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I've Been So 'blessed'!


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Yesterday, I heard it again - Something that I said for many years....''I've been so 'blessed by god in this life!''

 

All those years I thought the same thing, especially if things were going good. I would say it was a blessing and it was all my hard work for survival!!!

 

I was thinking this morning of what I would have answered if an atheist or agnostic directly asked me, ''What about all the people that have lived in the past, say within the last 2,000 years?'' Most had no lights, heat, etc.... no insulation in their 'straw huts'. They lived in tents, mountains, caves.........They constantly had to protect themselves from the weather conditions. What about the hardship these people went through?? They weren't so damn 'blessed'!?

What did we think back then when we were christians, about 'these' people that endured horrendous suffering to survive? How would we have spoken 'for god' about them? I can't really remember what I might have said???

 

When I think of some of the things that have happened, (even in the last 200 years) I shudder! :twitch: We had witch burning, slavery, torture of all kinds. What else went on back then? How did they survive when they didn't have the conveniences that we have??

 

What would you have responded to that question when you were a christian?

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Yesterday, I heard it again - Something that I said for many years....''I've been so 'blessed by god in this life!''

 

All those years I thought the same thing, especially if things were going good. I would say it was a blessing and it was all my hard work for survival!!!

 

I was thinking this morning of what I would have answered if an atheist or agnostic directly asked me, ''What about all the people that have lived in the past, say within the last 2,000 years?'' Most had no lights, heat, etc.... no insulation in their 'straw huts'. They lived in tents, mountains, caves.........They constantly had to protect themselves from the weather conditions. What about the hardship these people went through?? They weren't so damn 'blessed'!?

What did we think back then when we were christians, about 'these' people that endured horrendous suffering to survive? How would we have spoken 'for god' about them? I can't really remember what I might have said???

 

When I think of some of the things that have happened, (even in the last 200 years) I shudder! :twitch: We had witch burning, slavery, torture of all kinds. What else went on back then? How did they survive when they didn't have the conveniences that we have??

 

What would you have responded to that question when you were a christian?

I'm not the right person to ask questions like this. Nearly her entire adult life, my wife was dogged by terrible physical illness and difficulty. By the end she lost 104% of her dignity and had failed to make the mark on the world she wanted to, and died way too young, etc. Yet she was willing to philosophize near the end that she had "lived a good life". My fiancee had a clusterfuck of a childhood and has to work hard to overcome it and the nuclear fallout from it, yet she says she's "lived a good life". I don't even know how to respond to shit like that. I just keep my mouth shut because I don't want to be the person who awakens them to the shitstorm their lives actually are. If they've found a happy place somewhere inside there, who am I to give them bad news.

 

I guess you can reach into many people's lives and find dribs and drabs of good days and cobble that together into a "good life" but I've never really been able to do that, even when I've been willing.

 

To me a good life is a life that's predominantly good -- nothing complicated about that, not even the definition of "good", because guess who (should) get to define "good" for themselves? Exactly: the person living said life.

 

Concerning myself I will only say that I am grateful for significant aspects of my life that I find positive and seriously annoyed and/or pissed off about the other bits. And I make no apologies about that. If I were to die today I would ask myself this question before blathering about what a good life I've had: would I wish the totality of my life on anyone? Even my worst enemy? At present, the answer to that question is, no. Sorry. No cigar.

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Living conditions are relative to time and place. An early American pioneer would feel "blessed" if he had a healthy horse and a wife who survived childbirth. In 1952 an American was "blessed" if he could go to school on the GI Bill and buy a television. Today's American is "blessed" if he has a job.

 

When anything relatively good happens to the believer, his god gets the credit. Unpleasant circumstances are attributed to sin, Satan, or one of God's tests for the faithful. The fact that good and bad things happen to everyone, and that sometimes shit just happens is never recognized.

 

It's one of my pet peeves.

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Even as a Christian, I had some serious questions in my mind about god "blessing" some people and leaving others to misery. For example, I recall so many times when there would be a hurricane or tornado somewhere, hearing all the stories of those Christians who escaped the tragedy unscathed while others had their homes destroyed or perhaps perished. Christians would say something like, "My parents were in the hurricane and though all their neighbors houses were destroyed, they experienced little damage. Their prayers were answered." I would ask them, "Don't you think that at least some of those whose homes were destroyed were Christians? Why didn't god answer their prayers?" I would always be met with silence.

 

Then there were those who had a loved one who survived cancer and they would attribute that to one of god's miracles and an answer to prayer. My response was similar to the above, "How about [insert name of person we both knew who was a good Christian but who died of cancer]? Wasn't he/she a good Christian and yet their prayers were not answered?" Again, silence.

 

So, even as a Christian, I had serious doubts about this concept of god blessing people. I now see the seeds of my later deconversion, though I didn't recognize it as such at the time.

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Even as a Christian, I had some serious questions in my mind about god "blessing" some people and leaving others to misery. For example, I recall so many times when there would be a hurricane or tornado somewhere, hearing all the stories of those Christians who escaped the tragedy unscathed while others had their homes destroyed or perhaps perished. Christians would say something like, "My parents were in the hurricane and though all their neighbors houses were destroyed, they experienced little damage. Their prayers were answered." I would ask them, "Don't you think that at least some of those whose homes were destroyed were Christians? Why didn't god answer their prayers?" I would always be met with silence.

 

Then there were those who had a loved one who survived cancer and they would attribute that to one of god's miracles and an answer to prayer. My response was similar to the above, "How about [insert name of person we both knew who was a good Christian but who died of cancer]? Wasn't he/she a good Christian and yet their prayers were not answered?" Again, silence.

 

So, even as a Christian, I had serious doubts about this concept of god blessing people. I now see the seeds of my later deconversion, though I didn't recognize it as such at the time.

 

I guess when it came to a death - I would say that their 'time' must be up. That would have been my excuse for god when it came to any disaster or death. I still don't know how I would have answered to why a person would have to suffer for so long? I guess, I always thought there was a lesson to be learned from every experience, to make you stronger????

But I'm not quite sure if the person being 'burned alive at the stake' would agree with me?? :twitch:

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Still being a christian, my response would be a moment of blank staring followed by something like "Well.. yeah. It was awfully nice of him to start off existence and all that, and I'm quite grateful at being given a chance at life because of it. If you're talking about the 'winning a lottery' or "I have grandkids" type blessed, though, then I don't think that He really cares. I think that type of thing is us doing our own thing."

If they seemed like one-of-those types, I might continue like "you know, He may very well have some sort of plan going on, but it's a bit narcissistic to think that he has a plan tailor-made for you. Good things and bad things happen to individuals (it's a universe thing), and we just have to do our best to be good individuals throughout both. You can be blessed with any number of things and still be a complete dick in spite of them."

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Not an objection to God or Gods per se... but a definite problem for Biblegod who is supposed to be just and good...

 

I am leaning toward a malevolent deity or dieties.

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Blessings from gawd = f***ing some poor other sod over OR boasting in personal wealth and gain which by all accounts is anti biblical but that is not what they teach you. So long as you surrender your 10% you can pretty much do what the frack you like.

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When anything relatively good happens to the believer, his god gets the credit. Unpleasant circumstances are attributed to sin, Satan, or one of God's tests for the faithful. The fact that good and bad things happen to everyone, and that sometimes shit just happens is never recognized.

 

It's one of my pet peeves.

Moi aussi.

 

Actually you can simplify your statement to this: God gets all the credit for success and the believer gets all the blame for failure. Because if it's due to sin, who's sinning? If it's because of Satan, who is "giving place" to the devil? And if God is testing you, you clearly aren't to be trusted because God isn't sure you really are trustworthy. Else why would you need a test?

 

Another way to put it is, the believer gets 100% of the responsibility and 0% of the credit. It's a pretty raw deal. God's side is to get 100% of the credit and 0% of the responsibility because after all he gets a free pass when he doesn't live up to his promises to protect, enlighten, and guide his own. That's a pretty sweet deal. Imagine having toadies tripping over each other and themselves to creatively excuse you for being an absent, indifferent and possibly sadistic parent-figure?

 

It's a good thing God isn't real or I'd waste a lot of energy being mad at him.

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When anything relatively good happens to the believer, his god gets the credit. Unpleasant circumstances are attributed to sin, Satan, or one of God's tests for the faithful. The fact that good and bad things happen to everyone, and that sometimes shit just happens is never recognized.

 

It's one of my pet peeves.

Moi aussi.

 

Actually you can simplify your statement to this: God gets all the credit for success and the believer gets all the blame for failure. Because if it's due to sin, who's sinning? If it's because of Satan, who is "giving place" to the devil? And if God is testing you, you clearly aren't to be trusted because God isn't sure you really are trustworthy. Else why would you need a test?

 

Another way to put it is, the believer gets 100% of the responsibility and 0% of the credit. It's a pretty raw deal. God's side is to get 100% of the credit and 0% of the responsibility because after all he gets a free pass when he doesn't live up to his promises to protect, enlighten, and guide his own. That's a pretty sweet deal. Imagine having toadies tripping over each other and themselves to creatively excuse you for being an absent, indifferent and possibly sadistic parent-figure?

 

It's a good thing God isn't real or I'd waste a lot of energy being mad at him.

 

That's simplified? :HaHa:

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Not an objection to God or Gods per se... but a definite problem for Biblegod who is supposed to be just and good...

 

I am leaning toward a malevolent deity or dieties.

 

Isaiah 45:7 (TNIV) is a verse that I have thrown at the fundies before:

 

I form the light and create darkness, I bring prosperity and create disaster; I, the Lord, do all these things.

 

I have yet to get an answer.

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When anything relatively good happens to the believer, his god gets the credit. Unpleasant circumstances are attributed to sin, Satan, or one of God's tests for the faithful. The fact that good and bad things happen to everyone, and that sometimes shit just happens is never recognized.

 

It's one of my pet peeves.

Moi aussi.

 

Actually you can simplify your statement to this: God gets all the credit for success and the believer gets all the blame for failure. Because if it's due to sin, who's sinning? If it's because of Satan, who is "giving place" to the devil? And if God is testing you, you clearly aren't to be trusted because God isn't sure you really are trustworthy. Else why would you need a test?

 

Another way to put it is, the believer gets 100% of the responsibility and 0% of the credit. It's a pretty raw deal. God's side is to get 100% of the credit and 0% of the responsibility because after all he gets a free pass when he doesn't live up to his promises to protect, enlighten, and guide his own. That's a pretty sweet deal. Imagine having toadies tripping over each other and themselves to creatively excuse you for being an absent, indifferent and possibly sadistic parent-figure?

 

It's a good thing God isn't real or I'd waste a lot of energy being mad at him.

 

i was actually just thinking about this earlier today. how we as humans are suppose to get 100% blame for what bad things happen and 0% recognition, or credit for what we do good. I dont think its a coincidence that the writers of the bible hated any kind of pride. sounds like a good way to set someone up for control. yea sometimes being too prideful can be really bad, but while in the faith i felt I couldn't even sign my own signature on the bottom of something i drew.

 

 

 

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Not an objection to God or Gods per se... but a definite problem for Biblegod who is supposed to be just and good...

 

I am leaning toward a malevolent deity or dieties.

 

Isaiah 45:7 (TNIV) is a verse that I have thrown at the fundies before:

 

I form the light and create darkness, I bring prosperity and create disaster; I, the Lord, do all these things.

 

I have yet to get an answer.

 

 

I'm betting you never will, either.

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i was actually just thinking about this earlier today. how we as humans are suppose to get 100% blame for what bad things happen and 0% recognition, or credit for what we do good. I dont think its a coincidence that the writers of the bible hated any kind of pride. sounds like a good way to set someone up for control. yea sometimes being too prideful can be really bad, but while in the faith i felt I couldn't even sign my own signature on the bottom of something i drew.

Yes, the teaching against pride sets people up to be controlled. Ironically that oft-quoted Bible verse, "Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment ..." isn't so much a teaching against pride as a call for balance. I still remember enough of my theological training to recall that the original Greek reads more along the lines of, "have a sane assessment of yourself." In other words neither false modesty nor megalomania, just be realistic.

 

Another thing the 100% blame / zero % recognition idea reminds me of, is the situation that happens often in the business world where you are given responsibility without authority by bosses who themselves are not accountable and apt to take credit for whatever success you manage to eke out while keeping you in reserve as a fall guy in case anything goes wrong.

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Today on NPR, Marry Morris recounted how her husband, who worked at post office, died after exposure to anthrax in 2001. She wraps up her story with this statement:

 

"I miss him, but then I think that with all those people going in and out of the Brentwood Post Office, only two died...That was nothing but the grace of God."

When I was a believer, I made the same type of rationalizations. The logic goes something like this: Because God has all power, he could destroy everything in an instant; therefore, any moment that God is not totally annihilating everything - that is a blessed moment.

Thinking about it now, that seems like such a low standard to hold God to. We never hold a human to such as a low standard. The next time someone insults you, hug them and tell them they are a miracle because they only insulted you instead of ripping your face off.

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Not an objection to God or Gods per se... but a definite problem for Biblegod who is supposed to be just and good...

 

I am leaning toward a malevolent deity or dieties.

 

Isaiah 45:7 (TNIV) is a verse that I have thrown at the fundies before:

 

I form the light and create darkness, I bring prosperity and create disaster; I, the Lord, do all these things.

 

I have yet to get an answer.

The NIV tends to water this verse down by using disaster rather than evil.

The Jewish Publication Society Bible and the KJV render this verse as follows:

 

Isa 45:7 (JPS Tanach)

I form the light, and create darkness; I make peace, and create evil; I am the Lord, that doeth all these things.

 

This issue came up a few months ago and the standard apologetic is that God doesn't really create evil, but will allow it.

Of course, the verse doesn't say "allows", it says "create".

The other apologetic tactic is to claim that evil in this case doesn't mean moral evil, but only means physical disaster.

That apologetic doesn't hold up either as "ra" does include ethical evil according to the Hebrew lexicon.

 

Christian mythology can't have God doing anything "bad".

Evil somehow spawned itself through spontaneous generation.

Ironically, these are the same people that say everything has to have a cause except for God himself.

However, evil somehow poofed itself into existence without God being involved.

Perhaps it was a big bang event.

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Not an objection to God or Gods per se... but a definite problem for Biblegod who is supposed to be just and good...

 

I am leaning toward a malevolent deity or dieties.

 

Isaiah 45:7 (TNIV) is a verse that I have thrown at the fundies before:

 

I form the light and create darkness, I bring prosperity and create disaster; I, the Lord, do all these things.

 

I have yet to get an answer.

The NIV tends to water this verse down by using disaster rather than evil.

The Jewish Publication Society Bible and the KJV render this verse as follows:

 

Isa 45:7 (JPS Tanach)

I form the light, and create darkness; I make peace, and create evil; I am the Lord, that doeth all these things.

 

This issue came up a few months ago and the standard apologetic is that God doesn't really create evil, but will allow it.

Of course, the verse doesn't say "allows", it says "create".

The other apologetic tactic is to claim that evil in this case doesn't mean moral evil, but only means physical disaster.

That apologetic doesn't hold up either as "ra" does include ethical evil according to the Hebrew lexicon.

 

Christian mythology can't have God doing anything "bad".

Evil somehow spawned itself through spontaneous generation.

Ironically, these are the same people that say everything has to have a cause except for God himself.

However, evil somehow poofed itself into existence without God being involved.

Perhaps it was a big bang event.

 

I asked the ex if it was true that god created all things. She said "yes." Then I asked her if god created Satan and she's like "well...uhhhh." Too late, gotcha! hahaha. But then beyond that we know that the loving god allows Satan to continue to exist. What's up with that?

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Yesterday, I heard it again - Something that I said for many years....''I've been so 'blessed by god in this life!''

 

All those years I thought the same thing, especially if things were going good. I would say it was a blessing and it was all my hard work for survival!!!

 

I was thinking this morning of what I would have answered if an atheist or agnostic directly asked me, ''What about all the people that have lived in the past, say within the last 2,000 years?'' Most had no lights, heat, etc.... no insulation in their 'straw huts'. They lived in tents, mountains, caves.........They constantly had to protect themselves from the weather conditions. What about the hardship these people went through?? They weren't so damn 'blessed'!?

What did we think back then when we were christians, about 'these' people that endured horrendous suffering to survive? How would we have spoken 'for god' about them? I can't really remember what I might have said???

 

When I think of some of the things that have happened, (even in the last 200 years) I shudder! :twitch: We had witch burning, slavery, torture of all kinds. What else went on back then? How did they survive when they didn't have the conveniences that we have??

 

What would you have responded to that question when you were a christian?

 

I might have said that people back then didnt know they had it 'bad' nor do we know how bad we have it right now compared to what life will be two thousand years from now. But if you key in on the word "suffering", as a Christian you can say that long suffering is a virtue that god gets off on. The more you suffer the more godly you are. Then you can bring up Job of course. He suffered loss of family members and disease but in the end God rewarded him with a brand new family (after he allowed satan to kill the first one), yadda yadda. So if you are suffering you should consider yourself 'good' in god's eyes because god thinks that's great and in the end you will go to heaven. woohoo! On the other hand, if you are suffering from herpes or syphilis you've been BAD and will probably end up in hell...haha

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I asked the ex if it was true that god created all things. She said "yes." Then I asked her if god created Satan and she's like "well...uhhhh." Too late, gotcha! hahaha. But then beyond that we know that the loving god allows Satan to continue to exist. What's up with that?

Christian mythology runs deep in its effort to make Satan a handy whipping boy.

The Hebrew scriptures (aka Old Testament) never identify Satan as being evil, rebellious, or in disobedience of God.

Satan is one of God's many sons and serves as man's accuser in God's court.

Satan is never mentioned in Genesis, where all the trouble started.

Satan in the Old Testament never disobeys God.

Satan evolved into the "Devil" courtesy of Christian theologians.

Satan gets all the blame and God gets all the credit.

Satan should sue Christians for defamation of character and violation of the commandment not to bear false witness of others.

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Christian mythology runs deep in its effort to make Satan a handy whipping boy.

The Hebrew scriptures (aka Old Testament) never identify Satan as being evil, rebellious, or in disobedience of God.

Satan is one of God's many sons and serves as man's accuser in God's court.

Satan is never mentioned in Genesis, where all the trouble started.

Satan in the Old Testament never disobeys God.

Satan evolved into the "Devil" courtesy of Christian theologians.

Satan gets all the blame and God gets all the credit.

Satan should sue Christians for defamation of character and violation of the commandment not to bear false witness of others.

 

centauri - I honestly never thought about some of these points before. VERY interesting!

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Christian mythology runs deep in its effort to make Satan a handy whipping boy.

The Hebrew scriptures (aka Old Testament) never identify Satan as being evil, rebellious, or in disobedience of God.

Satan is one of God's many sons and serves as man's accuser in God's court.

Satan is never mentioned in Genesis, where all the trouble started.

Satan in the Old Testament never disobeys God.

Satan evolved into the "Devil" courtesy of Christian theologians.

Satan gets all the blame and God gets all the credit.

Satan should sue Christians for defamation of character and violation of the commandment not to bear false witness of others.

 

centauri - I honestly never thought about some of these points before. VERY interesting!

Years ago, I was surprised to have these things pointed out to me.

The pastors had told me the exact opposite.

It was a Jewish rabbi that enlightened me.

At first I didn't belive him but after checking into it I discovered the rabbi was right and the pastor was wrong.

These are two different religions and are not harmonious in doctrine.

Yet, every Sunday on TV and radio, pastors are pumping a load of crap into people's skulls about "Satan" being the source of all their problems.

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