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 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 Freedom, Life, Relationships, The Bible on March 6, 2011 at 7:20 pm
One day as I walked out of class, I felt like crying. What the heck was wrong with me? It wasn’t that time of the month. I wasn’t overwhelmed with the material covered in class. Well, actually I was, but that wasn’t why I felt so depressed. I was simply going to miss my instructor who I had for my last three courses which I completed. We had something, her and I. And I’m not talking about a lesbian relationship.
During my first day of my first college course, I remember thinking that this particular instructor didn’t know everything but she knew a lot more than I did in the field of web design. If my non-expertise was going to get anything out of her expertise, I needed to listen and connect to what she was teaching, whether I understood her or not. After challenging her with a few of my ignorant questions (which she kindly welcomed) I could understand better the whole subject matter, at least from her experience and perspective.
She continually reiterated that she has her own manner of writing HTML/CSS code and us students needed to find our own style too. She also kept saying that it wasn’t possible to cover everything in class that we needed to know. We still needed to go home and build our own websites. Read the rest of this entry »
In Atonement, Church, Jesus, Life, Love, Relationships, Sin, The Bible on March 3, 2011 at 6:44 pm
In previous posts, I explained the way religion doesn’t relieve guilt but actually causes one to live in guilt. This is because general Christian doctrines and rituals are based upon the premise that holiness must be separated from sin; God is holy while humans are sinners.
Because of this, we feel a continual need to cover our shame, or even blame-shift as in the case of the atonement doctrine. If God must punish sin, then Christ is our substitution. He takes our blame. The only problem is that this idea only perpetuates some apparent need for blame. Whatever was dishing out the blame in the first place, it is still dishing it out every time we believe it has been (hopefully) covered.
For Christians, the need to cover guilt seems to be primarily seen through religious rituals such as Bible reading, prayer and church attendance.
But religion doesn’t remove sin; it only attempts to blind us temporarily to our guilt. The rest of the world can see it loud and clear. “Brainwashed hypocrites” is a common phrase from the mouths of non-church-goers about church-goers. As a Christian a few years ago, I remember thinking, “Hey, maybe that isn’t persecution from the world like I had assumed. They might actually have a point.” (But I wouldn’t be able to fully consider that possibility until after I had stopped going to church for a few years. I mean, who wants to admit they’re an asshole?)
Read the rest of this entry »
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.
Read the rest of this entry »
In Church, Freedom, God, Homosexuality, Life, Love, Relationships, The Bible on February 16, 2011 at 5:55 pm
After writing out my current beliefs in my last blog post I started to feel some empathy toward Christians. Since I’ve been developing my unorthodox beliefs for the last three years (by the sweat of my brow, losing friends as well as sleep along the way) I failed to realize how shocking my new beliefs must sound to the average church-attending pew sitter.
From my perspective, I just wanted to get out of a religion that had entire control over my entire life. My plan was to work through the doctrines I was conditioned to believe and replace them with some kind of non-religious way of thinking. For example, instead of attending a planned church event like a proper Christian might do, I’d rather get a couple bottles of wine and go bowling with my girlfriends. This is what I call moving from a religious ritual to real “fellowship.”
And one beautiful day in my future horizon, the sun comes up and I will have forgotten anything there is to know about Christianity, religion and all things associated with it. I will enjoy my kids, my job, my double/decaf/almond milk/with a dash of cinnamon latte in the morning, and then I will live happily ever after.
But the problem is that I’m not leaving a religion as much as I am simply changing my beliefs about God. Although my beliefs might be a stark contrast from the traditional fundamentals of Christianity, if I still believe in some kind of invisible creator power that I also call God, doesn’t this mean I am still at least somewhat religious? I mean, non-religious people don’t talk about God, do they? Read the rest of this entry »
In Life, Suffering, The Bible on December 24, 2010 at 6:27 pm
Back in the Bible god days of my life, I spent a lot of time studying the holy scriptures – researching it, dissecting it, and learning words in their original language. This was my effort to know God and to live a life as a worthy Christian.
Thank God those days are over. Even the good book never made such a big deal about itself. Sure, the scriptures are profitable but they are not God. And if there is no partiality with God (Romans 2:11) then why would God be partial to those who can read?
But more importantly, the beneficial scriptures explain to us that the truth is “living.” What does this mean? I used to tout this as, “You better walk the talk,” but after learning at the school called life, I now have a different perspective.
We can only understand truth after we have experienced it. I think this is why the Messiah often spoke in parables. Truth isn’t gained by sitting under a teacher, or by reading about it, but by living it. This is why truths are hidden to the wise but revealed to the uneducated.
I found that the more I studied the Bible, the more it was full of contradictions and didn’t make logical sense, except as much as it might have given value to a religion.
But truth is not a religion, I have discovered. Read the rest of this entry »
In Homosexuality, The Bible on November 28, 2010 at 7:25 pm
To me, the general Christian societal view toward homosexuals is nothing more than racism and discrimination. I despise these ingrained derogatory views which I have been raised to believe through my American and Christian upbringing. I was taught not only to hold them toward gays but also toward drug addicts and certain nationalities and social classes, etc.
From what I understand, it is our insecurity in ourselves which makes us feel a perceived need for superiority over others, especially in the name of God. At one point in my life, I started to catch myself embracing these lies. I then wanted to make a conscious effort to change my assumed prejudices toward many different people. Understanding my own value and befriending the so-called lessers has made this mind transformation much easier for me.
As far as the Bible is concerned, the scriptures against homosexuality really stumped me (and still do to some degree) and I’ve read arguments for all sides of the issue. This is the only thing that makes sense to me at this point:
In the world of the spirit there is no gender. (There is neither male nor female… Galatians 3:28.) Physical distinctions only exist in the physical world. Read the rest of this entry »
In Jesus, The Bible, The Trinity on November 14, 2010 at 10:50 pm
I can’t find any scriptures where Jesus claims to be God but I can find plenty of scriptures that indicate otherwise:
“yet for us there is but one God, the Father….” ~ 1 Cor 8:5-6
For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus. ~ 1 Timothy 2:5
“For I did not speak on My own initiative, but the Father Himself who sent Me has given Me a commandment as to what to say and what to speak.” ~ John 12:49
“…for the Father is greater than I.” ~ John 14:28
“When all things are subjected to Him, then the Son Himself also will be subjected to the One who subjected all things to Him, so that God may be all in all.” ~ 1 Corinthians 15:28
“Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and whoever loves the Father loves the child born of Him.” ~ 1 John 5:1 (NASB)
I will surely tell of the decree of the LORD:
He said to Me, ‘You are My Son,
Today I have begotten You.’
~ Psalm 2:7
“Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” ~ Romans 1:7 Read the rest of this entry »