Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Belief System Selector Results

I just took the Belief System Selector. Here are my results:

1. Mainline - Liberal Christian Protestants (100%)
2. Orthodox Quaker (93%)
3. Eastern Orthodox (92%)
4. Roman Catholic (92%)
5. Seventh Day Adventist (91%)
6. Mainline - Conservative Christian Protestant (90%)
7. Liberal Quakers (70%)
8. Hinduism (65%)
9. Unitarian Universalism (62%)
10. Sikhism (56%)
11. Reform Judaism (55%)
12. Orthodox Judaism (54%)
13. Bahai (47%)
14. Islam (44%)
15. Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons) (41%)
16. Christian Science (Church of Christ, Scientist) (38%)
17. Theravada Buddhism (38%)
18. Mahayana Buddhism (37%)
19. Jainism (34%)
20. New Thought (31%)
21. Jehovah's Witness (31%)
22. Neo-Pagan (30%)
23. Scientology (28%)
24. New Age (26%)
25. Taoism (26%)
26. Secular Humanism (17%)
27. Non-theist (11%)

Honestly, after number 6, I'm not sure how many really apply. But it seems pretty accurate to me.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Superman Lives!

For those who take Superman seriously (like me)...

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Quotes from "Let God"

Here are some more quotes from Winn Collier's book on Fenelon, Let God:

there is a difference between what we think God should do for us and what God actually does for us. There is a difference between whom we imagine God to be and who God actually is. Becoming a follower of God is hard because it requires that we submit ourselves fully to a God who is other than us. We must let go of our insistence that we know best what we need. We must let go of our demands that God act when and how we demand. (2)

If we had strength and faith enough to trust that God would take care of us, and if we were brave enough to follow God wherever he would want to lead us, we would have no need to exert great mental energy in order to grow in faith. However, our faith is weak, and we are convinced we have to know all the answers from God before we launch out on the journey. This makes our road longer and our spiritual transformation slower. (5)

Abandon yourself entirely to God. Recklessly abandon yourself to God as long as you breathe on this earth. Let loose. You are in good hands. You can be self-abandoned because you will never be God-abandoned. (5)

To follow God, we must walk into the cross, and to walk into the cross is to walk into darkness and poverty, nakedness and death. (8)

The apostle Paul talks about the strong human desire to be clothed well, to be snug and safe. However, the truth is that we need to be stripped naked. Then, when we are naked, Christ can finally be our clothes, our protection, our comfort. (9)

Listen to me with this. Believe it. I know that when you taste this truth, it will seem bitter, but if you will hear it, it will feed your heart well. You will need to die to yourself, the ultimate impoverishment. But this death is the only true life, the only way to be filled. Trust what I am saying. Don’t I listen to your self-protective voice. That voice is the grand seducer. More powerful even than the serpent that deceived our mother Eve. That voice coddles you into being afraid to risk what God requires. Trust me: you will find happiness if you simply listen to and obey the other voice. (10)

True love finds pleasure when it is giving to, suffering for, someone it deeply loves; and we are suffering for God. (14)

We are actually just coming to a place of strength when we begin to see how weak and anemic we truly are. (19)

It isn’t up to you, anyway; it’s all up to God. We need to learn to be kind and patient and honest with ourselves. There’s no need to flatter ourselves and try to talk ourselves into believing we’re better than we are. There’s nothing to hide, nothing to defend. At the same time, there’s no need to lacerate ourselves. There’s no need to hate our humanness and our weakness. God knows where we are and is working good in us. If we can allow ourselves to be where we are, right there with God, that very spot will be a place of transformation. We’ll find we’re in a place that’s ready-made to renovate us with the subtle, powerful tenderness of grace. (20)

Many of our spiritual truths and endless, glamorous spiritual theories actually get in the way Rather than leading us into death of self, they actually foster more arrogant self-confidence. (21)

I know it’s hard for you right now to enjoy any form of spiritual discipline. However, as much as you are able, continue to exercise your spiritual muscles. Someone sick won’t have much of an appetite, but she still has to eat if she wants to live. (24)

Also, there is something very rich and pure about simply not giving up, particularly when there is little pleasure in your Christian experience. The truth is that you are actually in a better spiritual position when you aren’t being governed by the whims of spiritual highs. All the giddy spiritual emotions can be something we work up, something we create out of our own desires. (24)

Just lean toward love. Just lean—you can do that. (25)

how help gets to us . . . that’s not so important. The water is necessary, but the pipe that pumps the water to us is almost inconsequential. (29)

How can you pray for God’s grace when you attach demands that grace can come only if it makes you look good? (34)

The self-voice is locked onto (you guessed it) self. This voice believes it is absolutely impossible to ever think about yourself too much. The self-voice obsesses to know exactly what everyone’s opinion is of us, who likes us and who doesn’t, who will feed our ego and who won’t. The self-voice sulks unless someone drones on about how fabulous we are, how beautiful, how good. (39)

true faith never delivers the sort of human certainty we constantly look for. True faith won’t let us grab hold of safety or latch onto dry formulas. True faith won’t let us make an unflinching rule based on God’s prior action. What brings us comfort and peace this time won’t be God’s way next time. If we drew relief from predictable patterns, we’d trust that instead of trusting God. God will do what God will do. (41)

Frankly it’s irrelevant how much intense feeling you have in your spiritual life right now. The more important question to ask is this: Do I want what God wants? … Choose to love God more than you love yourself. … Desire God to have God’s way—want that more than you want your own life. … ask God to give you this kind of love for him. (53)

True abandonment just gives itself over. Just rests in God’s care and love, like a baby in its mother’s arms. Here’s the tricky thing: true abandonment has to abandon even its abandonment. We have to give up our self-inflated sense of what a big sacrifice we are making. (61)

Abandonment is peaceful. If we are anxious about whatever it is we have abandoned, then we can’t really call it abandonment. Can we? (62)

Learn to let your neurotic fixations go. Learn to let humans be just that—human. Since we are human, that means we are broken, selfish, fickle, unjust, untruthful, and arrogant. Learn to let the world be what it is—fallen. The world isn’t as it was intended to be; accept that. Otherwise, you really are going to wear yourself out. Learn to give people space. Give them room to be who they are, having their own bents and struggles and ways of living. Make peace with this: you can’t change people. Let them be and live with them, exactly where they are.
Don’t be surprised when you see people acting in ways that make no sense or when you see people perpetrating injustice. Rest. Give way to peace. Trust in God. It’s God’s world, and God sees all that is happening far more clearly than you do (and, apparently, he doesn’t see the need to rush in right now and change everything). (71-72)

One of the beauties—as well as the prickly points—of Christian faith is that it is never intended to be lived in theory. Faith is fleshed out among particular people, in particular places. Some of the most important elements of our spiritual pilgrimage will be names—names of friends we’ve had and places we’ve lived. There will be people we couldn’t get enough of and people who hung around way too much. There will be places that felt like home, places that felt like hell, and places that had bits of both. (79)

Do you really think that the way to get rid of self-absorption. The way to learn to love God more, is by filling your head with more facts? Really? You already know more than you could ever possibly put to good use. You don’t need to know more truth. What you do need, however, is to start obeying the truth you already have. (117)

Do you want a test to know when you actually are humble? Here it is: whenever someone corrects your faults and whenever you see all the rank sickness in your heart—and you aren’t surprised or offended by either—then you are humble. (118)

We no longer cling to the delusion that we are so put-together. The correcting doesn’t hurt because our identity and our wellbeing aren’t tied up with being good, with being right. We know that we can’t fix what is wrong with us, and so we give up on polishing our reputation. We feel the freedom of letting go. (118)

This is the crux of the whole matter of learning how to properly use our minds: we can know truth only in proportion to how much we love. When knowledge is divorced from love, it really isn’t knowledge at all. It’s just facts, dead facts. (124)

Despair about yourself as much as you like. Despair about how weak you are. Despair about how sinful you are. Despair about how desperate and small you are. But never, never despair of God. God is immensely good. God has a power you have never imagined. (125)