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Friday, March 4, 2011

Conversions: From Senior Pastor to Church Dropout

by Jason Boyett

Today's conversion story comes from Jeremy Myers. A former seminary graduate and conservative pastor, Jeremy "de-converted" from traditional Christianity. Though still a follower of Christ, he has left the institutional Church altogether. And blogging played a fairly big role in that departure...
During the years in seminary, I began to notice an alarming trend in myself, my professors, my fellow students, and in the seminary alumni I worked with at the non-profit organization: We were all so mean. We each thought that we had the infallible truth, and anyone who disagreed with us was a heretic and a tool of the devil. This attitude pervaded even minor disagreements, such as whether a church could dim the lights and use candles in their service or not. 
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Within a month of the fateful blog post ["The Heretic in Me"], I was asked to resign from my job at the non-profit organization. Not because I said or did anything contrary to their doctrinal statement or had any employee misconduct, but because I was reading books and thinking about ideas that the CEO of the organization considered heretical. Many of my church friends called or wrote to try to "bring me back into the fold" when in reality, I hadn't left yet.
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Be encouraged. Everywhere I look, people are becoming dissatisfied with church and traditional thinking about the place of Christians in the world. Whenever I encounter someone like this, I tell them that they have been given a gift. Though it feels like they are being ripped away from all they know about God and what He wants us to do, the end result will be a relationship with Him that does not depend on an approved list of behaviors and beliefs. Instead, they can simply enjoy a relationship with God just as they would any other person.

Your Take: Does the Bible condemn homosexuality?

Posted by: The Editors - CNN Belief Blog

There were thousands of comments on Thursday's Belief Blog post arguing that the Bible condemns homosexuality, a response to another guest post arguing that the Bible is much more ambiguous on homosexuality than previously thought.

Most of the comments appear to doubt the Bible's condemnation of homosexuality - or challenge the wisdom looking to the Bible for guidance on such matters. And, as usual, we're struck by all the atheist comments. They seem to far outnumber believers' comments. [...]

Finding the Shared Basis of Spirituality

By Dhruv Chatterjee
Dhruv Chatterjee is a College sophomore from Kolkata, India.

There is an old joke that claims that God blessed us all of us with spirituality until the Devil decided to organize it and call it religion.

While this joke is obviously rather cynical, it does bring to light an important distinction that exists between organized religion and spirituality itself. Religion may be the starting point from which we begin our journey to connect with God, but ultimately, only spirituality is what will get us there. Religion is the starting point of interest, and spirituality is the medium.
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So what, then is spirituality? Spirituality is the religion above all religions and atheism. Spirituality is belief strong enough to transcend knowledge, differences in humanity and imperfections.

Spirituality is God, free of human perceptions and attributes. It is unity consciousness. It is the understanding that when Christ said to “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” he meant that harming others is effectively harming oneself.