The Christian Noob (n00b)

born & raised Catholic, now going to a Presbyterian church & still learning

Sunday series: ?-2008 (#0)

4 Abrahamic symbolsThis part one of long series. I’ll specify my experiences since coming back to the Church — most of which have taken place at the church I go to, FAPC (specified if not). I’d include Bible readings along with my comments then and now.

As a nerd, I’d start at zero (0) to tell you what my experience was before Sunday one (1).

I’ve always been somewhat religious — first going to various Catholic churches on and off and then listening to podcasts from the 700 Club with Pat Robertson (CBN) and Joel Osteen (often called watered-down preaching good enough for a megachurch) — not to mention using several Bible study applications. Well I’ve watched the 700 Club on and off for over thirty (30) years (c. 1978). These recordings practically helped me remember what the faith I grew up was supposed to be. All the while, I learned about Krishna, ate lots of Indian food (latter not quite related) and even learned about Islam (curiosity sparked when a cousin of mine converted to that faith) along with its relation within the Abrahamic faiths. In other words, my faith was solely based on what I read, not necessarily on what I believed and felt heavily influenced by all the material I’d read. At times, I even felt agnostic and/or atheist, which I often discarded by reminding myself that I was a Christian even as it meant only by tradition.


7 responses to “Sunday series: ?-2008 (#0)

  1. zanspence 04/02/2013 at 09:59:26

    I understand what people are saying about Joel Osteen but no one knows his Church structure and governance. If his church has a deacon(or similar role) to membership ratio that is effective, and there are lots of ministries for all life stages and needs then I believe there are saved people at his church. He also truly has a gift of hope and exhortation(a gift of the spirit listed in Romans 12). He uses his gift with biblical examples.

    • Frank Olvera (aka "The Christian Noob") 04/02/2013 at 10:06:40

      I didn’t say that I don’t like Joel Osteen. I just included the comment.

      • zanspence 04/02/2013 at 10:07:38

        I didn’t say you I said people. we cool?

      • Frank Olvera (aka "The Christian Noob") 04/02/2013 at 10:54:52

        yes 🙂

  2. zanspence 04/02/2013 at 09:59:58

    Why didn’t you adopt Hinduism for Islam?

    • Frank Olvera (aka "The Christian Noob") 04/02/2013 at 10:55:20

      The quick answer is that I’d have betrayed my maternal grandmother who taught me what I knew then about God.

      • Frank Olvera (aka "The Christian Noob") 04/02/2013 at 10:57:41

        The long answer would be that I was raised Catholic. I chose to stop going to a Catholic church in favor of a Presbyterian (Protestant) church — still Christian, just a different word (denomination) at the door. 🙂

        I was and still am very curious about Krishna. My mom follows teachings from Sai Baba, which are based (not purely) Hinduism. I’ve read books about the concept of the Godhead, which I’ve related to Christianity.

        “Godhead is a Middle English variant of the word godhood, and denotes the Divine Nature or Substance (Ousia) of the Christian God, or the Trinity. Within some traditions such as Mormonism, the term is used as a nontrinitarian substitute for the term Trinity, denoting the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit not as a Trinity, but as a unified council of separate beings but in full harmony.”

        “In Hinduism, the concept of god varies from one sect to another and from one book to another. In Hinduism, forms of explicit monotheism find mention in the canonical Bhagavad Gita. These derive from the philosophical system of Advaita or non-dualism developed by Adi Shankara in the 9th century, within the framework of the Vedanta school of classical Hindu philosophy.
        Shankara’s non-dualism postulated the identity of the Self or Atman with the Whole or Brahman, and as such can be better described as monism or pantheism than as monotheism. The shift to explicit monotheism is initiated by the South Indian Alvars with their emotional or ecstatic devotion (bhakti) to Vishnu-Krishna. This form of monotheism, also known as Krishnaism, became immensely popular in medieval India, spreading to North India by the 15th century. Besides giving rise to schools of Vaishna monotheim such as Gaudiya Vaishnavism, it also affected non-Vaishna sects of Hinduism, viz. Shaivism, Shaktism, and Smartism. But Vaishnavism, and especially Krishnaism within Vaishnavism, remains the most explicit form of monotheistic worship of a personal God (Svayam Bhagavan) within Hinduism, while other sects tend to assume the existence of a singular God, but not necessarily with aspects of a personality but rather envisaged as an impersonal Absolute (Brahman).
        The term Ishvara may refer to any of the monotheistic or monistic conceptions within Hinduism, depending on context.”

        It’s interesting how different words (religious beliefs) can be interpreted within various religions. The general concept of the Godhead calls all Creation to do its work for the good/will/servitude of God.

        “According to Vedic civilization, the perfection of life is to realize one’s relationship with Kåñëa, or God. In the Bhagavad-gétä, which is accepted by all authorities in transcendental science as the basis of all Vedic knowledge, we understand that not only human beings but all living entities are parts and parcels of God. The parts are meant for serving the whole, just as the legs, hands, fingers, and ears are meant for serving the total body. We living entities, being parts and parcels of God, are dutybound to serve Him.”
        Science of Self Realization, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

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