Week Fifteen, Discussion Starter, Part B

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Week Fifteen, Discussion Starter, Part B

Dr. Brandon
Administrator
Take one belief of Calvinism, Deism, Unitarianism or Anglicanism and identify it as a belief you share.  Explain why.  You can find the doctrine of each faith in the various articles linked to in the "About This Week" essay, above.  Discuss the belief of others, not just agreeing with them, but asking pointed questions which get them to think about and consider their belief more carefully.  Remember, it isn't your job here to change someones mind.  It is to get them to think, and through this process to refine your own thinking and to learn from others.

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Re: Week Fifteen, Discussion Starter, Part B

Antonio Lewis
A belief I share with Deism is that God created the universe and we can acknowledge that through observation of the universe.  There is no need to read a religious book claiming the word of God to find out about the creation of the universe.  I fail to belief in the whole "Big Bang Theory" and even it is proven to be true, I belief it was caused by God.  The universe is too complex and beautiful to have been created by chance.
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Re: Week Fifteen, Discussion Starter, Part B

Antonio Lewis
In reply to this post by Dr. Brandon
A belief I share with Deism is that God created the universe and we can acknowledge that through observation of the universe.  There is no need to read a religious book claiming the word of God to find out about the creation of the universe.  I fail to belief in the whole "Big Bang Theory" and even it is proven to be true, I belief it was caused by God.  The universe is too complex and beautiful to have been created by chance.
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Re: Week Fifteen, Discussion Starter, Part B

Cynthia
In reply to this post by Dr. Brandon
I'm tending more towards Deism. In Deism the existence of God is real. But unlike the theist Deism tries to prove God by reason, following philosophic teachings, away of illusions and fanaticism.
I have always believed that God exists and the acts of God guide our lives. He loves us unconditionally. He gave us the nature as beautiful as it is and discernment. What matters is what you feel in your heart and when you know that He is up there tracing the paths for you, regardless religion.
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Re: Week Fifteen, Discussion Starter, Part B

Nina
In reply to this post by Antonio Lewis
Out of the beliefs listed, I would find myself mostly on the Deism views. I honestly believe that whatever anyone calls it or him weather its God, Buddha, Brahman, Krishna, Jehovah, Allah, Holy Spirit, Ahura Mazda, a high energy being, ect. The list is almost endless! I feel that we put all these different names on this higher being that in the end we are all worship the same thing. My honest option when it comes to religion, I believe that it has always been a man(s) point of view and personal beliefs of exactly how and what we worship, how to lead our lives and follow this being, and the after life of our souls. All these multiple religions created, came from man(s) different interpretation of what was the true Holy Word. To me we should lead a life of happiness and the good out of our hearts. Have strong believe in our faith, follow our hearts, and we will end the life on earth complete!
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Re: Week Fifteen, Discussion Starter, Part B

Roland Simmons
In reply to this post by Cynthia
My beliefs are of deism. The existence of God is truly real and through the religious of the Baptists the supremacy of the canonical Scriptures as a norm of faith is practiced. Baptists believe that faith is a matter between God and the individual. God exists in everything we do we are guided by God's grace and he loves us unconditionally. Through the four freedoms soul real, church freedom, Bible freedom, and religious freedom regardless of the desism we choose to believe in Christ will judge everyone in righteousness.
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Re: Week Fifteen, Discussion Starter, Part B

Courtney
In reply to this post by Dr. Brandon
After reading more information online, I feel like I am torn between Deism and Unitarianism. I personally believe that there is one God which favors Unitarianism, but I can’t push that on others who believe something else. I see both sides of each. I believe that the universe was created by God, because something that spectacular could not have been done naturally. In that sense, the universe being created by God favors both Deism and Unitarianism. In a way, there are very similar and also very different. If I had to pick one, I would choose Unitarianism. Mainly because I strongly believe that God is a separate being from Jesus Christ…they are not the same people. I believe that Jesus is God’s son and therefore are two different people. On the other hand, I can’t say that I believe 100% that if I die and don’t go to heaven, that I will suffer eternal punishment. It seems so harsh from a God that is so great.
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Re: Week Fifteen, Discussion Starter, Part B

Courtney
In reply to this post by Dr. Brandon
My question is to everyone who has posted that has chosen the belief of Deism. I see how so many people could choose this belief, but I am mainly curious to know what it is about Deism vs. taking up the belief of Unitarianism. Both beliefs hold that God created the universe. I understand the similarities and differences between the two, and I am interested to hear others views. Any info would help. Thanks everyone!
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Re: Week Fifteen, Discussion Starter, Part B

Dr. Brandon
Administrator
Courtney,

The main tenant of Unitarianism is a belief that God is a single entity.   This opposes the belief that God is a tri-part entity, that is, an entity made up of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.  The tri-part God is a fairly standard component of most other Christian Sects.  

In terms of early American literature, Unitarianism was more compatible with Romantic rather than Enlightenment literatures and philosophies.  The mystic aspects of Unitarianism appealed to the Romantics.  The single entity God also was easier to reconcile with the kind of pantheistic, Neo-Platonic beliefs favored by many of the Transcendentalist.  They saw God as part of everything but, paradoxically, still a single entity.  

Deism tended to be more rational and didn't see God as directly involved the moment-to-moment details of the university.  In many ways, God was seen as having created and defined the laws governing the universe and started the creation.  Man came to understanding God through understanding his creations. 

Steve
  
Stephen Brandon, PhD
Professor, Composition and Rhetoric
J. Sargent Reynolds Community College
Richmond, VA 23221
[hidden email]
[hidden email]

Often the accurate answer to a usage question begins, "It depends." And what
it depends on most often is where you are, who you are, who your listeners
or readers are, and what your purpose in speaking or writing is.
-Kenneth G. Wilson, usage writer (b. 1923)



On Sun, Apr 24, 2011 at 10:22 PM, Courtney [via General Assembly Online Discussion Forum, ENG 241, Spring 2011] <[hidden email]> wrote:
My question is to everyone who has posted that has chosen the belief of Deism. I see how so many people could choose this belief, but I am mainly curious to know what it is about Deism vs. taking up the belief of Unitarianism. Both beliefs hold that God created the universe. I understand the similarities and differences between the two, and I am interested to hear others views. Any info would help. Thanks everyone!


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Re: Week Fifteen, Discussion Starter, Part B

Cynthia
In reply to this post by Courtney
The main reason I chose Deism instead Unitarianism was the fact that they see God as only one, not as the Trinity. I do believe that Jesus is God's son as well.
That was exposed by Dr Brandon already, but I wanted to share the reason of my choice!
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Re: Week Fifteen, Discussion Starter, Part B

Courtney
Thanks to Cynthia and Dr. Brandon! I understand more now..I wasn't grasping the three gods in one but now I got it. I can definitely relate more to someone who holds the belief of Deism. Thanks again!

*Courtney*
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Re: Week Fifteen, Discussion Starter, Part B

Kendall
In reply to this post by Dr. Brandon
I'm going to be the oddball and say that I can relate more with Anglicanism. None of these 4 beliefs totally described what I believe but this one stated that their faith is founded in the scriptures. As a Christian, during church, sunday school, small groups, etc., everything is backed up by scripture. Each lesson we learn and discuss is based on a scripture passage. We memorize certain verses that help us in times of need, or remind us of how we should act.
It also focuses on tradions of the church. As a Baptist we do communion the first Sunday of each month. For different holidays the church will hold "special" services according to the time of the year. For example, the Christmas Eve Candle Light Service, Maundy Thursday Service, Easter and Palm Sunday Services, Thanksgiving Service, etc.
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Re: Week Fifteen, Discussion Starter, Part B

Dr. Brandon
Administrator
Kendall,

If I read your post correctly, the Anglican church is closest to the Baptist faith.  Although, Baptist tend to have a looser political structure.  Both are Protestant.  Both focus doctrine on the Bible.  The Anglican church tends to have more Catholic artifacts than a strict Baptist would be comfortable with.  

Baptist were late comers to Early America, where individual colonies tended more to established state churches.  Unlike Calvinism, which was the state church--through the Presbyterians--of Scotland, and the Anglican church, which was the state church of England, the Baptist were never a state church for a particular country.  This is because Baptist have never banned together well, and doctrine tended to fragment into smaller political groups, often with one congregation differing from other Baptist in the same region or town.  

Steve

Stephen Brandon, PhD
Professor, Composition and Rhetoric
J. Sargent Reynolds Community College
Richmond, VA 23221
[hidden email]
[hidden email]

Often the accurate answer to a usage question begins, "It depends." And what
it depends on most often is where you are, who you are, who your listeners
or readers are, and what your purpose in speaking or writing is.
-Kenneth G. Wilson, usage writer (b. 1923)



On Mon, Apr 25, 2011 at 3:23 PM, Kendall [via General Assembly Online Discussion Forum, ENG 241, Spring 2011] <[hidden email]> wrote:
I'm going to be the oddball and say that I can relate more with Anglicanism. None of these 4 beliefs totally described what I believe but this one stated that their faith is founded in the scriptures. As a Christian, during church, sunday school, small groups, etc., everything is backed up by scripture. Each lesson we learn and discuss is based on a scripture passage. We memorize certain verses that help us in times of need, or remind us of how we should act.
It also focuses on tradions of the church. As a Baptist we do communion the first Sunday of each month. For different holidays the church will hold "special" services according to the time of the year. For example, the Christmas Eve Candle Light Service, Maundy Thursday Service, Easter and Palm Sunday Services, Thanksgiving Service, etc.


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Re: Week Fifteen, Discussion Starter, Part B

Jeff
In reply to this post by Dr. Brandon
Of the four to choose from, my beliefs resemble Anglicanism.  I grew up in a Baptist church, but never considered myself a Baptist.  I’ve gone through periods of time when my beliefs lined up with Deism, in that I thought a Supreme Being created the universe and then let the chips fall as they may.  I don’t fully agree with Calvinism, although I do believe that if God knew everything about everything when He created the world; like who would accept Christ as Savior or not, then predestination makes sense because He would know who would have be saved or not.  I do like the idea Dr. Brandon stated about Deism when he said, “In many ways, God was seen as having created and defined the laws governing the universe and started the creation.  Man came to understanding God through understanding his creations.”  The only thing holding me up from taking that view full on is the role of Christ in the world, and in the lives of those who have faith in him on a day to day basis.  
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Re: Week Fifteen, Discussion Starter, Part B

Dr. Brandon
Administrator
Jeff,

You are far from alone in your concern that Deism does not seem to have a place for the Christian Jesus.  During the election between Adams and Jefferson, Jefferson's religious beliefs came under intense public debate.  Jefferson was very private about his beliefs, but he did rewrite the New Testament, and it provides some insight into his beliefs and--through him--into other Deists.  Like any good scholar, Jefferson took out the parts of the New Testament story of Jesus that didn't have multiple witnesses.  He removed the miracles as not conforming to the observed, rational understanding of how the universe functions.  What remained, he reasoned, must come close to the most likely thinking of Jesus as a philosopher and religious figure, who Jefferson called the greatest philosopher of all time.  Of course, such frank and rational thinking couldn't be kept completely private, and during the election, as bits and pieces of speculation and story came out, public outcry grew.  In the Calvinist Connecticut Valley there are written accounts of Congregationalist hiding their Bibles when Jefferson was finally elected to the Presidency, because they feared that Jefferson, most proud of being the author of the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, would burn the Bibles and persecute the Calvinist.  

For more on the story, google "Jefferson Bible."

Steve

Stephen Brandon, PhD
Professor, Composition and Rhetoric
J. Sargent Reynolds Community College
Richmond, VA 23221
[hidden email]
[hidden email]

Often the accurate answer to a usage question begins, "It depends." And what
it depends on most often is where you are, who you are, who your listeners
or readers are, and what your purpose in speaking or writing is.
-Kenneth G. Wilson, usage writer (b. 1923)



On Mon, Apr 25, 2011 at 8:36 PM, Jeff [via General Assembly Online Discussion Forum, ENG 241, Spring 2011] <[hidden email]> wrote:
Of the four to choose from, my beliefs resemble Anglicanism.  I grew up in a Baptist church, but never considered myself a Baptist.  I’ve gone through periods of time when my beliefs lined up with Deism, in that I thought a Supreme Being created the universe and then let the chips fall as they may.  I don’t fully agree with Calvinism, although I do believe that if God knew everything about everything when He created the world; like who would accept Christ as Savior or not, then predestination makes sense because He would know who would have be saved or not.  I do like the idea Dr. Brandon stated about Deism when he said, “In many ways, God was seen as having created and defined the laws governing the universe and started the creation.  Man came to understanding God through understanding his creations.”  The only thing holding me up from taking that view full on is the role of Christ in the world, and in the lives of those who have faith in him on a day to day basis.  


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Re: Week Fifteen, Discussion Starter, Part B

Kristi Kesler
In reply to this post by Dr. Brandon
If my life depended on it I would have to say I tend to fall closest to Deism.  But even that is a far stretch.  I like the fact that they don't feel like reading straight from a Bible to worship and they don't have to rely on organized religion to worship.  I am not religious what so ever.  The concept of worshipping or "praying" to a superior being just seems...weird.  My brother and I have had many discussion regarding religion and God and what not and we've both decided that religion is for the weak minded....those that are not strong enough to rely on yourself and family for strength (no matter the situation) have to rely on some mystical higher being that cannot be proven that it even exists.  (its like praying to the Boogie-Man)  I don't feel there is a higher being what so ever.  Granted we were created somehow but we are simply here to live and die.  If it was meant to be understand...we would have blatent proof by now.  I disagree with religion as a whole and mean NOT to affend anyone...I am just speaking my thoughts and feelings....
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Re: Week Fifteen, Discussion Starter, Part B

Keith Vertrees
In reply to this post by Dr. Brandon
There is a logical fallacy, I forget what it's called, that is basically an assumption that all facts about X are true if one fact about X is true. An extension of this is considering all parts of X bad if one part of X is bad. While I cannot say I agree with any of these doctrines in their entirety, there are elements of deism that I can agree with.

The thing that I can agree with most, in fact, of deism is likely one of the elements of it that led to it's decline in popularity. The supreme skepticism of miracles and divine intervention, and the idea that man's ability to reason is the ultimate pursuit. This second idea, explored by Kant, Hume, and Locke, led ultimately to the classification of religious doctrine to be a result of fear of the unknown, and a form of control. Deism was only a stepping stone to naturalism and ultimately atheism.
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Re: Week Fifteen, Discussion Starter, Part B

Ben Morgan
In reply to this post by Dr. Brandon
I most definitely can identify most with Calvinism. I definitely believe that the punishment for sin is death. I also believe that before time God chose me to recognize and choose him. The topic of free will verses destination is a whole other topic which I could go on and on about. Basically though, God to prove his supremacy yet mercy, chose some people to believe and choose him. In doing so, he uses our wonder, our gratitude, and our gratefulness to glorify himself. It is this gratitude of his grace that causes christians to live the way that they do. Do christians still sin and mess up? Yes. But it is the constant recognition of being in need of a savior that drives our worship and actions. There are also points of calvinism that I don't wholly agree on, but out of the four options, calvinism fits best with my beliefs.
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Re: Week Fifteen, Discussion Starter, Part B

Sha Trent
In reply to this post by Dr. Brandon
Oh, my! I find that I have very conflicting views and follow certain aspects of all four faiths and practices. As one who has constantly strived to understand and have a solidified faith, I have opened myself and my SELF up to various practices and beliefs. I believe that God is the Creator of all natural things. I believe His Son is the Christ on Earth and that His (the Father) spirit is the Holy Presence that we refer to as the Holy Spirit/Ghost. I’m not sure how His spirit can be considered a separate entity, as it’s often deemed the Spirit of God. I believe in miracles and the supernatural. I believe that although the religious blueprints (the Holy Bible, Torah, Koran, and etc) assist in the understanding of what one believe, that the true Word of God resides within everything He’s created. Everything.  I often find myself captured in total amazement when I notice the ORDER of how everything works, and often conclude that human beings are the only portion of His creation that’s flawed, as everything else consistently follows the path of predestination: live, procreate, and die, having served whatever purpose we understand it has. I don’t highly favor the idea of human predestination, but will absolutely not reject the idea that of its existence. If one is predestined to heaven or hell, what’s point of Judgment? I believe that only man faces Judgment, due to his right to free will. Original Sin is an incredibly hard one for me to get my head around, because I think that everyone has the natural ability to do evil, without being taught to do so.  So, my thinking is: If one is born with a dirty plate, what’s the point of giving him the choice to clean that plate, if there’s still a chance he’ll be punished if he cleans it? He didn’t dirt the plate, it was already there. Yes, it’s nice to be courteous, with no expectations of reward.  But do people go to heaven for being ‘courteous’ to God?  Although, I’m not certain where I stand on Original Sin, I believe in sin and the Commandments of God, but overall think that simply ‘knowing’ what feels and seems right and wrong (conscience) is enough to absolve one’s plight with good vs. evil.  I believe in sainthood, but not sure if I apply it to predestination or free will. As a believer of free will, I attribute everything to choice. If one elects to maintain a strong, personal relationship with God then they’ve chosen to do so. And living in absolute goodness, being what is called ‘God-like’ (always merciful, forgiving, just, loving, nurturing, available and everything else associated with the character of God), entitles one to be worthy of the title of ‘Saint’. On the other hand, I believe that God works in people and that He calls on particular people, of every spectrum, to do His will, in particular situations and that His will takes precedence over one’s own will. I believe in and partake in such practices as: baptism, confirmation, communion and penance. I’m not certain how much I buy into the necessity of confirmation, and have strict views regarding penance. I believe in that praising God, abiding by the Word that lives within me and being a good person will bring me to where I’m going to wind up.
In conclusion, I’d say that I believe in some aspects of all these faiths, and although I may be somewhat confused, I’m working on my faith through faith.
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Re: Week Fifteen, Discussion Starter, Part B

Sha Trent
In reply to this post by Dr. Brandon
Oh, my! I find that I have very conflicting views and follow certain aspects of all four faiths and practices. As one who has constantly strived to understand and have a solidified faith, I have opened myself and my SELF up to various practices and beliefs. I believe that God is the Creator of all natural things. I believe His Son is the Christ on Earth and that His (the Father) spirit is the Holy Presence that we refer to as the Holy Spirit/Ghost. I’m not sure how His spirit can be considered a separate entity, as it’s often deemed the Spirit of God. I believe in miracles and the supernatural. I believe that although the religious blueprints (the Holy Bible, Torah, Koran, and etc) assist in the understanding of what one believe, that the true Word of God resides within everything He’s created. Everything.  I often find myself captured in total amazement when I notice the ORDER of how everything works, and often conclude that human beings are the only portion of His creation that’s flawed, as everything else consistently follows the path of predestination: live, procreate, and die, having served whatever purpose we understand it has. I don’t highly favor the idea of human predestination, but will absolutely not reject the idea that of its existence. If one is predestined to heaven or hell, what’s point of Judgment? I believe that only man faces Judgment, due to his right to free will. Original Sin is an incredibly hard one for me to get my head around, because I think that everyone has the natural ability to do evil, without being taught to do so.  So, my thinking is: If one is born with a dirty plate, what’s the point of giving him the choice to clean that plate, if there’s still a chance he’ll be punished if he cleans it? He didn’t dirt the plate, it was already there. Yes, it’s nice to be courteous, with no expectations of reward.  But do people go to heaven for being ‘courteous’ to God?  Although, I’m not certain where I stand on Original Sin, I believe in sin and the Commandments of God, but overall think that simply ‘knowing’ what feels and seems right and wrong (conscience) is enough to absolve one’s plight with good vs. evil.  I believe in sainthood, but not sure if I apply it to predestination or free will. As a believer of free will, I attribute everything to choice. If one elects to maintain a strong, personal relationship with God then they’ve chosen to do so. And living in absolute goodness, being what is called ‘God-like’ (always merciful, forgiving, just, loving, nurturing, available and everything else associated with the character of God), entitles one to be worthy of the title of ‘Saint’. On the other hand, I believe that God works in people and that He calls on particular people, of every spectrum, to do His will, in particular situations and that His will takes precedence over one’s own will. I believe in and partake in such practices as: baptism, confirmation, communion and penance. I’m not certain how much I buy into the necessity of confirmation, and have strict views regarding penance. I believe in that praising God, abiding by the Word that lives within me and being a good person will bring me to where I’m going to wind up.
In conclusion, I’d say that I believe in some aspects of all these faiths, and although I may be somewhat confused, I’m working on my faith through faith.
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