3 Ways to Develop a Personal Relationship with God | posavski-obzor.info
The Vatican has had a complex relationship with democracy, especially Christians to obey secular authorities and says this is what God wants. . Murray, began publishing articles in which he developed a theological case. some key (causal) linkages between democracy and development in Section III, . untangling the complex relationship between development and democracy and Moore, B. () Social Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy: Lord and . However, democracy and religion need not be incompatible and can be valid of conscience and religious expression, to develop education about religions, . as the relationship between religion and authority, philosophy and theology, Religion is based on the word of God, which is not a matter for people to vote on.
This would be reducing God "into his interpersonal communion or onto-relationality". Secondly, it is also difficult to maintain the divine oneness and the divine threeness at the same time Van Hoozer With regard to perichoresis, one of the common criticisms is the preference that is given to the person of the Father in the Trinity, as in the tradition of the fourth and fifth century Eastern theologians. To imply that the Son and the Spirit derives from the Father as the arche immediately denotes the Son and the Spirit to subordination.
This formulation has implications for feminist theologians, who points out the hierarchical powers in such a theology.
A second and closely related criticism is a hierarchy of divinity, which can result in the detachment of the Father to the world Medley A third criticism relates to Feuerbach's idea of God as a projection of humanity's need for social relations Cipriani Three comments need to be made.
3 Ways to Develop a Personal Relationship with God
Firstly, the Cappadocians never intended to exhaust the nature of God as person. They do make a strong theological case that God is onto-relational. Secondly, perichoresis does not imply a hierarchy of influence or initiation, but is mutual, free and reciprocal interaction.
Thirdly, in relation to Feuerbach's critique, one can infer that humanity is social in nature and in the likeness of God. Personhood as individuals in relationship The Enlightenment scientific, technological and free individualism has found renewed criticism from theologians and scientists alike. The Christian tradition finds itself in a paradigm shift that questions the absolute autonomous individual as the most objective and highest form of being. Being is not equivalent to self-determination, but the extent to which one mirrors the likeness of God.
Unlike many sociologists, such as Edward Shils'attempt to define personhood as human beings' ability to be in the center, philosophers such as Gyekyewho terms it as a part of a limited community, or theologians such as Mbitiwho describes personhood as completely derived from community, personhood is defined by humans' relationships with the Trinity.
In other words, personhood is theonomous.
Personhood here means that humans are created in and by God and its goal is towards God. By placing personhood as individuals in society, it creates coercion and subsequently limits freedom of development. By attempting to define personhood in terms of the individual being part of the limited community, Gyekye gives priority to individualism over community.
Mbiti's overemphasis of community reduces the individual to a passive recipient. In all three notions of personhood, the lack of voluntary active agency in a reciprocal, dynamic process is evident.
A theology of relationality embeds personhood in the creative tension between particular and universal or the individual and communal. This notion of personhood does not deny the distinction of the individuals, but it places the distinctiveness in the continuous process of development. Personhood is not individualism or societal because it is always in relation with other person s.
Personhood as process is always eschatological and develops to its full potential in relation to past, present and future. Personhood used in this form does not reject person. While personhood refers to what a person is, person refers to the identity of the person.
A person possesses a substance which is personhood. In the same way, personhood is expressed in specific ways that gives identity. In a sense, the person will express individual, particular, unique and different qualities in a process of mutual enrichment.
Personhood, although not dependent on these particularities, can be common to different persons. Personhood and person are used here almost interchangeably with the understanding that personhood implies that a person has the capacity to have relationships with others. While we cannot reduce personhood to relationships, the identity of a person is relational Van Hoozer Personhood that is formed and sustained in such creative tension can be termed "narrated personhood".
It is "narrated personhood" because it is defined from within the historical and critical engaging development of the person. The person is part of a narrative that includes other persons and usually is open to relations with other persons.
Persons within a story form community where relations develop the potential towards a greater sense of personhood. Such a community is defined by Macmurray, as quoted by Speidel, as "the unity of persons" that retains both individuality - the other is genuinely other - and mutuality of relation including equality of intention, rather than de facto equality.
Ecclesia Notwithstanding the critique that community can be idealized Speidel Greenwood suggests that the ecclesia is an alternative to the Enlightenment secular wisdom of individualism and collectivism. The ecclesia "is possessed by a vision of God and the created order as open and engaged in a life-process. Unity is not to be equated with the denial of difference or the reduction of them all to one, but speaks of the mutual intercommunion and interpenetration of elements of difference" Even the differences is a result of our relations and its significance is not to emphasise the independent, complete product, but to the person in formation, through relation with other selves.
When differences take on such an authentic role, both selves develop in their "narrated personhood" as vulnerable persons. When the other is seen, heard, spoken to and acted upon, it is experienced beyond the physical appearance. Instead the vulnerable other, according to La Cugna, "evokes mystery, compassion, reciprocity, and obligation. It is as we look into another person's eyes and gaze upon the face of another person that we see with the 'eyes of the heart' and stand in openness before her and his ineffable and inexhaustible mystery" Medley This is a far cry from the autonomous individual or collection of individuals that is bound together for the benefit of the individual or common causes.
The former denies the creativity of relationships and the latter "reduces all members of human society to the status of disposable cogs in the machine of a corporate enterprise" Greenwood Vulnerability, on the other hand, creates space for open, trustworthy and loving relations. Such personhood is based upon the Trinitarian God.
Individuals mirror God in both its Missio Dei and Koinonia. Persons are called out to be the embodiment of God and act accordingly.
As God is three persons in relation, the ecclesia, which is the embodiment of God, is a community of personhood that is relational. All reality is relational It is not only personhood and the church that is rooted in Trinitarian ontology, but the rest of "reality" forms part of the greater narrative of Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Both theologians and scientists must move beyond the antagonisms that have dominated the modern period. In a post-modern period theologians must find ways to convey the gospel message in critical engagement with other sciences and disciplines.
Efforts such as Moltmann's open, creative process of reality, Millbank's critical engagement between theology and social theories and Boff's move away from an anthropocentric to an integral cosmic approach brings necessary knowledge to any conversation about theology and reality.
These three approaches represent attempts to show how relations between humans and the rest of creation are embedded in the Trinity. Leonardo Boff, one of the most influential liberation theologians, uses "the perichoretic communion of the Trinity" to demonstrate how humans relate to ecology in an interdependent manner for mutual existence.
For Boff, God is Trinity from which the whole created order emanates. To this effect, Boff states: Here we have the synthesis that orders, organises, regulates, and completes the parts in a whole and relates each whole to another, even greater whole. Holistic ecology as a practise and theory comprises and relates all existents one to another and with the environment" Boff claims that humans relate to other forms of being in a manner that affirms "the mutual love and knowledge, life and freedom, and interpenetration of the divine persons in, by, through and for one another.
In socialist and capitalist societies, for example, structures and systems do not reflect the mutual love Speidell Value for individuality and acceptance of diversity need to be transformed. Capitalist systems and societies that denies Trinitarian communion protects the property owning classes at the expense of the overwhelming majority working class, whose personhood is treated as impersonal beings. This is a direct result of the relation between humans and social and other structures that predetermine society.
It is also a direct result of the kind of relation of the difference drawn between the personhood of the different classes. The same can be deduced from socialist societies, which subjugate the individual against the collective. Such societies exchange equality amongst persons for coercion towards the common good.
Structures in such communities perform a different, yet equally severe, form of impersonal relations. Boff's use of perichoresis both affirms relations between persons and the rest of creation as the potential to love mutually, self-giving, generosity, openness, inclusiveness, diversity, and criticises individualism, socialism, selfishness and oppression.
Like the relations amongst persons, relations between persons and the rest of creation is characterised by vulnerability and mutual indwelling.
How does the Trinity and perichoresis relate to human and social development? Ontology of Trinity and perichoresis affirm the status of persons as agents in their own development. Instead of individualism or collectivism, persons refer to personhood. In theological terms, the people here are the ecclesia, called out to embody the Trinity as hypostases and relationship.
Religion and democracy
Personhood is central to the process of development and goes beyond any one dimension of development. Personhood implies the involvement of people for the well-being of the whole person and that of the whole community. In most of the world, it exists — often congenially, sometimes not — in countries that describe themselves as democracies. So how does the Church view democracy? The answer — more complex than one might expect — is that it takes a favorable view of democracy but insists that one highly significant condition be met.
John Paul II spelled this out in An old way of thinking Before the genesis of the United States, political life was rarely reconsidered by those other than Enlightenment intellectuals. That was certainly true for the Catholic Church. The New Testament, to the extent it considers the topic of governance at all, takes for granted the political order of the Roman Empire, the dominant secular power at the time it was written.
Paul in several places simply tells the early Christians to obey secular authorities and says this is what God wants. Liberty as a Fundamental Principle Archbishop Ambrose Marechal pictured at left was the third archbishop of Baltimore, serving as archbishop from until his death in Inhe sent a report on the state of religion in the archdiocese to the Vatican Congregation de Propaganda Fide Congregation for the Propagation of the Faithwhich at that time was responsible for oversight of the Church in the United States.
The French-born archbishop provided a highly positive assessment of the prospects of Catholicism in the United States.
It read, in part: Here there is no danger whatsoever that converts to the Faith will suffer persecution or that their churches will be destroyed by the arbitrary command of some tyrant.
This means that they bear a large share of the responsibility for the flourishing of sects, which are often more skilled at addressing young people but also at manipulating them! On the other hand, religions have not managed to avoid certain acts of fanaticism and violence by people who claim to be faithful to their religion, such as anti-abortion raids by Catholics, terrorism perpetrated by Islamic fundamentalist movements and the massacres committed in Israel by Jewish extremists.
Fundamentalism and intolerance The problem of fundamentalism and religious radicalism which has gained ground in politics over recent years is not an easy one to solve. As already mentioned, some people who have no hope and no future resort to religion to find a direction and a reason for their lives. When the problem takes on the dimension it has now, it is obvious that we face a major conflict in society.
The religious fundamentalists wish to impose theocracy, while the political radicals wish to expel immigrants. All display the same intolerance. The term "extremism", which implies the pushing to the extreme of religious beliefs, is not a correct one, for extremists, through their actions or their words, place themselves outside the religions they claim to be defending, in a position much closer to that of sects. How otherwise could an explanation be found for the mutual killings of Catholics and Protestants in Ireland in the name of a single God?
Extremism is not, as its supporters claim, the most authentic path, but a perversion of it. All the religious leaders whom we heard expressly emphasised this.
He explained that, when one of the objectives of extremism became to seize power, it was abandoning spirituality and the message of the prophets. The Prophet of Islam himself had had to contend with violence and intolerance and with extremism in his own fellow countrymen.
The excesses of extremism had nothing to do with the Islamic message. Nobody had ever been asked to kill people in the name of religion. On the contrary, Islam said that if anyone killed a single human being it was as if he had killed the entire human race. If anyone saved a human life, it was as if he had saved the entire human race. Chief Rabbi Sitruk also condemned Jewish extremism, saying that Itzhak Rabin's assassin had killed twice.
He had murdered both a man and his God. It was unthinkable that God should say to a man, "Raise thy hand to kill". The Torah allowed only self-defence. There was not a single rabbi who had said that Rabin's killer was in the right. He was a disgrace to the Jewish people. It is time to accept the obvious, namely that in the great world religions, extremists are only a minority. But this minority takes on disproportionate dimensions in people's minds because of the gravity of the acts it commits that is its aim.
Unfortunately we all too easily give in to the temptation of generalising, thereby condemning religions as a whole. Not only does this not solve the problems, but the tensions with the rest of the faithful population, the majority of whom respect religious and civic values, are also exacerbated.
Where acts of extremism are concerned, those to whom we gave a hearing unanimously agreed that any violation of public order should be severely punished, whether it was perpetrated by hooligans leaving a sports ground or people fomenting religious violence.
They also, however, emphasised the need for early action, for there was a danger not only of violent expressions of extremism, but also of a temptation to try to make converts. Chief Rabbi Sitruk also stressed that more should be said by the moderate religious leaders who were the true representatives of religion. Unfortunately the mass media more frequently concerned themselves with people who made spectacular and violent declarations.
Conclusions The vision of religious radicalism can mislead us about the compatibility of religion and democracy, a trap which must be avoided. Church and State are not incompatible within the democratic system. Although there are tragic examples, history also shows us that it is possible to keep separate spiritual and temporal authority which is one of the requirements of democracy.
It is not a question of placing all religious organisations on an equal footing, whatever their position in society. That would be absurd. Democracy has found the right solution to this kind of conflict in the shape of the majority and proportionality rules. So it is the religious organisations which must, through their own action, determine their position in society: Religion and religious communities are part of society.
It is therefore in the state's interest to ensure its citizens' progress and their cultural and intellectual well-being, which it has a direct responsibility to do. If it is the aim of politics, the state and democracy to make citizens happy or as happy as possiblethey must be offered every facility to fulfil themselves spiritually and culturally.
Democratic society should do more than merely respect religions; it should make it as easy as possible for people to exercise their faith. Religion is part of human culture and traditions. The state, with its laws, institutions and customs, should make sure that any transcendental awareness may flourish, something which is central to society and to the human mentality. Only democracy is capable of guaranteeing the exercise of religion, at the same time respecting both every individual and the religious community.
Believers must, for their part, be aware that no religious dogma of any kind should ever contradict the values of humanism which are the basis of the legal and social structure of democracy.
The state must also promote the cultural expression of religions and guarantee the right of religious organisations' to social, charitable, missionary, cultural and educational activities. It should facilitate worship and the marking of religious festivals, as far as possible adapting believers' duties as members of society working days, elections, referenda in the light of the main religions' calendars.
The state is duty bound to give believers and their moderate religious leaders freedom to adopt positions in respect of public and political events, on the basis of their ethical and religious codes. It should offer cultural facilities for theologians, intellectuals and philosophers to meet so as to enable discussions between the different religions and the modernisation of religious organisations.
The authorities should do more to seek a moral commitment from the religious organisations on the major issues discussed in society. More regular discussions between democratic and religious institutions could lead to genuine co-operation in the effort to find solutions to the major problems of contemporary society's.
Education remains the only effective means of combating ignorance and intolerance. The comparative history of religions should be added, as a matter of urgency, to all school and university curricula. Further more, the history of the Mediterranean region should also be taught.
In universities, the study of Jewish and Muslim philosophy and theology should not be confined, as it usually is, to the departments of oriental studies. The Council of Europe could make recommendations to member states in this field within the framework of its "Education for democratic citizenship" project.
Democracy should also help the religious organisations in their philosophical development and their views of society, in such matters as the role of women. It is not the role of religions to shape the world order. They can, however, through their moral message, their critical attitude to authority, their educational activity within society and their example of humanitarian commitment, contribute to society's progress and to the perfecting of democracy.
Religion cannot take the place of democracy and must not try to grasp power. As a consequence political parties should not have religions denominations. Theocracy is not a higher stage of democracy, but its negation. On the other hand, religions may become major and active agents for the defence of human rights and of the community's ethical and moral values. It is precisely this social and ethical role which religious organisations must be allowed to play.
Democracy cannot however accept violations of human dignity and of human rights in the name of a faith. Religious organisations, which are made up of citizens, should submit to democratic laws. Any infringement against public order or against democracy must be penalised. Religious practice is limited by democratic law, that is by human rights.
Committee on Culture and Education Budgetary implications for the Assembly: The names of those who took part in the vote are in italics Secretaries to the committee: