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Application Of Reason


Zaramon
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I dropped in with the "Tired of Lurking" post and said I would post my dropping out post later. It's later. If you are tired of bullshit don't read this, if you are bored then this is for you.

 

Tom Paine. "That dirty atheist" as TR Roosevelt called him, wrote my story. I, like him, examined the Bible. Sheesh, I was TITHING ON THE GROSS people. I was a student of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. I was a semenite....heheh...EFG... At the time I was studying eschatology, a study of the end times. Fortunately the prof had us read and review books written BY MEN ('cause women don't know what the HELL is going on :joke: ) and critique them. The prof was Jack Patterson, a child of Texas. In my esteem a Great Man who taught me that miracle healers were nothing more than Hocus Pocus. Egads! He had a great story about Amy SIMPLE McPhereson that would raise the hairs on the back of any REDNECKS neck.

 

There is so much to this story I am not sure how to condensse it. Maybe I should send it to Readers Digest.

 

I was born a poor black child.. No no no...that's from The Jerk a Steve Martin movie....ok, you get it. I grew up in a Christian home thanks to my mother. She's not a fundy, but, then again, she is a fundy. As I've said, my earliest memories of my dear mother, and without sarcasm, are stories of how Jesus was given vinegar instead of water to drink while he was strung out....er hanging on the cross.

 

OK, bullshit aside, I was a deacon providing pullpit supply for churches in our association while working fulltime and attending seminary when I saw the film Stigmata which featured the gospel of Timothy. One of the Lost Books of The Bible. I had bought a book titled the same when I was a teen and read the lost gospels. God only knows why it dildn't take then, must've been too busy with Star Wars. But Stigmata really stuck with me. I was teaching Adult Bible Study at the time. Was also Director of Adult Bible Studies at my Southern Baptist Church at that time.

 

Mix all that up. My study of the various views of eschatology motivated my prof to proclaim me the most objective student he had incurred, My introduction of the "Pagan" gospels to my Bible Study class. The fact that I had ACTUALLY read the Bible many times over along with COMMENTARIES jesus god disagreeing with most of them guess what happened?

 

A student in my Sunday morning class complained that I answered a question about beer. Beer ain't bad, I don't drink it, but in John 2 Jesus made a beer run after complaining to his mom about too much work. But he got the alcohol. First miracle for Cheesesauce. What the fuck? I said that there was nothing wrong with drinking beer. BAD KARMA FOR BAPTISTS! Somebody in the class got upset and had a visit with PASTOR. Egads. I was in deep shit.

 

Days later, when PASTOR was out-o-town, a posse showed up at my house. GLORY!!!!!

 

"Son? What are you teachin' in that class-o-your's?"

 

Yeah, I cried my fucking ass off. I was torn. I even offered them my 600 volume commentary library, which I still have if you want it, for Allah knows what purpose. Goddammit I knew more about Leviticus than these poor bastards ever thought of knowing. My three year old son witnessed this and forever more declared church evil. He was, and is now at 13, very astute.

 

I realize that these are fragments, the memories fill my mind like clouds from the west. Torrents of turmoil. How does someone wash away the blood of Christ?

 

You know what I am saying. I don't care how far we walk away from it, we are leaving the scene of an accident. We are programmed, conditioned. Writing this brings back so much pain, so many memories. Scar tissue. Surgical removal of heritage.

 

My mother's father built two churches. Somewhere in my DNA I am programmed to believe but reason defeats DNA every time.

 

Every day I am torn by it all. I cannot deny reason. I would rather know than believe. I think I know why people believe in religions, it's easy to believe, much harder to know.

 

This has been hard to write, the years have not erased the memories. There are so many details splattered across the wind shield of my memory, so much. I said previously that looking back on leaving faith you will find it but a small step. I find myself corrected and thank you for not telling me how wrong I was in saying that. It's a journey of immeasurable length.

 

Keep walking. Tom Paine was right.

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Damn. You sound like someone I would have as a friend in "real life". I appreciate your insights and intelligence. It seems like your thoughts are flowing out of a firehose of frustration. Knowing more than the authorities, having a better mind than the authorities, and then having them act condescendingly is so forking irritating. Especially when you can show them directly from the book why you are right and they can't see past their group dogma (and frankly they don't WANT to see past it) to admit they might have something to learn. The guys in charge at one of the churches I belonged to were seriously disturbed by anything that didn't match up with their theology, including giving the offering to the poor, or believing that the all-powerful all-knowing God that they say lives in us might actually communicate with people occasionally. Control, control, control. Even when it clearly violated the principles of the faith. Even when it meant lying outright to the "sheep", because they just wouldn't understand. Grrrr!

 

Some branches of spirituality call those that are dogmatic "young souls", meaning that they are too immature to see past the rules and don't feel comfortable having authority challenged. Unfortunately, these same people gravitate towards leadership because they feel like they know the rules and are happy to enforce them, all the while imagining kudos from the deity for being such an obedient child. Meanwhile, those of us who are studying and really trying to discover truth are confronted by their monolithic attitudes of "we've done the thinking for you already. Now fall in behind us. Keep your questions and thoughts to yourself" or "We think you'd be happier elsewhere." This is why so many of our arguments against their faith seem to bounce off. Not because the arguments are incorrect, but because the adherents are too dull and immature, or simply threatened by anything that is outside their system of control and are unwilling to question. But occasionally, we reach those that are really trying to find truth. Like Tom Paine influencing us long after he is dead.

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Like leaving the scene of an accident. Exactly. Painfully apt.

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Zaramon,

 

Good to see another former SBC'er here. Thanks for posting.

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