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Featured Religious Intermediaries

Discussion in 'General Religious Debates' started by SalixIncendium, Dec 7, 2017.

  1. SalixIncendium

    SalixIncendium Resident Hermit
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    When I was a child in a Catholic household, I had to confess my sins to a priest, and when asked, I was told because he was closer to God. I had to confess these sins so later in the day or the next day, I could be given communion by, yes, a priest. I never really understood why I couldn't confess my own sins to God or commune with Him myself.

    Last rites are given to the dying by a priest for purpose of absolution of sin to prepare a dying person's soul.

    In some traditions, marriage isn't recognized by God unless it is performed and sanctified by a holy man.


    It appears that there are those that require a liaison to commune with God, or to offer God's seal of approval.


    A few questions here...

    What makes these holy men or clergy members any closer to God than you?

    Why is it that they can commune or communicate with God better than you?

    Are these intermediaries necessary in your religion? Why?

    If you have such intermediaries but don't feel they are necessary, do you use them? Why or why not?
     
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  2. Carlita

    Carlita Blessings from Buddha Vajrasattva of purification

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    They aren't. They just have vocational training and passion to devote themselves to god in profession and service to the people. Some take it to their advantage others dont.

    They cant. Priest dont take communion and confession for you. Communion is between you, jesus, and the body of christ. Confession is between you and god. Priest dont determine if god blesses you. He reunites you back into the Church, penence clears your mind with god. Communion makes you with god through christ.

    Yes, because without the training and teaching of monastics we wouldnt know What we would do in our faith.

    No because they can teach us everything in the book but the practice depends on us.

    Priests dont want you to take communion without a genuine heart to change. Absolution doesnt do that alone.

    Yes. Helps me Learn about myself and how to apply what I learned to my life.
     
    #2 Carlita, Dec 7, 2017
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  3. sayak83

    sayak83 Well-Known Member

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    Sure. But learning Sanskrit and knowing how to conduct large puja-s continuously for multiple days and night with thousands and thousands of worshippers crowding around the puja area.

    Getting their Sanskrit right

    At home anybody can do (and does) their own puja, but you need a professional to handle puja-s at a temple just as you need a professional caterer service in a big wedding.
     
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  4. pcarl

    pcarl Well-Known Member

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    Ones sins are forgiven by God when one decides to seek forgiveness. Sin is never totally personal, it effects another and the community. The sacrament of reconciliation is a celebration of that forgiveness as the priest represents both Christ and the community.


    As the sacraments of baptism, confirmation and Eucharist are sacraments of initiation viaticum, (last rites) completes our earthly pilgrimage.

    One may be as 'close' to God as one chooses.

    Yes.

    I would not. There would be no purpose.
     
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  5. Sanzbir

    Sanzbir Active Member

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    In the modern era, generally nothing.

    In past eras or different cultures: Literacy. They could actually read the holy texts of a given religion and help communicate the contents to others. Literacy wasn't really common in older eras.

    Today?? No reason.

    Earlier eras?? They could read scriptures.

    No, because people have become literate and such a function is unnecessary in the modern era.
     
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  6. PureX

    PureX Well-Known Member

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    Allowing other humans to act as "stand-ins" for God is a terrible idea that almost always blows up in our faces. Amongst we humans, power corrupts. And the absolute power of a god will corrupt a human absolutely. Such that we should NEVER give another human being the pretense of possessing that kind of power.

    Think Jonestown.
     
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  7. sayak83

    sayak83 Well-Known Member

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    Same could be said for police, judges, doctors etc.
     
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  8. Quintessence

    Quintessence Tale Weaver
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    What makes clergy closer to the gods than laity?

    There is little question that those who center their professional careers around their religious tradition are going to have a deeper understanding of that religious tradition. Generally speaking, that's going to include deeper relationships and connections with the gods of that tradition as well. It's a simple function of time investment - when you invest more time in an activity and in a relationship, you have a stronger grasp of it. Non-professionals usually don't have the luxury of investing a lot of time in studying their religious traditions. They don't develop the level of expertise that professionals do. There are exceptions here and there, but as a general rule, career professionals are going to have more depth and understanding than non-professionals.

    Why is it that clergy can communicate with the gods better than you?

    In the same vein as above, more experience, more practice, and more time to dedicate to their relationships with the gods makes it so. The more you do something, the easier it is. And career professionals have, by and large, more opportunity to make those time investments than non-professionals do.

    Are these intermediaries necessary in your religion? Why?

    Well, the role of clergy is a bit different in Paganisms. If it isn't apparent already, they're less intermediaries than people who are professionals and able to dedicate their full-time jobs to practicing something related to their traditions. That makes them valuable resources to the community, where we are able to have them. They'll have experience and expertise you don't by virtue of time and dedication. When and if we call on that expertise to serve, in a sense they are serving as an intermediary. If we lack the skills, why not call upon an expert?

    This is pretty commonly done with divination, for example. There are many different beliefs about the nature of divination, but some utilize it to channel messages from the gods. If you haven't had the time to become good at divination but want to utilize that to receive messages from the gods, you can go to a professional instead. That professional has the experience and training needed to provide that service. Are they strictly necessary as an intermediary? No,
    but not everybody has the time (or inclination) to master divination as a means for communing with the gods. Community leaders, elders, and those who have really put a lot of time and effort into their practices are valued.
     
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  9. Carlita

    Carlita Blessings from Buddha Vajrasattva of purification

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    If you see the priest as yourself as part of the community of one body in christ and within that community each of us have roles, than the only authority that speaks tbrough priests and "the rest" of the congregation alike is god.

    Once you make priest seem like authority aside with god, it, one depreciates the actual teachings of the church, and two, belittles priest who gave their life to christ to serve the people only to be spit at because others see them having power when priests take vocation in humility.

    Many priest walk in everyday clothes. No one knows and they treat them as everyone else. These same priest treat other people with humility and respect as their vocation (service to Christ) places on them. If the protestant realize that same person is a priest, their bias seems in. When a priest puts on his clothing to signify his vocation and communion with christ he has more humility.

    It honestly depends on the priest not the role in relation to the rest of the congregation in and of itself. Some priest yelled at me others spents talking to me about god. Some are passionate in their vocation others use their authority.

    I live with Catholics and protestants in my residential apartment for 65 yr old and up. One lady in her late 80s cried while I worked behind the desk. I asked her what was wrong and she said that she didnt know so many people hate her religion. She said she didnt know that people thought she was not christian all because she is Catholic. She didnt k ow that people think she worships anyone else but god.

    She didnt know. Im not her age but I know Catholics would be loving and support her while keeping their bias about protestants to oneside and sharing their love for christ on another. Its hard but Ive seen it done well. I havent seen protestants do that. I went to a church a other resident invited me to. Southern baptist church. Someone whispered I was Catholic ans the Whole Entire Sermon was about free masons and devil.

    In Mass, the priest didnt talk abiut abortion but sanctity of life. He didnt talk about "gay marriage" he talked about the sactity in marriage as a whole and defined by scripture.

    Why do non-lirturgical protestants see lutergy religions that way? Why cant these see Christ rather than gold on walls?
     
  10. LuisDantas

    LuisDantas Aura of atheification
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    What, if anything, is inherently an arbitrary call, albeit one with significant consequences.

    It seems to me that it is not really possible to make any statements regarding deities that are not inherently very personal, after all.

    The people you are speaking about are supposedly trained and educated in the traditions of their own churches. Hopefully they had the opportunity, vocation and grooming to develop relevant skills.

    There are of course legitimate questions, that can't be answered on the abstract, regarding how succesful that training was; how wise and healthy are those traditions' criteria in the first place; and what those relevant skills are supposed to be to begin with.

    Many people like to insist that some form of close connection to God is necessary for religious practice to be any good. I, of course, question that premise something fierce.

    I suppose you could describe it that way, except that we do not really use god-concepts as such.

    Learning from others, though, is paramount.
     
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  11. PureX

    PureX Well-Known Member

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    No one is giving those people the right to stand in for god. Yet even they can become corrupted by the limited powers they are given, and have to be overseen, and controlled, as a result.

    Who was overseeing Jim Jones?

    Who is overseeing the pope?

    In the end WE have to stand over THEM.
     
    #11 PureX, Dec 7, 2017
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  12. PureX

    PureX Well-Known Member

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    I think the real problem begins when any one of us presumes to tell any other of us what God is, what God says, what God wants, and so on. Because in reality (and in truth), not one of us knows this any better than any other of us does. Yet a great many of us THINK WE DO. Which is why we should never give in to this presumption, in ourselves or in others, by giving them, or taking on, this power.
     
    #12 PureX, Dec 7, 2017
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2017
  13. Carlita

    Carlita Blessings from Buddha Vajrasattva of purification

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    My post in a nut shell is priests are a part of the congregation. They have roles just as every other christian from husband ans wife to a person helping prisoners in ministry. Some priest take advantage of their roles (being yelled at) others are followed as by scripture-humility in christ.

    One lady cried because so many people hate catholicism all because of their bias and experiences in the church; they put it on others as if their bias on church politics interprets The Church/people relationship with christ. One priest sined, all priest will do the same. One pope killed millions, all popes the same. One Catholic kisses the foot of jesus statue. All catholics must have do the same. Priest cant marry. No. Priest choose not to. Their vocation is to god not to a wife. Eucharist is symbolism. Communion is literal. Real people. Real meal. Real christ. Real communion. Real church. Real scripture. Real relationships.

    Its interesting that many Catholics dont have that mindset. Their devotion is to christ. The less traditional the church, the more its members start to have egos of who is the best and who is not. I seen it in many many denom. Ive visited.

    Its more sad. Difference of opinion are not always facts.
     
  14. PureX

    PureX Well-Known Member

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    I was raised in Catholicism, and rejected it for this very reason: that it was too "militaristic" in it's top-down authoritarianism. Some folks thrive in that sort of an environment. I do not. I left the actual military after just a few months for that same reason. I won't allow other people to dictate my theological or moral beliefs to me. I will not allow them that right. I am not a "follower" by nature. I eventually became an artist for exactly that reason.
     
  15. Carlita

    Carlita Blessings from Buddha Vajrasattva of purification

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    Youre judging people's vocation and relationship with christ based on your experiences. If I became a priest and you judged my relationship with christ based on your experience, I find that not only wrong but rude. Is there any facts that a priest relationship with christ that is not align with scripture?

    Not your experiences.
     
  16. sayak83

    sayak83 Well-Known Member

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    There has to be accountability sure. I am not talking about godmen but rather ordinary priests, imams, monks etc. But Pope is elected by senior vicars. Though there is much room for improvement and transparency there.
     
  17. sunrise123

    sunrise123 The sea remains the sea whatever the drop thinks
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  18. SalixIncendium

    SalixIncendium Resident Hermit
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    What are these exceptions?
     
  19. PureX

    PureX Well-Known Member

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    I don't care if they "align with scripture" or not. Men wrote scripture, and I will not allow men to tell me who or what God is. I'm not passing judgment on them beyond the fact that they are human, just like me, and so don't know any more or less about God then I do.
     
  20. Carlita

    Carlita Blessings from Buddha Vajrasattva of purification

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    Yes. Men wrote scripture. All christians follow man written scripture Catholics and protestants alike. Whether they do individually, like every single other person, its not my place to say if they are or are not. Catholic and protestant denominations and many who dont follow one all follow the bible.
     
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