Rethinking My Beliefs about God Apart From Traditional Christianity

Christian Fundamentals Have One Purpose: To Separate You From God

In Atonement, Church, Free Will, Fundamentalism, God, Sin, The Bible, The Trinity on March 1, 2011 at 6:50 pm

The title of this post is something that has been slowly coming into view for me as I’ve been attempting to understand God apart from the Christian religion. By wrestling through many faith issues which I address in previous blog posts, I’ve currently concluded that Christianity doesn’t lead people to God. Its general nature actually steers people away from God.

So here I am. It feels kind of like going to the doctor for the majority of your life and then realizing the doctor is what has been making you sick. I think I would be so much healthier (have a better understanding of God) had I not seen the doctor at all.

This is a pretty unconventional viewpoint. I mean, just like everybody “knows” you go to the doctor when you need to stay alive, everybody “knows” you go to church in order to grow in eternal life. After three decades of  living this kind of eternal life, however, I have to say that this supposed new life is intended to kill.

I was instantly fooled by institutional Christianity’s claim to Christ. Jesus seemed like a wonderful man, no matter who he was, so how could a church go wrong there? Yet it’s surprising to me just how much the love of a man could be twisted to portray not love but hate. Allow me to explain.

According to Christianity, to “accept Jesus into your heart” implies forgiveness of sins. That doesn’t sound so bad, does it? Think again. In order to receive forgiveness of sins, one must first see their need for forgiveness. Before one can see their need for forgiveness, one must focus upon their sin and the fact that it separates us from God. Christian evangelism goes to great lengths to make sure that everyone knows we are sinners. The entire religion depends on this foundational concept of sin in order for the religion to even exist.

Being hooked on drugs, alcoholism, homosexuality, premarital sex, adultery and not going to church are the big sins. But I’ve heard evangelists of all kinds force people to think of their personal sins, such a time when they lied to someone, in order to see their need for God’s forgiveness.

While I have so much more to say about fundamental Christian doctrines, the ones that focus on the blood and atonement of Christ are, to me, the most detrimental. It’s nothing more than beating the crap out of someone in order to weaken them enough to manipulate their minds for the rest of their lives. And yeah, I am ticked off.

How many people are insecure, full of fear, ashamed, timid or defensive because that is how “their creator” views them unless they repent? That was me, and this is why I am so vocal during my healing process. According to Christianity there is very little, if any, worth of the human being. We are all sinners heading toward hell, my friends, unless we believe in the atonement of Christ for our sins…. which only enforces the fact that we are sinners in need of saving.

After evangelists show us our need for forgiveness, and we feel guilt over our wrongs, then and only then can they give us the good news. The good news centers on the fact that after Jesus died, he rose from the grave where he lives in glory for eternity. It really does sound like good news to the guilty slave of sin. The only problem? It doesn’t work.

At first Christians seem to overcome some of their sins – let’s say a smoking habit. If a new Christian adds to their life church attendance, church activities, Bible studies, new friends, new environments and a completely new lifestyle, then quitting a bad habit becomes obsolete. There is simply no room for it anymore in their lives because smoking might not be socially acceptable in their friend circle.

But if a Christian is willing to admit it, although their sins might have changed, they still fall into sin every now and then. Of course there are those pesky hidden sins as well. And sin still separates people from God. Where’s the new life promised to them in exchange for their “belief” (which meant becoming religious?)

I now see the whole salvation from sin idea completely ridiculous. We run into some serious problems when we teach that God created the world, and yet world is full of sin. Where did sin come from? Christians explain it away via the doctrine of free will. Apparently we have a choice to follow sin, or God. But the free will concept runs into problems in light of the belief that everyone sins.

“If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” 1 John 1:8

Exactly where is the free will in that idea? But the hole of contradictions goes deeper. If we only confess our sin and repent, our pastor preaches, then God will forgive us, and then we can be assured of our salvation. No more worries, right? Even most Christians admit they are not sin-free – they are only forgiven. Ah, but they still sin. How can they be sure that they have believed enough and how do they know that they haven’t just modified their behavior? Or how is their growing in righteousness any different than a Non-christian’s growing in wisdom? Everybody learns and grows as we get older, religious or not.

What about the resurrection of Christ? Surely that is the good news that saves people – except that it is still dependent upon the sin concept, of which death is presumably a result. Sin would kill us if Christ didn’t die in our place.

Really? Don’t people still die after the death and resurrection of Christ? What did the resurrection change?

Belief in the resurrection of the Christ might make us feel really good and happy because through it we might see that death has no power over life, but death was never an issue for God in the first place.

Did God only love the world after Christ? As far as I understand, most Christians would say that God has always loved the world.  But if this is true, it changes any necessity for an atonement as well as a savior.

A savior was only needed for the Jews who mistakenly thought that suffering and death are indicators of God’s wrath and punishment of sin… and that God hates anyone who is not of his chosen race.

What about all of the Bible verses that say God sent his only begotten son in order to save the world… yaddity, yaddity…? The Bible was written by Jews from the Jewish perspective. The Jews were stuck in a religious mentality as the means to relate to God and the whole point of their story is not that they are released from sin, but they can now be released from their religion. The Apostle Paul began to realize this, but the Jewish grace idea had only begun to catch on by the end of the story.

The good news for those of Jewish descent is that you don’t have to be a part of a religion anymore in order to know God! You can just know God because God already dwells in and all around you. But somehow the Christian religion didn’t get the memo. Instead, Christianity has used the good news for the Jews to place the Gentiles back under the old covenant tabernacle system. And that is getting the message exactly backwards.

To continue preaching Christ’s resurrection is to continue preaching Christ’s death, which makes us all think we were separated from God and needed some kind of remedy. If we could only see how the entire belief system of Jesus, including his resurrection, is based on the premise of sin, we might understand its purpose of separating us from God – not reconciling us to God. This is what the Jewish good news was supposed to accomplish for them.

Is it even possible to be separated from God except in our own ignorant mind? Isn’t God omnipresent? Isn’t God the very source of any life that exists?

“for ‘In him we live and move and have our being’… ‘For we are indeed his offspring.’” ~ Acts 17:28

I now believe that salvation isn’t about being saved from sin. It’s about being saved from a religion that attempts to “fix” sin. Sin makes up a necessary part of the fuel of life. “Messing up” is how we learn and grow. God intended it, obviously. And it was never an issue to God who loves people whether we sin or not.

While sin and Jesus make up the basis of Christian fundamentals, what about other doctrines that are silently required for salvation?

The inerrancy of the Bible (or at least the original manuscripts) is another deceptive way to make people think we are distant from God but that problem can be remedied through Bible study. The imperative of the Bible separates humanity from God with a book. But if you know the book, you can know God. This basically excludes the illiterate from the kingdom of heaven.

The traditional theory of hell is the ultimate separation from God. The fear and threat of it is the primary motivator to keep people subjected to religion. In other words, it’s the spanking that gets the child to do the chores that somebody else wants her to do.

Concerning the virgin birth of Christ, this concept was used for the majority of church history to stress the necessity of abstinence from sex and marriage. Both were frowned upon until fairly recently when the importance of “family” sort of shadowed the evil of sex into the background. Ministries like James Dobson’s Focus on the Family not only continued the momentum of the acceptance of marriage but have exalted marriage and the family to practically another salvation requirement. This only perpetuates the continuing of evil sex ramifications outside of marriage. Sex before marriage and other sex sins supposedly separates one from God.

Even the doctrine of the trinity excludes humanity from God while it focuses on the unity of the Godhead. What about people? Aren’t we included in that unity?

Religious rituals such as prayer, communion, baptism, tithing, being anointed, ordination, child dedication, and church attendance are simply more remedies to the sin dilemma. Just as the Hebrews of old slaughtered animals and performed cleansing rites, so Christianity carries on its own appeasement traditions today. Most Christians have no idea why they do these things. They only think it draws them closer to God. How little we believe that we can’t get any closer to or further from God no matter what we do or don’t do – and even if we die.

And there you have it, my friends. If we seriously examine the origins, the essence and the inevitable effects of the major Christian doctrines, I think the purpose behind all of them is clear. The only way for the institutional church to maintain so much power over the world today is by usurping Bible truths to fit its own agenda. If God is everywhere, then we do not have to worry about being separated from God. Whether God’s representatives are the Hebrews or the Christians, religion only leads people away from God and toward itself.

Think about it.

  1. I have been struggling lately with why we have to give believing in God a name. It seems like we are just creating another religion that only takes us further from God, not closer. Why can’t we realize that God created all things, including us. Why can’t we understand that Jesus was God in the flesh. He came back to tell us AGAIN what it means to have a relationship with him. He did not talk about going to church every Sunday, he obliturated the rules stuff, and only asked us to love him and others. Pretty simple stuff that we have packaged into a theology, a religion, that does nothing but cause fear and shame.

  2. If I’m not mistaken, you have just denied salvation through the death and ressurection of Christ and are basically saying that we save ourselves! 1. true Christians never claim to be sinless after repntance. 2. The Bible was written at the hands of Jews, but inspired by God!! 3. The sacrifice of Jesus was not a new testament concept, but an old custom throughout the Old Testament. Jews were commanded by God to make sacrifices for atonement, but the blood of earthly animals wasn’t holy enough to wash away sins, only to cover them. You are right in that death was not God’s original plan. We were supposed to dwell with Him for all eternity, but man committed the only sin that exsists, disobeying God! The consequence of that was a PHYSICAL seperation from God (since God dwelled physically with man until then). You are an agent of satan in my humble opinion spreading lies in the idea that we do not need Jesus, but that by simply trying to live a good life, we can reach eternity! I’m surprised you didn’t just come out and say that sin and hell don’t exsist!

    • Ken, I think you are mistaken, but that’s okay. My beliefs do not require you to believe them. 🙂

    • Ken, I have known Elizabeth for a while now and you definitely have mistaken her. She’s on a journey, as we all are. Let her have room to breathe.

    • ISIAIh 41 BRING forth your IDOLS did they PREACH to you see they can’t speak they can’t DO ANYTHING all they do is cause confusion. spalms 115 and spalms 135 thier IDOLS are FALSE cant speak can’t hear cant smell and those that make them shall become like them. Jeremiah 10 they nail their IDOL down like a scarecrow it can’t move can’…t speak can’t move must be carried these are nothing but the WORK of CON men.john 10 jesus christ sais his sheep hear his voice and another voice thy will not follow and if another person tries to preach to them they WILL FLEE from him. jeremiah 5 the priests bear rule on their own authority what will you do when your judged my word is not inside them. Now here is the kicker john 5 son of man voice goes back in time mathew 16 jesus christ claims to be the son of man.‎1 cor2 mind of CHRIST preached internally and john 16 sais the spirit of truth comes in the future. Ezekiel 13 lying prophets of ISRAEL my word is not inside them saying god sais god sais god sais wrote hoping mankind would CONFIRM their WORDS. all of this is EASILY verifiable.

  3. i think it is great that you’re thinking about this stuff, just don’t (please, pretty, pretty please) become a ‘funda-mental’in your response to fundamentalism. 😉

    keep it open & we’ll keep on discovering that God is quite different from what the doctor indicated.

    • Theunis, as you can see I still have some fundamentalism in me, for better or for worse. I can’t promise you anything except to travel my own path. And I hope you continue traveling yours. Isn’t that the great thing about the love of God? Like sin, whether we love or hate the fundamentalists is not an issue. We can be free even in our slavery. 😉

  4. I get what you are saying, and I do agree with you. I do wonder though, if we hadn’t been through this stuff, would we still have learned what we have at this point in time. I don’t know, maybe that sounds weird, but good things, I am learning, do sometimes come out of not so good of circumstances.

    • Rick, I completely agree. But it doesn’t mean we have to stay in those not-so-good circumstances. Personally, I don’t know about you, but I’d like to get out.

  5. I always enjoy your refreshing out-of-the-box perspective. I find it difficult to express my faith without it looking “fundamental”. Perhaps my journey will begin to resemble more of an organic expression in due time. Unraveling right along with you my friend.

  6. I’m with you Elizabeth, I am now FREE, and I fully intend to stay that way. Father and I have a great time with many of the little quirks that I am being set free of, and can now see the silliness in them.

    p.s.- Elizabeth, is also my wife’s middle name, I have always found it to be so beautiful.

  7. Elizabeth, I am enjoying soooo much everything you are sharing…
    it is totally refreshing to hear you saying things I have thought and talked about with a very small handful of people over the past 10 years….Thank you so much for being your true, authentic self!! I look forward to more….

  8. Hey! Dear Elizabeth, Can Californians go back in time and start over in Vista. No, unfortunately.I still have a photo from Fritz birthday party. Kerry standing next 2 you. Mike K. Steve( with long black hair) Steve with short red hair) , Bart, , Eric, Troy, and myself. There is a huge bowl of salsa I made on the table. There is a 3 lb jar of Jalapenos and you have one on a fork.
    I was sad when your ex got yanked off the missionary field because of his theology ( and you by association w/him) I was somewhat surprised when he proposed after only a couple weeks. You have what 4 very cute sons, isnt that right. But if you could go back in time and you chose to marry someone else.Or go back and not go off to Satan Cruz (college)& living situation. I dunno. Well, God Bless, really.

    • Hi Lucas! I hope you can see me as the same person I was back at Calvary Chapel Vista. While my journey may have changed, I am still me. Thanks for loving me no matter what my beliefs.

  9. I understand that you conclude that Christianity doesn’t lead people to God, that its general nature actually steers people away from God.

    If your conclusion is correct, then why (in your opinion) have so many millions of people around the globe and throughout the centuries (including me) found God and Jesus through Christianity?

    • That’s a great question, Kevin. I’m not sure I have a one-size fits all answer but for me, the God and Jesus of Christianity are not the same God and Jesus that I now adore and respect.

    • I didn’t find God and Jesus through Christianity. God revealed Himself and His Son to me at a very young age. Hadn’t read the bible yet nor studied with a church. All that came later. God also revealed himself to all the prophets in the OT without Christianity.

  10. My heart jumped when I read “If God is everywhere, then we do not have to worry about being separated from God.” Now THAT is ‘Good News.’ Sometimes I wonder if the ‘narrow way’ that Jesus talked about was actually the inclusive Love and Grace that is meant for ALL of us–no matter what we do, say, or believe.

    • Shelley, I wonder the same, except the inclusive path is no longer narrow. If God really does love the whole world then there is only one path and we are all traveling it, whether we believe in it or not. The path is only narrow if we exclude those who do not know they are unconditionally loved by the source of life… but our belief or lack thereof cannot change the ultimate reality, which you and I believe is love.

  11. Elizabeth,
    That was simply awesome!

  12. keep writing E…you inspire me.

  13. So when Jesus told the Gentile woman that “salvation is of the Jews”, it was because the Jews were the only ones under the Old Covenant, and therefore the only ones who needed to be saved from it. He then said, “the time is coming when the outwards practice of religion just won’t matter anymore.

    Thanks Elizabeth.

    • Amazing how the Jewish scriptures, aka the Bible god, have been used to make so many of us slaves to a religion… and in the name of God.

  14. I can so relate to just about everything Elizabeth has written here. I have been saying for some years that there is an enormous difference between the Christian RELIGION and the Christian FAITH. I’ve been on a journey outside the walls of traditional Christianity for some 40 years and a close friend once said, “Peter, you have the knack of asking the awkward questions to which there are no easy answers”.

    One of those awkward questions is “What is sin?” Suppose that we were to consider sin as “missing the mark of what God created us to be” (I realise that is not the exclusive meaning of the word).

    One of the foundational doctrines of the Christian RELIGION is the Fall of Adam (which I believe to be symbolic rather than literal) and the resulting separation from God. Is there any sound foundation for that belief? I would suggest that there isn’t.

    Consider that Jesus is described as the Redeemer before creation. This leads me to believe that God knew that mankind would fail – would miss the mark of what God created us to be – the need of a Saviour and the guidance of the Holy Spirit was surely all part of the overall plan?

    Throughout the Old Testament are the hints of the coming Messiah. With the death and resurrection the veil was removed – for those who believed and followed, but the majority remained blind.

    I’m not asking anyone to agree with what I have just written. What place fear?
    hat I would like to suggest is that you read through what Elizabeth has written with this possibility in mind .

    Just some food for thought.

    • You’re so much nicer than me, Peter! I hope to mellow out one day in my wording but until then, it’s so nice to know we can all be honest ourselves and God can’t love us any more or any less.

  15. Keep up this amazing work your doing here. I seem to be stalemate in my growth, but love reading your stuff.

    I am confused in my own journey. I was full time youth pastor in the evangelical Mennonite stuff…and coming out of that shit. It’s a long walk. Divorced and living common law now(call her my wife).

    Keep it up

    • Life is full of ups and downs. I think this is completely normal and the way the world is supposed to work… The friction between joy and sadness creates the energy which causes us all to grow in strength and love.

      Don’t forget to live, no matter what comes your way. It’s all part of life’s good purpose for you.

  16. Thank you everyone for your support. It means so much to me and, even if you don’t see eye to eye with me on my beliefs, it just goes to show that love conquers all no matter what we believe.

  17. Hello Elizabeth,

    Thank you for your honesty. I used to be a very miserable Christian because I read in the Bible that we “must be perfect as our Father in heaven is perfect”. I tried and tried and tried to be perfect, but never measured up. I read that Jesus said that he came to give us “abundant life” and I sure wasn’t experiencing it. I used to go up to Christians and ask them what was wrong, why was I so miserable and I read the Bible hours a day? Most Christians couldn’t give me any answers, but there were a few who greatly helped me. From Bill Gillham in Lifeime Guarantee (a book by Bill). I learned all about the body, soul (thinker, feeler and chooser) and spirit (conscience, intuition and communion). He taught me that my sin nature which was in my spirit was completely removed once my sins were forgiven and not only that, but God gave me a brand-new, clean, perfect, holy spirit which loves him without even trying (that’s its nature) when I believed in him and that Jesus united himself with my brand-new spirit at the moment I was born again. Our bodies still sin although our spirits are on with him. I learned that I couldn’t live the Christian life in my own strength, but Jesus came to live inside me so he could live the Christian life through me. I can just be myself now! The sins I struggled with – well Jesus will eventually free me from them because now he lives within me. So if a person smokes, they don’t need to worry about it because Jesus, God, will free them in his time. They have a wonderful website: The important thing is just to talk with him because he is your best friend and loves you. You say, “If a new Christian adds to their life church attendance, church activities, Bible studies, new friends, new environments and a completely new lifestyle, then quitting a bad habit becomes obsolete.” Now you can do those things that you listed if you want to. You are under no more obligation to do them than God is. God never does those things out of obligation, but just if he wants to. You are free! Steve McVey of teaches exactly the same. Religion is a horrible thing, but knowing Jesus is completely different. It’s never about obligation with him. He told people to be “perfect as your Father in heaven is perfect” because he wanted them to realize they couldn’t do it. Much of what he said in the gospels was for that purpose because he was going to send the Holy Spirit to live in people’s hearts so they would have his power, not their own. I’m glad you are so honest. Keep being like that and you will find God in the end. He had hard words for the religious folks when he walked the earth. Many were “white-washed tombs” he said – in other words, big fakes. has a whole list of ministries who teach what I am sharing with you. It changed my life forever because instead of religion I found a real, loving God who cares. I really became free although it took a long time to understand the simplicity and truth of it and I feel like I’m just beginning. It is sooo true…


  18. Great post!
    I find myself thinking along the same lines recently:

    What if God wasn’t the one who demanded a blood sacrifice from us?
    What if it was our shame that first drove people to sacrifice animals?
    What if all of Israel had gone up Mt. Sinai, instead of fearing the fire and asking Moses to mediate?
    Wasn’t it human shame that asked for the law? Wasn’t it the law that demanded sacrifices?
    What if Jesus gave his life not to appease an angry God, but to appease (fulfill) the law that was put into place by popular demand?
    What if that sacrifice really did once and for all deal with ALL our shame?

    What if the reason that it is very hard for me to condure up a feeling of gratidude and meaningful thankfulness when thinking about Jesus dying on the cross (I’d have to watch “The Passion” or sing one of those slow “thank you for the cross” songs) is not that it’s so long ago, but that I have never been under the blood covenant that Israel made with Yahweh? What if the cross was primarily for the Jews?…and the life of the resurrection for all of creation?
    What if I was born into freedom?…into life?…into the new covenant?
    What if I can just live in that freedom without feeling guilty?
    What if really being thankful is living out this freedom to the fullest (and not crawling on the floor telling God how awful and undeserving I am)?

  19. I believe that in your search, or journey for the true and living God, you must be pure at heart… meaning you must have in your heart only the desire to know and see the truth, without bias, resentment, etc. If you do, you will find it, God promises. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. Seek and you shall find, knock and the door will be opened. If you are attempting to find God by first destroying all the bad guys .. ie…lies, halftruths, human creeds..well then next you will have to examine your own heart to see why you are doing this. Is it really to bring yourself closer to God? Or is it for some other means? if it is to excuse yourself from your own guilt and live in some type of ignorant blissful state of freedom, you may convince yourself for a while.. but God’s truth remains. Sin separates us from God. We all have sinned. As human beings, short of all knowing, we cannot possible imagine the full ramifications of the destruction upon this earth that sin has caused. One woman in the old testament did’nt want to wait any longer to conceive a child so she decided to take matters into her own hands and now we have the nation of Islam. Sin seems harmless to us, a little premarital sex, a couple of divorces.. what have you… but the real lasting consequences are terrible. God hates sin because it is destructive and causes death. Death to the soul of a person, and ultimatley destroys the persons life, reputation, family and eternal life with God. The only way any of us can escape sin and its destructive forces is to believe that through Jesus we can have our past sins washed away, if we repent and are Baptized for the remission of those sins, Acts 2:38 Repent everyone of you and be baptized for the remission of sins and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit (which is forgiveness). Once a person decides that they are guilty of wrongdoing, then faith has to be there in order to believe that God can cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Then you are truly free indeed. But you have to obey the gospel and that is Jesus words.. Mark 16:16 Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus, he who believes and is baptized shall be saved. He who believes not shall be dammed. Maybe if you examine a little closer of what sin really is and how destructive it is, you may decide that you want to appeal to the Almighty, gracious savior God, who cares for us.. and wants to save us.

    • Corrina, please spare me of any more of your laborious conversion tactics which assume that I don’t know God.

  20. I am so sorry that you are so misdirected. You have let the devil warp your way of thinking. This is complete false doctrine. Illiterates can still hear the Bible. Ever heard of audio tapes?? Please refrain from printing your slander and keeping more people out of heaven. Keep your misguided opinions to yourself. You are obviously going through some spiritual warfare right now. I will pray for you.

  21. Elizabeth, You are right in one thing… you were definatley wrongfully indoctrinated..I do believe that. “According to Christianity there is very little, if any, worth of the human being. We are all sinners heading toward hell, my friends, unless we believe in the atonement of Christ for our sins…. which only enforces the fact that we are sinners in need of saving.”
    I am trying to figure out this twist of the truth here.. when you say “according to Christianity”, are you referring to Calvanism? Or generally speaking all doctrines of faith in the Christian churches? This is what confuses your readers. It sounds like your describing “Doctrine of Total Depravity” which is absolutley false. God created man in HIS own image. man still is ruler over the earth and set above the angels.. did you hear me?? ABOVE the angels?? THAT my friend is WHY we are held ACCOUNTABLE!!! Its because we are indeed a SPECIAL DESIGNED CREATURE,created from a HIGHER INTELLEGENCE who expects us to ACT MORE like HIM and LESS like us..”It is God who forms the spirit of every man” Zechariah 12:1. Our spirit is made in Gods image, the flesh is after mans. So we have our higher self, that which is spiritual, and our carnal self. That which is selfish, selfcentered, egotistical, wanting to do it our way. God EXPECTS us to be more like Him.. “Be perfect, just as your heavenly father IS perfect”.

    If you claim to know God, then why don’t you know his word? Sorry but right now you are a blind guide, you may know of God, but after reading your posts.. you don’t really know Him.

    • Please go away. I’m reporting your email as spam so that any future posts will be immediately deleted.

  22. I will not waste time in debating you. I will merely say that you are very, very confused and I truly feel sorry for you. I also feel very sorry for all the people that you are deceiving. I will pray that the Lord Jesus Christ reveals the truth to you.

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