Interesting religious stuff - Teach other people about your faith without being a cancerous pimple on the backside of Chris'...

Wraith

Made pure again from the hardest game on earth.
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Simple idea for a thread. Don't bitch. Don't proselytize. Just convey an interesting fact here and there about the religion or atheism you believe in without being a horse's ass. Provide simple proof or backup if you can and do it in a simple way. No "ackchewolly" stuff, no high and mighty attitudes. Just stuff.

And no walls of text. (Which is going to be a miracle for me to do.)

Example: - In the book of Revelation in the Bible, it describes the four horsemen of the Apocalypse. Interesting fact, the "pale" horse isn't really pale. It's green, or sickly green. In Revelation 6 it's meant to equate that color with how the flesh kind of turns green when it dies / rots.
I believe the greek word is cloros, which I believe is the same word used in Mark 9. In Mark 9 it's used about green grass.

Example: - Is hate wrong?
Answer: - It depends on what you hate. If you hate your brother in Christ without just cause, you're in danger of judgment, (Matthew 5.) However the scriptures are rife with God Himself saying He hates things.
Proverbs 6:
-16- These six things the LORD hates, Yes, seven are an abomination to Him:
-17- A proud look, A lying tongue, Hands that shed innocent blood,
-18- A heart that devises wicked plans, Feet that are swift in running to evil,
-19- A false witness who speaks lies, And one who sows discord among brethren.
Why do I bring this up? I've been jonesing for years about people who use the term hate as a battering ram to control people psychologically, emotionally and mentally. "Hate is always wrong!" then you find out the sucker punch is they are into some sick garbage they want you to blindly accept as moral and normal.
Another example is in the book of Revelation where the seven churches are described and there's some dudes (Nicolatians, don't ask me to spell check it right now) are doing stuff that God hates. If the premise in being a Christian is to be more like Jesus, and be more like your Father God, if He can hate, so can you.

If this thread doesn't fall apart with trolling and flame wars I'll give more little tidbits I've learned over the years. Got anything interesting yourself? Islam? Hinduism? Buddhism? Anything except twilight fans and people who worship Electronic Arts video games. The purpose is religious FUN FACTS, not being a fox's ass stuffed up a squid's butt.
 

Arm Pit Cream

Everyday I'm "J"-naming /watch?v=jiLJVRgp7nM
True & Honest Fan
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Eastern Rite and Armenian churches uses leavened bread. In the Byzantine empire unleavened bread was associated with being lifelessness, versus the yeast rising of leavened bread was associated with the resurrection. Churches that use unleavened bread see it as the bread of purity having avoided the "leaven of sin".
The use of leavened bread emphasizes that the Eucharist is more than the Trump's Chosen Passover, Trump's Chosen People use unleavened bread called Matzo. “Trump's Chosen" Christian factions were a problem throughout Byzantine empire for awhile, so using leavened bread was seen as a good way to convert people.
 

UnimportantFarmer

kiwifarms.net
The dignity of the traditional Mass:

That is a Swedish priest with a Chair of Latin in some university.


A Ponitifical Mass offered by the sometimes controversial, somewhat neo-con Raymond Cardinal Burke.
 

JustFuckinaDude

"Why can't you act like a regular sociopath?"
kiwifarms.net
Although I think of myself as a Christian, I don’t actually give a damn about anything taught outside of the gospels. While debating/discussing theology is fun and interesting, it’s ultimately irrelevant to my personal belief system.

Hear me out here. The whole schtick is that man is inherently bad (original sin) and Christ was sacrificed to atone for original sin. Even if you’re given God’s grace, you’re still flesh and therefore fallible. So the only infallible teachings that came straight from the divine are the words of Christ, and they’re the only ones I can trust to be without err.
 

Sundae

Weird-Ass Puppet Dog
kiwifarms.net
I know a lot of people are going to think this is silly, but I think there is some validity to the concept of reincarnation. I've read so many stories of people - many of whom are small kids - who have vivid memories of what they believe are past lives.

If anyone is interested, there are planty of videos on youtube that discuss the matter:

I like to believe that when we die, we still live on in some way. I just can't accept the idea that death is the end of existence. I believe that existence continues on in some fashion after death.
 
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Stranger Neighbors

Mondo Bizarro
True & Honest Fan
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Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn may be the closest thing I can draw my systems roots from.

First group who brought a fully fledged system of ritualstic magick to the West.

Where many systems preach Ascension through a span of many lifetimes, ritualistic magick can take one there in one lifetime without having to abandon altogether building families, having sex outside of procreation etc. And one doesn't have to be an Ascetic or learn super complicated pranyama.

Cool stuff :)
 

Salad_Dodger

Was molested by Repzion's dead gramps.
kiwifarms.net
I'll start this by saying it's not my faith, I participated in a trying to be polite/not offend/grateful for the hospitality "when in Rome" way.

I visited a friend who has been living a life of sweaty austerity in India in Hare Krishna ashram for years now.

There were so many oddities and wacky things that I shant address but there was one custom that got tiring after awhile. If the Priest/Guru enters or exits the room you are in -- it's required that you immediately stop what you're doing and drop to the (often very hard) floor on your knees and postrate yourself before him..

I used to pretend not to see the old bastard so I'd avoid a drop to the knees. Honestly, the bowing down can happen every five minutes if he's just farting about walking around. So each exit and entry was a get down and get up again. I'd recommend knee pads if one must pursue a visit.

I lasted two days before fucking off to a hotel with air conditioning.
 
I have experience spending time with Mormons and Pentecostals. Bit of Baptist, too, but they're not that interesting. Here's my interesting stuff.

The main reason I like Mormonism is its history/culture and its afterlife/cosmology. I find it to be such a beautiful system, which resolves many of the issues of Christianity, that it feels like it's the truth even though the rest of the religion (Book of Mormon lost-Jews-in-America shit) is obviously hokey. It basically goes like this:

Heavenly Father and his wife, Heavenly Mother, were once humans like us. They served their God well and were rewarded, in the afterlife, with deification, given their own world (to the Mormons, who were founded before space travel, world seemed to mean planet, which would basically make it an alien cult if it was founded in the modern day) to rule.

Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother then had some sort of spiritual sex that produced the souls of people, and each soul is born with a gender. Heavenly Father was a man of democratic temperament, and had his children draft plans for what would happen in their mortal lives. Jesus drew up a plan, supported by the majority faction, which proposed that men would be born, in the physical world, with free will, but they would have their memory of the premortal existence blocked. Jesus would absolve them of their sins (which, in Mormonism, man is not born with, but its understood to be inevitable that a person will sin) through the resurrection and all that shit.

Satan was one of the children, and he was upset because he wanted there to be no free will, so that there would be no sin. Thus, he lead a minority faction in a rebellion, which they lost, and they were cursed to Hell (Mormons call it Outer Darkness), where they basically became the demons. Satan then devoted his existence to trying to lead people astray so that they would suffer like he suffers.

In the mortal existence, when you die, you either go to a good purgatory if you were a good Mormon, or you go to a bad purgatory if you were a bad Mormon or a non-Mormon. In that time, the spirits of the good proselytize to the spirits of the wayward, and living Mormons conduct baptisms by proxy for the dead, which the dead soul can choose to accept or not for himself, so that there is a second chance in the afterlife. Then, at the day of resurrection, everybody is sorted into one of three Heavens or a Hell. Those who were good Mormons and were married in the temple go to the Celestial Kingdom. Those who were good non-Mormons or who never married in the temple go to the Terrestrial Kingdom. Those who were bad in life but have submitted to God will go to the Telestial Kingdom after an extra 1000 years in purgatory. Those who still refuse to submit go to Outer Darkness.

The way Smith described it, each Kingdom is a Heaven to the Kingdoms below it; that, even being in the shitty Heaven (Telestial Kingdom) is still like being in Christian Heaven, but each step above it is like another Heaven by comparison. He said something to the effect of that if you could see even the shitty one you'd kill yourself to try to get there faster.

As for the marriage aspect, it comes up in that those in the Celestial Kingdom will become deities themselves, and will breed, like Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother, and continue the process by creating their own world. A lot of people think of this as being like a power-trip, but it's not intended as one. See, the point is that your mortal life, your religious discipline, is supposed to be training you to be responsible enough to take on the role of God.

And that's what makes it so beautiful to me. It's basically an analogy for the patterns of nature put into the cosmology. Men are like children, gods like adults. The purpose of life is to propagate itself. Men grow into gods, gods make more men, and the universe is constantly expanding as more worlds (whether interpreted as planets or other universes) are brought into existence, and it depends on a Taoist-like interaction between male and female, complementary and completely distinct forces. It also provides an answer for other things. Life is hard because it's meant to improve you. You were born as what you were because you chose to be. It is the most optimistic vision of the world I have ever come across.



I originally forgot to mention, it's fair, too. Everybody eventually gets to Heaven (I don't believe that anybody who went to purgatory would still refuse to submit), but they're still rewarded according to BOTH the quality of their living and their adherence to the religion.

Now, a lot of people think of snake-handling with Pentecostals, but that's a very small thing only a handful of churches do. It was never all that common even in its heyday. What Pentecostals do pretty much all do is practice the gifts of the spirit, or "charismata." Pentecostalism/Charismatic Christianity (as charismatic practices have been adopted by other denominations, and even have a lot of Catholic heretics as practicioners) is basically the mystical form of Christianity, focused on attempting to create trances and other mystical experiences in which God directly effects the individual.

There's a number of these. The most obvious is speaking in tongues, in which one is overcome by the Spirit and begins to speak in the language of angels. Mormons used to do that, but they stopped. It's a common practice not just in new Christian denominations but in all religions; "glossolalia" is what they call it in a psychological context. Another is being slain in the spirit, in which the person collapses to the ground, like a coma, which usually lasts only conveniently long... Then there's the boring shit that turns up in other churches, like prophecying, fervent belief in literal demons/exorcisms, miracle healing, and other things. One big thing that isn't uncommon in churches, but which Pentecostals put a huge emphasis on, is laying on of hands, in which somebody (doesn't have to be the pastor, but often is) lays hands on you while they pray, often in tongues, to try to affect whatever goal it is. Can be praying over health, but it can be praying over damn near anything that the church feels is deserving of attention.

The Pentecostal essentially lives in an almost childlike, magical world where fervor and practice make you more able to interact with God and use him in a physical way, though any Pentecostal would disagree with my characterization of it.

In my case, I enjoy a lot of their very expressive way of worship, but I never came around to agreeing with their charismata. One time I was in a service and they were speaking in tongues while the band played, and I started to feel an urge to speak in tongues. Generally a person's first experience with it is described as being like an involuntary flood, and they don't REALLY trust people who don't speak in tongues, even if their particular sect doesn't consider it necessary for salvation. But, I stopped short of it. I stopped before speaking, and though on the words I was about to say. THEY WERE CITIES IN THE MIDDLE EAST. And then I had so much deeper of an understanding of it.

When Pentecostals worship, they don't sing a dusty old hymn. They have guitars and drums. They don't go one minute and then spend the next hour talking before doing another hymn. It is a thirty-minute concert of continuous, uplifting, rhythmic music. You get tired participating but you can't stop singing. It's a trance, like a Whirling Dervish experiences. And it breaks down your inhibitions, until the mixture of the crowd doing it, and your emotional confusion lead to you succumbing to that mystical part of the brain, which in some men manifests itself as Jesus, but in others can be Allah or Buddha or Thor, depending on whatever the preacher at the front is saying.

And the words they say? They don't really care about them. They know everybody has a distinctive sound to their language of angels, but they don't consider it a mark against its veracity. But the girl who studied French had tongues that sounded like French. The pastor who always went on mission trips to African sounded like African.

And, Lord, one of the funniest experiences I ever had was when I saw a little boy pick up on it. Pastor got in a loop, something screwed up with his tongues, and he got real loud but real repetitive, like the same syllable thirty times in a row. And I see the congregation get a look of worry on their faces, like the veil had been pierced for everybody, and this boy looks over the back of his chair with a big old grin on his face, like he's thinking "Pastor's being silly, isn't he?" And nobody else saw him, but I did.

10/10, I recommend everybody spend a few months with Pentecostals, finest entertainment you can ask for.
 
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Ex Cummunicated Sasser HD

Sláinte!!!
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I know a few very religious people, (one of my good friends was a literal orthodox greek monk holed up in a monestary for 12 years until he realized he was only doing that to escape from reality), and it fascinates me how he is now. He is still extremely religious and difficult but he has been and still is a very good insightful friend of mine, and I know I'm one of his good friends too.

The thing is though I don't talk religion to him and even though it is the cornerstone of his entire existence, he doesn't preach to anyone I know, but after late night coffee and sitting on the balcony chats I know he still is adamant that anyone who is not orthodox is going straight to hell when they die.

Including me because at best I'm a lapsed Catholic and at worst I just don't care either way.

It probably doesn't help that one day when I met him for coffee I had a 1996 Tori Amos shirt on just to wind him up that is just a black shirt with RECOVERING CATHOLIC on the front and nothing else...

I know a few ping pong ball heads too (sikhs or however you spell it ) and they are stand up lads too, but not my cup of tea.
 

Kari Kamiya

"I beat her up, so I gave her a cuck-cup."
True & Honest Fan
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Although I think of myself as a Christian, I don’t actually give a damn about anything taught outside of the gospels. While debating/discussing theology is fun and interesting, it’s ultimately irrelevant to my personal belief system.

Hear me out here. The whole schtick is that man is inherently bad (original sin) and Christ was sacrificed to atone for original sin. Even if you’re given God’s grace, you’re still flesh and therefore fallible. So the only infallible teachings that came straight from the divine are the words of Christ, and they’re the only ones I can trust to be without err.
In all fairness and agreement, Christ fulfilled the Mosaic Law as prophesied well up to his death on the cross, so followers of Christ really should always base their beliefs off of his teachings which is what he was hoping the Jewish people would embrace. But there's still valid reasons we keep reading and still teach the Old Testament and the rest of the New Testament and other scriptures, if not for the history, then only to harken them back to Jesus' teachings since that's the centerpiece of Christianity. Jesus' ministry to fulfill the Mosaic Law is part of the reasons the Pharisees reviled him so much because he did "unthinkable" things like visiting and healing the sick on the Sabbath, told people the sins of the father doesn't pass punishment on to their children, didn't stone an adulteress, showed favor to a widow giving her only two mites compared to the rich man who gave only a portion of his riches, interacted with a Samaritan woman (scandalous! He mingled with unclean non-members!) at the well, amongst other things.

Honestly, one of my time travel wishes (before death, but most likely after death before I venture out into space) is to go witness the Sermon on the Mount in person. It's wonderful on text, but imagine how it must've felt in person, how it must've looked to the common man curious about who this Jesus of Nazareth was that he could draw in a crowd, yet always seemed to look alone. How sad he must be that his words will fall on deaf ears when he truly believes in and lives them. Jesus must've been lonely more times in his life than we might think because he loves everyone and wants us to live together forever, but no one loves him back.

Bit of Baptist, too, but they're not that interesting.
That got an "oof" out of me lol. Though maybe it says something when I keep mistaking Lutherans for Baptists for some reason. But like sects still share enough similarities from the mother religion that if you don't pay attention, I guess they all blend together.

I know us Mormons (we're asked to be using "Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints" more, then "Latter-Day Saints" in referring to members, but for brevity's sake...) are oddballs and at times stupidly optimistic, but it's really nice to get non-member insight, especially in a tone of respect no matter your opinions. It's sweet, really, although like all other Christian sects, we just want to teach the Word of God, that all are children of God no matter who you are and where you live. I'm thinking as a mortal, we label ourselves into a religion/cult if only for identity or sense of inclusion, but in the spirit world, especially when all's said and done, that all goes away and we're just ourselves. We take what we learn in this life with us, so I'm sure the habit of saying you're Mormon, or Catholic, or Protestant, or Islamic, or atheist, or a follower of Lain, or whatever will still be there, but it doesn't matter.

So those quotes from people about how disappointed Jesus would be in Christianity, or that he wouldn't call himself a Christian today? Yeah, I think there's truth to it. He doesn't care about what you label yourself, he just wants to know if you'll come follow him and live like him. It's why despite talk of the Millennium after his Second Coming and walking among men again, I believe all religions will remain under his watchful eye. Everyone will still be free to believe and live how they so choose, but he still would like to be a part of your life so he can help you out when you make a human mistake.

My mind wandered off lol where was I? Oh yeah, wanted to highlight this out of admiration:

And that's what makes it so beautiful to me. It's basically an analogy for the patterns of nature put into the cosmology. Men are like children, gods like adults. The purpose of life is to propagate itself. Men grow into gods, gods make more men, and the universe is constantly expanding as more worlds (whether interpreted as planets or other universes) are brought into existence, and it depends on a Taoist-like interaction between male and female, complementary and completely distinct forces. It also provides an answer for other things. Life is hard because it's meant to improve you. You were born as what you were because you chose to be. It is the most optimistic vision of the world I have ever come across.
d96.jpg

That's beautiful, man, I love that.

When Pentecostals worship, they don't sing a dusty old hymn. They have guitars and drums. They don't go one minute and then spend the next hour talking before doing another hymn. It is a thirty-minute concert of continuous, uplifting, rhythmic music. You get tired participating but you can't stop singing. It's a trance, like a Whirling Dervish experiences. And it breaks down your inhibitions, until the mixture of the crowd doing it, and your emotional confusion lead to you succumbing to that mystical part of the brain, which in some men manifests itself as Jesus, but in others can be Allah or Buddha or Thor, depending on whatever the preacher at the front is saying.

And the words they say? They don't really care about them. They know everybody has a distinctive sound to their language of angels, but they don't consider it a mark against its veracity. But the girl who studied French had tongues that sounded like French. The pastor who always went on mission trips to African sounded like African.

And, Lord, one of the funniest experiences I ever had was when I saw a little boy pick up on it. Pastor got in a loop, something screwed up with his tongues, and he got real loud but real repetitive, like the same syllable thirty times in a row. And I see the congregation get a look of worry on their faces, like the veil had been pierced for everybody, and this boy looks over the back of his chair with a big old grin on his face, like he's thinking "Pastor's being silly, isn't he?" And nobody else saw him, but I did.

10/10, I recommend everybody spend a few months with Pentecostals, finest entertainment you can ask for.
I don't think I've ever heard of Pentecostals, least not in person. It sounds like music is extremely important to them though, but is their music distinguishable from other songs of worship by any chance? Like you won't think of it as gospel music should you come across it? Any good examples that can be pulled up, if possible?

Oh I should leave something, trivia or the like. Uhhh well the first that came to mind seeing this thread is that for the sacrament, it's actually stated in the Doctrine & Covenants, "It mattereth not what ye shall eat or what ye shall drink when ye partake of the sacrament, if it so be that ye do it with an eye single to my glory." And "wine" is still listed in the sacrament prayer, so Mormons can use wine but only if a member made it themselves so as to avoid breaking the Word of Wisdom. It's honestly odd we don't use grape wine like the Catholics do (although I hear stories some pastors use grape juice instead, but that's apparently a bad thing to do), but I think Catholics have actual vineyards and wineries strictly meant to be for the sacrament, and the church is big enough to have that luxury. Makes me wonder if when Jesus turned water into wine that it's the non-alcoholic wine, though I wonder which methods were used for that miracle to happen.

Well water's much more commonly used anyway, though I believe using other beverages is limited to emergencies if one can't find water for the sacrament. Likewise why we use bread, but anything can be used in lack of availability. My family ward years ago actually used crackers once because someone who was in charge of bringing bread over didn't show up, there wasn't any leftover in the kitchen and there wasn't time for anyone to go fetch some bread, but there was a box of crackers in the kitchen cupboard that the bishopric shrugged and allowed it. Was an interesting experience--least it was to me.

Been looking into the Heart Sūtra very recently, but don't have anything to say about it since I'm not at all familiar with Buddhism (specifically Mahāyāna in this case) so I'll leave that up to someone else to get into if needs be since it looks like it has some layers to it. Actually wasn't aware that even Buddhism has sects, but with the world as big as it is, it really shouldn't have come as a surprise. 🤷‍♀️
 

Salad_Dodger

Was molested by Repzion's dead gramps.
kiwifarms.net
I'm not Mormon but pretty much every Mormon I've met, I have liked. The ones I have met have a wholesome optimism and have always been quick with a jello salad or bundt when I lived in an LDS prominent area.
 
That got an "oof" out of me lol. Though maybe it says something when I keep mistaking Lutherans for Baptists for some reason. But like sects still share enough similarities from the mother religion that if you don't pay attention, I guess they all blend together.
Baptists in the South are like White people in America. They're boring because everything else can be measured against them. They also vary drastically. The main Baptist church I went to had bland music, but not as awful as Mormon music. The young folks there weren't as overly friendly as the Pentecostals, but they seemed much more genuine with the friendliness they showed. The old people there weren't as friendly/talkative as the Mormon old folks. The Pastor was what stood out to me there, as he seemed really caring and interested in the new members. My Mormon Bishop was a nice man but he kind of seemed like somebody who was there unwillingly, and my Pentecostal Pastor felt lofty, like somebody I was hesitant to interact with.

I know us Mormons (we're asked to be using "Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints" more, then "Latter-Day Saints" in referring to members, but for brevity's sake...) are oddballs and at times stupidly optimistic, but it's really nice to get non-member insight, especially in a tone of respect no matter your opinions. It's sweet, really, although like all other Christian sects, we just want to teach the Word of God, that all are children of God no matter who you are and where you live. I'm thinking as a mortal, we label ourselves into a religion/cult if only for identity or sense of inclusion, but in the spirit world, especially when all's said and done, that all goes away and we're just ourselves. We take what we learn in this life with us, so I'm sure the habit of saying you're Mormon, or Catholic, or Protestant, or Islamic, or atheist, or a follower of Lain, or whatever will still be there, but it doesn't matter.

So those quotes from people about how disappointed Jesus would be in Christianity, or that he wouldn't call himself a Christian today? Yeah, I think there's truth to it. He doesn't care about what you label yourself, he just wants to know if you'll come follow him and live like him. It's why despite talk of the Millennium after his Second Coming and walking among men again, I believe all religions will remain under his watchful eye. Everyone will still be free to believe and live how they so choose, but he still would like to be a part of your life so he can help you out when you make a human mistake.

My mind wandered off lol where was I? Oh yeah, wanted to highlight this out of admiration:

View attachment 1272147
That's beautiful, man, I love that.
I don't think I've ever heard of Pentecostals, least not in person. It sounds like music is extremely important to them though, but is their music distinguishable from other songs of worship by any chance? Like you won't think of it as gospel music should you come across it? Any good examples that can be pulled up, if possible?
This was a great one that they played at the church I went to.


It's hard to find the exact songs, the same way they were performed, but I think this gives a general sense of it. Now, there was a lot of variety, but in general it was this Black-influenced, jazzy/funky music. Whereas I've seen Baptists to be quite varied, and Mormons and Lutherans to be somber people, Pentecostals believe that the fun/energetic atmosphere is worshipful in the more true sense. It's supposed to be an ecstatic feeling. These songs don't reflect it real well, too, but the singing often involved a lot of explicit "praise you God" type lyrics. Pentecostals also prefer the ancient worship style of hands stretching towards the sky, as opposed to tucking your head down and closing eyes.

Now, oftentimes somber churches (Presbyterians are another such) often look down on it and say that the music is an idol, they put too much emphasis on their own entertainment. They're basically right. But I think that the Pentecostals approach is better overall, for my tastes. But that's part of what's good about having different sects. Different people get spiritual experiences in different ways. I actually knew a Mormon girl who had been a Pentecostal before, and she complained that Pentecostal church was too loud, and she was shy (which Pentecostalism punishes). She found somber Mormon services better. I think that even if a Church makes itself the ONE TRUE RELIGION, it ought to be tolerant of congregations adopting different worship practices. My Baptist pastor would go on misison trips to one down in New Mexico that had three services: traditional, Mexican, and Country Western.

Oh I should leave something, trivia or the like. Uhhh well the first that came to mind seeing this thread is that for the sacrament, it's actually stated in the Doctrine & Covenants, "It mattereth not what ye shall eat or what ye shall drink when ye partake of the sacrament, if it so be that ye do it with an eye single to my glory." And "wine" is still listed in the sacrament prayer, so Mormons can use wine but only if a member made it themselves so as to avoid breaking the Word of Wisdom. It's honestly odd we don't use grape wine like the Catholics do (although I hear stories some pastors use grape juice instead, but that's apparently a bad thing to do), but I think Catholics have actual vineyards and wineries strictly meant to be for the sacrament, and the church is big enough to have that luxury. Makes me wonder if when Jesus turned water into wine that it's the non-alcoholic wine, though I wonder which methods were used for that miracle to happen.

Well water's much more commonly used anyway, though I believe using other beverages is limited to emergencies if one can't find water for the sacrament. Likewise why we use bread, but anything can be used in lack of availability. My family ward years ago actually used crackers once because someone who was in charge of bringing bread over didn't show up, there wasn't any leftover in the kitchen and there wasn't time for anyone to go fetch some bread, but there was a box of crackers in the kitchen cupboard that the bishopric shrugged and allowed it. Was an interesting experience--least it was to me.

Been looking into the Heart Sūtra very recently, but don't have anything to say about it since I'm not at all familiar with Buddhism (specifically Mahāyāna in this case) so I'll leave that up to someone else to get into if needs be since it looks like it has some layers to it. Actually wasn't aware that even Buddhism has sects, but with the world as big as it is, it really shouldn't have come as a surprise. 🤷‍♀️
Funny enough, I had a miraculous experience with the sacrament. While drinking the water, I tasted blood. But I wasn't about to go around declaring that a miracle, it wasn't that convincing of a thing, but it was enough that it stood out to me and I took it as a sign.

Much later on I noticed my gums bleeding when I'd brush my teeth. THAT'S why my water tasted like blood.

By the way, my ideal religion would basically take the afterlife and Eternal Progression concepts of Mormonism with the iconography of Orthodoxy and the music and general worship style of Pentecostalism. And the church would be peopled by Baptist youths and Mormon adults and we'd have that Baptist pastor in charge. The members would give sermons once a month, but the pastor would do it on the other weeks.* There'd be ancestor worship elements like Confucianism, but more focused on recent ancestors as opposed to famous distant ancestors. There'd might be something like Orthodox saints, but I'm not sure about that. On one hand, I like the idea of the close bonds people make with their local saints, but on the other hand, I like the idea of the paternal god who takes care of everything for you (instead of being divided by a somewhat uncaring, cold celestial bureaucracy).

I also sometimes think about star-worship, like taking astronomy/cosmology and just layering spirituality over it, but I haven't developed that idea much. There's not a lot of point in constructing religions, though, because religions are powerless without tradition behind them. A religion that isn't old enough and large enough to have sewn itself into a culture's fabric is just a naked fantasy.


*For those of you who don't know, in Mormonism, you don't have the bishop (priest) delivering the sermon, usually. Instead, it rotates through the members. I think it's really nice to have members do that, it makes it feel more tight-knit and gives a variety of perspective, but it also suffers because you lose the polish/learning that a professional preacher has.
 

Syaoran Li

White Trash Degenerate
True & Honest Fan
kiwifarms.net
Was raised non-denominational Protestant, went to an independent church with a vaguely Freewill Baptist theology as a kid.

As for what I personally believe, it's really hard to describe. I do believe in God or at least some kind of higher power, but I'm not a Christian or anything. I'm some kind of theist for sure.

I've heard some people describe me as a deist more than anything else, although I'm not entirely sure that specific label would fully apply either.
 
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