I'm glad you say you represent yourself! So too does every new age spiritualist who regards Christ as a 'good' teacher. Christians were burned thrashed and mauled for hundreds of years in the name of Christ and for his name, his truth, his church.
Christ is not 'symbolic' - Christianity is grounded most very firmly in Christ, the very real God who became human, singularly alone as the only way. The ultimate, the beginning and end.
You can recommend him as a humble guy with sandals, and spit hellfire on his Church, but you cannot undo his word or indeed replace it with some kind of newage symbolism.
If you like sufism, that's up to you, your choice...there is always something to be learned, but Christ is not some kind of on the surface spirituality that's all about wearing sandals, and being kind to eachother etc. the Gospels are far more than that -
Christ has walked with us since the resurrection - and his people are not relative to anything, or out to prove anything, other than their faith in soley him. The Catholic Church are not Bible only Christians - Scripture is sacr.ed, so too is the Church, maybe look a little deeper into what it means to be a Catholic - we're not all perfect, obviously - never claimed to be, we love and welcome sinners - the Church is for them, just as Jesus sat with them too.
It's not about infallibility as misunderstood as you would have it and most especially not about psuedo scientific religions such as that of the new age movement that are content to blur Hinduism, naturalism, any kind of spirituality with Christianity, when they will never meet!
Christianity stands alone - always will. There is no room or tolerance for any other deity within Christianity other than the Father, Son and Holy Spirit -otherwise it's not Christianity - just posing as or borrowing from same, with a few nice words here or there but no substance, will never be a substitute for Christ. Sorry but no, your Sprirituality is yours, my Christianity is different - totally.
I don't see catholic priests walking the streets of our villages towns and cities helping the poor and leading the morally deaf and blind to salvation.
I never spat on any church that's something that was created in your head.
Have you ever read any of Bishop Berkleys work.
Christian mystics are not mentioned in the church too often.
Oh, no, you don't see Catholics because you don't want to - we're there in every home that accepts the SVDP - every home that a priest phones in order to bring the Eucharist to old age folk who can't get out to mass - you would have to be there I guess - every home that every single Catholic goes to in order to express their faith in all it's patience and love.
Christian mystics are part and parcel of the Church, for heavens sake some of them are declared 'saints' - and not because of their 'mystic', but because they lived very Holy lives and brought people home to Christ.
In other words it's not mysticism that matters so much as the message of those saints who lived the Gospel. Mysticism or contemplation has it's place in Christianity, so long as it's guided and the contemplation is on Christ, but it can be dangerous if it's mixed with new age philosophy -
For instance, the 'law of attraction' that the 'secret' bestselling books message ecompasses is that one is responsible soley for themselves, not for any body else - in fact, if somebody emits 'negative' vibes you should seperate yourself from them in order to receive good things from the 'universe' and not associate with negative 'vibes'..
Heck, that's just mad imo, Jesus wants us to be responsible and actually questions us on how responsible we are to the underdog, the persecuted, the poor - he never asks us to step boldly over them in the name of the universe he wants us to be part of life, responsible for others, not contemplate ourselves beyond earth, meditate ourselves out of reality, but to be active, live life, love others, be part of life, and be couragous in our convictions.
Horses for courses.
I sense anger in you, maybe a few weeks in Mount Melery would be a good start.
They cater for people from all walks of life.
Your vision of the catholic church isn't as good as I thought it was.
People were filled with fear for centuries by priests telling them they will burn in hell for their sinful ways and hardly ever spoke about repentance or forgiveness.
How can someone have faith in someone who promotes burning in hell and all those beatings that were given out, is that promoting the church ?
And by the way I never spat on any church it might be a moral decision on your behalf to delete that vile comment
Do you drink late at night ?
Check out Mount Melery as I said their doors are open to everyone the prayer and meditation will do a person good
God bless you
I'm not really sure what point you're making here - you appear to castigate the Catholic church for de-emphasising Christian mystics, which as lmaopml rightly points out simply isn't true (Hildegard of Bingen, St.Therese of Avila, Thomas Merton... and so on) but then praise Mount Mellary, which as far as I'm aware is a Trappist monastery (and Catholic).
One of the many reasons why we have 'cafeteria catholics' and catholics who have little knowledge of the Catholic faith, is that there isn't enough pulpit-pounding. You will still be condemned to Hell for the same unrepentant sins today as you did centuries ago.
Many priests are being too politically correct in case they will be accused of intolerance and/or bigotry! The Apostles weren't afraid to call a spade a spade, all of them laid down their lives for the spread of the Gospel - St John being the only Apostle to die a natural death.
We need more brimstone and fire preaching, to awaken people from apathy! There should be fear, fear for the loss of your soul for all eternity.
All one needs to do is teach about Christianity, what it means, what is our problem in terms of rebelling against God, the arrival of Jesus and His atoning death for our sinful nature, and what accepting Jesus means in our day to day lives. Part of this will be the reality of judgement, but a lot of it will simply be about recognising what Jesus did for us, and how we are to live in response.
We have to teach Christianity in fullness. If you are compromising God's word, or teaching exclusively on one particular topic as you are suggesting people will still be as confused as ever about Christianity. Systematic teaching on how to read and handle the Bible and an overview of the ultimate narrative in Scripture will do what you've desired. However, a lot of churches have jettisoned Scripture to the sideline, and as a result people don't understand the good news that Jesus came to rescue us from sin. All sin once and for all, on the cross if we repent.
I think if people actually knew what Christianity was there would be less people riling up against it. Most people oppose the varying forms of pseudo-Gospel that have come into the world since.
Your funny alright you gave me a good laugh.
But all that fire and brimstone pounding at the pulpit will frighten the life out of the people today.
They will be running into Hughes and Hughes buying the latest version of the secret.
And have a coffee after
When it comes to fire and brimstone, all a non-Christian will see is some lunatic ranting about damnation and how wicked the world and everyone in it is. They just switch off and don't listen - quite understandably. A true, living faith can't be built on fear. People need hope, and they need a transforming relationship with God which can change their lives and move them to be better people in the world we live in now, quite simply a faith which will move them to love of God and of neighbour. Fire and brimstone will increase apathy as people feel utterly worthless.
Ok I'm struggling with which Direction is right for me.
The mystical blend of Sufism, Born againChristianity,Catholicism,New Age Spirituality.......
I know a person can only make the decision for themselves but I don't need conflict about the right path.....
TBH, the 50 years since Vatican II has been a disaster, where many priests have 'improvised' their mode of preaching, trying not to offend those in the congregation who are contracepting, fornicating, shacking up together outside of Christian Marriage etc., many have no concept of what sin is! Of course priests must preach about the love and mercy of God but Justice and Mercy go hand in hand, but there must be a balance between the two. It would be an injustice not to speak out against sin, and priests would have to render an acccount to the Divine Judge for not doing so!
Re: Fire and Brimstone, the tendency to become over-reactive in regard issues that are existential in natures is a common human reaction. For instance modern day climate debate has generated significant friction. But this does not negate the serious issue behind the fire and brimstone of that debate nor should cloud decisions about choice of faith .
It isn't enough to say that "contraception is a sin" or "living together outside of marriage is a sin" unless you can back up what you're saying in a way that makes sense to people. In the first case, the vast majority of Catholics simply don't believe contraception is a sin as proven by statistics showing that the usage of artificial contraception by Catholics is no less than usage by non-Catholics. As for living together before marriage, some would see it as a sin, some wouldn't, but unless you can make the argument in a way that makes sense to people they simply won't listen, and the priest will be telling his most devout and conservative parishioners what they already believe - literally preaching to the choir! Far greater evils such as poverty, abuse in the family, addiction, the destruction of our environment and greed and so on are crying out for the prophetic voice that the church could bring, and a church that plays a greater activist role on these issues might just be a church which starts to win back former members.
When God put Adam and Eve together in the first marriage His instruction was - apologies for the paraphrase - "be fruitful and multipy, fill the earth and subdue it" - Genesis 1:28
Contraception is breaking that command from God.
Is that simple enough?
Since when was whether something is a sin or not was given to the rule of statistics or democracy?
What is or isn't a sin is defined by God, not majority rule.
That's good for the choir. It may be a good thing that the fornicators are not in the Church. The reality is that the fornicators don't usually go to Mass anyway. And if they were and they stopped going because a priest said fornication is a sin that is their business. Maybw their conscience will get the better if them and they will either give up fornicating or get married but we won't know if the priests don't start preaching about the evils of fornication.
But to simpilfy it it is a sin under "thou shalt not commit adultery".
If adultery is sex with someone not your spouse then fornication is adultery.
Evil is evil no matter it is greater or lesser. Murder one or murder a million it's still murder. Hell is no worse for the murder of one than the murder of many.
The evils you present are not new and when it comes to the state of ones soul all evil is equal.
All institutions have good and bad people and their problems. I expect (and hope) you already know the ratio will not be any different in any other denomination.
For the next few years, I would concentrate on praying to God for guidance, studying the New Testament, and studying the beliefs of the early Christian church in the first few centuries. At the end of the day, most probably you will find it will come down to your belief regarding the Eucharist. No one other than you, can decide for you what Christian denomination is best for you. Choose carefully, and then whatever denominaton you choose, devote your heart to loving God, and if you fall, get back up. Christianity should not be practiced half heartly and thereafter, do not harshly judge other Christian denominations even if some of their beliefs do not match your own, they are your brothers and sisters in Christ.