:29 pm

The History of Witchcraft

Ray - I'm curious about your take on the above article. 50,000 deaths from the Inquisition...ouch. From what I read, they weren't exactly quick and painless ones either. What a dark time in the history of the world...

The article is drawn from a few different sources, several of them Gnostic, so I was curious how accurate you think the information is?

Thanks,
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Re: The Imperfections & Failings of The Catholic Church

Postby You Can Call Me Ray » Tue Aug 05, 2008 3:28 pm

Hi Ry,

ryguy wrote:Ray - I'm curious about your take on the above article. 50,000 deaths from the Inquisition...ouch. From what I read, they weren't exactly quick and painless ones either. What a dark time in the history of the world...

The article is drawn from a few different sources, several of them Gnostic, so I was curious how accurate you think the information is?


That is a nice introductory article. I am especially glad you pointed out that (like anything) "witchcraft" is all based on your definition. Also glad you pointed out the Church's activities in branding anything that disagreed with their norms as "witchcraft".

The thing that I think is missing (and this is where I show some of my own, personal bias) is the connection between neopaganism, modern "witchcraft" and the much older aspects of Jewish mysticism. In fact there are a large number of professed Wiccans these days who do not realize just how much of their "craft" has borrowed (significantly) from the practices of Jewish mystics that stretch back to the time of Christ and before.

The problem with tracing links such as this merely through literal, written, documented history is that it ignores oral traditions that have been passed down through the ages. While I don't like the fact that this force us to rely on "what one generation told to another", I also do not believe it is valid to simply ignore it. Traditions that have been handed down by our ancestors (whether oral or written) have had major influences on all sorts of spiritual traditions.

Interestingly enough, the issue of oral traditions is precisely why I abide by the "Qabalah" spelling and not "Kabbalah" in my research of this branch of "the craft". As most know, there are no vowels in ancient Hebrew. So the actual root is spelled QBL ("Qibel") which means "to receive" and is generally believed to refer to orally received traditions. But what makes it truly interesting to me is that it is all about information. Jewish mysticism clearly teaches that all such knowledge handed down has multiple levels of interpretation... IOW, it was purposefully encoded so that it has an outward meaning (in the form of nice stories), but there is also specific inward meanings which carry the more "technical" information related to our relationship with some "larger systemic context". ;)

There is no scholar who would doubt that Genesis speaks of the "Tree Of Life" and the "Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil" in the story of Eden, Adam, and Eve. But there are plenty who would doubt that these are anything more than stories... and may also doubt that there is embedded, technical information in the forms of these stories. And one of the best ways to keep important knowledge out of the hands of people who might use it against you? Never write it down!

OK, I'll stop now...because it is clear I am going off on a tangent!! :)
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Re: The Imperfections & Failings of The Catholic Church

Postby mavn » Sat Feb 07, 2009 5:39 am

In all fairness - If one truly understood what happened here in North America a thousand years ago the truth about the Catholic Church would reveal itself. Also, it seems a reference to the Knight's Templar keeps showing up on this thread and others - probably for good reason I think. Study about the oldest Orders (Order of the Thistle and Order of the Rose), the Lords of Atholl and the Maguars. Then you might be better prepared for what I have to tell you.

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Re: The Imperfections & Failings of The Catholic Church

Postby ryguy » Sat Feb 07, 2009 2:02 pm

Oh for Pete's sake...not this again.
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Re: The Imperfections & Failings of The Catholic Church

Postby mavn » Sat Feb 07, 2009 7:47 pm

Ryguy,

Since I am new to this forum I would really appreciate being shown the same respect that I am sure you expect for yourself. People do not always have to agree with each other, however I believe rudeness is never the solution and in all honesty that is why I left ATS. :(

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Re: The Imperfections & Failings of The Catholic Church

Postby Access Denied » Sun Feb 08, 2009 2:15 am

Hey mavn, welcome to RU. I’m not sure what you’re talking about but I do believe the Catholic Church has been guilty of a number of atrocities throughout history.

That said, that doesn’t mean I believe everyone who’s Catholic now is automatically “guilty” and should be ashamed of themselves or whatever. Do you? In other words, it would be helpful if you made your intentions for pursuing this particular line of inquiry clear from the start.

In this, the Spirituality forum, we’ve relaxed our normal rules requiring people to have evidence to support their beliefs in the interest of achieving greater understanding.

By the same token, that doesn’t mean you’re not entitled to express your opinion. :)
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Re: The Imperfections & Failings of The Catholic Church

Postby ryguy » Sun Feb 08, 2009 3:04 am

mavn wrote:Ryguy,

Since I am new to this forum I would really appreciate being shown the same respect that I am sure you expect for yourself. People do not always have to agree with each other, however I believe rudeness is never the solution and in all honesty that is why I left ATS. :(

mavn


Understood - I should have made my response more clear. I was responding to this specifically:

"Then you might be better prepared for what I have to tell you."

That's why I said, "not this again." I can't tell you how many people I've come across who are convinced that they're more enlightened, and that in order to understand what they know - you must be "better prepared."

That, to me, is just as disrespectful.

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Re: The Imperfections & Failings of The Catholic Church

Postby mavn » Sun Feb 08, 2009 8:13 am

yes, I can certainly understand that and perhaps I just used the wrong wording-sorry. In reality my aim is to ultimately show the connection between all those entities. However, if one tries to find information about the Order of the Thistle, Order of the Rose, Lords of Atholl. and the Maguars (tribe of) from approximately a thousand years ago and their relationship to the Catholic Church through normal research means most likely you won't find too much. And that was my point - I believe any official record was destroyed a long time ago.
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