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My Christianity

Updated on November 2, 2015

Perhaps that is how we should pray.

A child who learns to mimic is a lost child.
A child who learns to mimic is a lost child. | Source

Why not quote the Bible?

This is not a blog. This is a hand out. Christianity is personal. Religion seems to think it owns Christianity. How could that be? Christianity is living in a way consistent with your relationship with Christ. It just seems that a lot of folks don't abide by a church's notion of Christianity. Well see if some of this rings true with you. Point blank fact: Most Christians do not attend "church" regularly. Or let me put it this way. Think of my example as a license for you to make your example of Christianity.

It just is not necessary to quote the Bible. When someone needs to quote the Bible to state their case it is not their case but the Bible's. Does that sound all wonky to you? Here is how it goes. You read the Bible and then the Bible is in you. Yes I believe in a Holy Spirit. And I believe it when we say it is in us. And I believe Jesus when he told the boys not to worry ahead of time what to say it will come.

Here are some examples that maybe you can relate to. God is Love. Love your neighbor as yourself. How easy to love those who show us love, the treasure is in loving the others. We all have thorns in our flesh, it helps keep us humble. If you ain't got no sin throw stones at sinners. Confessing our wrongs to ourselves and another is good stuff for our souls. Sitting quietly is good for you. What you eat may make your body sick, but what you say can make you really sick.

Now you know good and well I could look those up and quote them and cite them. What favor have I done myself and you by being a parrot? I have never been in a school where exactly repeating what was in the book got you an A on a test. Psychopaths can memorize and regurgitate.

Think of it this way. A wilderness guide teaches you how to follow a certain path. Does that mean you can go hiking all by yourself simply repeating what he told you when you are on your own path? Proper application of principles means getting the concept down not a formula.

My kind of hymn

Should we follow the road most taken?

There is a meadow to walk through rather than on the road.
There is a meadow to walk through rather than on the road. | Source

Sorry about that vengeful stuff

I don't buy into it. I am a child of God. I would do nothing vengeful against my children. There has to be other reasonable explanations for why all that vengeful stuff is in the Bible. Rivers of hellfire and brimstone just make no sense being placed up against the clear teaching that if you know love you know God. So here is where that stuff fits for me. I believe in hell on earth. Of my own doing I have been there. A part of that hell never really leaves us completely, hence burn in hell for eternity. A wise man once said. Religion is for folks afraid of going to hell, a relationship with Christ is for those who have already been there.

I am a sinner. I am not going to some fiery place. Why? because I am loved by Christ. That is not at all convoluted. So why avoid sin and forgive those who do against you. Here is my answer; most people do not want to hurt other people. It is just the way 99% of us were made. It is not in our nature to want to sin.

Here is an easy one. Saul is persecuting Christians in horrible ways. He has an encounter with God. So he stops persecuting Christians. Was he bribed? Was he persuaded by outstanding arguments? Miracles do not persuade people much, they did not persuade the Jews not to kill Jesus. Promise of power. Trying to get back at the Jews? Nope to all of them. Deep inside he wanted to do good, when given a choice he took good over evil. If you were a psychopath and wanted to kill, the Bible would not change your mind. If you are already good the Bible does not make you better. But living in love does.

This is how someone thinks. Don't look at me to pass judgment. I enjoy diversity of faith.

Okay, I admit it, thoughts like these cross my mind.

Trinity

Most of this can be laid at the feet of some council in Nicea. Well I also like the Nicene creed. I spent years studying it. Sects of Christians argue and change it around in order to fit theology of men. Consubstantial is a cool word. Separate yet the same. Wow that is a sack of lightning and thunder to get your head around. So I don't really go in for any group's interpretation. I know that we did not come from nothing, so there must be a God. I know that a man who was clearly God based on his love for us walked with us and taught us. And I know that sometimes I am filled with a spirit that just can't be anything but a loving God manifest in me. But they are all made up of Love.

Can it really be that simple? Why not and try it you might like it. But don't forget that great saying "a Holy Mystery", that is just a perfect way to explain greatness that we cannot explain. And man being loved by three in one is very great.

Yes I get the scientific explanation but not the awe.

I admit it was too cold one morning to get out of my sleeping bag on a very long cold hike. So I took this at 5 am from bed.
I admit it was too cold one morning to get out of my sleeping bag on a very long cold hike. So I took this at 5 am from bed. | Source

A bit about the author if you are confused

I can say with no doubt that I have attended and worshiped over 100 times in each of these groups church services. Lutheran, Methodist, Presbyterian, Episcopal and Catholic. I have physically preached over 100 sermons. I have a degree in philosophy. I married a Buddhist now a Russian Orthodox Catholic. I grew up with Navajo and Hopi culture. And two of my siblings are atheists, two are nontheists and two Christians. All three of my adult children are non-church going Christians. I cannot remember ever not knowing I was loved by Jesus. And I was once a member of the Order of St. Luke and a member of Cursillo. I have never been paid for any of my involvement.

So that is it for now.

Perhaps if comments spark a reason I will write about more things like: Communion, Confession, Baptism or even best Bible quotes or about Paul and the whole "Pauline dislike". I would like to talk more about the Gnostic's and Agnostics And I just love comparative religion from the perspective of one love. Universal-ism is fascinating. And I love talking about things like "is it possible that when Jesus miraculously fed so many it was really just the miracle that people pulled out their hidden stashes and shared?"

So leave a comment. Normally we say not to leave a rude and nasty obnoxious comment but maybe you feel a need to. Maybe I offended you, sorry, let me know.

Let me end with a prayer. God let us know your love so well that we pass it on.

Comments

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    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 21 months ago from Queensland Australia

      Eric, everyone needs to read this, Christian and non-Christian alike. You are my favourite preacher man. I have been to churches of five different denominations and currently don't attend any, but I still believe in "intelligent design", that God is love, and the basic values of Christianity (and most other religions for that matter) and Buddhism. My eldest son is not a Christian but can quote almost any passage from the Bible and give you a reason why you should apply it to your life. Well done.

    • clivewilliams profile image

      Clive Williams 21 months ago from Nibiru

      shalom.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 21 months ago from SW England

      I used to go to church (Anglican/Church of England) with my father, for years. When I left home to go my own way, I rarely attended unless I was at home or unless it was Christmas, usually with the children. None of us now goes to church regularly - weddings, funerals and the very rare baptism.

      I still regard myself as a Christian. I still try to practise what I was taught and you're right, it all comes down to love; I would add tolerance and respect and kindness but I guess that's all part of love anyway.

      I don't understand the fire and brimstone part of the Bible but then I remind myself that it was written by men - say no more (and that's not a sexist remark, I mean that men/women are fallible and interpret things in different ways). The New Testament tells stories about Christ and reports Christ's teachings; much more realistic. However, I still don't agree when much is taken as 'gospel' if you'll pardon the pun. I believe that many of Christ's stories, parables, were to illustrate a point, just like we write a story. Taking it all literally doesn't make sense to me but I get the point of the story - that does make sense.

      Not sure that I'm making sense here, but there you go!

      Another well-thought out sermon, beautifully expressed, with much of your own soul and that makes it all the more credible.

      Thank you, Eric, for sharing all these thoughts with us. Shared.

      Ann

    • Ericdierker profile image
      Author

      Eric Dierker 21 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thank you John Hansen, Lest I be real mistaken your land in paradise is quite the church. Your appreciation for our natural friends and writing show your love of all.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 21 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Namaste Clive

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 21 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Ann, I think the next in this series which is meant to be apart from the Sermons is going to focus on some of the great teachers. Parables and stories is how they teach and whoa be to the kid in the front of the class that says "but you said". "It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle is one of my favorites". Now we all know fantastic, giving and loving and faith filled rich men and that a camel can't fit through a needle.

      Maybe you could help me out sometime on these words; Literal, literally and literate. Seems there is much in the differences.

      Thank you Ann for your positive support.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 21 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Consubstantial is a very cool word, as is transubstantiation....and anyone's faith is cool, as is living a life of love.

      I'm done! :)

      Have a terrific day of love, my friend.

    • Paul K Francis profile image

      Paul K Francis 21 months ago from east coast,USA

      You are not going to get a rude comment from me. It is good to approach ideas of faith with an open mind and an open heart.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 21 months ago from SW England

      To distinguish between those three words simply:

      literal (adjective) - in its basic, straightforward meaning - by the letter

      literally (adverb) - 'it is or is done exactly how it is described'

      literate (adjective) - being able to read and write, understand words.

      So when I said, 'taking it literally', I was referring to those who believe exactly what it says and take the meaning at face value (not necessarily as an example or story to illustrate meaning).

      Hope that helps.

      Ann

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 21 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Bill, thanks for adding that transubstantiation. I am a super lucky one because I get to talk about faith and actually listen and not judge. Somebody gave that talent to someone else.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 21 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thank you Paul Francis, your words are rich with goodness.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 21 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thanks much Ann. I pose can a man really be literate if he cannot distinguish an illustration of concept from a literal translation intent?

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 21 months ago from SW England

      Literate but not necessarily intelligent!! Should I have said that? Not sure!

      Ann

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 21 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thanks Ann that makes me laugh and think of "intelligent design" requires some intelligence to fathom.

    • whonunuwho profile image

      whonunuwho 21 months ago from United States

      Eric I believe that religion and Christianity for me began with a jumpstart from my grandfather who was a minister of the gospel. My family raised me to respect others and their beliefs and be a good example for others to follow. This I have tried to do over the years. I was a teacher for many years and have tried to live by the Golden Rule, as much as possible. Each of us must live by our faiths and try to follow this with all of our hearts and souls. Thanks for your nice inspirational sermons my friend. whonu

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 21 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Whonu, where were you when I was in school? With a teacher like you I might have amounted to something people respect, you know not a writer. LOL

      A good teacher trumps a good preacher anyday, Thank you.

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 21 months ago from sunny Florida

      Wow, Eric. You got my attention and kept it all the way through (as you actually do in each entry I read here)...not disappointed.

      God's love is almost incomprehensible to me at times....how can I with all of my imperfections be so loved whirls around in my heart and mind?

      How thankful I am that He loves us all as he does.

      You have touched on so many important issues here, Eric. The most important to me is that God is love....that is enough...God IS love...it takes my breath away just thinking of it.

      Well done What an adorable photo at the onset of this sharing!!!!

      Shared pinned g+ tweeted

      Sending God's love on the wings of Angels directly to you and your family...although He needs NOT my help ps

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 21 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Patricia, I like to sit still and say (maybe it is a prayer) "let me feel the love". That's it and away I go being filled up with love, because He is already and always there. "incomprehensible" you say? That is an understatement LOL

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 21 months ago from The Caribbean

      Amen to the prayer; you've been an excellent emissary of love all along. Thanks for answering my query about using the Bible as a source for your Christian sermons; also for the information in the bit about the author, though I don't think I'm confused. You're a pleasure to know and to read.

    • Reynold Jay profile image

      Reynold Jay 21 months ago from Saginaw, Michigan

      Yep-- I say go ahead and do it all . No reason not to. I did listen to Joplin while I read your HUB. She is super duper!!!! If you wish, I can send you a PDF in your email of Seeds From Heaven ( Do not request unless you want to spend 12 hours of your time reading it) or a print copy to you. This asks the question, "What message would an angel from heaven give to us if sent from heaven bearing the word of God." In the event you did read it, I would so much look forward to your feelings about it, love or hate it!

      OR someone else could read it who would discuss it.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 21 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Ms. Dora, God wraps me up side my head - gently of course - whenever I think I am not confused. "Study harder, Listen harder, Pray harder and Love harder"! If I ever sound the same as I did a year ago, then I ain't growing and all fathers want their children to grow forever. Thank you for your support and great scripture articles. I read them and learn, and grow.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 21 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Reynold are you speaking of Barbara Taylor?

    • Reynold Jay profile image

      Reynold Jay 21 months ago from Saginaw, Michigan

      I do not know B. Taylor--She can read my book is she wishes.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 21 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      She does sermons by a name very close.

      Please send me the PDF I will probably spend more time reading it though as it will assuredly give much to ponder on.

    • Mel Carriere profile image

      Mel Carriere 21 months ago from San Diego California

      I spend a lot of days ducking rocks thrown by my neighbors who try to hide bad deeds behind their religion. The commandment to "love thy neighbor" is very simple, not much is required at all, but we choose instead to debate hair splitting theological details, and even fight wars over words like "consubstantial." Your hub here brings a tear to my eye. Masterfully written, most certainly inspired by a higher source.

    • BlossomSB profile image

      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 21 months ago from Victoria, Australia

      So well written - thoroughly enjoyed it - also the comments so far! I attend church every Sunday, sometimes more than once - I'm one of those who feel that corporate worship (the body of Christ) is important. Sadly not all of my offspring feel the same way.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 21 months ago from Southern Illinois

      I never considered myself a Christian although I've always been a believer. I just recently joined a church. My reasoning for joining this church is my total respect for the minister. He is quick to tell us that he doesn't know everything about the bible, but he loves God and people, that's good enough for me. We have bible study on Wednesday morning at 9 am. Some Wednesdays I am lazy and stay in bed, does he criticize? me? No I have yet to hear one judgmental remark from any member. My kind of people! Another good message...

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 21 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Mel, you make me a proud man. It is my hope that by seeing just how messed up a guy with all my background is -- they are doing just fine with their faith. Rock throwing,,,, I know exactly what you mean. Duck my good man duck and run.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 21 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Bronwen, I think that if I did not have a community in Christ I would not be nearly as happy. But it is not for everyone. It is a bit of the reason I write the Sermons on line. No substitute but at least a bit of a nudge to think about things important.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 21 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Always, that makes me happy. Peter wasn't a "Christian". How could he have been? I would bet you do not pass judgment on others in the group either. People who love should be in a group that loves. Thank you for your story.

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 20 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Eric

      This was great! My background is somewhat similar (been in most denominations including the pentecostals)

      I tend to be a 'literalist' which means (to me) that all you need to be a believer is to believe Jesus died for you and that he rose again!

      All the rest is fun to discuss, but not essential!

      Blessings

      Lawrence

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 20 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Lawrence I would say a literalist is someone who takes each stanza or verse as ultimate truth. Now I have to adjust my thinking.

      The rest is fun to discuss and think about. But my connection is essential and it kind of ends there. My mind, body and soul are different. Kind of like a trinity - mysterious to no end.

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 20 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Eric

      The only thing the Bible says we need for 'salvation' is what I mentioned above, all the rest is fun to discuss but not essential.

      As for the trinity, we've been trying to work it out for 2,000 years and still don't fully understand so what chance do I have?

      Lawrence

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 20 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Agreed Lawrence,

      It really is a luxury to even write about such matters as it clearly is not essential to faith or life.

    • celafoe profile image

      charlie 14 months ago from Planet earth. between the oceans

      great philosophical and worldly piece but certainly not scriptura guide.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 14 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      What beauty you render when you are constricted by all manner of things. You give us the beauty of confines and codified behavior. Those like you that only color between the pre-ordainded lines help to keep those of us who are free from a law tethered. We must always observe you and thank our blessings that we are not likewise yoked as you. And God reached His hand out to me and said you are free to live a good life not burdened by those who will demand constrictures and condemnation. Finally those of us who are free of your burdens have free will and we choose God not because of your demands but because of love.

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