Questioning Everything

sent in by Harry M

Hi everyone. My name is Harry. I've posted on here a couple of times before. At this stage in my life I am very confused and feel like I'm in a paradox. Currently, I attend a United Church (you know, that church that some evangelists consider a church of the devil because we accept all people). Anyways, I'm involved in some activities there and even chair a committee. But lately I've been questioning my faith altogether. So what I'm doing now, I guess, is just writing out my thoughts so that I can get more clarity to figure out what exactly I believe.

I am 26 years old. I've been a Christian since I was five. Went through some difficult times with addictions at the age of 19 and when I was 20 I attended a local Bible College where I became indoctrinated every day about Salvation and Hell and Evil this and Evil that, etc. I graduated with a diploma but after graduation I began questioning my faith and explored other religions (became a Muslim briefly). Didn't know what to believe anymore and finally came back to the United Church.

In my recovery progam I have often sensed my higher power more than I do at church. I have so many unanswered questions when it comes to religion in general and the Bible in particular. And yet, when I think about it more and more, I do have the answers. I'm just too afraid to acknowledge them. It feels like the truth is staring me in the face but something is holding me back.

I consider myself to be a spiritual person. I believe in a higher power, but I am beginning to wonder if maybe this being is simply the creator and is the source of all of us humans. When we die, we return to that source. Did he/she/it really intend for all this hypocricy in religion and for people to kill each other in God's name?

The doctrine that I have the biggest problem with, is the concept of hell. How God could make various peoples, knowing they would have various beliefs and religions, and then condemning them to hell because they were born into the wrong religion. Also, Pre-Destination. God creates us and then Pre-Destines us to heaven or hell and rather than not creating us at all, he makes us and then says.... sorry you can't enter my kingdom because I already pre-destined you to burn in hell for all eternity. It kind of contradicts the notion of free will.

Anyways, I recently finished reading "The Davinci Code". It was a good book and it got me thinking about the church and hypocricy and stuff like that. A lot of evangilists and right wingers are scared of this book because they know that if people start thinking for themselves, they won't need religion anymore. The church will crumble, but not just church, other religions as well. If there is a God, wouldn't he want us to love and respect one another and to do good works to benefit humanity? Eat, Drink and be Merry, for today we LIVE!!!!

Life is short. I believe there are still things for me to discover that I don't quite understand. Maybe I need a vacation from church to clear my head. I don't know. Any suggestions any of you reading this may have, feel free to e-mail me. I would greatly appreciate it. Thanks for letting me vent briefly.


Regina
SK
Canada
Joined: 5
Left: 26?
Was: Many, currently United.
Now: Seeker of Truth
Converted because: local group converted me
De-converted because: Questioned everything
email: spare at accesscomm dot ca

63 comments:

ThinkSmart said...

Would not it be wonderful if we could be certain about everything? Certainty is a desire that, I suspect, all of us carry deep within us whether we acknowledge it or not. As a matter of fact what you see in most religious groups, Christian, Jewish, Muslins, etc. is a “pathological certainty” that maintains “we have the truth and we are absolutely sure.” How comfortable that is. And, if you find a “crack” in that certainty, they will “kill you off” (literally or figuratively) or attempt to force you accepting the faith! For example: “If you don’t accept Jesus Christ as you Lord and personal savior, you are going to HELL!” Feels like a gun to your head, doesn’t it?
What is most interesting about us as human beings (and you see aspects of this in other species) is that we are “learners”. Granted some do not capitalize on that capacity and even urge that is within them to learn and gather new knowledge. It is more comfortable, some maintain, to sit back and to “accept” rather than explore and to know.
Let me give you another example: The bible is supposed to be the holy word of god – infallible. Of course it was written by “humans” and published by “humans”, who are not perfect. Well, as we are often told by our religious leaders, it is god inspirited, or whatever. Really? What does that mean?
Above all, if this god is a loving god who “created” mankind, why did he/she/it allow different religious activities? This god supposedly made mankind “free” to chose, but if you don’t chose the “right” items you are bound to hell. Well, says the counterpoint, mankind disobeyed god (ate the apple) and god banished mankind from the idyllic garden of paradise.
Now think for a moment: if god is a “just” god, why in the world are we continuing to struggle with this issue because some fool ate the forbidden fruit thousands of years ago? Well, comes the answer, god did send a redeemer that you just accept that you are washed in the blood of Jesus and you will be saved (from hell, of course). Oh! How wonderful! Then those poor souls before Jesus didn’t have a chance in hell to be free. This god, whoever he/she/it is certainly was slow on the response.
Consider this: Mankind seeks purpose, seeks community, and seeks values as a way of surviving and living in health and peace. Sure, mankind is not perfect and does dumb things that create wars and destruction, but basically mankind works to resolve that and bring some type of harmony to their own. They want the community around them to “hold” them and “contain” them. The “caring” community is one ideal that has been essential to the well being of human creatures. Sure, you can find that message in the Christian gospels, but can you find it in other religious groups? Yes, you can if you look!
There is nothing “wrong” in wanting a community to be a part of, such as “United Church”, or a Synagogue, or a Temple, or whatever as long as it cares for all mankind, not just their selfish selves!
If you are enjoying the community where you go to church, fine! Just don’t shove it down other’s throats as if you or they have the supreme answer (which I doubt you are). You can contribute to others that than organization, or through other “communities” of mankind. You are not going to hell inside or outside the cathedral. You can create your own hell by the values you have or lack in terms of the treatment of others, treatment of the environment, consideration of the global community, and your values that will or will not contribute to the well-being of yourself as well as others.
Your struggle is so understandable and frequent in today’s world. My personal advice is – do not numb yourself with false self-assurance of “pathological certainty.” Your life will truly be limited if you do.
Have a great journey!
JIM

mq59 said...

"The Da Vinci Code" is a very interesting book, but its history/theology is mostly quite wrong.

Have y'all seen the movie yet? I have a friend who I'd like to see it with, but he's been rather busy lately, so we haven't.

Is it any good?

Anonymous said...

It is impossible to find certainty through beliefs. Beliefs are convictions held without proof, and cannot lead to truth.

Beliefs are cheap. There are billions of them. Sorting out beliefs only leads from one delusion to another.

xrayman said...

Hey Harry,
Greetings from another recovering addict. I have never been involved in any organized religion but I once believed in the "Higher Power," that was the fundamental foundation of the Alcoholics Annymous program. After my total deconversion from believing in any type of God or religion I have come to realize the higher power that has kept me alcohol free for 15 years resides right in my own head. It is me. I somewhat arrogantly take full credit for my own recovery. Thank you very much.

steve said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
steve said...

Hi Harry,

The question that each of us needs to answer for himself/herself is: Do I want my beliefs to be based on evidence or faith?

It is an essential question.

If you are faith-based, then you are not seeking truth. You have already decided what to believe. When contradictory information comes along, you can simply insert "faith" as your rationale, and don't pay attention to that bothersome, complicated stuff. There is really no work or discovery involved. You know what to believe, because you were told.

On the other hand, if you are evidence-based, you have work to do. And you have to take responsibility for what you believe. You have to seek out evidence and decide what makes sense. It is not the easy way.

For me, faith eventually became more difficult, though. The mental work it takes to continually dismiss evidence can wear you down. You can flood your mind with religion by attending services, reading the Bible, listening to preachers on the radio -- just keep jamming your inputs with the stuff. But as with you now, there was something deeper inside that was telling me to use my own mind and THINK!

I started with shedding all belief of anything, e.g., science, religion, supernatural, natural, whatever. I do have to believe that I physically exist, or there is nothing more to really think about, so I accepted that apparent fact and started trying to work it out from there. What evidence is there of anything? Well, there is plenty of evidence of lots of things. And there are viable working theories about other things. And the theories seem to change when more information becomes available.

The only evidence I have been able to discover about my religion, after quite a bit of reading about it, is that it is an evolved mythology. What I know of other religions tells me that they are the same.

Believing in a mythology is very dissatisfying for me. It might easier, since the society I find myself in puts a lot of pressure on me to conform my beliefs to those tales and legends. So why not just go along with the crowd, the path of least resistance?

People like you and I, and most others who post here, just cannot do that, Harry.

It seems to me that the default state of the human mind is truth- or reality-seeking. We gather information, process it, and try to make it useful. We are taught from an early age, tho', not to be critical thinkers in matters where religion and God are concerned. So we try to exist mentally in this state of cognitive dissonance. "What I see doesn't match up to what I believe, so I will insert faith to mute or block out what I see." The human mind is capable of extraordinary compromises when the reward or punishment is strong enough.

I was around your age when I started asking the deeper questions, like you are doing now. That was around 25 years ago. Many times since I've wondered what's out there in the cosmos, how did it all happen, why did it happen -- or is there even a "why" to ask?

I am happy to live in a mind that can tolerate unanswered questions. The alternative is to bombard my mind with mythology, and shallow, lazy answers. I want to know what's really going on here, and I accept the fact that it's not likely that I ever will know it completely. Better to accept the fact that we don't have all of the answers than to be filling in all the missing spaces with lies.

I will end this with an inevitible question: What is the point of life, if all of the mythologies are untrue, and we are apparently just an accident of the physical universe? To my way of thinking, the point of life is what you make of it. You give your life meaning in the way that you live it.

Steve

steve said...

Hey xrayman,

Me too.

Once I stopped believing in mystical crap and started believing in cause-and-effect, I was on the road to "recovery."

It's not so simple for some, tho', because the causes of addiction can be complex. I recently read about studies on mice and variations of something called the "CLOCK" gene. Mice with a certain variation on that gene were predictably more likely to become addicted to cocaine compared to the "normal" mice.

I think this implies that the intensity of drug addiction varies among individuals for physiologic reasons. I was lucky enough that simply removing myself from the social situation and getting involved in stuff like physical fitness was enough to end the drug abuse. I don't think it is so easy for everyone.

Steve

PS On re-reading this, seems like I'm making an inference that you are saying it's easy. Your point that the "higher power" is not metaphysical is well taken. Sorry for any confusion.

xrayman said...

Hey Steve,
Nice to hear from you. You mentioned physical fitness. That pretty much is my religion now. After I type this post I am going out to run 6 miles in this almost 90 degree heat. I am running in a 10k race next weekend. The same addictive qualities that fueled my alcoholism, also have kept me on a fitness plan that has lasted for over 15 years. I have the most addictive personality on the planet, and it could have been channeled to religion had the conditions been right, but instead I channel it in the most positive way possible. One of my former friends who was also an addict became lost in the Jesus cult. Christ is now his addiction. This guy has lost his rational mind.

Anonymous said...

Harry Said:

" ... It feels like the truth is staring me in the face but something is holding me back. ..."

Hi Harry,

That feeling holding you back is religious guilt buddy. Churches are great at giving us guilt and fear to keep us in line.

Since you have been in religion so long, don't expect it to go away quickly. You have been for all intents and purposes brainwashed.

Just keep your head up and stare right back at the reality you find in your human existence. Eventually, it will become part of your belief system, and the guilt and fear will melt away.

As they say in AA, one day at a time, and keep coming back!

Your friend,
Onanite

Bentley said...

Religion is a CULT Harry, get out of there as fast as you can!

Jim said...

If you want to read a really good book with heaps of references then you need to read "The Bible Fraud", by Australian author Tony Bushby. More info here.
www.thebiblefraud.com
After you read this book you will have an understanding how the New Testament developed into Christianity's giant fraud. All religions are frauds but Christianity surpasses them all. I also do not know why people believe in a higher power when there is absolutely no evidence to support such a claim. Cheers Jim Lee

Jim said...

Hi xray man. good to see you recoverd from your alcohol addiction and that the credit is not due to some make believe higher power. You and only you beat the addiction so give yourself a pat on the back. Anyone who beats an addiction of any sort then testifies some higher power brought about the change has been brainwashed and it living in fantasy land. Cheers Jim Lee

Dano said...

These two quotes are from "The Skeptics Dictionary"
I used to think that true believers were just STUPID, but as the article demonstrates, it is more like a MENTAL ILLNESS, than a matter of intelligence!
http://skepdic.com/truebeliever.html

true-believer syndrome

The need to believe in phony wonders sometimes exceeds not only logic but, seemingly, even sanity.
  --The Rev. Canon William V. Rauscher

The true-believer syndrome merits study by science. What is it that compels a person, past all reason, to believe the unbelievable. How can an otherwise sane individual become so enamored of a fantasy, an imposture, that even after it's exposed in the bright light of day he still clings to it--indeed, clings to it all the harder?
  --M. Lamar Keene

True-believer syndrome is an expression coined by M. Lamar Keene to describe an apparent cognitive disorder characterized by believing in the reality of paranormal or supernatural events after one has been presented overwhelming evidence that the event was fraudulently staged. Keene is a reformed phony psychic who exposed religious racketeering—to little effect, apparently. Phony faith healers, psychics, channelers, televangelists miracle workers, etc., are as abundant as ever.....................

Dan (Who is beginning to believe that we may not have been down out of the trees long enough)

Perry said...

Hello, Steve

Very erudite post. Enjoyable, edifying and nicely put. I'm going to copy it into a WP file on my computer so I can re-look at it from time-to-time. I hope that doesn't upset you - I'm not going to publish it or steal your copyright.

If Harry doesn't get some helpful insights from you, xrayman and thinksmart, I'll be adversely surprised.

Refelecting, the entire thread has a certain something to it! Well said, everyone.

Realist said...

Hey Think Smart,
Good for you, questioning in the first place. "Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blind-folded fear." Thomas Jefferson

As far as your comments about predestined to hell, that comes from Calvinist doctrine, mostly found in Baptist churches that were over run with them in the 70’s. They believe, some more then others, that some are predestined to go to hell before they are even born. They do not believe that God loves all. An extreme version of this would be the WBC in Kansas the protest funerals with the most hateful signs you can imagine like "thank God for 9/11" and MUCH worse.

I spent years of my childhood searching for God. I attended many of my friend’s churches from Bahia to Catholic and everything in-between. God never spoke to me. I never found what I was looking for. I am now very comfortable and happy in my belief that I am a spiritual person that submits to no God. I am guided by my own morals and ethics. I no longer fear death even if this is all there is, because if it is just lights out at death, this was good enough. Blind faith is just that, blind. To me no God would allow just what you point out. The wars, the torture, the 100’s of millions killed in the name of God. It is never ending.

“Imagine there's no heaven
It's easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today...”
John Lennon

freedy said...

Harry,..you brought up the biggest
and most idiotic doctrine of the church,...hell.This one idea will eventually be the undoing of literalist christianity.
No thinking,(sane) person can believe such a nightmare as hell.
I believe hell doctrines cause mental illness, and those who teach it are abusers of mankind in the worst way!
p.s. the d.v. code was good not great,...but then again i took my four kids ( it was too long for them.)

mq59 said...

Thanks Freedy. I heard it was a bit talky, but not much else.

Ian said...

Hi Harry

I've been where you are right now, where you question everything you believe in. It's not fun, but it doesn't last.

As a spiritual seeker myself, I no longer see christianity as a big part of the universe. It's a stepping stone for those who are on the way to something higher. It works for those who need structure and firm rules and guidelines to go by. It's just a starting point, one of the lower rungs on the ladder of self-growth.

As for the question of "Did god intend for all this hypocricy in religion?" the answer to that is: I don't think God cares about religion. God lets us do whatever we want, including creating religions that have some harmful beliefs in them. God is far more interested in how we treat each other, rather then what we choose to believe. I believe that at the end of our lives, we'll see everything that we've done, and what will matter the most is how we've treated each other.

Try this website (www.near-death.com). It helped me greatly when I started my new course as a spiritual seeker. In addition, try these links. They may help you out as well:

Religion: http://www.near-death.com/experiences/research06.html

Hell: http://www.near-death.com/experiences/research14.html

boomSLANG said...

It's been said many times here: You can still be a "seeker of truth" without concerning one's self with spirituality, or without expectations of an afterlife. As far as NDEs, drug use can produce the same effects, or "experiences", as those who are pronounced clinically "dead" but yet, still have minute amounts of oxygen in their brains.

Apollo said...

MQ59: "The Da Vinci Code" is a very interesting book, but its history/theology is mostly quite wrong."

I wasn't going to entertain your comment, but...

"If "The Da Vinci Code" was already feeding the flames of controversy with its challenge to the basic tenets of Christianity, actor Ian McKellen managed to pour a refinery tank's worth of gasoline on the fire on this morning's 'Today' show, asserting that the Bible should carry a disclaimer saying that it is "fiction."

http://newsbusters.org/node/5402?from=90&comments_per_page=90

MQ, the Da Vinci Code, is just as, no, no, no, actually it is "much more" correct than the bible, if the bible is said to be infallible, and the inerrant word of a god. If you remove the infallible and divine aspect to the bible, you may be able to make an argument, but then, we are just comparing novels at that point, right.

Personally, I think the bible, is a piece of shoddy literature, it has its pornographic scenes, a little human sacrifice, drinking of blood, zodiac rituals, etc., but yet, it still sucks in transition, especially between the old testament books and the new testaments books, with the glorious number 66, yeah, that makes all the ritualistic sense in the world. Supersitious numerology.

Anyway, there MQ59, what has a bee in your bonnet about the movie, regarding theoloy? If you are going to take a strategy to debunk the movie, you'd best state you don't agree how the "facts" were pieced together, as opposed, to taking an assinine stand about the "facts" themselves, because there are a load of "facts", historically supported throughout the movie.

Amusing that the bible, throughout its obvious metaphorical writings etc., has its share of references to historical "facts", unfortunately, it suffers in transitional errors itself, but chrisitans have no problem ignoring the transitional errors, that skeptics point out endlessly it seems as contradictions, grossly erroneous scientific statements, etc.

Talk about idiots, christians need to accept their fictional work, and get on with life, and if a movie is presented to present another view of the possible ways that the facts could link together, well, then what's their beef. I would suggest only the fundamentalists have the problem as they stick to inerrancy of the literal word, and are too ignorant to see the faulty transitions - perhaps literacy would clear that up though.

swabby429 said...

Hello Harry,

Life is simply a "process". There is so much to experience right now. All one has to do is let go of worrying about the past and the future so much. If you are fully present in the here and now, seeing, smelling, hearing, tasting and feeling (both senses) you will start to make sense and continue your "process" or "path" or whatever you want to call it and you will be a long ways in continuing it with skill and pizzaz!

You had mentioned that you should take a vacation from all the religion stuff for awhile. You have the right idea there. Often, the religion trip gets us to dealing with life in an overly introverted manner. You might wake up to the idea that all the good, bad, beauty and ugliness are just words or labels we use for the convenience of communication with our fellow humans. Step aside from them for a bit and just experience life "as it is". Your life will take on a more authentic feel.

You don't have to feel obliged to just chuck the belief club stuff altogether. Make a regular appointment each day to let go of the crap. Mark it in your dayplanner and/or kitchen calendar. Some folks call this meditation, but you don't have to call it anything...just live and be. Experience the happiness, sadness, or mundane feelings and then let them go.

The main thing is to not take spirituality too seriously. Societal custom places it on a very tall pedestal. Spirtuality takes care of itself when you simply and ethically live your life without all the dogma and guilt.

JJ

brigid said...

So mq, you say that the DaVinci Code has "wrong theology". What the hell is "right theology"? Do you know what I was taught to believe? I was taught "Outside the Church there is no salvation"

"Extra Ecclessia non salust est"

I shudder to think that there is still this mentality about the right religion, or the right church, or the right bible doctrines. No, I am serious. I shiver in fear that there is still that shit left in this world.

doug said...

Hi Harry,

I feel you brother. I am Christian and rejoice in my faith, but I cannot ignore some of our teachings, especially those regarding eternal punishment. I do not turn a blind eye to this, but rather, I focus on love, friendship and respect for all people. These qualities are at the heart of Christianity, but somehow through time many Christians have lost the beauty of loving others and instead have shared hatred through word and action and the results of this are people like you who struggle in despair rather than rejoicing in the faith. Another result is people simply hating Christians; and believe me, I understand why.

Harry, I believe, as many do on this website, that the answers you are seeking and the peace and fulfillment you are yearning for will come to you through life experience, discernment and reflection. Onanite said it best, "just keep your head up and stare right back..." Onanite and I have very different beliefs, but the wisdom in his words is great. Gee, a Christian and athiest sharing harmoniously...how about that.

Like you, I struggle with predestination. In today's world, when someone offers a product or service and it does not meet appropriate standards, the people offering said products or services are held responsible and are called to task. In the medical field it is called malpractice. But with God, according to predestination, when the product (us) fails to meet adequate standards, it is we the product who face scrutiny and dismantling and not God the Creator or manufacturer. This doesn't make sense. Predestination is some post Jesus doctrine that enabled the rich and powerful to become richer and more powerful while the poor stayed humble and broke in more ways than one. As far as people who lived before Jesus or people who do not believe in Him, the Bible makes reference to people's hearts being their own testimony. Read Romans chapters 9-11 and hopefully this will alleviate some of your anxiety.

Answers will come to you brother and you will have peace. This Christian will not denounce you in any way, but will respect you and your beliefs whatever they are at the end of the day. I am hoping and praying the very best for you.

In closing, the differences I have with many people here are as dynamic as night and day, and many non-Christians pose very direct questions and comments that I cannot defend and I admit to this quite humbly. Yet I enjoy being apart of this community because I am learning and being forced to think. I thank everyone for sharing and look forward to learning more.

Peace,
Doug (reverend dude)

Albert said...

Doug,
You do what all other Christians do. You pick and choose those parts you want to believe about Christianity and conveniently "fluff over" the rest.

.:webmaster:. said...

Doug, Romans 9-11 teaches predestination.

Read it again.

doug said...

Hi Folks:

Albert, no fluff my brother, I just take very strict precautions about being respectful to everyone and not come forth as self-righteous. I struggle with many components of Christianity. I don't fluff it over, there are simply some aspects I am more concrete with at this point in my life than other aspects.

I do believe in Hell as being a separation from our Creator, but I am part of this website community now and will never thump my chest proclaiming that salvation is mine. In fact, it is not mine at all as long as people are struggling with grace and feeling as though they are not accepted by our Creator. Talk about the ultimate ostricism -- being created, then rejected for no other reason than a lack of understanding or belief, or worse yet, a disdain for the faith altogether due to the wrongful actions of others within the faith.

Believe me brother, my love and arms to friendship are more open to non-Christians than Christians because I've seen sanctimonious people at work and have experienced the rejection from "my own people" first hand. I was actually told in seminary that if I wanted to be a part of the club I had to go through the hazing process. Lot's of love in that statement. Yet, when non-believers quickly realize that I come in peace and friendship with no covert theological plans, true friendships are established and are lifelong -- all without the hazing process.

I don't focus on Hell because Scripture teaches faith in Jesus brings life eternal. No fluff, just a happiness I have in the quietness of my heart. Let's face it, misery loves company, and Christians who are venomous and mean-spirited always condemning others and threatening them with Hell fall way, way short of having the fruit of the Spirit -- love, kindness, gentleness...

I have much to learn and look forward to you and others sharing with me. Case in point, Webmaster wants me to read Romans 9-11 again in order to grapple with predestination. My understanding of this may be as incorrect as it gets. Thank you webmaster for your words and indeed I will read it again.

Now it's time to go lose another softball game. We suck!

Doug

Albert said...

Doug said,
" I struggle with many components of Christianity."
Why should that be if Christianity is truly a coherent, divinely inspired religion? If you, a fairly intelligent kind of fellow, struggle with "many components of Christianity" then what hope is there for the proverbial "village idiot"?

mq59 said...

The fact that I'm even going to see this movie instead of just sitting around complaining indicates something, don't ya think?

mq59 said...

Brigid,

"The Da Vinci Code" claims that nobody believed in the Deity of Christ until the Council of Nicaea, in which Constantine unilaterally upgraded Jesus into God.

That is factually incorrect.

At Nicaea, they were debating whether Jesus was Jehovah God or whether or not he was a lesser supernatural entity--there was no "mere mortal" option.

That's the primary theological/historical problem with "The Da Vinci Code." I do not believe Jesus was married and had kids, but if He did, that shouldn't affect Christianity too much.

mq59 said...

By the way, they also grossly overstated the casualties of "The Burning Times."

5 million women killed by the Catholic Church? Hardly. Try 100,000 victims total, 25% of the victims were male, and Protestants as well as Catholics had blood on their hands.

However, that's just a minor annoyance.

Anonymous said...

You really do suck Doug!

Tim Simmons said...

"It is impossible to find certainty through beliefs. Beliefs are convictions held without proof, and cannot lead to truth. "


To anonymous: Aren't you confusing belief with faith? I believe a lot of things and for most of them, I can support them with a lot of evidence. I also take some things on faith - those that I can't easily verify myself and those that I don't care or need to verify at all.

Let me ask you a question. Do you take your car to a mechanic each day to be sure there is nothing wrong with it before driving to work?

We all have beliefs and we have faith and we all make assumptions.

The DIFFERENCE is that realists/skeptics/atheists/humanists/etc. do not take the important things on pure blind faith. We do take the mundane on faith. My car will start. My key still fits my front door. I won't be fired at work today.

Belief is not exactly a bad thing and neither is faith (or assuming since we do all three of these each and every day). They can be, though.

Do you believe 1 and 1 is 2?

If so, isn't that just a "conviction held w/o proof"?


Tim

freedy said...

Doug,..You could'nt be anymore sanctimonious if you tried.You actually believe that christians(1 billion give or take)are going to heaven,and 5 billion (OTHERS) ARE GOING TO HELL?
You are self-righteous and sanctimonious as hell!

brigid said...

mq, you make me fucking ill. But then, you are a christian, so you have been trained to do it.

You have this body-count mentality. Oh, it is only 100,000? Oh, that's better. How nice, only 100,000. jesus, I feel so much better....christians only killed 100,000 innocent people in the name of their jew god.

And how nice of you to remind me that protestants as well as catholics participated. Yes, asshole, I knew that. Nothing changed after the reformation, did it? Same old shit; same ignorant fanatics; same fucking jew superstition. Nothing changes.

Read the story of Joan of Arc. That will tell any of us all we need to you about the christian faith.

And how nice it was of you to remind me that men also were victims. No one was spared. I know that also. No one was exempt from the calamity of your beastly, bloodthirsty cult. No one. How you can hold your head up and still call yourself a christian is beyond me.

The people of god. Oh christ, what a joke. Why don't you clear out of here and leave me in peace? The people of god. I wish the people of god would drop off the face of the earth.

Bloodthirsty little savages, all of you. You are never going to get the blood from under you nails; my kind will never forget. Never. We will never forget. We will never forget. Little barbarians; parading into your churches in your coats and ties; little wives and children smelling like soap; you all have the morals of snakes. I don't care if you build churches from here to Neptune, we will never forget.

And you are offended because of some theological errors in the DaVinci Code. Well so fucking sorry. We are not talking about some book or some movie. We are talking about 2000 years of your jew superstition, and mq, you still can do no better that make piddling little excuses; you are like all the rest of your pathetic ilk; you have no defense; none. That is because there is none to make. Your theology. Fuck your theology. Damn your theology into whatever hell you believe in.

Now I am going to pour myself a beer stein full of Bushmill's and get stinking fucking drunk and I do not care. I am off for a 10 day vacation and I hope to fucking christ that I do not come within 1000 meters of a christian.

doug said...

Woah...Woah...where's the love? I come in peace. I suck; I'm self-righteous; I'm sanctimonious? Imperfect, yes. A pain in the ass, sometimes. I know the wrongful judgment Christians place upon others. Apparently many of my Christian bretheren skip over Matthew 7:1. I don't view people with judgment regarding Heaven and Hell. Sorry you feel that way Freedy.

Albert, I wrote to xrayman and shared with him one of my struggles regarding my faith in that I don't understand and cannot defend how our suffering, especially children dying from long term illnesses, can be glorifying to God. This is just one of my struggles. The hope the proverbial "village idiot" has is this; Jesus lived among the outcasts of society, not people who were beautful, powerful, popular and rich. The lowly, the poor in spirit, the "village idiot", such people are the ones Jesus opened His arms to first. That's the good news, yet sadly it's overlooked.

Marion Doerflinger said...

dear Harry -

I used to rage at God over the hell thing and over the fact that no
thinking person can accept one part of the Bible without rejecting other
parts. I once wrote a poem, "The Insane God." It talked about this
mad being who sat on his throne in heaven and got off on watching "the
smoke of their torment (Unbelievers in hell) ascending forever and ever"
(A paraphrase from the back of Revelation). When I think about a God
who calls himself good being able to endure sending people to hell I
think of Nazi Germany as a metaphore for all of creation and the
concentration camps as hell. But it is not the starving Jews who are in hell,
it is the prison guards. The suffering of the Jews is nothing compared
to being a well-nourished guard who serves an insane and vile master.
Being in hell would be no torment at all compared to being in a
wonderful heaven with an insane and wicked God. Who would want to come within
a billion miles of a God like that?

Ok - that's where I used to be. I made the usual mistake that most
Christians who walk away from the faith make - I listened too much to
the Bible and the speeches of "Leaders" and not enough of that Spirit
within me that yells out, "No. it's not true that God is evil. he can't burn
people alive forever and ever. How could I be capable of loving
everyone if God is capable of hating anyone?" So, for awhile, I fell away
and committed many sins.

But God brought me back. He always does. And when He did I found
myself living a much simpler Christianity. I don't believe in hell, not
like the hell we've all been sold, I don't need to. Hell is a great
motivator for some but I don't need that kind of motivation. I believe
that each person is born with a certain set of responsibilites - things
that she or he alone can accomplish for the betterment of someone else - some
use the word destiny and I have no beef with that word. Being given the
privelege of fulfilling that destiny is all the joyful motivation i
need. So, reject the parts of the Bible and the dogma that you just can't
swallow and remain intellectually honest, Harry. Maybe you'll read
those things in a different light a dozen years from now and they will
make sense to you then, meanwhile throw them out. You don't need them to
fulfill your destiny. The Bible is not the be all and end all of
Christian instruction. When you get saved you receive what Jesus
called The Spirit of Truth and "The Spirit of Truth wil lead you into
all truth." (John 16:13). You've got the Spirit of Truth within you,
let Him take you where the Bible and the all the pulpit talk of well
meaning but not totally enlightened preachers (Even the Great Apostle Paul
said that we only "..see through a glass darkly" - First Corinthians
13:12. If even he was partially, maybe even mostly, in the dark, then
you know that all the rest of us are partially in the dark as well.) can
never take you - to the fulfillment of your own personal destiny.

I'm not the kind of Christian who agonizes over this ritual or that
doctrine anymore - I'm now the kind of Christian who wakes up everyday
and says, "Okay, God, what little bitty thing can I do for the Kingdom
today. I don't have it all figured out, I never will in this life -
just give me a job and help me do it. Let me love like you love."

Saint John in all his writings talks about love and light,. In First
John he says over and over, "God is love." Trust me, old friend, a
being who is pure love is not sending anybody to hell forever - it might
look like the Bible says that but I don't believe it. After all, would
you or I condemn even the worst person to hell for eternity? Of course
not. If we flawed humans can be kinder then that - how can we imagine
a good and perfect God NOT being at least as kind as we are?

I've taken too much of your time, Harry. But I think it will help
you if you become a "Who can I help today?" Christian like I am now rather
than the "I've gotta get all this stuff figured out." Christian that I
used to be. WE are construction workers, Harry. We are building God's City of earth Ask for daily
construction orders - don't ask to see a blue print for the building a the
whole city - that's just more info than we really need.

One more thing, Harry., I am progressively writing

a bit more about stuff like this at my blog. If you are interested,
check out
"Sure, You Can Love Everone!" at
www.sweetsweetsurrender.blogspot.com.

Thanks for your priceless time. You're going to be great. Give
somebody a cup of cold water and write me back. I am always hungry for
wird from fellow truth seekers and I know you can help me so much more
than i can help you.

Marion Doerflinger
mdd1957@yahoo.com

J. C. Samuelson said...

By the way, they also grossly overstated the casualties of "The Burning Times."

5 million women killed by the Catholic Church? Hardly. Try 100,000 victims total, 25% of the victims were male, and Protestants as well as Catholics had blood on their hands.

However, that's just a minor annoyance."


Sorry, I just can't let this pass...

MQ, in your estimation how many deaths would it take for you to acknowledge the wrongness of this? What's the magic number? 150,000? 200,000?

Please explain what is a 'minor annoyance.' The factual discrepancy, or that you don't think these deaths are a big deal as they relate to the church?

Anonymous said...

Doug, so you're pretending to mimick jesus now? That's just great. Makes ya feel really good inside, doesn't it Doug?

freedy said...

Whooaaaoooaaaooaaaa!!!!!Doug,..YOUR the one who claims not to be self-righteous, not us .YOU claim to be christlike ,....not us!
What do you expect from us,..to be like you ,or jeebus? Come on, your on an EX-christian website.Wake up man! You guys are all alike,.... dumb.

doug said...

Marion,
Beautiful sister.

Anonymous,
Mimicking Jesus is exactly what I'm supposed to do -- being friendly, caring and the like. I know what it means to hate, but I like the feeling of love much more. Try it.

Freedy,
"what do you expect from us, to be like you or jeebus" If that means being happy then yes, I hope you're like me. Your words are passionate but you're spewing venomous hatred at me. I have peace; your hatred is dominating your life. And you're right, I'm on an Exchristian website. I can't find exmuslim, exjew, exhindu, exbuddhist websites. That doesn't say much for Christians now does it?

PS, my girlfriend and I are very much in love. Me, the Christian hospital chaplain, she, the non-believer. Respect is a wonderful thing.

mq59 said...

Ubergeek,

It's the factual discrepancy that's annoying--the book basically claims that the Roman Catholic Church had a body-count up there with Hitler (and exceeding the Armenian Genocide) when that is just not true.

In "The End of Faith," Sam Harris claims that the neo-pagans who came up with the 5-9 million figure for the Burning Times are just as foolish as jihadis and the Rapture crowd.

And no, I'm not equating the two--I'm fairly sure Starwolf (the writer who first made the claim) is a much nicer people than OBL or Pat Robertson. I'm merely quoting a non-Christian source on the matter.

Here're some more links:

http://sacred-pathways.com/realburningtimes.html

http://www.religioustolerance.org/wic_burn1.htm

And what happened back then was an abomination (much MUCH more than an annoyance). Taking one life without just cause is evil; 100,000 is truly monstrous.

Things like this happen when lots and lots of superstitious, uneducated people are gathered together and various bad things happen (crop failures, the 30 Years War, etc). On the Day of Judgement, there're going to be a lot of people answering for that.

And in Carl Sagan's "The Demon Haunted World," he points out many Christians who opposed the witch hunts, at risk to their own lives. Many of them were priests and bishops.

In an earlier discussion, Brigid claimed they were really closet ex-Christians, but she produced no evidence.

Brigid,

Goodbye Brigid. I hope you have fun on your vacation.

Anonymous said...

Hi Harry,

this particular web site is mainly for people who are discouraged with 'Christianity' for whatever reason. The people here will provide you with information that is biased towards perceiving Christianity negatively. Your faith and beliefs are something you as an individual should figure out on your own with your God. Since you are in a state of vulnerability where you are confused i suggest you see a pastor to help clear up any misconceptions you may have or pray about them. Maybe the church you are attending is not the right one for you so feel free to visit others. I don't understand what you mean by your church not accepting others, does this mean it closes its doors to people? A church should be accepting of people no matter what race, religion, background, gender etc. you come from. Remember that a church should be doing its best to follow the bible. When you see the pastor let him know about this. Don't be judgmental though he may not even be aware his congregation is excluding people. Good luck to you.

Bentley said...

To anon,

A church! And who builds the churches? Some God?

No! A man builds churches and I've never heard of any woman building a church! But I'm sure you have!

Before Columbus discovered America, there was not one single church build on American soil, that must have been such a wondeful time, before Columbus.

If some stupid God wanted worship, he would build the churches himself, after all remember he built the whole universe in just 6 days, churches would have been so easy to construct compared to the solar system.

Man in his fear of death and ignorance, builds churches!

Just as you're afraid to leave a name, you fraidy cat, bow down to your fake jesus and god!

J. C. Samuelson said...

Hi Harry,

It sucks being in a spiritual quandary as you are. Like you, I went through a lengthy period in which I wasn't sure what to believe. Worse, while I was a Christian I felt as if I needed to prove my belief. I had to show myself (and others) that what I really had was the kind of faith often discussed in the epistles.

It's a feeling that I don't ever want to happen again.

"It feels like the truth is staring me in the face but something is holding me back."

And that, my friend, is the fear of losing precious faith. You've been in it for 21 years. Expect anxiety, trepidation, guilt, etc.. Like a marriage coming to an end, whether the relationship was good or not there will be some unpleasant feelings.

Is the church you're attending a Unitarian Universalist, or some other brand of "united" church? Most of the folks I know who attend a UU church don't really care whether the Bible is inspired or not. They go for the feeling of community and to have the experience of touching their "higher power," whatever that means to them. In other words, they don't have to give up their faith to discard the evangelical trappings of Christianity.

See a list of principles posted by the Unitarian Universalist Association.

Now, if you really want to drop your faith entirely just keep reading. A good place to start could be Losing Faith in Faith by Dan Barker, or Bertrand Russell's Why I Am Not A Christian. Anything by Richard Carrier is also good. The Freedom From Religion Foundation is a good resource for freethought materials, including brochures, nontracts, and recommended reading.

It can't hurt to read material on each side of the faith debate. Staying informed and remaining open to new ideas is the key to resolving many difficulties.

If you are in a state of vulnerability I strongly recommend against seeking out a Pastor to answer your questions. They will make emotional appeals that sound like answers, but contain very little substance. It will cure your spiritual angst, but only temporarily.

If you feel that asking a priest is important, write out your questions ahead of time, look for answers on the web (there are plenty of resources), then go ask your questions. In almost every case, you will find that there are certain stock answers that Christian priests rely on but don't really address the deeper issues. Make sure to read the non-Christian answers as well, and form follow-up questions to further push the interviewee to come up with something of substance.

I wish you the best in your search. If you like you can email me at googleman70@yahoo.com.

J. C. Samuelson said...

Forgot another resource. See the Skeptics Society & Skeptic Magazine's website. In particular, you might want to visit the forums, the reading room (particularly the religion section), and the eSkeptic section.

SpaceMonk said...

Marion Doerthingy,
Why do you call yourself a 'christ'ian?
If you choose not to believe in hell, then what did 'christ' save us from?

Your logic, that a loving god would never do that, is correct, but your conclusions are wacked, I think because you've started from a wrong foundation for that logic.
Garbage In, Gabage Out.

Dave8 said...

MQ59: "At Nicaea, they were debating whether Jesus was Jehovah God or whether or not he was a lesser supernatural entity--there was no "mere mortal" option."

Each voting option brought with it different cons. For instance, declaring Jesus as the OT El, totally conflicted with "El", the god of the OT's plan to send a messenger/mortal messiah to earth to carry out his plans, i.e., the messianic prophsies of the OT, etc. If they declared Jesus to be El, then Jesus sent himself to sacrifice himself, to himself. Although, the council didn't seem to come together to vote on the mortality of Jesus, they made a statement about his mortality, by suggesting that he was one or the other, either of the same substance of El, or of similar substance as El. Either choice, made a decision about the non-mortality of the Jesus legend.

Nicene Creed:

1-Jesus Christ is described as "God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God," confirming his divinity. When all light sources were natural, the essence of light was considered to be identical, regardless of its form.

Note: Jesus was suggested as having the exact "same substance", thus he was considered to be the same as the god "EL", at that time, and that included all the "powers" associated with an omnipotent being. Jesus was said to have sacrificed himself, in order to close out the exclusive Jewish Old Covenant, and to bring in the New Covenant at that time, the tradition of original sin, wasn't used as an excuse to have Jesus sacrifice himself at this point in the early church. Original sin came a little later. This closure of the OT was conflicted, as the Jewish Messiah was to be a mortal, "not" a god of same substance as "EL", hence the original Nicene Creed was erroneous according to their oral and written traditions, that includes the Old Testament, which they authored.

2-Jesus Christ is said to be "begotten, not made," asserting his co-eternalness with God, and confirming it by stating his role in the Creation.

Note: His role, in the "creation" of him as a "god" of same substance of the Jewish God "El", was established at this council. In other words, the dude wasn't born, he was "created", later on the "holy ghost" is established as the medium for the creation, as, obviously there was no "form" to move from the supernatural to the natural realm.

3-Finally, he is said to be "from the substance of the Father," in direct opposition to Arianism. Some ascribe the term Consubstantial, i.e., "of the same substance" (of the Father), to Constantine who, on this particular point, may have chosen to exercise his authority.

So, after denying the Jews their Mortal Messiah, the council votes to shaft the Arians;

"Arius taught that God the Father and the Son were not co-eternal, seeing the pre-incarnate Jesus as a divine being but nonetheless created by (and consequently inferior to) the Father at some point, before which the Son did not exist."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arianism

Basically, the original council voted, to rid themselves of the Jewish religion, by ending the Old Testament with Jesus as their mortal messiah (didn't work), and thus establish a new "Covenant". By creating a "god" or divine Jesus, the Arians and all other religious sects who believed in mortal Jesus were shafted.

So, there wasn't a mortal vote directly, but, by voting on the nicene creed, Jesus' immortality/mortality was established.

MQ59: "That's the primary theological/historical problem with "The Da Vinci Code." I do not believe Jesus was married and had kids, but if He did, that shouldn't affect Christianity too much."

You assert that Jesus' mortality shouldn't affect christianity? Are you speaking of christianity from your own personal view, or the thousands of demoninations that have their own peculiar brand of christian belief?

Those who have some position regarding mortal Jesus, who don't agree with the nicene creed are as follows, and they were considered heretical to the Roman Catholic Church.

Adoptionism
Antinomianism
Apollinarism
Arianism
Audianism
Bogomils
Bosnian Church
Catharism
Docetism
Donatism
Euchites
Gnosticism
Henry the Monk
Jansenism
Luciferians
Lollardy
Mandaeism
Manichaeism
Marcionism
Millennialism
Monarchianism
Monophysitism
Monothelitism
Montanism
Nestorianism
Ophites
Patripassianism
Paulicianism
Pelagianism/Semipelagianism
Peter of Bruis
Priscillianism
Psilanthropism
Sabellianism
Socianism
Waldensians

These movements/theological belief systems of christianity went against the nicene creed's vote, and the people who were listed as heretics and laid their lives on the line to support such beliefs.

So, in a very "real" sense, the fact that Jesus was either mortal or not mortal, does in "fact" seem to make a "colossal" difference, just peruse some history and do some research on those who were murdered as heretics, they tend to disagree with your point of view MQ59.

Christian: "A religious person who believes Jesus is the Christ and who is a member of a Christian denomination."
wordnet.princeton.edu/perl/webwn

Christ: "Messiah: any expected deliverer."
wordnet.princeton.edu/perl/webwn

An expected deliverer. If a christian is defined in these terms, then obviously one has to assert that the messianic "delivery" provided was the salvation of all humanity through Jesus' sacrifice (obviously before original sin, etc.).

The Jews didn't get their FedEx delivery, no New Kingdom for them, they got postponed until a later delivery date was established, and in line with the authorities of The Early Roman Church.

The Early Roman Church, stated that the delivery was the salvation provided to all humanity, and the delivery from Jewish laws in general. Their version of a divine Jesus was also a delivery of a unified theocratic religion, that provided salvation for everyone, not just the Jews, if their citizens followed the Empires' religious laws.

Other religious sects/denominations created their own "Jesus", and what he "delivered", as they didn't agree with the control methods of the Roman Catholic Church and papacy. These denominations, heretical as they were labelled, saw a delivery from the early Roman Church, and their votes as well.

It all comes down to delivery, and "delivery" is based on mortality. Obviously, Jesus being a mortal, would have denied the delivery for many religious sects. And, although Christianity is used as a broad term to describe followers of "Jesus", the legend. Its painfully obvious, that many religious sects aren't talking about the "same substance" Jesus. In short, one could suggest that there are many "types" of Christianity, based on how they perceive Jesus, and his "delivery" method, personal substance, and timing.

mq59 said...

How would Jesus being married and having kids disqualify him from being divine?

And the Lollards and Waldensians can be described as proto-Protestants--their position vis-a-vis the Trinity was orthodox.

And the Nestorians were orthodox as well--the Pope and Patriarch misunderstood Nestorius's position re: the pre-existence of God the Son.

And Jansenism is a sort of "Calvinist Catholicism"--the nature of Christ is not a disputed matter.

Dave8 said...

MQ: "How would Jesus being married and having kids disqualify him from being divine?"

Divine: "Godhead: terms referring to the Judeo-Christian God
appropriate to or befitting a god."
wordnet.princeton.edu/perl/webwn

Well, I am using the Judeo-Christian definition of "Divine", perhaps you are using a different definition. If you accept that "Divine" equals befitting of a "Same Substance" god, then, obviously, MQ, we are talking about a god, who by legend would have "fathered" children, thus, making them demi-gods, at minimum, or full-blown god children if the mother was also "Divine".

Now, if you want to suggest that divine means, well, inspired by a god and Jesus was mortal, then the "roots" of christianity, are based on "lies", vis-a-vis The First Council of Nicaea who stated Jesus was of the "same substance" as "God".

So, are you a heretic MQ, or not, do you believe Jesus is made of the exact same substance as "god", or not. Same substance, means, equal to the God El, and worthy of fulfilling supernatural miracles, kind of like, creating some miracle like the salvation of the entire human race from exclusive Judaism. It takes a god of equal substance, to remove a gods' promise, i.e., the promises made to the Jews in their Old Testament prophesies, etc.

If you don't believe Jesus was of the "same substance", then the new testaments' authority is lacking, and thus christianity loses its credibility, as that means Judaism is still founded on the Old Covenant laws, and is still authoritative. A mortal Jesus, with kids, doesn't undo the Old Testament laws there MQ, thus was the quandry for The First Council of Nicaea and their "deliberate" vote to end Orthodox Judaism.

Unite the empire, and close down Exclusive Judaism, that was what the vote was about there MQ, and that meant deliberately voting against the mortality of Jesus, as they needed a "god" to undo the Jews' god El's promise.

No "Divine" Jesus, no end of Old Testament. No end of Old Testament, then, no New Testament. No, New Testament, then, no Christianity as there is then only one god, and that's the Jewish god "El". If one follows El, they're Jewish not Christian.

MQ59: "And the Lollards and Waldensians can be described as proto-Protestants--their position vis-a-vis the Trinity was orthodox."

"In the early 15th century, Lollardy went underground after more extreme measures were taken by the Church and State. The one of these measures was the burning at the stake of John Badby, a layman and artisan who refused to renounce his Lollard views. His was the first execution of a layman in England for the crime of heresy."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lollardy

Well, perhaps, the nobility, royalty and orthodox roman catholic church thought different, it appears they needed to murder on the ground of heresy.

"The Waldensians are a Christian denomination believing in poverty and austerity, founded around 1173, promoting true poverty, public preaching and the literal interpretation of the scriptures. Declared heretical, the movement was brutally persecuted by the Roman Catholic church during the 12th and 13th centuries and nearly totally destroyed, but the Waldensian Church survives to this day."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waldensians

MQ59: "And the Nestorians were orthodox as well--the Pope and Patriarch misunderstood Nestorius's position re: the pre-existence of God the Son."

"Nestorianism is the Christian doctrine that Jesus existed as two persons, the man Jesus and the divine Son of God, or Logos, rather than as a unified person. This doctrine is identified with Nestorius (c.386–c.451), Patriarch of Constantinople. This view of Christ was condemned at the Council of Ephesus in 431, and the conflict over this view led to the Nestorian schism, separating the Assyrian Church of the East from the Byzantine Church.

Historical references to Nestorians are to the Assyrian Church of the East, commonly described as Nestorian because it refused to drop support for Nestorius and denounce him as an heretic."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nestorianism

MQ59: "And Jansenism is a sort of "Calvinist Catholicism"--the nature of Christ is not a disputed matter."

"Jansenism emphasized original sin, human depravity, the necessity of divine grace, and predestination. In Jansenist thought, human beings were born sinful, and without divine help a human being could never become good. Ironically, this led the Jansenists to seek to exhibit a high level of piety and moral rectitude, and prepare carefully through prayer and confession before receiving Communion (hence Jansenists favored less frequent reception). The Jansenist idea of predestination, based on Augustine's writing and close to that of Calvinism, was that only a portion of human beings, the "elect", were destined to be saved. Unlike Calvinism, however, Jansenism lacked a doctrine of assurance, making salvation unknowable even to the "saved"."

The Ultimate Fundies, everyone sucks, humanity is garbage, and there isn't a damn thing anyone can do about it. Then, throw in that there is pre-destination, and fatalism, but no one really knows who the truly saved are.

"Jansenism was condemned as heretical in several papal bulls, notably by Pope Innocent X, Alexander VII (Ad Sanctam Beati Petri Sedem - Catholic Encyclopedia article) and Clement XI (Unigenitus). It is interesting to note that because Jansen himself died before his work was published and he included statements of submission to the Roman church in it, he himself was never considered a heretic. The final condemnation of Jansenism was by St. Pius X, who advocated daily communion and communion for children as soon as they could distinguish the host."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jansenism

The movement was heretical, according to St. Pius X, and instead of murdering as was the natural modus operandi per the Roman Catholic church, you get brainwashing children as soon as they can understand how to recognize a host, yeah, murder, brainwashing, etc., to outdo the other religions who obviously had differing views on Jesus' divinity.

Bottom line, if you weren't Catholic and supporting the Roman Catholic hierarchy, and nobility who profited from the religious hierarchy, you were considered a threat. Religion isn't about what is morally right, its about control.

Anonymous said...

Hi Harry,

i think you are going through a pretty normal phase that everyone goes through. I am a Christian and i do believe in God. Certain miracles have taken place in my life and in the lives of members of my family so from my perspective it would be rather dumb for me to not have faith in something that works for me.

I am still learning a lot though and also hit some rough patches and doubt God even though he has come through many times for me before. It says in the bible that faith is a gift so ask for it.

You know something that concerns me a bit is that you mentioned that you learned about all the doctrines etc. I watched this programme with Nicky Gumbel in it. He said something that really stuck in my head. People often read up all the verses in the bible, underline them, sing songs with passages of the bible in them etc. He then went on and said think of the bible as a car manual. We can underline the things in the manual that we think are important, sing songs about it etc. but it won't help much if we don't bother to drive the car. By all means learn them but don't focus on the philosophical concepts too much. God really will give you more understanding of his word as you grow in him. Like in all relationships learning about a person is a process that takes time.

You also mentioned that you sometimes feel more spiritually charged outside of church. There really is nothing wrong with that. In fact God encourages us to spend time with him alone when he can really speak into our hearts as well as fellowship with people. I think that is pretty brilliant that you feel like that outside of church too.

I know the CBN counsellors are pretty helpful if you are not yet ready to chat to your pastor, sometimes talking to a stranger is easier.

Bentley said...

Harry God has all the answers, what ever God is, ever noticed how all the christians are so ready to help someone find God as if they have found all the answers and are now complete and are just waiting to swept up into heaven.

You can call CBN and ask for guidance, as if they are the central headquarters for God and his angels.

You can call Liberty Baptist Church for prayer and counsultation, like they are the central headquarters for God and all his angels.

You can call Benny Hinn, Jimmy Swaggart, Jim Baker, Kenneth Copeland, Joyce Myers, Leroy Jenkins, Dr. Gene Scott, Robert Schuller, Oral Roberts, etc. etc. etc. all these people are direct spokespeople for God, all these good people represent God they are his mouth piece, if you will, they have all the knowledge of the universe bestowed upon them by their own righteousness.


How have (WE) as intelligent human beings allowed this bullshit to get so out of hand?

Why do we let what a bunch of drugheads and wino's wrote down on clay tablets over 2000 years ago control our society and our own mental processes?

How could we as intelligent human beings have let this happen?

If there had never been a Bible, could humans survive, without an imaginary god?

Why do we need an imaginary god to control us and validate us?

Why does society need beliefs to survive in every day life?

J. C. Samuelson said...

"I know the CBN counsellors[sic] are pretty helpful..."

If you want the spiritual equivalent of a lobotomy, sure.

mq59 said...

The Nestorian controversy was all a big misunderstanding.

Linky:

http://www.aina.org/books/bftc/bftc.htm

Of course the RCC viewed anyone who disagreed with them as "heretics." To a degree they still do (a friend studying for the priesthood said b/c I'm Protestant, I'm actually a heretic, "but it's not like you're going to hell").

However, the Lollards, Waldensians, and Jansenists were considered heretics for political reasons (the first two) or for being too close to Protestantism (the Jansenists being similar to Calvinists), not for their beliefs on the nature of Christ.

And on the matter of Jesus and children, here's some summation:

I believe Jesus is God and that He is "of the same substance" as God the Father.

However, Jesus was also human and could theoretically conceive children. If He were married to Mary Magdalene (which I believe He probably was not, since it is unlikely that all references to it could have been eradicated), that would not be a theological problem, since sex within marriage is not immoral (in fact, in the Song of Sons and some other places, it's actually celebrated).

If said children were mortal, that does not disprove Jesus is God. After all, perhaps Deity is a non-hereditary trait. A child of Jesus and a mortal woman would not necessarily be like Hercules, with superpowers and all.

Has anyone else seen "The Da Vinci Code"?

mq59 said...

Ben,

Do you have any proof that the Biblical writers were "drugheads and winos"?

Justin said...

To MQ59,

Don't bother trying to get any proof or reason out of Ben. He scours this site looking for Christians to flay. You'll get blood from a stone before you get reason and compassion out of Ben.

Bentley said...

Wasn't it such a miracle that jeezus turned water into wine, what a joyous ocassion, of course it would never oocur to you nutz that so many parts of the bible have been censored, and now you're going to ask me to prove it. Well just you yourselves have held back information that would have put something that you've done to your advantage, by witholding certain information and to deny this fact means that you both mq59 and justin are total liars. Since you are both liars, then you worship a lie.

Justin said...

To Ben,

"of course it would never oocur to you nutz that so many parts of the bible have been censored"

What parts are these Ben? Please enlighten me with your hate filled, venomous poision....I mean wisdom.

"Well just you yourselves have held back information that would have put something that you've done to your advantage, by witholding certain information and to deny this fact means that you both mq59 and justin are total liars. Since you are both liars, then you worship a lie. "

What the heck are you talking about? Wipe the drool from your china and try tht one again.

.:webmaster:. said...

MQ said "Perhaps Deity is a non-hereditary trait."

Perhaps travelers from the future and from Alpha Centauri traveled light-years across time and space to arrange the resurrection of Jesus through advanced science so that human history would be mired in religious dogma for 2000 years, fail to advance in any of the sciences, and eventually be destroyed in a self-destructive, nuclear, religious Armageddon.

Perhaps...

Perhaps...

Perhaps....

Perhaps fantasy is reality and reality is debatable. Perhaps love is hate. Perhaps "maybe" is the opposite of "it-might-be."

Wow...

Perhaps saying perhaps makes maybe into absolutely, and therefore sometimes becomes always!

I get it !

I get it!!!!

Perhaps = IT IS TRUE!!!

COOL!

J. C. Samuelson said...

"...perhaps Deity is a non-hereditary trait."

Thanks, MQ. I needed a good chuckle.

**tongue planted firmly in cheek**

I think the most likely authority on this would be the American Psychiatric Association. Megalomaniacs, those with a "God" complex, and so on may indeed be suffering from a hereditary trait.

mq59 said...

You're most welcome, Ubergeek. I do the best I can. :)

Webmaster,

That sounds like an interesting idea for an SF novel. It'd be a constroversial one, but it'd sell.

Ben,

Everything I have said on this site for the past year or so has been said in good faith. I may be wrong, but I am no liar.

The Bible says Jesus turned water into wine, and someone at the party commented that Jesus produced the best wine--hosts usually brought out inferior wine later, when the guests were unable to tell it was inferior (probably b/c they wre getting a bit--or more than a bit--tipsy).

However, do you have any indication that the writer of John was a "wino"? Even if he'd gotten drunk at the wedding in Cana (do you have evidence he did?), a "wino" is an alcoholic. Getting drunk once or twice does not make you an alcoholic.

boomSLANG said...

mq59 asked: "Do you have any proof that the Biblical writers were 'drugheads and winos'? "

Proof?...you've GOT to be kidding. Since when does "proof" matter to a Christian? lol

Observe: *Maybe* the redactors of the Holy Bible were drunks; *perhaps* they were drunks; *there's a chance* they were drunks; it *could be* that they were drunks; "blah blah" translation said they were drunks; it's *likely* they were drunks; *seems to me* that they were drunks. Sick yet?.....good, because this is the SAME exact UNcertain jargon that is used in the SAME exact subjective way that "others" use in their case FOR biblegod, his bastard son, and their "how to" handbook.

It's called a DOUBLE-STANDARD.

.:webmaster:. said...

MQ, you're as witty as a nit. My science fiction fantasy was a sarcastic analogous comparison to your constant fantasizing about what might, perhaps or could be true.

Almost every single day you say something to the effect that: Perhaps there exists something outside the known universe. Possibly it simply exists without any explanation; maybe it has no beginning; it could be that it is incomprehensible; surely it cannot be seen, tasted, or touched; it's likely that it does not answer to the laws of nature; perhaps it cannot be scientifically discovered or known; it could be intelligent; maybe it has a really bad temper when disrespected; and it is very likely that it might talks direct to me (MQ59).

Or perhaps, MQ59, you are completely dense. Or maybe, MQ59, you are terribly mistaken. Or, very likely, MQ59, you are just a fanatic.

In determining the validity of any of the above statements, perhaps Occam's razor might serve best.

The one thing you said that has made sense, MQ, is this: "...novel. It'd be a controversial one, but it'd sell."

Exactly! It'd sell! It'd sell because people love a good fantasy story. In fact, if the story is fantastic enough, people mightl make it into a religion. They could call that religion Christianity, but I think, perhaps, that name's already been taken.

Honestly MQ, you are annoyingly thick. And your attempt at being a smartass is weak.

.:webmaster:. said...

"...perhaps Deity is a non-hereditary trait."

So a deity-nature isn't inherited but a sin-nature is inherited. So sin is passed on but godness isn't. So Jesus' dad was a god, but since deity-natures aren't passed on, then that possibly means Jesus wasn't a god, but maybe he did get the sin-nature from his virginal vaginal mom.

It could be that bothering to respond to this individual is a complete waste of time.

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