Connecting Tolle teachings with Christian sermons

A place for anything that doesn't fit into the existing forums
User avatar
turiya
Posts: 152
Joined: Sun Nov 27, 2016 11:14 pm
Location: CA

Re: Connecting Tolle teachings with Christian sermons

Post by turiya » Thu Jan 18, 2018 5:36 am

joe wrote: turiya wrote:
Hmm... If my teenage niece asked me, "Do you believe in God?".... The simplest, most honest answer I can think of would be to say, "Yes... only I spell it L.O.V.E." :D



I love this one (no pun intended)!
:D
“We ourselves are not an illusory part of Reality; rather are we Reality itself illusorily conceived.” - Wei Wu Wei

joe
Posts: 245
Joined: Fri Oct 17, 2008 8:55 pm

Re: Connecting Tolle teachings with Christian sermons

Post by joe » Fri Jan 26, 2018 6:14 am

First I want to tell you guys how helpful you have been. You have really helped clarify things for me. I have been attending the Life Group at our new church and it has been enriching. One thing I wanted to share which I found interesting the other evening.

The subject of forgiveness came up. People spoke about how they sin so often and how hard it is to fathom that God will forgive you unconditionally. We spoke about grace as well. I realized that part of the reason that people were having a hard time with the idea that they could be forgiven, even when sinning the same way over and over again was that they were personifying God. This was a great example of how clinging to mental concepts, this one being God as a father figure, was so problematic. The personification is I think, what confused them. If instead, they let go of the thought form or the concept of "God" and instead understood "sinning" as being out of alignment with their true being, they wouldn't be asking the kinds of questions they were asking.

User avatar
Webwanderer
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 6485
Joined: Fri May 12, 2006 12:03 am

Re: Connecting Tolle teachings with Christian sermons

Post by Webwanderer » Fri Jan 26, 2018 6:19 pm

joe wrote:The subject of forgiveness came up. People spoke about how they sin so often and how hard it is to fathom that God will forgive you unconditionally. We spoke about grace as well. I realized that part of the reason that people were having a hard time with the idea that they could be forgiven, even when sinning the same way over and over again was that they were personifying God. This was a great example of how clinging to mental concepts, this one being God as a father figure, was so problematic. The personification is I think, what confused them. If instead, they let go of the thought form or the concept of "God" and instead understood "sinning" as being out of alignment with their true being, they wouldn't be asking the kinds of questions they were asking.
This is good stuff Joe. It's interesting that the word 'sin' comes from an old archery term which means 'off the mark'. 'Out of alignment' is essentially the same.

Forgiveness is an excellent topic for consideration. Even from a personified 'God' perspective, God does not forgive. That is because God does not judge. God simply Loves unconditionally and is infinitely inclusive. Forgiveness matters in that it is the one forgiving that benefits most from that forgiveness.

Think about it this way, when we judge someone or some thing as wrong, we are rejecting a part of life. As we are an aspect of the whole of life - a microcosm of the whole - we are making our sense of our self smaller by excluding some aspect of the whole. Forgiveness is a way of re-integrating those rejected parts. It's easy to see this by exploring our own forgiveness and how it feels expansive to do so - whether it's toward another, or most importantly, in respect to ourselves.

Self forgiveness is key to our spiritual growth. No judgmental God is holding us back. It is our own self-judgment and our reticence to let go and move on. To be like God, we must learn to be inclusive. Inclusiveness is expansion.

WW

joe
Posts: 245
Joined: Fri Oct 17, 2008 8:55 pm

Re: Connecting Tolle teachings with Christian sermons

Post by joe » Sat Jan 27, 2018 3:05 am

Beautifully stated!

I am also trying to understand how people in the group are thinking. I would guess that a judging God is something they just assume. I wonder if they would take issue with me if I suggested that there is no judgment from God.

Which brings me to another matter I've been pondering. What is the difference between these Christians and myself? I was thinking of it in the following way. Christianity is a vessel for spiritual life/awareness. People like those in this group, fully inhabit the vessel. They completely give themselves over to it. I on the other hand, see Christianity as just one vessel among many that can be used in one's spiritual journey. This allows me to see for instance, where their literal interpretation of quotes in the Bible cause them confusion, as in the example I gave. I also wonder if there would ever be a point of un-resolvable tension, whereby they may feel that I am not invested in the same way as they are in their vessel and thereby seen as a threat to them.

Are they more naive because they need this vessel as opposed to having detachment from it when necessary, as I do?

User avatar
Onceler
Posts: 2251
Joined: Sun Nov 11, 2007 1:35 am
Location: My house

Re: Connecting Tolle teachings with Christian sermons

Post by Onceler » Sat Jan 27, 2018 12:17 pm

In my experience with Christian groups, I think there is a good chance they will feel threatened.....I don’t know how they would act on that threat. Again, in my experience, when I went off the dogma rails, it was more passive aggressive, we’ll love you even more, brother, until you are less confused.

We all operate from a place of fear and threat, seeking salvation and to avoid further threat, in my opinion. I admire your ability to stay with this group and find meaning while maintaining the ability to see things from another perspective.
Be present, be pleasant.

User avatar
Webwanderer
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 6485
Joined: Fri May 12, 2006 12:03 am

Re: Connecting Tolle teachings with Christian sermons

Post by Webwanderer » Sat Jan 27, 2018 6:30 pm

Anyone with a strong emotional investment in a given ideology is subject to feel threatened by information that contradicts that ideology. Religion is one of the strongest because, after all, we're talking about an emotional commitment to 'God'. Many religions work to keep believers in the fold by teaching that Satan will try and temp them with contrary ideas. Hell awaits those that fall victim to such contrary ideas. So it's easy to see how a religious believer would feel threatened. It's their very immortal soul that is at stake.

It takes courage indeed to make a commitment to Truth over the teachings of the church when the church is organized against such outside 'The Book' teachings. Independent thinking is not encouraged, even discouraged, when it contradicts scripture.
Are they more naive because they need this vessel as opposed to having detachment from it when necessary, as I do?
You could say naive, but fear is a major component in that naivete. As I mentioned above it takes a lot to challenge the doctrines of an entire church body once the belief system is adopted and an emotional investment is made.

I started my search many years ago, just as you, by going to an Evangelical Christian Church for a while. It didn't last long because they would simply try to 'teach' it out of me whenever I brought subjects that threatened their doctrinal beliefs. There was never any honest consideration of my interests. Only ways to 'correct' my thinking. Fortunately, I saw the writing on the wall. I would have to conform, or be ostracized.

I found many more kindred spirits in churches such as Science of Mind and Unity. Their group meetings offered all manner of study groups like 'A Course in Miracles', various meditations, and a more open consideration of Scripture. I've long since moved on from them as well, preferring to chart my own course as spirit led me in my own unique way. They were helpful for a while however.

WW

joe
Posts: 245
Joined: Fri Oct 17, 2008 8:55 pm

Re: Connecting Tolle teachings with Christian sermons

Post by joe » Sun Jan 28, 2018 4:58 am

Onceler wrote:I admire your ability to stay with this group and find meaning while maintaining the ability to see things from another perspective.
Thanks Onceler.

joe
Posts: 245
Joined: Fri Oct 17, 2008 8:55 pm

Re: Connecting Tolle teachings with Christian sermons

Post by joe » Sun Jan 28, 2018 5:11 am

Webwanderer wrote:I started my search many years ago, just as you, by going to an Evangelical Christian Church for a while. It didn't last long because they would simply try to 'teach' it out of me whenever I brought subjects that threatened their doctrinal beliefs. There was never any honest consideration of my interests. Only ways 'correct' my thinking. Fortunately, I saw the writing on the wall. I would have to conform, or be ostracized.
Can you give me a little more detail with this? Was this community particularly conservative? I am not even sure about the belief system at this church we are attending. I guess because they have the words "Christian Church" in their name, they are reformist/restoration/congregational, which I am guessing is the most progressive sect in the mainstream. They do Baptism through immersion and they are open to everyone. When I speak in the group, I attempt to link what people are saying to spiritual principles. For example, the leader, who is a Pastor at the church, will present a question that relates to the previous week's sermon and include references to scripture, asking what the particular quote means to us. The others will relate to the quote by citing narratives from the Bible and speaking in conventional Christian personifications.

It's hard to know what would threaten them, and I am certainly not there to challenge anyone, but I wonder how broadly or deeply they can interpret the quotes we are discussing. It's difficult to imagine that they would be passive aggressive towards me or ostracize anyone as long as one speaks in their language.

User avatar
Webwanderer
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 6485
Joined: Fri May 12, 2006 12:03 am

Re: Connecting Tolle teachings with Christian sermons

Post by Webwanderer » Sun Jan 28, 2018 7:12 am

Can you give me a little more detail with this? Was this community particularly conservative?
Generally speaking, most of the people I spoke with were of various Protestant denominations. Baptist, Pentecostal, non-denominational. There were also plenty of Catholics and I even once spent ten sessions with a couple of Mormons giving their best shot of inspiring me into the Latter Day Saints. They were young and quite fun. I have a sense they may have gotten more from the exchange than I.

I certainly can't say much about the nature of the church you attend, or the people therein, without a more direct contact. I only refer to conventional church thinking in general, and my own experience with those invested in scripture as inviolate. I've been told I'm headed for hell more times than I can count. Maybe those in your church are more open than I supposed from your description.

If you want to know what the people there are thinking, or how they perceive their relationship with Spirit, ask penetrating questions. Not in a confrontational way, but one of genuine interest in their perspective. You don't have to buy in, but it may prompt some interesting discussions. People can be fun and quite interesting. Especially if don't feel the need to defend your own belief system. You're there after all. Explore the environment.

WW

joe
Posts: 245
Joined: Fri Oct 17, 2008 8:55 pm

Re: Connecting Tolle teachings with Christian sermons

Post by joe » Mon Jan 29, 2018 8:52 am

Wow, that is crazy! I can't imagine anyone in my Life Group saying anybody is going to go to hell. What part of the country are you in?

joe
Posts: 245
Joined: Fri Oct 17, 2008 8:55 pm

Re: Connecting Tolle teachings with Christian sermons

Post by joe » Fri May 18, 2018 2:16 am

Can you tell me more?

Also, I want to become a member of this church I've been attending, but don't want a public baptism. The baptisms are a big deal for them, but I was baptized when young and don't feel the need. I see that as their custom. They argue however, that you need to be baptized when an adult, when you are making a conscious choice to follow Christ, and that full body immersion is not something the church created (like so many rituals that this particular church doesn't practice) but the way it was historically done, and so it is true to the teachings of Jesus.

User avatar
Webwanderer
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 6485
Joined: Fri May 12, 2006 12:03 am

Re: Connecting Tolle teachings with Christian sermons

Post by Webwanderer » Fri May 18, 2018 2:38 pm

Hi Joe. It seems I missed your question on where I live. I live in central Florida near Orlando.

Public baptism as an adult is an expression of commitment. As it is a commitment to a particular view of 'God, it can be quite emotionally binding. My question to you is does such public baptism make a difference to your eternal well being and being 'saved', or does it merely endear you to the church and an ideology? Is it a tool to hold you accountable to what your church teaches as truth?

What are you giving up, and what are you getting out of it? Do you think that people who are not baptized are excluded from the greater benefits of whatever life exists beyond this human experience? Is baptism based in fear of hell and possible exclusion from Heaven, or is it a genuine teaching from the 'only begotten Son of God'?

It's a very big universe out there. The scale of numbers of possible inhabitable planets is mind numbing. Could it be helpful to think in larger terms than what religions lead us to believe?

WW

joe
Posts: 245
Joined: Fri Oct 17, 2008 8:55 pm

Re: Connecting Tolle teachings with Christian sermons

Post by joe » Sat May 19, 2018 5:28 am

You are missing my point. I'm not defending baptism, I'm asking what a legitimate argument against it would be when members of the church point out that it is a teaching of Jesus. This is opposed to many rituals one finds in the Catholic church, which the people who run our church don't practice because those rituals are "man made" and not in the New Testament.

User avatar
Webwanderer
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 6485
Joined: Fri May 12, 2006 12:03 am

Re: Connecting Tolle teachings with Christian sermons

Post by Webwanderer » Sat May 19, 2018 1:31 pm

Just tell them the truth. You're not ready to make that commitment yet and that you'll do it when it feels right - or when the Spirit inspires you to do so. Postpone it until it does. If they continue to pressure you, ask them if Jesus pressured his followers or inspired them? Did Jesus teach baptism is voluntary or required to follow his teachings of love and forgiveness?

WW

joe
Posts: 245
Joined: Fri Oct 17, 2008 8:55 pm

Re: Connecting Tolle teachings with Christian sermons

Post by joe » Sun May 20, 2018 9:43 pm

I'm not too worried about being pushed; they are very patient! :)

I'm just wondering what the counterargument to choosing baptism as an adult would be. Is it simply that even if baptism was practiced by Jesus, that doesn't make it necessary to be "saved"?

Post Reply