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Kevin H

Ex-christian Exodus

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There are no fairy-tale dragons, the donkey was theophanic and not an animal with human vocal chords, the chariot may have been a representational vision, there were some really big dudes (just like today), the Hebrew word for unicorn is "oxen". So I don't think you have a case.

 

 

See? You are here to tell us we are wrong about our interpretations of the Bible.

 

Well interpret this..... there is a story where a supposedly supreme being tires of the treatment and racism one nation imposes on his chosen people. He sends a man in to lead them out of, and away from said nation. Now, this nation in question worhipped a large panorama of animal gods, one of which was the snake.

 

Now the supreme being who has led these people out of this nation, tells them he doesn't want them worshipping any other gods but him. All other gods are false. And he really dosn't like bronze idols either.

 

Still with me?

 

These people arrive at a place where there happen to be a lot of poisonous snakes. These snakes bite the people, and they cry out to their supreme being to rescue them.

 

The supreme being tells the Lead guy to craft a snake out of bronze and put it on a pole. Anyone who sets eyes on this bronze snake will be healed from snakebite poison.

 

Now.....do you see a problem with that story? Does not this supposedly supreme being not lead his chosen people who had been exposed to animal worship all their lives...to worship an animal (Which they do)?

 

Is this supposed to be the careful and consistent behavior of a supreme being? The level of intelligence and forsight by said being is about that of Homer Simpson.

 

Or do you consider that story to be one that convieniently "doesn't count" anymore because the last third of the book it appears in "negates" everything in the first 3/4ths?

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American Christianity is reaping the whirlwind of superficiality.

Good. Time to "pay the piper."

 

This is a country of Christendom.

You bet it is even though I'm not entirely sure what this means.

 

Unfortunately, our affluence and marketing saavy produces religious
  1. . Everything I just described is real. And it's ten miles wide and one inch deep.

I bet pithy catch phrases like "This is a country of Christendom" don't help none too much either.

 

One can thrive in this ghetto provided one never experiences heartache, reads a book, pays attention to the Third World, reads the Bible, or thinks. The blessings of free market enterprise can generate noise and fury, but no substance. The top-ten best-sellers in Christian bookstores are consistently books on how to get blessings, purchased by people who are unbelievably blessed.

By "ghetto" I have to assume you mean this "shallow" "country of Christendom" you describe above? So you call out the people who are by "self-help" books in the guise of religion but you call the richest country on earth with the highest percentage of xians a "ghetto?" We see what we want to see I guess.

 

I am convinced that the evacuation from this pseudo-world is what is occuring among multitudes of sincere people. And actually, this can be a good thing if one is willing to peel the layers to get to the meat.

People are allowed to "peel the layers" to reveal there is no "meat" in the xian food stuff. That's exactly the problem. Notice people tend to still believe in a "higher power" but just not the xian version or at least a highly modified version of it. People have been asking for a little "gruel" for 2000 years and they haven't gotten anything in their bowl. They are moving on.

 

Worse, churches large and small, rural and urban, are influenced by this marketing machine that passes for Christianity. So the person in the pew with no direct access to big-city Christian ammenities still absorb the mentality.

What are "big-city Christian ammenties?" The last time I checked most bibles have guilded edges. What more is there? Do people carry you to your pew on their back or in one of those "sultan" things in "big city" churches? Does "god" actually show up in this "big city" unlike out in the sticks?

 

What is responsible for this mentality? In brief, an anti-intellectual, touchy-feely spirituality that has been growing since the end of World War II, culminating in various charismatic movements, "name it claim it" Word of Faith churches, and mega-churches.

I grew up in a "fire and brimstone" environment so that's not it. Maybe you and I should put our heads together? Hmmm...I've got it. The emperor...he's not wearing any clothes! You see. People want a relationship with "god" and they don't want to be told that they are having a relationship when they know they're not but then pretend to be having one anyway. The churches stranglehold over society thanks to the flow of information is broken. It has happened before but the church recovered but that is unlikely to happen this time. The church can only hope to survive this go around as opposed to re-establish control as in the past.

 

Finally, I've noticed that Ex-Christians who fled or were burned by all this know Evangelical lingo, code words, and expectations. They are as good at giving their "Ex-Christian" testimony as they were giving the Christian one. And they anticipate how Christians will respond. This may prevent honest reflection and dialouge.

Don't forget the secret hand shakes and sexual positions. I'm sure this means I won't get my ritual punishment at the next meeting, but dammit, the world needs to know!

 

As for the testimonies, I can't speak for everyone, but I didn't give one. But the things I have said regarding my departure weren't for the benefit of the xians even if I did refer a xian or two to a posting I might have made about leaving. As for the lingo, well, let's see if there might be a logical reason for that. Let's say I'm an accountant for 30 years. I leave and then post a message on an ex-accountant forum. Current accountants can come by too. "How do these ex-a's know our lingo?" they wonder? Yes. That is a real poser isn't it? How do we talk the talk and walk the walk? You think that we'd just turn it off like a switch the second we quit the church. How totally unrealistic of you to think that. I suggest you read up on Pavlov and his dog to understand how conditioning works. Go ahead. Ring the bell. Most of us will still drool. It's not that we believe; it's simply beyond our control.

 

If this shoe fits anyone here, I am truly, terribly saddened by it.

Me too since it's very superficial and not very well thought out. Let me guess? Bill O'Reilly: Culture Warrior!?

 

mwc

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Thinking and reading the bible. Hmmmm. If more Christians actually DID think when they read the bible there would be a lot less Christians. Christians don't "think" when they read the bible. They simple skim over the rape, murder, death, etc and pick the bits that sound reasonably good. They ignore the fairy tales - the dragons, talking donkeys, flying chariots, giants, unicorns, etc and pretend that their idealist fable is reality.

 

KH> A little hasty, but I suspect you've been on the boards long enough to know that. The Bible doesn't approve everything it records. It tells it warts and all.

 

There are no fairy-tale dragons, the donkey was theophanic and not an animal with human vocal chords, the chariot may have been a representational vision, there were some really big dudes (just like today), the Hebrew word for unicorn is "oxen". So I don't think you have a case.

 

Kevin H

 

The bible doesn't approve everything it records? What the heck does that mean? It's a book which is claimed to be the word of "God."

 

I have several friends who are native Hebrew speakers. Unicorn is the Latin rendition of the Hebrew רְאֵם. In Hebrew fables the unicorn is a horse, ass, or ox WITH ONE CENTRAL HORN.

 

If the bible is not to be taken literally, then Jesus didn't die on a cross and didn't ascend into heaven. Nor did he perform miracles as these are not to be taken literally.

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American Christianity is reaping the whirlwind of superficiality. Either mass media gives a false impression, or there actually is a growing number of Ex-Christians. And the Christian counter-culture and marketing machine of church-on-every-corner America is producing them.

 

Hmmm. I think you're on to something, with the idea that Christianity produces ex-Christians... but I don't think it happens for the reasons you think it does.

 

This is a country of Christendom. Unfortunately, our affluence and marketing saavy produces religious theme-parks, vacation cruises, guady TV shows, Christian dentist offices complete with a fish on the drill, restaurants where the waitress gives her testimony before taking your order ("I'll have the Noah's Ark Platter"), Born Again Used Cars, Maranatha Insurance, Christian Brothers Auto Repair, Christian Donuts, Christian Day at Six Flags, Creation Museums, Christian Diet Plans, and sloganeering T-shirts. Everything I just described is real. And it's ten miles wide and one inch deep.

 

One can thrive in this ghetto provided one never experiences heartache, reads a book, pays attention to the Third World, reads the Bible, or thinks. The blessings of free market enterprise can generate noise and fury, but no substance. The top-ten best-sellers in Christian bookstores are consistently books on how to get blessings, purchased by people who are unbelievably blessed.

 

One of the ironies lost on believers is how valuable the free market economy has been to Christianity.

 

A lack of government sponsorship in America (that whole pesky "separation of church and state" thing) has helped create a religious free market economy here. Christianity, having no guaranteed government backing, has to compete with every other faith out there in order to survive. Christian denominations even have to compete with each other to obtain a percentage of religious market share. If they don't, they die out. The resulting competition has resulted, I think, in a proliferation of flavors of Christianity. There's probably a brand of Christianity for everyone by now, whether you're a wealthy conservative stockbroker, or a freewheeling "love-everybody" hippie living out of your van, or a soccer mom looking for a way to reinforce your middle-of-the-road values to your kids on Sunday mornings... if Christianity were unable to compete, and gain new followers, it would die the death. Competition helps keep your religion alive and kicking, shallow or not.

 

I am convinced that the evacuation from this pseudo-world is what is occuring among multitudes of sincere people. And actually, this can be a good thing if one is willing to peel the layers to get to the meat.

 

Maybe, I don't know. I didn't leave Xianity because I found it shallow. I left it for a whole host of reasons - dozens of reasons, really, and materialistic superficiality was never on the list. I stay out of it because it doesn't reflect reality.

 

Finally, I've noticed that Ex-Christians who fled or were burned by all this know Evangelical lingo, code words, and expectations. They are as good at giving their "Ex-Christian" testimony as they were giving the Christian one. And they anticipate how Christians will respond. This may prevent honest reflection and dialouge.

 

Well - a lot of us know the "lingo", so to speak, because a lot of us used to be Evangelicals. Plus Evangelicals tend to be more in-your-face about their religion than other believers might be - they're more public, more vocal, so their social language is more likely to be known.

 

As for anticipating how Xians will respond, well - again, we know how you'll most likely respond because of two things. One: we used to be Xians ourselves, so we remember what our own responses would've been in any given situation. And two: Xians are really just sadly repetitive - and, hence, predictable.

 

Seriously, you guys need to come up with some new material. Really. We've been on both sides of the apologetics fence here, every one of us. We've learned the arguments, used them on others when we were still Xians, and had them used on us by believers in turn. You're right that it prevents dialogue, but don't blame us for predicting your responses: take responsibility for being so predictable, and come up with something new to offer. I mean really - part of me would like to give you points for coming up with a new "reason" why people leave Xianity, but at heart your assertion is just one more variation of the "I know the real reason why people leave" shtick.

 

Here's something new to try: instead of assuming you know why people leave the faith, why don't you ask people who have actually left - and then listen to our answers, and believe that we know our own reasons better than you do?

 

That would be new - and I would certainly be impressed.

 

If this shoe fits anyone here, I am truly, terribly saddened by it.

 

Eh, the shoe doesn't really fit this Cinderella. :shrug: I left because I started using my brain. And it just snowballed from there.

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Guest NECRON

Christians just simply have no fucking brains at all. They need an ancient book to tell them how to live.

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mwc,

 

Far be it from me to give you an etymology lesson (note: pompous pseudo-passive preamble that tells you I'm about to do just that :wicked: )

 

Christendom - the domain or dominion of Christ. Archaic reference to the span of the Holy Roman Empire, as laid out under Theodosius the 'Great'.

 

The idiot is claiming that y'all a part of Holy Rome...

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What is responsible for this mentality? In brief, an anti-intellectual, touchy-feely spirituality that has been growing since the end of World War II, culminating in various charismatic movements, "name it claim it" Word of Faith churches, and mega-churches.

I've read other Christian authors who have commented that today's Christianity is unfit for thinking individuals. And I think they are right. My abandonment of Christianity was largely one of being unable to maintian my faith in the face of everything else I was learning. It was an education and a development of critical thinking that catalyzed my departure from Christianity.

 

There is something though that I am finding somewhat irksome about you Kevin. You place all the responsibility for there being ex-Christians on the practices of today's mainstream Christianity. I think it would be more realistic to ackowledge that I am largely responsible for being an ex-Christian. After all it is me who is free to accept it or reject it. I don't blame Christians for making me an ex-Christian. I claim that victory for myself. I am responsible for my mentality.

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I see we have another deeply sighing christian who is saddened and perplexed by the fact that he is the only true christian. The only one who really gets what it actually means to have a living, breathing relationship with our loving creator. God's little favorite. ;)

 

I'd have to admit that, back when I was a christian, I was equally appalled at the lengths human beings have gone to reap cheesy profits from the entire God saga. Find the proper angle (whether it's writing a book or preaching the gospel of prosperity or doing a healing magic show) - and you can develop quite a little nest-egg for retirement.

 

But ultimately, what I found to be "ten miles wide and two inches deep" was God, Jesus, and the Bible itself.

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But ultimately, what I found to be "ten miles wide and two inches deep" was God, Jesus, and the Bible itself.

You got it Mythra, that's exactly my opinion too. Christians are acting shallow, because their belief is shallow, and that's because the religion is shallow in itself. The fruits of the tree shows what kind of tree we're dealing with.

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But ultimately, what I found to be "ten miles wide and two inches deep" was God, Jesus, and the Bible itself.

You got it Mythra, that's exactly my opinion too. Christians are acting shallow, because their belief is shallow, and that's because the religion is shallow in itself. The fruits of the tree shows what kind of tree we're dealing with.

 

And said "fruit" never wants to touch the bronze snake story. Ever. Isn't it amazing how they'd read the bible x number of times, but when certain stories or events in the bible are mentioned they always have to be fed book, chapter, and verse? If you mention an event from the Harry Potter series, I might not recall the chapter.....but I'll likely know which book the event appeared in! Who cares how many times you've read something if you cannot be bothered to remember the content of what you read!?

 

The very fact we see so many christians exhibiting strong bible amnesia, or just bible ignorace implies to me that their version of the word "read" is different from ours. They spend a bible study session on a single verse.....and because of the amount of time spent on the one verse, they feel they've read the whole book the verse appeared in or something!

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I think it would be more realistic to ackowledge that I am largely responsible for being an ex-Christian. After all it is me who is free to accept it or reject it. I don't blame Christians for making me an ex-Christian. I claim that victory for myself. I am responsible for my mentality.

 

I second this; I don't believe because I can't believe.

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and you can't believe because it's all bullshit...

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mwc,

 

Far be it from me to give you an etymology lesson (note: pompous pseudo-passive preamble that tells you I'm about to do just that :wicked: )

 

Christendom - the domain or dominion of Christ. Archaic reference to the span of the Holy Roman Empire, as laid out under Theodosius the 'Great'.

 

The idiot is claiming that y'all a part of Holy Rome...

But of course...I'm just having trouble wrapping my mind around what that MEANS exactly. No matter how you look at it the Roman Empire (holy or otherwise) aren't doing so well. One is simply gone. The other is seen as corrupt and evil (I'm looking your way pope-y boy). That last book in the NT makes the whole thing out to be Babylon and set for ruin so it seems odd that we are them in any GOOD sense. And yet that is what I think I was to get from that. As you can see I am very confused when people make the ole' US of A out to be both the good and evil aspects of Rome and also the chosen of this christ thingy. It simply doesn't compute in my poor old noggin'.

 

mwc

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A Jesuit mate of mine reckons that America, in the way it treats religion, is the direct heir of the Holy Roman Empire... The type of Christianity has mutated, but the idea of taking the ideas of an anarchist and twisitng them into a religion to rule an Empire is as valid now as it was in the Court of Constantine...

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But ultimately, what I found to be "ten miles wide and two inches deep" was God, Jesus, and the Bible itself.

 

Indeed. A big spiel with absolutely no depth or worth or relevance. Much like the skin of a balloon; prick it with a little honest inquisition, and POP :twitch:

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Kevin,

 

That was an interesting spin on an old canard. You are basically saying that this new wave of ex-Christians were never Christians to begin with, because we are 'leaving' a shallow shadow of 'true' Christianity. Nice try.

 

From the hundreds of extimonies and thousands of posts I have read here on this forum I estimate that perhaps 5% have left Christianity for reasons similar to what you describe, or for emotional reasons. They were hurt by a Christian, etc. The vast majority, however, abandonded Christianity because they studied the Bible and came to the conclusion that it was not an inspired message but merely the words of men. Their decisions had little to do with modern-day Christianity and everything to do with the discovery that the origins of Christianity and indeed the entire Old Testament were little more than myths, legends and exaggerated history. Thus, we have rejected this religion because we now believe it to be just as false as 99% of the other religions of the world (allowing 1% or so for those who have latched on to some other form of spirituality).

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What is responsible for this mentality? In brief, an anti-intellectual, touchy-feely spirituality that has been growing since the end of World War II, culminating in various charismatic movements, "name it claim it" Word of Faith churches, and mega-churches.

I'd still be interested in knowing what an actual "intellectual" xian relationship with old jesus would be like. Considering the entire religion ALWAYS boils down to a "personal relationship" based on "faith" (buzzwords that equate to the utmost in emotionalism NOT intellectualism) I'm at a loss at how to work with this piece of the puzzle.

 

Fear, from the old fire and brimstone ways of preaching (brings back memories of my youth), is not the same as "intellectual" so I don't think this is what you mean...but your "attack" on the "charismatics" sure seem to imply it.

 

I'd love to sit down and have a little intellectual chat with the xian gods (pick any of the three...or the full house) but they just never, ever, talk back. That "feeling" I got back in the day, well, that's a feeling and we can't very well include that in an intellectual conversation now can we? I didn't think so (not to mention I don't get those "feelings" anymore...unless you count "stupid" as a feeling as in "I sure feel stupid talking to myself like this thinking that some thing is magically reading my thoughts and is going to possibly act on them."). Magic spells and incantations (in the form of prayers) has no place in something intellectual.

 

Now, I admit, I have digressed a bit from your main point. Let me get back to it briefly. Here's a little set of verses from Paul:

1 Corinthians 12

 

27 Now you are the body of Christ, and every one of you the separate parts of it. 28 And God has put some in the church, first, Apostles; second, prophets; third, teachers; then those with wonder-working powers, then those with the power of taking away disease, helpers, wise guides, users of strange tongues. 29 Are all Apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? have all the power of working wonders? 30 Are all able to take away disease? have all the power of tongues? are all able to give their sense? 31 But let your desires be turned to the more important things given by the Spirit. And now I am pointing out to you an even better way.

What does Paul say here? A lot...that really puts a turd in the xian sandwich. This is an "organizational" chart. At the top are Apostles. No, not THE Apostles, but just apostles. Anyone can qualify (just see Paul). Then prophets. Teachers. Magic workers (neat). Magical healers (double neat). Wise guides (not "wise guys" although with Paul you never know). And speakers of tongues.

 

Sounds pretty "charismatic" to me. Odd that only "teachers" survived all these years and the rest died out for the most part ("wise guides" is questionable and "speakers of tongues" is practiced but crap). So Paul launches into chapter 13 ("Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels..." we've all heard it) about how "love/charity" is the most important thing? Why? Because, as he points out, people in the church were upset that they weren't allowed to do the best "tricks" of the spirit.

 

Skip to chapter 14 (which is too long to quote the entire thing...to bad...everyone should read it since it sums up the whole mess). Paul then explains that these "gifts" of the spirit need to be re-worked so that when strangers come into the church not everyone is speaking in tongues so as not to appear silly to them so be prophets instead (letting everyone take a turn so they get practice):

9 So if you, in using a strange tongue, say words which have no sense, how will anyone take in what you are saying? for you will be talking to the air.

...

18 I give praise to God that I am able to make use of tongues more than you all: 19 But in the church it would be better for me to make use of five words of which the sense was clear, so that others might have profit, than ten thousand words in a strange tongue.

...

23 If, then, the church has come together, and all are using tongues, and there come in men without knowledge or faith, will they not say that you are unbalanced? 24 But if all are teaching as prophets, and a man without faith or knowledge comes in, he is tested by all, he is judged by all; 25 The secrets of his heart are made clear; and he will go down on his face and give worship to God, saying that God is truly among you.

...

29 And let the prophets give their words, but not more than two or three, and let the others be judges of what they say. 30 But if a revelation is given to another who is seated near, let the first be quiet. 31 For you may all be prophets in turn so that all may get knowledge and comfort; 32 And the spirits of the prophets are controlled by the prophets; 33 For God is not a God whose ways are without order, but a God of peace; as in all the churches of the saints.

Paul is pretty clear about how this church is organized and how the "gifts" of the "spirit" are to be distributed and used. Not in the haphazard fashion the spirit seemed to be handing out the gifts but in this controlled manner that would generate more conversions.

 

The modern churches are obviously not using their "gifts" properly, but, the tradition is rooted right at the very earliest levels of the religion like it or not.

 

mwc

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Kevin_H,

All these manifestations of modern day American style "Christianitism" are not people falling short of the Xtian message. Xtianity does not largely accompany the best facets of the American psyche, which is liberal secular democracy. It accompanies the worst facets of that psyche, an attention-deficit-challenged, vulgar, anti-intellectual commercialism all dressed up in fashionable puritanism. The degree to which any of the Xtianity-ridden societies over the centuries gave themselves over to their religion and its dispensers is the degree to which it exhibited its particular innate tragic flaws. In ancient Rome, it showed up in the expected Roman way, a heavy-handed blood-soaked legalism; in medieval Western Europe as self-flagellating minimalism, with a dash of witch-hunting and superstitious domination of the natural urge to scientific inquiry; in modern America as faux moral hygienic hucksterism. These pre-existing failures of the human spirit were already stamped on the societies they showed up in, and were kept in check, or allowed to run rampant to the extent to which those societies' goals and daily practices were set by the best and brightest in them, or by the lowest common denominator lynch-mobbin' rabble. In short, more Xtianity equals more intellectual and moral decay. How it shows up in modern America, or any other historical setting is a matter of how the disease will show up as any given opportunistic infection that that particular society was prone to.

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Guest namaste
Or here's another theory Kev, it's all just plain not true.

 

BTW, you're not preachin' to the chior anymore, so my prediction is you will be out of here with your tail between your legs in a day or two; assuming this isn't just a post-and-run.

 

A mind is a terrible thing to waste.

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God dammit... listen, kiddo, I'm never going to be the one who tells you that you CAN'T post here, so feel free if it's what gets you off on some level. For shit's sake, though, man... PLEASE open your fucking eyes when you say you're looking around at all the 'shallow' and 'meaningless' and 'cheap' shit that goes on in the name of christianity.

 

Analogy: If there's sand to the left of you, to the right of you, in front of you, behind you, under your feet and in your shoes, chances are, you're at the beach.

 

Allegorical, point-proving story: I once was visiting a friend in a hospital. I took the elevator to the 3rd floor and got out. A security guard standing in the hall approached me and said, "Are you here to see a patient?" My response... "No, I just heard that the vending machines up here have great fucking food."

 

IOW, Kevin, dearie... you have tried so hard to identify all the trees that you have missed the forest.

 

I don't even know how many more examples like that I can stand using. You're not seeing the point that so many people here are making, Kevin. Christianity is a RELIGION. RE (again) LIGARE (to tie, bind or capture) means that the whole kit and kaboodle is designed to BIND people to a FORMULA of belief and obedience. History proves that EVERY TIME a person or group has instituted these kinds of BINDING rules, trinkets, lingoistic phrases and other identifying external characteristics, it has ALWAYS been for the sake of ESTABLISHING AND/OR MAINTAINING A POWER BASE.

 

WHY do you think the Catholic church has different bumpersticker slogans than do the Baptistic denominations? Why is the cross on the United Methodist logo stylized differently than the Church of Christ logo? Because it makes a fucking difference to the leaders of THAT particular 'brand' that their people believe in, identify with and SUPPORT such 'brand loyalty'.

 

I KNOW the cheap-ass trinkets make you sick; you just need to realize that xtian churches MUST provide all of the stuff people think they need WITH the added benefit of making the stuff 'xtian'. In other words, WHY BUY A PLAIN DOLLAR-STORE FLASHLIGHT when you can have the (I kid you not) "LIGHT OF THE WORLD" flashlight for between 6-8 bucks? It's the SAME fucking flashlight, just with a fishy-sticker or some other xtian drivel stickered to it. SOMEHOW, it's better. SOMEHOW, it's cooler. SOMEHOW, the sticker makes the same mass-produced shit more 'xtian'.

 

Christianity's denominations have their own 'brand loyalty'. Christianity, on a larger and wider scale, also obviously has it's own desire for 'brand loyalty' from its adherents, i.e. a desire to see xtians identify AS xtians and not admit other gods or interpretations of 'truth'.

 

See how it breaks down? Walk with me, here... I'll hold your hand. Oh, and, yes, unlike the sweet-natured Japedo, I AM being SUPER-fucking-patronizing ;) .

 

Theists have a brand-loyalty to mantain over against non-theists (theoretically, not in every case), otherwise they wouldn't necessarily be dedicated to theism.

 

Mono(moron)theists (thanks, Thur) have a brand-loyalty over against poly- or -pantheists.

 

Abrahamic over against other cultural streams.

 

Christian over against Jewish.

 

Protestant/Catholic over against the other.

 

Baptistic vs. creedal.

 

High-church vs. low church.

 

Fundamentalist vs. historo-critical denominations.

 

All this without even getting into the actual nuts-and-bolts of each denominational theological position over against others.

 

Kevin, Kevin, Kevin... there IS no end to the fruitless search for "IT", the "real" Christian faith. The bear always goes over the fucking mountain and ALWAYS finds another fucking mountain.

 

The 'bride' of 'christ' is not a princess that is hiding or waiting to be resuced; it's a well-dressed mannequin. Never alive to dance with in the fucking first place.

 

Again, my soon-to-be-very-famous original quote:

 

The problem WITH Christianity started when the problem OF Christianity started."

 

(edited for spelling errors and a short addition)

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Your OP is certainly a better lob than most fundys but I think Trashy has you figured out.

 

Here is my take on all this comercial xtianity and it was my experience as well.

 

Essentially it is the same thing as a teenager who comes home too late and when mom greets you at the door, looks you in the eye and asks where you were so in response you make your way to the kitchen to make a sandwich and say, "Hangin' out with Bob".

 

It's not the sandwich that pisses off your mom, it the avoidance of eye contact.

 

Likewise... the commericialization and corruption of religious organizations and their leaders is not the culpret but the fact that the people sitting next to you in church all have a direct or tacit (don't criticize) support for this sham, it makes you think twice.

 

You have no choice (if you are semi-sentient) to question the value of guidance and advice these "godly" people possess.

 

It frees your mind to think for yourself because it is quite obviously that these "good" people don't have the sense to reject this clap trap.

 

It does not drive you out of xtianity but it is the first realization that something is wrong - something wide spread and pervasive.

 

Mickey Mouse Jesus, if you will, certainly had an impact on my thinking and contributed to my leaving the fold.

 

So too was the fact that my church poo pooed going to the cinema and yet they all had TVs and watched many violent and sexed up shows. The hypocracy of this did not send me running but it showed me that the herd I was running with lacked sound judgement.

 

Mongo

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Of course, Keving will be back with a scripture reading for us heathens.... <_<

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The Bible reads precisely as Jun described. If it were meant to be metaphor, there would be qualifying text stating to take it as such. Since nothing exists in the Bible to say otherwise, logic dictates it was meant to be taken literally.

 

I'd go a bit further than this. I'd ask the question how has the bible been predominately interpreted over the centuries. Not only does it not have a disclaimor, but the vast majority have taken these things literally for millenia. Now Kev comes along having been exposed to 21st century logic and science and has to scramble for alternative explanations for the obviously silly. This is necessary in the current climate, but if it were god's word it should be enduring and past generations shouldn't have all missed the suggested inuendo.

 

I'll put this another way. Kevin is forcing obvious desert religion meanderings to fit his 21st century understanding of how the world works. So not only is Kevin a member of a small minority of True Christians â„¢ that exist today, but he is lucky enough to be a pioneer in truly understanding what it was that god actually wished to relay to his believers. Lucky him.

 

Biblical scholars feel free to step in and correct me here.

 

I haven't got my degree yet but I'm working on it. I think the case is less black and white than you see it, Vigile, and that Kevin does have a case here. I respect the clear logic and insight he brings to the discussion table. Obviously, I haven't read the entire thread at this point.

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Now I've read the thread and I'd like to clarify. There is lots in the Bible to indicate that not all of it should be taken literally. How many times does Jesus rebuke his disciples for not "getting it" when he tells parables? Obviously he is talking in parables and everyone knows it. They are not to be taken literally. The same goes for the prophecies. Many a prophet announces that he is describing a vision he saw under a certain situation. Obviously, he does not expect people to take it literally. And then there is the poetry. There are the historical accounts and the poems/songs written about them. There are distinct differences regarding the same event. Obviously, the reader is expected to understand not to take the poem literally. (I didn't know this when I was reading the Bible as a child and later but I know it now.)

 

Another thing I have learned is that "historical accounts" were not recorded with factual accuracy as we today understand factual accuracy. Such a black and white mentality did not exist. The mentality that did exist back then does not exist today. Thus, it is incorrect to say the Bible has been read a certain way for millennia. It hasn't. Our mentality has not existed long enough for that.

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