When Christian people disagree on matters of faith.

Seeler

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Recently, I attended an event that was organized by a small group of people about the Universal Christ. It consisted of online connections with the seminar taking place in New Mexico with speakers such as Crossan and Ruhr.
The members of the group arranged to have it held at his UCC church. It consisted of watching the webinairs and then participating in small-group discussions where we've all had a chance to share our impressions or concerns. It was low-key and only a about a total of 25 individuals attended all or part of this four day, spirit-filled gathering.

I sent some tension among the members of the church – the chair of the board and the women volunteers were making out the lunches and meals for us. It turns out that they had received some protest from people who were not part of their congregation. People had threatened to stone the church if the event was held there.

A woman who regularly plays the piano during worship (and was not even partaking in this event) was accosted on the street and asked why her church was allowing this these people a platform to spread their false religion. I was there to witness or hear this encounter but it left her second and afraid.

Participants in the seminar were mainly used the people, with the few Unitarian, and four or five Roman Catholic. We all felt the presence of the Spirit among us as we listened, discussed, questioned, worship, and shared communion. We found it upsetting that others would threaten our host church. I can't imagine people from like UCC doing the same to them as they gathered for praise and prayer.
 

Waterfall

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Any wonder why some wars get started?
Or Christians look rediculous to others sometimes?
The question becomes...what to do...what did you do Seeler? Any suggestions?
 

Mendalla

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People had threatened to stone the church if the event was held there.
If violence is threatened, the police should be notified. Any evidence of who made the threats should be passed to them. I know churches are often reluctant to involve authorities but stoning the church while the event was going on could have resulted in injuries and the making of threats is itself a threat to our civil society.

The question becomes...what to do
Beyond that, I think you go on. You show them that you are not afraid and that your search for the truth will go on whether they like it or not. If you back down, they win. Knowing they made you blink once, they will push harder the next time. The risk that they will go through with their threats increases rather than decreasing.
 

Luce NDs

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It is a peculiar situation and circumstance that many don't even acknowledge exists ... thus only an analytical drift ... a Philosophy Prof. (retired) was present. At one point he said it baffled him how few understood that the language of analytical philosophy was foreign to existential philosophy and theu a schism between physical reality and what's thought out in drifting knowledge ... the comment is lost on a host that are mostly blind to such understanding of distant unknowns ... GOD?
 

Mendalla

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More broadly, I think this speaks to the insane level of passion people feel around faith. We see lesser versions of it here from certain members, though I can't see any of them actually making physical threats. I honestly suspect that people who go that far (ie. the threats) are actually the ones who are afraid; afraid that their faith may not stand up to honest scrutiny in the long run. Instead of confronting that scrutiny in the realm of ideas through discussion and debate, they try to shut it down.
 

Luce NDs

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If violence is threatened, the police should be notified. Any evidence of who made the threats should be passed to them. I know churches are often reluctant to involve authorities but stoning the church while the event was going on could have resulted in injuries and the making of threats is itself a threat to our civil society.



Beyond that, I think you go on. You show them that you are not afraid and that your search for the truth will go on whether they like it or not. If you back down, they win. Knowing they made you blink once, they will push harder the next time. The risk that they will go through with their threats increases rather than decreasing.
Such comments of the stoners reveal hidden emotions ... that perhaps should have been expended differently ... splitting wood, or cracking nutz!
 

paradox3

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There certainly are Christians who disagree profoundly on matters of faith. We see that here on the bible study threads.

Generally I try to search for common ground and often I am able to find it.

In RL many folks have observed it is easier to find common ground with liberal/ progressive voices of other faith traditions . . . Reform Judaism for example.

I am not sure what the answer is. I find it very difficult to have meaningful dialogue with anyone who tells me I am an unbeliever or being influenced by Satan. And quite frankly I lose interest in trying to converse with such individuals.

Still, I think seeking common ground is the ideal approach.

But there are lines in the sand, so to speak. The threat of violence (as @Mendalla has just posted) is one such line.

I am starting to find disparaging comments about Jewish people or Judaism to be the same.

Great idea for a thread @Seeler
 

Luce NDs

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More broadly, I think this speaks to the insane level of passion people feel around faith. We see lesser versions of it here from certain members, though I can't see any of them actually making physical threats. I honestly suspect that people who go that far (ie. the threats) are actually the ones who are afraid; afraid that their faith may not stand up to honest scrutiny in the long run. Instead of confronting that scrutiny in the realm of ideas through discussion and debate, they try to shut it down.
The main theme in Bob Woodward's FEAR ... a documentary on present presidential insecurity ... few see through it due to the surface appearances ... resembles the Tricky kind of myths at the watergate ... before the flood cools things down ...
 

Luce NDs

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There certainly are Christians who disagree profoundly on matters of faith. We see that here on the bible study threads.

Generally I try to search for common ground and often I am able to find it.

In RL many folks have observed it is easier to find common ground with liberal/ progressive voices of other faith traditions . . . Reform Judaism for example.

I am not sure what the answer is. I find it very difficult to have meaningful dialogue with anyone who tells me I am an unbeliever or being influenced by Satan. And quite frankly I lose interest in trying to converse with such individuals.

Still, I think seeking common ground is the ideal approach.

But there are lines in the sand, so to speak. The threat of violence (as @Mendalla has just posted) is one such line.

I am starting to find disparaging comments about Jewish people or Judaism to be the same.

Great idea for a thread @Seeler
In faith if you retreat to questioning and knowledge, wisdom or philosophy ... do you take up a position of alternate nature and thus are the devil of advocacy of mental process? Unheard of in unseeing faith ... optics and vision are something else ... some of us find searching the vast void of the unknown ... valuable in the light of so many cloudy views ... the great escape cometh! De Ath part of the carrying vessel chuckles ... sometimes expressed as gamma, or the r's in metaphor (heiro gama)?

I like the words in That Lucky Ole Son ... as the dark cloud descends to present a silvered lining ... the innate joker? There is some bits of knowledge is the oddest places ... if only the institution could learn ...
 
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chansen

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More broadly, I think this speaks to the insane level of passion people feel around faith. We see lesser versions of it here from certain members, though I can't see any of them actually making physical threats.
It happened at least once on the old site.

I honestly suspect that people who go that far (ie. the threats) are actually the ones who are afraid; afraid that their faith may not stand up to honest scrutiny in the long run. Instead of confronting that scrutiny in the realm of ideas through discussion and debate, they try to shut it down.
This. If faith was as certain as some pretend, they would not feel threatened. That they are threatened shows how tenuous their certainty in their faith really is. They need to defend their faith, not against outside ideas, but from those outside ideas even being discussed.

The confident don't need to threaten - it's the cowards who do that. Cowardly people with a cowardly God.
 

Luce NDs

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It happened at least once on the old site.


This. If faith was as certain as some pretend, they would not feel threatened. That they are threatened shows how tenuous their certainty in their faith really is. They need to defend their faith, not against outside ideas, but from those outside ideas even being discussed.

The confident don't need to threaten - it's the cowards who do that. Cowardly people with a cowardly God.
Can't help the overwhelming powers ... and thus best to retreat and chuckle at irrational things that go on ... indefinitely because that's the way the cards fall ... quantum optics ...
 

Carolla

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I would have found those to be disturbing interactions too. I'm with Mendalla in regard to calling police if feeling threatened - which as he rightly says, churches often are reluctant to do. In our present social climate, sadly the escalation of threat is becoming a much more real issue, and we need to be cognizant of that reality, IMO.

Life is just not a zero-sum game - in my view at least. I do find that often this is the issue with others who hold what I might see as 'fundamentalist' religious views - many things are turned into dichotomous right/wrong, win/lose 'battles' rather than opportunities to gracefully expand the circle - making the finding of the 'middle ground' which P3 speaks of often so very challenging to find.

Your event sounds really interesting Seeler! I'm curious - did local media pick up on any aspects of the workshop & the community backlash? Might make an interesting story for The Broadview.

I think (and hope!) we will be seeing more of these 'virtual' gatherings - I often enjoy listening to webinars etc on a whole variety of subjects & perspectives. I'm registered for one next Wed with Alan Roxburgh's Missional Network which looks really interesting - "What’s the relationship between evangelism, social action and joining God?" . And I saw in the Emerging Spirit newsletter that they're starting a weekly half-hour on Monday afternoon of 'story telling' of interesting initiatives, followed by questions & discussion.
 

Luce NDs

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This is just my impression ... an opinion at least: "The threats were meant to raise fear of doing something that these individuals didn't agree with ... as a result of their not being able to process beyond where they felt contained."

It is a power function like blasts from the bull horn ... those ready to face the great unknown ... will question such tactics!

It is an alien process to say least! If it is alien ... fear it? Thus some become fearful of their shadow ... really a ridiculous thing when viewed from outside tight and taught circles that admire fear tactics ...

It may be a prototypicals tryst ...
 

unsafe

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There is no common ground when it comes to Faith in God and His word -----There are 2 Options ---belief and unbelief Period ----if one does not believe the word of God and shows same by posting against what the scripture says then that person by God Himself in His word say that person is an unbeliever ------It is said time and time again in scripture by God not ---people -----we need to take responsibility for what we do and say by posting against what the scriptures say and that means unbelief in what they say -----you can't be a believe and unbeliever at the same time ----your either one or the other --Period Plus --you can't serve 2 masters and that is by God

One condemns themselves with there own words -----and that is the truth ------there are many on this sight who condemn believers and get all riled up when Truth is posted and that is shown on the Luke thread as well -----
 

Redbaron

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I think there is a certain amount of fear in the makeup of those who won't allow any criticism of their version of 'The Truth', who are always ready to see any difference of opinion with theirs as a call to war; who see any questioning of their 'Assured Beliefs' as a personal attack on them. There is, I think, an subconscious sense that if they ever actually thought critically about what they espoused, the whole house of cards would come tumbling down. (Been there, done that myself, in fact. Glad to report I survived the experience and came out stronger. Different, yes, but stronger.) It is more fearfulness that 'faithfulness' that prevents them from learning something new, that would lead them to, for example, threaten to stone a church building to prevent anyone ELSE from learning something new. In religious terms, one might call it 'fundamentalism'. In political terms, 'fascism'. Both are founded on, and feed on, fearfulness.
 

chansen

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One condemns themselves with there own words -----and that is the truth ------there are many on this sight who condemn believers and get all riled up when Truth is posted and that is shown on the Luke thread as well -----
People only get riled up with you when you go all "Jews deserve death" on us. Otherwise, you're a laughingstock, and one of my best examples of what faith can do to a person.
 

BetteTheRed

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here is no common ground when it comes to Faith in God and His word -----There are 2 Options ---belief and unbelief Period
This just strikes me as very sad. I find humans have a lot of common ground. We understand love and caring and neighbour in a similar way. I'm sure, unsafe, if you lived next to me, unless you hate dandelions and noisy hounds, we'd get along just fine.
 

blackbelt1961

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Crossan is a false teacher you all know that I have said this before , but stoning is not the way to go , speaking truth and praying that the Holy Spirit opens their eyes is the way to go.
 
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