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The Problem With Christianity


oladotun
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Here lies the main problem with Christianity as it is generally practiced today. And mind you, before some religious nut tries to give me another sermon about what I am not doing right, trying to "get it right" has almost led me to the brink of taking my own life (just like my mother did when I was 9 years old). Because of my issues with "Christianity" I have come to certain conclusions while at the cross-roads between religion and true freedom.

 

The problem with "Christianity" as it is popularly known today is that Christians ignore the message of God’s grace - which is supposed to be the primary tenet of the faith - for a legalistic “gospel” that says “God helps those who help themselves; you do your part in trying to obey God’s laws and He will bless you”. By the way, according to the Barna Research Group, the most widely-known Bible verse among adult and teen believers is "God helps those who help themselves" - which is not actually in the Bible, and actually conflicts with the basic message of Scripture.

 

I believe the problem with contemporary “Christianity” can best be summed up by the eloquent words of author Brennan Manning, who said the following in his best-selling book, “The Ragamuffin Gospel”:

 

“Put bluntly, the American church today accepts grace in theory, but denies it in practice. We say that we believe that the fundamental structure of reality is grace, not works – but our lives refute our faith. By and large, the gospel of grace is neither proclaimed, understood, nor lived. Too many Christians are living in the house of fear and not in the house of love”

 

How often do you actually hear about the God’s grace from today’s pulpit’s as something real, not just as a footnote to a “legalistic sermon” to help win converts to Christ? I think there are grave consequences of us ignoring this all too vital tenet of our faith, and I have listed some of them below:

 

1. We focus more on rules instead of God’s love and the need for us to be vessels of this love: Because we are so busy comparing performance score cards like Pharisees, we do not really comprehend and fully grasp the concept of God’s love, we are too busy trying to get to heaven by “doing the right things”. In the meantime, there are hurting people all around us, but because legalism is so self-centered, we barely notice them.

 

2. We misrepresent Jesus. Jesus was known for his compassion and his care for even the “least of these”, people whom society often ignores for whatever reason. We talk a lot about Jesus and His love, but legalism betrays what He is really all about.

 

3. We don’t forgive one another and hate too much. I read in Philip Yancey’s book, “what’s so Amazing about Grace” where he interviewed former president Bill Clinton not too long after the whole Monica Lewinsky Scandal. Bill Clinton asked Philip Yancey a question, wanting to know why Evangelical Christians hated so much. The question was in response to the tremendous hatred and scorn that the president had received from the Evangelical community in the wake of his scandal. Philip Yancey went on to write that when he wrote about his interview with the president in a popular Christian magazine explaining why he felt that Clinton’s faith was indeed genuine, he (Yancey) got more hate mail from Evangelicals than ever before. Why? I believe it is because fundamentalists do not forgive easily because they are too caught up in walking the tight and narrow path of law-keeping. When a person does not fully comprehend how much God loves them and how much they have been forgiven, they do not give out forgiveness towards others.

 

4. People become motivated by fear instead of love. When we ignore the Gospel of grace, we are constantly fearful that we have crossed the line and not been obedient enough, this is a terrible and very painful way to live. Trust me, because I have lived this way for almost two decades of being a Christian.

 

5. We pervert the Gospel. When we do not embrace the Gospel of grace we in essence pervert the message of the Gospel. Romans 11: 6 says, “But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works; otherwise grace would no longer be grace.” Grace and works are mutually exclusive and yet we constantly mix the two messages confusing people.

 

As one who has struggled with deep depression most of my life which was only excacerbated by my legalistic tendencies, I know what it is like to be frustrated trying to please God. I got to the point that I literally wanted to abandon Christianity altogether. Fundamantalist Christians do more to hurt people with their dogma than they actually realize and it makes me sick.

 

http://graceofgod1971.blogspot.com/

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Please do not quote the "Whole Post" just above your response. Cut what you need, respond to that, do not take up valuable board space repeating the OP. Thnx

 

kFL

 

Here lies the main problem with Christianity as it is generally practiced today. And mind you, before some religious nut tries to give me another sermon about what I am not doing right, trying to "get it right" has almost led me to the brink of taking my own life (just like my mother did when I was 9 years old). Because of my issues with "Christianity" I

 

om/]http://graceofgod1971.blogspot.com/[/url]

 

You've told it exactly like it is.

 

According to the Gospels Jesus said 'by their fruits you shall know them' or something like that

 

Try gravitating towards those who really do live in a good and loving way towards those around them. Then listen closely to whatever philosophy or theology they believe in. The proof of the pudding is in the eating. At the end of the day, how we live our lives (ie. treat others - I'm not talking rules here) is more important than what we believe in.

 

In my experience it is people who live by rules who treat other people abominably and those who follow freedom and liberation who behave with love towards others.

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I am not sure your purpose in posting this here Oladuton, but this is a site of exchristians and I guess since your just ranting, I suppose, no harm.

 

But I have to ask you, wouldn't this so called "Gospel of Grace" negate Christianity and the whole passion narrative anyway? Or is this God's grace (this liberal-christian-god construct that is) limited only to Christians and if so, then, so what of it?

 

Can you define what exactly this "Gospel of Grace" actually is? Which verses do you cherry-pick from the NT or OT for your support? What are the central tennats of this doctrine? By which criteria can you prove that you are not the one that is not "perverting the gospel?" or "misrepresent(ing) Jesus?" I would like an objective list to discern if the liberal-christians or the conservative/fundamantalist-christians are in fact the TRUE christians.

 

However, if your gist is that Jesus was a liberal more concerned with welfare than warfare then he's not a remarkable man by any means. There are plenty of people who have not been Christians that have stood for the same things.

 

Human morality and ethics have far superceded this bronze age tome. While its laws or rules in the OT may have been adequate (however, not humane) for small groups of humans (tribes) it can not meet the demands of today's larger industrialized societies and scale of nation-states.

 

Basically, I am saying that the Bible and Jesus and all this flap about the "Gospel of Grace" is irrelevant to today's concerns.

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Here lies the main problem with Christianity as it is generally practiced today.

My problem with that religion is that it is all based on a lie. The gods mentioned within do not exist. There is no god to get any "grace" from. People say I'm throwing the baby out with the bath water, but the problem with that is there is no baby, just a basin filled with dirty water.

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Xianity is garbage. It is a sick religion full of sick ideas about the world. It promotes the concept that human beings are all worthless scum who deserve an eternity of torment just for being born, and the only way to escape is to grovel before an illogical god who can't even be bothered to show himself and facilitate any sort of belief. It's "holy" book is full of absurd and morally revolting concepts, as well as stories that depicted its god as being the worst mass-murdering dictator in universal history. It is some of the worst trash even thought up by human beings.

 

Good thing it's all make-believe :angry:

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aw_jeez_not_this_shit_again2.jpg

 

You have some nerve coming into Ex-Christian.net and sermonizing us. We have had enough of Christians witnessing to us and asking us to join their club. We are not interested in your opinions of how Christianity is "really" a good religion. We are not interested in considering your proposals for Christianity can be reformed -- it cannot. Those Christians who remind you that the Bible really does teach of God's vengeance for apostates, non-believers, and sin indulgers -- they are the ones who have got the religion right, and it is you are the one who are getting it wrong. So, if you wish to waste your time with trying to fish "Good News" out of a bankrupt religion, that's your business, but don't take up our bandwidth.

 

Luke 12:40, 45-46 (New International Version)

Suppose the servant says to himself, 'My master is taking a long time in coming,' and he then begins to beat the menservants and maidservants and to eat and drink and get drunk. The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he is not aware of. He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the unbelievers. You also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.

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Oladotun:

I know what it is like to be frustrated trying to please God. I got to the point that I literally wanted to abandon Christianity altogether.

So, why haven't you?

 

Really, we aren't interested in the problems you have with christianity. It's had problems for 1600 years and counting. We don't have any problems with it, because we don't believe in it, and find that life is far better without it.

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Good thing it's all make-believe :angry:

How is that so hard for so many to understand? :shrug:

Like I said before, it's a coping mechanism. A protective shield against the scary reality of infinite time, infinite space and the problem to accept death as the personal finality. Not everyone needs this "magical" shield, but many do, and religion provides it. (But I think you knew this already.)

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Like I said before, it's a coping mechanism. A protective shield against the scary reality of infinite time, infinite space and the problem to accept death as the personal finality. Not everyone needs this "magical" shield, but many do, and religion provides it. (But I think you knew this already.)

Reality is magical enough for me. Others do need a skydaddy to look after them. Also, a religion puts the person in the center of the Universe and the center of a gods attention. If you take away their god they aren't the center of anything.

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To me, the main problem with Christianity is that it cannot prove anything. Neither can any of the hundreds of other religions that are practiced on this planet. All, or at least most, of them claim to be the only right one. And yet, none of them have any proof.

 

Where is the proof that 1. Jesus existed, 2. Jesus was a mystical being, and 3. proof of hell? And why should I worship a big bully out of fear of being tortured eternally if I don't? Allah does that too.

 

At least Saddam and Osama only murdered people, they didn't torture them forever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever. Oh wait, Biblegod doesn't torture people, he just sends them to his good ol' pal Satan to be tortured. Bah, that just makes him as guilty of the henious attrocity of eternal torture in my book. Even if he were real, I wouldn't worship him. I will never, ever bow down to bullies.

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Oh, lovely. Am I supposed to go running back to the fold now that it's been explained to me that all Christians just are not like those nasty fundies?

 

Meh.

 

What in the world did the OP think to accomplish by posting on this site?

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I've often thought that if many religious leaders could come back and see what their religions have developed into they would be disgusted and Jesus is one of those leaders.

 

"What? What's all this 'Sole savior of mankind' garbage? You think I died as a payment for sins? Where the hell did that idea come from? When did I say I was some super-special Son of God above everyone else? Um, if you remember correctly, I told you NOT to tell people I was the Messiah. Wait, you've turned that dinner I had with my buddies into some weirdo symbolic cannibalization ritual? Holy shit, I'm embarrassed. Where's that Paul bastard? I've got a few words for him."

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Reality is magical enough for me. Others do need a skydaddy to look after them. Also, a religion puts the person in the center of the Universe and the center of a gods attention. If you take away their god they aren't the center of anything.

Yes, that is also very true. For people that feel small and unimportant, having a religion makes them important and a piece of the "solution" and they can look at themselves with a little pride (=sin), pat their shoulders and say "at least I'm not that one." And I think that is very prevalent in the minds of the preachers.

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I know I'll be a minority, but I can still respect those that believe and are not fundies. You do make some good points, but I've noticed how religion has become a political weapon these days, a shield that blinds others from your evils as long as you're from the right political party. Just look at our president who brags about being Christian, but really doesn't follow any of the more pro-human aspects of it.

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Well, I hope you don't take your own life, but the real problem with xianity is that it is complete and utter bullshit. It's a cult. You focus on grace, and yes the bible talks about grace. Others focus on judgement, but that's because the bible also focuses on judgement. There is no common thread in the bible. It's a mishmash of contradictions.

 

What may I ask do you need this grace for in the first place? What is so bad about you being you? Why are you but a worm without it? Why do you need the forgiveness of some invisible friend?

 

As for me, sometimes I'm a nice guy and other times I'm an asshole. I decide who I am and I try to work on areas where I make mistakes. I will not get down on my knees and ask some dude in the sky to forgive my "sins." Hell, when I was a xian, everything was a sin. A sneeze was almost a sin. Now life is a series of cause and effect. It's much more reasonable and much more peaceful here.

 

Again, grace, who needs it?

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Reality is magical enough for me.

 

No kidding. I've said here before that there is enough in the real world to cause nearly infinite amounts of wonder that it makes no sense to me that so many have to look for something fantastic.

 

They imagine a world of angels, demons, uncreated creators, heavens and hells and they can't examine any of these things. All of these things are concepts given to them through the imaginations of others. It's all just so stupid.

 

Then they ignore the physical world, which can bring tears to the eyes and a fire to the spirit when its complexities are examined. And these things can actually be measured and proven. They are not the products of imagination, but something that can be peer reviewed and even reviewed by us lay people.

 

And yet these things, these truly wonderful things, are mostly ignored or hardly understood and then accredited to some magic man in the sky, because they are too lazy to think and learn. It's pitiful and disgusting and I have no respect for it.

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Reality is magical enough for me.

 

No kidding. I've said here before that there is enough in the real world to cause nearly infinite amounts of wonder that it makes no sense to me that so many have to look for something fantastic.

 

Ramen to that.

 

All I have to do is look up in the night sky when I get a chance, and see all the stars up there, and wonder if there's life on any other worlds and if they're also looking up at the sky.

 

Or watch a beautiful sunrise/sunset. Or just take a walk outside on a nice day. Or go to the lake in the summer.

 

Those things are amazing enough to me by themselves. Why do people have to put in angels and fairies and whatnot? Nature is perfectly beautiful enough naturally.

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I know I'll be a minority, but I can still respect those that believe and are not fundies.

 

I don't respect the beliefs. Respect needs to be earned, and to me they haven't earned it. Everyone wants respect freely given to them. They confuse it with tolerance.

 

Do I tolerate people who are fundies? And even who aren't? Heck, yeah. Most of them are my family and co-workers. I don't respect their beliefs, but I respect the people when they earn it by their actions.

 

There's a difference between respecting beliefs and respecting people. I don't respect crazy beliefs about talking snakes, talking donkeys, virgin births, literal resurrections, and all the unfair punishments that Biblegod gives out. And I don't think anyone should have to. But if someone earns respect by their actions? Sure, I would respect them as a person, not their religion.

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Good point on respect, Amethyst. I lost all respect for Christianity as a result of living in Alabama for two years. There I came to realize that the only difference between fundies and other variations of Christianity is that liberal and moderate Christians are "nicer" about it. But the core is still the same no matter how it's displayed and dressed. I've no use for any of it. While people are free to believe whatever they want, I am also free to not believe in magic or fairy tales.

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Good point on respect, Amethyst. I lost all respect for Christianity as a result of living in Alabama for two years. There I came to realize that the only difference between fundies and other variations of Christianity is that liberal and moderate Christians are "nicer" about it. But the core is still the same no matter how it's displayed and dressed. I've no use for any of it. While people are free to believe whatever they want, I am also free to not believe in magic or fairy tales.

 

I did not mean to offend anyone by posting on this site. to be honest, I have found great solace in reading the replies, because it lets me know that I am not the only one that has been scarred by religion. I thought that I would be able to "talk" with like minded individuals who have been dissilusioned with Religion, I guess you can say that I am walking in that direction, but am too afraid to do so because of all the fears that have been planted in me about Hell and burning for eternity. What if we are wrong? What if they (the religious people are right)? To be honest with you, I hate what religion has done to my psyche, it has paralyzed my life with fear, don't do this..don't do that...can't touch this can't touch that..and why are Christians obsessed with sexual sins when there is so much other "doesn't make sense" stuff written in the Bible..not mixing fabrics, the death penalty for dishonoring parents (what if the parents are abusive, not consessions are made for that))..Yes, liberal or moderate Christians may be softer with their language, but when it is all said and done, it is the same bullshit...Do this, or else...I am confused.....Every time I try and salvage some hope out of the Bible, I get trapped in the legalistic and harsh teachings of doom gloom and judgment....

 

oladotun

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oladotun,

 

One thing I've observed about believers is that their gods most closely resemble themselves and what they need. Some who needs stringent legalism and judgement of others will portray a judgemental god. Another who was/is addicted to drugs/sex/alcohol will portray a savior god. Yet another who has the need to help others will portray a loving, golden rule kind of god. The Bible is a book of such diversity that anyone can pull anything they want or need from it. Want slaves? It's justified...as long as you treat them according to the rules in the Bible. Need salvation? The Gospels are for you. But be careful...because even a simple thing like baptism is neither clear nor consistent. Need a kick ass god? Revelations is the book for you, baby.

 

All it takes is a simple realization that the Bible is a collection of books written over time by many different authors from different cultures. It's a collection of myths with some smattering of history. It's a collection written by anonymous men. There ain't nothin' divine about it. I digress and I'm getting preachy.

 

Have you ever heard of cognitive dissonance? If not, do some research. You may well find that is what you are experiencing now and have been for years. I was the poster child for cognitive dissonace when I was a believer.

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oladotun,

 

All it takes is a simple realization that the Bible is a collection of books written over time by many different authors from different cultures. It's a collection of myths with some smattering of history. It's a collection written by anonymous men. There ain't nothin' divine about it. I digress and I'm getting preachy.

 

Have you ever heard of cognitive dissonance? If not, do some research. You may well find that is what you are experiencing now and have been for years. I was the poster child for cognitive dissonace when I was a believer.

 

I agree with you Garnet. I am experiencing cognitive dissonance. For years, I was blindly following by "faith" anything that was thrown on my table when it came to religion, because religion (especially fundamental Christianity) teaches that to disregard the teachings of authority - even if it is in a process of critical thinking - is sheer heresy and rebellion. But I soon began to realize that there are TOO many contradictions in the Bible; the same people who say that America was founded by Christians to be a Christian nation (which is not true) cannot explain why for centuries slavery was justified using the Bible, what about the supression of women (also justified by the Bible) and on and on we could go. On one hand it looks like the Bible is a message of love, then you see all the massacre and visible hatred in the Old Testament (which is supposed to be a sign of God's judgment If He is so cruel, why is He also simultanously so mean?). So you are right, anyone can pick up the Bible and make it say anthing they want....I think, for the most part it does much more damage than we realize..And that is why I am on my own journey to find the truth. I have been reading a lot of great books by non-believers lately, I just finished "The God Delusion" by Richard Dawkins and also "Letter to a Christian Nation" by Sam Harris. My eyes were opened like never before. I am tired of being brainwashed with all this biblical preaching that does me no good...And if it means abandoning my "Christian" faith, then so be it..I am getting sick of this shit.

 

oladotun

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oladotun,

 

One thing I've observed about believers is that their gods most closely resemble themselves and what they need. Some who needs stringent legalism and judgement of others will portray a judgemental god. Another who was/is addicted to drugs/sex/alcohol will portray a savior god. Yet another who has the need to help others will portray a loving, golden rule kind of god. The Bible is a book of such diversity that anyone can pull anything they want or need from it. Want slaves? It's justified...as long as you treat them according to the rules in the Bible. Need salvation? The Gospels are for you. But be careful...because even a simple thing like baptism is neither clear nor consistent. Need a kick ass god? Revelations is the book for you, baby.

 

All it takes is a simple realization that the Bible is a collection of books written over time by many different authors from different cultures. It's a collection of myths with some smattering of history. It's a collection written by anonymous men. There ain't nothin' divine about it. I digress and I'm getting preachy.

 

Have you ever heard of cognitive dissonance? If not, do some research. You may well find that is what you are experiencing now and have been for years. I was the poster child for cognitive dissonace when I was a believer.

 

I meant to say that if he (God) is so loving, why is he simultaneously so cruel..These two concepts are not compatible and all the theological explanations just don't make any sense

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.......And that is why I am on my own journey to find the truth. I have been reading a lot of great books by non-believers lately, I just finished "The God Delusion" by Richard Dawkins and also "Letter to a Christian Nation" by Sam Harris. My eyes were opened like never before. I am tired of being brainwashed with all this biblical preaching that does me no good...And if it means abandoning my "Christian" faith, then so be it..I am getting sick of this shit.

Good. You're making progress. What's going to happen if you toss out the bible as a means of knowing about a god? Doesn't the whole concept of a god have to be tossed out too? Look at all the other gods from around the world. The very concept of a god comes from mythology.

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