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Minstrel
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One of the cockleburs that wedged under my saddle

was the fact that through 49 years of Christianity

(with all the "God Loves You and So Do I"'s

and "I'm praying for you Brother"'s

and alleged miracles and healings

and "God's Word Will Never Fail")

I utterly failed to find two Christians

who believed the same about - ANYTHING...

 

Not one church believed exactly the same

about salvation

sanctification

obedience

And...if you wanted a crowd...

just bring in a visiting minister

and broadcast

"He's a Prophet" or "Miracle Worker"

 

The "prophet" one worked best, though

because what do all those sheep want?

Someone to tell them what God said/says.

 

I no longer attended church.

My wife and two of my children wanted to

and I never suggested that they should not

but I knew I would have to find the answer for myself.

 

So, I continued my search into the subject of Hell

and Everlasting Punishment

Going through the Old and New Testaments

to see if it was just a matter of mistranslation

that had instigated this rumor

In this process I wrote a lengthy document,

continuing to believe that Jesus was God The Son

and that Christianity was absolutely God's Path

 

I was so proud of my conclusion to that document

"Death is a mirror

and those that see Hell

on the other side of Death

are only seeing Death's reflection

of their Life".

 

As soon, however, as I began to gloat over solving the riddle

other questions began to arise...

such as:

What about the Book of Jasher?

 

My christianity's tenets of faith

were based on

"The Bible is the Divine, Holy, Incorruptible, Eternal & Complete Word of God to Man".

So...mistranslations...like substituting the word "Hell" for "grave"

could be overcome with a genuine desire to find the truth

but

what about the Book of Jasher?

 

Twice in the OT, this 'book' is called upon

for verification

and validation

of "God's Word"

 

I found a Book of Jasher on the Internet

knowing there was debate over its authenticity

and read

 

Whether it is the Book of Jasher or not

ends up having no bearing on the answers

it led me to

 

For eventually

after much inner debate

I realized

If the Book of Jasher is a holy book...

that the Bible calls upon for witness and testimony

to something God is saying is true...

why is it not in the Bible?

And here - God leaves us an open-ended question...

 

Furthermore...how many generations have passed

without the 'complete' Word of God

And how many might have chosen to follow Jesus

if they'd had this "missing link" at their disposal.

 

On the other hand

If it is not a holy book

(giving good reason

for it not to be included

in the holy book)

what does that do

to the holiness

purity, sanctity and authority

of God's Word?

 

Tying the validity of anything that is holy

to something that is unholy

desecrates, defiles and defies

all claims to holiness.

 

So...now...we unholy/fallen humans

must find a way to measure

the divinity, inspiration and/or holiness

of a bit of writing that has been deemed unholy

or that God allowed to be misplaced.

 

For a while, I simply accepted that

those who determined the Canon of Scripture

had inappropriately discarded this book

 

The more I considered it, though

the more it became evident that

the book of Jasher I was reading

would pose tremendous problems

for the logic, rationale and doctrines

of the Christian church today.

 

When this realization came

I felt myself starting to slip...

...starting to lose control...

But even with that vertigo

my mind started racing to other questions

that had always been there

but that I had not allowed to be asked

like

If God Is Good

And God created Everything

Where Did Evil Come From?

 

As the answer to this question

resounded like the toll of a steeple bell

...I wondered why Jesus hadn't reproved his disciples

when the topic of reincarnation arose...

 

As that question resolved...

I knew I was getting somewhere

and was actually getting excited

(though I didn't know what I was getting close to)

 

And then...I had a 9-day commission

where I sat alone, in a trailer, in the middle of the desert

(luckily, I had satellite Internet access)

on the 6th or 7th night

I was writing out my thoughts

and had just gone through a lengthy discourse on Jesus

...and came to a question...

Even thinking about the question made me shudder.

I was frightened, and half-convinced

that in asking it

I would commit the unpardonable sin

...

I asked

"What do I believe about Jesus?"

Immediately, and for the next fifteen minutes to an hour

my heart started to thud...I became faint...and

I stepped outside the trailer, looked up at the stars

and said - "God, if you're gonna kill me... then go ahead.

Because I don't think I would want to be in a Heaven

with a God like that."

As suddenly as the terror arose

it subsided

 

In many regards, it was like

being born again.

Peace...

Hope...

Excitement & Anticipation

A lifetime of shackles began to fall away

and are still being shed today.

 

I realize this has been a kind of ramble.

But...needed to tie up what I'd begun.

Thanks for your patience.

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Good thinking, Minstrel. Welcome to the ExChristian club. I'm going to have to look up that Book of Jasher.

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Good thinking, Minstrel. Welcome to the ExChristian club. I'm going to have to look up that Book of Jasher.

Do we get crackers and grape juice, here?

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Good thinking, Minstrel. Welcome to the ExChristian club. I'm going to have to look up that Book of Jasher.

Do we get crackers and grape juice, here?

 

No, booze and cigarettes! :grin:

 

 

Interesting ex-imony, Minstrel. Amazing how bible study and thinking often leads to deconversion, isn't it?

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No, booze and cigarettes! :grin:

Amazing how bible study and thinking often leads to deconversion, isn't it?

Kinda like Vegas, and I hit the jackpot...with the booze and cigarettes.

thanks

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Beautifully written. One of the amazing things about religion is the massive effort involved in breaking free from it. Countless people have gone through this. Books galore are read or consulted followed by endless hours of reflection. And yet as we all find, just one or two thoughtful questions seem to clarify the whole subject. You have found the right ones for you. Enjoy your freedom!

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