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God Broke His Promise


R. S. Martin

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First and foremost, I don't want any Christian or other religious nut telling me I can't say what I'm saying here. I was going to post it in the Testimonies section but I've already posted enough stuff there. And maybe I actually want to rant more than just "testify"--I don't really know. Maybe this is my "Blasphemy Challenge." Who knows.

 

In recent years--maybe past ten years or so--I've noticed that I'm extremely sensitive to anything remotely resembling a broken promise and I've wondered WHY? My parents never made promises they couldn't keep. They were very careful about that.

 

One thing I've been telling my people for ten years is that I couldn't find happiness inside the church. They told me happiness wasn't what we should be looking for in this life. EXCUSE ME, but the Bible promises it! Nobody listened to me. No matter what Christians I talk to, they all tell me that looking for happiness is probably not what I should be doing.

 

I can't believe it! Aren't they reading the same Bible I'm reading? I know they are. Why don't they see it? Well, I couldn't find the verse, either, when I looked for it. I thought there was something in the Beatitudes and there is, but you can explain it any other way if you like. Then the other week I found it.

 

Here is God's promise in the sacred KJV in Phil. 4:9: Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.

 

In other words, if you do what you're told--if you are obedient to God and the church and your parents, you will have God's peace.

 

Okay, so it's Paul who is saying it but so what. It's in the Bible and God supposedly wrote that part of the Bible through Paul. And the Church interprets the Bible. "Whatsoever ye bind on earth..." The church does the binding, right? God also wrote that verse about binding, through some other man acting as his writing instrument, so if the Bible is the inerrant inspired infallible Word of God, then God is responsible for both those verses. Thus, God is saying that if I do as he tells me via the church and parents (Honour thy father and thy mother; children obey your parents) I will have his peace--the peace that passeth understanding, as described in another place, and this peace "shall keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus."

 

Well, if God knows all my thoughts as they say he does, then HE KNOWS that nobody has ever tried harder than I did to obey my parents and church and keep HIS OWN commandments as interpreted by my Church and Parents. I did this for FORTY years. Not even the Israelites had to be in the wilderness more than forty years. Sometime after my fortieth birthday I realized--it came to me as clearly as though from a voice outside of me--that I will never gain the approval of either god or man.

 

That told me I've done my best; it's time to strike out on my own. When I was a child, to so many of my questions my mother promised me that when I was older I would understand. When I was a baptismal candidate at age 17 (traditional age for my church) the ministers promised me and my fellow candidates that we would not understand it all now but as we got older we would understand.

 

Those things were PROMISES. And they were made to me by God's own Reps. Lest any Christian reading this be afraid he or she will likewise fail a loved one, please realize that there are a whole batch of things playing into this:

 

1. God says it in the Bible.

2. My mother said it when I was a child.

3. The ministers said it when I was a baptismal candidate.

 

If it had been only my mother who was wrong, or only the Bible, or only the ministers, that would be catastrophic. But this is THREE separate sources all saying the same thing. The Bible says that a statement is supposed to stand in a court of law on the witness of two or three. I have three witnesses saying the same thing. And the thing still failed!

 

FAITH IS THE SUBSTANCE OF THINGS HOPED FOR, THE EVIDENCE OF THINGS NOT SEEN (Heb. 11:1).

 

How many people put their life on hold for forty years on the good faith that a person is going to keep his/her promise?

 

Just don't anyone tell me otherwise--GOD BROKE HIS PROMISE.

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Ruby - yes, god broke his promise.

 

During my deconversion I prayed daily for more faith. Faith is a gift from god. Forgive me for not looking up the scriptural reference, other than Ephesians 2:8 - 9 comes to mind. If faith is the free gift from god, then he took it back and left me with nothing.

 

Interesting your reference to three sources affirming what you were promised. I have been taught that the symbolism of the bible is that if something is stated once, it is important. If it is stated twice, it is very important. If it is repeated three times it is one of the most important things in the bible. For reference - Isaiah 6:3...Holy, holy, holy is the lord god almighty. The most important aspect of god, we are taught, is his holiness. So you have a promise three times made and three times broken. Guess that shows the worth of the promise and of the "god" backing it.

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Ruby Sera,

What I get bemused by these times is how people can still think there is a "god". The fact is THERE IS NO GOD. Now I know you have been through traumatic times with doubts about Christianity. I hated having to be a Roman Catholic. It was not hard for me to free myself from that tyranny because I studied science and anyone who calls himself a scientist and still believes in a "god' ought not to claim to be a scientist.

 

I still feel you have some belief in a "god". I never talk about "god" as though a "god" is real. If I am asked: "So you don't believe in God", I say: "What God". How can I believe in something I know does not exist. Christians say "God made man in his own image". What a joke. What do they think this "god" lools like? It is man who made "god".

 

I feel for all whose minds have been poisoned by that stupid book of fiction, the bible. How many lives has it wrecked? It is not the inerrant "Word of God". it was not "Inspired by God". How can it be? There was no "god" to inspire it. The Roman Catholic Church in particular states that all faithfull must believe the bible, the church and the pope without question or they will be punished in the fires of Hell. What Hell? There is no Hell. That was an invention of the Church to frighten the faithfull ino submission.

 

My advice the anyone with serious doubts about religion is to forget that bible. Get rid of it. It is poison.

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Eccles, perhaps some part of my mind still believes in god. Is that a discredit to me somehow? I don't think so. As Gramps posted elsewhere, "I am what I am." I get along best in life if I face my demons head-on, rather than "throw out the Bible" as you suggest. If I analyze the thing to death it will be dead. If I throw it out, it will probably survive and come back to bite me. I will always wonder whether I really did the right thing. We each need to find what works for us.

 

I deconverted when I was two-third way through earning a degree in theology. Given the enormous price I paid (other than money) to get myself an education, do you think I will leave unfinished a degree I love just because it doesn't support my personal beliefs? If you think so, you've got another guess coming.

 

If you read what I've been writing the past 24 hours you will see that I intend to use my education in ways other than preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ.

 

For your information, I never truly believed in God. I never saw any evidence of his existence. What I did was trust that evidence would show up if I trusted and waited long enough. Forty years is long enough. But then things happened that convinced me to hold on a bit longer so I postponed my official deconversion for another ten years. I'm not sure if one can deconvert from something one never believed in so I call it my official deconversion. Christians used to believe that I was one of them and in late summer 2006 they suddenly changed their minds. That was the first time I said out loud that I don't believe in the God that led the Israelites out of Egypt. That was all they needed to hear to denounce and disown me.

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Eccles, perhaps some part of my mind still believes in god. Is that a discredit to me somehow? I don't think so. As Gramps posted elsewhere, "I am what I am." I get along best in life if I face my demons head-on, rather than "throw out the Bible" as you suggest. If I analyze the thing to death it will be dead. If I throw it out, it will probably survive and come back to bite me. I will always wonder whether I really did the right thing. We each need to find what works for us.

 

I deconverted when I was two-third way through earning a degree in theology. Given the enormous price I paid (other than money) to get myself an education, do you think I will leave unfinished a degree I love just because it doesn't support my personal beliefs? If you think so, you've got another guess coming.

 

If you read what I've been writing the past 24 hours you will see that I intend to use my education in ways other than preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ.

 

For your information, I never truly believed in God. I never saw any evidence of his existence. What I did was trust that evidence would show up if I trusted and waited long enough. Forty years is long enough. But then things happened that convinced me to hold on a bit longer so I postponed my official deconversion for another ten years. I'm not sure if one can deconvert from something one never believed in so I call it my official deconversion. Christians used to believe that I was one of them and in late summer 2006 they suddenly changed their minds. That was the first time I said out loud that I don't believe in the God that led the Israelites out of Egypt. That was all they needed to hear to denounce and disown me.

 

Good luck Ruby, I think I understand what you mean about meeting this head on. I went through this for some time, though you are doing far more thorough and eloquent job of it than I.

 

I agree this is something you have to see through to the end, even though it will be a long frustrating affair.... anguishing perhaps, it was for me, but then that was when I was deconverting and that was a bad time all around. Maybe Im reading too much into this, but I think you are motivated by a strong sense of personal justice, I admire that. Christianity affected your life (and others) for 50 years, this false god and system has much to answer for. It needs to be brought to task, examined, and tried until you gain closure for yourself.

 

Im not sure why one point of examination was enough for me, at some point my fight and my search just felt done. I dont really feel anything about god anymore, I used to hate and rail against him (or the idea of him) when I first started examining the faith. Maybe we refer to him, not out of belief, but as a personification of all that we struggle against, the ideas and the injustices we find abhorent in the system. One day though that left me, that sense of struggle against an opponent, to me my opponent was no longer there in any capacity.

 

I dont pretend to completely understand you, you're far to complex for that, but what you said resonates with me.

 

I still profit from reading the conclusions you come to, they are one more nail in the coffin to me.

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Ruby - yes, god broke his promise.

 

During my deconversion I prayed daily for more faith. Faith is a gift from god. Forgive me for not looking up the scriptural reference, other than Ephesians 2:8 - 9 comes to mind. If faith is the free gift from god, then he took it back and left me with nothing.

 

I always understood that passage to mean that salvation was a free gift, rather than faith. But no matter. Jesus said, "Ask and it shall be given," and "Whatsoever ye shall ask in my name...it shall be given unto you." You sure asked and it wasn't given. Broken promise.

 

What I don't get is that if salvation is so free, why do we have to do anything? Why do we even have to believe anything? Paul says tells us we have to believe that Jesus/God exists; otherwise we can't come to him. Yeah right. But that isn't free. Free means someone standing at the door saying, "Come on in! I've got something here for you!" NOT: Believe for some future time. In the context of the Christian belief that heaven happens after the Great Judgment, it would be the Great Judgment canceled. When Jesus (or god or the archangel or whoever) is handed the Book of Life, he will just say, "Aw, take it and put it away. We just had this great consultation in Heaven. We decided that salvation is free." And to the billions quivering at the foot of the Judgment Seat, he would say, "Come on in, all ye blessed of my Father, and enjoy the feast prepared for you from the foundation of the world!" That would be free salvation.

 

If we do have to believe anything, all I ask is that it hang together and make sense to my brain. I am a child of the mid-20th century living into the 21st. If God is as all-knowing as they say he is, he is smart enough to come up with something that takes away my breath for its majesty and marvel of wisdom and insight in the 21st century just as much as it did that of the first century Christians. It should appeal and make sense to smart and stupid alike, to the educated and uneducated, to the rich and poor, etc., just like they advertize it--there should be something for everybody. And there isn't.

 

And it's not my fault. I didn't plan me. I guess my parents did. But all they could give me was what they had. In some ways I'm like them but not in other ways. I think in some ways I'm more like a great-grandfather I never knew than I am like my mother. I guess families work that way--stuff gets passed along in the genes and skips generations and shows up several generations down the road. If there is a god supervising and organizing all this stuff, he could do a better job in assiging talents and interests. For example, he could have given me regular housewife interests and talents, since that is what my people believe I should be happy doing. But no, he had to give me the kind of talents that allow me to find happiness and fulfillment only in a lifestyle far removed from anythng my grandmothers--or mother and sisters--would have liked or approved.

 

The Bible says god can't lie and this god obviously did and does lie.

 

Interesting your reference to three sources affirming what you were promised. I have been taught that the symbolism of the bible is that if something is stated once, it is important. If it is stated twice, it is very important. If it is repeated three times it is one of the most important things in the bible. For reference - Isaiah 6:3...Holy, holy, holy is the lord god almighty. The most important aspect of god, we are taught, is his holiness. So you have a promise three times made and three times broken. Guess that shows the worth of the promise and of the "god" backing it.

 

Yes, his holiness is definitely suspect.

 

I'm beginning to see why Eccles thinks I still believe in god. A person who is peeved that god broke his promise must believe on some level. Somehow, that never occurred to me but it only makes sense. Sometimes I feel like two different people live inside of me--the religious person who wants to believe and the person who can't believe because there's no evidence.

 

I guess I feel there's issues I've never dealt with because there were more pressing issues to deal with early on. And this issue of broken promises is a big one. I suffered so MUCH for the will of a god who fails to deliver after all the sacrifices and suffering at the hands of people who claimed to know God's will. The injustices they committed are outrageous but I'm condemned if I so much as open my mouth to complain. I wanted to be a teacher because it was the only work that remotely promised to give me the intellectual stimulation I needed to get any satisfaction from life. But no one wanted me to teach their precious kids.

 

I wasn't allowed to know what was wrong with me so I could improve myself; I was made to feel it was some unforgivable or inherent evil that could not be overcome no matter how hard I tried. I must be basically flawed; otherwise they would be willing to work with me. But no, I wasn't good enough for that. It wasn't God's will for me to be a teacher. How they determined god's will is not something I know. God's will resembled public predjudice too much for me to believe it was god's will so much as human nature.

 

What makes most sense to me is that there is no god even in their very seriously religious world and that they were just going by their own selfish ideas, socially sanctioned and accepted, packaged and labeled as "God's Will" fragile, handle with care.

 

As to what would happen with my psyche if not handled with care was not so much their concern. They can always get out of that one by just blaming the atheist.

 

There's something so totally NOT RIGHT about that picture.

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