Continuing my Introduction~

Are you Christian? Any other faith? No faith? Tell us just a bit about the role "faith" plays in your life. Don't seek to evangelize here. This is a "story-telling" forum. All submissions are equally valued if given in a positive spirit. New Comers please post here.

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Continuing my Introduction~

Postby Nurse.More » Tue Jan 06, 2015 1:53 pm

Hey ALL~

I am continuing on my adventure of preparations for moving away from the gorgeous Black's Beach here in San Diego to Branson, MO. I was flown in day after Christmas to be with my family for nearly a week, then back home to work my last 12 shifts before the big move.

As for my Spiritual Journey, similar to many here I assume, it has gone through many phases in my life. I was raised a Catholic, but somehow that religion did not feed my soul. I suffered through a lot of peer pressure in high school in SW MO due to the predominately 'born again christians' that I went to school with. That began my dislike for organized religion. I do not think God (or the higher power, however you choose to refer to it as) NEVER intended religion to be as it is today. I resent that the Bible is used to manipulate over and over again.

I ended up exploring a couple of other non-denominational churches while in the Midwest prior to moving to San Diego >16 yrs ago. The most memorable being GUTS Church in Tulsa. I loved that the peer pressure of the 'dress code' was neutralized. I loved the praise music in the form of Rock… Yet still, I was less than impressed with the small segment of global possibilities that it allowed.

So… Now… I feel an affinity to any and all religions who have love at the center of their beliefs. Christians can apply here, as long as they DO NOT use the Bible to oppress. That they accept gay folks as they are and not try to 'pray the gay away'. I have cared for many a Muslim in my work. Who asks where east is in a hospital room, lays down a rug and prays three times a day when their wife or daughter is in labor?? I give them props~ I give pagans and wiccans respect, as I believe it to be true (the movie Avatar explained this very well) that God is in every leaf of every tree and every breath we take. Buddhism is a true representation of how I believe heaven and hell is. We make our own heaven and hell here on earth.

I will leave you with the crazy way my mind works, it is outlined well in the movie Contact I believe. It is my belief that the white light at the end of life is actually a Wormhole that shoots us to another planet or another galaxy… Far, Far, Away…. I believe in ghosts, reincarnation and past life regression studies. I hope to be reincarnated as a cat or a bird in my next life…

Namaste~
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Re: Continuing my Introduction~

Postby nudie66 » Tue Jan 06, 2015 3:42 pm

Hello Namaste,

I agree that God did not intend for us to use His Word, the Bible, to thump people with. It is our Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth. It certainly is God's love letter to us. And God loves us way too much to let us stay in the direction we were going. He's provided a better way, and the perfect example for us to follow and display towards others.

I'm very glad you're here with us.

:) <3

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Re: Continuing my Introduction~

Postby Bare_Truth » Tue Jan 06, 2015 7:27 pm

Nurse.More wrote:.....I hope to be reincarnated as a cat or a bird in my next life…

Now that presents a curious idea. Why a cat or why a bird? For the most part you would not have to be one for very long before you got to try something else ...... Well at least as long as you were not a parrot, some of those live pretty long. What is it about birds ..... For instance would a penguin suffice. Or maybe a domesticated Turkey. Oh, a cassowary! :fantastic: , that would be unique!

Obviously I am choosing extreme cases, just to tease :happyrazz: and test to see what it is about those choices. How about a tiger or lion or maybe a barn cat on a farm in the midwest. Maybe an alley cat Tom in NYC, you could gGo out prowling and yowling and get chewed up in fights with other toms over a female pretty kitty. I am not having any luck on thinking out of the box with cats, they are pretty much all the same except for size. :biggrin:
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Re: Continuing my Introduction~

Postby Petros » Wed Jan 07, 2015 2:23 am

I will restrict myself to the statement that our inclinations [like my attraction to floating through the night sky on my back] do not make it so here and now, and that if I would like to be a raven for a bit the probability of that affecting then and there is slim.

The problem with reincarnation, for me, is "so what?" I am built to want my movies to have a beginning, middle and end with some clear paths from point a to point b. If reincarnation is infinite, what a hell; if finite, how is it growth conducive?
The truth, the stark naked truth, the truth without so much as a loincloth on, should surely be the investigator's sole aim - Basil Chamberlain
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Re: Continuing my Introduction~

Postby jasenj1 » Wed Jan 07, 2015 7:28 am

Petros wrote:If reincarnation is infinite, what a hell; if finite, how is it growth conducive?

Buddhism and Hinduism provide the answer. You spin around on the wheel of saṃsāra until you attain enlightenment (bodhi) and spin off to Nirvana.

In my younger days, I studied Zen Buddhism a fair bit (I still have several books). There is much in the philosophy and life outlook that appeals to me - and lines up with the teachings of Christ. Selflessness, recognition of the brevity of human life, living in the moment vs worrying about the future. There was a really good book in my college's library that discussed the similarities. A quick google for "Zen Christianity" turns up lots of hits. There is quite a bit of "Eastern" philosophy in the Bible, but westerners tend to approach it from a decidedly Greek/Western angle (with all its logic, duality, and such).
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Re: Continuing my Introduction~

Postby Petros » Wed Jan 07, 2015 9:45 am

I have not made any focussed study or reincarnating systems and so stand ready to be corrected, but from what I have gathered:

1. From what I have heard Nibbana is ultimate but not final - at some point there is a redeal or "your" card is picked from the deck and it restarts.

2. There does not seem to be evidence that one retains points or understanding from one phase to the next; the pinball comes onto the board with fresh energy and a blank slate each time, and reaching Nibbana is pure chance except in systems where there is a Controller.

I am aware [without precise detail] of Karma theory which seems to affect the odds and the playing field each time, but I have heard of no way to control the buildup of + and - karma.
The truth, the stark naked truth, the truth without so much as a loincloth on, should surely be the investigator's sole aim - Basil Chamberlain
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Re: Continuing my Introduction~

Postby jochanaan » Wed Jan 07, 2015 1:36 pm

Petros wrote:...I am aware [without precise detail] of Karma theory which seems to affect the odds and the playing field each time, but I have heard of no way to control the buildup of + and - karma.
I tend to believe that Jesus is The Way to deal with such buildup. :D

I have said on occasion that if I weren't a Christian, I would probably be a Buddhist. From what I have read and folks I've talked to, it would seem that in the beginning, Buddhism was not intended to be a "religion" as that word is understood today, but rather a sort of philosophical and self-discipline system. And it does seem that folks using Buddhist, specifically Zen, methods can achieve some amazing things, as can those who practice yoga.

My sense--and I have only a few Bible passages to back me up here, notably Romans 1:18ff.--is that people like Socrates, Gautama Buddha, Lao Tzu, Confucius, Mohammed and others may well have seen some of God's truth and spoken it to the peoples of their times and places; but over time, the Divine inspiration in their teachings has become diluted, added to or otherwise changed. As it has happened in Christianity and Judaism to lesser degrees. Yet God's power, and His love for all us humans, is so great that He is able to reveal Himself even to those who have never heard the name of Jesus/Y'shua. So we need not, and should not, try to convert anyone to a way of life that we have found to work for us. We need only to tell the Good News that God has made a way for us all to break the cycle of karma and harm to ourselves and others, to reconnect with the Divine Nature (and even the natural world S/He has made) through His Anointed Prince Jesus' death and resurrection. :D
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Re: Continuing my Introduction~

Postby nudie66 » Wed Jan 07, 2015 1:43 pm

Since this is a nudist site, I share your love of nudism. But since this is also a Christian site, I must share my Savior's love with you too.

The Bible clearly teaches against reincarnation. It is appointed for us to die once, and then face judgment. (Hebrews 9:27) No one likes to hear about judgment, but if you've accepted what Jesus came to Earth to do - pay your penalty for unrighteousness - then you are saved from the judgment! God loves you so much that He provided that way so that He can enjoy fellowship with you, which leads to eternity with Him.

However, if you rejected Jesus as your Savior from the penalty, then it is your decision. Your eternal future apart from God was your choice, not His. God does not SEND people to hell - we choose it ourselves if we reject the free gift of salvation.

Look at it this way - you don't know me personally, but what if I built you a marvelous mansion, decorated with everything you've ever wanted to own, and told you it was a free gift for you; you could live there for free - no rent, no mortgage, just to show you how much I love you. And imagine that your response was, "Nah... I don't want it. I'd rather live in my crumbling shack that's filled with smoke because someone set it on fire. I'd rather choose to be here." I can't force you to accept my gift - it's your choice.

I know you've heard the truth before. Please make the much better choice.

<3

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Re: Continuing my Introduction~

Postby Nurse.More » Thu Jan 08, 2015 1:28 am

Well, well… What can I say…

I am not here to convert anyone… I am certainly not here to make my beliefs a subject of someone else's agenda. I am certainly not here to be converted.

I believe what I believe, and I also feel what I feel is a certain sense of religious ethnocentrism from many in the christian faith. Jesus did not preach christianity. He professed to love those who did not believe the same as yourself. He taught TOLERANCE>

As for the birds and cats in reincarnation dreams… I think that their lives on earth are pretty cool. I just think it would be cool to be either.

Love should rule, not rules made up by humans written in a book of rules.

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Re: Continuing my Introduction~

Postby prairieboy » Thu Jan 08, 2015 2:28 am

Welcome to CNV.

jochanaan wrote:My sense--and I have only a few Bible passages to back me up here, notably Romans 1:18ff.--is that people like Socrates, Gautama Buddha, Lao Tzu, Confucius, Mohammed and others may well have seen some of God's truth and spoken it to the peoples of their times and places; but over time, the Divine inspiration in their teachings has become diluted, added to or otherwise changed. As it has happened in Christianity and Judaism to lesser degrees. Yet God's power, and His love for all us humans, is so great that He is able to reveal Himself even to those who have never heard the name of Jesus/Y'shua.


Jochhanaan - You should find a copy of Eternity in Their Hearts, a book that records numerous examples of people groups that were just waiting for someone to come to them with the "book" that they themselves had lost long ago. Other cultures have the keys to witnessing to them hidden in their own cultures. The Chinese word for (righteous?) is the symbol for man under the symbol for lamb. (I read the book years ago.) Legends of a great flood are found around the world.
More recently I read of someone teaching the Chinese church about the passover when they became very excited. It seems that they have a festival when they colour the doorposts, top and sides, of their houses red to bring them luck.
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Re: Continuing my Introduction~

Postby Petros » Thu Jan 08, 2015 2:40 am

"religious ethnocentrism" is an interesting phrase. Not sure exactly what you would include in there - likely at least a tad of the African proverb, someone who has never travelled believes his mother is a good cook. But a very large proportion of Christians HAVE travelled.

And while I incline until the Spirit urges to follow the example of the several srious Christians who impressed me never preaching word one, as picky Didymist academic I have to take issue with "Jesus did not preach christianity. He professed to love those who did not believe the same as yourself. He taught TOLERANCE".
1. Jesus preached an understanding of God which human Christians strive to grasp and announced himself as Christ [regardless of quibbles]. If christianity is NOT defined as what he preached, whatever can it be?
2. Jesus announced that God loves, and laid out what God wants we should believe, what we need to believe. And if a Christian responding to the holy spirit declares to me that I am dead wrong and walking over a cliff, that admonition is from God's love for me and probably his. Note that it is rather rare for Christians to kill off people for believing otherwise.
3. I really do not see where he teaches tolerance. A citation?
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Re: Continuing my Introduction~

Postby Petros » Thu Jan 08, 2015 2:49 am

jochanaan -

fo tru, Gautama was clearly a sensitive guy shocked by the world when it was sprung on him and seeking handles. Certainly he did not work toward what some Buddhist variants became.

I have not been able to find a copy, but one piece of the Jataka tradition which stood out from early childhood - and is by no means incompatible with the JudeaoChristian tradition:

A teacher had several young disciples. One day he gathered them. "We are starving, nobody is giving us food. Go into the town. If you see a place where there is food with nobody watching, take it and bring it here."

The disciples figured, "The teacher says we should do it, must be all right." They went out and stole food and brought it to the teacher.

All but one.

The teacher scolded. "Why did you not obey? Did you not hear me order you to steal food?"

The boy replied, "Teacher, you said to steal food if no one was watching. But everywhere I went, I was there to see what I did."

Teacher smiles, "Okay, ONE of you understood the lesson."
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Re: Continuing my Introduction~

Postby jasenj1 » Thu Jan 08, 2015 8:08 am

Nurse.More wrote:Well, well… What can I say…

I am not here to convert anyone… I am certainly not here to make my beliefs a subject of someone else's agenda. I am certainly not here to be converted.

Proverbs 1
"If only you will respond to my rebuke,
then I will pour out my thoughts to you
and I will make my words known to you."
I believe what I believe,

1 Cor 15:3-4
"For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,"

If your belief is not according to the Scriptures, it is empty faith.
and I also feel what I feel is a certain sense of religious ethnocentrism from many in the christian faith.


This I will completely agree with. MANY people (and I expect not just ones in the USA) mix up Christianity, patriotism, and cultural values. (See attitudes about nudity. :)) But be that as it may, there are also many Bible-believing Christians in Africa, Asia, and many other parts of the world from many cultures with their own twist on how Christianity is practiced. But the Bible, and the God who gave it, is still their authority. It is quite an experience to worship with believers from other cultures and be united in praise to God.
Jesus did not preach christianity. He professed to love those who did not believe the same as yourself. He taught TOLERANCE>

Yes, He did not teach forcefully converting people (as the Muslims do). But He did not preach letting people perish in their ignorance, either. He spent much of His time teaching from the Scriptures and revealing the kingdom of God to those who were lost in their sins. He taught repentance.

Luke 5:32
"I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance."

Matthew 28:18-20
Then Jesus came up and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

Love should rule, not rules made up by humans written in a book of rules.

2 Tim 3:15-17
"from childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work."

The Bible is far more than a book of rules.

Psalm 119

You may feel this is all using the Bible to manipulate or oppress you, but what you have described as your beliefs is not Christianity.
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Re: Continuing my Introduction~

Postby natman » Thu Jan 08, 2015 9:32 am

Nurse.More,

Please know that, regardless of your "beliefs" and "feelings", you are welcome here.

Many of the replies you will receive here are not only for your benefit, but for the benefit of hundreds and perhaps thousands of others who will come here. So, as this is both a "naturist" site and in particular a "Christian" site, you should probably expect some responses to comments made about either, especially when they are counter to what others understand on the topic.

After looking at many of the world's "religions", having grown up Roman Catholic, denouncing all organized religion, the Catholic Church and even God Himself while in high school and early college, while studying the EXTREME complexities and mass amounts of information stored, replicated, repaired and transferred in DNA molecules, I came to the startling conclusion that there HAD to be a Designer. That sparked a quest to know and understand Who He is and why He would bother to design such intricate beings and an entire universe to contain them. In that quest, the Bible, and in particular, "Christianity", appears to answer the questions and provide the best practices and reasons for life.

You said that, "Jesus did not preach Christianity". Although the word "Christianity" was not coined during His lifetime, and in fact was initially used as a pejorative meaning "little Christs", Jesus DID preach the exclusivity of placing our faith and trust in Him and Him alone. He said, "I am THE way, THE truth and THE life. NO ONE CAN come to the Father except through Me.". That is, we are not to have faith in Buddha, Allah, Muhammad,the pantheon of Hindu gods, any hand-crafted gods, our stuff, our money or even ourselves.

That said, I do not think that any particular Christian denomination, nor any particular person has the FULL grasp of what "Christianity" is all about. We ALL miss a point or even a full chapter here or there. One of the intents of this site is for us to discuss these areas which we either do not understand or disagree on, which is intended to inspire us to dig further into the Word of God and to highlight the differences between what the world teaches (such as that nudity is always "bad") and what God teaches (such as that were were made in His image and likeness and that image and likeness, even in our nudity, was declared "good") and to dispel incorrect thinking provided by the world.

So far, we are enjoying your posts about your experiences at the beach and hope to read more. We also hope that through your interactions, you may come to know more about Jesus Christ and perhaps become a beacon for love and Christ there at Blacks or wherever you happen to be.
SON-cerely,
Nathan Powers

Get exposed to the sun, and get exposed to the Son.
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Re: Continuing my Introduction~

Postby Bare_Truth » Thu Jan 08, 2015 1:34 pm

Petros wrote:...... If christianity is NOT defined as what he preached, whatever can it be? .......
I think Nurse.More is adequately referring to a phenomenon that we ought all to be too familiar with. In order to distinguish it from true "Christianity", I have sometimes heard it referred to as "Churchianity". We naturists have so often suffered from this when we are told that Social Naturism is unchristian and condemned in the Bible. We know that it is not but the "sin sniffers" and bigoted zealots, promote the doctrines of their church regardless of what the Bible does or does not say. Many churches have purported themselves to be the epitome of "Christianity" while they may have some aspects of christianity, they have dressed it up in the doctrines of men resulting in putting a falsity into it. Since they tout their special doctrinal mix as being "christianity" is it any wonder that those of a different belief system think that is what "Christianity" really is? Christianity is of course what Jesus taught, but many churches promote an admixture of that with their own teachings under the same name.

Petros wrote:......Note that it is rather rare for Christians to kill off people for believing otherwise. ....
I can only agree with that so long as we do not count those who purport to be Christians as if they actually were. The inquisition, the crusades, the conquest of the new world, the religious wars of Europe, all attest to the non-christian behavior of many "Churchians" and false brothers and sisters.

Petros wrote:...I really do not see where he teaches tolerance. A citation? ....
On this one I have to agree with you as to the DENOTATION of the word, but it is a word corrupted by society and has become a "loaded" "buzz word". I most often go to dictionary.com for definitions, but they have sprinkled "permissiveness" throughout their definitions and that carries a sense of approval of the practice of that which is wrong. This time I had to go to:
http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=toleration&allowed_in_frame=0
and read the entire entry to get a better sense of the word, (too long to quote here)
Jesus was not tolerant in the sense of accepting evil practice as righteous or even "OK" and when evil was practiced under a claim of righteousness he attacked it vigorously. This is perhaps best illustrated in the matter involving the woman taken in adultery. He vehemently went after the scribes and Pharisees, but gently dealt with the woman. But as to the matter of her sin, he told her to "go and sin no more" (John 8:11) He was gentle and understanding to the woman, but he was not tolerant of her sin, It would appear that she had seen how disasterous her course would be if she persisted in it. Considering how the following verses read, the Scribes and Pharisees persisted in their hardness of heart and retained their sinful nature and obstinate hearts. I cannot see that Jesus tolerated the sin of either party but in that incident forgiveness was only given to the adulteress.

Much of the world incorporates a permissive attitude toward sin in the word "tolerance" whereas the relavent characteristics of Christ were longsuffering, forgiveness, grace, and redemption.

Present day use of language has been deliberately misconstrued and twisted, and it often leads to confusion and misdirection of ideas. I think this is just such a case.
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