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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.
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.
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?
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.
And if they were too old to travel how good is their memory at that point to quote a man who died decades earlier?
So long after his death they got together
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!
Originally posted by Jonna
Personally, I think that the search for Truth should begin within youself and not the will of another.
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.
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.
. I think you missed something.
One thing I must know, do you still believe in God?
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.
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.
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.
God requires you to THINK.
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.
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.
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
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?
The essence of "the adversary" is: simply recognizing there are choices. "The adversary" takes many forms. "Satan" is a desciption of this concept.
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.
Yes, and unfortunately many of the events described and pictures painted are savage, brutal acts peretrated in the name of God.
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 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.
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?
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.
Exactly - and that is how/why this entire religion was formed.
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?
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?
The very nature of God is reflected in all natural things.
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 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 know of only 2 verses, one OT and one NT.
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."
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?
I am saying that I would not teach the Gospel of Thomas because it can be easily twisted by pride.
I am saying that all evil starts with a choice.
If you break these two things down into the most basic descriptions, you have: eternal life with God and eternal life without God.
Why would Angels choose to live without God for all eternity? Pride.