Psycho-Babble Faith Thread 612519

Shown: posts 1 to 12 of 12. This is the beginning of the thread.

 

Suffering

Posted by deirdrehbrt on February 23, 2006, at 16:51:56

I'm wondering if anyone would like to discuss parts of the human experience, and how they relate to their faith.
The first one that comes to mind is suffering. Every human being experiences this on some level.

I suppose I'll go first.
To me, from my readings and my experience, suffering is universal. Part of it comes from the fact that we are here on earth, with no complete set of instructions. We will make mistakes. With mistakes, suffering will happen, be it physical or emotional or spiritual.
There are no books to tell an olympic athelete exactly how to do an element that has never before been successfully done. There is no book that can tell a young lover precicely how to respond to her beloved in every circumstance. No tome to make parents aware of every danger that might befall their children in this wonderful but sometimes dangerous world.

We are bound to make mistakes.

Likewise, there are unscrupulous and hedonistic persons who will take advantage of us if they are able. There are thos who might drink and drive and cause injury or death. There are illnesses, and ultimately death that must be dealt with.

Should all of these things be taken as evidence that the world is intentionally cruel? I don't think so.

In many instances, suffering does bring with it blessings. It can make us stronger, or more sensitive to the needs of others. Or, it can embitter us, weakening our faith. It really depends on perspective.

I think that if we approach suffering with a faithfull heart, it will ultimately bring us closer to each other and closer to deity.

I don't think that suffering is necessarily placed in our way purposefully by any divine being, but if we let it, it can bring us closer to divinity.

It would be nice to hear other thoughts.
Blessings,
--Dee

 

Re: Suffering deirdrehbrt

Posted by James K on February 27, 2006, at 1:56:26

In reply to Suffering, posted by deirdrehbrt on February 23, 2006, at 16:51:56

I believe we suffer because there is a supreme being, and he found it proper or funny, or whatever it is that supreme being find things, to make a world where anything can happen. I believe in the God of christianity, and I believe that after the flood, and then Jesus Christ, and the new covenant, He walked away and watches (there is theological precedence for this, I'm not making it up in my head).

We suffer evil, because evil is part of the picture, There will be no more miracles until the end. We all are free to do as we will. I hurt you you hurt me. We are like animals now since Jesus left the earth, except animals attempt to ensure the survival of their own. We are the only animal that allows and sometimes condones the destruction of our young.

All we can do is protect our young, help, do the right thing as we see it, and when he stand before God in judgment, He can say he knows us or he doesn't. I did the best I could. I left this planet and the people on it better than I had to. I could have hurt them. I try everyday not to, but I fail sometimes. I will burn or I will not. but I will not stand for what happens on this earth now and today without my voice and my money and my time being heard.
JamesK

 

Re: Suffering

Posted by rayww on February 27, 2006, at 20:50:07

In reply to Suffering, posted by deirdrehbrt on February 23, 2006, at 16:51:56

Social standards (or lack of) affect us spiritually, physically, and mentally. The church has standards that deal with how we treat our fellow man, and how we should avoid addictive substances and behaviors, etc. Freedom from or freedom to can be a big question, but there's usually a choice somewhere.

Abraham was 84 years old and hadn't had any kids yet God had promised him a huge posterity. God commanded him to take Hagar, his wife's maid, to wife, and Ishmael was born. Then God told Abraham that he and his first wife, Sarah who was 90 years old (and he was 100) would have a son, and Isaac was born. Years later God told Abraham to offer Isaac as a sacrifice, and without question they (Abraham and Isaac) proceeded. God tempted Abraham to see if he could trust his obedience. When Abraham passed the test God stopped Abraham from killing his son, and then chose Isaac to perpetuate the covenant he had made with Abraham, proving that God will fulfill his promises, even though our faith may be tested and tried over a period of time. Abraham remained faithful and obedient.

We can't understand suffering because we can't see the whole picture. That's where faith comes into play. It takes faith to believe, and to be obedient because we know if God commands (Thou shalt or Thou shalt not), it must be for our good, whether or not it is pleasant.

We can go to others for help, but to whom can we go? We go to people who have suffered and out of their experience in suffering they offer sympathy and condolences as a blessing to those now in need. Could they do this had they not suffered themselves?

Is not this God's purpose in causing his children to suffer? He wants them to become more like himself. God has suffered far more than man ever did or ever will, and is therefore our source of sympathy and consolation.

Everything fits neatly into life's puzzle if we turn to God. It's when we rebel against him that the pieces don't fit. And as much as we would like to make our own rules, or obey just the ones we like, that won't work in the larger scheme of things.

A lot of people need a lot of help. Isn't there something you can do for someone because of how you have suffered in your life, and what you understand because of it? As we reach out to help others more of the puzzle comes into view, and hope increases. Faith, Hope, & Charity, the three key elements to the Gospel.

 

Re: Suffering

Posted by deirdrehbrt on February 27, 2006, at 21:58:59

In reply to Re: Suffering, posted by rayww on February 27, 2006, at 20:50:07

Rayww,
You do raise some good points. Out of suffering does come compassion. That is one of the keys, as I understand it, to shamanic practice. It involves the concept of the wounded healer.
It is a foundational principle of Alcoholics Anonymous. Through the learning and spiritual enlightenment of recovered alcoholics comes the ability to carry the message of how they recovered to other alcoholics.
I cannot expect to learn how to stop drinking from one who has never had that addiction. That is why therapists and ministers propose to alcoholics who truly wish to stop drinking, that they go to A.A. The recovered A.A. is then charged with the same duty, to tell the alcoholic in need that recovery is possible. It is a more or less sacred chain.
I'm not sure that I agree that suffering comes from deity. Social standards (though I prefer a slightly different term, with differing connotations) do play a part. In my faith, it is more attributed to ignorance and closed hearts. This brings part of the cause more toward the individual who must ultimately take responsibility.
Another part of suffering comes from living in a world where many competing organisms are trying to survive. Life involves death. To eat, I must be responsible for killing, whether I do it myself, or have someone else do it. This causes suffering to animals we are charged to keep.
At other times, one man's wealth comes at the cost of another's. The incredible demand that the United States puts on the world's resources is responsible for at least some suffering in a number of countries. Most notable is our desire for low cost clothing, and the horrible conditions in which some people must work.
Indeed there is much suffering in this world, and I think that man himself is the cause of much, if not most of it.
On the part of the person who has suffered, it can become a blessing once one is past it. To offer though, someone who is suffering, that it is truly a blessing migh not be met with much acceptance at the time. It is only after one has come through suffering that the blessing can be recognized as such.
Nice discussion. Thanks for your comments.
--Dee

 

Re: please rephrase that rayww

Posted by Dr. Bob on February 27, 2006, at 22:44:11

In reply to Re: Suffering, posted by rayww on February 27, 2006, at 20:50:07

> Everything fits neatly into life's puzzle if we turn to God. It's when we rebel against him that the pieces don't fit. And as much as we would like to make our own rules, or obey just the ones we like, that won't work in the larger scheme of things.

Keeping in mind that the idea here is to respect the beliefs of others and to be sensitive to their feelings, could you please rephrase that?

If you or others have questions about this or about posting policies in general, or are interested in alternative ways of expressing yourself, please see the FAQ:

http://www.dr-bob.org/babble/faq.html#civil

Follow-ups regarding these issues should be redirected to Psycho-Babble Administration. They, as well as replies to the above post, should of course themselves be civil.

Thanks,

Bob

 

Re: please rephrase that

Posted by deirdrehbrt on February 27, 2006, at 23:47:49

In reply to Re: please rephrase that rayww, posted by Dr. Bob on February 27, 2006, at 22:44:11

Dear Dr. Bob.
May I please tell you what I thought of that section that you pointed to?
I recognize that Rayww is speaking from his paradigm. I did not interpret it to mean that anyone outside of his faith was in any sort of trouble. It may mean so for him, but as an adult participant in the conversation, I have the ability to recognize that he is speaking his truth.
I don't take offense simply because I understand that in a real conversation, respect must work in both directions. I believe that he was respectful of my beliefs by simply not trying to put them down.
As to the nature of his comment, he used the word God. I could, if I chose, interpret that as to mean the Judeo-Christian God, which he may have intended; it's not a certainty. With a true interfaith conversation, the word God can mean different things to each of the participants. I could choose to interpret it in a larger context in which it represents deity in general. In my belief, rebellion against deity brings forth the same discord, so his statement was accurate in either sense.
I found nothing uncivil or uncomfortable in his comments. I believe we are having a good and civil and grown-up discussion. He may, or may not choose to rephrase that section, but if he does, I hope that he does not lose his meaning when he does so. I believe, in the sense in which I explained above that his statement was both civil and accurate to both of our beliefs. I cannot think of a belief system (excluding athiesim, humanism, and agnosticism) in which his statement would be considered uncivil, or false.
As this board is predicated on the existence of the supernatual, or God, reference to either acceptance or rebellion might come up. That is what each believer of any faith chooses daily. That one of us, from whichever faith might bring that up cannot necessarily be construed to be a challenge to other faiths. Again, responsibility should fall on both the reader and the writer.
As one from another faith, I accept his comment, and would stand by it myself, as would any Catholic, Protestant, LDS or Pagan that I know. I believe it to be quite universal. In asking him to rephrase it, I think that you are asking him to rephrase a statement that could offend no-one. I believe that your interpretation of his comment is what is in error. I think that if you find it in need of rephrasing, that you took it to mean that rebellion against "his" concept of God would cause the pieces not to fit. That's simply not what he said.
Anyway, thanks for looking out for people. I think though that you're looking for the offensive where none exists.
Blessings from the unnamed Goddess,
--Dee

 

Re: thanks for being so understanding (nm) deirdrehbrt

Posted by Dr. Bob on February 28, 2006, at 21:04:02

In reply to Re: please rephrase that, posted by deirdrehbrt on February 27, 2006, at 23:47:49

 

Re: please rephrase that

Posted by rayww on March 1, 2006, at 23:37:11

In reply to Re: please rephrase that rayww, posted by Dr. Bob on February 27, 2006, at 22:44:11

No, I don't think I can to either..Dee did just fine by putting something into words that I couldn't. If anything we have been able to glean from this board it is that God is God to a lot of people, even though we understand and worship him differently. The best explanation was one I heard yesterday and if I could figure out a way to link it I would link the whole speech as my rephrase.

A lot of us have been a little narrow minded when it comes to accepting that God can communicate to anyone throughout the world, whether they are Islam, Muslim, Christian, or Jew. It has taken me a long time to finally get it. The plan of salvation was given to Abraham, and he gave it to his sons, Ishmael and Isaac. Even though only one had the covenant, they all have the blessing. I think we have no clue how this is all going to pan out in the end. I mean, do you know how many billions of people in the world are not Christian? And how many millions of Christians are not Mormon? I think this is way too big for one little religion. So even though I know God speaks to me, I can also see that God speaks to you, no matter what religion you belong to, and He speaks to Dee even though his/her belief is Pagan and a Godess God.

It is still the spiritual side of life, and some have fine tuned it till it has become so powerful it could move mountains. Mountains of unbelief. So, I'm saying it's OK to have differing beliefs in God. I think God is aware of all of his children and creations, loves them all, and will gather them as a hen gathers her chicks, all of them that will. Agency is an interesting gift, especially when the options are limited.

 

Re: please rephrase that

Posted by deirdrehbrt on March 2, 2006, at 16:56:26

In reply to Re: please rephrase that, posted by rayww on March 1, 2006, at 23:37:11

Rayww,
Thanks for your post. It seems you have a little confusion about me, and I certainly can understand that. You wrote:
> He speaks to Dee even though his/her belief is Pagan and a Godess God.

For me, "her" works just fine.

And as far as the Goddes, or God, in my faith there is both. We recognize that life cannot exist without the male and the female. If I remember correctly, it's quite similar to LDS teaching. In LDS teaching, we have a heavenly father and a heavenly mother. The mother though, doesn't seem to be spoken of very much. She doesn't seem to be prayed to or discussed in any debth. I would be really interested if you might shed some light on that.

That's a couple of things your last post brought up in my mind. Thank you so much for sharing.
--Dee

 

Re: please rephrase that

Posted by rayww on March 2, 2006, at 19:30:31

In reply to Re: please rephrase that, posted by deirdrehbrt on March 2, 2006, at 16:56:26

> Rayww,
> Thanks for your post. It seems you have a little confusion about me, and I certainly can understand that. You wrote:
> > He speaks to Dee even though his/her belief is Pagan and a Godess God.
>
> For me, "her" works just fine.

<<<<<
Me too. I'm she as well. You were a little confused about me too??? :)

>
> And as far as the Goddes, or God, in my faith there is both. We recognize that life cannot exist without the male and the female. If I remember correctly, it's quite similar to LDS teaching. In LDS teaching, we have a heavenly father and a heavenly mother. The mother though, doesn't seem to be spoken of very much. She doesn't seem to be prayed to or discussed in any debth. I would be really interested if you might shed some light on that.

<<<<
Do you know anyone with a father who didn't also have a mother? It's just logic. The only place I am aware of that anything is written about a mother in heaven is in the hymn, "O My Father", and it is mostly sung at funerals. If you want the link ... click on church music and when you find the song, click "words & music". http://lds.org/gospellibrary/0,5082,4-1,00.html

Every belief came from somewhere and is rooted in something. Most world religions can be traced back to Abraham.

The Bible teaches us to call God "Father in Heaven", but it doesn't teach us why. There is only one who can teach us why, and He has chosen to keep Mother hidden too. Does that mean she cannot exist? She can in our hearts, minds, and our imaginations. You can call her Godess if you like. Just because we have a different understanding of her probably means nothing just yet. What happens when you pray to her? Do you get answers? As you know, we pray only to God the Father, and close in the name of Jesus Christ Amen. We do not pray directly to Jesus, but Jesus takes our prayer to the Father. That's as well as I can explain it here.


>
> That's a couple of things your last post brought up in my mind. Thank you so much for sharing.
> --Dee
>
>
>
>

 

Re: please rephrase that

Posted by deirdrehbrt on March 2, 2006, at 21:01:32

In reply to Re: please rephrase that, posted by rayww on March 2, 2006, at 19:30:31

Rayww,
Thank you so much. Sorry I assumed you were male. I see Ray, and I think of my uncle Ray. I had a friend with the same pronunciation, but her name was spelled differently, I think it was Rai. Sorry about the confusion.
I looked up the song. You LDS have the most AWESOME music interface I've seen. I love the way you can select the vocal parts for playback. It's actually possible to learn the music at home without having to play an instrument. Way Cool! I have to admit that this is the most accessible web site I've ever seen. Presentations in Braille as well as ASL. I've not seen better. It shows a dedication to reaching out to a great many people.
I liked the lyrics to the song too. It certainly does make sense that if you have a father you have a mother also. Certainly makes sense to me.
I'm constantly amazed at just how much similarity there seems to be between such diverse religions. It does make obvious the idea of some basic connection. It's a shame that so many claim absolute exclusivity, and become willing to shed blood over the differences. Much like children fighting over claim to a toy, only worse. Perhaps we'll all grow up and realize that it's just not worth fighting over. God, Goddess, Deity, whatever name we choose, loves and cares about us all.
Thank you again for clearing things up. It just goes to show the prejudices that we have regarding names and gender and such.

--Dee

 

Re: Suffering

Posted by Tanzanite on March 3, 2006, at 1:17:31

In reply to Suffering, posted by deirdrehbrt on February 23, 2006, at 16:51:56

HI there,
I believe suffering is part of life and not because a Higher Power put it upon us. I feel it has a purpose, even though suffering is painful for me or anyone else who must go through any type of suffering whether psychologically or physically. I believe it is intended to bring us closer to each other as well as to our creator so we seek out our spiritual avenues through prayer, or in whatever manner one believes. I am Christian, but I have always been open minded and love learning and discussing topics like this. Peace and blessings
Tanzanite


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