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Christian upbringing? (me, too) Recently born again? Let's talk!

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posted on Jul, 16 2012 @ 08:21 PM
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reply to post by AfterInfinity
 


May I try to answer your question of unconditional love and it seeming a contradiction to some...

God loves us all... unconditionally...just as we are. However, God set the bar or standard high for growth, enlightenment, and salvation. That being said, lust, drunkeness, anger, envy, revenge.... they are all just as bad as any of the condemning sins that most churches preach upon... homosexuality or debauchery or drugs.

So when the guy in pew 12 on the left side ia lusting after the big breasted woman in the choir... it's just as bad as killing someone... or being angry... or any other sin. There are no perfect people... none.... self righteous but not perfect.

God knew this and sent His son, Jesus, as a sacrifice to rid us of our sins... Jesus makes up for our short comings.We are not perfect people... God did this on purpose. Anyone can get a prostitute to say "I love you."... however, how much more satisfying it is when it is freely given... that's why God did not make autobots... He made free thinking people...

Just like a father loves his children, but lets them grow and make mistakes... that's how you mature and gain experience... and when the child strays and then comes back one day and says "Hey, you were right... I love you." That is a blessing... a heart warming blessing for the father.

That is how it is with God.

No matter what flaw, trait, unique feature you carry... God loves you and simply asks that you love Him... that's it. He wants us to aspire to perfection, but knows we are not. You will not go to Hell for being gay, lesbian, bi, straight, a drunk, lustful, angry, etc... you will go for not knowing and acknowledging God.

And just so you know... even Jesus said that many of those that call upon His name will go to Hell... "depart from me, for I never knew you."




posted on Jul, 16 2012 @ 08:23 PM
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I grew up as a Baptist. My dad died of a heart attack in front of me when I was 9 and he was 35. I fell away from the church by the time I was 13. I started smoking cigarrettes an fighting around that age. I wore Harley tees and a chained wallet "before" it was cool. I decided to go into the military when I was a Junior in high school. In my second year of the military I realized there was more to life than money and material things. Therefore, started going to church services on Sundays at a church off base. Slowly the Lord allowed me to understand His word. This continues to this very day.

I think where preachers have been going wrong is in their promises of wealth and prosperity without any bumps in the road. Not only is this contrary to what Jesus said, it is the reason why a new follower of Jesus Christ leaves the faith so quickly. A lot of them are at the bottom in life and hear a preacher say, "Say this prayer with me and ask Jesus into your heart and life. Then they say, "all your problems are gone. Things will turn around now and you will get that new job/promotion. Then things do not get better immediately."

There are still tribulations in their life. They think that all the church wants is money and it is a big scam. The evangelical preachers have been failing miserably for at least the past 7 decades! The correct way to approach people concerning the word of God is to show them that according to the law of God they are condemned for just one sin. You do this by asking them if they have ever lied, stolen, looked at the opposite sex in a sexual manner, said the Lords' name in vain etc.... Of course they will admit to these things. Most people have committed all of these sins. By their own admittance, they are a lying adulterous blaspheming thief.

Then you tell them about the mercy and grace that God showed to us by providing His son as the perfect sacrifice for our sins. If we believe in Jesus Christ being our Savior, confessing Him being our Savior and Lord with our mouths, repenting our our sins and become baptized in the Holy Spirit is the only way we will be found worthy of being in Heaven with the Lord our God; Yeshua forever.

You see, this type of teaching is directly in line with how Jesus taught people while He was here on earth with us. He applied the law of God first. Then He taught the people how to be counted worthy. Further, He taught about what happens when a person is not found worthy when the Day of Lord comes. This is the most practical, straight-forward and honest way to teach others the word of God.

God Bless You All.....



posted on Jul, 16 2012 @ 08:25 PM
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Oh... and when I said you will go to Hell for not knowing God... I meant Purposefully not knowing God... deliberately iggnoring God... looking at all of God's creation and wonders and deliberately not giving Him credit or deliberately not trying to know God.

Many treat God like the nice old man down the street... they wave as they pass, know who he is... but never really get to know who he really is.



posted on Jul, 16 2012 @ 08:48 PM
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reply to post by wildtimes
 


Nope.

People do not scare me one tiny bit.

Some things need not be said. I don't want everyone all up in my business and if I share more they will know who I am.



posted on Jul, 16 2012 @ 09:29 PM
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reply to post by wildtimes
 


Have you read Randyvs' thread on Ancient Aliens?

It's a good'un.
I bowed out at page 27, 28 or so, but I think they're still arguing with Imtor and VeritasA...lol
www.abovetopsecret.com...

For my reply to the topic of your thread, I think I might have to go back through some of my own posts on the Ancient Aliens thread and do a copy-paste....not 'cuz I'm lazy or anything....just frugal, and multi-task oriented...yeah, that the ticket...


I'm thrilled to meet a fellow "soul sista' " on ATS.

Gotta keep it salty up in here...lol



posted on Jul, 16 2012 @ 09:35 PM
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Originally posted by skepticconwatcher
reply to post by wildtimes
 


Nope.

People do not scare me one tiny bit.

Some things need not be said. I don't want everyone all up in my business and if I share more they will know who I am.


So you are so famous that everyone on ATS will know who you are?

Now I wanna know!!
Well, unless you are Obama. Then you can just keep that little nugget to yourself.

I'm a nobody, originally an insane coonass from Louisiana, now an insane coonass living in Texas.
I ain't nuthin' speshal.
I is stoopid and ugly.

But I have a mother-lode of compassion for my fellow man because we are all works in progress.
Can ya' dig it?



posted on Jul, 16 2012 @ 10:46 PM
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Hello. I wasted a large chunk of my youth as part of the assembly of god church. As I look back, before, during and after, I was way better off before. I had a way more healthy mental outlook before I got drawn into that BS. My immediate family was never really big on religion, a lot of my extended family was though. I got sucked into it through my aunt and cousins. It did nothing but make me feel ashamed and afraid. I am glad I grew some brains and departed with those nutcases in my early teen years. I wish I never got involved in the first place.



posted on Jul, 17 2012 @ 01:06 AM
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I grew up in a loving Christian family. Our family went to a Baptist church. I went to church on Sundays and went to Wednesday nights youth group meetings every week, I also went on mission trips. I also attended an Assembly of God Christian school. I went to the same school from K-12. We had chaple every week.

A combination of experiances from these two religious organizations contributed to my struggles with guilt, depression and being able to trust my emotions. I experienced what I believe is emotional abuse.

I would love to share more but it's late, just wanted to get my story started.



posted on Jul, 17 2012 @ 07:05 AM
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Originally posted by Verity27
I have been noticing a common trend among non-believers. The trend is not specific to any one group of non-believers. Some are angry, some have never believed, some have believed and now do not but feel like they have figured it all out. Now, lets get to this trend I speak of...it seems that so many of these people are jaded because they feel like God should be what they want Him to be. That is a big problem. This problem stems from humans having difficulty being servants. They want to be their own Gods. They want God to be one who accepts them regardless of their lifestyles, but is there to answer at their beckon call when they meet some kind of adversity. This is not the way it is. People need to put aside their arrogance. God is watching, waiting for you to reach out to Him. We don't get to make up the rules. The rules are His. You don't have to be perfect, you just have to try. You have to have faith in Him. We don't get to question God's will, we just have to accept it.

I'll get off my soapbox now...flame away.


I can totally relate to this post and I've been a Christian my whole life! (Accepted Christ at the age of 6, but I have to admit, my other little friends had absolutely no idea what I was talking about when I tried to witness to them.) Just for some background info, I was raised Baptist and currently belong to an Assembly of God church.

First of all, I never considered accepting Christ at such a young age as some kind brainwashing or "have to" kind of thing. I specifically remember the passion that our church held for Christ and I wanted to share in that passion. I still remember the day the pastor came to our house to make sure that I understood what it meant to be a Christian and I remember every detail of everything around me that day.

God pointed himself out to me in even the smallest of ways. I realized early on that not much of anything was coincidental and I knew that He was with me everywhere I went, but none of this kept me from wanting to do my own thing and expecting God to do what I wanted him to do when I hit my 20's.

When I felt like my prayers weren't being answered, I strayed. I wasn't patient and I wanted everything now. By my late 20's, I found myself backed into a corner that I couldn't get myself out of and I knew it. The situation stressed me out terribly and I was scared as hell. I prayed and cried until exhaustion overcame me and I fell asleep....and then Jesus came to me in a dream.

Jesus took me by the hand and walked with me through a garden while we had a little talk. He reminded me that I had put myself in the situation I was in from my own bad choices and that now was the time to correct it. If I did exactly what He wanted me to do, he would work everything else out and make sure I was taken care of for the rest of my days.

Needless to say, Jesus worked everything out and I have never really struggled again. What was so amazing was the way I watched everything unfold in order to work everything out. In ways I couldn't possibly have imagined and didn't even seem logical as to how they worked out the way they did.

Yes, little problems always creep up, but nothing that has ever provided me great stress or hardship. And then finally, after ten years of walking with the Lord after this event, he answered my long time prayer and granted me my heart's greatest desire! God is good! We just need to allow Him to work in his timing and not put our own time demands on Him!



posted on Jul, 17 2012 @ 07:26 AM
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Originally posted by wildtimes

I would like to discuss the differences between us...civilly, courteously, kindly. Anyone interested?


/shrug

I have a hard time talking to exoteric Christians. As an esoteric Christian mystic I consider my exoteric brothers and sisters to be uninitiated children on a diet of spiritual baby-food. They consider me to be a 'false prophet'. It's an impasse that mere words can't overcome.

So I'm content to bless them, pray for them, and leave them be.


edit on 17-7-2012 by BlueMule because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 17 2012 @ 07:53 AM
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Originally posted by BlueMule

/shrug

I have a hard time talking to exoteric Christians. As an esoteric Christian mystic I consider my exoteric brothers and sisters to be uninitiated children on a diet of spiritual baby-food. They consider me to be a 'false prophet'. It's an impasse that mere words can't overcome.

So I'm content to bless them, pray for them, and leave them be.



What exactly have you experienced that Christians would label you a "false prophet"?



posted on Jul, 17 2012 @ 08:15 AM
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reply to post by wildtimes
 


Kudos to your courage, wildtimes. I was a dedicated Christian for over 3 decades! I was born into a staunchly conservative Baptist family. I walked down the isle and "gave my life to Jesus" when I was five. My parents always reminded me how important that moment was. They would often talk about how, later in life, my letters from prison helped heal their marriage because of how dedicated I was to the Pentecostal faith at that time.

While I am not prepared right now to give a detailed account of my path (that would need its own thread at some point), long story short is that the first thing I realized is that Paul's statement that "all scripture is God-breathed and profitable for..." is wrong! I thought to myself: "You know, not one place in the bible does God Himself declare that this book is straight from Him, cover to cover." So I began to research with the help of some close friends who were also in the process of deprogramming themselves from their religions (Judaism, etc).

I quickly realized how unreliable, manipulated, and piecemeal this book that so controlled me life acutally was. Who gave us the present day bible? Was it God? Jesus (literally "son of Zeus")? No, it was the council of Nicea, in 325 AD, at the behest of a pagan idol-worshipping Constantine! The Catholic church was also heavily involved in the council.

Anyway, needless to say I became "backslidden" for many years. My still-dedicated parents would spend countless nights fervently praying to the "Holy Spirit" to bring their beloved son back into the fold...all very strong inhibitors to my finally breaking away for good...

In 2008, I married my wife, who was also a dedicated Christian. Her entire life revolved around the church, all of her family including parents and siblings, were all dedicated church-goers. And then in 2009-2010, things began to change for me. First I left Christianity and became "Messianic", believing that nothing but the first five books of the bible were God's word (Torah) and that the Greek Iseous was NOT the true Messiah...then with the help of a man who is fluent in ancient Hebrew and who comes from a long, distinguished line of Rabbis and who has himself broken away from Judaism, I discovered that even the Torah had been changed and manipulated by the Levites, and later the Masoretic scribes...all the 613 "rules" in the Torah were also just control methods...

And it wasn't the end of the world. My wife is still with me, still loves me, and still respects me as the Husband and Father. I brought her with me through my journey, explaining everything I was researching and what I believed as I went. I didn't force her to do anything and I told her if she wanted to go back to church I would not strive with her over it. She might not agree, but she has also stopped going to church and she is not forcing Christianity on our children. She is a remarkable woman. The hardest thing for her is her comfort zone. The church held all her family and friends and she finds the alienation difficult (despite the fact that we still hang out with these same friends and also attend all family functions).

And here I am today. Far less stressed out and far less judgmental than I ever was before. I see all religions for what they really are now: Control methods, designed to create dependency through inner conflict by denial of our God-given natures. I don't care if you're talking about Jesus, Yeshua, Mohammed, Buddha, or Kali. It's all BUNK!

What do I believe now? I believe there is a True Creator that made everything. I believe He told us to be stewards of this earth and to not slaughter the animals and consume their bloody flesh. I believe he wants us to have a day of rest in His honor...beyond that...I just live the best way that I can while not harming anyone else, or their property, and not intentionally committing fraud in my contacts.

Free yourselves from the judgemental cognitive dissonance!
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posted on Jul, 17 2012 @ 08:30 AM
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reply to post by jiggerj
 


I didn't catch where you stand today? What is your faith, and how much of it do you practice in your everyday life?

Hi, jigger! I can't give you a simple answer to the above. I spend everyday pondering life, while I'm living it. I muse on where we are as a species (not all that civilized)... I'm fascinated by the human psyche and the human condition.

I am compassionate, sometimes to a fault, and seem to be a welcome presence (although I spend the vast majority of my time alone, and often in silence). I revere the world -- the beauty of nature; my animal companions are as dear to me as my own two children.

I notice the pain and suffering -- sometimes I actually feel the pain and suffering of others. Acutely tuned in to how others respond to me, to the world, to one another. It troubles me a great deal, and many people who are deeply immersed in their "faith congregation" seem genuinely miserable.

I don't think we are here to be miserable. I think we are here to learn about ourselves, and the Divine. I awaken each morning thankful that I have another day to explore the world, to enjoy peace of mind, curiosity and exploration of the world as I perceive it, and am rarely able to stop thinking about what things none of us really know.

I have experienced "enlightenment" in Buddhist terms -- that fleeting, perfect awareness that we are all One. We the The One, so to speak. I have studied the major world religions of present and past.

I'm more aligned with Native American and Buddhist thinking than Western Christianity. I think it is corrupted, through and through, and I ache for the people who want it all to "end now", who "witness" by talking about how miserable they are, and how rough it is praying for everyone else's souls who, in the witness's estimation, are doomed.

I don't believe in hellfire and brimstone, and I think it is a HORRIBLE thing to threaten people with, especially children, for God's sake!! I also came away from "church" feeling like a Loser, and now I don't subscribe to ANY faith that tells me I am one. No. We are not Losers. We are Divine entities, on a growth curve, and we will all get there.



posted on Jul, 17 2012 @ 08:52 AM
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reply to post by mfrey0118
 



And here I am today. Far less stressed out and far less judgmental than I ever was before. I see all religions for what they really are now: Control methods, designed to create dependency through inner conflict by denial of our God-given natures.

Thanks so much for sharing this! Your journey illustrates how truly freeing it can be to let go of those contrived, man-made rules. I also don't believe the Bible is "the Word of God." It was written by men in a harsh environment, based on ancient hearsay, and has been tweaked forever by those in power who made up the "laws" as they went along. The wrath and ire of "God" was the explanation for natural disasters and calamities.

The Earth is a LIVING THING, with no interest in US at all. She just is, and we are completely dependent on her. I can't understand how some people don't see that, and continue to rape, pillage, poke, blast into, dig up, poison, and raze her products. This feels wrong in my very gut, on a deeply embedded and absolutely unshakable foundation. We must treasure our planet.

I feel sorry for the people who are struggling with this imposed sense of being absolutely doomed "unless"... and worse, doomed "because"...and sometimes not for anything THEY did at all, because of some bite out of an apple. What?!

And those who rise every morning praying for the "Day of Judgment".. What a miserable way to live that would be (is, in my opinion)!...praying for the End? So unhappy that they want it to be over And why? Many of them see it as a "neener neener neener" moment to come, as though they'll all be floating away shouting down at us waggling their hands and sticking out their tongues at us.

If people's lives are miserable, then they have the choice to change it. Even if circumstances are irreversible, or situations inescapable (which is only rarely the case, actually), the past can't be undone, the future can't be known.

All we have is today, right now. Breathing, in, out, in, out. Trying to connect with one another, because we know deep down that we are dependent, not only on the Earth and her products (plants, animals, elements, us), but on the charity of one another.

I pray for world peace, where no person awakens in fear -- of being blown to bits by another nation's weapons, or with insufferable hunger and illness, or of going to hell by nightfall -- and no person needs to long for death based on some ideas somebody wrote down a very very long time ago.

It seems perfectly obvious to me that spirituality is a human thing (a "spandrel") -- having to do with self-awareness and the absolute inescapability of death. And that we need to shore one another up, to help one another, to encourage and respect one another -- not berate, shame, warn, and condemn one another. It's ugly. And it's stupid.



posted on Jul, 17 2012 @ 08:57 AM
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reply to post by wildtimes
 


I'm a little more than perplexed on how people come out of churches still feeling like "losers" when the message from God makes it very clear that there is no sin that's unforgivable.

Maybe that's why the Bible puts such emphasis on the importance of faith. The ability to have faith that you are really forgiven, versus the lack of faith by feeling that you aren't. But I guess you have to have to have some kind of faith in something in order to get past this point.
edit on 17-7-2012 by Deetermined because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 17 2012 @ 08:58 AM
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reply to post by TKDRL
 



I wish I never got involved in the first place.

My experience was similar to yours in the self-loathing and shame that church expected. I don't loathe myself, and I don't think I'm unworthy to pick up crumbs under some imaginary table. I don't think it's right for a child to repeat every Sunday how lame they are for not doing what they were supposed to, or doing something wrong that they didn't know about.

That's my big beef with it.



posted on Jul, 17 2012 @ 09:02 AM
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Originally posted by Verity27
I have been noticing a common trend among non-believers. The trend is not specific to any one group of non-believers. Some are angry, some have never believed, some have believed and now do not but feel like they have figured it all out. Now, lets get to this trend I speak of...it seems that so many of these people are jaded because they feel like God should be what they want Him to be. That is a big problem. This problem stems from humans having difficulty being servants. They want to be their own Gods. They want God to be one who accepts them regardless of their lifestyles, but is there to answer at their beckon call when they meet some kind of adversity. This is not the way it is. People need to put aside their arrogance. God is watching, waiting for you to reach out to Him. We don't get to make up the rules. The rules are His. You don't have to be perfect, you just have to try. You have to have faith in Him. We don't get to question God's will, we just have to accept it.

I'll get off my soapbox now...flame away.


I did a Wednesday night teaching on this many years ago, I'm ashamed to say. It's just as much bunk now, as it was when I said it, and worse, taught it to others.

Christianity is about fear, self loathing, slavery, and worship, of a being who saved us from what? Himself. Does it never cross your mind that from the time you are born into this world, until the time you leave it, those who wield power all want the same thing? Your fear. Your servitude. Your adoration and worship. The only difference is God promises he is bigger and badder than all the rest, and they can't hold a candle to the torment he can put you through for eternity.

All the Kings, Queens, governments, elitists, and religious leaders(with few exceptions) that have ever walked this earth see the masses as "human resources". In other words, slaves to be bought, sold, used, and abused. And isn't it interesting that "God" wants the same thing they do. Except he promises to be a better owner and master because...wait for it...he "loves us". So much so, that he sent his son to die for us, so he wouldn't have to kill us all. Again.

There's your conspiracy Wildtimes. Whether Gods or powerful men, they all want the same thing. Fearful slaves to do their bidding. HUMAN RESOURCES.


edit on 7/17/2012 by Klassified because: unnecessary statement



posted on Jul, 17 2012 @ 09:08 AM
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reply to post by Deetermined
 



I'm a little more than perplexed on how people come out of churches still feeling like "losers" when the message from God makes it very clear that there is no sin that's unforgivable.

Maybe that's why the Bible puts such emphasis on the importance of faith. The ability to have faith that you are really forgiven, versus the lack of faith by feeling that you aren't. But I guess you have to have to have some kind of faith in something in order to get past this point.

I think much of it has to do with a person's basic temperament and sensitivity, which is influenced by the "spiritual leader's" presentation.

The church I went to was solemn, formal, no smiling, just dirge-like music and grave tones of voice...had to get all dressed up, be quiet, not fidget, pay attention, on your knees, head bowed, begging for forgiveness. Not an uplifting message for me as a little girl...although my mom much much later was shocked to hear that was what I took away from it.

I notice most of the respondents seem to be speaking from a fundamentalist background. I was actually brought up to be afraid of those sects -- that they were dangerous. And as a middle-aged adult, I can't say I'm persuaded that they are not. But then, I think nearly all "religions" are very dangerous -- and certainly all of the Abrahamic ones are. Just my observation.

They do very little to uplift, to support and comfort. But maybe that's just a warped perspective; unquestionably there are people who gain much from them. I'm not one of them, and I will say that I will never be. I'm not a candidate for the "born-again" option. I've already gotten through my forest, and come out on the other side, intact, and at peace. I understand the Divine as much as I can without dying. The mysteries are beautiful; I'm not afraid, and I wish everyone else could let go, and stop being so angry, afraid, unwell, worried, and judgmental.

Namaste



posted on Jul, 17 2012 @ 09:12 AM
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reply to post by Klassified
 


There's your conspiracy Wildtimes. Whether Gods or powerful men, they all want the same thing. Fearful slaves to do their bidding. HUMAN RESOURCES.

Yup. There it is, in all its uncovered horror. I refuse to participate.

Thanks, Klass...your posts are always significant in these threads!

Did you know when you were teaching it that it was not correct?



posted on Jul, 17 2012 @ 09:15 AM
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reply to post by stupid girl
 



But I have a mother-lode of compassion for my fellow man because we are all works in progress.
Can ya' dig it?

All over it, girl!! Glad to meet you, too!



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