Why I left Christianity - how about you?

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posted on Jul, 22 2004 @ 08:12 PM
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(Raphael - here's the thread - let's talk)

I have to admit - Christanity is a very powerful cult. I was literally afraid for my eternal soul when I began to question it. I was even afraid to question. To this day (I am 38 years old) I have not told my father that I don't believe because he would probably begin an exorcism immediately. But what a relief it was when I finally realized and belived it was false. I felt like a weight was lifted from my solders. Christianity is all about fear - now it is gone.

There wasn't one particular thing but rather it was a culmination. Though I had disputed it for years, I finally admited to myself that there really are contradictions in the bible. There is also a lot of violence, murder, incest, rape and savagry. Many Christians say they don't "follow" the old testament or "the old testament" doesn't apply to us. But the whole basis of Christianity is the belief that Jesus is the messiah predicted by the Jews of the old testament. It is the fulfillment of the Old Testament. So I believe it is hypocrytical or dilussionary at best to think you can accept the new testament and reject the old. And while I still believe that Jesus taught some wonderful things that are basic truths of life - if I cannot accept the old testament how can I accept the fulfillment of it?

But that wasn't the final straw. I then started thinking about the thinking. Yes, thinking. Why would God give us reson and intellect (the primary thing that makes us different than other animals) then require that we completely suspend the use of these in order to get to heaven. I mean, the bible teaches that the only way to get to heaven is "by grace through faith". So, forget using the brain you were given - just believe whatever the pastor/priest tells us? Huh?

Yet that was not the final starw for me - what really got me going was the fact that the oldest gospel is dates around 70 AD. 70 AD!!! That means no one thought it important to write down what "the messiah" said until roughly 37 years after he died?!? And the ultimate problem for me - if Jesus really was God incarnate - I would think he himself would want to make sure that we all knew it and knew it correctly. So, if he was the messiah, why didn't he write down his words himself or dictate it to a desciple if he couldn't write? If he was the messiah then his life was the single most imortant event in human history and he surely would know that. So why didn't he make sure that we got it right? That exactly what we should know was written down, exactly the way he wanted it know? Is God toying with us? I doubt it - I guess this was the final straw for me. There is no way God would be so obtuse or ambiguous as to send the saviour but leave no record for history other than a few "supposed" eyewitness accounts lettered decades after his death. No way.

I believe that Jesus did live, and that he was a rebel (in a peaceful way) and a visionary and taught many great things. And these people were looking for a revolution - a political savior. And they thought it would be Jesus, but he failed them politically. So long after his death they got together and decided they could start their own revolution by hijacking this man's name and teachings and claim he was the savior of the world - and by the way, they are his heirs and the only link left to God. And there is no doubt that Christianity changed the political landscape of the world even to this day.

And consider that key biblical stories (ie the flood) are proven to be mere copies of ancient sumariean stories. Now that doesn't mean these things didn't happen - maybe they did, maybe they are just folklore. The fact is, these were not inspired by God and dicated to Moses as the bible claims. The bible is riddled with inconsitencies and decpetions. And don't even get me started on the cannonizatoin - that new testament class I took in college helped me to see the depth of human influence in the bible as we know it. Ever read any of the lost gosples (ie - Thomas or Mary Magdelen)? I see why they left them out - it would take power away from the church - after all if "God is in us and all around us, not in buildings of wood and stone" as Thomas says, then what need have we of a church?

And the whole satan thing was one of the key things that made me question the whole biblical view. I mean, if satan was initially created by god, and god is all good, and evil did not exist before satan rebelled and was cast out of heaven - then where did satan even get the idea to rebel? Where did the evil thought come from? Did it come from god? If so, then god is both good and evil. Did satan invent it? If so then god created satan with all he is capable of so ultimately god created evil? Or, is there another god that has existed as long as the biblical god that influenced satan? In that case, then there is more than one god out there. Either way, the whole satan idea contradicts the basic premises of the bible, that there is only one god who is only good that created everything and is the most powerful force in the universe. Some part of this premis cannot be true if the satan story is true.




posted on Jul, 22 2004 @ 08:44 PM
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Surprise - Christianity isn't about Jesus. It hasn't been for almost 1600 years. I don't know what it's about, to tell you truth. There's a lot of good people in those churches, and lot of liars.

Love God. You don't need to be taught how to be good. We know this naturally from the spirit of the Real God from childhood. We know without being taught how to act good, we know how to use our spirits from the begining. The churches take us out of this natural union with the spirit, and force us into servitude to their law.

Finding Christ then becomes a matter of returning to this beginning, and overcoming the world.

Your personal experience sounds like the darker aspects of modern religion. It's not about liberty, knowledge, or freedom, but something very different. If you have sense enough to see this, then of course you will free yourself from it.

But use caution - you are in great danger for as long as you are in confusion, you have no place to rest yet. Look for the real truth, you will find it in loving God and every good thing. That is where Jesus is, He knew what was good, and he went there. Follow Him!

Arky



posted on Jul, 23 2004 @ 03:52 AM
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Originally posted by badkitty
(Raphael - here's the thread - let's talk)

I have to admit - Christanity is a very powerful cult. I was literally afraid for my eternal soul when I began to question it. I was even afraid to question. To this day (I am 38 years old) I have not told my father that I don't believe because he would probably begin an exorcism immediately. But what a relief it was when I finally realized and belived it was false. I felt like a weight was lifted from my solders. Christianity is all about fear - now it is gone.


First allow me to say, I do understand exactly how you feel. I do not call myself Christian because that is the religion I follow. I do not believe in Religions, I believe in God. I believe there is one God. I believe there is one Truth. I believe there is one Way.

Christianity should not be all about fear. Now that the fear is gone, perhaps you can learn it is all about love.

There are many people who teach things which are not love in the name of Christianity. Religion requires a religious leader, Christianity requires only God.

One thing I must know, do you still believe in God? That is not to say "this God or that god", but rather the concept that one thing that put all that we see in motion? Or, at least accept the possiblity. This is the one thing I cannot teach, I do not know how. I know god exists because of my own experiences, and these experiences I would wish on no one. It was not something I was taught with words. And no words I can use can teach it.

People find God in many places. While looking at a tree, in the eyes of a child, and yes, even in dreams. Why is this so? Because all is a creation of God, God's love is reflected in all natural things.


There wasn't one particular thing but rather it was a culmination. Though I had disputed it for years, I finally admited to myself that there really are contradictions in the bible. There is also a lot of violence, murder, incest, rape and savagry. Many Christians say they don't "follow" the old testament or "the old testament" doesn't apply to us. But the whole basis of Christianity is the belief that Jesus is the messiah predicted by the Jews of the old testament. It is the fulfillment of the Old Testament. So I believe it is hypocrytical or dilussionary at best to think you can accept the new testament and reject the old. And while I still believe that Jesus taught some wonderful things that are basic truths of life - if I cannot accept the old testament how can I accept the fulfillment of it?


Christians look at the words in the old testament and wonder "how can this be my loving God?" Words are used to describe an event or a concept. Sometimes what we perceive as events, also teach a concept. Hebrew is a very visual language, it paints a picture in one's mind.


But that wasn't the final straw. I then started thinking about the thinking. Yes, thinking. Why would God give us reson and intellect (the primary thing that makes us different than other animals) then require that we completely suspend the use of these in order to get to heaven. I mean, the bible teaches that the only way to get to heaven is "by grace through faith". So, forget using the brain you were given - just believe whatever the pastor/priest tells us? Huh?


With all my heart I believe what I believe. Summarized as simply as I can this is "God is. Love God. Live God."
These are but words to describe a concept.

Are believing these words enough?
Not at all. I must also be able to explain to my children "why?" these are true. Without understanding why these are true, my children will be left with questions. Questions without answers lead to confusion. Confusion leads to doubt. Doubt leads to rejection.

Children inevitably ask these questions. It is the nature of a child. They seek to understand, and they do so with an open mind.

How important is this idea in the bible?
There are two types of sins-- sins against God and sins against man. (I'll come back to this in the future)
The 10 commandments fit into these two catagories.
The first "sin against man" is not "Thou shalt not kill" it is "Honor thy mother and thy father."
Why is this more important than not killing?
Because it is the parents that first teach the children of their beliefs. If you do not honor mother and father, you cannot accept what they say.
What is the most important thing they could say? The answers to "why?" they believe as they do.

This is not the only place the bible shows this truth.

God requires you to THINK. Not for his sake, but for your own sake and the sake of your children. Who is better at teaching a child than his parents?

This is why we can all reason and think. Not only to understand ourselves, but to explain why we understand to our children.



Yet that was not the final starw for me - what really got me going was the fact that the oldest gospel is dates around 70 AD. 70 AD!!! That means no one thought it important to write down what "the messiah" said until roughly 37 years after he died?!? And the ultimate problem for me - if Jesus really was God incarnate - I would think he himself would want to make sure that we all knew it and knew it correctly. So, if he was the messiah, why didn't he write down his words himself or dictate it to a desciple if he couldn't write? If he was the messiah then his life was the single most imortant event in human history and he surely would know that. So why didn't he make sure that we got it right? That exactly what we should know was written down, exactly the way he wanted it know? Is God toying with us? I doubt it - I guess this was the final straw for me. There is no way God would be so obtuse or ambiguous as to send the saviour but leave no record for history other than a few "supposed" eyewitness accounts lettered decades after his death. No way.


I really do not know how to respond to this. I will say, when something was written is not that important to me. The words are for the mind, the lesson they teach are for the soul. When I started searching for answers, I had all the beliefs and questions of an atheist, except I believed in God. I knew God is. But I knew nothing else. The first thing I did was consider the nature of God. My words cannot adequately describe my understanding of Him. And my understanding of Him is not adequate. It's like trying to catch the wind in a plastic bag. Once you catch it, it is no longer wind.

The first thing I understood is that God is everything and everywhere and everywhen.

He created us with our own minds-- free will (to use a label of Christians)
He doesn't want to force us into servitude. If he did, he would have made us this way.

When I think of the everywhen that is God, and consider your words "I would think he himself would want to make sure that we all knew it and knew it correctly", I see the answer as plain as day.

If God had wanted to "make sure that we all knew it and knew it correctly and completely", he would not have made us as we are. He would have never given us the choice. He would have never allowed us this ability to choose. I consider these events in history a nudge in the right direction. Not enough to override that which God gave us, but just enough to put us on the right path.


I believe that Jesus did live, and that he was a rebel (in a peaceful way) and a visionary and taught many great things. And these people were looking for a revolution - a political savior. And they thought it would be Jesus, but he failed them politically. So long after his death they got together and decided they could start their own revolution by hijacking this man's name and teachings and claim he was the savior of the world - and by the way, they are his heirs and the only link left to God. And there is no doubt that Christianity changed the political landscape of the world even to this day.


Jesus was a rebel. He took the structure of beliefs and turned them on end. Jesus was not put on this earth to be a political savior, but a savior of the soul. Things of this earth are not things that we need for longer than we are here. Things of the soul are things we need forever.

The fact that men used this to further there own ends is human nature. They see some goodness and they seek to exploit it for their own ends.
I believe men are capable of many things, I firmly believe that if there was a way to regulate it, men would charge for the very air we breathe. Matter of fact, you can already go to a store and buy a canister of compressed air.

It is human nature. but this is not the nature of the spirit.


And consider that key biblical stories (ie the flood) are proven to be mere copies of ancient sumariean stories. Now that doesn't mean these things didn't happen - maybe they did, maybe they are just folklore. The fact is, these were not inspired by God and dicated to Moses as the bible claims. The bible is riddled with inconsitencies and decpetions. And don't even get me started on the cannonizatoin - that new testament class I took in college helped me to see the depth of human influence in the bible as we know it. Ever read any of the lost gosples (ie - Thomas or Mary Magdelen)? I see why they left them out - it would take power away from the church - after all if "God is in us and all around us, not in buildings of wood and stone" as Thomas says, then what need have we of a church?


Dictated no. Inspired yes. They teach a concept. Will I say that Noah existed and he build an ark so long by so long? And then stuff all the animals in the world on it for 40 days and 40 nights (longer really since you would have to allow time to collect the animals into the ark and such)? No. I will not.

There is a children's song about noah, one of the verses go "... the smell must have drove poor noah crazy crazy... "

Thinking everything is literal is crazy.

The concept however is simple God wants us to love him. If all the earth did not love him, that is to say if no one was left to teach the children about him, he could wipe the earth and start again. But, only takes one man to teach his children. His children will teach their children and then those children their children. If just one of those children teaches another that does not beleive, the whole process starts there as well.

This is the concept taught. I see this reflected in the world. Have you not heard it said "it only takes a spark to get a fire going"? This is a reflection of what "God knows" as seen in his creation.

I have read the Book of Thomas recently because of your mention that he said "God is in us and all around us, not in buildings of wood and stone".
I saw truth in those words. Captain Kirk can relate too. "Why would God need a starship."


God is not in the buildings he is within each of us. God does not teach us to huddle only among those who think the same as we do. He wants us to go out and spread the word of his love. Why then do we need a Church? Because each of us have questions that require answers. Finding those answers by yourself is not easy. You don't make your children figure out how to count on their own, add on their own, and multiply on their own. It is also silly to say that we only learn when in school. Learning happens all the time. Every experience is a learning experience--In school, out of school, it doesn't matter. So it is the same with God, love God-- in church, out of church, where ever you are. You do not need church, but other people may need you to understand. If you hide yourself in a closet, who then can ask you to explain what you already know?

I stated I have read the book of Thomas. I find many truths in what he says. But...

Love is found through humility. Sin is found through pride. (in the future I will explain further)

These ideas he teaches, are humble ideas. But they are easily twisted by pride to become something other than what they are intended.

If you understand pride and humility, you can look around and see that men already do this with the other teachings. How much worse would it be if entire chapters could be twisted in context?

I would not teach these things, as they are presented, to someone who did not know "God is". Thinking "God is" is not enough to keep the words from being twisted.


And the whole satan thing was one of the key things that made me question the whole biblical view. I mean, if satan was initially created by god, and god is all good, and evil did not exist before satan rebelled and was cast out of heaven - then where did satan even get the idea to rebel? Where did the evil thought come from? Did it come from god? If so, then god is both good and evil. Did satan invent it? If so then god created satan with all he is capable of so ultimately god created evil? Or, is there another god that has existed as long as the biblical god that influenced satan? In that case, then there is more than one god out there. Either way, the whole satan idea contradicts the basic premises of the bible, that there is only one god who is only good that created everything and is the most powerful force in the universe. Some part of this premis cannot be true if the satan story is true.


The nature of Good and Evil. When I sought understanding of this, it was like trying to catch the wind in a butterfly net. Understanding this requires a great deal of thought. I hope I can put this concept into words adequately enough for you to understand. There are many lessons here all intertwined.

Free will is the choice to love God.

In order for you to have a choice, there must be a choice.
To love God or not.

Unconditional love is humble.
that which is not humble is proud.


Think back to the story of Adam and Eve. Eve knows the fruit is the fruit of all knowledge. She recognizes this to be true. God's will was "do not eat the fruit". She had free will the choices were simply "eat the fruit of all knowledge or do not".

A humble person recognize, "I have the potential to know all that God knows. But God says no."
A proud person recognize, "I have the potential to know all that God knows. But God says no."

Humility would then allow one to think "I can never know as much as God."
Pride would then allow one to think "I can know as much as God."

Thinking is not action. But action comes from thought.


Eve was "tempted by the adversary". The essence of this is that she recognized that she had two paths she could take.

She then chose one of those two actions.

A similar then happened to Adam. The essence of this is that he recognized that he had two paths he could take. In this instance, Eve was "the adversary".

He then chose one of those two actions.


Lets go back a little now...

Angels were created with complete understanding. Men were created without complete understanding. (There are other differences but are not important at this time.)

Angels were created first, Men were created second. Both were created with free will.

When Man was created, God told the angels to bow down to this new creation. Because angels had complete understanding, they recognized they had a choice. Some did not choose to do what God told them.

One of these angels who chose not do what God told them, appeared to Eve, and tempted her. Why did it tempt her? Because he wanted to prove they were not worthy of worship, and it had made the right choice.

Why did Eve tempt Adam? Because she wanted to prove she made the right choice.

The essence of "the adversary" is: simply recognizing there are choices. "The adversary" takes many forms. "Satan" is a desciption of this concept.


That is alot to absorb, and I may have given you too much at one time.
If you seek understanding, ask questions.

.




[Edited on 23-7-2004 by Raphael_UO]



posted on Jul, 23 2004 @ 07:40 AM
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This is from the thread on ATS, I thought it better to explain your questions here.


Originally posted by badkitty
What purpose is only for the poor when it comes to salvation? Why would writing things down not help their purpose?


It was not only for the poor. It was for everyone. They had a sense of urgency. They thought Jesus would be returning within their life times. They wanted to get the word out quickly.


Much of the letters to the curches were corrections. To my point above - why leave things to confusion? Why leave it to desciples (and Paul who wrote a great deal didn't even know Jesus) to clarify things later? Surely God is wiser than that.


Corrections of understanding. Think of how a child learns. You tell them a fact, like "God is". They will ask, "why?" Until a person understands, answers lead to questons which lead to answers which lead to questions ...

God did not create us with perfect understanding. He gave us the ability to learn.

I never met Jesus, but that does not mean I can not answer questions to the best of my understanding.




And if they were too old to travel how good is their memory at that point to quote a man who died decades earlier?


It isn't all that important to quote word for word, as long as the meaning behind the words remain intact.

"Walk to the store and buy a loaf of bread" or "Go to the store and buy bread" Both of these things say basically the same thing, the first is more specific. The second could leave you with questions like "How much bread?"

However, prior to this if I taught you to buy only what we need. You could figure out the answer on your own.

So, then if I were to say "I invited the family over, go to the store and buy bread." You know to buy only what we need. You could figure out for yourself how much bread we need for the family.

.



posted on Jul, 23 2004 @ 10:32 AM
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I know what you mean by the whole christianity thing, they play us with both hands...
I've come to learn that god is everywhere, and to follow all things good... Of course I don't do that all the time because sometimes it's not remembered, I understand what arkaleus said and it makes perfect sense.. Jesus knew all things good and followed it, and I think this country should start taking the same steps, this world would be such a better happier place...



posted on Jul, 23 2004 @ 10:55 AM
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Like most children I went along with what my parents thought because they are the main role models on how one without life experience should act/think. However when I begain to question things as oppose to just accepting them as fact because of blind faith, I came to the realization that christianity provided no benefit to my life and thus discarded the so-called 'facts' that were forced (although with the best intentions) upon me.

Regardless of what I think of the religion, if it works for you then more power to ya. If it doesn't, then more power to you as well. Personally, I think that the search for Truth should begin within youself and not the will of another.



posted on Jul, 23 2004 @ 01:17 PM
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So long after his death they got together


actually it was not that long after, Paul/Saul is the one that changed it from
Jesus the Rabbi to Jesus the God.
seem as though i remember a story from somewhere that Paul had his vision
after falling from a horse of donkey and getting a good knock on the head.



posted on Jul, 23 2004 @ 01:37 PM
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heh. im semi christian leaning towards diest. but the point of instilling fear into the masses during a sermon is mailinly a catholic thing. ive been to all sorts of churchs with my friend's families and fear was ot spread. i actually had a good time. making people fearful of god is a catholic thing.



posted on Jul, 23 2004 @ 09:49 PM
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Originally posted by Arkaleus
But use caution - you are in great danger for as long as you are in confusion, you have no place to rest yet. Look for the real truth, you will find it in loving God and every good thing. That is where Jesus is, He knew what was good, and he went there. Follow Him!

Arky


Arky - thank you for the reply and the advise. Please know, I am not wandering. I made this decision quite a long time ago. I have chosen to label myself a "Deist". I do still believe in God - and I've found that Deist writing has been so enlightening. By the way, I do not believe that only good things come from God - or at least good as we humans often define it. We might define a tornado as bad or evil but I believe that all things natural (good and bad) come from God.



posted on Jul, 23 2004 @ 10:07 PM
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Originally posted by Jonna
Personally, I think that the search for Truth should begin within youself and not the will of another.


Jonna - I completely agree, that is a great place to start. Afterall, if you believe in any kind of God at all (which I do - just not the Christian religion) then the basic idea that we are created by God implies that we are exactly what God intended us to be. So by looking within ourselves, as well as at eachother and at all things that God created we can gain a better understanding of God. And even if it turns out that there is no God at all, trying to understand humanity and nature is a benefit for all the world so, no harm no foul.



posted on Jul, 23 2004 @ 10:11 PM
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Originally posted by stalkingwolf



So long after his death they got together


actually it was not that long after, Paul/Saul is the one that changed it from
Jesus the Rabbi to Jesus the God.
seem as though i remember a story from somewhere that Paul had his vision
after falling from a horse of donkey and getting a good knock on the head.


Stalking - first, I love your avatar, I love wolves. But back on track, not sure where your going with this? But lets clarify a few things, first: I know my bible fairly well and if I can't quote it by heart, I can find it quickly. Second: Paul did not know Jesus in life - he had a vision in which Jesus "appeared" to him, blinded him, re-named him and set him on his mission. So while the earliest writings are from Paul/Saul - they are not from someone who witnessed Jesus' teachings in person. As for chanign Jesus from Rabi to God - read your gospels again. I think you missed something.



posted on Jul, 23 2004 @ 10:18 PM
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Originally posted by KrazyIvan
heh. im semi christian leaning towards diest. but the point of instilling fear into the masses during a sermon is mailinly a catholic thing. ive been to all sorts of churchs with my friend's families and fear was ot spread. i actually had a good time. making people fearful of god is a catholic thing.


Hi Krazy - I actually AM a Deist at this point. I have run the gammut of religions, from various Christian denominations (lutheran, presbyterian, pentacostal, baptist, catholic, methodist an non-denominational), to Zen, to TM, to Wicca, to Buddist (not really a religion in my experience but a philosphy), and finally to Deism. And here I rest. I have found no flaws, no human manipulation, no political agenda, no narcism, just God.

But I can tell you, having spent time in the various Christian denominations - it all boils down to fear. Fear of sin, fear of hell, fear of damnation, fear of being cast away, looked down upon.

I have a good friend who is Jewish and he once said to me "The big difference between Judaism and Christianity is - Judaism is all about "Do's" in other words, there a several hundered things you must do to get to heaven. And Christianity is all about "Don'ts" - there are a slew of things you "can't" do if you want to get to heaven". Either way, it is all about fear of not following the rules.



posted on Jul, 23 2004 @ 11:54 PM
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well i dont know if people are afraid of sin. i mean all you have to do is repent once in a while. basically apologizing.



posted on Jul, 24 2004 @ 02:42 AM
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I was brought up Catholic and rememeber being told at school that if we missed church on sunday without a good reason we had committed a mortal sin annd had imperilled our souls. I was seven years old at the time and spent a lot of my childhood in fear/guilt. I'm not saying a little fear and guilt can't be constructive when growing up but on a daily basis at best it makes you rebel, and at worst it starts to erode your self esteem.

I still believe in a God, believe the bible was a mixture of historical fact, myth and rules that were pertinent to their time, and strongly think that not one religion in the whole world has got it 100% right or even close.



posted on Jul, 24 2004 @ 10:34 AM
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. I think you missed something.


if you read closely after Saul became Paul you will find that there were
actually 2 churches. The church at Jerusalem led by James the brother
of Jesus and most of the other Disciples or followers of Jesus.

Then there was Paul and his followers who preached " a different Jesus" .

Paul in several places admits that James has sent people from Jerusalem
to refute him.

Jesus was diefied by vote of council almost 300 yrs after the fact.



posted on Jul, 24 2004 @ 11:46 AM
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I was introduced into Christianity at age 10.

I had no previous knowledge of Christianity or Heaven or a Hell, for none of those things were taught to me. My parents, open-minded as they were, taught me different religious and spiritual concepts on the sly. I remember getting a hardbound copy of ' Marian's Big Book Of Bible Stories' at Christmas
and I can remember reading all of it, very thoroughly and quickly, as I was an avid and intelligent reader, far ahead of my classmates,(your typical 'bookworm'). I liked it, insofar as to say to my mom,(who was raised Catholic), that I thought the stories were magical and fantastic in Nature. Wow! I was impressed! More like the child's way of saying, that like 'Aesop's Fables' had a good morale boost and ethical scale. I was later introduced to my first 'church experience, when my parents divorced. My mom, bound and determined to see her kids raised right, my brother and I were decked out in fancy-schmancy clothes and dragged unwittingly and quite early, one Sunday morning to a Cathedral on the west side of town. I sat in one of the long benches, polished to gleaming perfection(I would later find out this was a 'pew' ) and sat like a good girl, with my younger brother, and waited, while mom went to talk to a robed man. I saw in front of me, one of the most beautifully bound books I've ever seen. It read 'Peh-Salms' (Psalms, I later found out, the 'P' was silent). It was trimmed in gold, leafy pages, looked pretty! I was an artist.. I never left my home, without at least a pen, marker, crayon, or some drawing medium. You can guess what happened next
! Blank Pages, filled to the brim with rainbows and flowers, and a house and sunshine, and..you get the gist
Mom left with us, hustling us out, after ten minutes, with a very fuming expression on her face, and it had nothing to do with what I did. She didn't care, what I did. The priest told her, she would no longer be welcome in the house of God, because she divorced her husband, and that Catholicism, had changed the rules on the matter. Her response was,"You may have changed the rules. But God didn't!" Later, after 'The Talk', with mom, Bible School, Sundays of being dragged unwittingly into a high-fashion, boring show of blasphemy against women, and original sin, and so on....I learned to understand the Bible on my own terms, in my own way, and even fancied myself to be a Christian. That was until I read further, between the lines. That was, until I was still outcasted by my peers, even thought I had become Christian, like they claimed to be. That was before I really began to miss my father,(long gone by my teen years). That was, before my stepfather, was a firmly entrenched and accepted part of my life.
In all cases, I did whatever I could to crowd please, and STILL nothing worked. Only my mom and brother loved me, and accepted me, just as I was.
The Bible told me Jesus loved me, and God loved me. But they were empty words to me. Males in general didn't. My father abandoned me, my stepfather browbeat me, every chance he got, I felt like the male gender saw me as a defective piece of equipment, they couldn't fix. I couldn't be broken-spirited. I just had to think for myself; a crime in their eyes, that would have punishment ensuing if I digressed, from their way. I felt overall,
rejected from the Christian way, rejected by my father, and later, I was molested, by someone in the family. I really began to dislike this loving God everyone boasted of! The man who molested me was a reverend, who told me I was born wicked, and should be punished for enticing him. I felt sickened. I wanted justice! For all my rejection, I wanted answers! I felt like asking,"Why is all the other girls accepted by you, except for me? Am I not good enough to be your daughter?" I'm having a difficult time writing this right now. In short, I turned to the Goddess, committed my life and my Spirit to Her, and she has never forsaken me. She has always comforted me, in times of need, and strengthened and fueled my questions with answers that made sense. She hasn't made me hate or dislike God any further, but made me understand, that it is not God who rejected me, nor Christ, but the men in my life, thus far, have their 'human' failures and faults, just like me. I don't have a problem with others' faiths, or their convictions. I don't have a problem with Christianity in some respects, but in other respects, for example
in Corinthians,(not fond of that book in particular,) they talk of how women should be, and were treated, that a girls' rapist would be paid 50 shekels of silver, and forced to marry the girl. Or that menstruating, would have to travel several miles outside of the city, and stay away from all water sources for several days. I could cite several examples, however, I think the gist of what I'm saying is clear. Women in Christianity, are not viewed as equals. They are viewed as "lesser vessels" to men. Maybe not all women are treated as badly as I was, but I feel that I personally made the right choice of spiritual path, when I chose the Goddess instead. She has helped me tremendously, in that now I can deal with men, on an even footing. Yes, I still have issues, I need to seek my father about, and talk with him. Perhaps, that might helped me understand the male half of my Divinity a little better, and come to a better appreciation of it. For now though, I still shake my head.



posted on Jul, 24 2004 @ 03:34 PM
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I stop believing in organize religion when I started to realize that I was having since childhood a knowledge that everything that was inculcated to me be religious teachings were not true even as a child I could not possible bring myself to believe as I got older I came to the conclusion that the reason I could not believe is because they were lies.

I was able to see what others could not and that was deception the deception of the church toward their members.



posted on Jul, 25 2004 @ 06:04 PM
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Raphael - thanks for the response. Let me try to address this one peice at a time:



One thing I must know, do you still believe in God?


Yes, I do. While I call myself a Deist - and so far agree with all Deist writings I have read I don't feel the need to label my belief or ascribe to a particular religion.



People find God in many places. While looking at a tree, in the eyes of a child, and yes, even in dreams. Why is this so? Because all is a creation of God, God's love is reflected in all natural things.


I agree and this is a common Deist philosophy. Though rather than saying "God's love" is reflected in all natural things I would say (as would most Deists) that the very nature of God is reflected and Gods laws. I believe God is love but much more. Just as we see peace and beauty as well as destruction and fierceness in nature - so is God all these things.




Christians look at the words in the old testament and wonder "how can this be my loving God?" Words are used to describe an event or a concept. Sometimes what we perceive as events, also teach a concept. Hebrew is a very visual language, it paints a picture in one's mind.


Yes, and unfortunately many of the events described and pictures painted are savage, brutal acts peretrated in the name of God.



There are two types of sins-- sins against God and sins against man. The 10 commandments fit into these two catagories. The first "sin against man" is not "Thou shalt not kill" it is "Honor thy mother and thy father." Why is this more important than not killing? Because it is the parents that first teach the children of their beliefs. If you do not honor mother and father, you cannot accept what they say.


Why do you think that the order in which the commandments appear indicates their level of importance - as in a rank? Does this mean you believe there are "levels of sin" and "levels of punishment"?



God requires you to THINK.


I agree completely but where do you find this in the bible? I have found that the bible does just the opposite - requires you to accept and believe, not think or question.



I will say, when something was written is not that important to me. The words are for the mind, the lesson they teach are for the soul.


The when is important to me because it greatly affects the accuracy. If I write down your words as you say them there is no worry of me forgetting something or taking things out of context and they are not subject to my interpretation or faulty memory. The fact that Jesus' supposed teachings were not written until decades after his death and the men who write them were by then very old or were not even the actual witnesses means we cannot be confident that it is accurate. And as I said before - the main thing that disturbes me about this is - why would God incarnate not ensure that the message was documented and accurate?



If God had wanted to "make sure that we all knew it and knew it correctly and completely", he would not have made us as we are. He would have never given us the choice. He would have never allowed us this ability to choose.


Well - let consider the word choice. According to Merriam-Websters it means: "the act of choosing" and choose means "1 a : to select freely and after consideration b : to decide on especially by vote
2 a : to have a preference for b : DECIDE intransitive senses 1 : to make a selection 2 : to take an alternative"

So to choose means I have more than one option and can "freely select after consideration". However, how can I give consideration to something that I am not given all of the information on? If I am free to choose to follow a messiah or not shouldn't I be given all the information on this messiah so I can actually make a choice. Without all the information I am merely guessing and not choosing.



The fact that men used this to further there own ends is human nature. They see some goodness and they seek to exploit it for their own ends


Exactly - and that is how/why this entire religion was formed.



If you understand pride and humility, you can look around and see that men already do this with the other teachings. How much worse would it be if entire chapters could be twisted in context?

So are you saying that the Gospel of Thomas should not be included in the bible because it can be easily twisted? The entire bible can be easily twisted - and how do you know that a great deal of it wasn't?



The essence of "the adversary" is: simply recognizing there are choices. "The adversary" takes many forms. "Satan" is a desciption of this concept.


So are you saying that there is no "evil" only bad choices? If God created angels with perfect understanding then they would know that not obeying God would result in punishment. So why would they bring this upon themselves?



posted on Jul, 25 2004 @ 11:21 PM
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Originally posted by badkitty
Yes, I do. While I call myself a Deist - and so far agree with all Deist writings I have read I don't feel the need to label my belief or ascribe to a particular religion.

...

I agree and this is a common Deist philosophy. Though rather than saying "God's love" is reflected in all natural things I would say (as would most Deists) that the very nature of God is reflected and Gods laws. I believe God is love but much more. Just as we see peace and beauty as well as destruction and fierceness in nature - so is God all these things.


Saying "God is love" is like saying "I have caught the wind in a plastic bag."
The very nature of God is reflected in all natural things.

I never really took the time to find out what a "deist" believes until recently. If you go by methodology alone, I would say I was a "Deist" that is also a "Christian".

I do not think they have to be seperate things.

However, I couldn't call myself Catholic, or Methodist, or Baptist...





Yes, and unfortunately many of the events described and pictures painted are savage, brutal acts peretrated in the name of God.


Indeed they do. But I see these being similiar to giving you a credit card and telling you to "go to the store and buy bread". Then you return home with 20 loaves, when only one was needed. While I taught you to buy only what was needed, the choice of how many was still yours.





Why do you think that the order in which the commandments appear indicates their level of importance - as in a rank? Does this mean you believe there are "levels of sin" and "levels of punishment"?


I believe the commandments do have a particular order. When one makes a list of things, one generally lists them with what is perceived as most important first. But no, I do not believe there are "levels of sin" nor "levels of punishment".



I agree completely but where do you find this in the bible? I have found that the bible does just the opposite - requires you to accept and believe, not think or question.


I know of only 2 verses, one OT and one NT. While these are the only ones I know, it does not mean more do not exist. Once I found what I was looking for, I moved on to other questions.

Psalm 32:9 (KJV)
Be ye not as the horse, or as the mule, which have no understanding: whose mouth must be held in with bit and bridle, lest they come near unto thee.

1 Thessalonians 5:21 (KJV)
Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.





The when is important to me because it greatly affects the accuracy. If I write down your words as you say them there is no worry of me forgetting something or taking things out of context and they are not subject to my interpretation or faulty memory. The fact that Jesus' supposed teachings were not written until decades after his death and the men who write them were by then very old or were not even the actual witnesses means we cannot be confident that it is accurate. And as I said before - the main thing that disturbes me about this is - why would God incarnate not ensure that the message was documented and accurate?


When I taught my children how to add, I did not require them to take notes. I simply raised one finger on one hand and said "One". Then I raised one finger on the other hand and said "plus one ". I brought the fingers together and said, "equals." then I whispered, "Count them."

I see this "incarnation" simply as God answering the question "How?" with "Let me show you."





Well - let consider the word choice. According to Merriam-Websters it means: "the act of choosing" and choose means "1 a : to select freely and after consideration b : to decide on especially by vote
2 a : to have a preference for b : DECIDE intransitive senses 1 : to make a selection 2 : to take an alternative"

So to choose means I have more than one option and can "freely select after consideration". However, how can I give consideration to something that I am not given all of the information on? If I am free to choose to follow a messiah or not shouldn't I be given all the information on this messiah so I can actually make a choice. Without all the information I am merely guessing and not choosing.


Are you saying you never decide on anything without all the information? Do you have a complete manual for the car you drive? Or is it enough to know that gas goes here, oil goes there, push this to go, push that to stop, turn this to change directions?

You are indeed free to make a choice, you can either choose to follow Jesus' teachings or not, based on the information you have.

I know you have read the NT "a few" times.
Set aside the teachings of religions and consider this:

If I were to summarize Jesus' teachings, I would say they were "Love God, Love your fellow man." Do you agree this is an accurate summary? Do you believe any differently?



Exactly - and that is how/why this entire religion was formed.


I think it would be safe to say that "this entire religion" was formed to teach. I cannot deny that later it was exploited, and many terrible things were done "in the name of God". But I do not believe that "all" of the exploitation were done intentionally.



So are you saying that the Gospel of Thomas should not be included in the bible because it can be easily twisted? The entire bible can be easily twisted - and how do you know that a great deal of it wasn't?


I am saying that I would not teach the Gospel of Thomas because it can be easily twisted by pride.

Most "twisting" is not easy. A "corrupt person" twists a few verses to base their beliefs. They take things out of context, and rely on people not knowing any better.

When I teach of the bible, I start by teaching "basics".
God is. Love God. Live God.
I cannot teach the first. But I have taught "How?" for the other two. The first lesson is learning how to love. Learning what it is, and what it isn't. The bible teaches the importance of this. So do I. Once a person understands "what love isn't", they can spot "corruption" in teachings. The nature of "the Adversary" is a nature of pride. "The Adversary" cannot teach anything in humility. There is always a twist. A twist of pride.



So are you saying that there is no "evil" only bad choices? If God created angels with perfect understanding then they would know that not obeying God would result in punishment. So why would they bring this upon themselves?


I am saying that all evil starts with a choice.

You ask about punishment, and indeed this is a question that should be answered.

Punishment is a form of behavior modification. God does not need to modify "our" behavior. If he did, he would have made "our" behavior that way.

The same can be said of reward. Reward is a form of behavior modification. God does not need to modify "our" behavior. If he did, he would have made "our" behavior that way.

So what about heaven and hell?
If you break these two things down into the most basic descriptions, you have: eternal life with God and eternal life without God. God does not reward or punish with these things. They are the results of the choices made. Do God's will (love God), and love God forever. Do not do God's will (not loving God) and "not love" God forever. God loves sinners and saints. The sinners choose to live without loving God.

Back to the actual question.
Why would Angels choose to live without God for all eternity? Pride. Pride builds upon pride. It may have started out with "Bow down? Man is not worthy of such reverance." but it did not end there. They knew they had a choice. They knew the results of that choice. But it was a choice they were free to make. Through pride they made their choice.

.


[Edited on 25-7-2004 by Raphael_UO]



posted on Jul, 26 2004 @ 08:05 PM
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The very nature of God is reflected in all natural things.

I agree - I only point out that all things natural are not necessarily perceived as good or beautiful. For example, a lion kills its prey, a tornado rips through a city, lightning strikes a man, etc. Nature is beautiful, and violent, and unpredictable - as is God.



Indeed they do. But I see these being similiar to giving you a credit card and telling you to "go to the store and buy bread". Then you return home with 20 loaves, when only one was needed. While I taught you to buy only what was needed, the choice of how many was still yours.

I'm sorry, I'm not understanding what you are trying to say here. My point was, I find the old testament brutal, violent and full of sin.



I believe the commandments do have a particular order. When one makes a list of things, one generally lists them with what is perceived as most important first. But no, I do not believe there are "levels of sin" nor "levels of punishment".

Then what would be the point of "ranking" them if there is no variance in punishment?



I know of only 2 verses, one OT and one NT.

Thank you for sharing these - I see your point.



When I taught my children how to add, I did not require them to take notes. I simply raised one finger on one hand and said "One". Then I raised one finger on the other hand and said "plus one ". I brought the fingers together and said, "equals." then I whispered, "Count them."

Yes, but you are there telling your children yourself. However, if you knew that you would not be there for your children. If you knew you were going to die and you held in your words the key to their salvation would you simply tell them to someone and ask them to pass it along or would you make sure you documented them so your children would have that key?



If I were to summarize Jesus' teachings, I would say they were "Love God, Love your fellow man." Do you agree this is an accurate summary? Do you believe any differently?

Yes, I agree with these teachings. And I did not mean to imply that I reject the teachings of Jesus - in fact I said in a previous post that I did believe in the valuable lessons he "supposedly" taught. What I question is the whole idea of a Jewish messiah and that Jesus was that messiah.



I am saying that I would not teach the Gospel of Thomas because it can be easily twisted by pride.

Maybe it can be easily twisted - and so can most of the bible. I don't belive that sensorship is the answer to salvation. Those who will twist it, will twist every book of the bible.



I am saying that all evil starts with a choice.

Please answer this directly: Is there a source of evil?



If you break these two things down into the most basic descriptions, you have: eternal life with God and eternal life without God.

I believe the bible is clear in that the reward includes peace, happiness and even a mansion. And the punishment includes fire, brimstone and eternal suffering. That is much more than just with or without God, that is clear bribery and threat of pain.



Why would Angels choose to live without God for all eternity? Pride.

OK, so did God create pride? If not, where did it come from?





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