reply to post by ParanoidAmerican
Hi PA - just saw your question. I've heard there's a way to see if people have replied to you, but haven't found it yet (still looking)...
For about ten years I had found myself very uncomfortable in Christian church settings. The behavior of "Christians", the hypocrisy. I started
wondering about how the Bible itself says you'll know people by their actions. The actions I saw were appalling.
But also I had an internal struggle with the idea of the "trinity", of the idea that there is only one God, but we're supposed to pray to Jesus as
God. That made me uncomfortable, and I didn't do it. More and more I went to church because I was "supposed" to, but didn't want anything to do
with the ideas presented or the people.
We moved overseas and my husband was uncomfortable with the church here (we live in a muslim country and there is only one church, a very different
denomination from what he grew up in). For the first time in ten years we weren't going anywhere, and I started studying the Bible on my own, without
guidance, for the very first time.
I didn't get past Matthew chapter 1 on the NT before I thought, "Okay, I have to sort out for myself the problem of these so-called prophecies".
Long story short - I couldn't sort it out. The writers of the NT made up "prophecies" to suit their own purposes, because they lived in a time
where they wouldn't be double-checked by their audience. None of the prophecies for Jesus exist.
And if he wasn't foretold, then you're asking me to accept that a so-called unchanging God suddenly became schizophrenic. I can't buy it. Neither
can I buy that God would suddenly decide to change from a unique belief system to something that copied earlier paganistic/hellenistic religions. No
one who REALLY understands the faith of the Old Testament and knows about other religions can buy this, I promise. Only ignorance can keep
So my faith in God remained strong - and by being able to let go of the idea of Christianity, I was able to let go of all the internal struggles I'd
had with my faith. All the little problems I'd had were related to the inherent discrepancies of the religion. The beauty I found?
- I don't have to convert to anything. God doesn't require it.
- God doesn't require a belief in anything except for him. Was Jonah a true story or an allegory, a moral myth? Did Job really exist? Is the old
testament a true history? It doesn't matter. It's probably mixed history & myth. The old testament is the story of the Jewish people's struggle to
understand God, and it was written by MEN. It can only be understood in that context - it is full of wisdom, but it can't be seen as the "inerrant
word of God from heaven". The only words straight from heaven were put on some stone blocks, and Moses broke those.
I'm still struggling with where I stand on the details. I'm also working on myself, too - to a new idea that what really matters every day is my
actions. It matters how I behave, how I deal with others, my relationships with other people. Christianity doesn't teach that.
The world would be a much better place if all people were taught that their actions are of utmost importance and have long lasting consequences.