Deconstructing and Recistructing

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Mendalla

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Have you gone through anything like this?
Not quite the same but similar. While she came to Christianity later in life, I was a regular church-going, mainstream Christian through until my twenties (or maybe late teens). But, like her, "even from a young age I was drawn to big questions ― about meaning and purpose, about death and dying, about whether or not there is a God." And my answers, such as they were, started to fit less and less well in that Christian environment. And often I was left with questions that did not have a clear, final answer. Hence my preference for "agnostic" in describing my general spiritual outlook and for UU'ism over Christian churches.

(Hoping for reflective responses, rather than kneejerk reactions)
(Thinking you're being a bit optimistic here, but let's roll with it and hope for the best)
 

Lastpointe

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Interesting.

my first thought was that the faith she had that caused her to become a pastor was very structured and constricting. Perhaps because she came to it after tragedy. And so she grasped onto structure without a deeper understanding of the love god has for us. Structure can help us because it provides support. But structured prayers and readings are not enough

because to me, love is at the core of faith in god. But she seems to have only found love after she dropped everything else.

it Makes me wonder what sort of pastor she was if love of god and love of people wasn’t at the core of her practice

on the whole I find this idea, that she has found a new path forward to god frustrating. She hasn’t found anew path forward, at least to me. The path to god is love, has always been. To me this is a “me, me,me” theology
 

paradox3

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Interesting that the support she received from church friends after the death of her son eventually led to her decision to become a pastor.

The community aspect of faith is huge as many of us are learning anew in this time of Covid restrictions.

As for her other discoveries, it feels like the same old discussion we have been having for years. Is God an interventionist or not? What is the role of doubt in faith? Can one be both a Christian and an agnostic when it comes to God's nature or existence?

This pastor reminds me a lot of Gretta Vosper in earlier years.
 

unsafe

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Comment from above post -----The path to god is love, has always been.

Just to clarify ----

The path to God is first Faith that is belief in the unseen realm -----you have to believe God is first and after you believe God is --Faith will produce the love that leads to the path to God -----

Faith is always the first path to God who is love ------ Hebrews 11:6
 

unsafe

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The first statement in the Title of the article is -------

I Found God, -------​


This is her first mistake -----she can't find God -----God knows the hearts of every person ---He knows who can be drawn to Him and who's hearts are turned against Him ------so no individual can find God ---God finds us -----

John 6:44 AMP
AMP
No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him [giving him the desire to come to Me]; and I will raise him up [from the dead] on the last day.

I say ----
So this woman was going on her own human love and corrupt nature --thinking she was finding her path to God --this happens all the time in Ministry -----she is still a lost soul by the end of her article ------

If she had tasted God;s Blessings and the power of the Holy Spirit this lady would never have deserted her pastoral duties -----she was a wolf in sheep's clothing trying to Minister God;s word without the right Faith to even please God ------She just like many thought she had found God ------

And what happened to her --she left the Ministry and became a wanderer in the wilderness and she is still there because she is ignorant in her knowledge about God -----

Her next quote is ------

Then Lost My Faith.​


No she did't loose her faith ---her faith is human faith and she still has that ----she never had the Right Faith in the first place which comes by hearing the word of God and then God opening up the heart to receive the Faith needed to believe the Word -----

She says she had a lot happen and she questioned and doubted -----and this lead her to feel she could not continue as a Pastor ----

I say
Well this shows that she didn't know God in the first place ---she says she didn't know if God really existed ----

Said she spoke on Love and Grace to her church but she had doubts herself ----so what does this say ----she is trying to convince others of what she doesn't believe herself -----

Jesus said your either for me or against me --there is no inbetween Folks -----You can not doubt God's word which in Bible terms is unbelief ----your either in belief of God and His word or your unbelief of God and His word -----you can't be both -----

In my view ---this woman made the right decision to get out of the Ministry ---at least she is not leading a church into a doomed path ------I hope one day God opens her heart to His Message so she can have some peace in her spiritual life ----as of right now she has no peace as far as her Spiritual path is concerned ----
 

Waterfall

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It appears this woman is on a journey of faith,...what she would have wrote during different periods of her life would obviously be different from what she is writing now. I suspect what she will write 5 years from now will be a different story as well.
I would feel somewhat uncomfortable over analyzing someone's journey because I really don't know what God has in store for her down the road and more than likely neither does she. If someone had asked me to write down what I believe at any particular point in my life, no doubt there would be contradictions plus a change of understandings from experiences, knowledge and hopefully wisdom that has been accumulated over the years.
I often wonder what happens when someone dies during a period of incredible doubt, lost faith, or just plain extreme questioning during that journey, that may have led to a greater understanding and appreciation. Does it matter to God? I think he/she gets it.
 

Mendalla

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Interesting.

my first thought was that the faith she had that caused her to become a pastor was very structured and constricting. Perhaps because she came to it after tragedy. And so she grasped onto structure without a deeper understanding of the love god has for us. Structure can help us because it provides support. But structured prayers and readings are not enough

because to me, love is at the core of faith in god. But she seems to have only found love after she dropped everything else.

it Makes me wonder what sort of pastor she was if love of god and love of people wasn’t at the core of her practice

on the whole I find this idea, that she has found a new path forward to god frustrating. She hasn’t found anew path forward, at least to me. The path to god is love, has always been. To me this is a “me, me,me” theology
If she came into Christianity through a conservative mainstream church like the Evangelical Lutherans, though, there could have been a lot of focus on right faith and doctrine rather than. "God is Love." I find the notion that God is Love is not so obvious once you are told/taught a bunch of creeds that say God is the tripartite yada yada. Believing God is Love IS a change in faith for some and sometimes does require a break with one's faith past or new faith journey. So I think you are being rather judgemental and unfair to her.
 

Redbaron

The Legend Continues
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It appears this woman is on a journey of faith,...what she would have wrote during different periods of her life would obviously be different from what she is writing now. I suspect what she will write 5 years from now will be a different story as well.
I would feel somewhat uncomfortable over analyzing someone's journey because I really don't know what God has in store for her down the road and more than likely neither does she. If someone had asked me to write down what I believe at any particular point in my life, no doubt there would be contradictions plus a change of understandings from experiences, knowledge and hopefully wisdom that has been accumulated over the years.
I often wonder what happens when someone dies during a period of incredible doubt, lost faith, or just plain extreme questioning during that journey, that may have led to a greater understanding and appreciation. Does it matter to God? I think he/she gets it.
Yes, a journey of faith, not just a fortress of belief and doctrine to hide in. I like this idea. Like much else, I think, faith evolves and develops. I would also be somewhat uncomfortable judging someone else's faith journey by the path I have found and follow; and I certainly wouldn't insist on everyone else following the path I have found, or else....
I like an image I came across once, that faith is like a mountain, with many paths that lead to the same peak. Different climbers may choose different paths, and may even switch paths, but the paths lead upward to the same peak. Yet, throughout eternity, there will be those who circle around the base of the mountain, yelling out at those who are climbing, "That's the wrong way!!!"
 

Lastpointe

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If she came into Christianity through a conservative mainstream church like the Evangelical Lutherans, though, there could have been a lot of focus on right faith and doctrine rather than. "God is Love." I find the notion that God is Love is not so obvious once you are told/taught a bunch of creeds that say God is the tripartite yada yada. Believing God is Love IS a change in faith for some and sometimes does require a break with one's faith past or new faith journey. So I think you are being rather judgemental and unfair to her.
We were asked to comment. I commented what I thought of her article. And you find me judgemental. My opinion is as valid as yours

honestly, getting tired of this place. I guess in hind site it was never a good match for me
 
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paradox3

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honestly, getting tired of this place. I guess in hind site it was never a good match for me.
Seriously? Never a good match? I am growing weary of it, too, but I wouldn't go so far as to say that.

Despite growing tired of some of the repetition around here, I am still drawn to WC2 for its social aspects and a few of the conversations

I have left a couple of times and returned. Even announced my departure once.
 

Waterfall

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We need more people....but what else is new.... when I read back to earlier threads that were more active, there were so many with different insights....anyway back on track.
 

unsafe

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God describes what Agape --(Love ) is in ! Corinthians 13:4-8 ---and because God is Love this describes God who is Love -----

1 Corinthians 13:4–7
English Standard Version

4 eLove is patient and fkind; love gdoes not envy or boast; it his not arrogant 5 or rude. It idoes not insist on its own way; it jis not irritable or resentful;2 6 it kdoes not rejoice at wrongdoing, but lrejoices with the truth. 7 mLove bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
 

paradox3

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@unsafe I almost brought this passage into the conversation earlier. I read all of 1 Corinthians 13 at my father's funeral a few months ago.

It is a beautiful piece of scripture with many layers of meaning. More commonly read at weddings than funerals but it fit perfectly for my dad's funeral.
 

Carolla

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Interesting article - thank you @Redbarron for drawing my attention to it.

I admire & respect Rebecca's courage in deconstructing so many aspects of her belief systems and life circumstances and being open to new experiences and discoveries as a way of letting go and then reconnecting/re-creating a more meaningful life. I think I've done bits & pieces of this from time to time, but not in the all encompassing way she has done.

I have certainly read of a good many other church leaders/pastors who have come, over time, to realizing the division/separateness of 'church life' and 'spiritual life'. There can be much in the church's institutional structures, creeds, doctrine that squashes spiritual questing, at least in my experience. Jesus did not say 'join a church & do as they tell you' - the message, as I understand it, was 'love your neighbour as I have loved you'. We humans created the institution of church. Perhaps it has outlived its usefulness in the form we have known it. Whether we can be open enough to see Spirit at work in the neighbourhood, to leave our buildings and live an active faith life amongst other formulations of community remains to be seen.
 

paradox3

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I take much comfort from the notion that we see God now as an image in a mirror (traditionally, "through a glass darkly") but will one day see God face to face.

Or so I interpret the words.
 

Carolla

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It surely is @paradox3 - oh for a crystal ball! LOL I think you are certainly not alone in missing the experiences of in-person church. Personally, I had not really settled into a new church pre-pandemic, so for me there are other communities I miss much more than church at the moment.
 

unsafe

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Carolla -----your statement here -------- the message, as I understand it, was 'love your neighbour as I have loved you'

Well I say you are right here -----But -just want to put things here in order ---we need to understand that that is the Second Command -----we cannot skip the First Command and just go to the Second ----
We need to adhear to the First Command first -----Love God with all your mind --heart and soul ---only then can you property as God wants us to ----Love your neighbour ----
 
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