Can you share more about that? I think we might be talking about the same thing but I would like to hear more.
Certainly, my friend, but I will keep it brief as the story can be a very long one. First of all you should know that I am not Catholic but rather a “Catholic enthusiast”. But I would say I am a lifelong Christian who has experienced both the best and worst of institutional religion and am most keen on the Roman Catholic version. Everything I was ever told about wicked Catholicism I have discovered is completely false and I love the liturgy and the ritual.
One of the key figures in this journey, and there have been many, has been Bishop Robert Barron, my go-to guy whenever I have questions or need validation on any particular aspect of things. But prior to all this, going back about 18 or 20 years (I’m currently 63 and have been immersing myself in the Catholic Church since 2014) I began to be very suspicious of everything I had been taught, faith wise, as a Protestant evangelical. For 22 years I had been in a manipulative and controlling cult, then jumped ship and latched onto the Billy Graham style of church. A few years after that is when we come to my brief departure from mainstream Christian thought and began to look outside the traditional teachings, all the while remaining extremely prayerful, and always with the caveat, “God if this is not where I’m supposed to be exploring then please make that very clear”. But on the contrary, every question I had was being answered in very astonishing ways. (there will always be some who point to Satan being involved in this, but when the direction leads to a greater love and appreciation for God, and ultimately to the Catholic Church, I would doubt that very much).
So, to bridge a very wide space of time in order to make this a less cumbersome story, I began to see that my very definition of God needed to be seriously refined. God, I had decided, could not be a being, or even a “supreme being among other beings”. No, that way of thinking only made God one of us, only a bit better. Kind of like Santa Claus with superpowers. So my thinking led me to feel that God was not anything at all like anything my limited human mind could grasp. God had to be, and I’ll use a term from Bishop Barron here, "all of being, the very essence of being". The physical universe is only one manifestation of that, but it includes all of the physical world. From the massive power that fuels the stars and galaxies to the tiny blooms of the lily of the valley, these are all fragments of God’s imagination and the current reality in which we live.
Robert Barron comes under fire from some because he is not loathe to go outside the box. What he is doing is stretching the imagination which, for some, has very limited boundaries and understandably so. We all have our own path to follow and will select ideas that best suit our finite understanding. But one thing Barron says on his Catholicism dvd series, which I have watched and listened to dozens of times, is that Catholicism is the universal church because it is willing to include the best of the world around it. He points to various former pagan temples in the Mediterranean world, the Pantheon among them, which are now chapels and museums dedicated to the Church. The city of Rome itself, once the world’s bastion of dedication to multiple gods, now being the cornerstone of a religion the emperors tried to wipe out.
I could go on but the main thing I wish to convey here is that there is very little, if anything, of what I have gleaned about the world of religious and philosophical thought which cannot be embraced by the Catholic Church, as at least a possible if not a probable notion worth considering. There is nothing about any of these personal beliefs which would prevent me from becoming Catholic should I so choose. Of course, they are not something I bring up very often on the forum, but occasionally I can be persuaded to chat about them.
If you like, you can always contact me through my profile and we can email any further correspondence. Blessings to you.
This is new age spirituality and way of thinking. l understand that you think in that way (because of my own experience) and this in some segments sometimes can look simmilar to truth but is completely false.
I suggest you to read this:
Jesus Christ, The bearer of the water of life -
A christian reflection on the New Age
Also l suggest you to read Confessions by St.Augustine.
l wish you to find the Truth. Ask God to give you grace to know Him as He is, ask Him truly from the bottom of your heart to give you grace to know Him in truth and to find truth about yourself in Him. Ask Mary, who always helps her children and lead them to Christ, to lead you to God and to remove all the obstacles on that way. Try to find a priest for talk, if possible someone who knows alot about new age.
No, we’re not little clay dolls. We’re people! Isn’t that amazing? Each of us have our own thoughts and ideas!
Some people may like to imagine that by calling the Universe and everything in it God, they are envisioning Him as so big.
But in reality, they are confining Him to be so small.
God is so much greater than you’re giving Him credit for.
Philosophically, pantheism is wrong as it denies the simplicity of God, but I’m sure there are many who could describe this better than me.
I would encourage you to watch some videos on Steven Bancarz’s channel. https://www.youtube.com/user/stevenbancarzSSM
He’s a former New Ager who found Christ and now exposes it as being Satanic. There are videos debunking almost any New Age topic you can think of.
As someone who was once into all kinds of New Age stuff, I beg you not to go down this path. Satan is very deceptive and He’s good at. He knows Scripture and can twist it to make you believe all kinds of heretical stuff against God, even to the end of convincing you to serve him. Consider his deceptive words to Eve in the garden. He told her when she ate the fruit, she wouldn’t die. Her eyes would be wide open and she would be like God, knowing good and evil. He also told her that God knew that (implying God was keeping something from her, and she could be just like Him). But where is the lie? She didn’t die. Her eyes were wide open. God did know what would happen when she ate the fruit. And she did know good and evil after eating it. Technically, there was no lie, but there was deception; because he knew exactly what kind of evil would be unleashed on the world through her actions. All of mankind is still suffering the consequences of those deceptive words.
You are not God. Satan trying to be like God is what got him cast out of heaven. Eve wanting to be like God is what got her (and all mankind) cast out of Eden. Don’t believe the devil’s lies and don’t follow in his footsteps. The New Age is extremely self-focused. It’s about loving yourself, finding yourself, unlocking all your potential, becoming enlightened, and using the law of attraction to get whatever you want; namely money, love, sex, esteem, and all worldly pleasures and pursuits. It doesn’t care about personal growth and becoming a better person. It’s all about you and your life, being a (false) god. If you go down this path, there is really no telling what you could get into. For me, I was doing witchcraft with crystals, thinking it was the will of God. I let demons enter my body and to this day, I’m still dealing with the consequences of my actions after repenting. My 3rd eye has been vibrating on and off while writing this. I got demonic attacks in my sleep and become convulsed. Demons in my dreams try to convince me that they’re “spirit guides”. They try to prevent me from praying and believing in God and terrify and torment me. That’s where following New Age nonsense gets you. I was deceived thought I was becoming “enlightened”, but I was becoming more possessed and led astray. It is a miracle and act of divine grace that I am somehow here, now, soon converting to Catholicism which I formerly hated so much (demons were causing me to hate these things). Please repent of New Age practices and get back to God. If you want answers about the faith, I suggest reading the Catechism or looking online for any answers to your questions about apologetics.
May God protect you from the wickedness of the devil Amen.
So, trying to understand everyone here, in my perspective what I’m trying to share about my beliefs is coming out wrong or being misunderstood. I’m not saying that I myself am GOD, but that we (every single person, every single physical and nonphysical manifestation including before and after time and creation as we know it) IS GOD. It’s the idea of taking literally the words that “God is always around us.”.
Does anyone have any opinion on what I stated earlier, besides that it isn’t what the Catholic church teaches? About God being the observer (stereotypical ideology) the observed (us, like avatars for him to see out of), the light in the room allowing us to see (universal forces), the room itself (the universe), and outside the room (beyond)?
I think I get confused when I try to make sense of the idea that we aren’t GOD. I mean, I knew it at one point, but if he made us out of him and we go back to him, how does that not make us a part of him, a part of GOD?
Christian theology opposes the ideas of pantheism. Christianity says that God created everything, not that he is everything or that everything is God:
In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. (Genesis 1:1, ESV)
“You alone are the Lord. You made the skies and the heavens and all the stars. You made the earth and the seas and everything in them. You preserve them all, and the angels of heaven worship you.” (Nehemiah 9:6, NLT)
“Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created.” (Revelation 4:11, ESV)
Christianity teaches that God is omnipresent, or exists everywhere, separating the Creator from his creations:
Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there! If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me. (Psalm 139:7–10, ESV)
In Christian theology, God is everywhere present with His whole being at all times. His omnipresence does not mean that he is diffused throughout the universe or penetrates the universe.
Pantheists who give credence to the idea that the universe is real, agree that the universe was created “ex deo” or “out of God.” Christian theism teaches that the universe was created “ex nihilo,” or “out of nothing.”
A fundamental teaching of absolute pantheism is that humans must master their ignorance and recognize that they are God. Christianity teaches that God alone is the Highest God:
I am the Lord, and there is no other, besides me there is no God; I equip you, though you do not know me. (Isaiah 45:5. ESV)
Pantheism implies that miracles are impossible. A miracle requires God to intervene on behalf of something or someone outside of himself. Thus, pantheism rules out miracles because “all is God and God is all.” Christianity believes in a God who loves and cares about people and intervenes miraculously and regularly in their lives.
This is really well explained, thank you!
Actress Shirley MacLaine said similar things years ago. No, we are not God in any way. It’s in the Bible, in order to be part of God we need to be baptized and then receive the other Sacraments. God consists of three persons. That’s it. We are created by Him.
God is not a man in the sky. Neither is all creation God (whether we mean God under different aspects or as the manifestation of the Eternal Idea). God is the first principle upon which everything else is dependent. He is eternal and unchanging. He is Subsistent Being. And even so he has brought humankind into a covenant relationship with Himself.
I’d call that pop culture ideology. It’s not actual Catholic theology.
I went through and reread your post. I do have another question about that last part- that what I’m describing says miracles cannot happen. Wouldn’t technically “outside GOD” also extend to us if it was the situation I described? I guess it isn’t completely true in the sense that it would be “outside GOD” if everything simply was GOD, but it would be half true in the sense that miracles do happen to Gods creation, which is us/the world around us/beyond.
It stresses me out that it has been proven that the Bible has been altered throughout history to enable the wishes of different warlords and royalty and due to translation. Due to how I came into this knowledge, which I believe was divine intervention for personal reasons, this is why I get confused on the specifics of words and wonder if taking them literally is creating a false (not necessarily bad, but incorrect) path… like one you would see in a funhouse mirror maze. This is why there seem to be common truths and conclusions in many different parts of the world, but we still haven’t decided together on the global perspective to take and how to understand it.
This is hard, for me it requires a lot of thinking and my brain sometimes wants to give up understanding it because it feels straining somedays, but I really like getting a chance to discuss these ideas because I believe in the importance of knowing.
Do/Should Catholics worship the church, or do/should Catholics worship GOD? Both? We know throughout history what dangerous things have come from specifically church-based practices, but a lot of people on this form seem to associate religion and spirit as one. That’s understandable, but what I mean is that religion is the human doctrine explanation of spirit, rather than spirit being derived out of religion.
I’m also a little confused here. Pop-culture ideology? I am referencing other users who describe the Catholic GOD as omnipotent and all-knowing.
Does it go past what I consider omnipotent being? Does GOD not inherently have to experience everything in order to know everything? I know we don’t, but that’s due to time (and many other factors), so when you look at time as a completely malleable thing that we as humans only experience as linear, wouldn’t it make sense for GOD to know everything because he has already experienced it? Both before, after, and during because he is all, at all times? He simply IS?
If he is not “observing” (like a hum in the background), but he is also not existence/nonexistence as we know it, how is it possible for GOD to do anything? How can something be made out of nothing if the second is not true- I thought it was just always GOD who decided to just do things because he wanted to? I don’t understand how to describe him, because I was under the impression that GOD wasn’t created.
No, just no. This is not the Catholic teaching on God and it is incorrect.
God is God. He created the universe, including rocks, space, animals, plants, and us. Scripture describes this. God’s creation is good, and he cares about what he creates, and loves us. But He is not the universe. He is not rocks, space, animals, plants, or us. He is a separate entity.
I don’t think your idea makes sense at all. It just sounds like you’ve been reading New Age books or hanging around with New Age people, and went down a wrong track. I honestly don’t even know why anyone would be drawn to such an idea.
The most the Christian faith would say, I think, is that the created world bears a (sometimes very dimmed or disfigured) reflection of God’s goodness and beauty, not that the creature is the Creator.
I think the catch is that you go from our own way of acquiring knowledge and apply it to God. But God doesn’t “observe”, “learn” or “know” in the way we do.
For those of you who are quick to dismiss my ideas as mumbo-jumbo, I wish you would explain what it is you aren’t understanding. Why would someone be drawn to these ideas? Well, because it was gifted to me by GOD in divine intervention, in my opinion. I was hopeless, broken, afraid, and on a path of confusion and strife. I had no clue about any of the things I have spoken about. During an episode of deep stress, I experienced what I consider to be a miracle and an act of GODS love which cured my lifelong and bone-wracking fear of death. It has been completely life-changing, and I’m seeking answers now. If you were suddenly just gifted knowledge from the blue I’m sure you, too, would be wanting to know what it means. These ideas came from the experience I had. They are not always clear, but I feel as if they are on the tip of my tongue, and that is why I came here asking questions. I can’t figure it out alone, and I also want to see other perspectives to expand my view. Casual dismissal of these kinds of questions, feelings, and ideas lead to those initial feelings of doubt, confusion, fear, and anger from half my life spent in the Catholic Church and community, who were very unaccepting and decisive. Do I believe all communities are like that? Not at all! Other posters here have shared they had a much more expansive and healthy experience with Catholicism and church, and I would like to perhaps visit some groups like this as I decide where to move after college.
I can see now that my new belief is very far different from the literal interpretation of the Catholic Bible, but I really very much feel as if we are discussing the same thing except in different perspectives. While it’s not a popular manner of describing the apple, it’s It’s like if we were looking at an apple, but you had on yellow glasses, and I have on green, and the tinted colors were created by our experience here on Earth which obscure our view of GOD. What I want to do, and what I want to spend a good portion of my time on in the future, is helping everyones glasses clear (in a sense) by providing a better understanding, phrasing, and explanation of the power that be. I feel like having a personal relationship with GOD is our responsibility and duty, and sometimes that can be obscured because of education, nurturing, environment, and more, like it was for me.
Sorry, but I can’t endorse your incorrect, New Agey ideas of God in order to make you feel better.
I note that at least one of the posters who is responding to you at length isn’t a Catholic (per their profile).
If your goal in life is to be around people who endorse your ideas rather than tell you the truth, that’s your choice. It may make you feel better but it’s not ultimately helpful to you in the end. Sometimes the truth hurts.
I’m sorry that you had a bad experience of Catholicism as a young person, but once again that doesn’t somehow justify you going down a wrong path of false new age pantheism.
And it’s not a “miracle” of “God’s love” that you somehow got a bunch of wrong ideas out of the blue. Humans can get confused, especially when they rely on their “feelings”. I think that’s what’s going on here.
Edited to add, if you’re actually looking for something to read, Cath already gave you good suggestions above.
You might enjoy reading Theology and Sanity by Frank Sheed. Or The One and the Many by W. Norris Clarke. Or even just Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma by Ludeig Ott for a better understanding of monotheism that isn’t just a Santa Clause in the sky watching everyone when they’re sleeping and awake.