In Hell, Jesus, Life, Love, Suffering on August 2, 2011 at 4:38 pm
During a 7.0 earthquake in 1989 while I was living in Santa Cruz, CA, I remember a very strange feeling. It revolved around the idea that things such as solid floors, walls and even the ground are not as solid as we would hope. Things that aren’t supposed to move were suddenly knocking things down.
22 years later, living 2 states away from my entire (wonderful but dysfunctional) family and having pretty much lost my life-long Christian community, my world continues to prove its instability. Last week I talked about bravely facing the darkness we can’t escape anyway; and my world just recently got darker.
When my brother had life-threatening health issues 5 years ago, I took in his youngest son and he became one of my own kids. But 10 year old Brian has always missed his dad and now it’s time for him to go back – next week. Read the rest of this entry »
In Deception, Freedom, Life, Sin, Suffering on July 25, 2011 at 8:53 pm
In my last post I had the gall to say that I think the Christian religion considers the average human soul to be worth about as much as the stuff in a Honey Bucket at a county fair. The wicked human being is valued at less than zero, according to God, and unless one believes (and acts upon) a series of theological beliefs, the soul will be thrown into some mysterious landfill where it will perpetually burn forever. To help us swallow this nasty truth, these souls will somehow be erased from consciousness and memory.
Aside from the inevitable contradictions this idea (as well as annihilationism) leads to, which, strangely, seems to go unnoticed by the average Christian, we’ve got other problems. Along these same religious lines, not only is the non-Christian soul considered shit, but so is life on earth. Read the rest of this entry »
In Atonement, Deception, Freedom, God, Life, Suffering on June 20, 2011 at 12:23 am
On the last day of school this year, my 13 year old yelled “Fire!” along with a handful of other students, then opened the emergency door of the bus and they all jumped out and went home. The following email is my response to the school regarding the issue:
Dear Superintendent of Transportation,
Concerning Jonah’s fake fire drill on the bus, I had heard the story from several of the students who were either involved in or who witnessed it immediately after its occurrence. All of their stories matched up fine.
From what I understand, the bus was at a complete stop near a sidewalk landing when it happened and the students knew beforehand that the bus would be unable to move once the emergency door was opened.
I understand why this action is against school policy but I am not sure how the event placed anyone in imminent danger or violated safety precautions. It would help if you could explain this more clearly.
This seems out of character for Jonah who is a continuous 4.0 student and graduated from 8th grade with honors and positive remarks from teachers. Since he is enrolled in a grade higher than other students his age, he has felt tremendous pressure to fit in socially with kids who are older than him. In other words, he might do something out of the ordinary in order to prove himself and maintain his friendships. Think of it as a college fraternity initiation or other possible ways you might be able to relate. Read the rest of this entry »
In Heaven, Hell, Life, Reincarnation, Suffering, The Bible on June 11, 2011 at 5:24 pm
I’m not sure if I skipped the midlife crisis stage or if I just couldn’t afford it, but all of a sudden I started thinking about the end of my life. Basically, someday, I’m going to die…. This is normally a conversation stopper, even if only conversing with the self. But I guess I got tired of ignoring it, or something.
Actually, I’ve learned that accepting our impending death is what people do when they reach their 40’s and 50’s so maybe I was just following the book. Either way, I am happy to say that I have found peace when it comes to closing my eyes on this life as I know it.
I mean, I’d prefer not to fall 40,000 feet to my death in an explosion of fire or lose a long drawn out wrestling match with a ferocious animal, but no matter what happens, I know that everything and everyone are going to be okay.
Somehow I had avoided the whole topic of dying for four decades. Maybe I thought in the back of my mind that I would be the one person to defy death. Or maybe I just believed that I was going to heaven and that was that. There was no need to concern myself on the matter any further. I made a rash decision based on perhaps some many quick decisions made before me. Read the rest of this entry »
In Freedom, Good and Evil, Life, Love, Relationships, Sin, Suffering on May 28, 2011 at 6:07 am
One of the happiest days of my life was when my ex-husband and I separated. (It was one of his happiest days too.) After I had accepted the fact that our kids would be fine (and they are) a whole new world opened up to me.
Just a year later I decided that all Christian churches were essentially the same and that I couldn’t give any more of my Sundays to the institution. Even though I saw the break up of my family and then I walked away from my church community, I must have been one of the happiest people on the planet.
The freedom was almost overwhelming. Sure, there was some fear. How was I going to support myself? Was it safe out there alone? Will I be able to make new friends? But otherwise, there were so many things to do, places to see, subjects to study and thoughts to think that I didn’t know where to begin. I was like a kid who just found a chest full of treasure.
At first I tried to follow all of my heart’s desires. The only problem was that I didn’t know what those were exactly. I needed some trial and error. I had spent so many years making “God’s desires” my own that I had no idea what was in my own soul. I didn’t know how to connect with it either. Plus, there was always a lurking fear of what I might find. Read the rest of this entry »
In Atonement, Free Will, Fundamentalism, God, Good and Evil, Sin, Suffering, The Bible on May 22, 2011 at 2:18 am
According to Bible legend, the first humans were created in goodness and dwelt in a garden of goodness. The interesting factor about this goodness is that in the middle of it, there was an evil tree. There was also an evil snake. Apparently, what God called good also included evil.
Fast forward about four millenia and a prophesied Jewish messiah explains to humanity that God so loved the world. All of the human tragedies of the past which had included a flood, slavery and wars and captivities hadn’t meant that God was angry with anyone. Behind every tragedy, God still loved the world.
For God so loved the world…. God loved the world before the Christ was sent just as much as God loved the world after the Savior died and rose again. But if God always loved the world, why did the world need a Savior in order to restore us to God?
It would appear that humanity misunderstood a few things about God – uhhhh, as if that is any kind of a surprise. Somehow God’s people, the nation of Israel, believed that God was a punisher and not a lover. The majority of the Bible seems to be written from this point of view. And this punisher God mentality seems to be carried on today through God’s other people who call themselves the church. Read the rest of this entry »
In Deception, God, Love, Suffering, The Bible on April 10, 2011 at 8:02 pm
If “the heavens and the highest heaven” cannot contain God, I’m not sure why we would think a single religion could contain him…. The Christian religion might be correct in staking a claim on the representation of God. The only problem, as I see it, is that it claims to be the only representation of God. And that’s just ludicrous.
While the average Christian might not come right out and state such a thing, I wouldn’t be surprised to hear it from the pulpit disguised under some deceivingly subtle undertones. Basically, according to many Bible teachers, anyone outside of “Christ,” or in other words, the Christian belief system, is destined to end with the wretched elements, melting with a fervent heat. What Christians do not seem to attempt to hide is just how hot hell is going to be for us infidels.
But of course, we had a choice during our life on earth and we made the choice to be tortured for eternity – uhhhh, possibly excluding souls aborted in the womb, those under the age of accountability, the mentally handicapped and the tribal dude who never heard of Jesus, that is. Read the rest of this entry »
In Deception, Freedom, Good and Evil, Life, Suffering on March 25, 2011 at 2:19 pm
What happens when we observe a symbolic religious ritual over and over again, week after week, year after year, decade after decade? It deceives us. We begin to believe that the symbol is the reality.
This is why millions of Christians across the world say that the church is not a gathering in a building but they live entirely as though it is. This is also why a Christian believer might say that one does not have to go to church to know God but all of their other words and actions reveal otherwise. Apparently there is a vast chasm between what a Christian might say and what a Christian actually believes. This is because religion deceives people.
What happens when we hear the same (unquestioned) message over and over again, through sermons, “worship” songs, Bible studies, Christian conversation, and Christian culture day after day…? Our mind is being conditioned or to use a more derogatory term, we are brainwashed.
In that case, not only does our faith rest primarily on academic concepts of the mind, which may be void of life experience, but our faith is not even our own. It belongs to our preaching pastor, or our church denomination, or our theological disposition – or all three. Our thinking is under the control of another, and yet, because we chose to give our mind to another, we believe they are our very own thoughts. Read the rest of this entry »
In Deception, Everything Else, Life, Suffering on March 24, 2011 at 8:59 am
Christ, the king of the Jews put an end to the Hebrew religion. This religion had served as a mediator between humanity and God. After the death and resurrection of Christ, the people of God no longer needed a priest or sacrifices or a symbolic holy of holies. (And they never did.) A person could relate directly to God through the soul, and that seems to be the intimacy God wanted with all people, all along.
Three hundred years after Christ put an end to the Hebrew religion, an institution in Rome claiming to be THE church reinstated that religion as… you guessed it, Christianity. It has all of the characteristics of the old Hebrew religion yet it is now under the disguise of Jesus Christ – the very one who put an end to religion as a mediator between God and humanity.
Oh, the irony.
It’s a brilliant deception in my opinion. The same religion that deceived the Jews is currently deceiving the Gentiles; and it’s nothing that it claims to be and everything that it warns against. The unknowing Jews who may or may not have understood their own words authored a Bible which is the same cornerstone of the Gentile religion.
Read the rest of this entry »
In Church, Deception, Freedom, Life, Love, Relationships, Suffering on March 18, 2011 at 12:31 am
Grief counselors often give a loose set of stages that a person commonly experiences after a loss. In order to get through grief, it is imperative that persons do not skip any necessary stages. During grief, we want to run and hide. We want to distract ourselves. We want to pretend that things are different, or still the same.
But the only way to get through our grief is to face our emotions, and allow ourselves to actually feel them. If we ignore our soul, I’ve discovered that it will come back to haunt us, and with a vengeance. And we certainly won’t progress past these difficult stages.
These stages can be, but are not limited to:
And then finally, peace.
It’s good to know that those who have suffered loss such as from the recent tragedy in Japan have some sort of light at the end of the tunnel. But there are no shortcuts around the tunnel. The depth of peace can only be obtained through the full experience of the journey. Read the rest of this entry »