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Shoot Holes In My Christian Visions And Ramblings...


Johnny Smith
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Greetings,

 

My Christian de-conversion has been in phases. There have been times that I have reverted back, but each time I leave these phases, the idealism that guided my life is replaced by a larger dose of reality.

 

During my last stint in the world of fundementalist Christianity, I began writing thoughts on my "Christian journey." I am going to post one such "spiritual imperative" to myself. It was written during a time that my spiritual thoughts and the more rational ones were a dichtomoy that could only be resolved through writings like this.

 

If anyone feels so inclined, shoot holes in it. Show me where I was replacing logic with fantasy. I understand that by posting this I am opening myself up to any number of responses. But perhaps my fear of these type of responses is what has kept me running back to the Christian bubble at times in my life. I read this now and the words "silly, fanciful, and idealistic" come to mind. However, another part of me feels sadness over the fact that I let this fantasy be a medicating balm for so many years.

 

Did anyone else write or think along similar lines before their final exit from the community of Christian myth?

 

I'd like to hear your thoughts.

 

Johnny Smith

 

__________________________________________________________________________________

 

Tonight I have been reading Watchman Nee’s, “The Normal Christian Life.” His first chapter discusses “the blood of Jesus Christ.” It is an exposition of the first eight chapters of Romans.

 

While I was reading, I began to see in my mind a vision of what was being discussed.

 

Here is the vision:

 

Before I became a Christian, I was walking to an unknown destination. I was definitely walking, but there was no light. Blackness surrounded me.

 

At some great point in my life God illuminated by path. It was like a giant flashlight that the God of the Universe was shining on me. All of a sudden I could see myself “ in living color.” I did not like what I saw, for I only saw sin, and I only heard the voice of accusation. It was comfortable in the darkness, and now in the light, I felt out of place. The light forced me to look at myself and contemplate my path.

 

I was still walking in this sphere of darkness, but my immediate space was illuminated with the light of God, and Jesus Christ was suddenly at my side. The accusations of my unworthiness were still very strong, and they came from that unknown black space where Satan resides. However, with Jesus walking at my side, and my path illuminated, Jesus became my advocate. As I continued on this journey in the sphere of darkness, Jesus was walking at my side and He began speaking. He was speaking to the Father, and telling God why I was worthy to walk with Him. Jesus at my side, and the words He spoke, were silencing the voice of the accuser.

 

By what authority did Jesus have the ability to stand at my side and to declare me fit to walk with Him? How did he “get the job” to become my personal guide on this illuminated path through the darkness? It was by the blood that He shed that was offered up to God as a perfect sacrifice. This is the only thing that God required, and it was accomplished on the cross.

 

Back to the vision:

 

I see myself on this Christian journey. As I walk in this world, there is still blackness all around, save the sphere of God’s light that illuminates my path, with Jesus on my side and always speaking “in the silence.” At times I start listening to the voice of the adversary, and begin walking into the darkness, away from the Light. When I listen to the voice of the enemy, I turn my face from Jesus and start walking toward that void of pitch-black nothingness. Yet in His mercy, Jesus keeps following me, and the light still illuminates my path. However, I am so focused on the voices coming from the darkness, that I do not realize that God’s light is still shining on me, and my Savior is still walking at my side.

 

Then the scripture comes to my mind, “My sheep know my voice, and they will not listen to the voice of a stranger.” And suddenly, I look away from the darkness and look to my right, and there is Jesus. He says: “Keep following Me. Remember, I will never leave you or forsake you. Now – take my hand. Feel the wounds of calvary, and remember that you walk with me because of my shed blood. Stop listening to the voice of the accuser. That black nothingness is filled with fear, uncertainty, false accusation, and death. Walk in the light.”

 

And so the journey continues.

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You're quite the case, Johnny. :)

 

I don't know what to tell you... I think you know what is fanciful about all that. Our minds are powerful and give us many false illusions that are highly influenced by our experiences, and in your case, the Christian experience.

 

The only suggestion I can think of is to read up on the psychology of religion and attachment theory. Is this something you have read much about yet?

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"Then the scripture comes to my mind, "My sheep know my voice, and they will not listen to the voice of a stranger." And suddenly, I look away from the darkness and look to my right, and there is Jesus. He says: "Keep following Me. Remember, I will never leave you or forsake you. Now – take my hand. Feel the wounds of calvary, and remember that you walk with me because of my shed blood. Stop listening to the voice of the accuser. That black nothingness is filled with fear, uncertainty, false accusation, and death. Walk in the light."

 

I used to fill notebook's full of inspirations when I was xtian but you know when Jesus is in talk mode he never answers the hard questions, i.e like why he decided to announce to the world that there was such a place as hell with its eternal toments for a finite crime, or why he comes across as being so anti-family, or why satan in the bible is responsible for far less evils that God Almighty. The next time you feel his presence and guiding your thoughts ask specifically about such things. If you don't get an answer then its maybe right to assume that its the power of your imagination at work rather than Jesus being at your side. On the other hand Johnny if you do get a response please come back and let us know, I sure would like to hear what he says!

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Pandora,

 

As we chatted about, this was not posted in order to show my current state of confusion. This was written quite a while ago, and it is evidence of my die-hard belief at that time. I am attempting to reconcile the dr. jekyl and mr. hyde that has been part of my life journey.

 

The two faces of Johnny Smith throughout his life so far have been:

 

1) Devout, hard core, fundementalist believer

2) Skeptic and inquisitive person seeking truth through science and rational thinking.

 

Those two facets of my thought-life have been very contradictory, and at times have caused crashes.... like with conflicting computer programs.

 

I am in the process of resolving these conflicts, not through eliminating one or the other, but by understanding WHY I have, in my past, clung to myth in order to alleviate the pressure of the present.

 

When I was a true believer, I often shut out everything and anything that I had ever thought, written, or believed that was contrary to Christian orthodoxy. Now, as one who is in the process of de-converting, I will not use the same "black and white" methods. I suppose I want to face my fears evident in this post and conquer them through realism.

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"Then the scripture comes to my mind, "My sheep know my voice, and they will not listen to the voice of a stranger." And suddenly, I look away from the darkness and look to my right, and there is Jesus. He says: "Keep following Me. Remember, I will never leave you or forsake you. Now – take my hand. Feel the wounds of calvary, and remember that you walk with me because of my shed blood. Stop listening to the voice of the accuser. That black nothingness is filled with fear, uncertainty, false accusation, and death. Walk in the light."

 

I used to fill notebook's full of inspirations when I was xtian but you know when Jesus is in talk mode he never answers the hard questions, i.e like why he decided to announce to the world that there was such a place as hell with its eternal toments for a finite crime, or why he comes across as being so anti-family, or why satan in the bible is responsible for far less evils that God Almighty. The next time you feel his presence and guiding your thoughts ask specifically about such things. If you don't get an answer then its maybe right to assume that its the power of your imagination at work rather than Jesus being at your side. On the other hand Johnny if you do get a response please come back and let us know, I sure would like to hear what he says!

 

 

Excellent point, Golden Meadows.

 

You are right. When Jesus talked to me as a true believer, it was always warm and fuzzy. He would never answer why He could be 100 % God, full of 100 % grace, and yet murder abundantly throughout the "old covenant." Oh, his believers would say, "it is because we are now under grace, not under the law." And so, my question to Jesus would be, "but if you (100 % God/man) are unchanging, why was the law necessary for your believers at one point, and now it is not? That is change!"

 

Jesus has never responded to these questions.

 

Excellent point...

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Hi Johnny,

 

Here are some of Jesus' own words (according to the babble) to ponder...

 

Mark 9

1And he said to them, "I tell you the truth, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the kingdom of God come with power."

 

John 14:

12I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. 13And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. 14You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.

 

20"My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: 23I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.

 

Mark 16:

17 And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; 18they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well."

 

 

If I'm confronted by a xtian, all I have to do is put a bottle of Drano™ and a cup in front of them and ask that they prove Jesus isn't a liar. :eek:

 

Dan

 

PS, here is what Yaweh says about those who claim to be prophets...

 

Deuteronomy 18:

22 If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the LORD does not take place or come true, that is a message the LORD has not spoken. That prophet has spoken presumptuously. Do not be afraid of him.

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