To Faith Or Not To Faith…

***Taken from ‘the Christ Examined’ Post

“[speaking of “transformation”] This is one of the greatnesses of faith — the purpose and meaning it provides” (Society)

Actually this is in direct regards to ‘faith’ as something that gives a person ‘drive’ and ‘purpose’. It is related to transformation (obviously) and is perhaps even the motivation for change.

I ask why can’t we keep it raw, keep it human, not color it with MY faith!” (Sabio)

We can and if you look real carefully and weigh out the majority of what I do say – I keep it as humanly realistic as possible…kind of forgoing most of the religious ‘God jargon’ that usually comes along with Christianity (ie: the Holy Spirit said; God said…etc). I realize I speak for me, not for God, and not for the church. I seek a very humanistic faith – based in experience and how this effects me now…I am not going to worry so much about ‘what happens there and then’.

However, for me to deny my faith played a role in my change from teen to adult would be (for me) a complete denial of the reality I lived. I am just not into denial – no matter how that rubs someone else or if my faith reasoning sounds ‘weak’. Maybe it is ‘weak’? But no one said one’s reality has to make sense to everyone else.

It is funny how willing you are to look past all the stupid politics, violence and the rest of religions while praising its “greatness”.” (Sabio)

I am not looking past anything. I praised ‘faith’ – which includes my muslim friend who has found the purpose he needs to change from Islam (Qu’ran). Politics is not like faith – I only merely point out it’s limitations when used like a religious system (doesn’t work).

There is no such thing as “Faith”” (Sabio)

Faith is such a part of the human experience I wouldn’t know where to even start with answering this statement…excpet to say the opposite ‘there is such a thing as (having/using) faith’.

Christians often claim their faith is not a religion. That is the most arrogant, self-centered thing I ever hear religious people say” (Sabio)

I am not saying faith is not part of religion – I am aware of this and am not seeking to deny that (even if I do not attend a church and likely never will). But I am part of the living conundrum of this problem…seeking God but not really seeking the institution that claims to hold God. So how can I say I am religious when I don’t belong to a prescribed set of traditions and beliefs of a church? But I do think I practice my faith nonetheless…in the community of humanity.

This is why there is some stark differences between having faith in God and being religious…it depends on how we define religion? If religion is just having faith in God – I am religious and proud of it. If religion is the system of church that defines the faith of Christians – then I am definitely not religious and proud of it.

Again, you don’t need religion to do that, you don’t need faith or whatever you are calling your trip.” (Sabio)

But you do need support to do that – and support that can be counted on to help you in that time of ‘opening yourself to the world and exposing your own wekanesses’. That’s a tough thing to do and most people don’t risk that kind of thing…it’s too much damn work. However, in churches they expect this of their parishoners – and I really was no different in going through that process. This process of transformation happened in a place that not only respects us in dealing with the worst of our character – but also stand beside you while you do it.

Now that may not take faith – but show me another system even trying to do that – and takes us at our most vulnerable?

That is fine, but why then turn around and give the credit to ‘faith’ because people without faith do this as well. Keep it HUMAN !” (Sabio)

Because I am telling my story of being a human in the sea of humanity – and it includes having/using faith…to deny that is to deny humanity one of it’s greatest acheivements…humility.

I am not sure what you have against faith per se – except to say ‘without it we can all do the same things’…I question that to some degree – but it seems honest enough.

I find faith gives an advantage to some that previously did not exist (in direction/guidance/purpose/meaning/etc)…that category includes me…and tomorrow it might include a gang member, the next day it may include a homeless person, after that it might include someone who tried to take their own life, and then it might find someone who lost everything he had in a recession, and then maybe a pregnant teen.

Word to the wise, humanity is great and all – but humanity is also not an even playing field in experience…some make a name while some die nameless. Now although it makes sense to you to forget about ‘faith’ because your now well on your way to contentness, maybe even have all that you wanted in life (and I am with you – so am I – I am middle class and living good). But faith always keeps me grounded – in that – the focus is on the poor, needy, broken, and hurt…which was where I sprang up from as a teen.

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32 thoughts on “To Faith Or Not To Faith…

  1. there is great freedom in this life, and no, we don’t “NEED” faith… and techincally science to live it. we were doing alright in the Stone Age, maybe better as we didn’t have ‘liminal beings,’ global warming, or nuclear war. what faith does is helps keep me from reinventing the wheel. i long for the days when ethics were taught in school, thank God i had catholic school for that.. as i have some metaphysical construct as to how the world works vs many of my friends who have and still are constructing their own without any resources to turn to.

    in faith is freedom. the freedom from oppression that for me came in the form of an indigent, homeless baby who reached out to all and shared wisdom, healing, forgiveness, food and life; the same things we are called to do who follow in those footsteps.

  2. “However, for me to deny my faith played a role in my change from teen to adult would be (for me) a complete denial of the reality I lived. I am just not into denial – no matter how that rubs someone else or if my faith reasoning sounds ‘weak’. Maybe it is ‘weak’? But no one said one’s reality has to make sense to everyone else.”

    I must admit that even though I have rejected most of my early religous education,(Christian School) I am still thankful for the gift of faith it gave me.

    Faith and reason don’t have to be mutually exclusive.

  3. “as i have some metaphysical construct as to how the world works vs many of my friends who have and still are constructing their own without any resources to turn to.” (Luke)

    That’s kind of my feeling too on the issue of faith – the paradigm it helped me to build (which also helped me to succeed and reach for those, at times, unattainable goals).

  4. “Faith(my faith), just tells me in the midst of all this Sheit and beauty, I’ll be ok. Nothing more, nothing less” (John)

    I agree – at the current moment in my life I kind of think that way also…I ain’t asking for much – just to be ‘ok’ when this all wraps up.

  5. And here I sit, empty with lack of faith. And my poor children in a home without hope, without love. I barely know how to relate to anyone. And meanwhile death always torments me. Without faith I have no idea if I will be ‘ok’ like you guys. My children should be taken by the state for they will have no ethical system and will have a tormented life trying to re-invent the wheel, just like all those poor stupid Chinese kids with no faith. It is a crime.

  6. OK, I think I am getting a grip on what I am trying to say or ask:

    First, it is important to realize that t4t, SVS and Luke probably all believe very different things and have a different inner life.

    To give a facetious, yet dangerously close way of illustrating, I’d say Luke is proabably 95% Christian (well, kind of), SVS is 20% Christian, and T4T is 5% Christian — on my take. Sorry, I know, it looks ugly and oversimplified with numbers but you get my point. You guys are different and yet it is Sabio dialoguing “against” 3 dissimilar Voices. Smile.

    So talking between you guys is tough. But what you DO have in common, is that you are all flying the “Faith RAWWWKS” banner. So THAT is what we are addressing, not Christianity. So, I shall try ! Wish me luck 😦

    If what t4t says is true, and no one is suggesting anything that “REMOTELY” implies what I said, then it must hold true that:


    Sabio, even without a faith, even without acknowledging a god, can indeed:
    (a) know and practice true love
    (b) have a relationship with our god even if he doesn’t know it
    (c) be spared possible damnation in the next life
    (d) live the same afterlife as me
    (e) raise children that indeed can also do a,b,c,d and e without ever learning about any religion

    Now, not only could Sabio have all those traits without faith. But heck, all the heathen Chinese, the Muslims the atheist scientists etc.

    Sooooooo, while you guys praise “faith”, I am saying you need to realize that it is not “FAITH” that does it if I can do it. So it has to be something deeper than Faith. You are simply using your faith to do it. But really it is that deeper thing doing it.

    That is what I am pointing at — that which is deeper than faith, deeper than belief. It is something that can be approximated by all sorts of beliefs — religious or otherwise.

    Does that make sense?
    Geee, this time I feel a little better about articulating myself.
    But you guys will keep me honest. Bring it on !

  7. That is what I am pointing at — that which is deeper than faith, deeper than belief. It is something that can be approximated by all sorts of beliefs — religious or otherwise.(Sabio)

    Yes sir, I like it.

    “Truth is one, the sages speak of it by many names”

    You sir, are a sage. 🙂

  8. I have been called “nasty garlic” or “crusty cardamom” but not “sage”.
    But rmember, t4t, you are a Wolf in Sheeps’ clothing. SVS is way up there at 20% and poor Luke is irredeemably Christian ( :-0 ). So they may not buy in so easily.
    And besides, remember, I am trying stop the banner waiving and just let people be comfortable with their native dress as a marker — why do they need the damn banner?
    🙂

  9. ” I’d say Luke is proabably 95% Christian (well, kind of), ” -Sabio

    wow.. thanks? for a dude who is all about defining things, this is kinda a lame definition 😉 guess i need some qualifiers as to what you mean. like what’s the other 5%?

    “That is what I am pointing at — that which is deeper than faith, deeper than belief. It is something that can be approximated by all sorts of beliefs — religious or otherwise.” -Sabio

    hahahahahahaha!!!!!!!!! yeah.. i call this “GOD.” ahhh… yikes. 😀

    “I am trying stop the banner waiving and just let people be comfortable with their native dress as a marker ” -Sabio

    ummm… am i waving a banner? i take great joy in my tradition but it’s not over and above another’s. in fact, shouldn’t mine be lower, since i am called to “serve the servants?” i am irredeemably Christian.. i find a lot in that ethic. we all have ethics.. well that’s my assumption. sometimes the ethic is “what i want” and i can’t buy into that one (all the time at least ;-)). i am called to seek peace and pursue it and stand with the outcast and marginalized. bring hope to the hopeless and all that jazz. who are the outcasts of the christian circles? other faiths and non-faiths. to me, i see a lot of double-speak in Christianity and i’m trying to reject it and enter into conversations like this one.

    that’s what this faith provides and i don’t mean to sound arrogant about it. that is not my intent.. only to articulate how it is active in my life. banner? i dunno…

  10. Again, Luke, you wrote, “that’s what this faith provides”
    I contend, “No, that is what your faith provides.
    That is exactly what I mean by waving a banner. You get all done confessing your position and then you get abstract and credit it all to “Faith” like “Faith” exists outside of you.
    YOU use faith. Faith is doing nothing to you. It is a big difference. (May seem small)
    Again, people without faith can do the same as you — “Faith” is not needed, what is needed is a person and they either use their faith that way or not.
    As you well know, many people in your Faith, do NOT use their faith that way. So it is not the faith.
    By waving the banner of “Faith” and singing its praises, I feel you ignore the deep side of truth.
    Just my spin again. Not trying to play word cop. I seriously think these issues matter at a deep level of thinking for folks like you.
    Now actually, for instance, for folks like Anglican Boy, they would not even make sense. I would be wasting a conversation discussing at this level. For him, a whole other conversation is needed. (Anglican boy is not on this thread — or perhaps not this site)

    But this conversation I think is important for SVS and You. I think T4T agrees in as much as T4T wants any more to be inclusive enough to get golf partners 🙂

    I don’t know, maybe this sort of tact has no benefit to anyone. That is why I blog. I am trying things out. I see a world of believers who make the world miserable covering their doctrine in faith and holiness so they can not be challenged. I see people doing remarkably good things, both religious and not religious. I wish they would give credit to the good instead of to their religions or country or race. But people won’t do that. People want tribes. Or some people are perhaps more tribal than others (as t4t prides himself in). I guess I am not nearly as tribal as most and thus I have a hard time understanding them. Just as I am far more woo than most and thus have a hard time with tough nosed atheists. Our understanding is indeed limited to our constitutions.

  11. Or some people are perhaps more tribal than others (as t4t prides himself in). I guess I am not nearly as tribal as most and thus I have a hard time understanding them(Sabio)

    Oh come on man, of course you are tribal. In fact, most times it is blatantly obvious you are an ATHEIST, not only a human as you sometimes preach. You side against people who have “faith” much more often than against people who are atheist. I know you have your moments but generally you are pretty consistent. Though you would never admit this, I would bet money you would side more with an intellectual than someone who is not quite as educated or as well read as you are. When it comes to people of faith, you have a burr in your saddle and from my view you wish they would all see it from a better view(yours). But I have been known to be wrong on occasion. 🙂

    If you’d like, instead of golf maybe we could do some sparring with our martial art of choice. 😉

  12. Yeah, t4t, you have said that before and I could hear you saying it as I typed but decided not to write all the caveats. But here I go…

    Did you read this post? (as have given it to you before)

    But I don’t want to digress.

    Simply put, I think some people find more identity in common group activity than others. It was a sociological-psychological speculation. Sure, it would be a spectrum but a spectrum that would help in understanding people’s choices, I imagine.

    BTW, how many time do you plan on trying to imply that I am an intellectual snob. I will keep ignoring your red herrings? I will not address them. It is your MO — instead of substance (for whatever reason), you throw out this sort of thing. Instead of thinking about the issue in a substantial way, you prefer diverting the conversation. Just an observation — if you care for dialogue for snobby pseudo-intellects like me.

  13. Sabio

    Answer me this then. When we first encountered each other and you made reference to me wanting to possibly golf with people(which you still refer to). What was your intention at that moment? How did you feel about me? In other words, what were your opinions, thoughts?

  14. “I contend, “No, that is what your faith provides.”

    this assumes i’m the only one to have it. there is a faith tradition… and since i’m 95% christian that would mean i’m not the only one. as for abstract, i dunno what to say.

    “YOU use faith. Faith is doing nothing to you. It is a big difference.”

    i do use faith and i use it because it DOES something to me. feedback loop theory dawg. the two are enmeshed and can’t be separated in my view. much like the idea of “separation of church and state” would be to a muslim or hindu. and for that matter me… the only thing that prohibition does is keep there from being a state-run church. it is not a prohibition on religion in politics like most people think today.

    “By waving the banner of “Faith” and singing its praises, I feel you ignore the deep side of truth.”

    yet faith is what compels me to dive deep. faith is the vehicle. science is also a vehicle, but as you pointed out, faith isn’t science. they are after two different types of meaning.

    “People want tribes. Or some people are perhaps more tribal than others”

    this is true to some extent. i will refer you back to my post on Autonomy and Covenant.

  15. @ t4t — sorry, don’t feel like that sort of conversation. Glad you read the post, couldn’t tell you did. Have a great evening.

    @ Luke — I think we have both clearly stated our feelings on this. We differ a little: you committed to an ethnic group, which I get, and you are a universalist — can’t get better than that for being a Christian.

  16. “Simply put, I think some people find more identity in common group activity than others. It was a sociological-psychological speculation.” -Sabio

    true, but where would you draw the lines? i don’t think there is one person who doesn’t have some impluse to be in a group. many want to label church goers sheep, only doing it to fit in. that would be a mistake (although there are some that do, no doubt) and i would hope you’d be smarter than that. i got Temaskian to admit he would like a church for atheists and then there’s the DeCon group at deconversion. i’m always amazed at groups that gather to call other groups mindless sheep 😉

    religion, sports teams, high schools… what is a good sense of community/tribe and what is a bad sense?

  17. Belonging to a faith is one thing Luke. Praising it is another.
    Gandhi, for example did not do this. Kabir did not do this.
    I don’t think they would ever talk about the inner life in those terms.

    I think good traits to keep in mind when understanding people are:
    Shyness
    Fear of looking different
    Pain
    Strength felt belonging
    and many more

    The tribal element is just one. Sure, we all want to belong. Some more than others. It is just a mix of the genes and experiences that trigger them.

    Tribalism is bad when people seriously think they are better than another group for artificial reasons. (I am shooting from the hip – definitions are tough — so you will have to see if you can get anything from what I write that is of use to you.)

  18. i was thinking about this last night.. yes, that’s right.. i lay in bed and ponder these things. here’s where i think we’re missing each other on how i’m using faith here.

    when an athlete makes a big play or wins the big game, who does he thank? his trainers mostly.

    an actor/actress wins a golden globe, they thank the directors, cast and crew, and their parents.

    why? because they are RELIGIOUSLY devouted to their craft and practice it. Pema Chodron talks about her near constant use of the lonjong practice. she speaks of it as something “outside herself.” as does Thomas Merton and Henri Nouwen about their faith and prayer life. so when i’m using “faith” as objective, just substitute “practice.”

    as for praising it, i am only doing so as that was the question: To Faith or Not To Faith. i was trying to provide some data or glimpse of my subjective experience for reflection. i like my faith and other faiths as well. even yours. yes… yours. your faith in rational, honest discourse that is inclusive rather than exclusive is something i can really affirm. the fact you keep coming back to these semi-coherent conversations ladened with language you either don’t understand or find hurky, is a testament to your ‘faith’ and continuing pratice there-of.

    RAWK!

  19. Indeed Luke. I think you nailed something there with the word, “practice”.

    Really, this is all about the Equivocation Fallacy — or in our case, the danger of nuances.

    For example, you said:

    why? because they are RELIGIOUSLY devoted to their craft and practice it.

    The word “religiously” is used many different ways and you were (probably subconsciously) playing on using those different definition as a persuasion technique. It may be pursuasive but it is a logical fallacy.

    Similarly, I totally am sympathetic to the examples of Chodron’s practice and to Merton’s practice. But you see, if you describe them as “practices” they remain neutral of all that baggage that sneaks in with “faith”. And it is not just linguistic nuances that sneak it, I feel mental attitudes sneak in too.

    The point is, you are attached to the word “faith” because of how packed up it is with your particular religion. It is not necessary and counter productive when a word like “practice” is available which implies much less and is far more humble. Sure, I get using it in house, but I am here to try and illustrate its Trojan Horse dangers.

  20. “The word “religiously” is used many different ways and you were (probably subconsciously) playing on using those different definition as a persuasion technique.”

    no sense of poetry at all. this is called a “play on words.” lighten up.

    “Sure, I get using it in house, but I am here to try and illustrate its Trojan Horse dangers.”

    this assume malintent on my part. i don’t apprieciate it. i could use practice but that wouldn’t be true to how i talk. you keep insisting that i change and i’m beginning to find that insulting. i’m open to dialogue, but we’re going to meet in the middle. you’re a smart enough guy to understand my meaning and if something isn’t crystal clear then ask.

  21. “But you see, if you describe them as “practices” they remain neutral of all that baggage that sneaks in with “faith”. And it is not just linguistic nuances that sneak it, I feel mental attitudes sneak in too.” (Sabio)

    I actually like that term – practice. However, faith is not actually a practice – even an actor dedicated to their art can be someone of a faith stream (or use faith). As much as I like that terminology – it is limited.

    To me, when I refer to faith, I am referring to having ‘faith’ and practicing ‘faith’ in a way that line up with the biblical teachings of Christianity (or my interpretations and elaborations on the texts). Sabio pointed, on his blog, there are a variety of meanings for ‘faith’…in this blog I am kind of pointing to using it as term that defines a piece of my character…a very formative piece.

    Now this shouldn’t be seen as any slight to people without faith or of another faith (as Sabio points out in comment 9. If my (version of) faith seeks such things – that (version of) faith is best abandoned. I agree with Sabio on that.

    “Sooooooo, while you guys praise “faith”, I am saying you need to realize that it is not “FAITH” that does it if I can do it. So it has to be something deeper than Faith. You are simply using your faith to do it. But really it is that deeper thing doing it.” (Sabio)

    What do you suggest it is Sabio – human drive and motivations? Something deeper than that in the human?

    In a way (humanistically) I agree – that is a version of my own faith that exists – that which seeks to play upon the human and his abilities to solve situations. On another hand, I kind of disagree. I know what can happen to the ego when it is placed in such a powerful position…who is to keep it in check? Itself?

    For me, my faith functions in some balance between both a humanistic viewpoint and one that acknowledges there just has to be something greater than me…and I ain’t talking about the collective conscience of the tribe.

    This is where faith (for me) expresses it’s greatest strengths…in it’s ability to call me back to reality and ‘chin check’ my ego. It grants me the grace to say ‘maybe I don’t do it the best’ or ‘how humility can be a virtue’.

    Because without faith, why would I bother paying any homage to those I hurt, or those that hurt me, or those with better ideas than me, etc? If it all just falls on me…then by me I can also determine if I care or not – true? I decide those rules – and no one else. The direction, whether it is moral or not, will be determined by me…not some higher power that provides a ‘sounding board’ and even a ‘pathway’ to bounce my ideas off. There is a serious danger in that also Sabio (as much as you say there is danger in Faith movements – the dangers exist on both sides).

    Because I have strong humanistic leanings – in a sense – I am not different in some ways than an atheist…and I think like one too. I don’t search for God in mundane questions (like I need a parking stall – help me God)…I don’t even pray for people that request it…I won’t even say ‘God Bless You’. So I feel ya on this one Sabio….but I also see that when left to myself, without guidance, I will do some stupid things and then ‘self-justify’ them. It is in those self-justifying experiences I feel a lil darker than I did just prior to it.

    I am a human being, good or bad, and we need accountability. Many powerful leaders have shown us that when we get ‘power’ – that without good moral guidance or accountability – it can lead us in directions of extreme moral distaste – which shows a concern for us alone (usually our name or place in history) and not for the ‘others’ around us. On some very low levels – we all exhibit this – from in our homes, to our workplaces, in raising children, in the treatment of strangers, in our speech, etc. When we observe our selfish aspects of us…we begin to realize we do need something more than just ‘us’.

    Now I don’t know where you find this accountability Sabio or the way you keep the ‘ego’ in check…all I know is I use a faith system that see’s God as greater than me…and I am accountable first and foremost to that (and those teachings)…this includes accountability for my actions against others in my life – or in the world in general (as they would all be neighbors). Faith provides a great aspect of self-introspection and something I can bounce my erroneous ideas about my self upon. Cause I may be a good writer…but I’d bet I am not as good as you are.

    Which leads me to a discussion I need to have with any and all atheists around…what is your basis for ethics/morality and to whom are you accountable – and why?

  22. Hey SVS,

    Yeah, even as a Christian, I think “inner practice” is true to the tradition. I think “faith” when used in some ways, means exactly that. Like I said, “faith” is used tons of ways and thus causes all these confusions. It is like “Freedom” or “America. It becomes a banner and looses meaning. So “faith” is (1) Trust (2) your religion (3) your practice (4) distain for reason or several others. There is, of course a specific technical Christian meaning which is (5) Loving Jehovah and trust his son Jesus, in which case it is a huge in-house word and can is great as a banner and an in-house word.

    Yes, the deeper things are human grappling with life — simple as that.

    The ego is not kept in check by a god, or spirit, since there are none. Yeah, my beliefs. But Buddhists tame egos and they don’t believe in spirits and gods. Of course you could just say Jesus does it for them, but they are unaware, but that would be a time to stop our dialogue. The only one who can stop an ego is that ego or disaster.

    But then my view, and a Buddhist view of self does not posit an even Freudian inner nature, instead we are a complex web.

    I understand that “faith” to you means something bigger than you. And when I generously translate that, I think, in a Buddhist way, that identifying with any momentary awareness and calling it “self” is delusional and thus in that sense of course their is something bigger than you. Because what you view as self is small and inaccurate. Ah, this is getting too philosophical – psychological, sorry.

    So, you use the idea of “God” as something bigger than you and then call that and your belief in its care for you “Faith” and that helps you break the habits of any present self.

    A Buddhist would see the habits of any present self as a limited perception of self, a wrong valuing of emotions, of poor discipline in will and being bound by fear, lethargy or greed. With their practice they aspire to trascend these limitations while with your practice of prayer, bible reading, imagining a Jesus, and hoping for change you use your practice to transcend yours. They are simple practices with different models of reality. But the same inner work.

    As far as Morality goes, this is a generic conversation. Lots has been written on it. Lots of reading in biology and philosophy would help to understand the positions. But let me say this. The bible tells you what is right and wrong because some people decided to take their morality and put it in the mouth of a god. Then it changed (thank Jesus we don’t have to do all the shit in Leviticus any more). So is there any difference between an atheist choosing what some guy said was good to do and you choosing what another dude said (except that dude said a god said it). Remember, other theist religions tell you what gods say. Essentially , we are all in the same humble situation when it comes to ethics in my opinion. You may think yours are nobel because the guys you follow convinced you that a god said it. Can you imagine how silly that sounds to us?

    Why not do a short post on “How do Atheists Base their Morality” and invite folks to answer on your site.

    Oh yeah, remember, tons of Christians come up with tons of different morality systems (I shouldn’t have to list them), so Christianity is vague. Only because Christianity is composed of books by lots of different guys who all said that “god says I am right !”

  23. It think it’s all well and good to point out that a person can do wonderful, loving and beneficial things in the absence of any particular faith tradition. I agree.

    This does not devalue the wonderful places that a strong and vigorous faith walk can carry someone.

    Advancement in society, science and technology don’t replace religion/faith or make it pointless.

    I mean, I can do all sorts of math without knowing math well. Thanks to calculators and computer programs. But we still need mathematicians to exist, don’t we?

    People who specialize in ancient history can still bring a lot to the table to understand who were are now and where we came from. Even though there are so many history texts and other resources. And that is because there is still much left to plumb or to mine informationally. Just as there still is in theology and the like.

  24. Here is an excellent cartoon on Faith by ASBOJesus

    I wrote on his site: “Faith” has so many meanings as to almost make it meaningless or at least trite or powerless.

    I wonder how readers would re-interpret “faith”:
    a) My religion (I vote here)
    b) My spiritual practice
    c) My trust in God to save me
    d) My obedience to God

    I wonder if people will add interesting comments — I’d love to see how Peter Rollins would respond to it.

  25. “I wrote on his site: “Faith” has so many meanings as to almost make it meaningless or at least trite or powerless” (Sabio)

    I am not sure that is exactly true – maybe to some the term becomes meaningless because it holds more than one meaning…but to me it only reveals a development of that word over time.

    For me faith encompasses all 4 of the aspects you mention – and maybe even more. However, I use the word pretty generically most of the time to explain my spirituality – or – my faith (those words to me seem interchangeable).

  26. Sabio… you’ve been working on that post! wow.. ummm..

    “a) My religion (I vote here)
    b) My spiritual practice
    c) My trust in God to save me
    d) My obedience to God”

    i dunno… i would respond:

    a) my faith tradition (starting in my denom: UCC, then my exposure to United Methodist, to my Roman Catholic upbringing, yet affirming of many other aspects of truth i find in other Christian denoms i haven’t been a part of).

    b) spiritual practices (prayer, meditation, yoga, walking exercises, discussions, art, poetry etc)

    c) My trust in God to save everyone

    d) My following and interpreting my experience of God. the whole “d) My obedience to God” makes me break out in hives as this has been abused in the church since Jesus died on the cross! usually what that means is “obediances to a particular group’s interpretation of God” and then that devolves into “obediance to a particular group”

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