Tuesday, July 26, 2005

ricky williams and the community of christ

just in case you were wondering, ricky williams has nothing to do with the community of christ (as far as i know). this post is about two seperate thoughts.


in today's new york times, ricky williams discussed some of the reasons why he decided to return to the nfl.

"Williams said, he yearned to be free, which to him meant "doing whatever you wanted to do whenever you wanted to do it." But after following his whims to the South Pacific and Asia, Williams said he realized that "freedom is on the inside and not the outside" and that the key to contentment "is just learning to be content in any environment."

i was going to write more about this idea, but i think i'll leave it at just that right now.


somehow it got around my work that i haven't been going to church, which led to a discussion of what i believe and don't believe (more of the latter than the former). after the brief intervention, for some reason i thought back a year or so ago when i visited the services for a local congregation of the community of christ (or the former r.l.d.s. church).

while i really don't care for much of their recent incorporation of traditional christian trinitarianism and biblical authoritarianism, i find it interesting that much of my frustrations with current mormonism don't find their place in the community of christ. women can have the priesthood. no polygamy issues. no black/priesthood issues. accomodation of book of mormon historical skepticism. tolerance of homosexuals. much less creedal. more open and honest about history. an emphasis on peace, community, and service. less structure. etc. (of course much of christianity doesn't have these problems. on the otherhand, most of christianity is not open to differing pluralistic views either)

i'm not saying that i'm gonna up and join the community of christ. i really don't wanna be a part of anything right now. right now, i just want to figure out myself amidst an aggregation of different spiritual paths.


  1. Sounds like this Community of Christ Church just accomodates it's beliefs to go along with current world trends and beliefs, for the convience of their members.

  2. and the lds church doesn't?

  3. not quite as much as you've described about this other church

  4. reality is, "the narrator" doesn't want to find a religion that he can believe in. He wants to find a religion the believes in what he wants to believe in. I've heard him talk about his philisophical ideas more than once, it's his way or the high way. No faith, he doesn't have much anymore. Everything to him has to be imperical. He will except and reject parts of the bible as he sees fit. If it teaches something that upholds his current beliefe then it's good, if it doesn't then it was made up and put in there to rationalize something away. Women and the priesthood, pologamy, homosexuals ... he doesn't agree therefor it's wrong. It reminds me of little children that throw a temper tantrum when you tell them to turn off the TV and go outside and play. The kid doesn't understand why he has to do something, but we as "older/wiser" adults know it's good to get outside and be in the sun, breath fresh air etc. The child doesn't so he cries trying to get his way. God knows something we don't, and until we are ready we won't. So until then we have to be as the humble child, turn off the TV and go outside. The narrator doesn't understand that though, he wants it his way, and until he gets it (or finds a religion that will give it to him) he's going to throw a temper tantrum.

  5. thanks mr./ms. anonymous.

    you got it right on the mark. far better than i could have ever phrased it.

    life is so much easier when we can let everyone else choose for us, but so much emptier at the same time.

  6. so you are saying that you are correct in every portion of life. Cause if life doesn't agree with you then it's wrong. I'm glad to see you admit your biggest obsticle, your pride. Your also a "big" philosopher yet you made a rather large falicy, you claimed that I allow others to choose everything for me. When I personaly have said NOTHING about what I believe outside of my opinion on you. Since your pride wouldn't let you read into and consider my analogy of sorts (another thing which philosphers are knew to do, consider others ideas and even ponder them and their relevence) Often times a parent won't set rules about certain things. The parent will allow the child to decide what to do, say, feel, etc. This allows the child to learn and grow. And every so often the parent will sit the child down and "set him straight". Then back up and allow the child to choose again, allowing the child the glory of good choices and the consequences of bad choices. But still maintaining the important, hard and fast rules that just shouldn't, at any cost, be compromised. So does God allow us the same. He's set some hard and fast rules that we just don't mess with, but there is still a lot of "open field" for us to play in. Even Jospeh Smith taught this same idea: "I teach them correct principles and let them govern themselves". Moses cast down the higher law and instead gave the children of Isreal the lesser law, a more strict and demanding law. Why??? cause they were still infants in the gospel of Christ. They had to learn step by step like a child. Jesus came and said "okay, you've learned well, lets me move on to more stuff, a higher law". Just as parents do to their children, when their children prove responsible.

    The real question is, am I going to have to explain this in furthur detail due to your pride?

  7. chill dude.

    for an anonymous commentor, you sure seem to act like you know me pretty well. i guess the simplest response to your comment is that you assume that everything of a religion comes from god. i do not. sure, i could sit back and just take everything on faith. but i can't. i've got principles. i have a sense of right and wrong. why should i just sick back and assume that something comes from god? you can quote scriptures and leaders all day long, but such reasoning is question-begging.

    i came to a conclusion long ago that god does not rule the church or anything with his/her omnipotent thumb. it wasn't a crazy philosophy that led me to this conclusion. it was common sense. my question now is how much does god play a role, if any and if such a god exists in the first place.

    you go off trying to explain how god works as if i was stupid and haven't come across and thought of your god-parent analogy. trust me. i've gone over it before. i'm pretty sure i've gone over every little argument you can think of. i wish it were as simple as you try to make it, but its not.

    if you want to go off about fallacies, lets talk. i never accused you of always allowing others to choose for us. i made a general observation of humanity (we). we includes me.

    your second comment confirms much of this observation. you are allowing others to choose for you. in this case, that other is god (or what others tell you god is). living by the dictates of god is amoral and merely slave morality. i wrote quite a bit about this earlier.

    life is much more complex than supposed dictations of god on what we should or shouldn't do

  8. you've completly missed my original point. What it boils down to is that you think you are smarter than anyone else. And here is my justification for that. You have not and I believe can not admit that you are wrong. And if you are never wrong, then you must be right about everything. Which, would make you the first person on the face of the earth to be right about everything. Anytime something comes up that you don't agree with you say it's wrong, and you ignore it and blow it off as irrelevent or unimportant. Never once have i heard you say, "wow, I was wrong." You truly believe that you are always right. Talk about pride. Your entire reply was a "red herring" set up to totaly ignore your pride and the fact that you can not accept ANYTHING on faith. I'm not asking you to accept everything on faith, noone is, noone has, and noone every will. But you do have to accept somethings. Sometimes you gotta shrug shoulders say "I have no idea, but i know it's that way" and just move on. Knowing that someday you'll revisit that issue and it'll make sense then. But you can't do that. You lean on the arm of flesh. But honestly, what do we know? Nothing, absolutly nothing. But it sure is fun to learn. It's exciting to look back 100 years ago, and what was immpossible then is so common place now. And we sometimes kind of laugh at their simplier out look on life. Makes you wonder what people 100 from now will think of us. Makes you wonder, of all the things we can't do right now, things we think are impossible, how many of those will be common place then. I'm sure glad I don't trust fully in the arm of flesh, cause if any thing, they have proven to be the most changing of them all. But enough of that. I hope that you can focus on the real issue and not these side tangents you love so much. Learn what faith is, and try to have some, in something.

  9. seriously, if you are going to keep commenting, use a name or pseudonym so i can tie your comments together somehow.

    i don't know how long you have been reading my blog, but apparently not long enough. my views are constantly changing... almost everyday. if they weren't changing, then either i'm lying to myself or i'm omnipotent. since one of the few things that i do know is that i'm not omnipotent, then the former must be the case.

    throughout this comment you throw out absurd universals about what i am always and never doing. stop it. i don't believe i am always right. in fact i am wrong about a lot of things in life. in fact, i'm usually wrong about things. i just don't post arguments where i feel i amy be wrong. i post things were i am pretty damn sure about what i am writing about. if someone could give a good argument showing otherwise, then i'd concede. it's happened before. sit in one of my philosophy classes. i concede all the time that i was wrong about an arguement.

    however, where it seems you want me to concede that i was wrong about something are places where no verifiable claims could be made. you give no arguments as to why i am wrong, but just say that i should "have faith" and just admit i was wrong. can you not see how silly such an argument is? why should i submit to the tenants of your personal beliefs to determine that i was wrong about something. who says you are correct. what is your "faith" what is the grounding for it? how do you know that your faith is correct and that mine is not.

    now you are probably thinking to yourself, "your faith??? you have no faith!!!"

    you are wrong. i have faith in plenty of things. i live by beliefs. i believe in plenty of things that i cannot know for certain. when i walk into my room, i flip my light switch expecting my room to brighten. i do this on faith. i do no know that the light will work. the bulb could have easily had gone out. i drive around town believing that the cars around me are going to obey traffic laws and not broadside me. i believe and have faith that my friends are honest with me. i have faith that when i fall asleep, i will wake up healthy in the morning. i live my every step by beliefs.

    going with this thought, if you have read much of this blog, you would see that i believe that beliefs are all we really have. we really don't know anything. we make assertions and live by them because our previous experiences lead us to belief that such and such is the case. the same goes with religious beliefs. you just don't wake up one morning and suddenly have certain beliefs. you are taught them. certain experiences refine them. you reject some of them. each belief is largely, if not totally, based on your past experiences.

    i am sure that many of your beliefs differ from the beliefs you had as a little child. i am sure that your notions of god, jesus, the atonement, heaven, commandments, sin, etc. have all changed as you have learned more. i am sure that there are many religious beliefs you had as a child that you have since rejected. if so, why have you not kept them because of faith. why haven't you just retained everything you believed as a child to today? if faith was the simple answer to end all, why have you since rejected some things because of their contradictory or absurd nature?

    any of my close friends will tell you that i expect to be wrong. i readily understand that something may come up tomorrow that will require me to completely restructure my views. i'm open to that. if i wasn't, then i'd be a fake. i'd be inauthentic. i'd be lying to myself. i refuse to say i am right and will always be right.

    finally, you assert that i think i am smarter than anyone else. you are wrong. i know i am smarter than anyone else. that is the one thing i do know. i am the most goddam intellectual person in existence, both presently and throughout history. einstein, hawkings, russell, sarte, camus, wittgenstein, edison, aristotle, da vinci, newton, and the whole bunch have nothing on me combined. bow down and worship me, you silly ignorant fool.

  10. again you missed my point that I have stated over and over so I refuse to go on with this. I have said that you refuse to except something on faith that is against your beliefs. ie: homosexuality is wrong. Is it wrong to have the feelings no, is it wrong to act on them YES! There was a gentleman I knew that used to say "I can't stop the bird from landing on my head, but I can keep it from building a nest." He would say this in regard to "evil" thoughts of what ever nature. -back to the homosexuality thing- you believe that it's okay to be homosexual, but the church teaches that it's not. Therefor you are correct and the church is wrong. You aren't able to say "huh, i don't agree and/or understand, but okay I'll go with it knowing that someday I will understand." -women and the priesthood- You think women should be able to use the priesthood like they did back in the early days of the church. the church doesn't therefor it's wrong and again you are correct not allowing for God to change how he wants things ran. Which he has done many times. for example only the Levite tribe was able to hold the priesthood for awhile. Jesus only taught the jews (yes there were a couple exceptions but he stated my mission is to my own) yet later decided that it was okay to teach everyone. Need I go on or is this good enough to help you see where I am coming from?

    All I'm saying is that sometimes you have to except things you don't agree with. And I don't think your capable of that. Sure you can change your opinion as long as you agree to the change. But I can't see you saying "I don't agree, but okay" Sometimes a kid HAS to go outside and play, even though he see's absoultly nothing wrong with watching more TV.

    You were correct when you said I use absolutes to much. I tried to stear from that in this post. I was going for an exajuration (sp?) effect but I did over do it and I apologize for that.

    I spent some time pondering about your comment on how things I believed in as a child are different from now. To be honest, I'm not sure that's entirely true. I would say they are more refined. As a child you learn simple things. As you grow you learn the details. Did I know that Christ died for us, yes. But it was later that I learned the ture meaning, implications, ramifications, etc of the atonement. I'm sure there is still yet more to learn. And I'll even give that maybe one day I'll learn something like you and realize it's all a big hoax (religion that is). But in all honesty I doubt it. But that's me.

  11. who are you?

    i'm sorry, but it's largely people such as yourself who go off attacking others for thinking about and evaluating their beliefs that drove me off the deep end. the reason why i can't simply accept something on faith that goes against my beliefs is because, for me, faith and belief are synomous. because of this, it's difficult for me to believe something that i don't believe in. does that make sense? it's a contradiction. if i were to say that i believed something that i didn't believe in, then i would be either lying or loony.

    unlike you (or how i haven taken you to present yourself), i am very open to the idea of being wrong. as i have stated previously, i can only believe that which is composed of my experience. i cannot believe something that is completely foreign to me. for example, i can imagine a room that i have never before entered, but i cannot imagine a room composed completely of parts i have never experienced. the desk, bed, couches, lamps, etc of this imagined room will all be objects that i have previously experienced in one way or another (or forms of them). the same goes with beliefs, i cannot just believe something void of some experience.

    understanding this, i realize that my experience is limited. there are new and even entirely absurd notions that i have not yet encountered. any of these have the potential of drastically changing my viewpoint. for me to say, "i know now all their is to know. my worldview is absolutely correct. there is nothing that can change it." would be inauthentic (and i believe immoral).

    however, because my future experiences are unknown to me and not yet a part of my personal narrative, i cannot live, believe, and think by them. i am left up to where my personal story is at the present. this included all my experiences. from my childhood to now. all the pain, struggles, happiness, spiritual ups and downs, everything. it includes all that i have read, seen, heard, thought of, and argued for and against.

    it is by that which i need to live by. to be true to myself. while it may go contrary to your feelings and beliefs, that is fine. you have different experiences. your personal narrative is far different from mine. i am sure we both have things which we could share with eachother to expand one another's experiences and worldviews. that's partly why i have this site, to share my life with others so that maybe it can expand their own. nobody has to agree with me. i often enjoy being disagreed with, because it helps expand the context of my experience.

    i enjoy getting feedback to what i have written. for one, it makes me feel like someone gives a damn about what i write. another reason, as i mentioned before, others' viewpoints help expand my own.

    instead of just saying i should accept things solely by faith, i would rather know why you choose to accept things by faith. how has it helped you? how do you reconcile what you feel are contradictions in religious experience? how do you do it?

    thanks for your comments, sorry things got a bit heated.

  12. Interesting questions; I'd like to jump in here, if I may.

    Why do I choose to live by faith? In addition to all the sunday school reasons, in times of doubt it is often reduced to this: I promised I would. I made the promise at baptism, and again when I took on the oath and covenant of the Melchizedek priesthood. Semper fi.

    How it helps to live by faith:
    Putting faith in religious experience can help you through difficult times or give you peace when secular reasoning cannot provide sufficient answers to certain questions (viz. the purpose of life, for one example).

    Why I temporarily shelve my concerns with various aspects of the church: In addition to the spiritual confirmation of the church as a whole, there is too much gee-whiz kind of evidence that cannot be explained away. Like all the FARMS and FAIR and Jeff Lindsay kind of stuff.

    How I do it in the face of sincere doubt and remain able to sleep at night: Pascal's wager also plays into it a great deal, I think. Is there any commandment that will ruin your life if you follow it? I can't think of any. The kinds of contradictions one runs into about the church typically don't play out in day-to-day experiences anymore: polygamy, blacks-in-the-priesthood, etc. They're kind of dead issues these days.


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