Retired Bishop John Shelby Spong Speaks The Truth

Submitted by: Pooptart19 6 years ago

Hey all you atheists, this may be the one theist you can really get behind.
There are 121 comments:
Female 914
drgfire: ur ah genus. and it`s so true, but I find myself doing it just the same, lol.
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Female 105
Spoiler alert. If anyone really knows about the Roman Catholics..they don`t believe in hell.
Some people automatically think that because you`re a part of the catholic faith that you`re just as pushy and mean as say some southern baptist shoving the "good book" down your throat.
The RCIA classes I have gone to and the bishops and priests I`ve spoken with actually have a very deep and theological outlook on religion. In a catholic class, we even had the opportunity to have a local rabbi teach us of the jewish faith and experience passover as per their traditions.
It was all a real eye-opener for me,personally.

If people weren`t so judgemental, and christians weren`t so drating obviously full of themselves, maybe we`d all have something to believe in. But of course, some one has to argue some bullpoo into the ground.
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Male 3,915
well...that`s new
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Male 6
hes a dumbASS!
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Male 2,670
The Flying Spaghetti Monster, may His Noodly Appendages be blessed, is not at all amused by this video!
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Male 531
i saw a video about religion and before i went to the comments i knew it was going be 5 pages or more of comments of people trying to argue so ill post this, inb4theflame


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Female 535
Well, it`s true. Humanity is pretty pretentious to believe that out of all life forms, we are the most special ones and we are the only ones God cares about.
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Male 127
I think there`s still so much we don`t know about the universe and our place in it. Religion, in any form, is just one more way to understanding it all. But like every other idea out there, it`s missing something: certainty. We can BELIEVE. We can HOPE. We can have FAITH.

But we can`t KNOW. Not yet. The only ones who can tell for certain are dead. And they`re not talking.
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Male 774
There needs to be more people that think.
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Male 49
regardless... anyone that believes in an invisible man in the sky needs medication.
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Male 2,850
@CrakrJak.

"You`ve been `throwing stones` at Christians since you arrived here, Pot meet kettle."

But I don`t follow a doctrine that demands I be without sin before I do.

You do.
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Male 32
CrakrJak - You`re off in the ozone on this one. The "rift" in the Episcopal church is not because of this guy. He`s controversial to be sure, but he`s still pretty popular with the folks I know. They don`t expect everyone to agree. Controvery leads to discussion. Discussion leads to critical thinking. People who think are scary to others because they can be harder to control. Their views on Christianity are based on that kind of thought, not what whack jobs like us post on the internet.
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Male 135
Now that is a real man of god! I don`t necessarily believe in "the God with the capital G", that doesn`t mean i think everything fades to black after death. It`s refreshing to hear a man like Spong talking.
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Male 660
I like Shelby-Spong`s ideas but have to say I find his books a little boring.
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Male 17,512
bak5102: Nearly all Anglicans have denounced this Former Bishop Spong. He has caused a huge rift in the Episcopal church, To which the British Anglicans have distanced themselves from. As a result many Episcopalians have left the church, 40% in recent years, And now attend services of other denominations.

He`s preached unity but caused division within his own church, That`s not Christian in anyway.
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Male 32
He`s from one of those obscure radical new churches ...

Famous Episcopalians:
George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, 31 other signers of the Declaration of Independance, 26% of US Presidents, Colin Powell, Sandra Day O`connor, FDR, George H. W. Bush, John McCain, Barry Goldwater, Kay Bailey Hutchison, Thurgood Marshall, Spiro Agnew, Fred Astaire, Robin Williams, Duke Ellington, Natalie Cole, and Florence Nightengale

And one of their cathedrals:

Washington National Cathedral in Washington D.C.
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Male 3,431
I like and agree with his thought process.

He`s not claiming it to be the truth, but he has faith, I`d love a chance to talk with him.
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Male 32
This guy is a really good example of why I like Episcopalians. Some of the most interesting conversations I`ve had about religion have been with Anglican pastors. They aren`t afraid to think. They don`t get mad if you think. They know we have doubts.

I saw an ad for an Episcopal church that said "Why is it that the churches that claim to have all the answers don`t let you ask any questions?"

Another said "He asked for you to think of Him, not to give Him your brain."
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Male 1,222
I love the fact that the only argument in the other side is that hes not a real bishop
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Male 1,378
are you religious people guilty and scared of hell?
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Male 203
@SunThunder, if you watch for more than 2 seconds, you`ll see right at the start "Fmr Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Newark"...
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Male 97
Bishop of what, precisely?
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Male 4,793
YAY! now that guy i can respect. He`s one of the very very few religious people out there that actually THINKS!! Wish i could shake his hand.
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Male 2,440
[quote]Ah well, nice try pooptart with this submitted post. I for one was hopeful that it might reconcile the atheists and theists on this site, to find some middle ground. I guess I was too optimistic.[/quote]
Indeed, davymid. I try to build bridges and then everyone goes apesh*t over them. I guess we`ll all have to continue using the ferry for the time being. :/
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Male 362
Every one of us is a part of and a copy of the entire whole of the underlying wavelength that turns all energy into matter and gives us conscience. I think that that mysterious force called gravity is nature responding to everyone and everything`s true oneness.
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Male 1,016
Oh My this is exactly what I feel and believe, I have been saying this all along.
Christians,Jews,Muslims....etc etc man made societies that control their followers.
God is in us! If God is in us then "He" would be part of us and if "He " part of me and you then I am part of you and as such you are no longer my brother or sister but you are me and I am you !!!
So in essence we are all one.
If more people believed this then this world would be much less divided and there would be more understanding and love. You kill the Muslim,Jew, christian ...etc etc. you are killing yourself
We Are our own worst enemy ...but then again, our own worst enemy is us !
Love me love you love us
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Male 218
maps- if you dont think that life is a special wondrous experience, your doing it wrong
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Male 808
@ DavidXJ

Yes, I am athiest but as a non-believer I know what evidence I would require to completely change my views where as religious people stand by the Bible as an actual account of facts and still base their lives/beliefs on it and will never evolve or re-evaluate their "faith", they accept it as fact
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Male 2,332
That`s right old man, destroy it from within *evilface*
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Male 1,106
So, because he agrees with your world view, he`s making sense, even though what he`s saying is blatantly contrary to his religion`s BASIC theology?

This is the typical, modern day, "everyone is good" B.S. that is permeating our society.
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Male 808
You know, that was the first theist video I could sit through in a long time-very well spoken and it is a shame more religious types aren`t that open to fair analysis of their faiths and allow for their faith to evolve rather than be so absolute
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Male 339
Anybody else have a hard time watching him with that chunk of skin flopping around on his neck like a turkey? Ick.
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Male 17,512
Musuko42: If you had even bothered to read my answer you would know it, Instead you prattle in cluelessness.

You`ve been `throwing stones` at Christians since you arrived here, Pot meet kettle.
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Male 4,594
Well spoken.

Born again christians (not capitalized on purpose) are a bunch of whacked-out noodle-heads.
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Male 2,850
@CrakrJak:

"With your latest fail, Trying to twist my words and barely scanning my comments, You don`t have any room to criticize."

This is the "he who is without sin..." thing, hmm?

In that case, on what ground do you stand to be casting stones at homosexuals? Are you without sin, CrakrJak?
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Male 2,850
@CrakrJak.

"I said she was `preaching more sound `Christian` principles` that does not equal `heaven-worthy` by any stretch."

So you haven`t yet answered the question, which was:

Which do you think is more likely to get into heaven?

If you don`t want to answer, or haven`t formed an opinion, that`s fine; but say so. We`re just asking your personal opinion. Why will you not answer?
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Female 316
As someone who sits on the fence between atheism and agnosticism (and who is still "inspired" by Earth-based traditions), I really liked what Bishop Spong had to say. Too bad more people in religious authority (the ones who actually go to seminary, etc. and NOT the ones who buy their ordainment from the ULC), can`t be open, honest, and free-thinking. Anyone who parrots what other people tell them, rather than sitting and thinking stuff through for themselves, has no place in this discussion, IMO.

And it`s good to see that all the IAB Extremists (atheists and christians alike) have come out of the woodwork just for this particular flame war. (note sarcasm)
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Male 51
Also, if you want to know if someone is trying to say, "Your religion is false!" without making atheism/pluralism look scary, listen for these phrases:

"Life is a startling and wondrous experience"
"God is *unfolding* through consciousness and self-consciousness"
"Bla bla bla, the *mystery* of God"

All of this is to dress up the fact that he is saying, "All of those who adhere to Christianity are wrong". I am an atheist. Must we continue to claim that God is "too big for any one religion"? Either the Christians are right or wrong but let`s not try to discredit them by saying God is too mysterious, wondrous, etc. for humanity to understand.

Call them liars but stop trying to convince others that life is so special (a "startling and wondrous experience"!!) that religion is useless. You are being fake. You are attacking a religion. If you are going to do it, do not be ashamed. Attack
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Male 51
Being born again IS growing up, from a Christian perspective. It`s about developing into someone not controlled by infantile desires but motivated by selflessness.

Also, "the idea that the truth of God can be bound in... any human book" is not a Christian doctrine whatsoever. The Bible is held by almost all Christians to be the "Word of God". They view it as either God`s words or useless $hit
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Male 17,512
Musuko42: [quote] ...always suspected that religion is not about thinking.[/quote]

With your latest fail, Trying to twist my words and barely scanning my comments, You don`t have any room to criticize.
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Male 17,512
Musuko42: Once again, You try and twist words.

I said she was `preaching more sound `Christian` principles` that does not equal `heaven-worthy` by any stretch.

To know if either of them were `worthy`, I`d have to have God`s ability to look into their hearts. Since I`m NOT God, I can`t judge them based on what I don`t know. Please, Actually read my posts from time to time instead of just scanning through. It will save a lot of time and misunderstanding on your part.
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Male 2,850
@fattpill.

"its not about you thinking, it is about you researching and knowing the Bible."

We`ve always suspected that religion is not about thinking.
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Male 2,850
@CrakrJak.

"Most posts here exhibit the extremes when it comes to religion, Spong being one of them, The WBC being the other."

I`m guessing you think of yourself as being pretty middle-ground.

From my perspective, you`re pretty extreme. You would simply not be "normal" in my country, just as I would not be in yours.
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Male 255
Here`s a little secret about christianity. YOU HAVE TO ACTUALLY READ THE BIBLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The Bible says to be careful for people who do not confess Jesus Christ to be the son of the Living God. They are not "of" God they are anit-Christ. People and their opinion religion. meaning you have NO basis or foundation to what you believe. they always say, "Durr well I think....." its not about you thinking, it is about you researching and knowing the Bible. If a scientist said well I "Think" that..... the Atheist on this site would tear him a new one. so to speak. Just because he has the "Title" of a priest does NOT make him a Christian. I can get ordained online TODAY.
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Male 2,850
@CrakrJak.

"If you had asked me which of them I believed to be preaching more sound `Christian` principles, I`d have answered Cindy Jacobs."

Cindy Jacobs is the more heaven-worthy one in your opinion? Really?!
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Male 351
"this is what religion is about that many atheists don`t understand. it`s about doing the right thing and loving God, whether you believe in a certain thing or not. "

mate, a huge amount(read: pretty much all) of your fellow believers don`t agree with you. thats the problem part, if they all thought the same way there wouldn`t be a problem.

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Male 166
Heh.. Spong.
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Male 179
this is what religion is about that many atheists don`t understand. it`s about doing the right thing and loving God, whether you believe in a certain thing or not.
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Male 205
CrakrJak: "A church is it`s congregation gathering together to commune with one another."

And when in this congregation some people suggest to put up mechanisms of control and others don`t hinder them, control becomes an aspect of the church. E.g.: inquisition.

"The `control` accusation fails, Because churches have survived repression where Christianity is deemed illegal by the state."

The `control` accusition holds because churches have flourished where they were supported by the state. E.g.: roman catholic church during most of their history.
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Male 840
I like this guy. I laughed when the white-haired guy looked at him with that expression and said "wait a minute, Hell is made up"?

John Shelby Spong nailed it. Organized religion is about power and money
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Male 17,512
osmandias: A church is not the building, It`s not the preacher, And it`s not some `big brother` control mechanism. A church is it`s congregation gathering together to commune with one another.

Again, It`s not about control, It`s Hope, Faith, and Love. The `control` accusation fails, Because churches have survived repression where Christianity is deemed illegal by the state.
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Male 205
@CrakrJak: Sure, there is more than one aspect to a church. But most churches, not only the catholic in the middle ages, are more about power and control than about anything else.
Faith, hope and love are part of the christian faith.
Faith != church.
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Male 313
A religion related post on IAB and only three pages of comments? What is going on?
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Male 809
F.U.C.K... He almost had it...
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Male 798
"I`m not their judge, We`ll all have to stand before the Lord and explain ourselves one day. Only God knows what`s in a person`s heart, No one is pure and we`ve all come short of the glory of God."

QUESTION: AVOIDED

Phew, that was a close one.
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Female 536
wow. Loved the part when he said "people don`t need to be `born again`; they need to grow up." Couldn`t have said it better myself.
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Male 12,138
Crakr, thank you for your honest answer. As I promised, no hidden attack. Just trying to understand you more.
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Male 17,512
davymid: I believe that your question was answered with the example I gave. No one is clairvoyant and no one can look into someone`s heart, But God.

What I think about a person`s salvation status doesn`t count. I can only testify for myself.

I believe you were `fishing` for some kind insight into my `thinking`. If the answer wasn`t satisfying then perhaps you worded your question wrong.

If you had asked me which of them I believed to be preaching more sound `Christian` principles, I`d have answered Cindy Jacobs.
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Male 326
Wow, this man speaks my mind far better than I could ever try.

I`ll have to look up some of his stuff.
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Male 22
The idea of Hell, modern terms, came from Dantes Inferno and then became common place in Christianity. Hell, from what I can work out, means "grave"- Sheol in Hebrew and Hades in "Greek".

http://freetruth.50webs.org/B1a.htm
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Male 12,138
[quote]davymid: I`m not their judge, We`ll all have to stand before the Lord and explain ourselves one day. [/quote]
Yeah, figured you would resort to that. Still, worth the effort of asking what YOU thought. Never mind, maybe next time. Disappointing.
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Male 17,512
davymid: I`m not their judge, We`ll all have to stand before the Lord and explain ourselves one day. Only God knows what`s in a person`s heart, No one is pure and we`ve all come short of the glory of God.

This is akin to the question of, "If Hitler was a saved `Christian`, Would he go to heaven?".

If you believe that Jesus` death paid the debt for everyone`s sins, If only they believe, Then you have to say Yes, Even though it seems abhorrent. BTW, I don`t believe Hitler was a Christian, So don`t go bashing me. It was just a theoretical question.
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Male 736
A Deist, to be accurate.
Spong has always rocked.
Bravo!
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Male 594
Whoa. This is exactly how I view life and religion.
Can`t believe a..priest? Would ever share the same
opinion/way of thinking.
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Male 719
I`ll fully admit that not all theists are crazy, fundamental and literalist. In fact, most are reasonable people.

However, that doesn`t make me believe theism holds any water.
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Male 168
Eh, I`m hungry.
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Male 122
Loved it
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Male 12,138
[quote]davymid: After doing a little research on Spong, I`ve found he`s been a radical since the 1960`s , He`s ordained homosexual priests[/quote]
Really now? Wow. Ordaining homosexual priests.

Let me ask you a blunt black-and-white question Crakr, though I don`t expect an actual direct black-and-white response.

Who do you think is the more likely to go to Heaven? Spong here or Cindy Jacobs further down this first page of links? I`d be very interested in your answer (not a loaded question, no ambush, just looking for an honest answer).
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Male 441
@dax2009 he isn`t a hypocrite... you just don`t understand his beliefs.
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Male 17,512
davymid: After doing a little research on Spong, I`ve found he`s been a radical since the 1960`s , He`s ordained homosexual priests and been a `pain in the rear` to the Episcopal church for decades.
He has said that Mary was raped, Jesus never rose, and there are no miracles, That`s not Christian at all. To even call him a `theist` is a spurious claim at best.
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Male 17,512
Siyanor: Please go troll elsewhere, Your vapidness won`t score you points here.
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Male 12,138
Ah well, nice try pooptart with this submitted post. I for one was hopeful that it might reconcile the atheists and theists on this site, to find some middle ground. I guess I was too optimistic.

Also interesting to note that the some are calling Crakrjak (a Christian) a hypocrite, while the Christians are calling Dr. Spong a hypocrite. Just as in religion, you can`t ALL be right...

And finally;

[quote]Crakrjak said: Most posts here exhibit the extremes when it comes to religion, Spong being one of them, The WBC being the other. [/quote]
Dude, this man appears to be many things. Thought-provoking, innovative in his world-view as a theist, humble, tolerant... I would hardly use the word "extremist" in any description for this guy. Just saying.
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Male 586
hypocrite.
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Female 322
What I don`t understand is why someone stays as a leader or member of a church when they don`t believe what the church teaches. He falls under "hyphocrit".* (tried spelling that 12 different ways, finally gave up)
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Male 582
CJ isn`t "full of hate" and I find it funny that those bashing him are all about "tolerance" of others.
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Male 1
CrakrJak what a typical condescending Christian way to talk to someone, "I pity him". Trying to make yourself look good and great when really just spitting on that person. drating hypocrite.
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Male 1,184
Perhaps you should fight yourself, then, Crakr, since you are, as I said, the epitome of hopelessness and hatred.
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Male 246
NoArms5534: Good point. And the same for many other Christian religions. It`s so easy to be religious, just follow a church, rules, men... But it`s quite hard to read the Bible and follow Christ.

But to summarize it all: Heaven is for those who repent, who want a relationship with God. Hell is for those who don`t. Because God is good, pure, and can`t coexist with sin.
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Male 893
Before I found God I used to frequent truck stops. It got to the point that I needed penis in or around my mouth so bad that I would pay them! So this guy`s an idiot... God saved me and he has a plan for me.
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Male 17,512
Siyanor: I`ve been fighting hatred and hopelessness before I discovered IAB. There has been much hatred aimed at Christianity here. Most posts here exhibit the extremes when it comes to religion, Spong being one of them, The WBC being the other.

Neither one represent mainstream Christianity. It`s ridiculous that this Former Bishop Spong still believes he`s a `Christian` when he doesn`t believe any of the fundamentals of Christianity.

I don`t live with hatred, It`s a useless emotion. I walk in hope because of my faith, Spong has neither.
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Female 798
@HunterKiller, care to elucidate your reasoning?
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Male 196
Wow, an Episcopalian who doesn`t have a clue about the Bible. Surprise, surprise. Episcopalians are one step above agnostic.
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Female 223
I like him O_O very much.
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Male 877
`nothingness` isn`t that bad, you will never see it because you`ll be dead...when your born you dont know that your alive...
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Male 1,184
Well, Crakr certainly has a lot of faith...

But he`s pretty much the epitome of hopelessness and hatred.
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Male 1,184
"i agree on most of what he said regarding religion, but not so much on his views on the afterlife. he confused me there a little...are we god?"

I believe he was trying to say that there is a Heaven, but no Hell.
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Male 798
Hey, at least he`s actually thinking about the background of what he believes in and understands that the Church liked to keep people in line by telling them they will go to hell if they`re "bad". Better than just being like "EVERY KNEE SHALL BOW, EVERY TONGUE CONFESS."
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Male 792
Welcome to the wonderful world of panentheism. God exists, but he doesn`t give two craps about what we do on this earth. He doesn`t demand worship, or threaten eternal damnation. He`s an abstract concept of a will far beyond our reasoning, with a level of being that escapes our meager grasps.

There is life after death, but not in the sense of eternal bliss or eternal damnation, or whatever your church tries to scare you with. It`s an existence of co-consciousness of the universe.
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Female 836
I really like this guy. Agree with him too.
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Male 363
bah this guy is a crackpot, theres a lot of contradiction to what he`s saying and well, there you have it. I don`t even think some atheists would agree with this.
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Female 200
I think he might be talking about cosmic consciousness and the idea that the universe is within every being and outside of it at the same time.
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Male 1,256
Wow, what a smart human being. Not saying I agree with everything, but damn, he`s done a whole lot of complex thinking in his life.
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Male 7,585
baalthazaq, im about right there with you. i agree on most of what he said regarding religion, but not so much on his views on the afterlife. he confused me there a little...are we god?
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Male 4,547
I agree with about 75% of this.
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Male 1,252
That reporter costume that Satan is wearing is awesome. BUrn kids. Burn for yor sins. BUUUURRRNNNNNNn. j/k lol.
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Male 309
" I have a tremendous amount of respect for anyone who can think so logically and still believe in a deity. I`m unable to, but more power to him. A brilliant man."

Then you should read some more philosophy. There are ideas and conceptions of God that are very logical and rational, and have nothing to do with "the grey haired guy in the sky" that some people imagine God as. The bishop himself hints at such an idea starting @ around 2:13.
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Male 349
I`m not religious at all and he just put into words exactly why. I believe in God and have my own personal belief systems, but it`s nice to see a Christian with enough humility and wisdom to realise the truth about organised religion.
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Male 541
As a Christian, I can`t say I agree with everything the man says, however I definitely like the `thinking outside the box` approach to religion. I think far too many religious people feel they understand things and are certain about things that there is simple no way of knowing, like the idea of Heaven and Hell.

C. S. Lewis had some interesting theories about Hell for anyone interested.
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Male 7,585
CrakrJak, christianity hasnt been about faith, hope, and love since jesus himself died.
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Male 17,512
Thdot: Found out all I need to know through his own words, The rest is likely a sordid tale.

He thinks it`s about control, Because he once had control and lost it. He`s either forgotten or didn`t ever learn the Hope, Faith, and Love.

It`s really sad, I pity him.
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Female 3
Dr. Spong is actually a big part of my "enlightening" to atheism. I have a tremendous amount of respect for anyone who can think so logically and still believe in a deity. I`m unable to, but more power to him. A brilliant man.
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Male 1,184
Thdot, Crakr is irreparably set in his ways. You can`t convince him of anything.
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Male 658
@ CrakrJak. He is a retired bishop. Not a "former" bishop. You obviously know nothing about the man. I don`t see how you can say anything about him.
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Female 798
@timeswordsmn
Karl Marx essentially said the same thing way back when, ever heard of the "opiate of the people"
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Male 6
Nice to see theism deftly extracted from the age-old `my religion is best` debate.
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Female 52
Couldn`t have said it any better myself.
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Male 17,512
This guy obviously lost his way a long time ago and there is good reason he is a `Former` priest. Why he even still bothers to wear the garb is curious.

Anyways, It`s not about control, It`s about hope, faith, and love.
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Male 25,416
silly people with biased ways!
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Male 304
I`ve theorized most of this for years but it`s nice to hear someone people will find credible say it.
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Male 1,287
I predict this`ll be a long thread. Honesty FTW!
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Male 1,054
"I don`t know how the cosmos and life came into being, but I do know it wasn`t by the hand of a deity."

How exactly do you know this? Were you there? You don`t know the answer, but you know that everyone else is just wrong.

Good grief.
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Male 4,290
For once, a preacher speaking the truth rather than the Truth.
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Male 113
>That`s why Gnostic texts were burnt
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Male 762
From the horse`s mouth. Too bad he is still a horse.
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Male 1,361
1:50 onward is the truest thing i`ve heard about religion in too long
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Female 1,008
THANK YOU!
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Male 1,931
With his description, why must one even need to have to worship a `god` figure at that point? Was there a creator of all things? If so, where did that creator come from? We can`t understand how everything came into being, but to assume that there is a consciousness that created us, and is watching over us, is rather pompous. I don`t know how the cosmos and life came into being, but I do know it wasn`t by the hand of a deity.
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Male 880
Hell scares the hell out of me...
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Female 2,120
Religion=sucks
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Male 37,897
the church doesn`t like you to think. you can`t control thinking people.

... stop throwing things at me
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Male 2,440
Link: Retired Bishop John Shelby Spong Speaks The Truth [Rate Link] - Hey all you atheists, this may be the one theist you can really get behind.
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