Log in

No account? Create an account

Previous Entry | Next Entry

Because I had the perfect icon...

Tomorrow is my forth catechism class. Thought I write up last week's class as a place to store memories for me.

Last week our topic was how we see God. Once again, the Catholic Update handout was amazing. The handout, a video, and class discussion were all about *Where do we get our view of God?* So we talked about traditional Old Testament images (Burning Bushes, Wrathful God), traditional New Testament images (Shepard, Healer). We also talked about how a five year old views God (or their parents, to make it more relatable) and how that image changes as we grow up.

I really appreciated that they wanted people to question and wonder instead of having blind obedience. I liked that they recognized that blind obedience is dangerous and wrong. I liked that they recognized that sometimes we do need to reshape and reframe our beliefs and understandings when we grow in experience or knowledge. I also like that they acknowledged that people will have different views because they have different lives, events, and obstacles that shaped them.

I remember the day I learned my mom was not superhuman and how much it shocked and hurt me to realize she was fallible. It was in the parking lot at my high school when I did something that made her cry. I felt horrible at the time, both for making her cry and for realizing that she was no longer the invulnerable, all-powerful, eternal figure that I thought she was. Ultimately, however, it made us closer and allowed me to know her more fully instead of as a two dimensional figure.

Likewise, we need to be aware of our view of God and see how that can and should grow and change as we grow and change. If we have a primitive childlike view of God we are only understanding at a child*s level. Plus that kind of faith can be easily shattered. If our view is just *God is a Shepard who looks after me* and suddenly something bad happens to us then the event is in conflict with our view of him and it throws us into conflict. They had a great paragraph in there likening it to shoes that do not fit! We can either

1) Keep wearing the shoes, but complain about how they do not fit and limp around
2) Throw out the shoes completely (become atheist or agnostic)
3) Mend or replace the shoes with ones that do fit (grow and develop as Christians)

So when people are afraid to question and examine their beliefs and afraid to change their beliefs, that is not good. It is not reshaping God into your own image, but adjusting due to better understanding. There was a comparison to how a 5 year old describes his mom and then thirty years later how that person would describe his mom. It would be different, but neither would be wrong – it is just filtered through the perceptions and mental abilities held at that time.

I also liked how it questioned the traditional OT view of a vengeful God by citing tender moments (Eden, mother’s love), questioned the traditional NT view of lovey-dovey God (kicking out the moneylenders, turning down the Canaanite women’s request for healing), questioned the view of God as a man (citing many instances he is given traditionally female qualities and mentioned that BOTH man AND women were made in his image), and questioned God as a Westerner (stressing the importance of other culture*s views of God and mistakes missionaries made in trying to eradicate those views).

We ended with the first twenty minutes of what looked to be a great movie. It was examining artists* renditions of God. Of course it was beautiful-- you are looking at works of art. It was also interesting to see how the images related contextually to historical events, what shaped the choices of how to represent God, and psychologically why humans felt a need to have a visual representation. I didn't get the info on that movie; however, so I'll need to find that out tomorrow. :)

Heroes in five minutes!! woot!



( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 7th, 2008 03:14 am (UTC)
Hey! I'm an agnostic, and I haven't thrown the shoes out!

I just have no freaking idea what shoes are. ;)

Thought-provoking, dear friend. Thank you for sharing, and please continue: I love reading about the act of growing to adulthood in a religion.
Oct. 8th, 2008 02:15 am (UTC)
Thanks for posting this!! I got very nervous both times I posted about class. Part of me is posting as a place to store memories, but I have ulterior motives, as well. I’m afraid of my grammar, I’m afraid of my writing style, and I’m afraid to express my opinions in public, especially those relating to religion or politics. I’m kind of forcing myself in an “I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, don’t give in to despair” kind of way to post summaries or reviews based on my understanding of these catechism lessons.

The main thing I learned from my Writing and Grammar class is how absolutely terrible my grammar is! LOL! This is kind of an opportunity to practice writing more complicated, nonL33t sentences. You already know my feelings about my writing skills and my admiration of yours and others’ writing abilities in this group. I’m surrounded by articulate, competent, creative, and fearless individuals. Meanwhile, while I mean what I say, I haven’t gotten a handle on saying what I mean… The biggest fear I’m trying to master is just talking about these classes in public. I haven’t yet grasped the concept that if I am interested in hearing about other people’s beliefs then that feeling is probably reciprocated. (After all, his character’s struggle with their faith is one of the aspects I find most fascinating about Chaim Potok novels. I love the posts my pagan friends write about celebrating their holy days.) It’s not like I’m proselytizing or criticizing here, so why am I nervous? Do I fear a potential debate or attack? I don’t want an attack, but I am open to hearing others opinions and comparisons, which I won’t get unless I open myself up to that. I have to think that if I am trying to grow in my spirituality and my faith, hearing other’s views on it in an open and non-confrontational dialog should help me to refine my own. Not to mention the fact that they best way to understand something is to try to present it to someone else.

Anyway, I *really* appreciate your encouragement as well as any other comments you might want to add as these classes progress.

Plus – I totally had the PERFECT icon for this topic. :) :) :) :)
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

Latest Month

August 2018


Page Summary

Powered by LiveJournal.com
Designed by Taichi Kaminogoya