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Xianity Makes No Difference


GraphicsGuy
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More of my general observations as I explore my own identity and the people around me.

 

People are people are people. Regardless of where they're from, what their background is, or what faith they claim.

 

I've met Xians that are assholes, Xians that are greedy, Xians that live their lives as they please.

 

I've met the same types of people that claim no faith.

 

I've met the same types of people that claim different faiths.

 

Faith or lack-of-faith makes no difference to a person's personality. They will be as they are going to be or as they want to be...

 

...UNLESS...

 

...unless they WANT to change that personality and/or fix the "flaws" in their life.

 

This is why I believe that Xianity "works" for some people. They WANT to change and Xianity gives them a formula to change the way they are used to living.

 

It's a mindset change. We've all heard the stories of those whose lives were in the gutter and then were "miraculously saved".

 

I'm sure the same stories exist for other faiths.

 

The same is true for me. I was "miraculously saved" by dumping my faith.

 

When someone genuinely wants to change, they will change. Until they do, we often have to put up with their idiocy...

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I totally agree with you Mark. I remember when I was a xtian always trying to work out in my head how other people could happily live their lives and die not knowing jesus. They appeared happy and normal, and lived no different lives to me. Except I was praying, going to church and generally feeling holier and condescending towards these heathens. Was I different to them? No. Just a complete idiot and fool, now I think. I thought I had all the answers to life, and they didnt. Now I am out of it all, I feel like a normal human being. Not one suspended in some sort of weird spiritual cosmos of funny feelings, and stupid visions or whatnot by the spirit. I feel like I can handle life on a normal level and not make every single thing a big deal and what if or isn't it god's will type thing.

 

So your right. Xtianity makes no difference. Xtians still suffer, still sin, still get divorced, still feel pain...just like every other human. There is no magical answer to life. The magic is just growing as a human being and recognising your flaws like you said and dealing with them if you want to change them. I thought becoming a xtian magically changed me, but looking back I don't think it did. It suppressed my inner being and my personality. I became defined by a new way, which friends told me afterwards was not a good thing. They told me I lost who I was. I have now slowly regained responsibility for my life and it feels good. I am now no different to the millions out there scratching out an existence for themself. I find beauty in nature, music and being around my little toddlers and babies at work. Theres my life in a nutshell. It was never magical as a xtian and if anything I can appreciate it so much more now on the outside.

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Faith or lack-of-faith makes no difference to a person's personality. They will be as they are going to be or as they want to be...

 

...UNLESS...

 

...unless they WANT to change that personality and/or fix the "flaws" in their life.

 

This is why I believe that Xianity "works" for some people. They WANT to change and Xianity gives them a formula to change the way they are used to living.

 

It's a mindset change. We've all heard the stories of those whose lives were in the gutter and then were "miraculously saved".

 

I'm sure the same stories exist for other faiths.

 

The same is true for me. I was "miraculously saved" by dumping my faith.

 

When someone genuinely wants to change, they will change. Until they do, we often have to put up with their idiocy...

This is very true. I'm fond of saying that "truth" is what works. What works for one person may not work for another, but this doesn't mean that it cannot work for others because it did not work for you - or more importantly that there is something wrong with you because something that works for others doesn't work for you.

 

But the first important thing is the desire to find something that works. I left Christianity because it didn't work. It didn't work for me because I was looking for something that it didn't have to offer. I was looking for something that those walls of thought of that system actually limited and frustrated within me. As a result of trying various options within the general system, I ultimately had to crash through those walls to find another framework of understanding outside it through which to find myself. It's working.

 

If I see one system working for someone in their lives for where they are at, I am not going to go rip the rug out from under them because it seems like what is right for me should be right for them as well; that somehow now I DO have the *real* truth. That would just be a shift of the same mentality from one system to another. It's a mentality that looks at the world in strict terms of true and false, which I believe stems in part through a desire to prop them up and use them as justification for our individual choices in the face of the larger group.

 

I believe much of this problem is inherited into the larger culture through our Western Christian mindset, going all the way back to the early church's notions of orthodox and heresy, exacerbated by the Protestant notions of absolutes given further voice in Luther's Sola Scriptura', which then became utilized in a pitched battle against the secular ideas coming out of the Enlightenment, which themselves were then used to counter the religious approach in a battle for authority: "Reason versus Faith", to the point you have more a shift of camps happening all under this umbrella idea of truth - if it's not this, then it must be this! To me that doesn't fix the problem. It continues it. Can't reason see beyond itself, can't faith see beyond itself? What doesn't work for me is anything that says there is only one 'way, truth, and life', unless that way was limitless potential of possibility.

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I've been in numerous churches and seen exactly what you are talking about. The biggest problem these people have is that, while they are human, they can't be human in the church setting. It is a competition to see who is the most "morally upright". So real pain, real struggles, and real emotions are suppressed because of the stigma that will be attached by the other church members. It really is sad. I've seen people who need legitimate psychological counseling, but they will only go to a "christian" counselor (oxymoron). Most psyche problems arise from shame, guilt, and fear. Xtianity is founded on shame, guilt and fear.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Guest Sojo Nothingness

I see joining socially oriented groups including, but not limited to, a selected church denomination can appeal greatly toward the inherent tribal instinct to parcipitate in something larger and bigger than themselves. The tendency for some people to jocky into a "superior" position can be compensatory for a lack of confidince or a protective move to avoid any pecking order in the social group.

 

Not too surprising to observe this kind of behavior manifest. You know? Very common to observe, even in the best laid plans of mice and men (Gals too!). :)

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi Antlerman,

 

I'd like to read more about Luther's Sola Scriptura, and the ideas coming out of the Enlightenment - it's an area I am interested in.

 

Any suggestions for a book that covers this well?

 

-- KSS

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I believe there is no higher service you can provide humanity than you being you, no matter what you believe, disbelieve, or how you behave. Christianity as an organized religion doesn't affect that either positively or negatively.

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Guest Rush2112
I've been in numerous churches and seen exactly what you are talking about. The biggest problem these people have is that, while they are human, they can't be human in the church setting. It is a competition to see who is the most "morally upright". So real pain, real struggles, and real emotions are suppressed because of the stigma that will be attached by the other church members. It really is sad. I've seen people who need legitimate psychological counseling, but they will only go to a "christian" counselor (oxymoron). Most psyche problems arise from shame, guilt, and fear. Xtianity is founded on shame, guilt and fear.

 

I have seen this too. I am a Christian, and sadly I too have seen this hypocrisy.

Casting Crowns is a Christian band that has written numerous songs addressing that (Look up "Stained Glass Masquerade" and "If We Are the Body" if you're interested).

 

Many of those who share my faith have forgotten that they themselves are broken and sinful.

Matthew 7:3 says, "Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?"

 

The teachings of Jesus say to reach out to each other in love and forgiveness. Jesus was sinless, and spread only forgiveness. He even forgave those who drove the nails through his hands.

The Christian church needs to reach out to its members with the same love and forgiveness taught and practiced by the one whom it follows.

 

The true message of Jesus is one of love and forgiveness.

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The true message of Jesus is one of love and forgiveness.

 

I can accept that statement as true to a point. Even Jesus spoke of hell; the antithesis to love and forgiveness.

 

And why is the world more loving and forgiving than the church?

 

I would say that the church sluffed off its humanity many ages ago.

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Guest Rush2112
The true message of Jesus is one of love and forgiveness.

 

I can accept that statement as true to a point. Even Jesus spoke of hell; the antithesis to love and forgiveness.

 

And why is the world more loving and forgiving than the church?

 

I would say that the church sluffed off its humanity many ages ago.

 

Hell is the reward that waits for those who deny Christ. No one has to go there. Belief in Jesus as the Son of God and acceptance of him as savior ensures that one will enter heaven. Jesus never said that anyone had to go to hell. He gave us that option. Jesus's forgiveness brings heaven, and humans' rejection of that forgiveness brings hell.

 

I agree with you that the church is not as forgiving as it should be. The church has made a name for itself as oppressive, controlling, and violent. I know that it should not be this way.

 

But the message and mission of Jesus is to bring love, life, forgiveness, and salvation. Jesus Christ is the epitome of love, the example that all Christians should follow.

 

True, many Christians do not do a very good job of imitating his example. That's because all humans are sinful. Christians often appear arrogant and "holier-than-thou," but we're not sinless. We are just forgiven of all sins we do commit, including the hypocrisy of the church. This does not give the church an excuse to keep on with corrupt practices, but it commonly does just this.

 

I still believe in the message of God, even though his followers are sinful, and sin contaminates the practice and use of this message.

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Hell is the reward that waits for those who deny Christ. No one has to go there. Belief in Jesus as the Son of God and acceptance of him as savior ensures that one will enter heaven. Jesus never said that anyone had to go to hell. He gave us that option. Jesus's forgiveness brings heaven, and humans' rejection of that forgiveness brings hell.

But Jesus created Hell, and Jesus created Satan knowing that Satan would create Sin. So Jesus (as God) created the situation where people would go to Hell, and he (as God) knew who would go there, since he knows everything. So Jesus set it all up, knowing who would go to Hell and who wouldn't, and he was good with that.

 

I agree with you that the church is not as forgiving as it should be. The church has made a name for itself as oppressive, controlling, and violent. I know that it should not be this way.

The fruit of the poisonous tree. The religion is unforgiving in the sense it only forgives if you join the membership. Only if you accept the particular belief will you be forgiven. So the church is the same way. Only if you join the church, or the right cliques in church, will people in church forgive.

 

But the message and mission of Jesus is to bring love, life, forgiveness, and salvation. Jesus Christ is the epitome of love, the example that all Christians should follow.

Pfft. Jesus as the epitome of love... Ok, so what did he do? He suffered nothing more than any of the other criminals in those days. And why is bodily pain any evidence for love? He died (supposedly) for only 36 hours, while the poor dude next to him is still dead, and supposedly in Hell being barbecued.

 

True, many Christians do not do a very good job of imitating his example.

The example was to die for the sinners. Since there are 2.2 billion Christians alive, I guess you're right, they are doing a bad imitation of the ultimate sacrifice.

 

That's because all humans are sinful. Christians often appear arrogant and "holier-than-thou," but we're not sinless. We are just forgiven of all sins we do commit, including the hypocrisy of the church. This does not give the church an excuse to keep on with corrupt practices, but it commonly does just this.

I can agree with you there. Christians do appear like megalomaniacs most of the time, but they're not better than others. Actually I noticed that this attitude of righteousness and "absolute truth knowers" just make them more vulnerable to be evil. They think whatever they believe is true, and they believe some crazy shit sometimes and that makes them very dangerous. Sometimes there's no rational reason to their behavior or belief, but they go with it anyway, because they think it came from God. Very dangerous.

 

I still believe in the message of God, even though his followers are sinful, and sin contaminates the practice and use of this message.

Just remember that it was sinful followers who wrote the book you think contains God's message...

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I still believe in the message of God, even though his followers are sinful, and sin contaminates the practice and use of this message.

 

Thank you for the preachy-preachy. I don't agree and this isn't the point of this thread.

 

Since Jesus is supposed to change lives then why are people the way the are regardless of what they believe?

 

What I'm getting at is that Xianity just doesn't matter. It doesn't change lives, people change their own lives or not at all.

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I agree with you that the church is not as forgiving as it should be. The church has made a name for itself as oppressive, controlling, and violent. I know that it should not be this way.
Actually, if we're going from a literal interepetation of the bible here, the corrupt Christians are probably staying more faithful to the scriptures.

 

 

True, many Christians do not do a very good job of imitating his example. That's because all humans are sinful. Christians often appear arrogant and "holier-than-thou," but we're not sinless. We are just forgiven of all sins we do commit, including the hypocrisy of the church. This does not give the church an excuse to keep on with corrupt practices, but it commonly does just this.
So, in other words, you can be as evil and immoral as you want to so long as you ask Jesus for forgiveness later on, but non-believers who behave better than you will go to hell? How's this a message of love again? Why is it that faith is the one thing God wants out of people when you've essentially admitted that faith doesn't automatically make you a better person?
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Interesting topic. I've thought and thought about this for a long time and the premise that "People are People" is axiomatic. In saying that, though, we have to remember that people have similar needs, desires and problems. Conditions on Earth aren't great, they're good mind you, but still hostile in many ways. Buddhism teaches us that the path to non-suffering is in overcoming ignorance and desire.

 

And we know that both of those are teeming on planet Earth.

 

My take is that now many people are just seeking solace from the comfort they felt rummaging through their mom's purse while the preacher droned on about whatever mattered to him that week. The church itself represents to many the safety of womb so we go crawling back to mama when we can't figure it out on our own. Think of it as group therapy for the financially challenged.

 

Problem is, the church was created as a power structure to control the masses. I think if it were up to most church leaders we would still be saying Mass in Latin, hell, I think most preachers are speaking a foreign language as it is. The church has tried to reinvent itself in the image of a wonderful place to get counsel and support, but we still have power brokers like Rick Warren and his legion of uberpastor wannabes that use his formula to produce more control while reproducing sheep and increasing box office revenues.

 

What has the potential to be a wonderful place of learning and support is under the management of snake oil salesmen who have discovered that the best business is repeat business. So, it pays to make the sheep even sicker so they'll need Papa Preacher and Mother Church all the more.

 

Sadly, the people who could truly benefit from support groups typically succumb to brainwashing and pocket picking. That makes the religious period more like cocaine than the Balm of Gilead.

 

Yup, people are people, all of the statistics (i.e. divorce rate, bankruptcy, alcoholisim, etc.) are pretty much the same inside and outside of organized religion. But what's a girl to do?

 

Hope for the best, prepare for the worst and be as rational and understanding as we can. Let's think of ourselves as Veterinarians prepared to recieve the sick sheep who manage to free themselves from the fold.

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I can agree with you there. Christians do appear like megalomaniacs most of the time, but they're not better than others. Actually I noticed that this attitude of righteousness and "absolute truth knowers" just make them more vulnerable to be evil. They think whatever they believe is true, and they believe some crazy shit sometimes and that makes them very dangerous. Sometimes there's no rational reason to their behavior or belief, but they go with it anyway, because they think it came from God. Very dangerous.

 

That's why Jesus came the first time, right? For the 'holier than holy' that walked around in their array of 'things' that signified their holiness? The whole ...wash the inside of the cup, then..the outside

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That's why Jesus came the first time, right? For the 'holier than holy' that walked around in their array of 'things' that signified their holiness? The whole ...wash the inside of the cup, then..the outside

That's the funny thing. I think all Christians are fooling themselves with religion, however, I think there's two categories. One is the one you can at least talk to and have some meaningful discussion with, the other reminds me of the pharisees. Completely self-centered and they believe they got the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. That's why it's important to first of all stop fooling or lying to one-self. Like you said: wash the inside first.

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  • 1 year later...

Double Morals , is what christianity and anything related to jesus and god specially wants you to believe , i have seen people rotten inside theyre hearts but still praying , or people who have hurted me in betraying and shameful ways still they have an big cross in theyre homes.

 

My point of view in this is that people dont use theyre brains , all the tragic dramas i see on testimonies pages of people who turned into religion is that they had troublesome lifes , like they were in drugs and stuff like that , and then all magically an random jewish guy on a bible heals them , oh pray the lord! .... geez people just stop watching tv and start reading some good books and using that thing on your head called brain.

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  • 4 weeks later...

This is very true. I'm fond of saying that "truth" is what works. What works for one person may not work for another, but this doesn't mean that it cannot work for others because it did not work for you - or more importantly that there is something wrong with you because something that works for others doesn't work for you.

 

But the first important thing is the desire to find something that works. I left Christianity because it didn't work. It didn't work for me because I was looking for something that it didn't have to offer. I was looking for something that those walls of thought of that system actually limited and frustrated within me. As a result of trying various options within the general system, I ultimately had to crash through those walls to find another framework of understanding outside it through which to find myself. It's working.

 

If I see one system working for someone in their lives for where they are at, I am not going to go rip the rug out from under them because it seems like what is right for me should be right for them as well; that somehow now I DO have the *real* truth. That would just be a shift of the same mentality from one system to another. It's a mentality that looks at the world in strict terms of true and false, which I believe stems in part through a desire to prop them up and use them as justification for our individual choices in the face of the larger group.

 

YES. We all get through life differently, and what might "fix" one person might seriously harm another. People are people, and people are strange. :thanks:

And I really shy away from anyone that thinks they know what would work for me, or "everyone", even "freethinking atheists." If one is really for freethinking, I'd think they'd be on board with whatever works for the individual. I get frustrated when I encounter someone where this isn't the case. Just so happens christians have this infuriating tendency to think they know what "works for everyone" more often than anyone I've encountered.

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The true message of Jesus is one of love and forgiveness.

 

I can accept that statement as true to a point. Even Jesus spoke of hell; the antithesis to love and forgiveness.

 

And why is the world more loving and forgiving than the church?

 

I would say that the church sluffed off its humanity many ages ago.

 

Hell is the reward that waits for those who deny Christ. No one has to go there. Belief in Jesus as the Son of God and acceptance of him as savior ensures that one will enter heaven. Jesus never said that anyone had to go to hell. He gave us that option. Jesus's forgiveness brings heaven, and humans' rejection of that forgiveness brings hell.

 

I agree with you that the church is not as forgiving as it should be. The church has made a name for itself as oppressive, controlling, and violent. I know that it should not be this way.

 

But the message and mission of Jesus is to bring love, life, forgiveness, and salvation. Jesus Christ is the epitome of love, the example that all Christians should follow.

 

True, many Christians do not do a very good job of imitating his example. That's because all humans are sinful. Christians often appear arrogant and "holier-than-thou," but we're not sinless. We are just forgiven of all sins we do commit, including the hypocrisy of the church. This does not give the church an excuse to keep on with corrupt practices, but it commonly does just this.

 

I still believe in the message of God, even though his followers are sinful, and sin contaminates the practice and use of this message.

Nobody has to go there? Are you sure. Nobody HAS to go to hell?

 

I'm telling you, I tried damn hard to keep my faith. Harder than most people. And in the end, I simply found I could not believe. It wasn't that I stopped trying. It wasn't that I CHOSE to deny christ. It is just that when I looked long and hard at my faith, my belief in the existence of jesus and god vanished. Implying that it was a choice is insulting and condescending. You are an arrogant jerk for saying it. If you had an ounce of respect for us, you would retract that comment immediately.

 

Please spare us your evangelism. We are familiar with the crap christians delude themselves with.

 

I did not CHOOSE to lose my faith. It just happened. And if your god exists and is all powerful, all knowledgeable, and all present, then he KNEW it would happen that way, and created me anyway. Created me SPECIFICALLY to burn eternally in hell. How is that the actions of a loving god?

 

Your god can't be 'loving' and punish someone with hell. That is burning torture for eternity. It isn't to rehabilitate. It's SOLE PURPOSE is to torture people for tiny, insignificant infractions. How the (insert chosen expletive here) is that the action of a loving god? I dare you to argue that one.

 

You're welcome to keep deluding yourself, but don't come here and pretend it isn't the way I've just stated. We are not that stupid. Most of us have read the entire bible multiple times. I know I have. I was a christian longer than some of the members of this site have been alive. I know what I'm talking about. And if telling like it is makes you get defensive, maybe you should try reading your precious book as if it is the sacred text of another religion. I'm sure you'll see the same evil inconsistencies in your god that we saw.

 

Your god doesn't exist. And even if he did, I wouldn't bow down to him.

 

And yes, I will wholeheartedly agree that the Arsehole Gene is not limited to christians. There are many people who are jerks and act without thought to how their behaviour will influence others, regardless of religious belief. I know some great christians. I also know a few self centred christians who only do charity work so they can get a free t shirt so that everyone will know what a wonderful person they are. I also know some non religious people and muslims who are jerks, and some non religious people, and muslims, who are not.

 

For the record, I used to know a buddhist who was all preachy about compassion and kindness but in reality was an absolute jerk. They are in every culture. I think anyone could find an example of someone who doesn't practice what they preach.

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I find it odd that his screen name is Rush2112. They are so far from Christianity that they touch hell's door with some of their songs. :HaHa:

 

Artist: Rush

Title: Faithless

----------------------------

I've got my own moral compass to steer by

A guiding star beats a spirit in the sky

And all the preaching voices -

Empty vessels of dreams so loud

As they move among the crowd

Fools and thieves are well disguised

In the temple and market place

 

Like a stone in the river

Against the floods of spring

I will quietly resist

 

Like the willows in the wind

Or the cliffs along the ocean

I will quietly resist

 

I don't have faith in faith

I don't believe in belief

You can call me faithless

I still cling to hope

And I believe in love

And that's faith enough for me

 

I've got my own spirit level for balance

To tell if my choice is leaning up or down

And all the shouting voices

Try to throw me off my course

Some by sermon, some by force

Fools and thieves are dangerous

In the temple and market place

 

Like a forest bows to winter

Beneath the deep white silence

I will quietly resist

 

Like a flower in the desert

That only blooms at night

I will quietly resist

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