sent in by Charles
There was a time when I wasn’t sure of what I believed or who I was, that time is now over. The twisting ride has ended and has taught me a few things about the church and people, which I want to share with you.
Many of the world’s problems are wrapped in ignorance and a hunger for power and control. At every turn and corner of the world, people are suppressed and manipulated. Although not applying to all men, it is the common thread throughout this world that needs mentioning.
Bias is everywhere and bondage is just another sermon sold in many folds of religious propaganda. Well meaning tyrants smile and seek your love while they promise security and hope, felling to deliver either, whether being sincerely wrong or having that knowledge and purpose for that very end. We receive neither love, nor hope, but a loss of freedom to think for our selves and a fear to live apart from our spiritual aggressors or government.
Manipulation and fear raise our children, due to much of our own foolishness and submission to the same fears. Love is granted through your obedience, although love and respect should be earned, not gained through force of fear. It is a coercive beast that threatens our lives to either submit or die. It doesn’t matter if this is a religion or government, it should be treated as a tyrant seeking to gain control over the lives of the masses for some purpose, whether it be their own or another’s gain.
By brain washing the young and keeping back information in order to gain control of the thinking populace, men who are sincere will teach lies without the knowledge of what they are doing, while following the “truth” of spiritual or government leaders. These men will see the results in the physical and mental catastrophes they have seeded in the hearts and minds of their following. Spiritual leaders will dogmatize lies in the form of love surrounded with threats of everlasting damnation hoping love will spring from their follower’s hearts.
The love found growing in the people’s heart is not for god or gods, or government, nor any man. This love is based off of the fear of hell or some type of punishment, or a coercive love. It is not a freely given love to this god or that leader, but a love for self-preservation that motivates them to submit. In the end people are worried about themselves, not god or his glory nor loving this or that god. Man is only free when he is left to his own conscience and heart with out the aid of lies and manipulation, humanity then can truly love god with an honest and open mind, apart from fear or choose not to love. Truth should be given freely and a personal search free of threats and fear.
A self-governed heart following conscience and truth wherever it may lead, a freedom deserved. I am not against religion or government, it is the lies and deceit that I am against, which unfortunately seems to follow too closely behind. My religion as with the desires of my heart are simple, “it is liberty and freedom to follow the guidance of my own conscience and heart”. With liberty there will be mistakes, but I am willing to pay the price to be free, rather than be under the control of tyrants who mean “well”. I will believe in a god and submit freely with love, but not under the threat of damnation. If any religion is gaining people by threats, it is not a welcomed friend of mine.
I am for the people, and the freedom of all people. Freedom is found in love, understanding, and compassion. There is freedom in knowledge, courage, and discipline. Freedom is not found in condemnation or fear. Freedom is not found by ignoring your conscience. Freedom is not found by ignoring your heart.
If you ask me what I believe, or what I am now, the answer will be quite short, “ I am free”. I am free to worship the God of my own choosing, according to my own conscience. I am not on the path to destruction, but a path illuminated with the light of liberty from tyrant theologies that pursued me. I am compelled to speak openly and freely, not out of arrogance, but to show that I am a person with integrity and courage. I have in the past years struggled with many conflicting views and with much personal aguish and have now arrived at my own conclusions.
My conclusions are built on personal experience and by the use of all God given faculties granted to me. I no longer believe in the God of Calvinism or the free-will mongers. I know Calvinism is clearly taught in the Bible, so I reject parts of the Bible that teach God is some glory hungry tyrant. Calvinism does not paint a pretty picture of God. People would be appalled by a god that seeks to destroy their loved ones for His own glory and then expects you to thank him for it. Is this the Gospel you preach and love? If this is what the Bible clearly teaches, then why do you not preach it fully and openly? “All truth is safe, and nothing else is safe; and he who keeps back the truth, or with holds it from men, from motives expediency, is either a coward or a criminal, or both”, Max Muller.
Would your preaching be futile if the people were aware of this theology you hold to? People would ask themselves, “Would Jesus ask me to make a commitment to faith which I am incapable of making or is he making fun of my crippled nature which he predetermined me to have?” How could any commitment of faith make any difference in the predetermined plan of God? If God calls for me to burn in hell for his precious glory, then it doesn’t matter what I do. So why offer salvation to all, if it is only to the Elect, and then blame people for a choice they are not able to make anyway? Why would God intentional blind any child for the sake of glory?
How can we even be blamed for something we are born to do, with or without our agreement to it? Surely God will not blame any person for being born crippled, so why blame them for a spiritual handicap. Knowing that God fashions all men in the womb, is He deliberately blaming us for His own actions? If faith is a gift from God, how can we be blamed for not having this faith when He holds it back from us? It baffles me to think that God would expect a cat to act any different than a cat, if it is only living according to the nature it was given. Can we blame a cat for being a cat and acting like a cat? So can we worship a god who blames us for something he is responsible for? Call me a heretic, reprobate, or even an apostate. All these names mean nothing to me now. Names have become just that, “names”.
Actions have always revealed the nature of people’s hearts and motives, not the titles assigned to them, just as your particular brand of Christianity has shown through in how you have dealt with me, and possibly others. Your lack of concern has not gone unnoticed. Love is what we all want and search for in each other and in God. Does Christ find Himself liberated by the love you show or held in bondage? Condemning, judging and arrogance is the predominate role in the lives of those who, “know God personally”. It is comforting to not be among the “humble ones” sitting in the pews. I am thankful to have gone through this disillusionment at an early age. It has taught me that I must be my own authority, if left in the hands of pastors, I will never be a whole person, only a smiling Christ clone, of the flavor of theology that is being taught.
If I seem upset, it is the truth and reaction you will get from ever person who feels mistreated and let down and unloved. Do you know what happens to a newborn child if it is never held or loved? You may feed it and look at it and discipline its behavior, but what happens if you never love it? The child will die and a newborn believer will suffer the same end. Are you and the church reflecting Christ’s love? Is He like the church, without love and void of compassion? The church has already answered these questions by the hollow shell of love it sells. So Praise the Lord for me being an apostate, it is all for His Glory, and besides; who are you to argue with God’s will for me to rebel. Oh, my poor friends, if you are upset, then you must have a problem with God’s perfect plan.
State: North Carolina
Became a Christian: Became a Christian at the age of 18
Ceased being a Christian: Became an open minded person at 22
Labels before: Conservative Southern Baptist
Labels now: Openminded, free
Why I joined: Young and looking for direction in my life.
Why I left: After a while, I had to be honest with myself and others....they were selling something that didn't work and so was I.
Email Address: jokewm2 at yahoo.com
Online Reading List
- An Outline of Intellectual Rubbish by Bertrand Russell (1943)
- Bible Teaching and Religious Practice by Mark Twain
- God is Imaginary
- Is there an Artificial God? by Douglas Adams (1998)
- Skeptics Annotated Bible
- The Age of Reason by Thomas Paine (1795)
- Which Way? by Robert Ingersoll (1884).
- Why I Am Not A Christian by Bertrand Russell (1927)