Last month my family and I attended my nephew’s First Communion. It was the first time I had experienced a full Catholic mass in a long time, and I took note of one interesting change since my early church-going days. When the priest invited family and friends to receive communion, he also welcomed non-Catholics to approach as well. While it wouldn’t be appropriate for a non-Catholic to receive communion, we were told that we could receive a blessing from the priest – and indicate that wish by crossing our arms across our chest. After a few moments of reflection, I decided to participate.
It was after that ceremony that I had an epiphany of sorts regarding religion, belief systems, and my past approach to spirituality. I realized for the first time that it is a mistake to search for absolute truths within spiritual belief systems! Continue reading Two Big Spiritual Mistakes and Why Many Hate Religion
There are a few of these memes circulating, some involving seven random facts and some involving eight. Again, I waited so long after being tagged the first time (by Savvyology) that a couple other bloggers (NancyE at WaterFall’s Paranormal Life and One Mystical Monkey)
tagged me in the meanwhile.
So now to business.
Reveal seven (or eight) random facts about yourself in a blog post.
Include these rules in the post.
Tag seven (or eight) other bloggers, listing their names in the post.
- Ran the quarter mile and mile relay in high school track.
- Was voted “Shyest” my senior year in high school.
- Kept a pet caiman (south american alligator) in the bath tub at college.
- My wife and I were taking a nap with our week-old son (our first) when we were rudely awakened by the Loma Prieta earthquake. That was frightening on several levels.
- Hated – hated – oral reports in grade school, but eventually learned to give talks in front of groups of a hundred after a few years of ministry training with the Jehovah’s Witnesses.
- Am in the process of working on an oil painting of Sri Ananda Moyima.
- My two favorite TV series in recent years are Heroes and The 4400.
- Married for 20 years (this November).
Solicitations for additional details are welcome.
(It seems this meme has saturated the pool of bloggers that I’d consider for tagging, so I’ll forego that step. )
You may have heard jokes about them. You’ve probably encountered them when they came knocking at your door on a Saturday morning.
They are the Jehovah’s Witnesses.
If you aren’t really familiar with them, then you probably don’t have a strong view of this group one way or the other. Another religious group, you might think – maybe worthy of admiration for their zeal and strength of belief. They certainly are one group whose members take their beliefs very seriously. Unfortunately, many who have joined them have not had a good experience with their strict interpretation of the Bible and the social pressures to conform to a standard that goes against the flow of the rest of society. Also, unfortunately, these members had to suffer in silence as any criticism of the organization was viewed as tantamount to criticism of God himself.
And then came the internet, and the freedom that comes with anonymity.
Continue reading The Fifth Wave: Watchtower History in a Nutshell
This message is being spread worldwide! And it made it to my door the other day.
A friendly, well dressed man carrying a young child came up to my door and dropped off a pamphlet. I immediately recognized the “look” of the tract as being from the WatchTower Bible & Tract Society, the publishing arm for the Jehovah’s Witnesses. Evidently they are in the midst of a worldwide campaign to spread this particular message. I’m all too familiar with this work as I was actively involved with the Jehovah’s Witnesses for a number of years, until my heart led me in other directions.
Continue reading The End of False Religion is Near! (really?)