The United Methodist Church Has Started To Formally Spinter

Discussion in 'Faith & Religion' started by John Brunner, Jul 6, 2022.

  1. Bobby Cole

    Bobby Cole Supreme Member
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    And folks have asked me several times on different occasions why I never wanted to pastor a church and moreover, why I went non-denominational.
     
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  2. John Brunner

    John Brunner Senior Staff
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    It is infuriating. And so many churches pressure you to "become a member." If you go somewhere else, you have to "transfer your membership." Maybe we should register through the DMV so transferring our title can be more convenient.

    I've heard that those in the Middle East will eye you with suspicion if you call yourself a Christian, but are more accepting if your are A Follower of Jesus. It makes perfect sense.
     
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  3. Bobby Cole

    Bobby Cole Supreme Member
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    It does make sense because a Christian is a follower of Christ or whereas Jesus, as a Jew, teacher and prophet is pretty much right up there with Mohammed. Even Muslim clerics do not speak the name “Jesus” without “most holy” in front of it.

    To your membership statement, I really never understood why one had to be a member and sometimes, as a new member why some churches demand being baptized as a sign of commitment to the church.
    As far as I’m concerned, membership totals are stats that get sent in to headquarters and a way to predict income.
    Added to that, the only other thing that a membership is good for is when one wishes to hold some position in the church such as a teacher or usher and such.

    Now, if I were to switch churches because I relocated, if I thought there was some need, I would ask the Pastor of the original church for a letter of introduction that I could hand the new Pastor in order to break the ice so to speak and of course, that’s assuming that the original Pastor even knew enough about me to write such a letter.
    And, do note; When relocating from one church to another, a membership in the church doesn’t guarantee the quality of the new church and its leadership.

    As a matter of fact, I’m not so sure that being a “member” of anything is Biblically sound.
     
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  4. Don Alaska

    Don Alaska Supreme Member
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    In college, I began referring to myself as a "Follower of Jesus" rather than a Christian, because my thoughts about Jesus did not match up with conventional Christianity. As time has passed, I have become even more separated in that regard, and I now have some strange (to others) beliefs that I never talk about, as it upsets some and angers others. I don't even discuss it with my wife.
     
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  5. Thomas Stillhere

    Thomas Stillhere Very Well-Known Member
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    Here is an old full frontal shot of my Church as it looked to me as late as the 80s. The Red Brick is the main auditorium and if I read it right they have razed it too since I last checked on google earth. It takes google two years to update all the street photos. All those white buildings were the offices and teaching rooms of the church and the Pastor's office was on that corner with a high step way into the back door. When I was young I played football on the church team and I would ride my bike to that back step at the pastors office and of course it was locked and closed during the week but I could place my bike on the stop step patio and come back 3 hours later after practice and in the dark and the bike was exactly as I had left it. Crime was pretty much unheard of back them and certainly not in the Heights. Having not lived in my home town for so long it really grabbed my heart to see the church gradually just torn down. All the old folks starting in 1905 built the church into what it was when I started there in 1955. The leaders and supporters were all still old and by the time my military service ended in august of 70 there were no young people going to church and therefore the end was approaching. On the opposite side of the street where this frontal photo was taken was a one square block parking lot that belonged to the Church and it was sold off sometime while I was in the Army in the mid to late 60's and of course a strip mall was placed on the property facing Yale St. 3 years ago I was feeling good because the last photo showed the church still as it is in this photo although deteriorated somewhat. Next time I checked all the white buildings were gone and a large store set where I once parked my bicycle. Just really sad to see it go while I am still living. My sister was baptized there in the Red Brick auditorium.

    Baptist Temple how it looked when I was a young Boy.JPG
     
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  6. John Brunner

    John Brunner Senior Staff
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    I am seeing a few folks talk more openly about reading the gospels that were not included in the Bible, pitting "The corrupting influence of Man" against "Guided by the Hand of God." But it's difficult to find an honest discussion about either. As I've said before, I envy those Jews (and others) who vigorously argue their faith with each other and remain friends because of it, not in spite of it. But what are you going to do when a mainstream Christian denomination comes out and says that the church has failed God by not "keeping up with the times"?
     
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  7. Bobby Cole

    Bobby Cole Supreme Member
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    I can relate to much of that.
    Just as I NEVER say I’m religious due to the fact that religious can mean anything one wishes to imagine, I am not very fond of the word Christian either because that word too means different things to different people.

    It’s just that I have run across so many people who use the word Christian as a tool rather than a lifestyle and belief.
    Added to that is that non-believers also use the word as a tool against honest believers when they speak of the horrific things that have been done by people using their free will in the name of Christianity.

    I guess that the bottom line is that if more people of faith would do as James pretty much said and would just shut up, pray a lot and show people their faith by their works, things would be a tad better for all real believers.
     
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  8. John Brunner

    John Brunner Senior Staff
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    I think that if fewer people threatened the masses with "You'll go to Hell if you don't believe," there would be fewer people professing a faith out of fear rather than from genuine belief. There needs to be more of the leading by example that you speak of and less false conversions that creates all those ill-will ambassadors.
     
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  9. Don Alaska

    Don Alaska Supreme Member
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    I have been a fan of James for a long time and not so much of Paul. I don't think Paul meant what so many take out of Romans about faith either. I have been studying the history of Christianity for a while, and that is why I have developed such "wacky" thoughts on the subject. I believe James the Just was actually the brother of Jesus, but he was apparently killed by the Jewish establishment by throwing him off the temple walls. I kinda suspect he was supposed to be the leader of the Church, but that role was usurped by Peter after James was killed , and the documentation was changed in favor of Peter.

    See, I have some crazy ideas. Here is what Wikipedia has to say . I don't know if James the Just was the author of the Epistle of James or not. but I am a fan of the letter nonetheless.
     
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  10. Don Alaska

    Don Alaska Supreme Member
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    I have posted elsewhere here that I believe the problem is that the Church has tried to "keep up with the times" and therefore denied the truth that has been taught for two millennia. I would be a little cautious about reading too much into the Gnostic Gospels, as I think many of them were written in an attempt to discount Christianity as it grew. That was an idea I got from R.C. Sproul before he decided to go for money rather than truth.
     
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  11. John Brunner

    John Brunner Senior Staff
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    I was just reading that Jesus used the feminine "petras" for the [literal] rock his church would be built on (at a place thought to be The Gates of Hell), not the masculine "petros" for Peter. Now I want to get my Gnostic Gospels book back from my friend so I can reread it. Maybe Amazon still carries it.
     
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  12. John Brunner

    John Brunner Senior Staff
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    It's an interesting conversation. As we become more "educated," the church has morphed from Fire & Brimstone to The Love of Jesus. And Hell is no longer a literal place, but it's the philosophical Eternal Separation From God. If the people we hear this stuff from were deep theologians, it would carry more weight...but it's a marketing tactic from those who are supposed to represent the eternal word of God. Or perhaps the old stuff was a marketing tactic. Or maybe they both are.

    I wish church was more like Bible Study rather than Pastor's Story Time and Christian karaoke.
     
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  13. Bobby Cole

    Bobby Cole Supreme Member
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    Yes, that is also the interpretation that I use when I speak about it in public. Jesus was speaking about authority over Lucifer and hell and the only reason he referenced Peter was probably to make sure he was paying close attention.
     
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  14. John Brunner

    John Brunner Senior Staff
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    Except I don't think he was mentioning Peter...he was literally saying "rock" [petra]
     
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  15. Bobby Cole

    Bobby Cole Supreme Member
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    Amen.
     
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