Posts Tagged ‘religious experience’

Dogma blamed for wars

September 14, 2009

How unjustly, therefore, do you reproach religion with loving persecution, with being malignant, with overturning society, and making blood flow like water. Blame those who corrupt religion, who flood it with an army of formulas and definitions, and seek to cast it into the fetters of a so-called system. What is it in religion about which men have quarrelled and made parties and kindled wars? About definitions, the practical sometimes, the theoretical always, both of which belong elsewhere…But religion does not, even once, desire to bring those who believe and feel to one belief and one feeling. Its endeavour is to open in those who are not yet capable of religious emotions, the sense for the unity of the original source of life. But just because each seer is a new priest, a new mediator, a new organ, he flees with repugnance the bald uniformity which would again destroy this divine abundance.

Schleiermacher, On Religion: Speeches to Its Cultured Despisers, Second Speech, THE NATURE OF RELIGION

Doctrine causes wars – those who feel religious emotions are, of course, the good guys. How postmodern, even though he said it 200 years before postmodernism.

But Scheiermacher was wrong to lump all ‘doctrine’ together: to lump the ‘hope’ of paradise through Jihad with the beatitudes or the money-grubbing ideas of penance that lead to indulgences to build St Peter’s with the true faith once for all delivered to the saints is daft. It’s a daft as when Boris Johnson equated the ‘fanaticism’ of Christians willing to die for their faith in ancient Rome with those who kill in the name of religion today.

Russell’s Mysticism

September 14, 2009

Suddenly the ground seemed to give way beneath me, and I found myself in quite another region… At the end of those five minutes, I had become a completely different person. For a time, a sort of mystic illumination possessed me… Having been an imperialist, I became during those five minutes a pro-Boer and a pacifist.

Bertrand Russell, 1901, aged 28

It’s amazing that a man who would say that we should follow reason, not tradition or religious experience, should have changed his beliefs so radically in a mystical experience.

Quite why pro-Boer means pacifist, given they fought to defend their land, I’m not sure – except it was an anti-(British)Imperialist position

The danger of subjective religious experience

September 10, 2009
Preacher says God wanted him to hijack Mexican jet


MEXICO CITY — It was 1 p.m. when the control tower at the Mexico City airport got the first word of a bizarre drama that would play out over the next two hours: The pilot of Aeromexico Flight 576 radioed that a man aboard claimed to have a bomb and wanted to talk with President Felipe Calderon.

Jose Flores, a 44-year-old Bolivian preacher who lives in Mexico, had gotten the word from God that he had to warn Mexicans of an impending disaster — an earthquake “like none there has ever been,” he told reporters after being hustled off the plane by police without anyone being injured.

Unsuspecting passengers, including Americans and French tourists traveling from the beach resort of Cancun to Mexico City, sat not fully aware of what was happening as the pilot negotiated with Flores, bringing the plane to a smooth landing and after an hour or so of talking winning an agreement to end the standoff.

The crisis began when Flores told a flight attendant that a juice can he had was a bomb. The flight attendant notified the plane’s captain over the intercom, Public Safety Secretary Genaro Garcia Luna told reporters.

Flores kept the 103 passengers and crew on the tarmac for more than an hour, the plane sitting surrounded by heavily armed police at the end of a runway in an area designed for emergencies. The airport remained open.

Pilot Ricardo Rios told the Televisa television network that Flores requested that the Boeing 737 be flown around Mexico City seven times, but there wasn’t enough fuel to do that. The hijacker also asked that women reporters and Calderon be at the airport to talk to him, Rios said.

“He said he had tried to speak to the president for three months and since there hadn’t been an answer he decided to use these type of threats with an airline,” the pilot said.

Eventually, Flores agreed to release women and children. Minutes later, masked police stormed onto the aircraft with guns drawn and soon escorted several handcuffed men away without firing a shot.

Police later said there was only one hijacker, and the other men were briefly detained because the suspect had told a flight attendant he had three accomplices.

Flores told police his three companions were “the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.”

He said he hijacked the plane after a divine revelation. Flores told authorities Wednesday’s date — 9-9-09 — is the satanic number 666 turned upside down.

Speaking to reporters after he was detained, Flores said he took control of the aircraft with “a juice can … with some little lights I attached.”

“Christ is coming soon,” he added, smiling.

His wife, Elizabeth Melgar, told W Radio that Flores “always told me that he was looking for a way to attract the attention of the media … he always told me that he was waiting for a signal from God to do something.”

“Don’t worry if they put me in jail; (it will be) glory to God,” she quoted him as saying.

The suspect’s mother, Mary Pereyra de Flores, told PAT television in his native Bolivia that “I knew that my son had this revelation a year ago, I knew he was going to try to talk to the president of Mexico.”

She also said she knew that the 9-9-09 date had significance. “There was a revelation for that date … today there is a promise for the people of God and retribution for everything that the enemy has stolen,” she said.

Garcia Luna said Flores is a drug addict who was convicted of armed robbery in Bolivia and has lived in Mexico for 17 years. Flores described himself as a former drug user and a pastor in southern Oaxaca state who had gone to Cancun to preach.

He is also a Christian music singer who in videos posted on YouTube sings of leaving drugs and finding God. “I was in jail, I was a despicable drug addict, but Christ freed me a few years ago,” he sings along with recorded music at a crowded stadium.

Associated Press writer Devlin Barrett in Washington contributed to this report.

1 John 4:1 Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.

Conviction of Sin

September 4, 2009

Many persons are prejudiced against all religious experience, in which high affections of joy follow great distress and terror. But such prejudices derive no encouragement either from reason or from Scripture. Surely it cannot be unreasonable, that before God delivers us from a state of sin, and liability to everlasting woe, he should give us some considerable sense of the evil from which he delivers us, in order that we may know and feel the importance of salvation, and be enabled to appreciate the value of what God is pleased to do for us. As those who are saved are successively in two extremely different states — first in a state of condemnation, and then in a state of justification and blessedness — and as God, in the salvation of men, deals with them as rational and intelligent creatures— it appears agreeable to his wisdom that those who are saved should be made sensible of their being in those two different states. In the first place, that they should be made sensible of their state of condemnation ; and afterward, of their state of deliverance and happiness: that they should be made to feel their absolute need of a Savior, and then be convinced of the sufficiency of Christ, and the perfect readiness with which God is always disposed to exercise mercy through him.

Jonathan Edwards, Treatise on Religious Affections

The experience of the love of God

September 3, 2009

What a vast difference there is between the acknowledgement of, and the experience of, the love of God!

Blaise Pascal.

Faith is a feeling- Schleiermacher

July 14, 2009

[T]hose systematizers are less anxious to present the details of religion than to subordinate them one to the other, and to deduce them from a higher. Nothing is of less importance to religion, for it knows nothing of deducing and connecting. There is no single fact in it that can be called original and chief.

Scheiermacher, On Religion

Not according to 1 Cor.15 which is about facts…

Religious Experience is not Conversion

July 5, 2009

At the age of 12 Nietzsche had ‘a vision of God in his full glory’ J.P. Stern