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Everything posted by Deva

  1. I am not sure, but I think it was the beginning of these "Executive powers" that we see today. Slavery was wrong, and in this case it proved to be a right decision, but in the future what will executive powers be used for?
  2. Let me see and hear God or Jesus. Just once. But I would not rejoice at the revelation. Of course, I am talking about the God of the Bible.
  3. I love that show! Its very biblical in ways. All a crock but fun in a weird way. Satan is, after all, Lord of this world. If he were not, how could he offer Christ all the kingdoms of the earth?
  4. I think the secret to a happy life is to let the past go and focus on a project or a life's work that occupies you completely. Some people find that in religion but others, like us Ex-Christians, find it in something else. It is just a change in focus. Fairly simple, but we humans complicate everything and the modern mass media and information overload does not help.
  5. Yes, I believe its possible he is sincere. There are fundamentalist "Bible Colleges" that more than likely don't teach any church history. I wouldn't be a bit surprised. I know that I never knew what this was (the Council of Nicea) being a Baptist fundamentalist, until I was quite a bit older. If its not in the Bible (and the Council and 1,000 plus years of church history is not) then it is of the devil or it doesn't exist. That is the mentality you are dealing with. It cannot be made to appear that humans created this religion. Explaining it to him would probably not have been worthwhile.
  6. Welcome to the Forums. I found this site about 2004 (lurked for awhile). I am a survivor of the Independent Baptist Church indoctrination (raised in it). Slightly different than you, because there was a lot of end times apocalyptic emphasis. Now I consider myself a naturalist and atheist regarding the God of the Bible. I would say that you have overcome a major part of the indoctrination that prayer "changes things." It changes nothing. This is mostly learned the hard way. If the person is sick, and they are prayed for and recover its "a miracle!", and if they do not, they are "with Christ and its God's will." Either way, according to the doctrine, prayer works, except that you can see its a scam. These mental games only work for so long. It could be many years, but we who are observant and intelligent eventually wake up. I have been here for a long time, and the people on this site have helped me a lot. It takes a lot of reprogramming and perhaps some relapses (totally OK) but you will reach a point where you understand the Bible is fiction..
  7. For me, letting go of the idea of an afterlife and also the aesthetics (there was some beauty in the mystery of it all). I am actually making progress in those areas after decades of work, and the farther I go, the happier I am! What helped me was immersing myself in other religions and philosophies so that I knew on a deep level that there were different ways of viewing the world - radically different than the Christian Fundamentalism I was raised with, and getting some books on church history, textural criticism of the Bible and evolution. There were whole areas of life of which I knew absolutely nothing. I honestly think the one thing that pushed me over the edge was visiting my elderly parents and seeing how they are so brainwashed with Christian stuff all the time, not willing to look at any other points of view or any information that might challenge them. I realized that this selective blinding, or unwillingness to look, was simply impossible for me.
  8. The same thought crossed my mind with regard to Buddhists building "retreat centers" and numerous stupas and statues. But that would be off topic.
  9. I can't for the life of me figure out the mechanism by which the "atonement" forgave sin, especially since experience shows that people still sin once they are "forgiven." How did this work, exactly?
  10. That's right. Bad religious bumper stickers or other advertisements you see on the road. I am sure this is not the only thread I have started on this subject. I go for years and then its like an overload of the stupid.
  11. In answer to the question "are you happy?" Yes. But, it took me a long time. Everyone is different and some people raised in fundamentalism have a much harder time than others getting out. This is because it is so ingrained that it is a part of yourself. Therefore, throwing it out completely is like amputating a part of yourself, not ALL of which was negative, if that makes any sense. I think the most damaging idea in Christianity is that you cannot trust your own thoughts or judgment, that your mind itself is corrupt and incapable of reasoning correctly. This idea really has to go. It takes time, at least it did for me, and women have it worse than men overall, I believe. I base this on my own experience as the only female child (with two brothers) of fundamentalist parents.
  12. I hope you stick around. I think you will learn a lot.
  13. I must start another thread on this subject because of the absurd mess I saw today. It was a drawing of a man's hand with a nail being driven through it. The caption read "Body piercing saved me." Even if I were still a Christian, I would be disgusted. Really, some of the stuff I see on cars on the road makes me despair. There is a megachurch in the area that has about 25,000 members regularly attending. Their sticker is a cross shape, an equal sign and then the word "Love". I see this thing EVERYWHERE.
  14. Yes, exactly why I believe that certain forms of Christianity are incompatible with a genuine love and appreciation of nature. If you take an apolcalyptic view, then why appreciate something so temporary? The world is going to burn and Christ ride in on a white horse and take you out. They don't simply see things for what they are, Christians have always got some idea behind it. It is not something in reality. There is always some view of a "perfect" world that God will show them in the future. Behind it all is the pretense that " I know something and you don't."
  15. Yes, you will often hear Christians saying things like "look at nature, isn't God wonderful, etc.," To me, that means they haven't really looked at it. If they had, they would see its eat or be eaten, a total survival game. See a lizard or a snake devour another animal whole, while still alive. See an osprey (fish hawk) eat a still living fish. They always start with the head of the fish. See an alligator devour a turtle. See baby birds fall out of the nest and get eaten by a cat, etc.. Numerous other examples could be cited from my memory. So, is God still good or "amazing," or is it that the "curse of sin" has made all the animals predatory? If so, does that mean the Christian can produce any evidence of a world free at any time in history from such predators? There is an unwillingness to look at anything except what the Christian wants to see.
  16. Yes. I remember a similar experience, except instead of a teacher, it was my mother. I drew some kind of a comic strip with talking dinosaurs or something like that, and I was a bit proud of it. My mother just could not comprehend it at all. She did not understand it and did not like it. What a let down. Yes, some Christians do think you are wasting your time if you like to watch birds. Its ironic what you say about worshipping false idols, when the fundamentalists idolize a lousy book. I want to add that there certainly is an aesthetic value in some churches - beautiful buildings, music, statues, etc.., and that is one thing that kept me in it for awhile. And due to the various types of Christianity on tap, my original observation does not apply to all. Many Christians in these liberal denominations don't actually believe, and I understand that. But the stupidity of the dogma and what is behind all this is something that ultimately ruined it for me across the board. It eventually seems like churches are not serious, not really worth my attention, when they don't take their own history, scriptures, or creed seriously.
  17. One other thing I have also discovered is that when the idea of survival after death is abandoned, the beauty and wonder of simply living and being able to appreciate beauty is enhanced tenfold. I am more ready to believe now that nothing exists after death than at any previous time in my life. I can't say I know for sure, but the probability is very likely that death is simply nonexistence. Hard to wrap the mind around this fact, at least it has been for me.
  18. Does anyone else feel this? Beyond all the excellent arguments and evidence for a purely naturalistic view and philosophy, isn't there a fundamental incompatibility with an appreciation and love of nature and Christianity? Particularly fundamentalist Christianity. I really believe this is the core problem I have had dealing with this terrible religion since childhood and I have only just recently come to understand this facet of it. The idea that the world fundamentally isn't important, it is some other unseen world after death. Birds, plants, animals, etc., which I have always enjoyed and appreciated, are devalued. This is a fact, isn't it?
  19. I have heard a definition of sin as "missing the mark" but I think that sin according to the Bible and many types of Christianity is much more than that. It seems to be some kind of overwhelming supernatural force. It seems to be something that even God is powerless to simply forgive without a blood sacrifice. Actually, it seems to be more powerful than God. Of course all of it is nonsense.
  20. Yes, very comparable feelings, but maybe not quite as intense. I have to reach back in time quite a few years to remember, but I know that the feeling of romantic "love" is so overblown that destroys my intellect and makes me a different person. Not a good person, either. It was not really quite a "worship" thing, but I lose all balance and sense of proportion, become subservient, and any ability to use good judgement when it comes to that person- or see the person as they are in reality- just flies out the window.
  21. I must say that a study of the Bible without a lot of spin produces a God that is much worse in the New Testament than the Old. There is no idea of hell until we get to some stuff Jesus said. Honestly, makes Hitler and Stalin look good in comparison. They could only horribly kill people once. There is a lot of spin, spurious unBiblical reasoning and myth making Christians do to get around this fact.
  22. Let me just say I hope posting this thread did not cause you pain, Margee. Of course, never my intention! Reliving the past is something I do more and more now that I am older. But I don't really thing I had much choice in some of the major decisions I made that didn't turn out well. I really think a lot of it was just inevitable. Getting back to how bad this end times religion is - of course Christians believe they will be saved on the basis of their belief alone. But other scriptures say otherwise. So I can't see how they can cherry pick and hone in on some verses or set of verses (mostly Paul's letters) and ignore the other parts that go against this. I say its a form of selective blindness, and it is through their entire lives. Its just like otherwise normal and intelligent people with blinders on. There is so much in the world they will not look at.
  23. Oh yes, as a child I never saw it as manipulation either. I thought there must be something wrong with me if I couldn't believe it. The only thing was that after I was I teenager the whole thing seemed more and more unreal and remote from everyday experience, especially as I began to observe nature in a very keen way. Then I had a breakthrough one evening when I was listening to a preacher on the radio who said something to the effect that you should be sure of your salvation. I just thought that was a total impossibility. Complete baloney. That could have been the moment when I rather decisively dismissed it all intellectually. But I still wanted to please my parents and authority figures. I still do it today. This trait has to be wired into me genetically (this could open up a whole new thread topic). Its probably why I can successfully work for attorneys!
  24. The rabid "end times are just around the corner", along with pictures of people falling into a lake of fire, etc. type of Christianity is what I am talking about being sad. It is a complete abrogation of thought and leads to a very distorted view of the world. But it can make a person very happy to believe they are on the "right side" and that things will work out for them in the end. I am well aware of many people in churches who do not believe any of this, and use it mostly as a social club. The Episcopal church is full of these people. That is not nearly so sad and quite understandable. People go back to church for all kinds of reasons and a place where they can make friends and meet people is certainly one of them. I tried to do that myself, but I find it to be impossibly hypocritical. How, for example, can a person who doesn't believe any of it, recite the creed week after week? How can they tolerate the Bible being held aloft and marched down the aisle like a holy object when they know it isn't?
  25. It is predatory and extremely manipulative. I remember kids being bribed with candy at the Baptist church. I also had similar experiences with VBS. Yes, children are going to believe what their parents and authority figures ask them to believe. They have no power and are totally dependent.
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