I have really enjoyed talking about religion and philosophy with everyone on this site. But I guess that's obvious by how many times I've tried to resurrect a conversation on the WEPR forums. Here we go again lol
This time, I want to do things a little differently. Instead of arguing about the most logical beliefs and attacking each others' flaws, I think we should pull all our collective knowledge and mental power together to find the answer to life, the universe, and everything.
After years of subscribing to religious beliefs fed to me at church, I feel like I'm at a disadvantage compared to many atheists here on this site who have independently researched and ultimately pondered for themselves the meaning to life and what it means to be good. I'm not sure if it was this whole pandemic era or what, but I have learned a ton about just humanity in general. Part of that was learning that many of the beliefs that I took for granted were actually based on very old misunderstandings of religious texts and centuries of manipulated traditions. I know that you guys have been telling this to me for years, but I was just too prideful and young to listen.
That being said, I still hold immense value in the Bible as a literary work that's rich in meaning and beauty and wisdom. Even though translations are rough and the history surrounding the sources' are doubtful, I believe that there is so much to learn from reading it. I still believe in God and Jesus, but the way I understand his existence is a little (yet significantly) different from a couple years ago. The way I understand human relationships and love and life is so much different. If you don't believe in God the way I do, I appreciate your views so much. You don't have to study the Bible or go to church in order to come to the same conclusions I do about what's good and morally right. In fact, much of what I have learned was confirmed by podcasts and videos from people of varying beliefs and backgrounds. Moreover, I don't claim to have all the answers. I might be wrong about a lot of things, but I'm still learning and growing.
School is starting up again in a couple days for me, so I won't be able to keep up as much I probably hope, but I invite you guys to participate in a new kind of "religion debate thread" with me. I hope this one maintains a healthy debate style, but my main goal is that we slowly but steadily learn more about the world around us and how to navigate life. I want to learn more from you guys because I hold incredible amounts of value in your opinions and knowledge.
So let's start with a few questions. How valuable are stories in the shaping of our lives? What books, movies, other media have you digested that has impacted you in the past year? Do you have any personal stories that you are willing to disclose that you think might benefit us? Are there any stories that you need help interpreting whether personal or fictional or whatever? (These last two we might have to warm up for lol but if you feel the desire to share, please do. We are all listening.)
Edit: This post has been on my heart for a while now, and I just gained courage enough to post it. I haven't been active very much though. But just looking through the Forums, it really seems like it's dying :/ But I'm still here! I'll be checking the Forums from time to time in case happens to reply haha
"In your view, what kind of clean up work does God do?"
Well, I would say there is two kinds. There is the ugly kind of kicking people out of the Church to hell as symbolized by the parable of the weeds and the wheat (Mt 13:24-30) and then there is the happy kind of fixing everyone else (as symbolized by (Is 1:25) for example.)
"Do you mind describing the symbol of that image and how it relates to our union with God?"
Well actually I would relate it to the context of PC gaming (very appropriate for this site after all). Notice that this happens only after Jesus is killed; it therefore conjures up the familar gaming image of unlocking something (the Achievement Unlocked series for example). What specifically has been unlocked here that was not there before? The first is the power to forgive sins (granted God has always had that power, but now it has been extended (c.f. Jn 20:23) and even in times past God needed foreknowledge of this event to do it for reasons given by St. Anselm of Canterbury) as represented by the cleansing water, and the second is the power to consecrate (granted he already did this too, but maybe with all his foreknowledge God has a more flexible view of time like the game There is a Bomb or something like that) as represented by the blood, recalling Jesus' words at the Last Supper (c.f. Lk 22:19-20).
Sorry, but I think we're changing topics a little too fast. You have a lot of ideas, but we haven't really fleshed out your first idea. If you don't mind I would like to go back to it.
You said that John 19:34 is a symbol of the
mystical conjugal union between Christ and his Church that enable the extension of Divine Mercy unto humanity.
In John 19, Jesus is getting crucified. After he was presumed dead, v. 34 says "one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came out."
Can you explain how this specific image, the piercing of Jesus's side and the spilling of blood and water, is a symbol of the union of Christ and his Church? I think if we can understand this, we can better understand your other points.