thread: 2006-08-31 : I think my expectations are screwed

On 2006-09-07, Rev. Raven Daegmorgan wrote:


(Regarding "hearing voices"? You know and I know "hearing the literal voice of God" is not what I'm talking about when I talk about "God speaking to you". Let's try "God revealing himself to you" instead, maybe that will involve fewer connotations of mental health.)

I think your response is far too rooted in the "now". The reason I brought up Sikhism was because four centuries ago it was a dangerous bathtub experiment. It was decried and disavowed by people saying the very same things about it you are saying here about any mixed religious practice.

Looking at it now and saying, "Well, see, it has four centuries of tradition behind it!" misses the point a bit. Yeah, it does. But it didn't four centuries ago. Four centuries ago it was one guy who had to sneak into the temples of his two faiths to worship because he was a heretic to them both for daring to mix their incompatible (really!) beliefs.

He was the guy you're deriding for abandoning tradition and striking out on his own: the dangerous heretic stirring up social boundaries.

Seriously, Sikhism combined HINDUISM and ISLAM: you can't get more functionally incompatible social worldviews than that. These two religions have an on-going history of bloody violence between them, based on their societal differences, and yet here's a mixed religion born from both of them. A bit borrowed here, a bit there.

As Vincent points out, the same is true of Christianity. Everything starts from something else. Every tradition is, at some point, a dangerous bathtub experiment: Paganism, Sikhism, Christianity (and its various branches), Buddhism, etc.

Yes, we need to be careful what path we take when striking out in new directions. True. But that's true of everything we do, so it isn't an argument for the superiority of tradition. No one is saying tradition isn't useful, but no one should be saying change isn't useful as well.

I, personally, happen to think God is much, much bigger than any singular tradition of man, and any singular tradition can not hope to encompass the entirety of understanding such a thing/being for every person. Instead, each person has to meet God on their own terms, and learn to hear what He's saying in the way He's saying it to them specifically.

Sometimes, tradition allows Him to do that. Sometimes, it doesn't. Sometimes He mixes things up a bit because He can and has to for you.

After all, it swings both ways: tradition gets in the way of growth as often as it provides a stable, traveled path forward. History proves this time and again (we can all say Copernicus, right?).

And as for Jesus and tradition, To use Jesus or Christianity to advocate continuing tradition, social stability, and caution, is a bit...well, odd in the light of history.

First, I think you do Jesus a disservice: he was a revolutionary. He defied the existing social order and condemned it on many occassions, arguing for sweeping changes to the existing culture and its practices.

That hardly sounds like the traditionalist you've argued he is. He shook things up, the whole culture, the whole society on a foundational level, with new ideas and practices that flew in the face of long-standing tradition. He rocked the boat hard.

The same goes for the young Christian faith.

And hey, I think it is great you're advocating the cultural/social benefits of tradition, because tradition is kind of sneered at sometimes without good reason! I also think you are overstating your case by rejecting change out of hand, without considering the equally manifold benefits thereof.


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