gary_s wrote: Cleve, I've honestly tried to answer your questions, but I have to admit that I don't quite comprehend the question in some cases.
cleve wrote: - What methods have you found to be useful in determining the validity of a matter?
Thanks for your creative and interesting thoughts in response to my brief but vague questions.
If I could restate the same question, I might add this example: If a car mechanic wrote on your bill that he had re-timed your car engine, and your engine is still running poorly, this disparity would raise a red flag to you that something in the motor or the mechanic's workmanship and/or attitude are out of relationship here. That being the case, why do you think it could be important to understand time relationships in religion or a car motor?
If your church asked you for 10% of your income, how would you choose to respond?
cleve wrote: - How do you see this to apply to determining whether or not God is merely serving to be a temporary emotional personal choice for someone?
In my own experiences with church leaders, the church actions and activities that members get involved in are often done ignorantly, half-heartedly and superficially - more because the church leaders are telling them to do so, whether it be intentionally or unintentionally. Instead of opting to do what they sense God is telling them, church members often get encouraged to become codependent on their church leaders. This kind of interaction often drives those who are searching for more meaning to life to study and read the bible on their own. Eventually - and hopefully - through their independent study of the bible, they will learn/become more aware of what is right and how to apply what they learn to their own lives. Ultimately, they have to choose between a lifestyle of service to God with personal independence from unnecessary religious authority figures, or codependence on other humans and church leaders. But all of us have a choice to make on the matter. If a person chooses to remain dependent on church leadership, his/her service to God tends to be based more on emotions than logic.
cleve wrote: - Would you classify "the unknown realm" into the subject area of supersition/myth or not? Why or why not?
gary_s wrote: If by "unknown realm" you mean heaven, I guess I consider that superstition/myth primarily because of a lack of evidence or any explanation that makes sense. Also because of the abundance of manufactured explanations.
Because of its intangibility, heaven tends to be an unknown realm that most of us know little about. For myself, Heaven is a kind of inheritance - specifically, an abode for the uninterrupted and spirited passion of love.
gary_s wrote: ... And it is not the deities that are the source of such dysfunction; it's the humans who populate the churches. ...
That being the case, what would you attribute the force that can motivate evil passion in people who otherwise have a desire to be nice ?
Again thanks Gary. For helping me learn how to ask questions.
Affiliated with no religious group. Most people label me as a dispensationalist (sometimes preceded with ultra-) .