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

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posted on Feb, 24 2013 @ 05:14 PM
reply to post by wildtimes


After I joined ATS and began browsing the religious forums you and I had a few conversations, and if I remember correctly, we hit it off immediately.

Like you, I too want to know what makes people tick. I too am always seeking and always asking questions. Not only that, we want the answer known to us, by us. We want to know first hand if something is genuine or not, via our own personal understanding.

Religion comes in all forms and colors. From the time I can remember I was on a van going to Sunday School. Huge Bibles laid around my Grandmothers home and we spoke of God often, My mother played the organ in church and my father was a minister. My step dad was Catholic. My step dad was always telling me to find my own way and ask me "what came first, the chicken or the egg"? I always pondered that, and was destined, I felt like, to provide the answer to myself.

My grandmother had a lot to do with raising me and my other cousins. We are a close nit family. This woman is like Superwoman who taught us to be givers. I grew up watching her go from hospital to hospital taking care of friends and family. Shaving them, washing their hair, taking them clothes. Neighbors received milk, eggs, and bread from her and she always helped. People would come in, they would eat a good meal, and be about their way. She feeds about ten plus almost every night still. If you have ever been there, you are welcomed back anytime. If you are hungry, you will eat!

I thought everyone did this, everyone lived this way.... ya know, the "Southern way".

I went to a Church of Christ school and was kicked out two years later because I had a dance. I never really liked it there. The Bible teacher was never "preaching" the same message. I noticed contradictions and felt some of the messages, well, didn't feel right. Most of the time, it was the same kind of messages that didn't "feel" right. I asked too many questions, so sat outside the class most of the time.

Long story short.. I lost my step son to Leukemia in 1999, he was 15. He fought this disease for five years. Sadly, It would always come back. We lived in and out of hospitals and as you could imagine.... I spoke with God all the time. Sometimes I screamed and sometimes I begged.

The church I attended during those years became foreign to me. Switching pastors and the way we did things... I don't know. It got weird. After Josh died some of the members "saw" Josh or spoke with him. I didn't believe it.

Tried to go to a few other church's. A Baptist church was one of the ones I tried. My husband and I got a visit soon after from two of the preachers. They explained it was my husbands "sins" that caused Josh to get sick.

Another pastor told me it was a mystery... where Josh was now residing, if he was.

I became a hard core seeker. Reading for hours, studying, and talking to God. Asking for help, asking for answers, and just wanting to prove to myself there is indeed an after life.

I read about ten books a week for five years on so many subjects! Science, Religions, Light, Space, Time, Dimensions, NDE, OBE, and on and on..... I got to where I was almost afraid to live when I went outside. I got anxiety driving on the interstate. Every time my son got sick, I thought he may die. If it stormed I would run to my grandmothers at any time of the night thinking a tornado was coming and would kill us. I realized I had no control over life, and I was frightened. I learned through reading.... what I was doing by reading so much. I learned why I was so scared. All the self help paid off. I had Post Traumatic Syndrome.

I learned a lot and still learning... still asking. This above is what makes me "tick".

Where am I at today? Im not afraid to live and have raised two great teens. Overcoming matter with my spirit is what I do.. daily. I believe this because I have been lead to believe this. Those five years of reading was an open invitation. The Word and inspiration I receive through reading is sometimes jaw dropping. I feel as though I have revelations all the time. I am of no religion still... don't feel the need to label. I believe in a Creator, who is creative and already knows what the masterpiece looks like. We are allowed to paint it with our will... because he is a giver just like my Grandmother.
edit on 24-2-2013 by MamaJ because: (no reason given)

posted on Feb, 24 2013 @ 05:35 PM
reply to post by MamaJ

I have had two boyfriends die and two ex boyfriends die. I could name off all the deaths I have witnessed first hand, but it would be so morbid. I want to keep this positive.

Some deaths were traumatic and some of have been beautiful. The experiences i have had from the spirits around me,is sometimes overwhelming beautiful. They too have taught me there is life after death. They have taught me how powerful we are with thought.

My lessons in life have come from a lot of pain, although pain I always overcome. Some are not so lucky.

Im forever changing just as the Universe changes constantly. We mirror the cosmos, from the subatomic to the galactic.

God is in me. I know this. His creative thought force is in me and is the reason why I experience this life on Earth.

My experience or story is unlike another's. My journey is mine alone. We all either have to overcome matter with our spirit or it will overcome us.

DO we get another chance? I think so. A lot of the ancient texts speak the same story. If you add them up you get the sum that appears to be an image. This image comes from the inspiration that forms a belief. We all have them, but they are unique to each. Where you are at in your soul travel so to speak is what you will experience for your spirit. It may be hard but we all have to know that we have people cheering us on in other realities.

I think each story is meaningful. How we each overcome matter is important to our growth. Jesus story has a purpose. He is the most famous person/God of all times and I believe it is because he is Adam/Atom. We split from him. He evolved as we all must do and ascend in the spirit rather than descending in matter. This is why we are to "follow him".

As above so below... the stories are retold in the cosmos. We are connected to all in every way.

posted on Feb, 24 2013 @ 05:42 PM
reply to post by wildtimes

Sure why not ?

I was born of parents who themselves were born smack in the middle of the continental U.S.A. and to the town of St Joseph Mo. This is Bible belt country and you better believe it, or suffer the belt. And my father found himself pulling his belt off, so many times where I was concerned, I grew up thinking my name was Jesus Christ ! Because that's just what he called me every time he took it off. He'd look at me and say "Jesus Christ " ! And off came the belt !

So now, you can see by the above BS that I'm a fully functional human being. Capable of cognitive deviousness and elaborate dishonesty to points far beyond the comprehension of the common street cronie formed of a socio plastic cookie cutter.

It is by that same token, you should see, I'm in no way the common theological creationist hypocrite either. While the logistics of the above are true. The rest, such as my relationship with my father, was completely fabricated.

The only way my Mom and Dad, ever backed up their claimed Christian belief, came via Bible quote. Even then life would have to present an opportunity, that fit one of the more well known quotes available in their carbon data base before it would get out to even be heard.
Posing the question of what they believed, the few times that I did, was always met by my mom with very short, but strong answers, seemingly rehearsed, " Christian Baptist, " followed by, " Conservative ! " What the conservative was thrown in for, I have no clue ! The only thing that makes any sense is, she might have thought she was answering my next question. Thinking it was gonna be about politics. It wasn't.

When I got around to asking my Dad. I again got the same reply on all of the no more than three occasions.
" You ask your Mom ? What did she say ? Then that's what it is ! " Never stepped foot inside a church with either one of em til 1983 and that was only to see their caskets and say goodbye.

So basically my belief system, could've and I believe should've, landed anywhere but where it did. I was ten yr's old when I decided what made the most sense to me. No religion, No dogma, No indoctrination, what so ever.
But my own reading of Jesus Christ's words and the way he was, I was able to see him and feel that it was the truth. There's a feeling unlike anything else I get anywhere, just from speaking his name and/or reading his words or about his deeds. Jesus Christ has been my hero since I was a boy of ten years.

Nothing could ever or will ever mean more to me.

edit on 24-2-2013 by randyvs because: (no reason given)

posted on Feb, 24 2013 @ 07:00 PM
reply to post by MamaJ

We all have them, but they are unique to each. Where you are at in your soul travel so to speak is what you will experience for your spirit. It may be hard but we all have to know that we have people cheering us on in other realities.

I think each story is meaningful. How we each overcome matter is important to our growth.

Quite. Thanks for your contribution. I am humbled.

posted on Feb, 24 2013 @ 07:09 PM
reply to post by randyvs

There's a feeling unlike anything else I get anywhere, just from speaking his name and/or reading his words or about his deeds.

What a powerful expression that is, randy. Thanks for chiming in.

posted on Feb, 24 2013 @ 07:26 PM
reply to post by sacgamer25

Thanks tons for your personalized version. Much appreciated, and enriches the thread.

posted on Feb, 24 2013 @ 09:00 PM
reply to post by wildtimes

So, how did you get from childhood to now, jmd?
I went to a church that told me that if we are alive when Judgment Day comes we need to be living a sinless life. I doubt that there are any churches today that teach that, and are too busy trying to be popular, and so a lot of people will be caught unawares, and fail judgment.
The difference to me between what I was taught long ago and what I think now is that you don't have to wait for an Apocalypse, but that your judgment can happen on any day of your life.
The road to my conclusion included being associated with people holding to a "free grace" ideology and finding how it doesn't hold up to scrutiny in biblical scriptural terms.
I think my attitude and part of myself did get better once I accepted that there is no way to avoid a future judgment by God. I think that you have to accept that there is real power in a spiritual connection with God before you can experience it.
I was at church this weekend in Sabbath School class and slightly shocked when the people asked me how you have a spiritual connection with God. I didn't say because I thought they should already know that but apparently they didn't. I had to think about it a bit and my answer is what I posted earlier on this thread, you have to believe it is real, and not just real but something you absolutely have to have, and your life needs to be living proof of its results.
You can't just say, "well, I don't smoke or drink like I did before". If you are 60 years old, it's because you are older, and not because you are connected with God. You have to be a better person on the inside and not just outward appearances.
edit on 24-2-2013 by jmdewey60 because: (no reason given)

posted on Feb, 24 2013 @ 10:45 PM
Thanks to wildtimes for creating one of the best threads to appear on ATS in a LONG time...

Most of the time when ever the subject of religion comes up on ATS there is nothing but a bunch of hate, arguments, and those who demand proof.

I'm not sure why this thread is so different but I really enjoyed reading it.

I think what really makes it so special is the absense of HATE.

Most religous threads are filled with hate.

Seems as if all of us have been conditioned to hate both religion and God.

I believe this is not by accident.

Religion is a counterfeit that lies and deliberately deceives.

The genuine is connecting with and walking with God.

The root meaning of the word religion means to connect with God but religion does exactly the opposite.

I am convinced that the whole reason for all of the evils we see in religion is a form of mind control to cause people to want nothing to do with God.

After going through much of this thread, one thing that really stands out is this quote from FlyersFan:

Originally posted by FlyersFan
I KNOW there is a God... I know these things from experience. My beliefs are fluid based upon my experiences.

I believe what FlyersFan said is the key to spiritualty and enlightenment.

Too many spend their entire lives studying religion or seeking enlightenment instead of going to the SOURCE or trying to connect with the meaning of life and the creator of the universe.

- Like most people in LA, I was raised as a heathen.

- Church was strickly for funerals or weddings.

- As a result I had NO beliefs in God or religion whatsoever.

- While stationed on a Navy frigate at sea I began to read Chick comic book tracts left in the crews lounge and later on a Bible that someone had left behind in one of the equipment rooms I worked in.

- Half way through my tour I am on leave in my Dad's house all alone. In the living room of the house I notice a huge white catholic Bible sitting on the coffee table so I sit down and open it.

- When I opened it I had an incredible supernatural encounter and I was given instantaneous knowledge that the book I was looking at was written by GOD. I KNEW that it had to be a supernatural book because this knowledge instantly came into my mind when I touched this book.

- When that experience happened, it was as if I met God face to face! I knew He was in the room, but it was only in the form of supernatural knowledge that was instantly uploaded into my spirit.

- I was so profoundly affected by it that I thought I needed to go out and buy a Bible exactly like the one I was looking at so I wrote down every bit of information about the publisher of that book so I could go buy the exact same book.

- I knew NOTHING about the Bible being raised a heathen and I thought I had to find that exact same book because it somehow had miraculous capabilities.

Since that experience years ago, I have read about many others who have had very similar experiences:

Some are here on ATS:

Originally posted by Rustami
thanks for reminding me of what I consider an important detail - He spoke at the exact moment I began to open a Gideon New Testament, which I think was "written" in the 80's?

Steven Brooks in Alabama heard an audible voice speak while reading a Bible:

"At that time of the day, nobody was at the house. My family, my brothers plus my grandmother, they had all gone somewhere else, up the hill to do something. And I was spending time in one of the rooms of the house, alone, just reading my Bible, and after a while, I just laid out on the floor and was praying, and kind of reading the Bible, and I heard a voice speak to me, it sounded like a male voice, it was audible, and it said "Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you."

Working With Angels

Ian Clayton, an ex-sorcerer from New Zealand also heard a voice:

At age 12, his growing awareness of God led him to the Bible and he started reading it from the beginning. Halfway through Deuteronomy he decided that it was full of rules and regulations and didn’t want anything to do with it. Just as he shut the Bible he heard a voice say, “Put your hand on top of the table and pick the table up.” Ian put his hand flat on the table top and it rose, sideways off the floor.

“It was an amazing power rush,” Ian explained. “Suddenly, I walked in power.”

Excerpt from Shifting Shadows of Supernatural Power

A search suggests that thousands of others are having this same type of experience:

Praying all night in the mosque, he asked God to help him. Suddenly he felt drops of oil falling on him and even smelled its fragrance, he says. He claims another time he heard an audible voice telling him to read a Bible—an abomination to a Muslim. “We would not touch a modern-day Bible,” he says. “This voice immediately put a desire in my heart. It is so vivid, so clear, so overwhelming. Still today, I could not forget that voice.”

For example, one man in a nation hostile to Christianity says he heard a voice telling him, “Find Jesus, find the gospel.” He didn’t know what Jesus was—a chair, a tree, an animal? But the voice told him exactly what city and house to go to, so he traveled for two weeks, arriving directly at the door of one of only three believers in the city.

Why Revival is Exploding Among Muslims

edit on 24-2-2013 by Murgatroid because: Added link

posted on Feb, 24 2013 @ 11:40 PM
reply to post by Murgatroid

Not to interject negativity in a positive thread, particularly towards someone who got me to watch Le Cercle Rouge again, but given this:

Half way through my tour I am on leave in my Dad's house all alone. In the living room of the house I notice a huge white catholic Bible sitting on the coffee table so I sit down and open it.

- When I opened it I had an incredible supernatural encounter and I was given instantaneous knowledge that the book I was looking at was written by GOD. I KNEW that it had to be a supernatural book because this knowledge instantly came into my mind when I touched this book.

why your negativity elsewhere on ATS towards Catholics?

As noted earlier, I was a Protestant for a very long time, and rejected the superficiality of it in favour of the Catholic Church, primarily because I found it closest to what I wanted to embrace. You, on the other hand, seem to have pitched it all, after the re-introduction by a Catholic Bible, and I'm curious as to the reason.

(Without argument, I'll add, maybe that will make this less negative.)

posted on Feb, 25 2013 @ 12:31 AM
reply to post by adjensen

OK adjensen, I owe you one...

The Le Cercle Rouge comment gave me a good laugh.

I have NOT seen the film myself so I may have to watch it also.

BTW to this day I have no idea WHY there was a catholic Bible in my Dad's house, apparently my folks had beliefs that were never mentioned to us kids growing up.

No problems are far as negativity goes, I think your question is a very good one and I don't blame you one bit for asking it.

I have nothing against Catholics, two of the dearest friends I know are a Catholic couple I used to visit with frequently several years ago.

Some of the best times I can remember are the times we spent together.

I really suspect that if I were to meet you in person, that I would be equally as amazed.

What I DO have a problem with is religion being used as a form of mind control and ultimately causing souls by the millions to end up in hell.

I am 100% convinced that religion is being used by those in control to massively decieve people.

What I struggle with is how to warn people of this fact without offending them.

The very LAST thing I want is to hurt or offend others so if I have done that please forgive me.

I love people but I do NOT love religion.

I am a bit confused about the part: "seem to have pitched it all"

I had nothing to pitch really as I had no beliefs to speak of so help me out with that part.

posted on Feb, 25 2013 @ 12:47 AM
reply to post by Murgatroid

The root meaning of the word religion means to connect with God but religion does exactly the opposite.
What gets translated as "religion" in the New Testament means to do service as an expression of devotion to the deity you believe in.
Obviously there can be a wide variation to what that might involve, depending on your belief.
For Christians, it should be doing things that help people in need.
I agree with you that true religion has been replaced by exercises in futility.

posted on Feb, 25 2013 @ 12:58 AM
I know I have shared my experiences with you wildtimes before, but I thought I'd just go over an important aspect in my journey and where I am at now. 

I was a "why" kid...the really annoying variety that asked the "bigger than her britches" sort of questions, the ones that would make adults squirm a bit. Not "why is the sky blue" but "why does the sky exist?" sort of questions. Usually I got a vague reply from my parents that seldom satisfied my curiosity. Slowly, I stopped asking, but just kept wondering to myself. 

My brother had converted to Catholicism, no one else was raised catholic in our family except my grandmother and she did not practice. My brother would often take me with him to mass, and I loved it because I was with him, but I did not understand anything and felt nothing special. I tried very hard but it just didn't click with me. But my brother was so important to me, I wanted to make him happy so I tried so hard to "get it" because more than anything he was my god, I looked up to him for all the protection and the care that other people looked to god for. 

Then when I was 10 and he was 18 he left for college and left me alone. Turning to my parents for support was pointless as they were in their own world. I fell into what I now know to be a deep depression, I felt completely abandoned and lost. So I began asking "why" again, but this time to god..."why did you take the one person I really needed and loved, the only person who was ever consistently in my life and make him leave me?" as a child I didn't understand that college was just something that people do...all I knew was the feeling that a wound a million miles wide had been cut in my soul, and nothing, no amount of prayers or asking why would bring him back to me. 

I was 11 when I asked my dad about religion, got his take on it, he being raised strictly Methodist and professing agnostic beliefs just told me to go to the library and research for myself, find my own way and what feels right for me. I did, I read every book I could get and none of them touched anything in me. I began to fall further into despair because the answers just were not coming to me. I never heard from or saw my brother at this time, and so even if I wanted to reach out to him, he was not available. He was in seminary studying to be a priest and it occupied his time completely. 

over time, after the missed phone calls, not returned; the letters unanswered, I began to become jealous of this "god" the one that my brother had left me for. I began to think that no true and loving god would do this and make me suffer. I began to see contradictions in religion, especially the Christian and catholic faith, and I began to develop a cynical attitude, one of disbelief...the whys kept comming, but at this point they were accompanied by an anger and outrage and bitterness..."why are there wars, rape, suffering in the world" "why if god loves us does he allow this" and my answer was, "because there is no god." The tear in my soul was now a black hole of emptiness. 

This was a very dark period for me. I remained an atheist for several years during my teen years, until at 17 a friend introduced me to Wicca and I began studying it...but I still lacked belief in it, and although it was as close as possible to my true understanding of god, I still felt that emptiness in my soul. That empty feeling remained until I had my daughter. That experience is one I have already discussed and wrote about, but as this is becoming a way longer post than I anticipated, I'll just say, I found god in my child. I found faith in my child, I found love in my child and since then everything has been different for me. I was able to let go of the anger I had at feeling abandoned, I let go of my bitterness toward the catholic faith, and I stopped grieving over the loss of my brother. I began to understand that god is in everything, and really know it, I stopped needing the "whys" answered because I was in a place of knowing within myself. 

I still have moments when I feel thrown off in life, where I am unsure and reaccess my beliefs but that knowing has never once left me. I can't call it religion, or even faith...I'm not sure if I can truly explain it at all but that's it. I never reconnected with my brother, but I have forgiven him for his silence. I can walk into catholic church now and sit in awe at the beauty and peace of it, just as much as I feel awe when I sit in the forest, and I think it is because I have come to a point where I dont need all the answers, because I have the one that is most important to me. I understand the mystery is a mystery for a reason and the great revealing will come to me when the time is right.

posted on Feb, 25 2013 @ 01:09 AM
I was raised in a Baptist family, and learned the basics of Christianity, or at least, Churchianity. Nothing stuck except the person of Jesus.

At about 14, I came across Ayn Rand. I read her books, subscribed to her newsletter, and considered myself an atheist for about 10-11 years. I got into the whole Libertarian thing, even being at the meetings that birthed the Missouri Lib Party.

My dad, who had prayed for me for the whole 10-11 years, got his life in line with God, and then things began to happen in my own life: I was dragged into the Kingdom without even wanting to at first.

I joined a "Jim McCotter" church in Kansas City, but drifted out before the whole thing became a cult. I loved it at the time, and still miss it. The drifting away is a story in itself...

After that, I studied my way into the Seventh-Day Adventist Church, and then studied my way out of it.

Since then, I've been mostly unchurched, but attended a Baptist Sunday school class for several years. The big thing in my post-SDA life has been the discovery of Universal/Ultimate Reconciliation. I will say that I am not a Unitarian Universalist, not at all.

I have had the advantage of being an ex-Atheist, so my theology and belief system had not pre-conceptions. I reject a lot of things being promoted as Christianity, and I try to look to the Book of Acts as my model.

posted on Feb, 25 2013 @ 01:13 AM
reply to post by Mijamija

I began to understand that god is in everything, and really know it
I would recommend listening to the Feb. 10 episode of the Paracast, to Richard Smoley, author of "Supernatural: Writings on an Unknown History." He explains how everything is alive (or has a consciousness, as he puts it). That's not the same as everything being God, though that's not what you said exactly. I think it is important to keep a distinction between the spiritual and the physical.

posted on Feb, 25 2013 @ 01:30 AM
reply to post by Lazarus Short

The big thing in my post-SDA life has been the discovery of Universal/Ultimate Reconciliation.
Being a long-time SDA, I can say that the two things would seem incompatible.
I think there may be a way to reconcile them, though.
If you die, and let's say for the sake of argument, that you are reincarnated, then who are you?
Are you the former person, or the current one?
If the former person was bad, then you wouldn't want to be that person anyway.
If you were good in this life, then let's say you go to heaven, as an example of "eternity", then you wouldn't mind being that person forever.
I'm not advocating reincarnation but there is an argument to be made, regardless of doctrine, for the immortality of the 'soul', whatever that is exactly. I currently tend towards the idea that we all existed in some manner, before there was a material universe.
All that 'materialness' has to have an influence on us and in some circumstances it would be impossible to ever achieve any sort of state of 'goodness'. So what happens to them? The standard SDA answer would be "they become as if they never were". Oh? Then why not recycle that spirit or soul or whatever into another "person" where they did have a chance? Maybe something the founders of the denomination never considered.

posted on Feb, 25 2013 @ 01:39 AM
reply to post by jmdewey60

I don't subscribe to reincarnation [re-incarceration], the immortality of the soul, or pre-existence. Both the first two come in from pagan sources. Pre-existence I associate with the Mormons. If I learned nothing else from the SDA church, it is this: (dead) body + (life-giving) Spirit = (living) soul.
It follows then, that: (living) soul - Spirit = dead body.

E.G. White said that more light was coming, or so I was told. The light is out there, and the SDA church has some, but not all.

edit on 25-2-2013 by Lazarus Short because: lah-de-dah

posted on Feb, 25 2013 @ 01:49 AM
I have never really laid out my beliefs online before, although I have included snippets here and there, both direct and implied. I think it could be called fact that Christianity has been slightly corrupted from its original form, and this is even attested to in the Bible itself. Much of the New Testament is a testament to Paul's struggle to keep the various first Christian churches in line with what he knew doctrine to be. Why did I start by speaking of Christianity? Well, mainly because I too have spent much time studying various religions, and I have settled on Christianity for a few major reasons.

First of all, there has been no other religion in the history of mankind that was validated by miraculous signs. The acts that were done by Jesus and His disciples truly were miraculous, and another miraculous aspect of these acts is the fact that they were witnessed by hundreds of people, or many thousands over the course of a handful of decades.

And even if one questions all of these witnessed events, one must ask themselves this: why would 12 highly doubting apostles, because they were not true believers until after Jesus' resurrection, suddenly change from half-hearted belief into undying devotion? Devotion meaning they were willing to stand up to the greatest authorities of their time, and then DIE for what they believed. But like I said, the Bible alludes to the fact that the apostles questioned Jesus until the very end, and even after he appeared after death. Seeing as how they did not truly believe when Jesus died, something rather miraculous, like a resurrection, truly must have occurred to cause such a sudden change in these men.

As far as the Judaic religions, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, Christianity is definitely at the forefront of all three in terms of plausibility and logic. Judaism is in my opinion inferior to Christianity at this point, simply because Christianity was an improvement over Judaism. Or more like a continuation. It was the fulfilment of Jewish scripture, ushering in a new age. Christianity was started by Jews, and many, many Jews believed that Jesus fulfilled the prophecies of the Old Testament. Those who did not believe simply misunderstood, and still misunderstand, the Old Testament, or Tanakh.

These people were expecting a political Messiah more or less, someone who would throw off the yoke of Roman rule, but if one studies scripture it becomes apparent that this was not in agreement with what the prophecies stated and implied. It would have been against the described nature of the Messiah to come as such a ruler. The Messiah was to come and save people, yes, but not in the short-sighted manner of earthly goings on. The Messiah was to be concerned with eternal salvation, not temporary or even permanent political freedom on earth. That simply is not important. Anyway, Jesus fulfilled every single requirement of the Messiah laid out in scripture, and He did so in a truly fascinating, and often times miraculous, manner.

Many people have a problem taking what has been given as history in the Bible and in other writings at face value, but if they truly knew the sheer volume of corroborating testimony from eyewitnesses, their doubt ought to be removed, IF they are open-minded. Now to comment on Islam, which I have studied in depth as well. Muhammed was born and lived in a city where the majority of the population worshipped idols. Morality was virtually non-existent in this city, Mecca, almost like Sodom, or Corinth around and after the time of Jesus' death.
Muhammed was intrigued by the Jews and the Christians, a very small minority in Mecca, and he was drawn to their teachings. He studied with these people quite extensively for some time.

He took many of the ideas of these two Abrahamic religions and misconstrued them. This is quite obvious from some of the things he said. Basically he did not have a handle on some of what these religions taught, and this is what gives him away as being a false prophet, in my opinion, and in the opinion of many of those who are educated in the Abrahamic religions. Muhammed spent a lot of time, after he had become familiar with Judaism and Christianity, meditating in a cave on a mountainside. After he had been doing this for some time, he claimed that he had visions from God. Now, whether one believes this is true or not is of no consequence in my opinion, and here is why.

It can be seen in many churches and with many religious people today, the claim of direct revelations from God. The problem with this however is that, even if having a direct revelation from God, we are human. Everyone perceives everything they take in through a personal filter. The fact that different people can hear the same thing yet come away perceiving it in a completely different manner is just plain fact. There is no disputing that, as it happens everyday, especially in regards to religion.

posted on Feb, 25 2013 @ 01:49 AM
So if Muhammed truly did have religious experiences, he obviously misinterpreted them. It should be noted that Muhammed could not read or write, and what is known as the Quran today is simply an amalgamation of supposed sayings and teachings of Muhammed. Now I do not really mean to insult the prophet of Islam, and I honestly do not think he was out to deceive people. Rather I think he was just a victim of the human mind. I will not go into detail regarding the items that Muhammed got wrong regarding Christianity and Judaism, for the simple fact that I have already done so on ATS two or three times. But his lack of understanding of certain aspects of these religions, on which Islam is based, goes toward proving that he truly was not a prophet, in my opinion.

I highly doubt that God would have gotten His own teachings and history wrong when "talking" to Muhammed, or sending an angel to talk to him, or whatever. Therefore I cannot accept Islam at all. To touch on a couple of points that illustrate what I am attempting to get across, Muhammed at one point taught that Christians were polytheists...Because of the trinity. He thought they were three distinct Gods. Wrong. He also stated that Jesus was not crucified on the cross. This not only disagrees with doctrine, but disagrees with direct history as well. He also taught that the virgin birth of Jesus was correct, but that Jesus was not the Messiah or son of God/Man, which if one understands Christian and Jewish doctrine they would realize this is a huge contradiction. On another note, if God wanted to correct the false teachings, which is what Muhammed said some of Christianity and Judaism was, why on earth would He wait 500 years from the death of Jesus to set the record straight? Surely He would have done so sooner.

That is just the tip of the iceberg regarding the contradictions of Islam. Today it has developed into a religion where its practitioners seem to forget the other religions that Islam is based on. They have changed it so much, and many seem to think it was its own religion from the get go, which is incorrect. Anyway, this is why Islam cannot be accepted as truth. And I already outlined that Christianity was the fulfilment of Jewish scripture and prophecy, and thus why I choose Christianity as the correct religion. I suppose know I should briefly touch on non-Abrahamic religions.

Just about all of the polytheistic religions can be discounted, in my opinion, for the simple fact that they have nothing to back them up. Many of these religions can be shown to be false simply based on their interpretation of natural phenomena. These religions taught that earthquakes, floods, and all types of natural phenomena were the result of angry Gods and the like. We know today that this is not true, and there are other aspects of modern knowledge that discredit these mystery religions of the ancient world. This includes the pantheon of Greek and Roman Gods and Goddesses, Mithraism, Zoroastrianism, just about all the religions of Asia, etc.

Then religions like Buddhism, which honestly is quite unique, are focused more on the "self." The main thing that causes me to overlook this religion is the fact that it emphasizes practices over beliefs. Well I suppose this is not all that bad, except for the fact that it does not even attempt to understand God, or any type of Creator. In one sense I like that this religion emphasizes knowledge and personal enlightenment, but I personally need something more than this. It was not humans who created the universe, and the sheer intricacy of everything that is simply surpasses a chance occurrence, therefore there must be a creator. Looking at the mathematical odds of everything existing the way it does, the result is staggering.

As a species we learn more and more every year about the sheer intricacy and beauty of the universe. I mean it is so advanced that there is just no way it could be chance. That is mainly why I feel there must be a creator. Well, I'm running out of space again, and as you can see I've already used two posts, so I will wrap it up now. I am not attempting to force my beliefs on anyone else, because religion is something that each person must discover for themselves. And although I emphasized my belief in Christianity, I would also like to point out that there are some aspects of the universe and life after death that Christianity does not attempt to explain. There are many things not explained by this religion, and many of those who have had strange experiences can attest to this fact.

I mean those who have experienced near death experiences, out of body experiences, etc...Those people can tell you that there is definitely a creator as well. Another aspect of Christianity that most people do not believe in involves things like spontaneous faith healing, etc. Most people do not believe this happens, but it seems it really does. Check out some of the videos online of street healing. Pretty convincing.

posted on Feb, 25 2013 @ 01:50 AM
I think that God is absolutely the funniest being in the whole universe, but I don't have time to explain precisely why that is at the moment.

posted on Feb, 25 2013 @ 02:32 AM

Originally posted by jmdewey60
What gets translated as "religion" in the New Testament means to do service as an expression of devotion to the deity you believe in. For Christians, it should be doing things that help people in need.

I only bring up the root meaning of the word because it really exposes the deceptions behind religion.

I think what I was trying to say is that religion does just the opposite of what it should do.

Religion SHOULD connect us to our creator but it does nothing of the sort.

"Everything is backwards; everything is upside down. Religions destroy spirituality."

This surely CAN'T be coincidental because there are far to many other parallels like the quote in my sig says.

This is what convinced me that Satan is the author of religion.

Jesus and religion are on opposite spectrum's which might be why the religious people hated Jesus.

“Religion, from religare, signifies to tie or bind, because by true religion the soul is tied or bound, as it were, to God and His service.”

Museum of Antiquity A Description of Ancient Life

"...the etymological root of religion is the Latin religare - which means 'to tie, to fasten, to bind' "

GreenCine Daily: SFIFF, 4/27

The derivation of the word religion has been a matter of dispute from ancient times.

Religion, from Latin 'religare' meaning 'to bind', describes our connection to God as the One thing which exists.

Lactantius derives religion from religare (to bind): We are tied to God and bound to Him [religati] by the bond of piety, and it is from this, and not, as Cicero holds, from careful consideration [relegendo], that religion has received its name. (Lactantius)

St. Augustine himself was not satisfied with it, for in his 'Retractions', I, xiii, he abandoned it in favour of the derivation given by Lactantius. He employs the latter meaning in his treatise 'On the True Religion', where he says: 'Religion binds us [religat] to the one Almighty God.' (St Augustine)

Overview: Philosophy of Religion

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