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Thoughts from a former Christian

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posted on Dec, 26 2012 @ 11:11 AM
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First of all, that's Baptists for ya. I used to go to a Baptist church, and they would contradict themselves every other week.

One week: You only have to accept Jesus as your personal savior, you don't even need to come to church.
Next week: If you don't come to church three times a week, you're not a good Christian.

Huh? Which is it, chief? Do I have to come to church or don't I?

I stopped going to churches like that and started going to one where they don't talk down to you, they talk to you as equals, and speak of themselves as sinners the same as the rest of us. Nondenominational, nonjudgmental. No doom and gloom. Makes me actually want to go every week.




posted on Dec, 26 2012 @ 11:11 AM
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Originally posted by Klassified
reply to post by Fromabove
 



Where did you think churches get their money, from the money tree in the back yard ? Perhaps the sermon was on the need to support your church as people are mostly stingy with their money when it comes the needs of the church. Were you offended because they need money too and had to ask ? Did you know that the Bible itself teaches on tithing and that can be found in Malachi chapter 3.

Tithing was one of the laws you were freed from when Christ supposedly sacrificed himself for you. As a Christian, you should already know that tithing is not a new covenant teaching. You were freed from "the law of sin and death".

But yes, go ahead and keep putting your hard earned money in the coffers of the church, so your "leaders" can continue living their lavish lifestyles off the backs of those who really need the money they've earned to care for themselves, and their families.


Hey, Thanks Brother.

That's exactly what I was trying to explain to FROMABOVE



posted on Dec, 26 2012 @ 11:16 AM
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to the op

far as i can tell, the WORD OF GOD, is Jesus. not a book.
you are the temple of God not a building.
the shekinah was moved from the temple, to the believer
so i'd say you're mostly right on your newer revelations, regarding
how you should view God.

not sure what murgatroid is trying to say about masonry in the church but i
can tell you this much, just from what i've learned by searching around
and praying about what i find, there's a whole lot in that text, many of us
don't know because we're reading it in english language, where the translators
made assumptions, and those assumptions may very well be partially based
on earlier catholic interpretations in the greek and latin versions. so to solve
that little dilemma, i use a concordance that tells me what each word originally
was in the hebrew, chaldean, aramic and greek. makes a huge difference let
me tell ya.


edit on 26-12-2012 by undo because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 26 2012 @ 11:28 AM
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My apologies, for not reading the entire thread, but I felt strongly compelled to respond to your OP...

I too, have experienced a very similar separation from organized doctrines, much like yourself. In fact, I could have written the bulk of your OP as my own.

It has been 20+ years for me, to come back to the heart of what I believe are the issues.
"In the beginning was the Word! And, the Word was with God, and the Word WAS GOD!"
But, how does one define this? Written, Spoken, Christ...They all could be considered the Word. How about cognitive thought? Do we really believe that man can be explained by evolution, and that at some point he created the process of converting thoughts to words??? I don't believe so...

The "Word" that I believe the Bible is referring to, is simply this...
Meaning!
It ALL can be tied back to an understanding. Christ...the Word of God...man's quest!!!
We are here to figure it out!
We have been given the tools!
You and I have stepped out of the illusion and onto the clear path...What we do now, is what will make the difference.



posted on Dec, 26 2012 @ 11:40 AM
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the fact that they do admit that the world is fallen and will stay fallen until Jesus returns is not giving false hope, it is not a defeatist attitude, it's the spirit of truth


Actually it is defeatist, but it's even worse than that. Christians have been so indoctrinated into believing that the world is their own disposable convenience store that they are actively destroying it. Christians are so indoctrinated into believing that America is god's favorite nation that they actively destroying other human beings and countries just for not being like us. Christians have even been brainwashed into believing that business (capitalism) is god's will and blindly allow it to destroy millions of peoples' lives. American christianity today is an evil cult that is destroying our country and other parts of the world as well.



posted on Dec, 26 2012 @ 11:40 AM
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goofyfoot,

theres so much more in the text hardly no one ever reads or knows about because they assume the translators got it right. i have sufficient evidence to satisfy my own curiosity on that subject, that the translators struggled with what is called "translation bias", meaning that every big translation contains views of the text slightly different in some area or another, than the one before. in some cases, the bias is passed on for thousands of years. for example, i had determined to find information about egypt in the bible. considering how much interaction the hebrews had with the egyptians, i found it largely undocumented. so i come upon a verse in the king james version of the old testament, that discusses how god was going to destroy the images of the egyptians. sounds about right for the time frame, but what did it really say? it said god was going to destroy the mastabahs of the egyptians.
now if you know what a mastabah is, it's a heckuvalot different than an image. and that's only one example out of countless examples of words that the translators were either not specific enough about or misconstrued due to translation bias.



posted on Dec, 26 2012 @ 11:45 AM
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A lot of what is in Religion has been interpreted to put in place a desired way of life. It is incorporated and interacts with the societies at large. If you look at the teachings of Jesus with an open mind you do not see these things. If you read the Bible with the knowledge of present consensus you will see what you believe. What we know structures what we see.

I believe in God with all my heart, but my god is not a mean being demanding obedience as some religions state. My god, the same god since there is only one main god, deserves respect. There are also his sons, as stated in the bible, who deserve respect. The fact that god has offspring is evident in all religions. Mother earth is also a big player and deserves our respect, We can't keep digging up the Garden of Eden and planting what we perceive as good when all we are doing is chasing our desires. It is all right to steer our food but tearing up all of gods creation and replacing it with our desire is bad. We need to pay more attention or we will screw up our perception and toss out rationality. The world is a Bio-dome that we are altering too much.

The people in the church are right though, what we are creating is very bad. Because we are throwing rationality out the door we will suffer in the future. Deception has increased ten fold in this country over the last twenty years with many more people participating it. Sometimes people don't know they are participating in deception because their desire to not see their faults is very powerful. They don't want to see their part in the whole picture as being bad. They blame others and this false blaming has gone up to the high levels of our government. A problem that is not easy to fix.

Soon the greedy will be bleeding the conservative people out of what they have saved and prepared for. They will be using "For the good of the people" to justify their actions. This has happened many times in the past, history is full of evidence of this. Because the most wasteful high ranking people in society created this concept to protect themselves the conflict we are going to enter in the future won't be enjoyable. These people want to maintain their lifestyle above the common folk and will do whatever they can to protect it.

I'll try to stay out of the way of this future event myself, staying quiet as a mouse. Hopefully my new perception of the true reality will keep me somewhat safe. This is the time of the Devil or Satan, the Christians are right. Both the Devil and Satan seem to refer mostly to deceit. Deceit is becoming a major part of society today, everyone looking out for themselves and not looking at the future of their offspring. We got problems that we have created, not the devil or god. This mess is all man's doing.



posted on Dec, 26 2012 @ 11:49 AM
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reply to post by undo
 


I agree! I recently began using a Strong's to re-read the Bible. And, found immediately, that my new "understanding" greatly varied from my previous one, on many confusing or possible multiple meanings, scriptures!
I am also quite fond, of Paul's revelation of the "secret never before revealed to man". Once that had been explored, it gives the entire Bible, quite a different light to resonate in! It is what ultimately, opened my eyes to our current world.



posted on Dec, 26 2012 @ 12:00 PM
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Really good post!

I have gone through a very similar experience to yours.

Grew up in a fundamentalist Christian home. Went through years of deprogramming through a process of questioning and searching for answers. Discovered many answers in the process, among many unanswered. And struggle with the ideological differences with my family, who I love and respect very much.

Thing is. If I would have chosen the easy route, I would have just continued to follow the sheep. Ignorance is bliss. But once you begin the journey of questioning and self discovery, there's no going back. Once you swallow the red pill, there's no going back. (I know the Matrix analogies are pretty cliche at this point, but they are SO fitting.)

I know a lot of people on here don't understand what you mean by a "defeatist" attitude, but it's absolutely true. Most will say, "Our religion is all about winning. Good over evil. God over the Devil," but really all that is, is dividing. They think,"WE are the chosen ones, and THEY are going to spend eternity in hell, because they didn't answer the door when Jesus was knocking on their heart... Don't say we didn't warn you!!"

It's intolerance disguised as salvation. Ego disguised as love.

The reason it's a defeatist attitude is because of PROPHECY, which is my biggest problem with ALL religions. The problem with the Christian prophecies is that the world must be destroyed and all the non-believers dead, before it can be rebuilt. So having that belief means there is no incentive to try to make the world a better place. As a matter of fact, the worse it gets, the better, because it means were getting closer to the "new world." This is not a trivial belief. It shapes the way people vote, what they support and what they do in life to others and the environment.

I don't think it's any coincidence that so many on the religious right mock the idea of environmental responsibility, because, in their eyes, we tiny humans have no power over the Almighty God, who will determine what happens to this planet. So they are happy to go back to their life of constant consumption. After all, the
Bible tells them that God created the world for them to have dominion over... Like I said, Ego disguised as love.



posted on Dec, 26 2012 @ 12:03 PM
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reply to post by ddaniel
 


Please take the time, to read my OP found HERE...and comment if you like. It explains a bit more on what I referred to previously in this thread...



posted on Dec, 26 2012 @ 12:08 PM
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reply to post by ddaniel
 

That was beautiful, man. If you only knew how the first part of your experience exactly mirrors mine.

My family responds the same way. "We have Jesus and the Bible and prayer".

Loosely translated they really mean we don't have to do anything more, we just go to church, read the bible and make wishes that all the bad will go away. Oh, and Jesus will fix it (so we don't have to).

Did you ever stop to think that the church fits perfectly into the paradigm that way? That it all sucks yah, but just "pray" and wait for Jesus to fix it.

Most of the people that attend christian or whatever denomination in America are to busy with their own selfish pursuits to care anyway. Religion is man made, a hustle, a dodge to escape the responsibility and justify non participation in other problems while at the same time defending that you are doing something.

"We pray about it". (Yah, for a whole minute maybe). Oh wait, you don't actually pray, the minister does from the pulpit when he says, "Let us pray".

Sorry can't ever go back into Plato's cave either. Don't try. They are brainwashed and only when it is their time will they wake up. You know that you are "damned" now don't you? For "challenging" their beliefs? They will take pity and "pray for you", lol.



posted on Dec, 26 2012 @ 12:13 PM
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reply to post by Reflection
 

Excellent post...
I always try to expand my mind, when I ponder my Creator. And, try as I may, I can't get my head around how a God who created us, and loves us, and is All-Forgiving, could condemn a single one of us to an eternity of separation from Him!
If our lives are supposed to be all about, accepting His gift, or suffering our chosen fate, then WHY were Adam, and then Eve, created to be immortal??? He would have avoided the whole Garden of Eden thing altogether, knowing the outcome, wouldn't He???
But if you look at Genesis as a metaphor, then one could rationalize that we are ALL Angels! And, our choice to join with Lucifer is what resulted in the plight of Man...
What say you?



posted on Dec, 26 2012 @ 12:18 PM
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Originally posted by GoOfYFoOt
reply to post by Reflection
 

Excellent post...
I always try to expand my mind, when I ponder my Creator. And, try as I may, I can't get my head around how a God who created us, and loves us, and is All-Forgiving, could condemn a single one of us to an eternity of separation from Him!
If our lives are supposed to be all about, accepting His gift, or suffering our chosen fate, then WHY were Adam, and then Eve, created to be immortal??? He would have avoided the whole Garden of Eden thing altogether, knowing the outcome, wouldn't He???
But if you look at Genesis as a metaphor, then one could rationalize that we are ALL Angels! And, our choice to join with Lucifer is what resulted in the plight of Man...
What say you?



That is an interesting theory!!! (Star for you)



posted on Dec, 26 2012 @ 12:26 PM
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I can relate to the original post. I was raised in different christian churches growing up. We did the Methodist (my uncle was a minister), and we did the Baptist. I remember questioning my parents at a very early age regarding a loving god and one who would burn you for eternity. My questions were never answered to my satisfaction - they never felt "right". I started to question things as in my teen years even more so. I would read the bible and have SO many questions. Again, never getting answers that made sense to me.

At 18 I moved out of my parents home and stopped going to church. Naturally I was condemned for doing so. For years I practiced nothing in the way of "religion" .Eventually, I ran into an old school friend. She was VERY involved in her non-denominational church. Her excitement was obvious. She kept inviting me to church and I kept refusing. One day I broke down and went with her and I really enjoyed it. I started going back very often. I really started my journey on questioning things all over again. NOW my biggest question was why is the first part of the book "done away with" and only the second part what you live by? Yet you teach out of both when it suits you.


Let's just say I ended up leaving that church VERY hurt. I ended up pregnant while not married. All the "friends" I made there shunned me. It was obvious I was no longer one of them. Once people started acting like I was invisible I stopped going. I wanted to go in with rocks and hand them out


I started studying on my own. For a couple of years I went searching down the Jewish path. Then I went back to not following anything yet again.

I am not exactly sure how I ended up where I am today. I started reading all sacred text. I came to realize that its not the religion we follow or believe in. It's not showing up at a "church" or being led by another person (although on certain peoples journeys that may be what they need at the moment). I found what I had been looking for with in myself. To give your power away to Jesus is just the churches teaching. The teachings are twisted for the most part (in my opinion).

Unfortunately, many have given their power away because they have bought into the belief that Jesus has taken on the responsibility for all of humanity’s sins. This belief halts spiritual growth because we don’t learn the lessons behind our forgiveness opportunities thinking Jesus has already done all of the work for us. This belief fosters blind forgiveness. Each needs to stop expecting Jesus to save them, he has given us the potential to save ourselves. If you walk as he walked, in love,

The bottom line is loving yourself and loving others, along with forgiveness. If everyone was on a personal inner journey to love, the world would be a different place to live.



posted on Dec, 26 2012 @ 12:27 PM
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reply to post by resoe26
 


Thank you...It really became an epiphany of sorts, when I compared the story of the prodigal son, to ALL of mankind...

edit on 12/26/2012 by GoOfYFoOt because: changed text...



posted on Dec, 26 2012 @ 12:29 PM
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What is truly interesting, is the realization that I'm NOT all alone in my beliefs, as I once thought I was...

Thank you OP!!!



posted on Dec, 26 2012 @ 12:30 PM
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This is actually becoming probably the coolest thread I have seen thus far on ATS.
There is no bashing or arguments (well at least yet). People just posting opinions and thoughts.
Very enlightening.



posted on Dec, 26 2012 @ 12:31 PM
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Originally posted by GoOfYFoOt
What is truly interesting, is the realization that I'm NOT all alone in my beliefs, as I once thought I was...

Thank you OP!!!


Right! Me too!

Thanks also OP!!



posted on Dec, 26 2012 @ 12:33 PM
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Here is where I am, currently...

I must concede that contemplation has always been one of my strong points, as well as a significant weakness...
I repeatedly become lost down the rabbit hole.

I have so much to contribute to threads like these, but whenever I begin to form a response, I feel my thoughts compound, and begin to haze and slip away. I liken it to a variable lampshade, that can be manipulated to shroud the flow of the Truth.

To borrow a phrase from a favorite TV show, "The Truth Is Out There"...

Threads like this one can offer many glimpses into the hearts and minds of other individuals who, like me, want to find the answers. The problems begin when we get into areas of perceived reality that differ from others' perceptions.

When you believe something, you automatically incorporate it into your thought process. It becomes difficult to set those thoughts and beliefs, and the emotions associated with them, aside when contemplating things outside of our comfort zone, intellectually speaking.

I have the unfortunate ability to find fault in everything that comes from man. Even those that I respect and trust, tend to, occasionally do and say things that I don't necessarily agree with. This always leads me to look at the source for these disagreements. Do they spring from me? Are they my faults that arise, when I feel the Truth being denied? Or is it the one speaking or acting, that gives me cause for dismay? Or...Could it be something else altogether? A force that resides on this planet, that is a master of disguise, deception and trickery?

I'd like to say that I have the answers. But, unfortunately, I can only tell you what I believe.

When I ponder the likeness of God, I see what the Bible tells me that he looks like. We were made in His image. But that goes against everything else, that we perceive from our Creator. We see each other as bumbling idiots. How could God, look like us? How could a being that looks like a man, have the unimaginable power to do what He must have done? So...This forces us to look at man. What qualities have we been able to quantify, as the essense of man? What greatness have we recorded? What miracles have we written of, and talked about? What man has ever lived and been documented to have ever came close to being what we perceive as the the most powerful entity imaginable? The Truth that existed in human form, with the Power of God?

I can think of only one...

The problem with being human, is our inability to conceive the sheer Power involved with being God! Our greatest achievments and abilities are a mere shadow, in the presence of the Almighty. The sole reason that a man could not survive being in the presence of Him, is because to "see" Him, would be to know Him. And to know what He is, would be so physically and emotionally overwhelming, in our current form, we would be unable to hold it all. The weight of Everything, forced into our tiny brains...I picture a universal-sized black hole, with a density down to a singularity...Exploding! Like a reverse big bang, and then a big bang again...


If God is Infinite why did he choose, now, to create us? Hmmmm...

I believe God..Exists. But the very meaning of the word, "exist", incorporates time. Why? Because that is how we think. But why do we think in terms of time? I believe that it is by design. We are programmed to think this way. Why? And by Whom? Man would have us believe that we invented time, to track the seasons, so that we could optimize our harvests. But I postulate a different theory.

What if time was incorporated into our DNA? What if our so-called biological clock had a more auspicious purpose? Suppose, contrary to those who cater to reincarnation theory, that we only have ONE life, to figure out why we live in the first place? Why should we get a do-over?

There is much too much evidence on our planet to dismiss intelligent design. It is in everything that we can experience with our senses. And, in everything that we can't experience, in this lifeform. But even the latter, beckons to us, if we would only acknowledge it!

I kept you long enough, but let me finish by saying this;
Every man, woman and child on this planet, was born with a purpose. The "gift of life" sounds so profound, but let me say that it is not. The true gift given to us by our Creator, is the one of consciousness.
This life is merely a conduit for the opportunity to be self-aware. And, as a sentient being we have been tasked with fulfilling our purpose. There has to be a reason for existence. Otherwise, God would have kept doing, whatever is was that He was doing, before He created us...



posted on Dec, 26 2012 @ 12:35 PM
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Thank you for all of the replies, I honestly didn't expect my post to be noticed by many. I apologize for the grammar errors in my previous posts, I was writing on an iPad. I'm going to try to address as many of your comments as I can, but forgive me if I overlook some of your posts.

reply to post by JackMack
 

Well said, and I appreciate your contribution. I feel if the Church spent more energy researching its own origins, it would be forced to change some of its long-held teachings. The concept behind the Church is great - if it were used properly.

If less time was spent debating specifics of dogmatic doctrine, and more focusing on self-improvement and exploring the wonders of creation, I feel the Church could be a great vessel for change. The question is how do we transform the Church from what it has become into something that brings more love and truth into the world?


Originally posted by Wonders
...There is no such thing as "blind faith" if a blind person leads another blind person, BOTH will fall into a ditch.
Faith is not without evidence, it is not without works, and it definitely requires knowledge, a lamp unto our feet.
And in the fact that they do admit that the world is fallen and will stay fallen until Jesus returns is not giving false hope, it is not a defeatist attitude, it's the spirit of truth, and truthfully, the vast majority of us including myself aren't likely to be considered worthy to escape the horrible things that are headed for the world.

...

Please, with all of these dangerous views floating around keep in mind that if you can agree that Jesus is real, if you've got the true spirit of Christ, then try to understand that Satan is not a myth, there really ARE ravenous wolves in sheeps clothing, there really are tares among the wheat, and there really are false prophets. And to believe so isn't having a defeatist attitude, evil people really do exist, it's just a fact to be aware of, BEWARE of the yeast of the pharisees, of their hypocrisy, be aware.

...


You seem to be repeating phrases you were given without putting much thought into the message they contain, and in doing so you are using language incorrectly.

Words are tools used to convey experience. They are symbols, and when I say a collection of words, your ability to understand my message is limited by your experiential knowledge of what those words/symbols represent. Repeating a phrase, however catchy it sounds, without a personal, experiential understanding of what that phrase represents, is a misuse of the wonderful gift of language.

These type of religious phrases, and others that are so often parroted within the Church population, serve no purpose other than presenting a thin, emotional facade to a message that has no substance.
edit on 26-12-2012 by ddaniel because: grammar






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