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Grow spiritually? Why not do something really wild and embrace the best in every “heresy?”
I learned from Buddha that religion is about awareness, not belief.
I learned from Lao Tzu that religion is about the ordinary not the miraculous.
I learned from Isaiah that religion is about justice not personal righteousness.
I learned from Jesus that religion is about forgiveness not morality.
I learned from Austin Atheist Madelyn Murray O’Hare that love for humankind does not require theological justification.
I learned from Freud that plumbing the depths of our being requires symbols.
I learned from Helen Keller that love means radical politics.
I learned from Einstein that intelligence is written into what seems empty space.
I learned from Van Gogh that ritual cannot replace creativity.
I learned from St. Paul that rules can never replace responsibility.
In other words, I have derived my heresies from the best of sources. SOURCE: http://www.jimrigby.org/i-derived-my-heresies-from-the-best-of-sources/
Speaking of growing spiritually, how does a person know they are a true Christian? Check this list… http://edward-t-babinski.blogspot.com/2011/07/are-you-true-christian-registered.html
Also, speaking of growing spiritually, What is the best book in the world? I’d say that even the best book remains a mere book, and not life itself. Even the best book is one that can eventually bore you, if only through repetition. Be open to the best in every person, every experience and every book, and use your better judgment, built upon a lifetime of your own experiences. Books are not life, and cannot lead your life for you. You must decide. Even Bible believers have to decide which passages in Scripture deserve greater emphasis than others. http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/ce/4/part10.html
There is an old story of a missionary trying to convert an Indian. The Indian made a little circle in the sand and said, “That is what the Indian knows.” Then he made another circle a little larger and said, “That is what missionary knows, but outside there the Indian knows just as much as missionary.”
To challenge your last story a bit (about the circles of knowledge), Jared Diamond in “Guns, Germs, and Steel” recalls the time he was trapped for over a week in the New Guinea jungle.
He would have starved and died were it not for the Fore’ tribesmen with him and their formidable knowledge of edible plants and survival techniques. He realized that the intricate and encyclopedic “hunter/gatherer” knowledge of these tribesmen more than outweighed the knowledge he could boast of western civilization. The Fore’ tribesmen had the same capacity for learning that he did. The usefulness of their separate spheres of knowledge depended only on context.