Rethinking My Beliefs about God Apart From Traditional Christianity

Archive for the ‘Universalism’ Category

Chuck That Baby Jesus Out As Far As You Can Throw It

In Deception, Everything Else, Freedom, God, Jesus, Love, Universalism on March 27, 2011 at 10:30 pm

I’ve heard the annoying phrase, “Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater” so many times that I’d like to not only throw the baby out, but torture and annihilate it too. But for purposes of considering opposing viewpoints, I’d like to take an honest look at what some people consider to be the baby.

If I understand correctly, people are generally warning me to throw out religious wrongs yet hold onto Jesus, as far as Jesus might pertain to the true spirit of true Christianity. When I talk about the Christian religion in a negative light, somehow this worries people, and they want to make sure that I don’t throw my belief in Jesus out altogether because of “a few Christians who may have hurt me.”

At first glance, this appears to have a very kind and loving intention behind it, as well as a loyalty to some real faith that might exist out there somewhere. But I see that deceiving tendency of religion written all over it, and I will explain why. Read the rest of this entry »

Why Do I Get A Mansion While The Rest Of The World Gets A Lake Of Fire?

In Freedom, Heaven, Hell, Life, Love, Universalism on February 20, 2011 at 10:50 pm

I love a good debate because it means that at least two persons are engaging their brains and passion in a controversy that might have otherwise gone ignored. There’s something to be said for struggling through challenges together. Somehow we can come out a little more enlightened on the other side, as well as exhausted.

I’ve noticed that some of the issues we often argue about are beliefs that we are trying to convince our own selves to believe. I mean, if we really believed it, couldn’t we simply relax and let the truth keep on being the truth whether anyone believes it or not?

Our avid defense of a certain concept such as say, God, can also be an indicator that we really don’t know what we’re talking about, but wish we did. Not that there’s anything wrong with this, but maybe this understanding can help us to comprehend just what we believe and don’t believe within our soul of souls.

Awareness.

Our real beliefs seem to dwell somewhere in some great unknown, such as maybe our subconscious, or what some people might call the spirit within. We can get glimpses of these mental truths through our words and actions, especially when we’re caught off guard.

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Ultimate Reconciliation and/or Free Will?

In Free Will, Universalism on November 17, 2010 at 9:07 pm

The ultimate reconciliation/free will dilemma has kept me awake many a night. This is currently how I come to terms with it in my mind, personally:

If God created humanity, then we will each and all naturally have an inclination toward our creator according to the universal law of, “If you make something, it has your hand on it. It speaks of you and is part of you….”

But since a love relationship requires a free choice, whether through creation or evolution or both, this world seems to be set up in a way to give us just that – free choices (within limitations, that is. As a human, we can’t become a tree, etc.)

The question then becomes, what is our greatest human inclination? Will we all eventually learn who we really are, which is the offspring of God, according to the Bible? Or do we have so much free will that some or many have the ability to forever turn away from our creator, ending in our ultimate destruction?

I think the character of God  as seen through the natural world answers this question.

If we observe the way this world works, we see that everything grows, even through pain and death. I think that the silent and behind-the-scenes mystery God uses tangible life to open people’s eyes.

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The Shack vs. Mark Driscoll

In Controversial Books, Universalism on November 14, 2010 at 6:58 pm

This is a comment I recently posted on Jim Henderson’s blog regarding a possible discussion between William Paul Young and Mark Driscoll of Mars Hill church in Seattle. You can read the entire post and comments here: http://offthemap.com/2010/09/02/paul-young-in-seattle-september-10th-free/

Jim, I think I can understand your concern. I’ve seen plenty of Christians, including myself, who have accepted without question a pastor’s preaching as scripturally sound and accurate, failing to consider the subtle but strong pressure to conform to it. To disagree with a prominent church leader, especially if he is your pastor, means not only that you will be labeled as “not Christ-like,” or even a heretic, but you may not even be saved and in that case, you may be risking an eternity in hell – along with all kinds of other nightmares that the institutional church uses to manipulate mass thinking.

So yeah, if we care at all, we would like to see people freed from this misery called church preaching, as long as people are ready to be freed from it. And perhaps that is where you’re coming from in setting up this possible discussion. I am wondering that if Mark does not show up for it, W. Paul would want to voice his side of the story via another avenue, such as an article or essay. I think he has a gift of articulating through written words and I have heard humble and kind pieces here and there from him regarding his defense. These pieces (in interviews) helped to put my mind at ease after hearing the fear-mongering from Mark and others who opposed The Shack.

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