Belief and myth
We read with “interest” Noel Lodge’s letter (August Crosslight) on fundamental truths.
With all due respect, we find it hard to accept much of the “fundamental” doctrines of any religion.
Christian fundamentalist doctrines go back to the concept of Adam and Eve and the “fall of man” by Eve eating the forbidden fruit and therefore damning humanity in about 4550BC.
In reality, the story of Adam and Eve and creation is a myth, it is as valid and believable as Aboriginal Dreamtime legends (and no disrespect to them). Both, along with legends of numerous other cultures, are primitive mankind’s attempt to explain the mystery of creation.
The fall of mankind and our imperfections prompted such luminaries as St Augustine to come up with the doctrine of Original Sin and how we cannot reach that perfection without the redeeming blood of Jesus.
We have all sat through many sermons in the last 70 years where the preacher has railed on about what sinners we are and our foulness and unacceptability in the eyes of God.
Many told us we can only be saved by being “washed in the blood of Jesus”. Sermons have also preached warning of the “horrors of Hell” which have been lucidly depicted in medieval art works. Jesus in the gospels fought against temple blood sacrifices. We cannot accept such doctrines. Without the fall there is no need for atonement.
We are made with imperfections, Jesus acknowledged this and showed compassion to all and taught that we should be compassionate and love our neighbour.
If we live this way we can find the “Kingdom of God” in living a happy and contented life.
If our faith is based on impossibilities of virgin birth, miracles, atonement and raising the dead it is on very shaky ground. Our faith should be our guide in how we live with each other and treat others.
On behalf of the Glen Waverley Uniting Church Friday Discussion Group
My letter to you on the 10 July seems to have raised some eyebrows from Greg James and Rev Rod Peppiatt, his minister from Launceston.
I am not disputing that we may hold different ideas and have different approaches to the problems of the Uniting Church as it stands. These differences are what make us a solid enterprise when this is acknowledged and applied. It strengthens our community to see that such differing attitudes are and can be accepted.
My comment about not liking the decisions or attitudes a minister makes was to suggest that if someone is not prepared to go along with the decisions in that specific congregation then they have every right to move to another congregation where they can accept and agree the points of view propounded.
My statement about the Assembly still applies. They ask for ‘reports’ from the various synods and other working groups and table them for discussion. This discussion will take place until the next Assembly. The Assembly will then, after prayerful discussion, put the idea or proposal forward for action in the synods and with other stakeholders.
The Uniting Church is dying. We need action now. What that action is, is for younger people than I to say, but if we hang about waiting for discussion at Assembly we will wait forever.
And as I quoted previously, the years of the MSR Review in Victoria has propped up the status quo for quite a few more years.
We are not in a good state of health just in the Uniting Church and need to start a movement to get some change through the ‘carpet mob’ of head offices, synods, presbyteries and standing committees.
Years ago, anyone who had a physical disability and needed care was immediately put into institutions and thus taken away from their friends/families.
Once they were placed there it was hard for them to leave and have a normal life.
Today, institutions still exist but they are not called this anymore. They are called supported residential, community housing, group housing, care facilities and rooming houses.
How can it be that people can integrate children into schools, but not fully allow them to do likewise in society?
There are integration aids for schools, but as soon as children with a disability reach about 16 years of age they are often placed in a sheltered workshop or similar. Those who are put in some form of group or community housing for disabilities are segregated/separated.
How is it possible that these people can have fulfilling and full lives when they cannot have meaningful relationships? All of their decisions are made for them. Their voice is not fully heard.
It is not always best to shield and shelter people with disabilities. They need to be able to live, make mistakes and go through experiences like everyone else.
Mt Eliza, Vic