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Goodbye Jesus

Some Questions About Christianity Vs Cults Other Religions.


Smokey4352

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G'day,

 

I was thinking today about Christianity from an outsiders perspective looking in and this has led me to some questions I could not answer myself and am after assistance.

 

1. The Christian bible contains clever mind traps to scare someone into belief and compliance. Is Christianity the only religion that has these things? Are there other religions or cults that have mind traps like threatening hell for non-believers (just to give one example of many)?

 

2. I have read the incessant replies and angry condemnation by Christians on this site to posts in the lions den. Sometimes their replies do not even address the base issues and it can be seen that they are sometimes clearly wrong but are sometimes so arrogant they cannot see the truth. Often when they are being flogged in an argument they will throw subtle threats about the consequences for unbelievers and other passive aggressive threats. They see others as inferior to them and believe so deeply and stubbornly (it even tells you to be stubborn in your belief IN the bible - clever mind trap!) in Christianity that no amount of showing them the truth will de-convert them.

 

I wanted to ask, has any of the crusading Christians trying to 'save souls' here ever been de-converted?

&

If there any other religion or cult where the members/believers argue and crusade with similar vigor to the Christians? Or is it exclusive to them.

 

Thanks for any enlightenment!

 

PS I just want to add that I am not insulting any Christians just asking questions. I would consider myself agnostic but I used to be 'fairly' Christian. Maybe there is still of it in me I don't know. I am aware that alot of people on this forum used to be Christian.

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Question: De-conversion. Not to my knowledge. Though a couple have re-coverted and hung around and then de-converted again.

 

Question crusade. Islam, a small sect of Judeaism, Moonies, anyone actually in a cult,

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Hi!

 

1. Not that I know of nowadays. Some mystery cults long ago had a sort of death review where you got quizzed and didn't go to their heaven if you failed. Egyptians famously thought that horrible things happened if you weren't buried correctly. I suspect the idea of hell was a product io its time.

 

2. I don't think I've been here long enough to answer about the True Christians who show up here. 2b: I used to hang out with several semiformal groups of pagans when I lived in a certain major city (think of these as a sort of discussion group or book club in formality level). They didn't tend to argue about whose god was real or fake, nor really proselytize, but it was always a hoot listening to the heated discussions regarding eclectics vs reconstructionists. There were a few flash points like that one that always guaranteed a lively evening.

 

But I think it takes a very self-focused, authoritarian outlook to bring about the type of aggression and defensiveness one sees in evangelical Christianity. I just didn't see a lot of that with the folks I was around. I was if anything frustrated that they seemed all too accepting of outright nonsense.

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Hi Smokey,

 

There is plenty of stuff to discuss packed into your questions and I will give you part of my take on it (all of my take would make this way too long.)

 

1. The Christian bible contains clever mind traps to scare someone into belief and compliance. Is Christianity the only religion that has these things? Are there other religions or cults that have mind traps like threatening hell for non-believers (just to give one example of many)?

 

The Christian Bible is one of many sacred texts. In order for the text to function as the one and only book that is the Truth (with a capital T) it must contain elements that secure the belief of the followers. Fear and guilt indoctrination are primary components of all sacred texts.

 

I take it you are in the USA? We live in a country in which the majority of people are Christian. Believers in any religion see theirs as being totally unique. They have to -- if it is more or less like all the others then there is no reason to stick to that one. There are many hells around the world. Islam functions almost exactly like Christianity. True believers go to heaven -- everyone else goes to hell. Christianity is not unique. Furthermore there are a multitude of very different Christianities. Compare South American Catholicism with the Quakers, the Presbyterians with the Amish, the Mormons with the Episcopalians, etc. These do not look like the same religion at all, although they all call themselves “Christian.” All of these Christianities, Jewish sects, Buddhism, Hinduisms, Islamic sects, etc. contain elements that keep people frightened of leaving the fold. The same goes for modern UFO cults, Scientology, etc. If you leave something very bad will happen to you -- if not now after you are dead. Ifyou don’t scare people into it -- there is no real reason for them to continue to be part of the cult.

 

2. I have read the incessant replies and angry condemnation by Christians on this site to posts in the lions den. Sometimes their replies do not even address the base issues and it can be seen that they are sometimes clearly wrong but are sometimes so arrogant they cannot see the truth. Often when they are being flogged in an argument they will throw subtle threats about the consequences for unbelievers and other passive aggressive threats. They see others as inferior to them and believe so deeply and stubbornly (it even tells you to be stubborn in your belief IN the bible - clever mind trap!) in Christianity that no amount of showing them the truth will de-convert them.

 

There are a variety of explanations for people who are still believers and actively try to belittle or attack former believers. One of the main things is that it is a threat to their belief system. It is a threat to them. One of their most precious tenets is the idea that those who left Christianity was never a true Christian to begin with. It really is difficult -- nearly impossible for them to imagine that someone who believed as much as they do, who really felt the presence of God in their lives could possibly come to a point of abandoning the faith. It is terrifying for them to think that it could happen to them too. They are particularly stand-offish toward ex-members because they need to create a profound difference between themselves and those who left. They are trying to reassure themselves that it could not possibly happen to them too.

 

People can and do have extreme changes in their thinking. It happens. It can happen in any direction.

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I wanted to ask, has any of the crusading Christians trying to 'save souls' here ever been de-converted?

I'm not aware of that exact scenario happening, but …

 

I don't remember his name, but there was someone who came here a few years ago saying he thought god had put a curse on him and he was going to die on the next Rosh Hashanah, a Jewish holiday. He wasn't trying to convert people, he was asking how we coped with knowing we were doomed to receive god's wrath for leaving Christianity, even though everyone told him it doesn't apply since most of us don't believe in god anymore. He came back later after whatever date he thought he was going to die, god hadn't killed him, and he'd pretty much deconverted.

 

And a couple of regular members have said they visited here when they were Christians and were scared/offended by the things they read, but they didn't proselytize.

 

I wouldn't be surprised if some of the internet missionaries who show up in the lion's den are actually there to wrestle with their own doubts, though.

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