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The Varieties of ATS Religious Experience; or, Variations on a Theme

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posted on Aug, 10 2013 @ 11:00 AM

Originally posted by Rex282

Originally posted by Thejaybird
................... My "crisis", if you can call it that, was dealing with the idea that a God of love would create the majority of people to spend eternity in eternal torment. That idea never, ever, made sense to me, and I needed to see where such an idea originated. The quesions and ideas raised by both Buechner and Capon gave me the courage to move forward.

And what I found fascinated me, thrilled me, and changed not only my life, but how I veiw everything in the world. This didn't happen overnight; it began fifteen years ago, and continues to this day.

To make a long story short, I now believe in what is referred to as "ultimate reconciliation", and I fully believe that it is one hundred percent supported in and by the Bible, from Genesis to the maps. Because of this, I have been branded (by Christians, no less) as a heretic, an abomination, an blashemer of the Holy Spirit, and in my personal favorite, a "agent of Satan". None of this deters my belief, as I am one who studies as much as I humanly, possibly can, and I am confident in my conclusions, and am willing to discuss/share them with anyone who wants to hear them.

The biggest change in all of this is that I have openly, happily, and fully abandoned "religion" as both a pracice and a construct, as I believe that it is one of the greatest deterrents to people coming to the knowledge of the truth in the world today.

I know not where this journey will take me, but I'm excited to see where the road ahead will lead.

The false doctrine of the eternal punishment of hell will be the "turning point" for most people.BTW that is a root meaning of the word crisis and has to do with judgement.Judgment in Hebrew word is MISHPAT which means verdict.It is about truth not condemnation.In Greek it is connected to words with a prefix "kri" ..meaning ....I judge.Crisis in English come from Krisis in Greek meaning an experience and time of crucial testing.Which connects to torment which is gold is tested for purity.As you can many of the words meaning of "religion" are completely out of wack.

The wide path of religion has many turns but all of them lead to the wide gate where religion is destroyed(an irony for the standard belief).The narrow path is where everything gets turned on it's head.The myth of free will being a catalyst.Then you will know what being called a heretic by EVERYONE is.

again ... being free of the false doctrine of eternal punishment is a MAJOR turning point leading to"many,many,more...however the scheme of things it is just a preview.All the best to you.
edit on 10-8-2013 by Rex282 because: (no reason given)

I was aware of all of what you have written, but did not include it for a variety of reasons. I don't want to derail this thread, but did want to pass along a "thanks" for your insightful post.

posted on Aug, 10 2013 @ 11:01 AM
reply to post by Thejaybird

There is no such place as hell. Jesus never said the word "he'll" once, and the Hebrew word that the translators used for hell is "Sheol", which has zero connotation of a place of torment.

Yes, he actually did. According to the Bible, anyway.

posted on Aug, 10 2013 @ 11:32 AM
Okay, guys, hiya.

How about starting a new thread about "hell" - I also believe it's not real, but, in the infamous words of "Paul" the executioner ......

"You are cluttering up my mile."

This thread is dedicated to historical documentation, not debate about finer points.
Mkay?? If, my dear and valued friends, you don't object. I promise to participate, having recently found some interesting data to contribute.

edit on 10-8-2013 by wildtimes because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 10 2013 @ 12:09 PM
reply to post by wildtimes

You may as well start a thread about unicorns and ufracks.
edit on 10-8-2013 by AfterInfinity because: (no reason given)

posted on Sep, 30 2013 @ 03:44 PM


If you would indulge me by explaining how your faith or skepticism or abandonment of other ideas came about, in your own words, I would consider myself blessed indeed, enriched, and one tiny step closer to understanding.

Sorry to dig up an older thread, but this is something I have been meaning to put into words for some time. Now seemed appropriate to explore my thoughts and share them.

I didn't grow up in a "church" household. I was raised by a single mother, we never went to church, but I grew up knowing of Jesus only thru the usual Christmas and Easter holidays. We probably like a lot of people identified as christians, but I wouldn't say we where. My mother never shared anything remotely religious with me, besides us watching those old movies about Jesus and the Old Testament come Christmas.

However, I just kind of grew up believing there was a God, there is one and that's that. Not much more thought ever went into it beyond that during my youth and early adult life.

Another note, my mother exposed me to a lot of science fiction growing up. Old Twilight zone episodes, The Outer Limits, Star Trek, Star Gate, etc. I saw a lot of it growing up on TV. (More poor brain ((in regards to tv viewing)))

Another note that I think is important, I never knew my father, and never had any male influences in my life for most of my youth.

At around age 21 I was working a great IT job when a new guy started who had this unique radiance about him. I'll call him Jack. Jack was a christian, and not like some of the other boastful hypocrites I had meet along the way.

He introduced me to a book called Maximized Manhood, that turned my world upside down. It laid the framework for the ideology of biblical manhood. Jack also invited me to his church, where for the first time, I had a male role model who just happened to preach on manhood the day I attended.

At this point in my life, I was struggling to understand who I was, what I was supposed to do with myself, etc. Peers and society kind of said I was suppose to have nice things and bed lots of women and drink at my age.

The beding women was me, but the rest was never my heart.

Over time, I became a born again Christian, joined the non-demonational church and attended it for several years, from 2003-2009.

I'm going to say that at this point, I was the, "FEELING CHRISTIAN". I was a christian because it made me feel good. It did help me to realign a number of things in my life, and I stopped being so wreck-less, became more stable as a person.

However, I'm going to say, I dont' think I truly owned what I was believing. Or that I understood why I believed what I believed.

In 2009 it came out that my Pastor had an affair, and this was heart wrenching for me. I realized that everyone is susceptible to do things counter to their beliefs. But it felt like a major let down from someone I looked up too.

My church collapsed in on itself shortly after and I found myself without a church for 2 yrs. During that time I got married and moved to another state.

It was during this time that I started to question my faith and get serious about what I was believing and if my theology was correct.

In the new state my wife and I found a small church, that practiced reformed theology. Similar to the style of Mars Hill in Settale lead by Mark Driscoll.

This was good, for a period. The church encouraged me to really examine what it was I was believing, why I had these beliefs and started and inward journey. Along with me examining and gaining a great understanding of theology.

The more I read, the more I studied, the more and more I found myself unable to reconcile some big problems within Christian theology and my own personal beliefs.

It's hard because at first I got a really solid grasp on Christianity and the core of beliefs, probably better than most believers. But if you continue down the theology path, and start to learn where these all came from, how they are collected and put together, and start to look at additional evidence, it takes A LOT of faith to continue believing in a number of things.

The first to go was my belief in the literal interpretation of the bible and the second was my belief in it being infallible word of God, divinely inspired.

There is a huge problem here for me, in that if the bible is the inspired Word of God and one thing can be called into question, than the whole thing can be called into question. At which point you might as well throw it in the dumpster.

This revelation began to happen last year in my life.

Last year, during a roadtrip late at night in the middle of nowhere Utah driving between Canyon Lands and Moab I came across Coast to Coast AM, and some old ideas started to remerge in my mind.

I've come now to look at the bible in the way we look at most old texts. I believe there are some great truths within it. I also think there is more than myth here, but that the whole picture isn't being seen either. In the same way we believe greek and roman myths may be based on small accounts of truth, I think it's the same for the bible.

I've been unable to shake the idea of God. My faith and belief in Jesus Christ as the son of God is gone. But that belief in an underlaying greater awe is still there.

A matter of fact, I feel like there is some awe inspiring greater force at work in the universe.

I have spent plenty of time looking at other religious and their beliefs. Right now I'm kind of in a transitionary period with my spirituality.

But, I feel more open to awe now than ever before.

All of that being sad, from time to time when I see people bashing "christians" I still get upset, because #1 most christians don't know what it is they're believing in half the time to defend their own beliefs properly and #2 most people do their bashing based on a narrow understanding of assumptions of the belief system.

That's all I can think of now.

posted on Sep, 30 2013 @ 03:49 PM
reply to post by AfterInfinity

THANK YOU for participating in this thread - it's been to be built upon and continue (no matter how slowly).

Your input is very much appreciated, and...WELCOME TO ATS!!!

See ya 'round!!

posted on Feb, 3 2014 @ 10:41 AM

Okay, guys, hiya.

How about starting a new thread about "hell" - I also believe it's not real, but, in the infamous words of "Paul" the executioner ......

"You are cluttering up my mile."

This thread is dedicated to historical documentation, not debate about finer points.
Mkay?? If, my dear and valued friends, you don't object. I promise to participate, having recently found some interesting data to contribute.

edit on 10-8-2013 by wildtimes because: (no reason given)

I was under the impression that this thread was dedicated to personal journeys and experiences, not historical documentation.

posted on Feb, 3 2014 @ 10:42 AM
reply to post by AfterInfinity

That was my impression, too!! LOL!!

I'll have to go back and check whatever post you're linking to see what the hell I was talking about.

posted on Feb, 3 2014 @ 10:51 AM
reply to post by AfterInfinity

Okay, I see it now. What I meant was that this thread is for "documentation of people's anecdotal history" - Wow, I certainly gaffed on that phrasing, didn't I?

This thread is dedicated to "compiling/catologing" for history's sake (posterity) the individual stories of people who have had memorable 'religous experience.' So that people in future, if they stumble upon it, or find it, can read about the personal histories of our members in regard to 'religion'.

There - hope that clears it up.

I musta been tired. I was trying to interrupt the back-and-forth talk about what "hell" is or isn't that was happening - to keep this thread clear of 'debate' over the issues, and instead include actual personal, real-life, "takes" on religion based on their worldview and experience.

Thanks for pointing out my seeming ambiguity!! Oh the power of words - how easily they can be misread to 'twist' intention. LOL!!

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