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ISFJ's and Christianity

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This is a discussion on ISFJ's and Christianity within the ISFJ Forum - The Nurturers forums, part of the SJ's Temperament Forum- The Overseers category; Originally Posted by teddy564339 I see what you're saying. I think the thing for me is that there are so ...

  1. #41
    ISFJ - The Nurturers

    Quote Originally Posted by teddy564339 View Post
    I see what you're saying. I think the thing for me is that there are so many different places to choose from that it's easier to find ones that are suited for me. In addition, as Trigun discussed in his last post, I think the "religion" aspect of it doesn't have to be the dominant force....there can still be a lot of personal interpretations as well as a "spiritual" relationship with God that charean talked about.
    Yeah I see where you're coming from here, too. My problem with the personal relationship thing is in two parts. 1. The bible still insists that you have to have faith without proof for the coming together to be a true one. I find that almost impossible because, like I said, proof is very important to my belief system. If something can't be proven then I have very little patience with it. 2. There's always this assumption that you will go to church, that to get a truly meaningful relationship you have to come together in some sort of organised way, and like I said I haven't found any church that didn't literally stifle some part of my own cherished belief system or my own sense of my self-worth.

    What's really interesting to me is how I think the Enneagram plays into this as well. I'm a type 6, and if I remember right you are too. Type 6's are interesting to me because they have a number of ISFJ similarities. What's also interesting about type 6's is that we can have a way of either trusting deeply in beliefs/idea/outside influences or rebelling against them. So one can see how one type 6 would bond to one idea and rebel against another, while another type 6 would do the same thing but to the opposite idea.
    That is really interesting. Yes I am a 6 and yes I see how that would work. I definitely rebel against things that don't hold any meaning in my personal understanding of the world - and I often 'over-rebel' if something appears too much to be forced onto me, which is also likely where my extreme anti-religious feeling comes from. The more people go 'but it's awesome' the more I go 'um ... no thanks' and the faster I move away from whatever idea it is they are presenting. I get really stubborn that way.

    For example, I was at a memorial service yesterday and the bishop said something like 'This isn't a call to altar, but ...' and the 'but' was that clearly everyone in my city helped everyone else because we are all closet Christians and need to look inside and see that it's time to convert. It annpoyed me on a number of levels. First because it was totally a call to altar, second because it assumes that Christianity has the corner on being good, kind, helpful etc etc and third, because there's an assumption that all good people will eventually see the light or whatever (she actually said earlier that the memorial contained people 'of all faiths and of no faith at present' with the implication being that everyone there could be generally expected to become Christian given time and encouragement). It had the completely opposite effect on me than she wished - she put yet another nail in the coffin of any desire for me to 'find religion.' It made me angry and put me off her religion faster than I have ever been put off one before. Rather than encouraging me, personally, she pushed me further along the rebelling path.

    Whew, sorry. Long winded way of agreeing with you.

    I don't like the idea of someone assuming things about or thinking negatively about me based on my beliefs that don't affect them negatively in the way that others they've known have.
    Yes, that really is the most irritating thing about stereotyping for whatever reason. I try very hard not to do it myself because I absolutely hate when it's done to me. At least people tend to be more open minded after they get to know you, and I guess the ones who dismiss you based on your beliefs are at least pre-weeded out because of being so narrow minded you probably don't want to know them anyway :D

    No one in this thread has said anything that has upset me or offended me. Usually ISFJ's don't, and that's why I felt comfortable bringing up the topic of religion on our forum. However, sometimes I think others (usually NT types, but not always) don't have the same kind of tact that ISFJ's have, IMO. Oftentimes they don't view the sort of tact that I value as something important or even good. With these kinds of people I simply cannot discuss something as serious as religion, and I in fact have a hard time discussing many subjects with them. While I have worked on becoming less sensitive, I also believe that if someone else is unwilling to compromise by controlling what they say, then I simply do not interact with them.
    Whew that no-one has offended you (and I hope no-one else either). I do agree that those who can't temper their opinions when they realise what they are saying is upsetting other people are hard to converse with, regardless of what type they are. I agree if we need to be less sensitive, they need to be more sensitive - that way there's compromise and meeting in the middle. That seems especially important when dealing with sensitive topics.
    teddy564339 thanked this post.

  2. #42
    ISFJ - The Nurturers

    Quote Originally Posted by magister343 View Post
    34(AM) But when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced(AN) the Sadducees, they gathered together. 35(AO) And one of them,(AP) a lawyer, asked him a question(AQ) to test him. 36"Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?" 37And he said to him, (AR) "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38This is the great and first commandment. 39And(AS) a second is like it:(AT) You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 40(AU) On these two commandments depend(AV) all the Law and the Prophets."
    And that is correct, because if you examine the Ten Commandments you will see that the first four define our relationship with God, and the remaining six govern our relationships with others. So "On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets."
    Last edited by Introvertigo; 03-19-2011 at 05:35 PM. Reason: grammar

  3. #43
    ISTJ - The Duty Fulfillers

    I just have a few things I'd like to point out:

    1) There is no "Tabula Rasa". People are more or less born a certain way. Enviroment only goes so far.

    2) There is a difference between the belief (idea) and religion (the implimentation of the belief). Christianity is the belief; the various denominations (Protestant, Catholic, etc.) could be thought of as different ways of implementing the same belief.

    3) A lot of people focus on specific issues before understanding the general idea. I think people need to start with the basic thesis of Christianity: that there is only one God, He loves you despite your status as a sinner, and sent His son to die for you. Simple.

    4) I have to wonder what kind of churches everyone's going to that's giving the rest of us Christians such a bad name . Most Christians I know are decent, humble people, not crazed bigots out to ruin everyone else's fun/lives/whatever.

    5) This relates back to point 3: A key aspect of Christianity is that you can't work your way into Heaven. We're all on the same page: mortal sinners. It is solely through the grace of God and your belief in Jesus that gets you in. By all means, try to live a virtuous life, but realize that you can't do enough good acts to simply "buy your way" in. We're all going to make mistakes, and to an extent that's fine. Remember, Jesus was much more critical of the Pharisees (who followed the law to the letter, and were religious leaders) than of the whores, crooked tax collectors, and Roman legionaires that He helped. The difference was that the Pharisees basically thought Jesus was a fraud, or worse, while the others humbled themselves and believed.

    Wow, it was a little more involved than I intended, but hopefully you all see the point I'm trying to make: drawing a line between religion and Christianity.
    Tanigi thanked this post.

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  5. #44
    ISFJ - The Nurturers

    Quote Originally Posted by Out0fAmmo View Post
    4) I have to wonder what kind of churches everyone's going to that's giving the rest of us Christians such a bad name . Most Christians I know are decent, humble people, not crazed bigots out to ruin everyone else's fun/lives/whatever.
    Most Christians I know are decent people too. They just believe things I can't accept and occasionally they get a bit pushy in their desire to have everyone else accept the things they believe. It's not the individual people that bother me about organised religions, but rather the institutions themselves. Like I said I still haven't found a church that doesn't fundamentally oppose at least one of the things I personally hold as uncontestable beliefs. For the record, the ones I've been to are: Methodist, Baptist, Presbyterian, Anglican, Mormon, Elim, Catholic and others I can't remember right now.

  6. #45
    Unknown Personality

    Try Pentecostals :)
    Jesus on Rocket Fuel.
    They mean well, and have a lot of fun meaning it.
    I just wish they wouldn't speak exclusively in biblical verse. It shuts me right down, right now.

  7. #46

    I wrote an extensive post about religion yesterday and while you may not like it, you may also find it interesting. So I thought I should repost it here. I also extended my views on Si and religion below. Once again, you may not like neither, but it's not my intention to upset or offend anyone. So - read these at your own 'risk'.
    The problem is, to my limited understanding, that people live in their very own Matrix. (In fact, the movie is a big metaphor, especially the 30 first minutes.) It's been called by many different names though, like 'sleep', it's also been called a prison. It's a place where automatism and 'personality ego' rules. It's a place where you can be seemingly happy, yet everywhere you look everything turns into shit and there are only glimpses of real, genuine emotion. One could say that wars and divorces are due to "human nature" but really, it's due to living your personality construct. Growing it is part of human nature, though. Then you 'must' grow out of it.

    The goal of religion and all spiritual activity, such as meditation and prayer, living in isolation or monasteries is to free oneself from the crazy automatism that rules your life. This is why millions and millions of people throughout the ages has devoted their lives to such activities. Religion is a tool for people to work with, most people have it wrong - it's not meant to be a "follower-cult". I hope no-one found that offensive, but I believe it's important to question religion and to consider it more like a toolbox filled with wisdom and metaphors that's meant to be used to uncover truth. It's very hard to discover your prison on your own and much harder to escape it. Religion is a toolbox to help people who have discovered their prison, and everyone else to live a more honest life. Many people 'instinctively know' that they can live a more honest life with religion, but very few know why.

    As you unveil personality, and learn to decide for yourself - instead of repeating the same patterns without notice - you see something. It's an aspect of "God". I believe people see different aspects of the same thing > multiple religions with different "Gods" - but they are really the same thing, from different perspectives. It's something like what's covered by the enneagram, a 4 would see beauty in everything and that would be one aspect of God. A 2 would see love. That's why one religion focuses on love, and another on something else.

    This is, to me, the only logical reason why multiple religions exist. They see different aspects of the same thing. Else, you'd have to come to the conclusion that religion is bogus - which is where I was a few years ago. But now I think differently, as explained above. Also there are some beliefs like Gods in nordic mythology that probably doesn't have any truth to it. It's quite possible that the toolboxes was made into bibels and qurans and such to spread them as far as possible.

    There may be crusades and holy wars but that's not due to religion. I believe the positives win over the negatives. It's not religion that causes holy wars, it's people who do not follow their inner qualities and ironically their very own religious teachings. It's because people are automatized and blind followers of their personality. Wars exist anyways, religion is one way to salvation. It's hope to humanity. It's a necessity.

    That's the purpose of religion.
    Atheist gone wrong!! Try to convert me to your religion!

    I'll also add some things about Si. I've refreshed my knowledge regarding Si lately and I feel like I have a better understanding of how it works now. So now I can explain a little bit better why I think Si is sort of connected to religion.

    I see two situations. The first may be connected to Fe, because the things that Si stores away are connected to feelings with me. When I experience what I call good feelings like laughter - the more genuine the better - Si ever so often stores it away. The feeling-sensation and a visual, for example and then I may relive it. This could, with time, accumulate to a "rich inner world" filled with good memories. These good Si memories-feelings-sensations basically convince us of the goodness of the world>sensation of God. We can see that someone who experience much good feelings, especially of existential nature, would be more likely to believe in God-concepts.

    Second situation is that we, as an example, read a biblical text and think "this is valuable/this is true" and Si stores it away connecting the feeling of "this is true" with the text we read. Edit: This sounds way too NLP and it needs to be explained better. What happens is that we receive sensory information and then we 'introvert'. This could be Ti, I'm not sure, but we introvert and consider the data and if we think it's important to us it is likely to stick to our Si map. It becomes a part of our map/world/inner guidelines and may be words that we come to live by. Our Si map. > We follow it's wisdom, because we recognize it's value. From here on we could become religious or simple take it's wisdom and leave.

    I think that the second situation induces the first. What I mean is that when we follow the words of God we get many happy memories. Which is a loop that reinforces our faith.

    This is taking a functions approach to religion(focusing only on Si, a little Fe - because I don't know enough about function theory to explain the relationship between functions). I'm not reducing anyone to a walking introverted sensor. I could see how someone would be upset if they read it as "he says Si is the cause of my faith" but that's not what I'm saying. I'm saying it's a route there that could connect you with God. I've heard ISFJs are spiritual people and I think that's probably true, this is how I try to apply the theory and explain why. I also understand how someone can be ISFJ and not spiritual/religious, because that's where I was, or thought myself to be, when I first got into the MBTI.

  8. #47
    ISFJ - The Nurturers

    It's hope to humanity.
    When religion teaches you to see yourself as an abject slave then I suppose you are, in a way, stricken to look for salvation. - As Hitchens would most likely put it.

  9. #48

    as an abject slave then I suppose you are, in a way, stricken to look for salvation. - As Hitchens would most likely put it.
    Yes, we'd look for a way out of it.

    Are we not slaves?

    I believe myself to be a slave to my body, mind and heart. It's a matter or perspective, but when I look at myself and humanity I see prisoners. I am trapped in this body, I have very little free will and it's a struggle to stay on the happy side of life.

    But I'm not so cynical anymore, I believe it's possible to have much more because I've seen it. Some people are very happy with very little. It's perspective. Religion has the possibility to bring perspective and freedom, it does not enslave. We do that on our own.

    On the subject of perspective, I find it to be a weird perspective to say that religion teaches people to be anything. We accepts our truths on our own and can't blame it on the teacher. I strongly believe that it's up to the individual to interpret the message. Whether it's your opinion or Hitchens, you can't blame a messenger for the truth the reciever chooses. It's his responsibility to make good judgement. If you are interested, you find out on your own whether you're in fact a slave, or not.

  10. #49
    ISFJ - The Nurturers

    I'm sorry, but this is coming across as more of the 'we're only good because that comes from god' stuff that so annoyed me at the memorial service. I prefer to believe better of my fellow people - that we are basically inherently good. If you need to have a god or religion or whatever to accept that or to show that or to live that then so be it, but don't make the incorrect assumption that people who don't have those things are somehow inherently less in tune with their goodness. It is remarkably condescending to say that it's a necessity to have/find religion to be fully cognizant of all it is to be human. That we must 'grow out' of not being religious is also very smug and self-satisfied. I don't think any one route towards being the best person you can be is superior to any other. I try to live a good life with many of the 'morals' suggested by religion because I think it's the right thing to do (though I have huge issues with some of the morals imposed by religious leaders). Others choose to live such a life because it's part of their religious beliefs and thus they see it as the right thing to do. Neither one of those approaches is superior; neither one is a 'necessity' to being the best you can be.

    I don't want to offend you Tucken, (though you were well aware that you were saying something contentious, hence the 'read at own risk' part of your post) but this post does come across as a very smug 'I am older and wiser and have grown on from where you pitiful people are; one day you will be as enlightened as me' attitude. Again, it is attitudes like these that turn me off religion. If to become religious is to imagine that I am better than other people in some way ... well, no thanks. You can keep it.
    floryshe thanked this post.

  11. #50
    Unknown Personality

    It seems a strange concept to feel that being better than some people, in some way, or ways, is somehow a bad thing.
    Is this the subconscious result of PC conditioning, as in the "we're all equal" stuff?
    Just wandering around this forum shows me there are people I am far superior to, in any number of ways.
    Age is certainly a factor. Why would one ever imagine it would not be? Experience can count for a great deal.
    Anyway; it is not religion, per-se that is bad. It is more the way certain people use it for cover and misrepresent it.
    Some of the most hypocritical people I have ever met have been religious.

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