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 AUTHOR
 The Sage
Joined: 4/28/2007
Msg: 1
If God is inside us, is organized religion necessary?Page 1 of 2    (1, 2)
"Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwellith in you?" (I Corinthians 3:16)

Rumi, the 13th century Islamic Sufist said in his MATHNAWI: "The leading principle of all mysticism is that, independently of sense and reason, man possesses an inward sense, or intuition, which conveys to him a knowledge of God by direct apprehension."

Most mystic branches of orthodox religions believe God is within us, that we can connect by ourselves. This is true of Judaism (Kaballah), of Taoism, Islam (Sufism), Buddhism (Zen), New Age, Hinduism (Brahmin; Maya), and so forth. Kaballist practice meditation and thought transcendence and silent repetitions of "YHVH" God's name. Hindus practice yoga, mantra,and samadhi.

If God is in each of us, and there are various way of communicating with God, is organized religion really necessary?
 Jacobus101
Joined: 12/30/2007
Msg: 2
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If God is inside us, is organized religion necessary?
Posted: 3/25/2008 11:44:09 PM

If God is in each of us, and there are various way of communicating with God, is organized religion really necessary?


I can't speak for everyone, obviously. But yes, I believe it is. A few months ago, I had to write a paper on the Rule of St. Benedict. St. Benedict (the famous founder of the first western monasteries) said that the worst monastics were those who had no community to live with (hermits). Now, obviously, that's just an opinion of his, especially since there are many saints who lived as hermits.... but the point there was that even though a monastery might provide for plenty of silence and "alone time" to commune with God, people are still social creatures. All that organized religion is is the expression of faith at a communal level.

For some reason, I suppose the average American associates big-money preachers or arcane rituals with "organized religion". But that's only one way to express it. The greatest Christian mystics, such as St. John of the Cross, St. Teresa of Avila and St. Therese de Lisieux, had profound internal and personal experiences with God while still maintaining a communal worship: gathering seven times a day for prayer, as well as daily Mass.

And so, even though my religion teaches that I can connect to God myself anytime I want (all it takes is a word, and bam, God's listening)...... I still believe communal worship and organized religion w/ hierarchy is important. My apologies for being stuck in the so-called "dark ages".
 The Sage
Joined: 4/28/2007
Msg: 3
If God is inside us, is organized religion necessary?
Posted: 3/26/2008 12:13:59 AM
Jacobus 101:

Don't feel bad about being stuck in the "dark ages." I didn't go to church from 1978 until 2004. A long time. Not even on Christmas or Easter. Prior to 1978, I was a solid church going Christian. During the years from 1978 through 2004, I read the Bible every day and a wide variety of other religious books: Koran (main Islamic text), Hinduism, Zohar (main Kaballah text), Tao Te Ching (main Taoist text), many books on Zen (including Suzuki's), and so on and on.

What I'm saying is that I was very much into religion. But you know what? I really missed church...REALLY missed it. But I was ashamed to return because I had been away so long. And I was aware that many of those who knew me back in 1978 were still around (in fact one of the members lived and still lives a block away from my house).

When I got up enough nerve in 2004 to return, I was never happier. I didn' t need church for my understanding (I write a weekly Biblical column for a number of churches now, and teach youth religious instruction). I didn't need it to become a better person, I had always been observant. But I needed it for the comfort I felt sitting in the pew and listening to the preacher talk about God. For me it was the missing peace to my closeness to Jesus Christ.

While I don't think everyone needs organized religion; I think I do!
 WeAre1
Joined: 3/18/2008
Msg: 4
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If God is inside us, is organized religion necessary?
Posted: 3/26/2008 12:27:23 AM
It looks like you found your answer....for you.
It is not a question one can answer in a general way, for it is up to each individual.
For many, yes, it seems organized religion is the stepping stone to feel God's presence in themselves and their lives. For others, it is found in life outside of 'church'.
By the way, an extension of 'God is inside us', think of God as in everyone and everything...within and without...why We truly are One.....God is the awareness and energy and love that connects us all. And that brings God's awareness into each moment of life, wherever we are, whether in church, or driving to work.
 The Sage
Joined: 4/28/2007
Msg: 5
If God is inside us, is organized religion necessary?
Posted: 3/26/2008 12:34:28 AM
WeAre1:

With strong Kaballah leaning, as well as other religious philosophies, I agree. All is ONE. We are in each other and everything and everything and each other is in us as is all that is in the universe. Our actions, thoughts, and what we say effects everything. Our striving is to unite with the universal consciousness. In my case: Ein Sof (God)
 Rolling A Long
Joined: 3/14/2008
Msg: 6
If God is inside us, is organized religion necessary?
Posted: 3/26/2008 12:36:43 AM
Religion is the collection of things people use to share God in a common way. The reason religion is necessary is so that each next generation and every last person doesn't have to start from scratch and invent a whole system for talking about this aspect of life. Back before there was any organized religion, somebody got busy and organized one, for a reason. It would be strange to have all the other parts of life organized and let this one grow wild. It would be freaky.
 tonto1uk
Joined: 10/30/2007
Msg: 7
If God is inside us, is organized religion necessary?
Posted: 3/26/2008 5:40:32 AM
I cant really answer this one to be honest because my initial answer is to say no. God dwell's whithin through the power of his holy spirt Wich jesus said he must go so the comforter may come. Ane even the apsotle paul went into the wilderness for 14 years after his salvation. But then the bible tell's us that it is good to meet together in gods name and it also says that where two or three are gathered in his name he is there also.
Plus it easier to enter into worship in that enviroment when it can be distartcions elsewhere. So in my own opinion its is my understanding that it is benifical to addend church in order that we may edify and build one and other up but not an requirment for slavation.
 Stonestongue
Joined: 5/18/2006
Msg: 8
If God is inside us, is organized religion necessary?
Posted: 3/26/2008 6:17:38 AM

If God is in each of us, and there are various way of communicating with God, is organized religion really necessary?


For me I think because I believe we are all God that the religious spirit (if you will) will always be present, but (imo) to follow strict guidelines made by others on how you see the world is kind of a waste... I think every single one of us has a piece of the big picture.
 Ravenstar66
Joined: 8/27/2007
Msg: 9
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If God is inside us, is organized religion necessary?
Posted: 3/26/2008 7:17:32 AM
My experience has been that ORGANIZED religion is uneccesary.. for me. It wasn't until I threw of the yoke of wanting to BELONG.. peer pressure I guess, that I was able to go within and find my own sense of connection with what I call god (The Source, or ALL THAT IS). I actually had to isolate myself (for a LONG time) to be able to do that because I am a very suggestible person and very empathic.

If I did not feel that this was within me then I would probably be an athiest... because I am also a very rational person and can not believe just for the sake of believing...I needed something more and I knew, also being a person of deep imagination, that I could convince myself of just about anything... (love my science fiction and fantasy) I have taken a path where I have had to examine all of my preconceptions.. find out where they came from, test them for veracity.. and then reorganize them into something that actually made sense and corresponded with my perceptions. The first step, for me, was "Know Thyself"... not a small order, and one that is ongoing. Meditation is the best tool I have used for this purpose...as it gives me the detachment to observe my own thoughts and decision making processes. I can become "The Watcher", and this has come to have great value for me.

I think it would be nice to have fellowship, but very few people believe as I do.. there are a few but basically I am alone on my path. I have been able to find some who are closer than others... Buddhists, some New Age folk, some Pagans, some Progressive Christians (mostly Universalists) and Agnostics (who are the most tolerant and open-minded of all I have found) Some Athiests... but since I am eclectic in my spirituality... it has developed into something unique. I remember asking spirit about this... feeling lonely one time, and the answer I got was, "Who said spirituality was supposed to be easy?" I laughed because it's what I say to people who whine about life being unfair... but since then I have found some comfort from my Higher self and my guides (who could be contructs of my own self... but it doesn't matter really).

The one thing I have found with not belonging to any religious or spiritual group is...I can not afford to be elitist.. there is no way from my position to look down on anyone else. There is no support from my fellows in this... and part of my understanding of spirituality is that we are all on our personal paths back to Source..and all where we need to be to learn what we need to learn... and no one is better or worse, or higher or lower. There is no way for me to judge another's spiritual condition.. and if that is the price of my connection with spirit, I will pay it gladly. I've come to a place where I have realized that the ALL THAT IS, is beyond my comprehension on a lot of levels, and that love is far more encompassing than I could ever conceive of... and we are all connected to Source. The Universe and all it's creatures are parts of the whole (and sacred- "holy") and therefore my brethren. Even if I don't LIKE some of them or agree with them. LOL. The Universe and life itself is a divine mirror.. and if I can't see the reflection of the divine in others then I have blocked my own light... and I need to get out of the way (ego) and let it shine again.

There is a thread about God speaking (or not speaking) and not a few of the responses talk about nature, about going out and just sitting in the natural world in silence and listening. Early in my search I tried to use my head... my ability to reason to figure out the whole spirituality thing. I studied the Bible and many other spiritual writings... I tried to make sense of it all.... but something was missing. I found myself living in my head and getting more and more confused... until one day I realized I had cut myself off from my physical being.. really..I could barely feel anything. I was out of touch with an essential part of myself. I read a book by Caroline Myss about the wisdom of our bodies and it dawned on me that I had somewhere along the line bought into the idea that my physical self was BAD.. non-spiritual...my ENEMY. I decided to try to get that connection back... by spending time in nature and practicing hatha yoga. What i discovered by accepting myself as a physical being that was a part of this world ( and physically we are MADE of this world..every cell and chemical and element comes from the earth) was that I was intrinsically CONNECTED to all life... it flows around and through us constantly.. it is recyled through our selves constantly.. breathing, eating, everything. I found when I sat quiet in the woods that the wild animals showed no fear of me, that there was a rhythym and flow to life I had not stopped long enough before to feel... and I sensed (this is subjective of course) the energy of nature all around me and below that energy was the energy of love.. the force that sustains and connects us. That is when I really comprehended the verse, "Be still and know that I am God". I really do think that nature can be a great instructor for the spirit.

Organized religion was not able to give this to me... only when I was willing to go inside and search did I find it...whatever it is, it works for me. Maybe others need that sense of being part of a group of other humans to get this..I couldn't know what others need. All I know is that for me I had to step out of my fear of social ostrazation and seek for myself.

Peace
 tonto1uk
Joined: 10/30/2007
Msg: 10
If God is inside us, is organized religion necessary?
Posted: 3/26/2008 7:36:45 AM
Sorry Ravenstar66 I have been pondering on this since my first post and then reading Your post convinced me of What i was thinking. I in no way am mocking or saying what you belive is incorrect. But it would not be for me however' I always try and take what I believe back to God's word the bible as I am primaeraly a believer in God and in Jesus as my saviour. But i thinkl the Danger of not meeting together is if we were to veer From a path of ritghousness we may not see it as quickly as other's or if our theology was to become Corrupted we may need our brother's and sisters to correct our thinking or at least provide some insight.
 Merrylass
Joined: 12/30/2007
Msg: 11
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If God is inside us, is organized religion necessary?
Posted: 3/26/2008 7:50:23 AM
It was because of organized religion that I came to my own spiritual discoveries and they came fairly early on - I was still in high school. The people I met, the retreats I went on triggered the thoughts that eventually led me to my own quest. My major 'spiritual experience' came in the middle of an Easter Mass. I have encountered some truly amazing, loving, fully spiritual people who were clergy and religious.

I agree that community is a benefit to seekers; the individuals you may encounter in those communities can light your way as you travel along your path. I rarely attend church now but I still identify with my original religion (Catholicism) because it was the origin of my journey.
 And Can It Be
Joined: 9/1/2006
Msg: 12
If God is inside us, is organized religion necessary?
Posted: 3/26/2008 8:31:06 AM
OP, I agree with you that most religions teach a form of mysticism. However, your pull quote from 1 Corinthians 3:16 does not accurately reflect the teaching of Biblical Christianity in my opinion.

Biblical Christianity teaches that God is a Trinity composed of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Each member of the Trinity played a part in the salvation of man:
1.) God the Father chose the elect before the salvation of the world.
2.) God the Son came to earth in the form of a man redeem the elect.
3.) God the Holy Spirit applies redemption to the elect.

One of the ways in which the Holy Spirit applies redemption to the elect is by regenerating their hearts and dwelling in them. This does not mean that God as a Trinity is no longer in heaven. It means that God has given His people a gift. I believe that the Bible clearly teaches that God is omnipresent.

Is organized religion necessary? I say that it is even though I believe that God fills the universe and is present everywhere at the same time. I believe this because I believe that the Bible gives us explicit commands to worship God. Look at Exodus and Leviticus. So much of those two books are nothing but intricate detail about how the Israelites were to worship God--how they were to make the Tabernacle, the articles used in the sacrifices, the High Priest's garments, the incense, etc. There were instructions for daily worship and for annual Holy Day worship. Those who worshipped God according to their own imagination frequently were struck dead such as Aaron's two sons who offered strange fire before the LORD.

Since we are now in New Testament times, I will point out that it was Jesus Christ Himself who founded the Christian Church. As it says in the last verse of Acts 2, "And GOD added to the CHURCH daily those who were being saved." I believe it is God's will that His people be a part of His church. After all, as it says in Ephesians 5, the church is the body of Christ. He loves it and gave Himself for it.

One of the greatest privileges we have is to praise God corporately. This is done in public worship services.

I cannot emphasize how strongly I feel that church membership is absolutely a necessity in the life of a Christian UNLESS he/she is somehow providentially hindered by illness, location, or some other unique circumstance. I believe that if Christians say they believe but they REFUSE to find a good church, they may believe in vain (James 2:19, Matthew 7:71-23).
 Greg8002
Joined: 3/11/2008
Msg: 13
If God is inside us, is organized religion necessary?
Posted: 3/26/2008 8:43:42 AM
I think it is possible to try and be spiritual without being a member of an organised religion. Even so, I think organised religion has a strength which is community. If we look at the history of religions, religion has rarely, if ever, been a merely private affair, but has been mainly centered around communities of individuals worshipping what they regard as the sacred, while pursuing their individual paths to salvation as members of that group. A few daring souls do seem to have something of a deep spirituality where they didn't rely on any organised religion to help them; Buddha, Plotinus and Spinoza come to mind here. Even so, it seems most people who engage in the spiritual quest, at least until recently, did so as members of an organised religion.

I think the primary strength of organised religion is that you have many centuries of accumulated wisdom and insight to draw on. The main weakness can be pressures of conformism, repression and authoritarianism which can crush the human spirit, as with any organised system of belief and dogma.
 yoodle
Joined: 9/30/2006
Msg: 14
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If God is inside us, is organized religion necessary?
Posted: 3/26/2008 9:58:12 AM
I'm going to say yes. We can all make music (with lessons)--but how could we make a symphony without organization? We can talk--but without organization: which "common" language would we use? On the other hand...we can all feel anger at something, but war requires organization.

Sage: here's a passage to consider: Ecclesiastes 1:17-18 I do dwell in books--a lot--and when I get to people--relationships--I'm vexed, challenged, often disappointed, and sometimes surprised by love.

Ravenstar (msg 10) has written a very very good synopsis of the struggle I'm in, even now, with one exception, and that is that Christianity is my place. This religion is not without it's wars and other human offenses. Buddhism and Confucism were also plied by humans in bad ways; Native Americans, Egyptians, Greeks all used some talisman, animal spirit, or personna to garner strength, courage, protection--an image of an afterworld, a vision, even cause to go to war. All have created councils, governments, law and ritual. Bajillions of 'human' laws that were ways to stratify people. Education, position (slave/freeman), birthright, tribe, language (shiboleth), clothing, income, lifestyle--all ways to stratify the individuals in societies. I think humans do this naturally: if you say no, give me the batting averages or yardage of your favorite ball game. Isn't that a bunch of stratifying and judging (aw, it's just sport, you say--well, I think we make these minute judgements about others--and ourselves--constantly. Advertising goads us on: which car do you drive, what food do you eat--vegan, you say? There's another label used by many for feeling good about --- something. But it frequently gets back to stratifying and judging.

So, let's go back to the organized relgion that Jesus walked into. Hundreds of rules--I think someone more familiar with Jewish law could give a number, somewhere around 680 or 860--and he confounded the 'rule police' (Sadducees, Sanhedrin, Pharisees). He somehow came into the middle of gatherings and subdued both individuals and 'the masses' by speaking the truth with authority. He blasted 'organized relgion' and brought it back to reality: holiness and goodness<---how do we (as individuals, as a group, as a society, as the human race, as all living things) get it and keep it?

The Word, The Truth, The Way--It is within. How do we look within? Prayer is meditation. Seeking. We are pretty busy and distracted today. Like Ravenstar, I am impressionable--and looks like many folks are impressionable: by family, advertising, peers, coworkers. I need quiet time daily to get my bearings, set my course. I need that organized relgion--the church--not to tell me WHAT to believe (or who), but to see a sea of bodies who are both needy and searching, overconfident and misguided, but nonetheless, we have a need, and a hunger for The Spirit, a need to express gratitude, and set our bearings. A place to come together with others--to share--to build solutions--to solve each other's problems in a way that makes us realize we are small, but we can work good. It is not all about what goes on inside a building for an hour or two one or two days a week, it's not about running to ask Joe or Sue or a priest or astrologer or seer or yogi what to do: what should I read, wear, eat, which politician should I support, how should I feel about...the next political cause or my surly neighbor, boss, spouse--it is about connecting with The Spirit , within every single person IN (and not in) that building: that is amazing. I definitely don't LIKE everyone there--and vice versa. However, The Spirit is outside those walls--we all carry It within. It seems to be too easy to forget or to lose touch with how great The Spirit Is. I'm thankful for organized relgion--for me. I'm not happy with how it serves some. But I also feel called to represent The Spirit to others--even IN the church. I may do it badly at times, but I'm not done yet.
 Ravenstar66
Joined: 8/27/2007
Msg: 15
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If God is inside us, is organized religion necessary?
Posted: 3/26/2008 10:32:14 AM
Yoodle

That was beautiful.. thank you...and as I said..everyone has their own needs when it comes to spirit. But when the chips are down..we are ultimately alone with our personal experience of our spirituality and our relationship with "God".. whatever that may be for you. I needed to know that the relationship I had to spirit wasn't something I adopted because of the people I was around, or some sociological matrix that I hadn't examined..I needed to find that within.. and for me I had to do that alone.

I have considered attending a Universalist service, just to be around people in a spiritual setting.. and I do occaisonally go to Pagan events for fellowship and sharing.. but I am not a "member" of any particular group. And I think even if I decided to join an organization.. that my personal relationship to spirit would still remain that.. personal.

Peace and many blessings
 galonthemt
Joined: 10/31/2007
Msg: 16
If God is inside us, is organized religion necessary?
Posted: 3/26/2008 11:53:19 AM
ravenstar66,
You are correct in saying each persons journey is there's alone to follow.My path has not always been easy but I find comfort in knowing that there are those along the path of my Spiritual journy to comfort and guide me. My community of fellow believers in Christ had been a rock for me to rest on along that journey. I have taken respite from time to time along that journey to contemplate on my own the role that Organized Religion has in my life. It's the comfort that I feel when I am with those that beleive as I do.
I am very fortunate to belong to a church that does not judge but provides guidance. When I am in pain they feel and understand my pain and are there to lift me up. I know now at this stage in my life I would be lost without that community of friends.
 consigliere31
Joined: 1/31/2008
Msg: 17
If God is inside us, is organized religion necessary?
Posted: 3/26/2008 12:00:21 PM
Organized religion imo is no different than unorganized religion. Religion is a yoke of bondage whether it is organized or whether it is a simple philosophy held by an individual..

some quotes



Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary traces the word—religion—back to the Latin word religio meaning “to tie, to bind, to restrain.” The word is actually a combination of two words, re and ligare. The prefix re means “to return,” and ligare, from which we get our word ligature, means “to bind.” Perhaps no word more accurately describes the man-centered, performance-based, reward-punishment systems that men have devised to earn God’s acceptance and favor than this word “religion,” also known as, “return to bondage.”

What Jesus Christ came to do almost 2,000 years ago was not bring us back into bondage, but deliver us from it. He didn’t come to set up a new system of laws and regulations to live by. He came to blow them all away so that we might now serve Him in newness of the Spirit and not in oldness of the letter (Romans 7:6). In fact, it was to the religious and the self-righteous of His day that Jesus had the most condemning things to say. Why? Because they were leading so many away from a true relationship with God through the enticements of the most wicked deception Satan has ever used against mankind – religion!





“The underlying foundation of all religion is performance – whether it’s a tribal dance around a campfire to satisfy the fire god, or a dead religious activity performed week after week by an evangelical Christian with the intent of impressing his God. It’s all religious performance, and God isn’t impressed by our performance. What impresses Him is faith.” - Steve McVey, from the book Grace Land

 scorpiomover
Joined: 4/19/2007
Msg: 18
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If God is inside us, is organized religion necessary?
Posted: 3/26/2008 1:59:20 PM
"If God is in each of us, and there are various way of communicating with God, is organized religion really necessary?"

For any individual who is consistent in all ways, and is constantly in touch with each aspect of his/her being, there is no need for organisation of any kind, for such a person automatically does what is necessary, all the time. I believe that such a level of constant understanding, is called Enlightenment, and is a level of spirituality that once attained, makes one completely part of the G-dhood, and no longer has any need to be part of humanity as we know it, for such a person is constantly at one with the entire universe. You don't need friends to belong to and spend time with, if you belong to the universe and spend time with every part of it, all the time.

We have not reached that level of Enlightenment. We still need others to keep us from thinking ourselves into all sorts of crazy ideas, even crazy ideas about religion. Organised religion gives us the opportunity to spend time with others in the discussion and focus of religion, which allows us to compare and contrast our personal ideas about religion with others, and to have those ideas scrutinised, so that the more confusing and damaging ideas get identified so we don't do them, and the more positive and uplifting ideas get identified and we do do them.

I think we still need time alone, because you need your own time to develop those ideas, and to commune with G-d on a personal level. But we also need that balance that comes from spending some time with others as well.
 Kiss_My_Karma~
Joined: 7/4/2005
Msg: 19
If God is inside us, is organized religion necessary?
Posted: 3/26/2008 3:30:49 PM
In a word, my answer would have to be no. Unless you count the fact that in the Bible, God wants us to have fellowship and gather together in His name. That's not a commandment, but I do think it is good for the soul to be with other like minded people. Is it necessary? No. Is it desirable and can add much to your life? Yes. Personally I'm not at a place where I want to socialize spiritually, so I do my spiritualizing (all different forms and studying) at home alone for now. But I kind of miss church sometimes, and probably will go back one of these days.
 Ravenstar66
Joined: 8/27/2007
Msg: 20
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If God is inside us, is organized religion necessary?
Posted: 3/26/2008 4:16:30 PM

We have not reached that level of Enlightenment


But some may have...

Nice post Scorpio
 Jacobus101
Joined: 12/30/2007
Msg: 21
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If God is inside us, is organized religion necessary?
Posted: 3/26/2008 4:55:47 PM
TheSage said:


Jacobus 101:

Don't feel bad about being stuck in the "dark ages." I didn't go to church from 1978 until 2004. A long time. Not even on Christmas or Easter. Prior to 1978, I was a solid church going Christian. During the years from 1978 through 2004, I read the Bible every day and a wide variety of other religious books: Koran (main Islamic text), Hinduism, Zohar (main Kaballah text), Tao Te Ching (main Taoist text), many books on Zen (including Suzuki's), and so on and on.

What I'm saying is that I was very much into religion. But you know what? I really missed church...REALLY missed it. But I was ashamed to return because I had been away so long. And I was aware that many of those who knew me back in 1978 were still around (in fact one of the members lived and still lives a block away from my house).

When I got up enough nerve in 2004 to return, I was never happier. I didn' t need church for my understanding (I write a weekly Biblical column for a number of churches now, and teach youth religious instruction). I didn't need it to become a better person, I had always been observant. But I needed it for the comfort I felt sitting in the pew and listening to the preacher talk about God. For me it was the missing peace to my closeness to Jesus Christ.

While I don't think everyone needs organized religion; I think I do!


That's a pretty interesting reply. I didn't expect it.


As far as myself goes, organized religion is important because that's how I receive the seven sacraments. In traditional Christian churches (the Catholic, Orthodox, and Coptic churches, and many Anglican churches since the Oxford Movement) the rite of the Lord's Supper (whether called the Sacrifice of the Mass, the Divine Liturgy, the Eucharist, or whatever) is offered not only every Sunday, but every day of the year, period. The sermons are actually considered optional and secondary to the Eucharistic rite. I don't really need to hear sermons (although I do like to hear good ones), but I do feel that it's necessary for me to receive Communion as often as possible. I believe that the Host and Chalice actually become the Body and Blood of Christ, and thus, to receive Communion is to literally consume Christ and become one with Him. "You are what you eat", so the more that one devoutly receives Communion, the more one becomes like Christ. And this is possible only through "organized religion".

On a secondary note, my big "shtick" right now is singing Gregorian chant in churches, so without organized religion, I would be out of a hobby!


consigliere31 quoted:



What Jesus Christ came to do almost 2,000 years ago was not bring us back into bondage, but deliver us from it. He didn’t come to set up a new system of laws and regulations to live by. He came to blow them all away so that we might now serve Him in newness of the Spirit and not in oldness of the letter (Romans 7:6). In fact, it was to the religious and the self-righteous of His day that Jesus had the most condemning things to say. Why? Because they were leading so many away from a true relationship with God through the enticements of the most wicked deception Satan has ever used against mankind – religion!


I don't know about that one. I don't understand the notion that Jesus was "anti-religious". when, according to the gospels, He famously celebrated the Passover seder, and from there established a new rite for a new testament (the Eucharist), saying "do this in remembrance of Me". According to the Acts, the apostles regularly gathered on the first day of the week to break the bread in remembrance of that commandment. And so, I fail to see how a Christian can say that religion is bad, or even go so far as to demonize it by saying, "the most wicked deception Satan has ever used against mankind". Good Lord...
 consigliere31
Joined: 1/31/2008
Msg: 22
If God is inside us, is organized religion necessary?
Posted: 3/26/2008 7:59:33 PM
consigliere31 quoted:




What Jesus Christ came to do almost 2,000 years ago was not bring us back into bondage, but deliver us from it. He didn’t come to set up a new system of laws and regulations to live by. He came to blow them all away so that we might now serve Him in newness of the Spirit and not in oldness of the letter (Romans 7:6). In fact, it was to the religious and the self-righteous of His day that Jesus had the most condemning things to say. Why? Because they were leading so many away from a true relationship with God through the enticements of the most wicked deception Satan has ever used against mankind – religion!



I don't know about that one. I don't understand the notion that Jesus was "anti-religious". when, according to the gospels, He famously celebrated the Passover seder, and from there established a new rite for a new testament (the Eucharist), saying "do this in remembrance of Me". According to the Acts, the apostles regularly gathered on the first day of the week to break the bread in remembrance of that commandment. And so, I fail to see how a Christian can say that religion is bad, or even go so far as to demonize it by saying, "the most wicked deception Satan has ever used against mankind". Good Lord...


hehe I have a bit of a problem with the satan comment too, not the part about satan using it against mankind as a wicked deception, but the part that seems to imply that God is not the initial author of religion as well...I consider God to be the author, but only because God was working withinthe parameters of the flesh of mankind.

jacobus 101 I don't consider fellowshipping together, breaking bread or anything that a person practices as a religion, unles thier motive is to do it to earn favor from God. If a person is doing it because their motive is one of celebration oand joy, then it is not what i would call religious actions, but merely acting according to a gratitude in the heart.

Of course Jesus kept the law and practiced religion if He didn't He could not have changed the covenant to grace and He couldn't have been without sin....The established religion of God was only temporary, and for the purpose of raising Christ under a standard of Godly principles that Christ could be judged by and found without spot or blemish. How could Christ be found without spot or blemish unless he was placed under the judgement of religion's high standard?

But none of the Disciples cont8inued in reliugion after the Spirit of Christ came on Pentecost...There was no more need for religion as it had served its purpose in manifesting the obedience of Christ. The obedience of Christ is what matters now for us as a whole concerning religion, concerning the covenant of grace that is now in effect, the only obedience that apllies to us is our obedience to faith in Christ.
 andsometimeswhy
Joined: 11/18/2007
Msg: 23
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If God is inside us, is organized religion necessary?
Posted: 3/26/2008 8:34:56 PM
Whether "organised religion" is necessary is ultimately beside the point. It's inevitable.

There are great mystics in every tradition, true, but would they have attained their mystical insight outside of a communal context? No man is an island, and no woman, either. Even if one stood outside an identifiable established tradition, one cannot avoid living within a broader cultural matrix, and this experience inevitably shapes one's understanding of one's spiritual life and experience.

"Tradition," from the Latin traditio, means "to hand down" or "to hand over." Now, there are self-identified "spiritual but not religious" people who, for example, get involved in discussions in internet forums like this. Is the sharing of spiritual insights and ideas not, in a sense, a kind of participation in communal religious tradition? Not "organised religion," to be sure, but organised is a relative term.

If a person's spirituality was utterly idiosyncratic, they wouldn't be able to talk to anyone about it, or even identify it as "spirituality."
 Anbende
Joined: 2/7/2008
Msg: 24
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If God is inside us, is organized religion necessary?
Posted: 3/26/2008 8:58:29 PM
I agree with scorpiomover. Attempting to learn on our own may be better than having no practice at all. It may also be better than belonging to a church whose values don't match ours. Its basically never better than finding a proper teacher or group. This is not just for fellowship or community. Its because we aren't aware of what we don't understand. We don't realize how much we warp the world with our preconceived notions. People are the greatest source of knowledge on this planet. Not books and not the internet. People. Find people who know what you want to know and learn from them.

And if it turns out you picked the wrong people, pick new ones.

Good luck.
 RDtoo
Joined: 1/30/2005
Msg: 25
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If God is inside us, is organized religion necessary?
Posted: 3/26/2008 10:19:05 PM
If I had a dime for everyone who has told me that they feel closer to God out in the woods than they do in Church, I would be able to retire now. Sure, I have been awed by nature and felt sure I was close to God when I was "out there", on the other hand I have been in a theatre watching a movie and felt I was in danger by something happening on the screen. Feelings are deceptive. I think one of the ways in which we experience God and believe it was His intentions is by experiencing Him through others. I think we need a community, organized if you wish, to experience this and to also carry out the law of love. For me personally, I did not go to Church for many years and thought that I was closer to God than many regular attendees, but when I fianally broke down and went, I realized how spiritually bankrupt I really was. We need one another and I believe that is intentional.

Jesus fellowshipped with God out in the wilderness and He was a critic of the organized religion of His day. Yet, He still felt an obligation to go to the Temple and worship there. Obviously, He felt it was necessary.
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