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Spirituality vs. Religion.

21.10.01 @ 17:32
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I found this on BeliefNet.com. It is quite an interesting site, that deals with religion and spirtuality for ALL religous beliefs from ultra conservative Christian to Islam, Judiasm, Eastern Religions, and even different forms of Paganism. On the Spiritual type test I scored 67. I think this definataly describes how I feel:

60 - 69 Old-fashioned Seeker -- Happy with my religion but searching for the right expression of it
I am not sure how I feel about my religious match. I was raised as a Catholic kid, although my father was a non practicing Lutheran. I only scored 90% on Roman Catholosim, and 97% on Liberal Protestant. I was equal between Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox. The one thing that didn't suprise me was the fact that athiest came out on the bottom, as the lowest. I am definately NOT an athiest. There is too much in the universe to convince me that we are not in control as much as we would like to think, and there is a reason and a purpose for everything, even if we may not know it at the time, or if ever. This is the breakdown I came up with. Personally I didnt like some of the questions, part number 12, I think it was as none of the answers were really correct for me.

1. Orthodox Quaker (100%)
2. Liberal Protestant (97%)
3. Eastern Orthodox (90%)
4. Roman Catholic (90%)
5. Conservative Protestant (90%)
6. Seventh Day Adventist (77%)
7. Liberal Quaker (73%)
8. Sikhism (70%)
9. Latter-day Saint (Mormon) (63%)
10. Islam (63%)
11. Orthodox Judaism (63%)
12. Reform Judaism (63%)
13. Unitarian Universalism (61%)
14. Bahá'í (60%)
15. Hinduism (57%)
16. Mahayana Buddhism (44%)
17. Neo-Paganism (43%)
18. Theravada Buddhism (42%)
19. Jehovah's Witness (41%)
20. Jainism (36%)
21. New Age (34%)
22. Taoism (34%)
23. Scientology (33%)
24. Christian Science (Church of Christ, Scientist) (32%)
25. Secular Humanism (32%)
26. New Thought (28%)
27. Atheism and Agnosticism (20%)

I am not even sure what an Orthodox Quaker is, but according to the site this is the basic outline of the faith.

Belief in Deity
There is a Trinity of the Father (God), the Son (Christ), and the Holy Spirit that comprises one God Almighty. God is personal and incorporeal.

Incarnations
Jesus Christ is God's only incarnation. God is manifest within all as the light. Jesus possessed the light to the highest degree and is "the Light" within.

Origin of Universe and Life
The most orthodox Quakers hold to the authority of the Bible, and the book of Genesis--that God created all in less than seven days and less that 10,000 years ago. But many would maintain that a biblical "day" is not a literal 24 hours.

After Death
Most orthodox Quakers believe in direct reward and punishment, heaven and hell, the second coming of Christ, and resurrection of the dead (similar to conservative Christian view).

Why Evil?
Some Orthodox Quakers adhere to similar beliefs as conservative Christians--belief in original sin and Satan. Many believe that lack of awareness of God's divine light within, or rebellion against it, is the cause of wrongdoing, and that alienation from God leaves one vulnerable to temptation or Satan.

Salvation
Some Friends (the formal name of the group) churches include rites of baptism and communion, but sacraments to God are most often considered to arise from inward experiences, a personal encounter with God, rather than church ritual. Salvation is found internally through union with Christ, the divine Light within all. Many Quaker churches, e.g. evangelical, believe similarly to Conservative Protestant, that salvation is a free gift from God, with faith, independent of good works. Yet moral behavior and good works are viewed as essential to showing faith and obedience to God. Good works, such as humanitarian service, social justice, and peace efforts, are an expression of Christian love. Simplicity and humility are viewed as essential to living a Christian life.

Undeserved Suffering
The most orthodox Quakers maintain that Satan causes suffering. Suffering is allowed by God as part of His divine will and plan. Quakers focus on reducing human suffering, especially that caused by social injustice or violence.

Contemporary Issues
Social-betterment programs and nonviolence are fundamental to Quakerism. Some Orthodox Quaker churches are very accepting of homosexuality, and others condemn it as contrary to God's will.

I can agree with some of that, but there are other parts that I have trouble with. I think the more liberal version might be close to what I believe. I do agree with the fact that science and religion do not have to be at odds with each other. I am also one of those Christians who doesn't believe a large part of the Bible should be taken literally or that it can be interpreted by humans. It has been translated so many times in to so many languages that much of what may have been their originally.. well who knows. I also believe that there is a lot more that we don't know that God hasn't told us, for the same reasons that one does not teach algebra in pre-school. We simply are not ready for it. That is why all so called end of the world predictions have been wrong. We humans have just began to discover some truths about the universe, and as a species we are just entering the puberty of our developement. My beliefs may be controversial to some, especially to the ultra conservative Christian sects, but I know what is in my heart. I also think that spirituality and religion are two different things. Spirituality is something that is inside a person, it is what is in their heart and it can not be faked. Religion is an outward manifestation, a choice. It can be faked. Many people go to Church, Temple, Synagogue or other house of worship and go thru the actions of religion, but it is meaningless, because their actions the rest of the week show they are mearley making appearances or putting on a front for reasons of personal motivation, not because of a deep belief in something. A spiritual person has nothing to prove, they live by what they know in thier heart to be right, and they know that they are important but they are not the center of the universe and that their are things beyond and more important than the immediate wants and desires of this life. I am not sure if that makes any sense, but its very hard to explain. That is why I am very leary of Churches. I think my beliefs are a very personal thing. Each of us has to struggle and ask questions. We all come from very different backgrounds and are different people. We come with some different answers but in the end we will all face the same death. The main questions is how have we treated the least of our brothers/sisters. I guess what I am saying is that the truest test, in my book, of a persons real character is how they behave when they think no one is looking and they wont get caught. We all put on an act when their is an audience, but when we are alone our true selves come thru becuase we arent' trying to prove anything. Look around at the net, how many people when safely hidden behind a computer monitor with an annoymous handle turn into something totally different from the person they are in real life. It is a true character comming thru.

I would recommend checking this site out. It is one of the few places I have seen that gives forum to everyone, instead of one particular group. They also have boards and groups for almost all beliefs systems. It is a great way to find out about yourself. I wonder if there is a simialiar site for political systems. I suspect I would have some socialist tendancies, but I am not sure.

I can't believe how much I have updated in the last few days. This has to be my fifth entry since Friday. A new personal record I think. Only 10 entries to go until number 100. I would also love to see people respond in either my guestbook or if you want a discussion on my discussion board.

I am off to make a pathetic attempt at laundry as I've done nothing but read the paper and watch reruns of M*A*S*H and ST:TNG all day (apparently it is a Q marathon, which is cool, he definately makes one think, and he is also funny as heck.) Wish me luck, and fortuanly the entry about Green M&M's went over better than I thought. And I was worried.

TTFN MTFBWYA and all that Jazz
The Cranky One

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Mini-Bio

In every neighborhood there is at least one house that all the neighbors gossip about. This is a diary from the woman who lives in that house. I am a single mother in her mid thirties. I live in North Dakota with my son, Warren.

I tend to be a bit of a slob, and am the opposite of a girly-girl. I am geek girl, who loves Star Wars, Star Trek, Harry Potter, Buffy, Angel, action movies, science fiction, action adventure, Dr. Who, and so on and so on.

I love to write and while I don't post much fiction online anymore I would love to be a writer someday. I am also overweight, bipolar and suffer from allergy induced asthma.

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