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s/o Duggar - Christian deception, Coronavirus, dominionism, insurrection, etc


Katy
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6 hours ago, Stacia said:

I had wondered about that as I have seen statements over the past few years and was surprised because I thought the Pope was supposedly the infallible leader of the (Western) Catholic church?

Protestant churches having dust-ups over leadership doesn't seem that strange or out-of-the norm to me; unusual maybe but it does happen. But Catholics? I had thought (at least in my younger years) they toed the line for the Pope.

Many right now don't think he is REALLY pope. Lots of conspiracies....sort of how some don't think Biden is really president, etc. 

6 hours ago, Ordinary Shoes said:

It's complicated. The last two popes were conservative and conservative Catholics were always telling everyone that they had to listen to the pope. Now the tide has shifted and they hate it. 

yup. 

5 hours ago, Stacia said:

Thanks for the clarification re: him being infallible when interpreting doctrine. That is what I understood but didn't say very well.

I do wonder if there will be a shift or split coming (not immediately but are the seeds being sown?), similar to what is going on in various Protestant denominations.

In my area I think there are two schismatic Catholic congregations. One I believe meets in a bar and mostly serves the LGBT community. 

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7 hours ago, Faith-manor said:

but the children's ministries of several churches she has tried have been on the scary side for someone who does not believe children get sent to hell for eternity just for being kids. 

Just curious--these churches don't believe in an age of accountability? They think small children would be sent to hell for behaving like children? 

When the children were brought to Jesus, He blessed them. 

I personally don't like evangelism of young kids. Teaching Bible stories and Bible truths, yes!! But pushing children to "pray the sinner's prayer" or do similar things is very often manipulative and may even inoculate against true conversion later on, IMHO. 

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Posted (edited)
9 hours ago, MercyA said:

Just curious--these churches don't believe in an age of accountability? They think small children would be sent to hell for behaving like children? 

When the children were brought to Jesus, He blessed them. 

I personally don't like evangelism of young kids. Teaching Bible stories and Bible truths, yes!! But pushing children to "pray the sinner's prayer" or do similar things is very often manipulative and may even inoculate against true conversion later on, IMHO. 

Most of them believe that the age of accountability is very young, five/six year old. Others believe there is no age of accountability. Born a sinner, so if they die before saying "the sinner's prayer", they go to hell, even infants. There are those that believe their kids are part of the predestined ones so have no fear for their souls, and then still others who do think that children are not accountable until adulthood or close to adulthood, but use hell and fear of hell to control the kids and youth. Lots of VBS type church outreach here with hell imagery and using fears abject fear, to brainwash children. The church two blocks from our house makes Sunday School teachers sign a statement that they will remind the children every week in class that they could die at any time and go to hell so never disobey mom and dad, everyday try to remember what they did wrong and confess to god before they fall asleep in case they do not wake up the next day. The teaching begins in the kindergarten class, and anyone against this, has been told they cannot hold any ministry position in the church, some of the more vocal dissenters were asked to leave.

So basically they scare the tar out of kids as much as possible to " keep them in the faith". I told the pastor's wife, who often stops to chat when we are out walking for exercise (there are only a couple of good paths for this here so we see each other regularly, and she dutifully keeps trying to save my soul), bragged to me about it. Then she got upset about the folks that quit the church over it. She is just really naive, hate to say it. I mean, I feel like her actual motivations come from love. She truly believes this stuff and doesn't want children lost in torture for eternity. But honestly, I would never have been a Christian to begin with if I thought god got his kicks out of burning babies and children at the stake for all time. She has no idea how revolting she sounds, and how many of us on the outside have no intention of worshipping that kind of god. Not happening. If he exists and this is his gig, I would consider it immoral to bow the knee. I even tried to explain it to her once. She couldn't understand it. I worry about how this all affects her mentally and emotionally. They have 7 children, and child 4 was born with a major genetic problems and has global delays, is non communicative, and will require lifetime care. It pains me to think she is haunted by the thought that he will be tortured when he dies. I don't think they have a concept of innocence before their god or of mercy, just get saved and stay that way or hell. But maybe they have carved out a different belief for themselves now that this hits so close to home. No idea. It worries me, but I would never ask despite her annoying attempts to proselytize me.

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13 hours ago, prairiewindmomma said:

I really hate the wheat/tares analogy someone mentioned previously. As I have mentioned elsewhere, we have been shunned for having left—we are viewed as a weed that shriveled in the sun or who has been plucked out. 
 

Ironically we viewed ourselves as having left an unhealthy situation (wheat, not tare).

In reality, labeling just devolves into tribalism and none of that is healthy. If good change can happen in a church, it will come from a diversity of opinions and not a bunch of likeminded people realizing that they should change themselves.

I do agree with this. As a "used to be a Christian but not anymore" person, I now can see on the outside that the tribalism the othering of those that disagree, is really bad, possibly the worst it has been in a long time. But I also cannot tell to sure. Maybe it has always been this bad, it is just a matter that folks are much more willing to talk about their experiences openly and in social media which makes it appear worse. Maybe it had always been this way. I know when we were still "in" and left a church over a major issue (financial flim flam that no one seemed to care about despite acknowledging it was happening) in 2005, we left quietly and didn't talk about it much with anyone. Now, I feel much more at ease sharing our experiences. Of course that could also be because dh and the kids are "Dones" and I am a "None" now. No longer seeing or desiring a place for us within organized Christianity might make us and others like us more prone to open sharing about it because we are not going to seek another place at the table so to speak. Hard to know!

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On 5/10/2021 at 2:11 PM, Pam in CT said:

 

 

Re Greg Boyle -- I first heard him interviewed on NPR, then read one of his early books, then actually met IRL a young man whose life trajectory he bent and ultimately transformed.  Then, years later, a dear IRL friend of mine (Republican and Catholic, FWIW with respect to the topics of this thread), told me that her church-based book group was reading Barking To the Choir, which I then read myself and thereafter pitched successfully to my synagogue-based book group.

I'm finally getting around to this...  That book wasn't familiar to me, so I looked it up and discovered we're actually talking about two different people!  My pastor is Greg "Boyd."  Very close-sounding names!  So of course I looked up Greg Boyle  😊.  I'm certain Greg Boyd would be a fan of Greg Boyle!  So cool what Greg Boyle is doing with Homeboy Industries.  Greg Boyd, my pastor, seems to have a very similar heart and mindset;  he pours a lot of his energy into loving and working with the homeless, vulnerable youth and young adults, and adults with intellectual disabilities.  

Anyway, I've just ordered a used version of Barking to the Choir and look forward to reading it, so thanks!

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1 hour ago, J-rap said:

I'm finally getting around to this...  That book wasn't familiar to me, so I looked it up and discovered we're actually talking about two different people!  My pastor is Greg "Boyd."  Very close-sounding names!  So of course I looked up Greg Boyle  😊.  I'm certain Greg Boyd would be a fan of Greg Boyle!  So cool what Greg Boyle is doing with Homeboy Industries.  Greg Boyd, my pastor, seems to have a very similar heart and mindset;  he pours a lot of his energy into loving and working with the homeless, vulnerable youth and young adults, and adults with intellectual disabilities.  

Anyway, I've just ordered a used version of Barking to the Choir and look forward to reading it, so thanks!

OMG I'm such a space cadet.  Sorry!!!  You'll enjoy the book. And BOYLE has written a gazillion of them...

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4 hours ago, Pam in CT said:

OMG I'm such a space cadet.  Sorry!!!  You'll enjoy the book. And BOYLE has written a gazillion of them...

Boyd has written so many books too!  🤣

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On 5/10/2021 at 10:18 PM, MercyA said:

Just curious--these churches don't believe in an age of accountability? They think small children would be sent to hell for behaving like children? 

Trigger, miscarriage

 

 

 

The youth pastor (Calvinist) when I was a teen bragged to us about how he was so honest that when a woman who was sobbing about having just lost another child through miscarriage asked him about seeing her baby in heaven, he told her she wouldn't because her baby was in hell. No surprise, that family, who had been visiting for several months, left the church soon after. Interestingly, I didn't get to know that family well, but I think they were influenced by some of the same thoughts as the Duggars. No birth control, home school the kids, kids always replied to adults with polite but canned responses, homemade conservative clothes that made all the kids match.

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re delusions of "honesty"

50 minutes ago, Xahm said:

Trigger, miscarriage

 

 

 

The youth pastor (Calvinist) when I was a teen bragged to us about how he was so honest that when a woman who was sobbing about having just lost another child through miscarriage asked him about seeing her baby in heaven, he told her she wouldn't because her baby was in hell. No surprise, that family, who had been visiting for several months, left the church soon after. Interestingly, I didn't get to know that family well, but I think they were influenced by some of the same thoughts as the Duggars. No birth control, home school the kids, kids always replied to adults with polite but canned responses, homemade conservative clothes that made all the kids match.

That is appalling.

And has nothing, nothing whatsoever, not one single thing, to do with honesty.

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6 minutes ago, Pam in CT said:

re delusions of "honesty"

That is appalling.

And has nothing, nothing whatsoever, not one single thing, to do with honesty.

I think the point was they don’t believe in an age of accountability?

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7 minutes ago, Katy said:

I think the point was they don’t believe in an age of accountability?

Sure. I get that.

Having *attained* the age of accountability, surely there is a more compassionate response to a sobbing disconsolate mother in the throes of trauma that a *trained pastor* can dig deep enough to find.

A response that is not dishonest, or contrary to church teaching, but that still manages to meet a person in distress with humanity.

If he's unable to find that answer, he's in the wrong vocation IMNSHO.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Xahm said:

Trigger, miscarriage

The youth pastor (Calvinist) 

The traditional Calvinists (as opposed to the neo-Calvinists) I know tend to believe that they don't know--that babies are predestined just as everyone else is.

14 minutes ago, Katy said:

I think the point was they don’t believe in an age of accountability?

That's my impression as well.

However, I don't believe in an age of accountability per se, but I do believe that babies, people who cannot understand, etc. go to heaven via other hints in scripture. I've heard exactly ONE good exposition on this idea that didn't rely on the concept of age of accountability. 

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1 hour ago, Xahm said:

The youth pastor (Calvinist) when I was a teen bragged to us about how he was so honest that when a woman who was sobbing about having just lost another child through miscarriage asked him about seeing her baby in heaven, he told her she wouldn't because her baby was in hell. 

That is disgusting. I wonder if he believes King David is in hell as well:

Then David's servants said to him, “What is this thing that you have done? You fasted and wept for the child while he was alive; but when the child died, you arose and ate food.” He said, “While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept, for I said, ‘Who knows whether the Lord will be gracious to me, that the child may live?’ But now he is dead. Why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he will not return to me.

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12 minutes ago, Seasider too said:

David’s son with Bathsheba. 

Yes, the person giving their case for it based it on this and several other passages (many about the character of God). 

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This is probably taking things a little different direction, but I think it's still relevant...

I'm not sure how much this has changed over the years, but it seems like the "now-known-as-evangelical" branch of Christianity has become nothing more than a club, and you have to hold certain correct beliefs and do everything just so in order to be accepted.  And once you say the magic words "I believe in Jesus" etc., then BINGO, you're in the club!

I think where people become confused is when they think Jesus was saying "Join the ME club!"  Rather, I think what he was trying to tell people over and over again was "Follow me and see God and what true agape love is, and do likewise."  And we're called to spread that kingdom here and now, on earth.  (The kingdom of loving one another in a Christ-like way.)

I think the shock for some Christians is that this "kingdom" -- God's hope for us, will be spread by both Christians and non-Christians alike.  I think a lot of non-Christians understand that kind of unselfish, other-oriented love even more easily than Christians because they're not as caught up in false Christian teachings.  Of course as a Christian, I still believe Christ is in it either way, and believe that someday everyone will know that...  But only God knows how these things will play out in individual lives;  He knows our unique hearts and brains and experiences well and he is constantly at work in each of us, pulling us toward him.  But if all we ever learn in this lifetime is how to be compassionate toward others, especially toward those who are shunned or typically ignored or who simply aren't like us, then we have come very close to knowing God's heart.

This is why my pastor is known as a heretic in some circles ☺️, but it's why I and a lot of others have stuck with it.  Even Jesus himself eventually began saying, when asked what was most important, to just love your neighbor.  A pastor I listened to recently interprets that by saying that Jesus dropped the "Love God" as the first part of that answer, because we humans are apt to then just love God but forget to love our neighbor, and then we're missing the whole point.  But if we truly love our neighbor well (even those we consider our enemies), then we've understood God's heart.  

(I think loving our enemy is hard to understand sometimes... Because as mere humans we don't always feel a great love toward our enemy!  But we can still try and understand them and realize that they are who they are through how their lives have played out, etc.  That doesn't turn their "wrong" into "right," but we can be assured that God loves them just as much as He loves us.)

 

 

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A priest I like said that if we are asking if we are saved, we are asking the wrong question. That our focus should be on what we are doing to help others, not on ourselves, or we have missed the whole point. 

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re capacity of religion to focus attention toward compassion and care

44 minutes ago, J-rap said:

This is probably taking things a little different direction, but I think it's still relevant...

I'm not sure how much this has changed over the years, but it seems like the "now-known-as-evangelical" branch of Christianity has become nothing more than a club, and you have to hold certain correct beliefs and do everything just so in order to be accepted.  And once you say the magic words "I believe in Jesus" etc., then BINGO, you're in the club!

I think where people become confused is when they think Jesus was saying "Join the ME club!"  Rather, I think what he was trying to tell people over and over again was "Follow me and see God and what true agape love is, and do likewise."  And we're called to spread that kingdom here and now, on earth.  (The kingdom of loving one another in a Christ-like way.)

I think the shock for some Christians is that this "kingdom" -- God's hope for us, will be spread by both Christians and non-Christians alike.  I think a lot of non-Christians understand that kind of unselfish, other-oriented love even more easily than Christians because they're not as caught up in false Christian teachings.  Of course as a Christian, I still believe Christ is in it either way, and believe that someday everyone will know that...  But only God knows how these things will play out in individual lives;  He knows our unique hearts and brains and experiences well and he is constantly at work in each of us, pulling us toward him.  But if all we ever learn in this lifetime is how to be compassionate toward others, especially toward those who are shunned or typically ignored or who simply aren't like us, then we have come very close to knowing God's heart.

This is why my pastor is known as a heretic in some circles ☺️, but it's why I and a lot of others have stuck with it.  Even Jesus himself eventually began saying, when asked what was most important, to just love your neighbor.  A pastor I listened to recently interprets that by saying that Jesus dropped the "Love God" as the first part of that answer, because we humans are apt to then just love God but forget to love our neighbor, and then we're missing the whole point.  But if we truly love our neighbor well (even those we consider our enemies), then we've understood God's heart.  

(I think loving our enemy is hard to understand sometimes... Because as mere humans we don't always feel a great love toward our enemy!  But we can still try and understand them and realize that they are who they are through how their lives have played out, etc.  That doesn't turn their "wrong" into "right," but we can be assured that God loves them just as much as He loves us.)

 

 

OK @J-rap I had already made a mental note to find time to select a Greg BOYD book before this, but now I am actively searching. Debating between God of the Possible and Inspired Imperfection - have a recommendation for me?

Karen Armstrong, who first trained and served as a nun before going on a long journey into religious historian, littered with books on all the major faith traditions, returns repeatedly to the idea that religion has both the capacity to call us to our best selves, and also to cloak and give justification to our worst selves: and it is up to us to discern the difference.  And the criteria for that discernment, she argues, is compassion.

 

 

 

PS wish you were in my interfaith book group!

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10 minutes ago, ktgrok said:

A priest I like said that if we are asking if we are saved, we are asking the wrong question. That our focus should be on what we are doing to help others, not on ourselves, or we have missed the whole point. 

Maybe it's the protestant in me, but I disagree.  Jesus talked about Hell more often than he spoke about heaven.  The general context was not being selfish, but since the whole point of the gospel is the good news, I find it extremely incongruous to say it's missing the point to discuss the afterlife.

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1 hour ago, J-rap said:

This is probably taking things a little different direction, but I think it's still relevant...

I'm not sure how much this has changed over the years, but it seems like the "now-known-as-evangelical" branch of Christianity has become nothing more than a club, and you have to hold certain correct beliefs and do everything just so in order to be accepted.  And once you say the magic words "I believe in Jesus" etc., then BINGO, you're in the club!

I think where people become confused is when they think Jesus was saying "Join the ME club!"  Rather, I think what he was trying to tell people over and over again was "Follow me and see God and what true agape love is, and do likewise."  And we're called to spread that kingdom here and now, on earth.  (The kingdom of loving one another in a Christ-like way.)

I think the shock for some Christians is that this "kingdom" -- God's hope for us, will be spread by both Christians and non-Christians alike.  I think a lot of non-Christians understand that kind of unselfish, other-oriented love even more easily than Christians because they're not as caught up in false Christian teachings.  Of course as a Christian, I still believe Christ is in it either way, and believe that someday everyone will know that...  But only God knows how these things will play out in individual lives;  He knows our unique hearts and brains and experiences well and he is constantly at work in each of us, pulling us toward him.  But if all we ever learn in this lifetime is how to be compassionate toward others, especially toward those who are shunned or typically ignored or who simply aren't like us, then we have come very close to knowing God's heart.

This is why my pastor is known as a heretic in some circles ☺️, but it's why I and a lot of others have stuck with it.  Even Jesus himself eventually began saying, when asked what was most important, to just love your neighbor.  A pastor I listened to recently interprets that by saying that Jesus dropped the "Love God" as the first part of that answer, because we humans are apt to then just love God but forget to love our neighbor, and then we're missing the whole point.  But if we truly love our neighbor well (even those we consider our enemies), then we've understood God's heart.  

(I think loving our enemy is hard to understand sometimes... Because as mere humans we don't always feel a great love toward our enemy!  But we can still try and understand them and realize that they are who they are through how their lives have played out, etc.  That doesn't turn their "wrong" into "right," but we can be assured that God loves them just as much as He loves us.)

 

 

Have you read the book Gentle and Lowly by Dane Ortland? It’s amazing - so much we don’t very often hear today. The premise is that the tie Jesus describes Himself, it is as “gentle and lowly at heart” and that in Him we find rest for our “weary souls.” 

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42 minutes ago, Pam in CT said:

re capacity of religion to focus attention toward compassion and care

OK @J-rap I had already made a mental note to find time to select a Greg BOYD book before this, but now I am actively searching. Debating between God of the Possible and Inspired Imperfection - have a recommendation for me?

Karen Armstrong, who first trained and served as a nun before going on a long journey into religious historian, littered with books on all the major faith traditions, returns repeatedly to the idea that religion has both the capacity to call us to our best selves, and also to cloak and give justification to our worst selves: and it is up to us to discern the difference.  And the criteria for that discernment, she argues, is compassion.

 

 

 

PS wish you were in my interfaith book group!

Karen Armstrong sounds like someone I’d like to learn from. Any book recommendations for me? 

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4 hours ago, Pam in CT said:

Sure. I get that.

Having *attained* the age of accountability, surely there is a more compassionate response to a sobbing disconsolate mother in the throes of trauma that a *trained pastor* can dig deep enough to find.

A response that is not dishonest, or contrary to church teaching, but that still manages to meet a person in distress with humanity.

If he's unable to find that answer, he's in the wrong vocation IMNSHO.

This is like how people brag about not being "politically correct." Basically that seems to mean that they are free to be a jerk. 

Years ago, I went to a training at work conducted by a social worker. She discussed the need to discern what your motivation is when you are trying to help someone. I'm not a social worker but she was addressing social workers whose job it is to help patients with a chronic life-threatening condition. She said that if helping another person makes you feel good then there's an element of it that is not about the patient. This can set up the relationship to be one where there could be unethical behavior. Obviously it's impossible for human beings to turn off their emotions and keep themselves from feeling good when they help someone. That's a natural emotional reaction. But her point was that we have to cognizant of our own motivations and not see the relationship as completely one-sided. 

I always think about this when I hear Christians brag about being "honest" and not "politically correct" by "correcting" behavior. If it makes you feel good to tell a sinner they're going to hell, then it's not about the sinner but about you so you shouldn't do it. That's almost always the case in my experience. 

The same with the people who say that it's a lie to call someone by their preferred pronouns. I see that as basic politeness. Rod Dreher, well known transphobe, wrote a post about a man he knew who goes by "Colonel" even though he never in the military. Why is it a lie to use a preferred pronoun but not a lie to call someone "Colonel" who never had that title? These people are very selective in their alleged "truth-telling." 

 

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1 hour ago, ktgrok said:

A priest I like said that if we are asking if we are saved, we are asking the wrong question. That our focus should be on what we are doing to help others, not on ourselves, or we have missed the whole point. 

Well....not sure how I feel about this. 

Jesus preached salvation so I think it's right to see it as a focus for ourselves and the people we love. 

I see the priest's point here but I think the Christian message is more than helping others. Helping others - what does that mean? Not to be argumentative but I think there's more to it than that. 

There is a very popular Orthodox saint (St. Seraphim of Sarov) who said [paraphrasing], "save yourself and you will save thousands around you." That sounds nice but I think the point is often missed. He's Russian which I think is relevant. There is a quietism (not sure if this is the best word to use here) element in Russian Orthodoxy. Basically, suffer and look internally and ignore the wider world. My theory is this partially explains the Russian Revolution. The Russian Church had no answer for inequalities in the world. 

I was just reading some tweets with criticisms of modern psychology because it justifies injustices. Very simplistic - boss yells at me and I get depressed and therapy helps me to deal with being yelled at. But isn't it wrong that the boss yells? 

I think it's one of those both/and situations. We should be concerned for our salvation but we also should be concerned about righting injustices which I think goes beyond helping others. Should we give to charities that help the poor or should we promote public measures that would reduce poverty? If we give to charity is it about us or the poor? But is Social Security (public initiative that lifted millions out of poverty) about us (because we pay social security taxes) or a recognition of the dignity of people who are due support from society (not phrasing that well)? 

 

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Ordinary Shoes said:

Years ago, I went to a training at work conducted by a social worker. She discussed the need to discern what your motivation is when you are trying to help someone. I'm not a social worker but she was addressing social workers whose job it is to help patients with a chronic life-threatening condition. She said that if helping another person makes you feel good then there's an element of it that is not about the patient. This can set up the relationship to be one where there could be unethical behavior. Obviously it's impossible for human beings to turn off their emotions and keep themselves from feeling good when they help someone. That's a natural emotional reaction. But her point was that we have to cognizant of our own motivations and not see the relationship as completely one-sided. 

I’ve heard this sort of thing before, to check your motivations. I’ve heard it implied that if you’re helping people so that you feel good, then your motivation might not be a good one.

I’ve heard it in regards to adoption as well. People want children and that’s the number one reason they adopt, but they also want to rescue someone and feel good about it. When I’ve heard it talked about, it was presented as a negative (to want to rescue someone.)

 

But I have always thought it was a good thing to feel good about helping others. And I thought it was good to want to rescue someone else.

Did the social worker explain why it’s a bad/selfish thing to feel good about helping others? Is there a nuance I’m missing?

Edited by Garga
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Just now, Seasider too said:

A friend recently gave me this book as a gift. Now I am even more eager to read it!

I found it rich and deep, but not an easy read, just so you are prepared. It's not a book that you sit down and read right through. It's more a chapter-a-day kind of book.

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1 hour ago, Garga said:

I’ve heard this sort of thing before, to check your motivations. I’ve heard it implied that if you’re helping people so that you feel good, then your motivation might not be a good one.

I’ve heard it in regards to adoption as well. People want children and that’s the number one reason they adopt, but they also want to rescue someone and feel good about it. When I’ve heard it talked about, it was presented as a negative (to want to rescue someone.)

 

But I have always thought it was a good thing to feel good about helping others. And I thought it was good to want to rescue someone else.

Did the social worker explain why it’s a bad/selfish thing to feel good about helping others? Is there a nuance I’m missing?

Feeling good when helping seems designed to get us to help more? A very pro-social adaptation in humans?

Helping when miserable about it is NOT motivating. 

 

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31 minutes ago, Melissa Louise said:

Feeling good when helping seems designed to get us to help more? A very pro-social adaptation in humans?

Helping when miserable about it is NOT motivating. 

 

I suspect the point wasn't to help while miserable, but to have equanimity. Not grasping for the "feel good" moment, not turning away from the "feel bad" moment -- simply to get on with the job.

Having clarity about what you're feeling is usually a good thing, and a good skill to have.  It's okay to pat yourself on the back some if you're aware that you're doing it. 

 

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4 hours ago, Garga said:

I’ve heard it in regards to adoption as well. People want children and that’s the number one reason they adopt, but they also want to rescue someone and feel good about it. When I’ve heard it talked about, it was presented as a negative (to want to rescue someone.)

Bio and adoptive parent here (international.) Yes, if motivation for adoption is articulated as wanting to rescue someone, it's a huge red flag and an ethical  adoption agency will spend time getting to the bottom of that.  Our agency has a list of non-profits that provide direct aid to families around the world in desperate situations that help keep children in need stay with one or more of their parents or family members. If someone comes in talking about wanting to rescue children from bad situations, they're given that list and encouraged to financially donate to them.

Wanting to parent for a couple of decades hands on in a permanent, lifetime relationship is completely different than wanting to rescue a kid from a bad situation. The relationship dynamic is completely different for the people falling into those two very different camps.  Adult adoptee experience tells us rescuers are prone to making it about themselves at some level, expecting appreciation for it, and resenting adoptees who don't provide some sort of emotional payback related to being rescued. 

People who want to parent are motivated to engage in the act of parenting for a lifetime whether they're adopting or producing biological children by whatever means.

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4 hours ago, Garga said:

I’ve heard this sort of thing before, to check your motivations. I’ve heard it implied that if you’re helping people so that you feel good, then your motivation might not be a good one.

I’ve heard it in regards to adoption as well. People want children and that’s the number one reason they adopt, but they also want to rescue someone and feel good about it. When I’ve heard it talked about, it was presented as a negative (to want to rescue someone.)

 

But I have always thought it was a good thing to feel good about helping others. And I thought it was good to want to rescue someone else.

Did the social worker explain why it’s a bad/selfish thing to feel good about helping others? Is there a nuance I’m missing?

First, she was addressing people with a professional obligation to not harm their patients. Most of us do not have that kind of a relationship with someone we are helping. 

She gave the example of a patient who became dependent on help from a social worker who liked helping that patient. I'm sure that most of us have seen that dynamic in real life. 

She did not say that it was bad to feel good but that we should not seek feeling good as our motivation for helping someone else. 

I think wanting to adopt a child to rescue a child is actually selfish. It makes it seem like the child exists for us to rescue them. 

 

 

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, GailV said:

I suspect the point wasn't to help while miserable, but to have equanimity. Not grasping for the "feel good" moment, not turning away from the "feel bad" moment -- simply to get on with the job.

Having clarity about what you're feeling is usually a good thing, and a good skill to have.  It's okay to pat yourself on the back some if you're aware that you're doing it. 

 

 

50 minutes ago, Homeschool Mom in AZ said:

Bio and adoptive parent here (international.) Yes, if motivation for adoption is articulated as wanting to rescue someone, it's a huge red flag and an ethical  adoption agency will spend time getting to the bottom of that.  Our agency has a list of non-profits that provide direct aid to families around the world in desperate situations that help keep children in need stay with one or more of their parents or family members. If someone comes in talking about wanting to rescue children from bad situations, they're given that list and encouraged to financially donate to them.

Wanting to parent for a couple of decades hands on in a permanent, lifetime relationship is completely different than wanting to rescue a kid from a bad situation. The relationship dynamic is completely different for the people falling into those two very different camps.  Adult adoptee experience tells us rescuers are prone to making it about themselves at some level, expecting appreciation for it, and resenting adoptees who don't provide some sort of emotional payback related to being rescued. 

People who want to parent are motivated to engage in the act of parenting for a lifetime whether they're adopting or producing biological children by whatever means.

 

49 minutes ago, Ordinary Shoes said:

First, she was addressing people with a professional obligation to not harm their patients. Most of us do not have that kind of a relationship with someone we are helping. 

She gave the example of a patient who became dependent on help from a social worker who liked helping that patient. I'm sure that most of us have seen that dynamic in real life. 

She did not say that it was bad to feel good but that we should not seek feeling good as our motivation for helping someone else. 

I think wanting to adopt a child to rescue a child is actually selfish. It makes it seem like the child exists for us to rescue them. 

 

 

Thanks for the answers, everyone! 

I’ve never much thought about adopting, but now that you point it out, I can see how thinking of it as rescuing someone can turn selfish and in the end someone could resent the child if they’re not grateful enough.

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This is a good video that addresses the patriarchical teaching and resulting abuse that comes out of Douglas Wilson of Christ Church and Logos School in Moscow, Idaho.

My son went to a school patterned after Logos for K-2 and the contents are consistent with material we read that was authored by Wilson, our experience with the right or wrong mentality and with what we learned and observed about his teaching and writing on slavery and patriarchy. My son had a horrible experience there that I can barely talk about to this day. Suffice it to say that a school experience should NEVER break a child’s spirit. 
 

This is part 1 and the description says part 2 will delve more into the abuse that comes as a result of patriarchy. Part 2 doesn’t appear to be up yet. Here is part 1. 
 

 

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re Karen Armstrong

8 hours ago, TechWife said:

Karen Armstrong sounds like someone I’d like to learn from. Any book recommendations for me? 

 

8 hours ago, chiguirre said:

Her most famous book is A History of God.

It is. She cycles between long, dense, "heavy" scholarly books that typically compare three or more faith traditions, and much shorter and more accessible ones that typically delve into substantially narrower subjects.  (I imagine her tossing off the lighter ones on planes, as a form of relaxation, LOL.)  History of God is in the former category; her biographies of Muhammad, Buddha and Paul and her volumes on Genesis and myth are in the latter.

I'd say the deepest scholarly treatment of the compassion theme across the historical development of the major faith traditions is in Great Transformation; and the accessible (almost how-to) version of the themes is Twelve Steps.

Through the Narrow Gate and Spiral Staircase are both memoir, the former her time as a nun and the latter her (much later) dark night of the soul.

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2 hours ago, TechWife said:

This is a good video that addresses the patriarchical teaching and resulting abuse that comes out of Douglas Wilson of Christ Church and Logos School in Moscow, Idaho.

My son went to a school patterned after Logos for K-2 and the contents are consistent with material we read that was authored by Wilson, our experience with the right or wrong mentality and with what we learned and observed about his teaching and writing on slavery and patriarchy. My son had a horrible experience there that I can barely talk about to this day. Suffice it to say that a school experience should NEVER break a child’s spirit. 
 

This is part 1 and the description says part 2 will delve more into the abuse that comes as a result of patriarchy. Part 2 doesn’t appear to be up yet. Here is part 1. 
 

 

Thanks for sharing. Wow! 

I see this garbage creeping into many churches. It's very concerning. I've noticed women talking about "wifely submission" and using other patriarchal buzzwords. People discussing courting and modesty. I saw a video from our church recently. No masks (SHOCKER!) and most of the women wearing a headscarves. A few years ago, only a few women wore headscarves but now it looks like it's become the norm. I know headscarves don't mean there is patriarchal culture but I see it as a kind of creeping fundamentalism. 

I remember discussions about "authority" which I thought were weird at the time. Now I know that's a term that used in patriarchal cultures. I remember someone saying that she needed to ask her husband if her daughter could sew masks with my daughter over Zoom early in the pandemic. I thought that was weird because it would never occur to me to ask my DH about something like that. The husband said no, BTW. 

 

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22 hours ago, Pam in CT said:

re delusions of "honesty"

That is appalling.

And has nothing, nothing whatsoever, not one single thing, to do with honesty.

 

22 hours ago, kbutton said:

The traditional Calvinists (as opposed to the neo-Calvinists) I know tend to believe that they don't know--that babies are predestined just as everyone else is.

That's my impression as well.

However, I don't believe in an age of accountability per se, but I do believe that babies, people who cannot understand, etc. go to heaven via other hints in scripture. I've heard exactly ONE good exposition on this idea that didn't rely on the concept of age of accountability. 

This pastor probably counted as neo-Calvinist. He was eventually kicked out of the denomination on essentially a technicality, but only many years, 15ish, later. He was an odd ball in that he took the undercurrents of what was being said, seized on them wholeheartedly, and verbalized the logical conclusions proudly. This was a conservative, but not traditionally fundamentalist, denomination. When my Grandparents were young, this guy wouldn't have been tolerated, but outside influences have changed things. More pastors coming from certain seminaries, lots of looking at extreme fundamentalists and saying, "their theology is a little shaky, but their sincerity and enthusiasm are commendable" and adopting many attitudes, beliefs, and even practices from that crowd. Meanwhile, the average congregant is distracted (often intentionally by pastors) by the "extreme liberal" churches and so worried about becoming like them that they don't notice or else might even embrace the shift the other direction.

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23 minutes ago, Xahm said:

 

This pastor probably counted as neo-Calvinist. He was eventually kicked out of the denomination on essentially a technicality, but only many years, 15ish, later. He was an odd ball in that he took the undercurrents of what was being said, seized on them wholeheartedly, and verbalized the logical conclusions proudly. This was a conservative, but not traditionally fundamentalist, denomination. When my Grandparents were young, this guy wouldn't have been tolerated, but outside influences have changed things. More pastors coming from certain seminaries, lots of looking at extreme fundamentalists and saying, "their theology is a little shaky, but their sincerity and enthusiasm are commendable" and adopting many attitudes, beliefs, and even practices from that crowd. Meanwhile, the average congregant is distracted (often intentionally by pastors) by the "extreme liberal" churches and so worried about becoming like them that they don't notice or else might even embrace the shift the other direction.

Quoting for truth. We see a lot of allowing all kinds of crazy nonsense into churches in the area because "gays and abortion"  Apparently any kind of dirtbag theology is okay so long as the person spouting it hates homosexuals or protests at Planned Parenthood. It is soooooooo gross! 

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Posted (edited)
On 5/14/2021 at 12:33 PM, Pam in CT said:

re capacity of religion to focus attention toward compassion and care

OK @J-rap I had already made a mental note to find time to select a Greg BOYD book before this, but now I am actively searching. Debating between God of the Possible and Inspired Imperfection - have a recommendation for me?

Karen Armstrong, who first trained and served as a nun before going on a long journey into religious historian, littered with books on all the major faith traditions, returns repeatedly to the idea that religion has both the capacity to call us to our best selves, and also to cloak and give justification to our worst selves: and it is up to us to discern the difference.  And the criteria for that discernment, she argues, is compassion.

 

 

 

PS wish you were in my interfaith book group!

Hmmm...  I haven't read Inspired Imperfection yet, although my church small group is going to be reading that one next month!  Three of my favorites have been Myth of a Christian Nation, God of the Possible, and Benefit of the Doubt.  His theology doesn't all come out in one big bang, but over spending a lot of time hearing his messages, reading his material, etc.  Also, God of the Possible represents his own opinions and he's clear about that. (Not doctrine, not the church's views, not anything we'll know for sure in this lifetime).  But, it certainly resonated with me.

 

 

I wish I could be in your interfaith book group too!

Edited by J-rap
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20 hours ago, TechWife said:

Have you read the book Gentle and Lowly by Dane Ortland? It’s amazing - so much we don’t very often hear today. The premise is that the tie Jesus describes Himself, it is as “gentle and lowly at heart” and that in Him we find rest for our “weary souls.” 

I have not!  Just added to my reading list.  I'm in an online book group with my dd's and a few other women and this one looks like it would be a great book for that. 

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47 minutes ago, J-rap said:

I have not!  Just added to my reading list.  I'm in an online book group with my dd's and a few other women and this one looks like it would be a great book for that. 

It actually took me until about Chapter 6 to really be, wow, this is good stuff. In a few months, I will reread and appreciate more deeply. It's that kind of book.

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1 hour ago, J-rap said:

Hmmm...  I haven't read Inspired Imperfection yet, although my church small is going to be reading that one next month!  Three of my favorites have been Myth of a Christian Nation, God of the Possible, and Benefit of the Doubt.  His theology doesn't all come out in one big bang, but over spending a lot of time hearing his messages, reading his material, etc.  Also, God of the Possible represents his own opinions and he's clear about that. (Not doctrine, not the church's views, not anything we'll know for sure in this lifetime).  But, it certainly resonated with me.

 

 

I wish I could be in your interfaith book group too!

K, thanks, I'm starting with God of the Possible then -- maybe see if my library has Benefit of the Doubt; and please LMK what you think about Inspired Imperfection. 

(At this stage in my own journey, I'm actually more interested in more open-ended quests towards the possible, and struggles with ineffable, than more closed-end determined doctrine of particular denominations, IFYWIM).

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I was reading some things about the Duggars which led to a podcast about abuse in independent fundamentalist Baptist churches (they always say "IFB"). Then I read about how Calvinism is kind of trendy in this world and very contentious. 

Is that true? Can someone explain that? I have a vague understanding of Calvinism. People are predestined to go to heaven or hell so it doesn't matter what you do, right? And the way you know if you're predestined for heaven is that God rewards you in this life? Is it true that Calvinism is trendy in Fundamentalist churches? I think I read that one of the Duggar SILs got into Calvinism. 

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25 minutes ago, Ordinary Shoes said:

I was reading some things about the Duggars which led to a podcast about abuse in independent fundamentalist Baptist churches (they always say "IFB"). Then I read about how Calvinism is kind of trendy in this world and very contentious. 

Is that true? Can someone explain that? I have a vague understanding of Calvinism. People are predestined to go to heaven or hell so it doesn't matter what you do, right? And the way you know if you're predestined for heaven is that God rewards you in this life? Is it true that Calvinism is trendy in Fundamentalist churches? I think I read that one of the Duggar SILs got into Calvinism. 

Jeremy was always a Calvinist, it’s why Jim Bob didn’t want he and Jinger to get together. I’m blanking on Jessa’s husband’s name right now but he was exploring it for a while, reading 19th century Calvinist books.  I seriously doubt he is Calvinist though, because he’s a Baptist pastor.  Baptists are pretty clear about free will, even IBLP. To them you just have to say the sinner’s prayer and you are saved.  

Some Baptists teach that if you are REALLY saved you’ll dramatically change.  And if not you aren’t saved.  And that once you are saved you’ll always be saved, because if you turn away you were never really saved at all.

I’m not as versed on “New Calvinism” compared to traditional 5-point.  Maybe someone else can answer that.  But basically you’re predestined, only God knows. You can make no choice to influence whether you go to Heaven or Hell. God causes all good and all evil. We are all totally depraved (ie: all of us are just as bad as Josh Duggar).  There may be evidence that we are saved if we respond to the gospel.  I find it describes God as a horrible being and I don’t understand it at all, there are far too many logical inconsistencies to me. 
 

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5 minutes ago, Katy said:

Jeremy was always a Calvinist, it’s why Jim Bob didn’t want he and Jinger to get together. I’m blanking on Jessa’s husband’s name right now but he was exploring it for a while, reading 19th century Calvinist books.  I seriously doubt he is Calvinist though, because he’s a Baptist pastor.  Baptists are pretty clear about free will, even IBLP. To them you just have to say the sinner’s prayer and you are saved.  

Some Baptists teach that if you are REALLY saved you’ll dramatically change.  And if not you aren’t saved.  And that once you are saved you’ll always be saved, because if you turn away you were never really saved at all.

I’m not as versed on “New Calvinism” compared to traditional 5-point.  Maybe someone else can answer that.  But basically you’re predestined, only God knows. You can make no choice to influence whether you go to Heaven or Hell. God causes all good and all evil. We are all totally depraved (ie: all of us are just as bad as Josh Duggar).  There may be evidence that we are saved if we respond to the gospel.  I find it describes God as a horrible being and I don’t understand it at all, there are far too many logical inconsistencies to me. 
 

I remember going to a Baptist funeral a long time ago. The preacher said that the deceased was in heaven because he had been "saved" when he was 6 years old. I remember thinking that was so strange. This guy had left his wife and been very distant with his kids. 

 

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18 minutes ago, Ordinary Shoes said:

I remember going to a Baptist funeral a long time ago. The preacher said that the deceased was in heaven because he had been "saved" when he was 6 years old. I remember thinking that was so strange. This guy had left his wife and been very distant with his kids. 

 

Yes, that’s an example of once saved always saved.

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5 hours ago, Katy said:

 I seriously doubt he is Calvinist though, because he’s a Baptist pastor.  Baptists are pretty clear about free will, even IBLP. To them you just have to say the sinner’s prayer and you are saved. 

It depends on which type of Baptist you are (there are many different types) and where you are regionally.  In my world, most Baptists and even many SBCs are 5 point TULIP Calvinists.

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5 hours ago, Katy said:

Yes, that’s an example of once saved always saved.

Yes, this is a variant of predestination a la Calvin. If I've been predestined to be saved, then I can't lose it. If I leave the church and go my own way, then I never was really saved (wasn't predestined). It all comes from the same Calvinistic tree just different wording. 

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19 hours ago, Chelli said:

Yes, this is a variant of predestination a la Calvin. If I've been predestined to be saved, then I can't lose it. If I leave the church and go my own way, then I never was really saved (wasn't predestined). It all comes from the same Calvinistic tree just different wording. 

I've been thinking about this since yesterday and I'm still confused. I thought that there was a difference between Calvinism and "once saved/always saved." I thought with "once saved/always saved" that you said the sinner's prayer and you were saved forever, no matter what you did. 

I thought with Calvinism that we were predestined for either heaven or hell, no matter what we did. 

 

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28 minutes ago, Ordinary Shoes said:

I've been thinking about this since yesterday and I'm still confused. I thought that there was a difference between Calvinism and "once saved/always saved." I thought with "once saved/always saved" that you said the sinner's prayer and you were saved forever, no matter what you did. 

I thought with Calvinism that we were predestined for either heaven or hell, no matter what we did. 

 

There are different iterations of Calvinism.  Baptists will generally tell you they believe in free will (at least in the Southern US, which is not Calvinist), but once you get saved you’re always saved. That’s adjacent to one of the aspects of Calvinism but it isn’t one of the 5 tenets. Calvinists believe once saved always saved but that it was God’s decision, not yours.  

It’s very confusing in the world of sola scriptura, especially among Baptists.  They are generally VERY individual as congregations.  They don’t have denominational requirements for education.  I’ve been to a Southern Baptist church where the pastor didn’t even graduate high school. He believed the Bible condemned education.  I’ve been to others that required a theology graduate degree. So the theology gets jumbled when you think learning theology dilutes your understanding of God. It’s confusing for everyone. 

To make it more confusing, there are “New Calvinists” who take some of the 5 tenets but not all.  Those I don’t really understand yet. 

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15 minutes ago, Ordinary Shoes said:

I've been thinking about this since yesterday and I'm still confused. I thought that there was a difference between Calvinism and "once saved/always saved." I thought with "once saved/always saved" that you said the sinner's prayer and you were saved forever, no matter what you did. 

I thought with Calvinism that we were predestined for either heaven or hell, no matter what we did. 

 

With Calvinists, it's more like "If saved, always saved," though they wouldn't all say agree with that formulation. I would note that I see a LOT of difference between traditional Calvinists and neo-Calvinists, and I don't really know how to explain the difference except a lack of grace on the part of neo-Cals, who tend to be more legalistic. The people I know that grew up in traditional Calvinist environments focus on grace and the character of God. 

Calvinists that I know don't believe in total free will--they believe our response to the gospel is determined by God eternally. People who are more Arminian believe we have a choice to accept or reject the Gospel (and some do believe that choice is still something the Holy Spirit leads us too). 

There are people who aren't either totally in either camp, so you could say there is a spectrum of what people mean by this. I didn't know that Calvinism or Arminianism existed until I was a young adult. We covered all the same verses in my church growing up, but we didn't take a side (independent church, not nearly as fundie as many in the area--more like where the non-strict fundie-ish people ended up after being jaded with the super fundies, lol!!!). We believed that God predestined us, and we believed that the Holy Spirit led people to salvation, but we also believed that there was some degree of choice involved. That probably sounds naive and unexamined, but there are verses that are difficult to reconcile on the topic, or else this would not have been debated forever and ever. We just chose to live with a little gray vs. sketching out the finer points.

Even at the free will end of things, I think there are people that would say that saying the sinner's prayer is predicated on actually meaning it, understanding it, and living it because nearly all people who believe a personal salvation experience is required believe that God changes you through that experience. 

I don't know where to put people who believe you can lose salvation--I don't think that's a requirement to be Arminian, though some Calvinists would argue it is. I'd have to look that up. There is also the group that believes you can attain a level of sinlessness before living in heaven, and I am not sure if that's represented on the scale, but I would say that has some bearing on the conversation since all of it is about sanctification, which evangelicals would say only happens to those who are saved/regenerate.

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