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Joined: Wed Nov 23, 2011 4:22 pm +0000
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Location: Folsom, CA
Wow, what a sad commentary to see so many responses similar to my own experiences with fundamentalist Christians!

They preach loving Christ, but are ever so ready to tie you to a stake and light a match if you stray
from the party line.
Still, they are our brothers too, and so many are really sincere and are making a good-faith effort to follow what
they believe is the right path.

I've found some small degree of peace knowing it's not my job to correct anyone, or try to "convert" anyone.
There's a lot of smiling and nodding involved, but I will defend what I believe if there seems to be a genuine
inquiry from a sincere seeker.


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So, how can we be/remain friends with our fundamentalist Christian brothers and sisters? Would not questioning their beliefs be friendly (brotherly)?


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Joined: Fri Aug 25, 2006 2:56 pm +0000
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Yep,
the hardest thing to do is engage a firm believing(fundamentalists) christian with questions.
Having been around christianity all my life the teachers , holy and leader men constantly admonish christians not to question God which leads to either you believe it or you don't.If you don't you are not christian yet failing to consider interpretations of others like when Jesus spoke of the land of Nod and how they failed to interpret the scripture on it,blinded by traditions.
I brought up this thread again to make a comment about my previous one where I had give away 2 TUB's .
Later that same week I gave away another,all to coworkers and extended co workers who had made comments about unanswered biblical questions.In the past when I attempted to give one away it never lasted long .It was returned rather quickly.
This time in the process I never became zealous nor did I show excitement for giving away the book.Was limited on the comments of the contents.Did say the unanswered question was answered from reading it.Lastly I stated TUB is global and some people read it as truth and some as fiction.
On my end I think this is working.As yet I have not asked for any feed back from the book.They have not returned any or the book.They do seem to be more comfortable,guaging past experience, not having to reveal what they have read.I can tell they are responding differently when I am present with them-very comfortable.It must be that I do not pose a threat to their current beliefs or threaten their holy book in saying some read it as fiction.
It seems sort of like I am making an experimet here but not really so ,just looking for the way to open the door so it does not squeak like an intruder is breaking in.
It could also be that these three were ready to absorb new truth.


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If this re-told story of mine didn't bored y'all.

After receiving 10 free copies from this Administration, i set immediately doing handouts to close friends..Muslims, Catholics, Protestants and a Hindu.
Results? A catholic friend whom at first was showing keen interest said that he took it as just another interesting-mysterious-story;but the few others expressed their gratitude and marvel at the book and becoming a stronger Catholic but more open. The Hindu kept saying that his Hindu is far superior and complete than any others, including UB; admitting that he had only skim some pages . Most interesting is this Muslim buddy of mine! he took the book from me, and locked it in his drawer! I later on regain the book 2 years after this Hindu friend (we are office mate of different unit) informed of him transfer to other unit; the book remain prestine in his drawer untouched. The Protestant thought I'm caught in the Devil's influent; and they think i'm weird; watch out! but we are still friends as ever.

I think it was due to my un-effected attitude and respond to their opinion of me and retaining my good ol self as ever in my relationship with them truly helps; in this case, we do not know who feels sorry for who; friendship with them is still as good as ever.
In a an Islamic country like Malaysia; a state of Sarawak (the only state where Christian is nearly as large as the Muslim); i dare suppose that we are among the few who have access to TUB.

One forum member says that TUB is for the true truth seeker, i couldn't agree more. Many a times, infact, nearly all the time, i would fold back to my TUB knowlegde to explain/shade light on these other wise sticky questions during our church lessons/teachings,but only when asked for without mentioning my source (which most times they would anywhere, after hearing my past 'deep thought' answers as one forum member puts it) and i've learn not to 'cast the pearl to the swine', anyway. Surely you can know there among the church leaders who sense something is different about my answers, and me? , but it doesn't effect me the least; the problem is theirs and not mine and i do not have to quarrel with them; i am free to choose what i want, and so it remain intriguing still to them, and life remains good.

Thanks to UB


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Last edited by As-Above-So-Below on Fri May 10, 2013 3:02 pm +0000, edited 1 time in total.

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As Above has posted some important points about becoming or remaining friends with those of different beliefs. But the truth is EVERYBODY has different beliefs according to TUB. For mortals and ascenders in time and space truth is always a limited, relative, experiential, expanding reality....or it is expanding for thoughtful, discerning minds at least. Time is our gift from God for the progressive, lineal, sequential experience of free will choices and the consequences/benefits derived therefrom to learn more and to become more, and to do so for a very, very long "time" to transcend our current beliefs and truths into greater truths discovered in meanings and values and relationships on the long journey toward Absolute Truth. It is not difficult to find those who "agree" with us on one thing or even 10 things, but no one agrees with any other about everything, eh?

Why should getting along with other religionists be any more difficult than getting along with someone older or younger or smarter or not or a different state or country? There are cultural differences always. So it is with religionists. Now I am a big critic of institutionalized religions and the dogmatic fear mongering pulpits and the hypocracies of the holier than thous. And yet TUB lists endlessly the value and importance of personal religion and social religion as personal and planetary uplifters - regardless of truth content. And even I know there have been many saints (sweet, wise souls) who have exemplified the very best in personal demonstrations of the Fatherhood of God and brotherhood of man. And there are millions of devoted religionists who progress in spirit despite any errors in their facts or beliefs. They grow in faith without facts far faster than many grow with facts but no faith!

I too believe that we must closely attend our own motives in our "sharing" of truth. Do we really want to help someone or just be right? My truth cannot be your truth. We must each experience truth and live truth and grow into greater truth...always and personally. The single most amazing thing about TUB's truth is its own indifference to its Truth! Now if my catholic or baptist brethern were right, then there would be great urgency to convert and baptize and "save" the damned, no? But us? What is our urgency? What is our concern? We need only to experience our truth and live our truth and share love with others in confidence and fearlessness, a soothing balm for anxiety and fear, for anger and hate. And certainly offer TUB or its truths to those in need and seeking truth or guidance.

Jesus showed us the way for dealing with other religionists...find a shared truth and expand outward into others...and stop there!! Until it is comfortable for all to grow the radius of comfort further. Or even better, to know THEIR texts and core beliefs and use THOSE to teach the better WAY with their own words and philosophies. We must learn to discern; we must remember pearls before swine and a banquet for the well fed are simply wasted. Feed the hungry!! There's plenty of them to feed. Peace.


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A Thought to Ponder from The Urantia Book




"While your religion is a matter of personal experience, it is most important that you should be exposed to the knowledge of a vast number of other religious experiences ... to the end that you may prevent your religious life from becoming egocentric-circumscribed, selfish, and unsocial."



(1130.2) 103:1.3




Funny how these things turn up....a thought to ponder....already being pondered!!!

8)


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*Applauds* Very well stated FanofVan!

I have sometimes been a bit critical of organized religion, but after considering this further I discovered that I was often wrong, and had good reason for feeling ashamed of myself. I think the two greatest words in the Urantia Book are: “Follow Me” The fact that there are missionaries of nearly every religion and denomination knocking on doors all over the world is proof that the spirit of truth is functioning! No, they are not preaching my beliefs, but every tiny bit of truth given with faith and love to someone who has less cannot be bad! It is completely acceptable to be critical of the negative acts of people.. but is it right to assign these same acts to their religion or faith as well?

Safe Journeys,
Jim


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Hi Jim:

In these difficult situations when we are at opposite sides of a theological issue with our Brothers, I rely on what Jesus stressed with his apostles. He required of them, not uniformity of thought, but unity of spirit. A simple, beautiful, and divine admonition.

Regards, Louis.


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Pray for them


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Hiya Louis,
Indeed A very wise statement!

I have long known that it isn’t so much what you say, but more of how you say it. Once you have offended someone personally.. communication is over.. and usually nothing you can say or do will reverse this, so I try to think twice and speak once. Unfortunately, I sometimes fail to take my own advice. Recently a duo of Seven Day Adventist missionaries came knocking on my door. Of course I invited them inside and we were having an enjoyable time getting to know one and another and discussing theological issues.. it was easy to see this older lady and this young man were good, devoted, faithful believers of their biblical version of the teachings of Jesus. Everything went well until…….the subject of Evolution was brought up! It was their belief that this world and the whole universe is only roughly 6,000 years old.. I replied that if this were so the grand canyon would be roughly six feet deeper in my lifetime, and the stars in the heavens purported to be millions and millions of light years away would have to be much much closer!.. neither is supported by fact. They quickly gathered their books and pamphlets and exited! I immediately recognized my mistake, and felt quite bad about it. I have not seen them since.
On a scale of one to ten, the fact or fallacy of the theory of evolution for me would be less than one, but the teachings of Jesus would certainly be ten! I could have just said "interesting viewpoint", and let it go at that, instead I needlessly offended two very good people, and most probably lost every chance of enjoying their pleasant company again. I hope I am afforded the opportunity to make amends for this mistake sometime in the future.

Safe journeys,
Jim


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As-Above-So-Below, thank you!
I thought that I had offended them deepy by the speed of their departure..Your explaination eases my guilt over the issue abit. perhaps I need to change my own guideline :roll:

mebe: Pray 3 times, think twice and speak once! :biggrin:

Safe journeys,
Jim


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Jim - As Above is right....you were wasting urgent missionary time in your friendliness!! :biggrin: For the Witnesses and the Mormon elders and sisters who knock on doors are looking for certain souls craving the Spirit...but you've found yours already! Still, like you, I think it important to be kind and generous to any and all who work in the harvest fields gathering minds and souls for God (even if I really disagree with their creed or delivery or message....the Witnesses can scare the hell right of anyone!) I used to be quite intolerent and now believe such was not only error/evil but a prideful sin of my "superiority".....and yet what do I do.....what is my act of faith? Where my understanding, compassion, and glad heart? Should we not embrace and uplift such ones and send them on their way enthused and without rejection?

But mistake not, you were a conversion target there Jim. Did you offer them a Urantia Book? I have....it kind of sets their hair on fire. Well, except a pair of Mormon sisters who borrowed it and brought back the Elders! Interesting evening that.

P.1091 - §10 What a mistake for Christians to make when, in presenting Christ as the supreme ideal of spiritual leadership, they dare to require God-conscious men and women to reject the historic leadership of the God-knowing men who have contributed to their particular national or racial illumination during past ages.


Am I or are we as Revelation believers to do the same as the Inquisitors and Converters of the christian church? Condemn and defile? We must be humble in our rightness or it becomes so unrighteous!!


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