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WIS0320

If You Were A Christian And Now You're Not...

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Before I came to the Hive, I'd never heard of the Pearls or Ezzos.

 

I was happier in my ignorance.

 

Boy, that's no lie, Imp.

Other things I'd like to bleach from my brain (no offense to anyone who likes these things):

family cloth

domestic discipline.

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The reason that the actions of so-called Christians matters is stated in the Bible itself. Matthew 7:20 -- "By their fruits ye shall know them." If you read the whole chapter, it is all about recognizing who is of God and who is not. ….What many people are saying when they say that Christians turned them off of Christianity is that they judged the fruit of Christianity to be lacking. If the product of a religion is overwhelmed by hate and fear and self-righteousness and divisiveness, is it a good thing?
:iagree:

 

Yep. I'm not afraid of something that I don't believe is real. I'm not afraid of ghosts. I'm not afraid of zombies. I'm not afraid of monsters. And I'm not afraid of hell.

 

And what they often don't realize is how it's not scary to those of us who don't believe it.

When my son was about 8, he was bullied on a playground by kids from a church group who threatened him that he would go to the devil because he did not believe in God.

His response: "I don't believe in the devil either."

When dd was five, a little boy (who, as it happens, attends a church I attended as a kid) said that if she didn’t believe in God she would go to hell. Since she didn’t think hell was a real place she thought he was making up the God part too.

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When dd was five, a little boy (who, as it happens, attends a church I attended as a kid) said that if she didn’t believe in God she would go to hell. Since she didn’t think hell was a real place she thought he was making up the God part too.

 

My cousin wrote me a letter when I was 10 saying the same thing. It was a Sunday school project. :glare:

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thank for posting that:001_smile: Some times it is hard to express what you are looking for and this may help me wrap my head around my quest

 

It surely was an interesting read. It took some ideas I'd already been mulling over further than I would have taken them on their own. Alain de Botton's religion book might appeal too. I haven't read it, just listened to the podcast.

 

:)

Rosie

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The way I see it, if God was small enough to be defined by a single book, he would have come on down and introduced himself in person. I figure all the world's religious texts are just glimpses into something far too complex and mysterious to be defined by human language.

 

 

I was commenting to the highlighted above. So, you're saying that what you said you don't actually believe? I'm confused.

 

That's why I commented that Jesus did "come down and introduce himself as a person". I was just commenting on your own words. So, forgive me if I came across as "ignorant":confused: Perhaps you should have made it more clear in your post.

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So, I am just wondering if you guys wuld move by me? Please? If you don't go to church and are not married people won't speak to you around here. Including mothers telling their kids at parks not to play with my kids because we are not members of their church :confused:

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So, I am just wondering if you guys wuld move by me? Please? If you don't go to church and are not married people won't speak to you around here. Including mothers telling their kids at parks not to play with my kids because we are not members of their church :confused:

 

Aw. I wish I did. See if you have a local Freethinkers homeschool group (or start one. They are getting more popular. The downside (for me) is that they are also mostly unschoolers. But, at least I have fun conversations that don't revolve around religion. And they went to bat for our little group at that last citywide roller skate day when all the played was Christian rock!

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... pardon me if I repeat something anyone else has said. I just wish the people who stopped being a Christian because of other Christians would realize that most likely the people they had trouble with aren't truly Christians, but merely people who think they are Christians. True Christians are loving, forgiving, and compassionate. I think this probably sums up my reason for being a Christian, but avoiding churches. Churches are organized religion and quite honestly there don't seem to be very many TRUE Christians attending church these days.

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I only have 5 minutes before I have to go back to work, but something that has struck out at me from reading only the first 2 pages is the idea that there are "Christians" who try to win people over by promising that becoming a Christian makes your life a bed of rose petals. It doesn't. It never has, it never will. Jesus never claimed that following him would be a stroll in the park. Just the opposite, really. It makes me mad the Christian life has been misrepresented that way. It's a lie. Life happens. Rain falls on the just and the unjust. IME, Christianity has changed how I look at life and its experiences and how I react to those experiences. I'm far from perfect. FAR from it. I screw up all the time. Becoming a Christian didn't change consequences or trials or burdens. It doesn't mean your kids won't get sick, you won't overdraw your account, your car won't break down or your spouse won't be killed. I'm really sorry so many have been mislead to believe in some fairy-tale, unicorn and butterfly version of Christianity. It's easy to see how some would turn from such a false portrayal. I think if Christianity had been presented to me like that, I'd have walked away, too.

 

Conversely, it makes me mad to see people like the WBC call themselves Christians and yet behave the way they do. I think God must weep over them and the damage they do.

 

Anyway, I'm now 6 minutes past my dinner break, so that's all I have to say. I'm just sorry so many people have had a counterfeit Christianity presented to them.

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I was commenting to the highlighted above. So, you're saying that what you said you don't actually believe? I'm confused.

 

That's why I commented that Jesus did "come down and introduce himself as a person". I was just commenting on your own words. So, forgive me if I came across as "ignorant":confused: Perhaps you should have made it more clear in your post.

 

I did make it clear. You're choosing not to hear me.

 

I do not believe Jesus was the human incarnation of God. Therefore, God has not come down to interact with us.

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... pardon me if I repeat something anyone else has said. I just wish the people who stopped being a Christian because of other Christians would realize that most likely the people they had trouble with aren't truly Christians, but merely people who think they are Christians. True Christians are loving, forgiving, and compassionate. I think this probably sums up my reason for being a Christian, but avoiding churches. Churches are organized religion and quite honestly there don't seem to be very many TRUE Christians attending church these days.

 

If you read a few more pages in, you'll see that the idea of True Christians was covered pretty thoroughly. ;)

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So, I am just wondering if you guys wuld move by me? Please? If you don't go to church and are not married people won't speak to you around here. Including mothers telling their kids at parks not to play with my kids because we are not members of their church :confused:

 

 

I'm sorry you have to live with that around you.

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So, I am just wondering if you guys wuld move by me? Please? If you don't go to church and are not married people won't speak to you around here. Including mothers telling their kids at parks not to play with my kids because we are not members of their church :confused:

 

 

Aww I wish I could. How about you move here? /grin

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Me too. I delved into Tao, Buddha, and a variety of other "spiritual" paths. The only thing I have ever felt a true connection with is the Earth.

 

:iagree:

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I miss all the freakin' fun out getting an education! :auto:

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... pardon me if I repeat something anyone else has said. I just wish the people who stopped being a Christian because of other Christians would realize that most likely the people they had trouble with aren't truly Christians, but merely people who think they are Christians. True Christians are loving, forgiving, and compassionate. I think this probably sums up my reason for being a Christian, but avoiding churches. Churches are organized religion and quite honestly there don't seem to be very many TRUE Christians attending church these days.

 

That's the No True Scotsman fallacy.

 

I've never encountered a test for True Christians as opposed to fake Christians at any church I attended. What made you a Christian was believing certain things and gathering with those who shared those beliefs. There's no demand in the Bible or in church tradition I'm familiar with for potential Christians to be fully-formed perfect people before being allowed to be True Christians.

 

There are bad apples. Sometimes it's individual people. Often it's whole churches. There's nothing in Christianity that makes Christians immune to all the normal crap that afflicts regular folk.

 

I think this whole discussion would go a lot further if Christians (and I'm hesitant to include myself because I don't attend church right now, " For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.â€) simply admitted that we can be awful slimy jerks at times too and stop insisting there's some real Christianity that's immune to all human farts and foibles.

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I'm going through this as well. I'm not even ready to say I am no longer a christian yet, but, if I'm really honest with myself, I'm not. It's hard for me to explain my beliefs, as I'm not an atheist, and agnostic doesn't feel right either. I'd actually love to raise my children with a religion and belief system, just not the exclusive one I grew up in.

 

I don't want to say too much on a public board about it, but I understand. :grouphug:

 

Read up on Deism.

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I believe he was a real person who had a good, peaceful, loving message, but that's all. I don't believe he was divine.

 

 

Sorry. No. Have you read the New Testament gospels?

 

He was either:

 

A. God, Divine, and the Saviour of the World

 

OR

 

B. A Lunatic who claimed to be the Son of God and was a certifiable whack-job. (And claimed Son of Man which was actually even MORE offensive to the Jewish people and a greater claim of divinity than Son of God.)

 

OR

 

C. Inherently Evil.

 

 

You can choose one of those three things, but you couldn't choose nice, peaceful, all around sweet guy.

 

See, this is a problem, there are actually a great many Christians who disagree with these statements you call truths. They might say:

 

God exists- yes that is a given, but often in a completely different way of thinking about God. He is the essence of everything that is, existence itself, and yet something more.

 

God has revealed himself in scripture- only to the extent that humans managed to uncover universal truth in all the sacred scriptures of the world.

 

God has revealed himself in Jesus- because he accepted and taught the proposition that we are all children of God and all equally worthy of care and acceptance, and he showed us a way that was different than the way of opression and greed.

 

Jesus is the son of God, as we are all children of God.

 

Jesus is resurrected in our thoughts and by our actions imitating him.

 

Many Christians believe truths are found in the Bible, but often in the way all great literature holds truths for us to ponder.

 

This is a form of Christianity that is emerging in the world today. This emerging Christianity is supported by many scholars and theologians.

 

I'm appreciating (different than enjoying) the discussion and I hope this comes across in my tone? I'm not wanting to sound like I'm screaming like a nut from some high and mighty pulpit but there are a great many misconceptions.

 

Christian - Christ follower as in follower of Jesus Christ and His teachings.

 

He taught:

He was the Son of Man (very important as this refers to the Saviour long awaited in the Old Testament - actually a greater claim to deity than Son of God.)

He taught He was " *the* way, *the* truth, and the light, no one can come to the Father except through Him."

 

So you see, Jesus didn't claim He was the Son of God as we all claim to be His children, which I absolutely agree with! ;) He claimed to be the long awaited Saviour of the world for the people for whom He sacrificed.

 

I feel that you are embracing a very "everything is good, everything is right, there are many paths to God." And you can't claim that and claim Christ's teachings. I can't tell you how much I wish that was true.... That everything was warm and fuzzy and loveliness and we'll sing Kumbaya and dance in a circle holding hands. But to claim Christ and then to deny what He actually said - can't have it both ways.

 

It is hard teaching for me. It is exceptionally hard teaching for me as I have a vested interest here, we live in a mixed religion household here.

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Sorry. No. Have you read the New Testament gospels?

 

He was either:

 

A. God, Divine, and the Saviour of the World

 

OR

 

B. A Lunatic who claimed to be the Son of God and was a certifiable whack-job. (And claimed Son of Man which was actually even MORE offensive to the Jewish people and a greater claim of divinity than Son of God.)

 

OR

 

C. Inherently Evil.

 

 

You can choose one of those three things, but you couldn't choose nice, peaceful, all around sweet guy.

 

Umm, even as a Christian, I find this argument of Lewis' massively unconvincing. I doubt that it's going to gain any traction with Mergath. ;)

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Sorry. No. Have you read the New Testament gospels?

 

He was either:

 

A. God, Divine, and the Saviour of the World

 

OR

 

B. A Lunatic who claimed to be the Son of God and was a certifiable whack-job. (And claimed Son of Man which was actually even MORE offensive to the Jewish people and a greater claim of divinity than Son of God.)

 

OR

 

C. Inherently Evil.

 

 

You can choose one of those three things, but you couldn't choose nice, peaceful, all around sweet guy.

 

 

Sorry. No. You don't get to give multiple choice tests on beliefs of others, and you certainly aren't the definitive on who or what Jesus could or could not be. And dragging out hackneyed chestnuts like this one doesn't help your argument at all.

 

Some of us don't think the Gospels are anything more than stories. Some of us just think Jesus was a regular guy who told a few good stories and had a few good ideas -- and nothing more.

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You can choose one of those three things, but you couldn't choose nice, peaceful, all around sweet guy.

 

Yes, you can. There are no official rules for what someone can believe.

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Wow, I sure missed out!

 

Here is my story:

I have always been somewhat of a skeptic, asking questions like:

- Why would God only reveal himself to such a small portion of the population?

- Even babies? Even innocent babies were killed in the flood?

- There are so many religious stories, how can the Christian story be the only one that is the truth?

 

I had questions like these even when I was a child but I always felt guilty because I did not want to go to hell. It took me so long to admit to another person (dh) my doubts. Turns out, he had the same doubts. It was OK, I was not smited (smote?) in my tracks. There was no turning back after reading Bart Ehrman, not at all. There are too many discrepancies in the bible for me to believe.

 

Like others have mentioned this was a journey that spanned my childhood until young adulthood. I remember when my oldest was a little toddler, probably not much older than one year old, I was going to read a few stories out of a children's bible. I began the story of Noah's ark, but I just couldn't. How could I tell my sweet innocent child a story about a God that created us and was a loving God but chose to kill everyone?

 

I am still very disturbed by the Noah's ark story and that it is something that seems "cute" to teach little ones.

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I am still very disturbed by the Noah's ark story and that it is something that seems "cute" to teach little ones.

 

That and Passover. Even if I could believe in a supernatural deity, I'd probably shop for a nicer one.

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:

I have always been somewhat of a skeptic, asking questions like:

 

- Even babies? Even innocent babies were killed in the flood?

 

I am still very disturbed by the Noah's ark story and that it is something that seems "cute" to teach little ones.

 

Also puppies and kittens and baby bunnies. Yes, I find the idea that Noah's Ark is a lovely story for children highly disturbing.

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Also puppies and kittens and baby bunnies.

 

Not to mention the unicorns and dragons.

 

 

 

I'm still not understanding why folks think they can use what the bible says to prove that we are wrong for not believing as they do. Can someone explain? :confused:

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That's the No True Scotsman fallacy.

 

I've never encountered a test for True Christians as opposed to fake Christians at any church I attended. What made you a Christian was believing certain things and gathering with those who shared those beliefs. There's no demand in the Bible or in church tradition I'm familiar with for potential Christians to be fully-formed perfect people before being allowed to be True Christians.

 

There are bad apples. Sometimes it's individual people. Often it's whole churches. There's nothing in Christianity that makes Christians immune to all the normal crap that afflicts regular folk.

 

I think this whole discussion would go a lot further if Christians (and I'm hesitant to include myself because I don't attend church right now, " For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.â€) simply admitted that we can be awful slimy jerks at times too and stop insisting there's some real Christianity that's immune to all human farts and foibles.

 

I also hesitate to use the term "true Christian" because of this. There aren't any people alive who can truly represent God and "true" Christianity because, as you say, Christians are just as screwed up as anyone else. For awhile now I've been pondering how King David was called "a man after God's own heart" and he committed murder and adultery. It isn't actions that make us Christians. It is faith. BUT, there is a real ideal that we are supposed to be and when Christians fail to live up to that, they are failing to be what a "true" Christian should be. We never will be perfect in this lifetime.

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I have noticed that the vast majority of responses don't talk about how they came to the understanding that Christianity was not true for x, y, z, reasons. We can lament hypocrites in all religions, ideologies, and the PTA for that matter, but I just wanted to point out that the presence of hypocrites has nothing at all to do with whether or not a religion is true. It is essential to understand that. It is frustrating and sad that people often don't think clearly enough to consider the validity of a religion based on the claims IT makes, not the faithfulness of so-called members. In terms of Christianity, we can't forget that Jesus predicted that there would be wolves in with the sheep (there already were in *his* day, let alone ours! -Judas, anyone?). Christianity has become so huge there are bound to be millions of hypocrites. In fact, Jesus said there would be, so we should not be surprised, and most of all we should not base *our faith* and what we believe to be *true* on what other people do or say! If you turn from the Christian faith it should be for intellectual reasons... not because you found a "new idea" or because another idea made you "feel better" or because a lot of Christians you met weren't what they were cracked up to be. Nobody who leaves for these reasons were there because they thought it was *true* and that's the real question, isn't it?

 

Perhaps those of us who shared those silly, shallow excuses as you see them have far deeper reasons for leaving Christianity, which they didn't share because they are too polite. There are some things you don't discuss in mixed company.

 

Rosie

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I think this whole discussion would go a lot further if Christians simply admitted that we can be awful slimy jerks at times too and stop insisting there's some real Christianity that's immune to all human farts and foibles.

 

Good point. Personally, I think Christian theology (specifically Catholic in my case as I am Catholic) provide a road map to achieving this but no one has actually managed to do so because humans have tendencies towards selfishness. A lot of the problems in Christianity (as I see it) are selfish desires of the practitioners. It's hard to be good all the time and our theology supports that only two people have managed to get it right all the time and it was due to one of them being God and the other being specifically prepared to carry God insider her body (so she was filled with grace to be worthy). So the rest of us are just kind of hosed, so to speak. It is depressing to think that no matter how hard you try to get it right that the system has been set up for your failure and having to repent and beg for forgiveness.

 

Not that I am necessarily saying that only Christians suffer from selfishness - not at all - but it seems so much more obnoxious for Christians to be finger pointing when their own house isn't in order and especially when there is a lack of humbleness from the person doing the finger-pointing (cough, cough... Elsie - caricature or not, she exemplifies the entire problem).

 

I wouldn't take health and fitness advice from a sedentary, junk-food laden diet person. I wouldn't take classical homeschooling advice from a person who gave their kid a Kumon workbook a couple times a week and called it good. I wouldn't get my hair cut from a stylist who had frazzled, fried hair. I could keep going but you get the point. So I can see how people trying to zealously shill Christianity can be off-putting. I'm not sure why it seems especially obnoxious for Christians to do finger-pointing but perhaps it is because it is the most prevalent religion in the western world so it is in one's face all the time.

 

For me I finally had to come to terms with the question, "Do I believe that there is a moral law that seems universal to all humans"? Yes. So, where did that moral law come from?

 

I have to admit that I have felt baffled at times by the practices of the faith that I converted to. This summer I taught VBS and I learned (along with the rising 2nd graders that I was teaching) that it is required that one double genuflect when in the presence of the Eucharist in the monstrance, yet only a single when the Eucharist is in the Tabernacle. And all I could think was, "This is silly! Why in the world would a God care if humans dropped to one knee or two when they were in his presence? Wouldn't the intent of respect matter more than the physical posture and delivery?"

 

I don't know. I think I asked this question because while I do have a firm faith in God at times I wonder what the heck has happened that the worship of that God has gotten so convoluted. I can see how people can end up on the side of disbelief.

 

Thanks for all the engaging and thoughtful responses. I've enjoyed this (monster) thread very much for the exchange of ideas and beliefs.

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I only have 5 minutes before I have to go back to work, but something that has struck out at me from reading only the first 2 pages is the idea that there are "Christians" who try to win people over by promising that becoming a Christian makes your life a bed of rose petals. It doesn't. It never has, it never will. Jesus never claimed that following him would be a stroll in the park. Just the opposite, really. It makes me mad the Christian life has been misrepresented that way. It's a lie. Life happens. Rain falls on the just and the unjust. IME, Christianity has changed how I look at life and its experiences and how I react to those experiences. I'm far from perfect. FAR from it. I screw up all the time. Becoming a Christian didn't change consequences or trials or burdens. It doesn't mean your kids won't get sick, you won't overdraw your account, your car won't break down or your spouse won't be killed. I'm really sorry so many have been mislead to believe in some fairy-tale, unicorn and butterfly version of Christianity. It's easy to see how some would turn from such a false portrayal. I think if Christianity had been presented to me like that, I'd have walked away, too.

 

Conversely, it makes me mad to see people like the WBC call themselves Christians and yet behave the way they do. I think God must weep over them and the damage they do.

 

Anyway, I'm now 6 minutes past my dinner break, so that's all I have to say. I'm just sorry so many people have had a counterfeit Christianity presented to them.

 

The members of the WBC are Christians.

 

Most of them are stuck in a bitter paradigm created by the patriarch of the whole mess. They repeat lines fed to them since they were babies. So what do Christians do? We (oh shucks, I guess I do think of myself as one because I couldn't type "they") We turn our backs on them. We reject them. Just like some people here have been rejected by Christians for what they wore or who they married or so on. We can't have anyone think we're anything like them after all.

 

I watched a documentary by an atheist film maker who got to know the family. The startling thing was in the moments when he was talking to them without challenging them they were warm and kind people. When the teenage girls talked about conversing with some (I think Dutch) young men on their phones who were interested, I think, in also making a documentary they were smiling and blushing. When pressed they'd fall back on they're learned lines but underneath they were normal girls suffering under rigid and punishing beliefs. And it was the atheists, the film maker and the boys in Europe who were bringing that out because they simply approached the family with kindness.

 

These people wear an armor of bitterness and hate. Approach them with something else and they might not have a defense. And darn it if that's not something Christians are supposed to do. And darn it if that's something we've mostly rejected in favour of pretending they aren't a part of our community. I would think their claim to be Christian would mean we have an added responsibility to reach out and help them out of the mess they've created. Instead it's a few young atheist men who are behaving more "Christian" then most Christians. If anyone manages to get through to some of those in that church, it will likely be them.

 

So if others see hypocrisy when we talk about love and forgiveness, I'm not too surprised.

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... pardon me if I repeat something anyone else has said. I just wish the people who stopped being a Christian because of other Christians would realize that most likely the people they had trouble with aren't truly Christians, but merely people who think they are Christians. True Christians are loving, forgiving, and compassionate. I think this probably sums up my reason for being a Christian, but avoiding churches. Churches are organized religion and quite honestly there don't seem to be very many TRUE Christians attending church these days.

 

That inevitably pops up by page three of any thread like this.

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Umm, even as a Christian, I find this argument of Lewis' massively unconvincing. I doubt that it's going to gain any traction with Mergath. ;)

 

Nope, it's not. :D

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I refuse to call myself a Christian anymore because I have gotten so disgusted by the Christians I know. They are especially gifted at tearing apart their wounded around here. I am enjoying a few people from the New Age type community though and have started going to a few things with them.

 

It's not just around there, trust me.

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Here's a blog post some may find interesting: http://ausgaia.blogspot.com.au/2012/03/pagan-blog-project-crossroads.html?zx=179e2ed88c1ea590 I also read a post ages ago about an atheist pagan being claimed by a deity and not being terribly pleased about it. I wish I could find it again because it is not the typical perspective we have around here. :)

 

Rosie

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Sorry. No. Have you read the New Testament gospels?

 

He was either:

 

A. God, Divine, and the Saviour of the World

 

OR

 

B. A Lunatic who claimed to be the Son of God and was a certifiable whack-job. (And claimed Son of Man which was actually even MORE offensive to the Jewish people and a greater claim of divinity than Son of God.)

 

OR

 

C. Inherently Evil.

 

 

You can choose one of those three things, but you couldn't choose nice, peaceful, all around sweet guy.

 

 

 

Why on earth not?

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Cause he seemed to stir up trouble everywhere he went.

 

I guess that might just be a reflection of his surroundings.

The Chinese would feel the Dalai Lama is stirring up trouble...

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I guess that might just be a reflection of his surroundings.

The Chinese would feel the Dalai Lama is stirring up trouble...

 

I suppose so, although you'd think he would fit in since he was born and raised around there. Jewish guy talking to Jewish people.

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I suppose so, although you'd think he would fit in since he was born and raised around there. Jewish guy talking to Jewish people.

 

"Jewish people" is diverse- poor fisherman and temple elite are worlds apart. And lets not forget that they were under Roman rule.

 

Having grown up in a dictatorship I have seen that even the nicest, kindest, mildest people can be viewed as troublemakers not just by the occupying nation, but also by those of their countrymen who have arranged themselves with the situation and have attained offices by collaborating with the occupiers. They do not take kindly to having pointed out how corrupt they are, for example. (And as we all know, it is disturbingly easy to incite a mob...)

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I am so sorry. True Christianity is not what some of you have described here. I am truly sorry that God and Jesus have been misrepresented to some of you by self-righteous, hypocritcal, sanctimonious, condemning, egotistical hypocrites. For what it's worth, they make me sick.

 

The tough issues and seeming contradictions in scripture need to be dealt with head-on, not avoided by hiding behind some pat answer given in "christianese." That makes me sick too.

 

I really am sorry.[/quote

 

:iagree:

 

As a Christian, it saddens me to hear that. Sadly, it is a reality that I have experienced as well.

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Thanks Heather.

 

We really do need to go shoe shopping soon. I'd fly on over on my invisi-stealth broom, but it's in the shop at the moment and I'm short on newt eyes to pay for the repairs.

 

And, sorry I didn't get back to this thread earlier, but I was putting the finishing touches on our first quarter of lesson plans. It would have taken less time, but I spilled a batch of troll defense potion on it.

 

No worries, though. I bought another goat and made more.

 

Shoe shopping!!!! I'd love to see where you buy all your pointy-toed witch shoes. They are all the rage. :tongue_smilie: And no worries... I have newt eyes in spades. Those critters are everywhere here. Just last night I walked into the bathroom and one scurried across the wall and scared me. I nearly peed myself.

 

I went to bed and am just amazed this thread didn't get locked while I slept. I always miss everything.

 

So here is my contribution: I was raised a Christian, then walked away from the church for 15 years for a lot of the same reasons that other people have posted. So I totally get what everyone is saying.

 

I came back to the church because it was the right thing for me. But I have no interest in berating people into believing what I believe. Conversion is God's job, not mine.

 

I may believe in God with my entire being but others are just as sincere about not believing. They aren't angry or malicious about it. They aren't doing it just to aggravate christians. And it doesn't make them sub-human. Sheesh. :glare:

 

 

 

.

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I don't usually join in on massive threads this late, but I'm home with a sick dd while the rest of the family is at the in-laws'. :) I've only skimmed the thread, but here's my two cents:

 

I did not leave Christianity because of the behavior of any Christians (the Christians in my life are some of the finest people I know). I believe that every faith community, including my own (Islam) contains people all along the spectrum of "goodness."

 

I simply found the theology unconvincing--the trinity concept, God taking human form, forgiveness of sins being contingent on believing that, etc. I never stopped believing in God, but I didn't find Christian teachings to be particularly compelling or plausible.

 

For me, it's all about the teachings. They have to make sense to me.

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Quote:

Originally Posted by BlsdMama

Sorry. No. Have you read the New Testament gospels?

 

He was either:

 

A. God, Divine, and the Saviour of the World

 

OR

 

B. A Lunatic who claimed to be the Son of God and was a certifiable whack-job. (And claimed Son of Man which was actually even MORE offensive to the Jewish people and a greater claim of divinity than Son of God.)

 

OR

 

C. Inherently Evil.

 

 

You can choose one of those three things, but you couldn't choose nice, peaceful, all around sweet guy.

 

Pithy sayings that are common to many "types" of Christians.

 

Patently simplistic, inaccurage, reductionistic.

 

Those *aren't* the only choices, but they sure make selling a particular kind of Christianity easier.

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Pithy sayings that are common to many "types" of Christians.

 

Patently simplistic, inaccurage, reductionistic.

 

Those *aren't* the only choices, but they sure make selling a particular kind of Christianity easier.

 

Many Christians would find the first choice almost heretical. We spent 2000 year bickering to decide Jesus was fully divine but also fully human. It sort of glosses over that bit.

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I do not wish to associate with this kind of Christianity. I do not have a problem with God - I have a problem with the institution Church and with the large number of self-proclaimed Christians who want to force their beliefs on others.

I am sad about it. I managed to keep my faith when it was subject to persecution; with the same faith that got me in trouble back then, I am not "Christian enough" for this area. Thanks, I'm done.

 

Wow, I could have written this, or should have written this. (bolded part)

You're certainly not alone...but it feels oh, so alone.

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Quote:

Originally Posted by SailorMom

I always just laugh at people who think I brushed Christianity off lightly. It took years and years of seeking and reading, talking to pastors, reading Strobel (gag), reading CS Lewis (him I like). I started at about the age of 10 and didn't really come to where I am now until I was about 30.

 

Yes.

 

"Pray for belief"

"Read Lewis (Strobel, ......."

"Read the Bible"

 

I left Christianity, in my heart, while studying for a masters in a helping profession at a seminary. That was the "end" but it wasn't the process; the process started years before.

 

I've read, studied, prayed and tried for years.

 

But, honestly? Something in me died with regard to Christianity when I attended a massive event for my demonination (PCUSA). The talk was about pluralism. When I asked during the Q&A if God hears and answers the prayers of non Christians, the speaker answered "no."

 

More of my Christian self died when I got a *gorgeous* calender from Sonlight, featuring beautiful people in various cultures ~ complete with the suggestion that I pray for them "to be saved" and that they "worship the true God".

 

Something died when my dd was diagnosed with JRA.

 

The remaining parts were extinguished when I spent a year trying to get adequate health care for a slowly dying man.

 

Or when the church we attended for a couple of years *failed totally* to even call, show up, or follow up with us after I informed them that he had been in an acute care psychiatric facility for suicide threats.

 

No, I am *totally* familiar with scripture, Christianity, Christians of many types. That's why I am leaving; not what will keep me there.

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nm :)

 

I responded to a funny somewhere in the middle of the thread...and it just seemed out of place to be posted at the end where serious discussion was going on.

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