The born again movement has grown considerably in recent years and there seems to be a radicalism to the movement. Some of them even declare that the middle east conflict is a holy war.
This attitude seems to be in great conflict with the basic teachings preached to us in the past.
Does Fundamentalist Christianity slow spiritual maturity? I would say yes. It wasn't until I left that religion that I started to mature spiritually.
i just want to add i am disturbed that so many churches (not all) have become political springboards. i would go to church for spiritual comfort, not to be told who to vote for, etc.
I agree politics and relgion are a springboard to disaster. Just look at the Middle East mess.
Same here; I left one church because the preacher would quote one little verse from the Bible, and then he would preach to us for two hours about the evils of democrats, and how Bush was the messiah, and bla bla.
As you can imagine this happened back in '04
Fundamentalism, to me is incredibly narrow minded. It seems that wholesale disregard for some undisputable facts is common in favor of pretending to hear and know what "God" wants instead. This seems to be an illness of the mind, to me. A justification for acting contrary to what is prescribed Christian behavior.
what is Christian about Christian behavior if it doesn't do its best to discern what God wants?
I agree with you in that fundamentalism harkens to a basics or foundation to start your work or search. To remain in this state stagnates all progress because of its need to return backwards instead of forward.
depends on your definition of spiritual maturity~
I think anything to an extreme throws a person off balance~
look at the recent town hall meetings in US, there are examples all throughout history of religious extremism.
so, in answer, yes.
I would like to give you the quick answer and say if you have to ask you won't get it.
I was "born again" over 25 years ago and followed the teachings and doctrine of the church who baptized me. Life went along pretty well until I began to question the authority of the church and their methods. I would not just accept the teachings of the church based soley on their interpretation of bible teachings and opinions expressed to quell my inquiries.
I had a realization that there is something out there bigger than me and my finite little realm of understanding based on the teachings of a group that kept understanding to a controlled acceptable rendition of what they wanted.
There are ultimate truths and Christianity does not have a corner on the market for them. I found that through further study with an open mind that spirituality is something that all religions enjoy and that a particular sect or culture does not have the only answer. Some people need that only one foundation but I have found that if all your knowledge is gained from one source you have a limited shapshot of what could be.
see we have very different ideas of what spiritual maturity means. it can be a pretty nebulous term because spirituality has become such a mystical, subjective thing. my idea of spiritual maturity is a continually close connection with the God of the Bible. When i grow in spiritual maturity, i disarm my inclinations to sin and put on the new life Jesus Christ has given me. Spiritual Maturity is about Obedience to God. it's objectively defined in Christianity, no wanderings, no mysticism, no nebulos...ity? wish that was a word....
I understand your strain of thought but difer in your understanding wanderings, mystisism etc.
If you have a solid base of understanding of what acceptable to God means then you make a conscious decision as to sin or saintly behavior. But to cut all thought and actions in the process of gaining more knowledge would seem to me a big sin in that you do not feed the thirst that is in your soul to draw nearer to Him through a better understanding.
It's kind of like planting a seed in the ground and giving it the nourishment that will provide for it to merely grow. But if you provide it with much more nutrients and guidance it will serve you and itself much more than if it were just let to grow.
I left organized religion decades ago myself.
Unlike you, though, I did (& do) not seek "truth" outside of Jesus Christ. (if I understood your comment correctly)
To me, spiritual maturity comes in many ways. Not the least of which is applying what you learn to your everyday life, and with years (passage of time). I find that my outlook on life has changed markedly as I have aged.
I still have a strong tendency to relate to Christianity because of my studies of the Bible and the cultural influence derived from living mostly in this country. However I have found it hard to relate to strictly christian based followers because of the limits that the cultural influence has on their views. That is not to say that I have any greater grasp on the spiritual understanding of man but I find it both refreshing and exciting when I come across similarities with other religions and a clearer understanding of them as a spiritual being.
Your references to Christianity as the only basis by which we can achieve favor or acceptance by God seems to be in conflict with what has been holding other religions back as well.
The Jews would not accept The Messiah as Jesus Christ. They are blamed for his demise.
Other religions have come to pass since Christs' passing and claimed acceptance with the Christians refusing to accept any such ministry.
Christians will not accept Muhammad in the Islamic faith and the Muslims will not accept Bahaullah in the Bahai faith. They all preach the same basic doctrine.
Having a base in Christianity is good but having a broader base to draw from is more intense.
i think a broader base is way more confusing. I couldn't really handle a religious smörgåsbord. Besides all that, Jesus Christs says that he is the Way the Truth and the Life. He says that he comes as a stumbling block and blessed are those that do not take offense at him. In his own words Jesus knows that what he preached, this doctrine of absolute truth in Him, is offense. You can't take part of Jesus. If you value any of his teaching, you have to understand that he proclaimed himself the Son of God, and the only Savior of mankind - he proclaimed himself as the True God. I believe in Jesus, so yes I think that following Him, trusting in Him, believing in Him is the Way, Truth, and Life. it's offensive i know - it's leads to all the hateful "close-minded, judgmental, intolerant" words that get thrown at Christians. but there isn't really much i can do about that...buy the truth and don't sell it.
So the answer is KISS (keep it simple stupid)? I think because an issue is complex it does not call for it to be ignored. I am not saying you are stupid and I am in no way suggesting that you should stray from your faith but can't it be an interesting journey of discovery without a damning slant?
haha i'm not saying don't deal with complex issues. but ultimately Christianity is pretty simple - Jesus saves sinners. i'm just saying the Bible's view of our discussion which is that Jesus is the only way. it's exclusive and intolerant - but it's true.
well if you assume that truth is subjective, than why ask the question in the first place? there really isn't an answer to it if everything is subjective cause there isn't really truth so why try to seek out an answer? if truth is subjective, than there is no truth because truth by definition is objective and absolute. right?
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