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Getting On : Faith

I don't pretend to understand

from Landon - Friday, July 30, 2004
accessed 2433 times

Men will always fail you, but there is still a Hope.

I work as an intern at a Baptist church in a cow town in Texas, I got bored yesterday and started reading all these books my pastor has in his office.

Some of these books dealt with cults and the COG part interested me mostly because it ticked me off that going into ministry, someone could stamp Jesus' name on something that is so screwed up.

I don't even think that in 2 days of reading a book from 1980 and the posts on this website that I understand what goes on, but I wanted to say that I understand being burnt out with religion. But there is a Jesus who has no relation with men and their ability to corrupt what he set up.

Throughout time people have done jacked-up things in the name of Christ: the crusades, Spanish inquisition, puritans witch hunts, and cults- but thatís what men did, not Him.

Through all of this keep searching, at least you deserve answers. If Iíve offended anyone or said something wrong it is because my lack of understanding about all this.

Landon Sandy

rls66@hotmail.com

 

(Update August 2008)

I was up late and MSNBC had a show about Ricky Rodriguez. I remembered I had posted on here. I just want to say that I've moved on from religion. I'm no longer in any church or ministry and try to have as little religious thought as possible. Reading my comments from just four years ago makes me nauseous. I met new people, got an education, and am getting on with my life. I suggest the same, as I'm much happier now that Iím away from the Southern Baptist Church and religion in general. Sorry I tried to "evangelize,"  trust me: it won't happen again.

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from Landon
Sunday, August 31, 2008 - 00:28

(Agree/Disagree?)
I was up late and MSNBC had a show about Ricky Rodriguez. I remembered I had posted on here. I just want to say that I've moved on from religion. I'm no longer in any church or ministry and try to have as little religious thought as possible. Reading my comments from just four years ago makes me nauseous. I met new people, got an education, and am getting on with my life. I suggest the same, as I'm much happier now that Iím away from the Southern Baptist Church and religion in general. Sorry I tried to "evangelize,"  trust me: it won't happen again.
 
all best,
(reply to this comment)
from GG
Tuesday, January 17, 2006 - 04:01

(Agree/Disagree?)
Amen. A very good post. Too bad most of ex fams won't pay much attention, or even consider the possibility that God and Christ exist. At least you know you've done your part. I can't get myself to evangelize. Just reminds of the shitty days.
(reply to this comment)
from Arneth
Tuesday, January 17, 2006 - 01:18

(Agree/Disagree?)
Thank you for an intelligent, even-handed comment, not the existentialist drivel one reads so much of on this site. We need to turn from the Jesus of the cults to the Jesus of the Gospels.
(reply to this comment)
from Cultinvator
Thursday, August 19, 2004 - 02:37

(Agree/Disagree?)

Not to mention Bush, along with the crusades.

People need people I guess... how the hell did you go from the family to A Baptist? Did they take you in and condition you to where you felt at home? I'm sorry... You did say you don't know everything... I guess I've had my negative experiences with baptists... but no I don't hate all christians.


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From *
Thursday, August 19, 2004, 10:20

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Agree/Disagree?)
If you read it He wasn't ever in TF.(reply to this comment
from Landon
Wednesday, August 18, 2004 - 11:46

(Agree/Disagree?)

If i go somewhere I can't check my email I usually have quite a few emails. Mostly wanting to enlarge something or refinace the home(which i don't have). But today i had like 25 emails about comments on this article, which is awesome. This is kinda my post to all of it and posibly my last one for awhile. Yes, I realize that this may not be the most receptive group of people to talk about this subject but I am really not concerned about that and don't want to spend my life finding people without opinions and giving them mine, if i was scared of rejection i wouldn't have put myself out there , and I have really enjoyed tryin to get an understanding about what ya'lls thoughts were. I'm just an 18 year old kid who probably won't make more than 75 bucks a week as a youth minister at some small baptist church. maybe someday I'll work at a college or seminary and scratch together a book about my failures in ministry. Not the power wielding money making life, but it's what I do. My opinions on things may change if i knew all the things you went through but i doubt it. cause if i have a creed here it is "christ lived and died to restore those who believe on him and his message" through out all that other crap, and if that part wasn't taught to you than through out the whole thing and think about that statement. i truly didn't want to argue God contrary to what ended up happening. Baxter-your cool man, i didn't to seem hostile either.

Yall take it easy. I'll still be reading these post. I'm gettin pop-ups of more comments as i'm writing this.

Landon Sandy

Rls66@hotmail.com
(reply to this comment)

From Vicky
Thursday, August 19, 2004, 04:41

(Agree/Disagree?)

I hope that you understand that our replies on this subject don't necessarily reflect our views on you personally, or at least mine don't. I have quite a few close friends who still have a strong faith in God, and I am sincerely respectful of the way they feel and what their beliefs mean to them, despite my own misgivings on the issue. (reply to this comment

from dan
Monday, August 16, 2004 - 00:26

Average visitor agreement is 3 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 3 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 3 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 3 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 3 out of 5(Agree/Disagree?)

do you realize that this is the most cynical crowd you could pick to wittness too? we used to teach others about god and jesus for a living. most of us were sincere. we have looked at it from all sides and after ten, twenty years have come to the conclution that it (i've got to stop using "we") is the opiat of the masses. go back as far as you like and see that the darkest, cruelest times in history; have been times that the religios people were in charge. lets think about the dark ages, the crusades, the otoman empire's control of eastern europe. any time the people of god are in power, we start killing our fellow man.

if the god fearing americans had their way, we would've killed all the arabs and not been out here helping them.

after 2000 years of polish and refinment, with science and sociaty progressing despite the urging of the church to slow down we now have soft knid people who call themselves christians. this is the natrual end state in a soft land. Yes there are some nice christians. there are nice muslims and charming thugees. dosent make god or Jesus real or devine. belief does not prove what you believe in . in many cases it gets you put in an asilam.

go sell crazy somewhere else. we're all full up here.
(reply to this comment)

From moon beam
Wednesday, August 18, 2004, 11:11

(Agree/Disagree?)
Yeah, you know that tingling feeling in your back that they said was the holy ghost, well it turned out that it came every time I heard my favorite mushy songs. The "Angel" helper- a passing random stranger. The rice burning- not enough water in the pot. The sun shinning too hot- global warming. (reply to this comment
from Baxter
Tuesday, August 10, 2004 - 20:35

Average visitor agreement is 3 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 3 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 3 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 3 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 3 out of 5(Agree/Disagree?)

I appreciate that your chosen field is a religious one, which of course suggests (but does not necessarily preclude) that some part of your reasoning is based on faith. I imagine that young men of religion like yourself inevitably face the same crises of conscience and reasoning that the rest of us do. Being that I am a mere fallible human being, I cannot in a clear conscience impose moral condemnation on your personal conclusions, and my commentary is merely an opinion, and not even original to myself.

You seek to dissociate your chosen institution and it's central icon from those events on history that sully it's name. You assert that Christ or God is a separate conscious entity whose 'trademark' as it were has been usurped for the purposes of men who wished to serve their own best ends. you retain that this deity of yours remains the generous and altruistic being as professed by your religious doctrine.

Aware of the presumptiousness of my following statement, I must suggest that those of us outside your circle are sceptical of your reasoning for the reason that it is so heavily dependent upon the notion of faith. And somehow it appears that this faith allows you to condemn the inhumanities of your religious forebears. You seem to imagine that your faith is what protects you from their shortcomings.

To my opinion it was faith, not willing or knowing contravention of scriptural doctrine, that permitted these atrocities of which you speak. The Crusaders did not that which they did in the knowledge that their actions were apparently not Christlike; they did so in the faith that their work was exonerated, even authorised, by God. So too almost every other atrocity commited in the name of God or the Church. It is that most distinctly human of traits that man requires moral justification for his crimes against himself.

If your faith seems logical because of it's adherence to contemperary moral norms, I put it to you that the face of morality is, whether originally defined by the voice of God ( as asserted by the Church), consistently altered by the political requirements of man; this moral provisionism meant that those whom you condemn had no more reason to note contradiction to their actions from their own contemperary moral standards than from the dictates of their own religious leaders.

Wherever in human society we find it, faith professes itself as a great force of solidarity, a medium of transcendence for humanity, a tangible bond to God; and yet it's manifestations almost always, except in the most molecular and personal terms, herald with it ignorance, prejudice, and in more extreme cases exploitation and even brutality and violence. I myself believe that blind faith is perhaps the most destructive of all the facets of the human condition.

For myself, and ,I imagine, those others devoid of faith, I find fault in your assertions because I see no distinction between your deity and the other human denomitations of religious conviction. To me your God has no substance, no manifestation. To me he is merely a label, a franchise for your social institution; thus, unless he himself demonstrates otherwise, he is as integrally guilty as those who commit moral offence in his name.

I do not believe that a man of religion necessarily requires faith. My Grandfather was a Canon for the greater portion of his professional life, and most of his religion was based not on faith but on the speculation and moral debate on the existence of God. Inevitably, in my opinion, all that a man of religion is or should be is a retainer of a set of ideals. I think you could be an excellent minister without even having to necessarily maintain that God exists. In any case, you will never be able to fully validate it, so all you have or ever had are your ideals. Others may condemn your ideals as morally redundant, but take heart from the fact that they, like you, have only their opinions, and perhaps the opinions of others to support them.




(reply to this comment)

From Fish
Monday, August 16, 2004, 06:50

Average visitor agreement is 1 out of 5(
Agree/Disagree?)
Baxter your comment is heavy on retoric and low on content. You talk so long and use such impresive words and yet say next to nothing. Let me guess your a politician??(reply to this comment
From Landon
Wednesday, August 11, 2004, 01:27

(Agree/Disagree?)

Well I will take heart as much as possible, know your comments did a better job however of ripping my heart to peaces. But then I found out or at least came to the conclusion that I part way agree. A blind faith is dangerous because it has no idea what it is following, one minute it is a sound ideal, the next you are following whatever sounds good at the moment be it God, Satan, yourself, a person, whatever. People forget their reason for faith and focus on the emotion and like you said "label" of it all. Making it more like politics than anything, a blind following of whatever the group OK's and a denouncing of whatever the group does not approve of. I don't want a political view of my relationship with God. Because I am not of the impression that I need to denounce or approve anything, I am not God or anything more than anyone else and my approval of his word is all the stance i need.

I retain ideals yes and in the choices involved in my life i will preserve and pass on a line of thinking, as will you. But that is not all that I am. I am not simply a dragging foot in the progression of human society because i do not simply follow the ideals of men who came before me, which is safer than the blind faith that follows its own corse. I however choose the path that follows God who will never change and therefore I don't need to condem anyone for I will fail myself. As dangerous you feel faith without religion is so you must regard religion without faith. without faith religion is even more useless, Jesus might has well stayed in the ground or not come at all. Religion without faith is replacable with politics and activist, and therefore is nothing but a waste of time that could be spent on better things like the first half of sunday afternoon Cowboys games.

We can argue evolution in nature. But no one will deny it's existence in society's thought and we fight the same way to preserve our way of thinking. We want our oppinions to be the enduring ones because they are our way to mark the world, they will live on past us. Our thoughts that we pass on are like our bloodline in a way. While I may have the ability or opportunity to pass on things such as moral standards, politics, all the way to hair styles, these things will die away. I don't want to be remembered I want to remind people to remember God.

If i did not have some faith I would not consider devoting this much time to something. That faith in my God and my salvation is sometimes the only thing driving me forward. For my part I want my 60 years to be spent not passing on an old religion. But building a faith-a safely guided and grounded faith however- that is fixed upon the God who began the train of thought that we continue now. Maybe in that process I'll know what is worthy to pass on.

I know this is random sometimes though it is hard to put ones purpose in words.

Landon(reply to this comment

From frmrjoyish
Monday, August 16, 2004, 08:16

Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5(Agree/Disagree?)
"We can argue evolution in nature......." You sure you want to go down that road? Better get all your "facts" and collect all your "evidence" from your bible-thumping pseudoscientists then bring it baby!!(reply to this comment
From I'm curious
Thursday, August 19, 2004, 13:13

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Agree/Disagree?)

frmrjoyish, I'd be interested to find out from you (since you say you're quite knowledgeable in the theory of evolution) what an evolutionist's take on the evolution of soil and its resident life forms is.

Creationists claim it is a type of "catch 22" situation where one cannot exist without the other. Neither could have 'come first', ergo they had to be created at the same time. I've seen evolutionists' counters to most of the evidence creationists present, but I have not found an answer to this particular topic in my research so far.

If you care to comment on this, I'd be interested to hear what you have to say about it, or at least read up on it myself if pointed in the right direction.(reply to this comment

From pywakit
Thursday, August 19, 2004, 09:44

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Yeah! You go, girl! Nothing aggravates me more than true believers with no training in scientific method making arguments about the evidence against evolutionary theory. As though the anomalies that evolutionary theory doesn't explain or predict actually add up an alternative set of testable assumptions. Like "intelligent design" is even a testable hypothesis with predictive power. (reply to this comment
From frmrjoyish
Thursday, August 19, 2004, 11:41

Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5(Agree/Disagree?)
Exactly! Intelligent design is not a falsifiable hypothesis so it has no bearing in any sort of scientific discussion whatsoever. It always amazes me how people can read one book (the bible) and then claim to be experts in every subject imagineable. That would be like me running my mouth to an architect or engineer teling them that their designs are structurally unsound and will never work when I have no training in that field at all. But I do know evolution and nothing pleases me more than to show how full of crap these creationists are. Unfortunately it seems Landon hasn't taken my bait! Darn!! :)(reply to this comment
From Vicky
Thursday, August 19, 2004, 12:09

(Agree/Disagree?)
Is there anything I could do or say that would convince you to share some of your brain power with me??? (reply to this comment
From dan
Monday, August 16, 2004, 00:58

Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5(Agree/Disagree?)

It was a day or two ago that i was driving someone to work and they comented on how they had been reading the bible. i didn't want to get into it and they asked why. i gave some poor excuse and whent on my way. after thinking about it for a while it came to me that i don't like to talk about it for the same reasons you don't want to let a kid know there is no santa. how can it help. their simple faith is a thing of beauty. yet there comes a time when you should look at it objectivly.

they used to say "feeling faith and fact. feeling had an awful fall and faith was taken back, only fact remained. so fact pulled up feeling , feeling pulled up faith" and in the end they walk on their merry way.

this goes about the whole thing wrong. this is the standard trick of churches, they get you to think on the bible and the word of god as infalibel. this is a book writen by men in power of nations and this book has always been used to keep the people in check. old teasament for the judeans and the new was used by the roman chatholic empire. the new teastement wasn't put to gether till about 300 years after Jesus.

so your fact that you go back to verify your faith is propigada put out by two seperate dictatorships using their divine right to conquer in the name of their god. read the bible from a purely historical point of view and you will see it is the opinions of men. luke said that paul said that peter said jesus said. wouldn't hold up in court. mark said that peter said... peter james and paul having uge arguments about the therories of salvation. what did jesus say?? very little. he never laid down any of the rules that govern christianity today. we made those up our selves, or they made them up.

your heart was "ripped to pieces" have you read anyhting about what nonreligous people have to say on god? when i was in the "christian" mentality i to would bury my self in the bible or other christian liturature whe ni had "doubts" why is that? would a trial be fare if everytime the jurythought the guy might be guilty the sat in a room and stared at the dead mutilated body? if you never listened tothe defense. if the defense was considered "destrutive". you could accuse any body of anything and noone would say nay.

months of bible class. ever take a class on secular history or how bout a month of anti christian seminars. no one does these things. you never want to look at what the truth may be. if ever you are confronted wi that a doubt you bury your head in prayer and scriptures. don't look up out of the sand you may wake up to find your self duped for the last 20 years.

that is the greatest abuse. the control of a mind. i am not upset about the spankings or the strit diet and scheduals i kept. i am upset by the dogma that i was told was true. i was 17 before i relised that santa wasn't there. god didn't put food on the table. kind hearted people did. god doesn't put money in the churches coffers. people who don't know better do it. they feel better when they do as god is watching them and will reward them in heaven. 700 dollers and you have god's blessing on your life.... but if you want to strech and give your all to god then it might be time for you to think about the 1500 club. yes i know it seems like a lot of money but the more you give the more god will give to you. heres some testemonies from people that after only not eating one meal a day and sending little johny out on student loans instead of a allowence have been able to reap god's bountifull bleasings. (reply to this comment

From moon beam
Wednesday, August 18, 2004, 11:22

(Agree/Disagree?)

Kids will eventually find out that santa, easter bunny etc.does not exist and while it's okay for a child to have such fantasies it's not okay for an adult. I told my kid when he was 5 that santa didn't put the pressies under the tree-I did. Santa and the some of the bible are good metaphores and tools for transferring into adulthood. "If your not good you don't get..." "I have to work hard to earn the money for your tenth toy train.." (greed, appreciation)

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From Baxter
Wednesday, August 11, 2004, 02:52

Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5(Agree/Disagree?)

You believe in something that you cannot validate except by your own faith. Don't you feel doubt at some point?

I personally feel that the exploration of possibility is much more important that the retention of ideas professing to be truth. In this perspective, the question of God merely becomes one of many possibilities, and the theologian merely another intellecual explorer. Humans have every right to search for answers, but we seem almost entirely incapable of identifying absolute truth.

While I cannot deny the crucial infleunce of religion on the modern world, nor do I deny the possibility of God's existence, do you not at some point want to question what it is that convinces you of the validity of your God and the invalidity of the Gods of other religions? Do you not think that this God to whom you pray does not bear more than a slight resemblance to ourselves? If we consider the old adage that God is demonstrated in the existence of the universe, then can we not wonder if the universe itself woud not in some way be a reflection of God's face? The God of Christianity may be sought in nature, yet does not concurrent in nature; indeed, he does not even seem concurrent in man. Partly, his presentation seems to illustrate a being which consists of everything we wish ourselves to be. He appears, to me, to be an amalgam of all our fantasies and best hopes for ourselves. The universe is not governed by mercy, love, and compassion, nor Anger, Justice, etc., but by tangible laws of physics, to which no human moral construct holds any relevence.

If your God exists, and if it is beyond the pale of simple trivial man to comprehend him ( I say him metaphorically), why then do you create an institution out of him?


(reply to this comment

From Landon
Saturday, August 14, 2004, 18:32

(Agree/Disagree?)

Sorry I haven't replied sooner I've been at a youth conference. Your questions seem to be about two things my personal faith and religion in general. I'll tell you how i feel about both. In regard to the institutions of religion, I don't dare answer for or defend them. Religion is a question on a medical form, a social club, or a fad. However to me there is a purpose to some of it that I will get to.

In regard to me and my faith, Yes Baxter, you are right when you say I can not 100% validate anything I claim except by faith. But while this seems foolish at first glance, consider the other things in life you will never be able to validate.

Most people find a time in their life where they find someone that seems worth loving. Most at the least of us find friends, family, or companions that we love, or at least have a bond with that is worth sacrifice. Some have the privalege of being loved back by the people in our life. Some would say that they know that "so and so" loves them. But can you validate that?

"Sure" you say. "my husband/wife/friend has been there for me through it all. You wouldn't know the half of what we've been through." You may have a ring or be able to tell stories of sacrifice that that person has given up for you. But the actions and objects of this love you claim to recieve is not love itself and this "love" is not validated. But this evidence gives you faith.

I can give you coutless examples of why i believe in the existance of God, but heck even IF we prove God you still can not validate the love I have faith in. Yes I have doubts, probably just as often as someone in a very good marriage. In my doubts i have evidence but that evidence is not absolute proof. So in the same way that a husband knows his wife loves him although he can NEVER truly validate it, so I know God is there.

You ask why an institution, Take the next example keeping in mind I have no idea how family relationships go in TF, I know that the marriage commentments are different and I'm sure that the way a family opperates may be different as well. anyway, by the defintion of Validated that we've set up are the bonds in a family valitdated? I don't think you can prove a family exist beyond simply being related but the deeper idea of a family is what i consider an institution. When something exist like that it permieates society in the way that christianity has.

I'm out I'll leave with this. How do you know that the bond of a teammate you have with another soldier is real, how then can you count on him? Are you not then a creature of faith? How much more does God deserve some faith?(reply to this comment

From pywakit
Thursday, August 19, 2004, 11:01

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Agree/Disagree?)

It really is quite clear you have no significant education in the way scientists go about testing their assumptions about reality or determining how well theories explain or predict observable phenomena. Your argument about love is based on the belief that human love cannot be defined and measured (observed), primarily because it is an abstract concept. I've heard the same argument made by under-educated believers about human conscience. If that belief is correct, then abstractions like love and conscience are just like God--an experience, event or entity humans cannot be objectively observed.

The difference between scientific assumptions and religious belief is that scientific assumptions can be tested for their validity in an objective manner. Religious beliefs cannot.

I would argue that the subjective experience, event and/or entity called "love" is nothing more than a construction of social reality that humans produce through processes of symbolic interaction. In other words, I can demonstrate that "love" is an ideological construct through which humans give meaning and order to the social realities they create for themselves. I can test the assumptions of my theory (symbolic interactionism) by specifying measures that operationalize the processes by which people arrive at various definitions of "love." In addition to the processes by which people define the idea of love, I can also come up with an exhaustive set of measures of that comprise a construct called "love" by 95% of humans in a given culture. I can statistically test my measures on a random sample to see how accurately people in the general population recognize my operational definitions of "love," regardless of whether it is defined as an internal state (cognition, emotion), an action (behavior or process), or an entity (relationship type & quality).

I'm speaking as a social scientist. There are physical scientists in neurobiology who can measure the emotions & behavior identified as "love" as discrete chemical processes. Oxytonin is a hugely important chemical that produces what people every culture identify as "parental love." Without oxytonin, "parental love" (defined as parent/child bonding & affection) doesn't occur. I wonder how the theological supposition of free will stands up to that finding? If I am neurologically deficient, how free am I to choose parental love over alternatives that would make me a less than loving parent?(reply to this comment

From Cultinvator
Thursday, August 19, 2004, 02:42

(Agree/Disagree?)
So do you think Jesus boned Mary Magdalene? Why or why not?(reply to this comment
From Haunted
Monday, August 16, 2004, 10:30

Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5(Agree/Disagree?)

Sorry pal, I gotta interject here: I am really all for freedom of religion in every sense of the word freedom - the freedom whereby we let those around us believe in whatever the heck they feel they believe in. Personally, I tried it all - when I first left the family I was a very insecure individual (as many of us were) and tried quite a few religions out to see if they 'fit'. In any case, that's totally besides my point here.

I want to just say something about your little comment on marriage and how it compares to a relationship with a spiritual being. Now, I don't know if you're married or not, but like I've said before, could the people who aren't married quit commenting on how married life is??? I mean, common dude, "in the same way that a husband knows his wife loves him although he can NEVER truly validate it, so I know God is there." - don't take this personally, but that's bullshit!

Since I can speak from experience here, there are thousands of way that love in marriage is validated and proved daily. OF COURSE you can validate love!! I know my husband loves me when he tries and does things that are certainly NOT in his nature because he knows I like them. I show him every day that I love him by doing and NOT doing things that I would normally rush right into without thinking, and he knows it, and it validates my love for him.

You can ask all my best friends, I validate my love for them in countless different ways, when my best friend's brother died last year, I showed my love for her for taking time off from my job and going to her side thousands of miles away to comfort her and her family. That's love pal!! So please don't comment on things you know nothing of - love God or Allah or Buddah if you want, but leave your comparrison of "faith" and believing in things you haven't seen separte from marriage! (PS: I can see my hubby and touch him - can you do what I do with him to your God??)(reply to this comment

From Baxter
Sunday, August 15, 2004, 20:30

Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5(Agree/Disagree?)

The faith to which you refer is a very different strain indeed. Idealist philosophy notwithstanding, the confidence I place in other people is not at any time completely assured; when I was in the forces, I was fully aware of the possibility of betrayal by my comrades, as I am with my present friends. The difference is that whatever confidence I placed in whoever I chose to rely was based either on experience, or personal Judgement, as fallible as that is. I never was required to place blind faith in or unreasonably trust ANYONE outside of a professional capacity, nor do I; if at any time I place my safety in the hands of another, I did so only as a calculated risk, fully accepting the possiblity that they could let me down. At no time have I affected a confidence in humanity or any fact thereof that did not have some means of validation. As a soldier, I had to simply assume - first based on command, and later on personal experience - that the other man would act as a professional and do as he was meant, as I was also; both of us failed many times, and there is no reason for romantic notions on the subject outside of literature. Furthermore, all of the people in which I place my confidence now or at any time have made themselves known to me, and I have had good reason to accept that they existed outside of the fact that I may or may not have wanted them to be there. Ultimately, I have on several occasions been let down by human nature, but I do not feel especially disappointed, because all that is apparent is that on this occasion I have 'bet on the wrong horse', so to speak. Not for a moment do I consciously assume that any person or thing will always be reliable or assured to me, nor that I can or shall be the same to everyone whom I personally value.

As I have said before, I do not consciously deny the very real possibility that 'God' exists in some form or another. But this is beside the point. Your religion, in my opinion, does not celebrate the exploration of possibility; it maintains and defends what I personally (and very possibly ignorantly) observe to be a set of set of assertions based on a mere abstract. In essence, you have taken a theory and, without substantiation, presented it as fact. Your own words illustrate this to me with absolute clarity when you exclaim that your God deserves faith. With no assurances other than your own desire you have given a mere idea a place in your mind as undisputed material fact. This is where I find fault in your religion.

As for your assertions of family, the experiences of most of us who grew up within TF ( I do not fully grasp whether or not that includes yourself) demonstrate almost beyond a shadow of a doubt that such filial bonds are in fact voluntary and are never necessarily second nature. Perhaps you have never experienced this same level of betrayal ( forgive me if you have); Outside of purely biological function, the exact parameters of the human family are present subject to change as they have always been subject to change, and as have all human social institutions. One need only take a rudimentary look through history to see flagrant variations in the accepted conventional, or popular standard family unit, which was never fully universal. Family units function in human society because they fulfil a function to us, because they answer a particular interest factor in us; but that function is subject to change.

To my mind, the epicentral fault in your faith is that it is based, unless demonstrated otherwise, on the works and constructs of men, who claim to be working under authorisation from God. This is the same authorisation to which those men whom you decry, and whose atrocities stain the reputation of your religious institution, professed. Whatever personal reasons you have in your own mind and heart that confirm the abstract possibility of God to you, your medium of communication with him is forged and defined by mere mortal human beings, being of the same matter as those to whose legacies your religion bears collective shame by association. To me, whatever your reasons for believing in God, you have transferred your faith from God to men, and worse, men claiming to speak on behalf of God.

Is this not already dangerous ground on which we tread?

(reply to this comment

From Landon
Sunday, August 15, 2004, 21:48

(Agree/Disagree?)

I appologize for personally using you as an example, i was only trying to show that sometimes faith is nessesary in things besides religion. As for me personally, no I didn't not grow up in the family, and only knew about it for about a day before posting this article. I know this disqualifies any opinion i might have on what you should think. My reason for intrest was that the family is an example how religion can be skewed and preverted. On that point I hold no faith in religion because of men and keep it at the same distance as you do the people you know can hurt you. I also know that my refering to God as if he is a fact makes my opinion very obvious and may make the conversation diffrent.

Some may give up the search for truth, but I however will not. I know that there are some that if they knew for a fact that God didn't exist would not be able to face the fact and adjust...also there are some who if they knew that he did would not accept it. I did not grow up in a church and in high school became a christian in the since of started my faith in Jesus or whatever word you want to use to sum up something as complicated as salvation. I don't think i stopped asking questions then and hope i never do, I may end up a grumpy old man set in my ways but i hope not. Anyway I have along way to go and alot more dangerous ground to tread. The people who i find most dangerous are the ones who claim to have all the answers about God, and I do not so I will not waste time tonight tryin to make some up.(reply to this comment

From Baxter
Wednesday, August 18, 2004, 04:41

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I recognise and appreciate your right to maintain whatever ideas you wish; as I have said, I have no more right to negate your opinion than is furnished by my own opinion. I suppose this particular question is one that many of us have considered in great detail, certainly those of us who frequent this site. If you were looking for an argument about the 'God' question, you might not find a much better place. I hope I did not appear hostile to you, as I have no reason to be. (reply to this comment

from Landon
Wednesday, August 04, 2004 - 20:44

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Yeah at least getting called a chick was kind of funny break from the other post on my article. I've been accused of being a lot of things but a man hater is new on me. I want to say I'm not attacking anyone, I will say this reading the articles posted on this site has shaken me from my confort zones a little, probably because I'm one of those "weak people" like a couple of yall had said. But anywayThrough talking about it with a few of you and reading your replies I've also figured out a few things not only about the family but about just peoples reactions that lead to being burt out on things. One that not just the name of God can get stamped on something that is not of him, but scripture can be stamped on it as well.(most of you know the words of the bible much better than me and apparently most all of it was used in some negitive way making the bible just one more thing to grow sick of). Two that the words that describe spiritual things are far overused and a sickness of the terms that were heard in the past keeps some from trying to go to a church again(I don't know what words were used in the family but i imagine that they are some of the same that i know have lost they're meaning to some in my church ex. "got saved" stuff like that.)

I don't mean to try and be someones consience or accountability partner and tell you to go to church. I just wanted a talk, and on that note your comments are appreciated even the ones that express diffrent views than mine, and YES even the ones that call me a girl haha. Yall take it easy and again feel free to enlighten on things cause i'm still trying to get it all. The coolest thing about all this is that yall all seem so dedicated to finding the right answers and you've logically thought about your views, something that most people can't do. Just don't stop, keep searching.

(Mr.) Landon

rls66@hotmail.com
(reply to this comment)

From Cultinvator
Thursday, August 19, 2004, 02:46

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I know you have a special burden for us lost lil' black sheep, but you'd probably spend your time better being a missionary helping to bring medical supplies to those who are dying... let your frustrations out functionally otherwise you might just get the click off after awhile... most of us are just not interested, if we were there are entire libraries with information about christianity we would do our own research, and as to a 'personal touch' we don't need any mediators... many of us have nothing against the 'metaphorical' jesus... he's part of me weather I believe in him or not because of my upbringing... the Jesus that couldn't give a rat's ass about is the political one that funds smucks in churches like yours and our old one, and makes people loose their dreams for those of witty psychic vampires.(reply to this comment
From dan
Monday, August 16, 2004, 03:08

Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5(Agree/Disagree?)

men will always fail you but there is still hope. i understand that you mean man as in "the world of men" biblical. Hope in God? hope that he wil lgive a shit? hope that he will work in mysterios ways? or hope that he will hwlp those that help them selves? just curios, but are the oil tycoons in rusia blessed or cursed be god? billionares who have never paid a tenth of tythe in their lives. has god blessed them or is their adherence to greed and the quest for power been rewarded by the devil?

if there is a god why does he concern himself with making flowers and babies whle letting the kids in sudan get slautered and then starve. seems he has his priorities mixed up.

if men will always fail, show me the time that god will step in and rescue you? when about 9 years ago a van of christian kids on their way back form a charity show got in an accident and half of them died, where was god. It was his will. if that is the case and you want to go with that fine. the man driving failed them and god thought at the time that he didn't have enough sycophants and needed 5 or 6 more to sing his praises. so he lovenly took them home to be with him. if my boss were to take my kids out of my life and have them live with him i'd tell him to go fuck himself.

so either you blame god or you don't. he either was involved or he wasn't. he either let in happen, made it happen or was impotent to do any thing about it. if any of those is the case then he has lost my vote. if he does have the power and does nothing he is guilty of all the crimes commited that he could've stoped . if he can't stop them then he is not much in the way of any help when you need him.

(a quick point. if you stand by and watch murder commited you can be charged right along with the shooter. becuase you felt it was ok for the guy to get killed is not a good defence)

what is the point of having a god that does nothing for you? "he makes me feel so loved." no he doesn't . you love him the way a besoted fan has a crush on britney spears. if you sit and think about the way you love her and have little make believe discusions about her then you go on to the britney triva classes. after that you aprentice as a assistant fan club leader. wow!! you have an awsome relationship with britney. "have you ever met this star?" " no but i know all there is about them and i love them so mush. i've dedicated my life to them and all the achevments in my life are becuase of them. they are the inspiration behind this mountian of good deeds i have done."

just cuase you do good and didicate it to the name of your favorite diety doesn't make them god. it just makes you a believer. if you are happy great. i'm happy for you. just remember that your hapiness is based on a lie. if you want to live in the matrix and let others define reality for you that is your perogitive. many are more than happy to never find out the truth. they don't want to know. the truth is that you will never fucking know till you die. so live your life like you have an eternity to do al the things that you never got around to or live for the present. live for the benifit of the church and the procreation of cristian dogma or not. if you want to perpetuate a con put in place 2500 years ago to bully a people into submition while robbing them blind for the better part of a thousand years be my guest. it's all yours.

if you can ever rise above the level of blind grovleing and step into the realm of active con artist then you will have graduated to the level of devine manipulator. if you want to take that course good for you, there is a lot of money to be made. if you need to pretend to believe in god's live to live with your self then go ahead and lie to your self. i think you'll be happier if you admit you are in a line of work that lies for a living. whether you made up the lie or you just pass it on makes no difference.

remember; if you can fake it you can make millions and change the course of nations. you can always make a good living. you will do good. people will benifit form listening to what you say. they will be good members of society and pay their taxes and tythe. you will do very little harm. but when they all die and don't go to the big palace in the sky they may haunt you.

sounds like your on your way to having a great relationship with you god. don't let the fact that he may not be out there or love you or give shit whether or not you lover him. your never going to see him like the example of a wife you used. you can have sex with your wife. breakfast and a entire life of seeing eachother everyday. god is going to be a little harder to pin down. stick your head in the bible and read god's words for a hour or two and you may be able to simulate the feeling of gid. if you read out loud you'll be able to hear his voice. (reply to this comment

From moon beam
Wednesday, August 18, 2004, 11:41

(Agree/Disagree?)
Hammer+nail+head.(reply to this comment
From sudanese kid
Monday, August 16, 2004, 07:02

(
Agree/Disagree?)

"whle letting the kids in sudan get slautered and then starve"

Well said, dan. May I only be so lucky as to die of starvation after I have been slaughtered.(reply to this comment

From dan
Monday, August 16, 2004, 08:48

(Agree/Disagree?)
saw that one coming but was too lazy to say " kid in sudan get slaughtered leaving the survivors to starve." happy?(reply to this comment
From
Monday, August 16, 2004, 03:15

(
Agree/Disagree?)
learn to spell(reply to this comment
from Marc
Wednesday, August 04, 2004 - 15:38

(Agree/Disagree?)
I must say that I am rather surprised that no one has yet pointed out this lady's hypocritical generalization when she wrote, "Men will always fail you, but there is still a Hope." This is a rather offensive way to begin a thread, don't you think? I am tired of people thinking that it is politically correct to bash white men all they want for the hypocritical reason of, "Well, they had their [historical] turn, so now it is our turn." Then, adding insult to injury, she proceeds to 'witness' to us. She can say she doesn't "pretend to understand" but do not proceed to preach-to-the-choir if you don't know how to sing (i.e. understand where we are coming from). She may have had the right intentions and might have even meant 'people' when she wrote 'men' but I don't buy it at all.
(reply to this comment)
From Marc
Wednesday, August 04, 2004, 18:02

(Agree/Disagree?)
I must apologize to Mr. Landon Sandy. I incorrectly assumed that he was a female.(reply to this comment
From
Wednesday, August 04, 2004, 16:53

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Agree/Disagree?)

"I am rather surprised that no one has yet pointed out this lady's hypocritical generalization," you say. Whose job was that? Always somebody else's?

As far as I know, despite the periodic outrage expressed by various users at having anything that reminds them of a teen shepherd, this site doesn't have somebody whose job it is to "deliver their souls." Sometimes I think we need to shed the dependency The Family liked us to have and realize that if each of us wants something to happen or be said, each of us should do our part.

Anyways, you felt it needed pointing out and you eventually did it. Ain't nobody gonna do it all for you like some new Jesus. This is not so much directed at you specifically. I am venting about the tendency to always assume somebody else will do it. How did that ole saying go -- everybody's job is nobody's job.(reply to this comment

From Marc
Wednesday, August 04, 2004, 17:52

(Agree/Disagree?)

Dude (I am assuming you are one since you did not care to use your name), you _totally_ missed the point of my post. It had nothing to do with whose job it was to point it out or responsibility. I, in _no_ way, was implying that it was someone's "job" to point anything out. I was only surprised, as this site has witty and quick people who usually notice this kind of stuff and do the "job" _before_ I do.

What does my comment on being surprised have to do with delivering one's soul? Or, with _anything_ to do with the dependency the group "liked us to have"?

Anyway (and note that this adverb 'anyway' has no 's' at the end), I would have preferred a comment on the real point to my post. But that is your right.(reply to this comment

from EyesWideShut
Monday, August 02, 2004 - 08:15

(Agree/Disagree?)

Sandy, thanks for caring enough to share your thoughts. I have a sneaking suspition (my peers will hate me for this) that most of us will one day find our way back to Jesus. That doesn't mean we'll believe he is necessarily salvation or "alive" today, but maybe our gag reflex will calm down enough that we won't mind admiting he was an amazing person who taught simple truths--later fucked up by men, some well-meaning, some kniving, and some well-meaning followers of the kniving. I know Christianity is within my comfort zone, as much as I hate to admit it. What is not attractive is organized religion, and they seem to go hand in hand.

"Train up a child in the way he should go [they way his parents want him to go], and when he is old he will not depart from it [whether he likes it or not, it's part of him]." And when he's old and tired of the endless search for answers, and really doesn't care any more either way, he'll give in to the urge to shoot up a little prayer now and then, or maybe allow himself a Christian burial.

Fighting the inevitable is for the young, after all.
(reply to this comment)

From dan
Monday, August 16, 2004, 08:45

Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5(Agree/Disagree?)

you ever read anything he wrote? me niether. just some stuff that revelutionaries robbed of a prophet said he wrote. don't tell me that they had their reasons for demonizing the government of their day. He never even said he was the son of god. "ye are all the children of god" and when asked the question by pilate he said "you said it not me"

they needed a god and never did get what he was trying to teach them. in the end you get what they wanted to hear. and one of the first thing they did was sold all their possetions and with one another. didn't do it while the man was alive but as soon as he was dead they saw the scam and jumped in.

come back to god? back to jesus? why the fuck would i want to go thru that shit agian? i quit.(reply to this comment

From Fish
Monday, August 16, 2004, 06:43

Average visitor agreement is 3 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 3 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 3 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 3 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 3 out of 5(
Agree/Disagree?)
I agree with sunny. You guys are all so anti god you obviously still fear he may exist. Perhaps you even fear the family may have been right about one or two things as well. I for one admire real faith when I find it.By real faith I mean the kind that has seen the other side and still belives. Just because some of those in posesion of this faith end up flying into trade centers dose not mean faith is to blame.Anyone ever wonder how the hell the family has lasted so long? Given their obviously demented beliefs they should have died out long ago.I belive they continue because they belive they have a right to.They "have the faith for it". Belief is a powerful thing. I wish I had the faith that some do. Then,who knows, perhaps I could move mountains....(reply to this comment
From Cultinvator
Thursday, August 19, 2004, 02:53

(Agree/Disagree?)
I've come to realize that a lot of us are actually progressing... not because they're comfortable speaking about christianity which I still find to be missleading at best, but because they are comfortable speaking about their introspected phobias of speaking about Jesus in a mature dimention, probably a great person, who can prove or disprove... That's what makes most agnostic whether they know it or not.(reply to this comment
From moon beam
Wednesday, August 18, 2004, 10:54

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Not to be predantic either, but you said in one sentance that " does not mean faith is to blame.." then you say you believe they will continue because they "have the faith for it." Isn't that the same thing? Some one in a cult abuses a child, some one flys a plane into a building- Both are hurting some one because of their faith. Yes there is a big difference in those actions but that is because the man flying the plane was not *asked* to abuse a child and the child abuser was not *asked* to fly a plane.

Faith is deferring responsibility willingly or unwillingly to a higher power, that starts out with parents then the Doctor to Teachers than with someone with a few letters after their name. It's social conditioning that renders people's ability to overcome personal will. (Look at all the atrocities of the Nazi era.)

IMO, If you want to move a mountain I sugest having more faith in yourself to do it because the guy who's sitting their praying for it it to happen by faith- well the mountain is still going to be there!

"Real faith- seen the other side and still believes"- isn't that called ilogical, stuborn and proud, loving it or never really seeing the other side in the first place??

( I have faith I'm going to get a thumbs down.) ;) (reply to this comment

From moon beam
Wednesday, August 18, 2004, 11:45

(Agree/Disagree?)
Dear god why hast thou forsaken me? LOL(reply to this comment
From Haunted
Monday, August 16, 2004, 10:38

(Agree/Disagree?)

The thing is, I'm NOT "anti-God"! I just don't really think it's necessary to tell people that believe in him that they're all "freaks" who are "weak people" and once they grow up and get some self-confidence they'll figure they don't need God as a crutch. It just irks me when religious people tell me that I'll "come around" some day or that it's the "truth".

You can talk about your own beliefs as much as you like, but I really don't care for people who start accusing me of not "opening my eyes" to what they percieve is the "true way". I give them the consideration of a possiblilty that perhaps they are right, why can't they do the same for non-believers?

PS: I'm not an athiest, to hate God I would have to acknowledge that he exists. (reply to this comment

From roughneck
Tuesday, August 17, 2004, 19:02

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Not to be real pedantic on yo' ass or anything, but atheism defined is a lack of belief in the *existence* of God or gods. In short: if you don't believe God exists, you are in fact an atheist, full stop. Say it loud and be proud! :)

And for those of you who merely hate god/s, get your own term for yourselves, dammit! :P

http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=atheism(reply to this comment
From Haunted
Wednesday, August 18, 2004, 06:32

(Agree/Disagree?)

True, it is defined as a denial in the existence of diety, however, most professing athiests I know spend so much time on the doctrine that there is no diety that they inherently give far too much credit the the theory that there is. I prefer to define myself as an agnostic "one who is not committed to believing in either the existance or the non-existence of God".

I prefer to find 'deeper meaning' within myself. (reply to this comment

From Cultinvator
Thursday, August 19, 2004, 02:59

(Agree/Disagree?)

Yea, quit wasting time with simplifications of exalted mass projections of god 'human egos' find out what you're made of and what you want to be.

Then again, if we quit taking things so damn literally we can learn a thing or two from the god's of mythology... stories that have paralells to real life phenomena. I certainly think it was a work in progress and we probably wouldn't have science without the evolution of religion first as a starting step.(reply to this comment

From Fish
Monday, August 16, 2004, 18:57

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Hear Hear!!! Well said!(reply to this comment
From Shaka
Monday, August 02, 2004, 10:19

Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5(Agree/Disagree?)
Think again Sunny. In this world God has become unnecessary and obsolete. We no longer need to believe in a higher power to lead productive lives as good people. In fact, if the Bible teaches us anything, it's that God is a sadistic megalomaniac and we are better off without him. And even if Jesus was a good man, he's still been dead for 2,000 years and praying to a corpse is pointless.(reply to this comment
From Ne Oublie
Sunday, August 08, 2004, 08:49

(Agree/Disagree?)
Whatever our opinions may be at present, it does not preclude the possiblity that they will change at some point. Have you forgotten all the 'testimonies' (both from TF and other Christians) of people who converted after having been at least as agnostic as most on this site that we used to read?
Now I don't share the opinion that most (or even many) of us will 'return to the faith', but I wouldn't be surprised if some did - including some of the most outspoken ones.(reply to this comment
From Vicky
Monday, August 02, 2004, 09:37

Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5(Agree/Disagree?)

Sorry, Sunny, I disagree with you. I doubt that MOST of us will 'return to the fold' although I agree that it is probable that some will, for exactly the reasons that you outlined above, and more besides.

I think that some people try very hard not to believe in God because they are angry with him. These are the ones who talk about 'losing their faith', clearly demonstrating the fact that their faith is something that can be dropped and later, if needed, picked up again.

Then there are those who gradually find that they have no further need for a God or the illusion of a Divine Plan. These people find that they are ready to embrace life on its own merits, without the security of a 'daddy in the sky' who will always hold their hand.

I am of the second variety, and I feel now that I will never feel the need to believe in a God again, for the simple reason that the whole concept has lost its appeal entirely. I see no good reason for a religious belief system of any kind, and I doubt that I ever will again. However, having said that, I realise that I am rather a fluid being and there is no point in saying never.

(reply to this comment

From Wolf
Monday, August 02, 2004, 10:47

Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5(Agree/Disagree?)
Implying that a person is weak because he believes in God is similar to implying that a person is immoral because he does not. Both involve passing judgment on another individualís thought patterns based on oneís own point of view.

This could also be compared to saying that married men are weaker than bachelors. Being a bachelor myself I wouldnít strongly object to this idea, but the logic is certainly questionable.

There are, of course, individuals who find a sense of security in their faith, just as many individuals find a sense of security in marriage; however, if there is a higher intelligence, I find no comfort in his / her / its existence. If life is planned, it would seem the planner is somewhat sadistic, or at best indifferent to the feelings that living organisms experience.

Personally, I think belief or lack thereof makes absolutely no difference: If there is no God, believing in one will do no harm, and if there is a God, he obviously doesnít reward those who believe in him. Lack of belief in God will not negate his existence, if he does indeed exist, and belief in God will not cause him to exist, if in fact he doesnít. (reply to this comment
From Vicky
Monday, August 02, 2004, 12:02

Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5(Agree/Disagree?)

I am speaking only from my own experience. I did need a belief in God for a very long time. I was extremely weak and couldn't take the reality of the world without some kind of hope that there was a Divine Being whose reasoning I clearly didn't understand, but whose supposed wisdom, justice and abounding love nevertheless gave me great comfort. But then one day, I didn't need it any longer.

I used the two examples as a simplistic illustration of what I think are the differences between those who seem greatly disposed to 'redicovering their faith' and those who are less so. I am prone to gross generalisations and perhaps others will feel that my opinion is unwarranted, but I continue to hold the opinion that within the ranks of the 'backslidden', there are certain thought processes/psychological patterns that place most people within either of the two categories I mentioned.

I agree with you that in the grand scheme of things it makes little difference whether one believes in God or not, however in personal terms I think it can matter a great deal - I have, rather ironically given that God is meant to give comfort and assurance, felt a much greater sense of purpose and peace within myself since I decided that I no longer needed to rely on the concept of a Higher Power for strength, and I feel that my dependence on that concept had held back my development as a person.(reply to this comment

From GoldenMic
Tuesday, August 03, 2004, 16:08

Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5(Agree/Disagree?)

I don't want to get all complicated here, but I think its worth while to examine the idea of God and Christianity, and consider what is meant by saying that one does or doesn't believe in God or religion. I say this because very many of us seem to operate in the context of our Christian heritage whether we like it or not.

Sometimes we say we don't believe in God, but we nevertheless continue to operate from a world view that is inherently dualistic and God-based. Even the very idea of believing versus not-believing reflects a very Christian view of the nature of reality. That is, the "Western" or Christian belief system includes some basic concepts about "good v. evil", the concept of "self", and even the concept of "justice"... Other cultures have viewed life as wholly capricious and situational, or based on the life of the "community", and see good and evil as complimentary. In that sense, I know that even the role of "apostate" or "non-believer" just makes me the shadow side of Christianity, and not truly separate from it. Now, that's kind of depressing.

Anyway, I simply could not abide any whiff of Chrstianity or God for many years after I left the cult of my youth, though I found some good work came from using concepts from Jung, spirituality without all the Christian and cult heritage, but I think it is unlikely that I can actually pull myself out of the paradigm of my culture and times.

I liked what you were saying, V., in examining how a reliance upon heavenly power can retard one's acceptance of a full-bodied engagement with life as an individual, and certainly that is what our parents did. I personally remain determined to find meaning and spirituality from within. At the same time, I also agree with the sentiment also expressed here, that a God does not need our acknowledgedly to be real, and all the acknowledgement in the world cannot create a God... well, there is that quantum thing! Mike M.(reply to this comment

from Tim R
Monday, August 02, 2004 - 00:01

Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5(Agree/Disagree?)

Thanks for the post Landon, I can understand where you're coming from. I agree that The Family did seriously twist Christian doctrine and scripture. I've heard Muslims express very similar sentiments about Al-Qaida, angry that people would take their religion and use it as a rationalization to hurt people.

I've met a lot of different people from different religions in my life, and I've generally found a mix of good and bad in most of them. I've pretty much just learned to judge people as individuals and not to blindly condemn or trust them based on their religion.
(reply to this comment)

From Cultinvator
Thursday, August 19, 2004, 03:02

Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5(Agree/Disagree?)
Very well said, Tim. I like your respectful statement... I couldn't help but let the little devil out for a few lines. But seriously, some people really hold very sincere faiths, the problem is when it doesn't translate into other's realities and then it becomes a form of intolerance towards those who chose not to accept their dogma. Such a paradox.... tolerate to not tolerate intolirance.(reply to this comment

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