Is Church and Faith two different things?

Discussion in 'Christianity' started by cerridwen, Aug 17, 2005.

  1. cerridwen

    cerridwen in stitches

    just so everyone knows, this is NOT meant as a knock against christianity.

    My father and I got into this discussion recently, for the dozenth time, and because of recent events in my life, this becomes a bit more of a heated discussion than usual.

    As many of you know, my family is very Catholic, and I had moved away from it and converted to Wicca, mainly because of the religion being too conservative.

    Knowing what the Catholic church teaches about issues like homosexuality, priests being celebate, the roll of women in society, etc... When Jesus was around, he spend his entire life preaching to love everyone equally, irrigardless of their social standing, despite what the old testament said about what prophets claimed God said to them. Even right after his death, apostles who wrote letters about Jesus reverted to some of the Old Testament thinking about these taboo issues, but Jesus never once knocked any group of people ever, except for hierarchy who carried a 'holier than thou' attitude.

    Now, the Church seems to continue the teachings of the Old Testament, and the teachings after Jesus' life about segragating or persecuting certain 'groups' because of their lifestyles or because of who they are, even though Jesus never seemed to share this opinion.

    So, question is, Is Church (aka organized Christian religion) and Faith two different things, or the same?
     
  2. Epiphany

    Epiphany Copacetic

    They are very different things indeed. Religion is merely a man-made institution that is based on the rules and traditions of men. "These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain, their teachings are but rules taught by men."

    The Bible states that there is one God, one faith, and one baptism. However, there are many religions, churches, and different forms of baptism in this day and age. The word of God has been manipulated, taken out of context, and twisted to fit the worldy desires of mankind. Understanding of Jesus Christ and the possession of his nature, comes through the Holy Spirit. The same way that one hundred and twenty received the promise of the baptism of the Spirit (that Jesus Christ gave up upon the cross) is the same way that each and every believer is to receive it today. Without his Spirit, one does not know him, and will live in spiritual blindess. The only way to know God, is to possess his Spirit. The only way to know his truth, is to know him.

    Religion and God do not coincide on any level. Religion is of man, faith is of God.
     
  3. cerridwen

    cerridwen in stitches

    ;) well said :)
     
  4. BlackBillBlake

    BlackBillBlake resigned HipForums Supporter

    I think faith and the church are very different.

    It seems to me that the teachings of the various churches are like forms which faith has taken in various past times. As you say, a lot of the OT stuff is emphasized, and really I think all that goes back to a time when religion was seen as the way to maintain social order. The thing becomes too heavy - as you also say rightly, they tend to condem people and groups of people in a way which Jesus never did. Perhaps it's because they are stuck with the forms of religion, but have lost contact with the true spirit.
    Faith is something which is ultimately very personal. Faith in God is a very simple thing, but the churches can seemingly attach so many conditions of their own sometimes, that it begins to look very complicated.
    But faith is very powerful, and I'm sure new forms will emerge, and are emerging now. A more direct experience and personal connection to the spirit seems to be the answer.
     
  5. ryupower

    ryupower NO capcom included

    They're different. One can go to Church all their life but that don't make them Christian, if I'll go to Burger King all my life, am I gonna be a hamburger?

    One thing there is to know about Catholicism: It's got alot of tradition and extra stuff designed to get Pagans in (yes, Pagans. My Wiccan friend. ;) ).
    And I used to be in witch craft, yup. I was a New Ager, so I got my hands on any Occult I could get. ;) ( and yeah, I was a catholic before that. I never understood the whole blood thing back then though. )

    Here's a suggestion for you :
    You know about Catholicism, that's your family's religion. But have you ever been into
    ANY OTHER kind of Church?

    You'll be shocked how different Protestants and Catholics are. Most Protestants are very modern, and there are dinominations that believe in the so-called gifts of the Holy Spirit, which include prophecy and Supernatural healings through the power of God. It's
    pretty cool, actually. I know some people who've been healed by God's angels and Jesus.

    If not, well, maybe you could ask your parents to go to one of those Churches sometime. If it's the conservative thing that annoys you, the silance, and having nothing happen. If they're true Christians they ought to not mind! If they're just religious, well...that's another thing, because religion ain't makin' you a Christian.

    But yeah, Church and faith are totally different. *is repeating herself ^^;*
    Sorry for the long post, ^^;

    Got a little side tracked! ^^;;;

    Um, better shut up now...^^;;;;;
     
  6. nesta

    nesta Banned

    church is good for people who need a community, but it cannot GIVE you faith, merely reaffirm it. while i dont want anything to do with church or christian dogma, i realize it's an important part of many people's lives.

    my old pastor once told a story in a sermon about a man who used to go to church every sunday. eventually he stopped going. the pastor went to visit him at home and see if he was alright and if there were some problem he had with the church or congregation.......the man had been enjoying a pleasant evening alone reading by his fireplace, not expecting a visitor. he invited the pastor in to join him. the pastor eventually got around to his questions, and the man said he simply felt he didn't need to go to church anymore because he had faith and didn't need the organization to tell him how to live with god. the pastor responded only by getting up and taking the tongs from beside the fireplace, reaching into the fire and removing a small red hot coal. he placed it on the brick hearth, and while the larger group of coals burned hot, the individual quickly faded into darkness. the man looked at his pastor and said "i think i get your point," and resumed going to church every sunday.

    while i think this is a nice story, people aren't fire and faith isn't fire. its a metaphor, and a good one, but not a 100% accurate one. you CAN have faith outside of a religious setting; but you risk getting yourself lost. that doesn't mean it CAN'T be done, and certainly it allows for some types of growth that you can't do within a religious community sometimes. i dunno....just my thoughts. there are plenty of bad, faithless, people that go to church, temple, or mosque or whatever.....and there are plenty of wonderful, holy people that never set foot in a place of worship. then there are good people in church and temple and mosque, and bad people outside of it too. it all boils down to the individual, their personality, and their ideas about god and creation.
     
  7. cerridwen

    cerridwen in stitches

    lol ;) never made that sort of association...

    I have... I struggled with my faith for a few years before settling with wicca. I've attended many different Christian churches for a number of years, as well as Buddhist temples, Jewish synagogues, and Hindu temples as well. I've developed quite a diverse group of religious friends, and explored all sorts of different spiritualities to quite an extent.
     
  8. Nimue

    Nimue Member

    Yes, Church is something you attend. Faith is something you try to maintain through out your life. It may seem sometimes that faith is lost but it comes back when you need it the most. And not always by going to church. God in his infinite wisdom can have a twisted sense of humor. Angels come in many forms and from some very strange places.
     
  9. SpliffVortex

    SpliffVortex Senior Member

    .
     
  10. SpliffVortex

    SpliffVortex Senior Member

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  11. SpliffVortex

    SpliffVortex Senior Member

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  12. SpliffVortex

    SpliffVortex Senior Member

    .
     
  13. dutch_diciple

    dutch_diciple Member

    I absolutely agree with that there are many people who call themselves christians, but in truth do not follow Jesus. This is very sad and Jesus spoke about it also.
    About the OT thing and churches doing things the Jesus way or not: do not forget that Jesus Himself said that He did not come to remove the law (the OT), but to fulfil it. To fulfil the promises of God in the OT. And all the Bible books in the NT after the gospels, are built upon Jesus' death on the cross and His resurrection, and in turn, also deal with the promises of the OT. So it is to easy to just say that there is a seperation between the OT and churches doing it the OT way, and Jesus and people following Him. The Bible is deeply connected for it is a whole.

    About the churches: it is indeed good I have found to visit different churches. I go to an evangelical church, but have started to discover the roman0catholic church: in fact, I will go to the world-youthdays in germany tomorrow, with a oecumenical group, for 3 days. About roman-catholicism: have you heard about the charismatic renewal? There is a whole new movement of the Holy Spirit through the RC-church, maybe not in all it's branches, but beautiful thngs are indeed happening. There are new ministries, communities and organisations. The RC is not dead!

    SpliffVortex: You succeed in adressing the hypocracy of the church in hitler's germany. You are indeed wright if you say by posting these pictures, that this is the most foul hypocrisy. God cries about this. Much of the german church leaders put their faith in Hitler to restore authority to the church, which it had so lost after the first world war. When a church puts her in trust in anything else than God, things will go wrong.
    But though the majority of germany's church leaders were as the men on this pictures, there were others. Under people as Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Karl Barth, a group split up from them, to declare that they did not follow Hitler but only God. They openly pledged allegiance to God and supported the jews. If you're interested, it could be cool to find out some more about Dietrich Bonhoeffer. He was a theologian as a theologian should be, in my opinion. He was one of the first if not the first of the church leaders to openly protest againts Hitler, already early in the 30's. He was a supporter of world peace and unity among christians, and led a community, a seminary, for church leaders that wanted to follow the life of the sermon on the mount, not nazi-germany. He also was the spiritual counselor of the group of officers that tried to assasinate Hitler in 1944. Eventually he was caught, and was hanged in a german camp in 1945, shortly before the end of the war.

    http://www.ushmm.org/bonhoeffer/bonhoeffer-standing.jpg
     
  14. ryupower

    ryupower NO capcom included

    hmm...
    Pentacostal Churches too?

    Nice that you know that Catholocism isn't all that Christianity has to offer. :)
     
  15. MrRee

    MrRee Senior Member

    You've hit on the sore point of christianity cerridwen when you touch the OT v NT contradiction, and christians get all uppity about that!
    If JC came to fulfill, and then created a whole NEW gospel based upon love and tolerance, that means the hateful intolerance depicted in the OT is no longer God's law or relevant, and as such stands as a self-contradiction (God OT vs God NT). But because JC was not recognized by the owners of the OT (Jews), the christians were left in the lurch without any scriptural or religious authority. So they've tried to usurp the OT and manipulate the meanings of prophecy to point in the direction of JC, when that was never the true purpose, as any Jew will attest. I say "tried" to usurp the OT, because the jews won't have a bar of the manipulations, but to non-Jews, the OT has indeed been usurped. That's why christians keep harping on about OT prophecy and relevance ~ they become hysterical because the supposed "rock" on which they've built their life is in truth a lie. The NT and OT self-contradict, but christians use convulotions of 'logic" to word-away the contradiction, as evidence by many of the threads in this forum.

    So to your question ~ Is Church (aka organized Christian religion) and Faith two different things, or the same?
    I believe that "Faith" is the invention of the church. It is the way the church manipulates people into believing anything. That way the contradictions are removed from scrutiny, because the "faithful' will believe what they are told by church-men, which follows that those who intelligently scrutinize the doctrine for themselves are "un-faithful", and they're on their way to hell, aren't they?
    "Church" is like a big rubber stamp that enforces belief under duress, and anyone who doesn't allow themself to be rubber-stamped by accepting without question all that is taught in the church is consigned to the "Heathen", and by implication, to "Hell" and "Satan."
    The beginnings of "church authority" and it's demand for unquestioning "Faith" led subsequently to fear in the laity of the church, which goes back a long way and is built upon atrocity after sickening atrocity, universally known as "The Purges", but one example being ~
    as a result of the Council of Constance 1414 - 1418, Pope Innocent III ordered St Dominic to form christians into what became known as "The Catholic Army", which summarily cut the throats of any disbelievers or dissenters when priests were preaching "The Lord's Gospel"! For obvious reasons, they were known as "Throat-cutters", but St Dominic called them "The Malitia of Jesus"! On the authority of Pope Innocent, St Dominic went on to exterminate an entire population of peaceful people living in France known as the "Cathari" /"Albigensians" (meaning "pure ones").
    Yet christians stand united in denial that the roots of their religion plumb the depths of depravity, and that such historical dogma impacts upon the presentiments of the same church and it's beliefs now. One wonders why so many financial, physical, sexual, and child-related abuses have been recorded in this church if the past is irrelevant to the present. It seems fairly clear that abuse is de-rigeur in christianity.

    http://www.skeptictank.org/clrabuse.htm

    http://www.religioustolerance.org/ra_real.htm

    http://www.nospank.net/fortune.htm
    But a surprisingly high number of reported child abuse cases occur in Christian families
     

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