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Does God Help The Weary?


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This.

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Before I became annoyed by this photo a friend posted to her FB, I stopped to really think about what it means for someone of faith. My friend, and every Christian like her, for that matter, have no reason to have hope; no reason not to end it all tonight if it weren't for the faith they have in God.

I'm talking about someone whose life is an upward fight, grew up in poverty & abuse, anyone they cared about dies or walks out on them, they struggle with failing health & mental illnesses... broken people. We all know at least one, right? Maybe you are one...

 

And how could I, or anyone, look someone like that in the eyes and say that their God is not real? He's real to them- shouldn't that be enough?

 

Now that I think of it, I know countless individuals who, were it not for their faith in God, would not be alive today. I don't think that's because God does miracles, but because faith is the hope that keeps them holding on. How could I challenge a faith like that?

 

I'm not suggesting I, or any of you should go back to believing, by any means. We put a lot of thought into how Christianity is harmful; how we've been hurt by it, I'm guilty of this too, but what if we put more thought into the positives that faith gives people; the positive things, however small, that Christianity taught each of us while we were in it.

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Faith was certainly a strong carrier through some very bad times for me. Unlike many people here, I was a happy believer with that very personal relationship with God that people talk about. I am grateful for it because I went through some pretty awful shit.

 

But I am truly better off as a nonbeliever. I think it's all about timing. This is deeply personal, and something people have to come to figure out for themselves, otherwise they will never understand it. I can get quite vicious with the self-righteous and willfully ignorant, but to someone who is broken, I keep my mouth shut. I appreciate endlessly the kindness and patience my atheist family showed me and my spiritual babblings years ago by keeping their mouths shut and waiting for me to come to my senses.

 

Ultimately though, my personal strength now in myself and my world far outweighs the fantasy of a loving god. Looking at this picture, I would never say "I am weak." I would say, "I'm running out of resources and need help from others." But I KNOW I am strong. Even the strong get tired. No warrior can fight forever without rest and support.

 

I do not believe that believing in fantasies instead of the truth is healthy...but one thing at a time, yes?

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I have friends who have very simple faith in god that maintains them through tough lives. While I'm very sure they could survive without it, as long as it makes them happy, let it be.

 

Until they decide that I "need" god, too ...

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Ultimately though, my personal strength now in myself and my world far outweighs the fantasy of a loving god. Looking at this picture, I would never say "I am weak." I would say, "I'm running out of resources and need help from others." But I KNOW I am strong. Even the strong get tired. No warrior can fight forever without rest and support.

 

I do not believe that believing in fantasies instead of the truth is healthy...but one thing at a time, yes?

 

Amen and well said.

 

Some of the strongest people I know believe themselves to be weak and give all the credit for their strength to god. But heck, we all live with some sort of delusions, even we who seek to root delusion out of our lives.

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While I am grateful for my journey in and then out of Christianity, I realize I used it as method toward better living. At the time I didn't believe in myself enough to do it. Once I was made whole (meaning I now accept myself as I am), I couldn't stay in that place of perpetual brokenness, where Christianity tries to keep you.

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While I am grateful for my journey in and then out of Christianity, I realize I used it as method toward better living. At the time I didn't believe in myself enough to do it. Once I was made whole (meaning I now accept myself as I am), I couldn't stay in that place of perpetual brokenness, where Christianity tries to keep you.

 

Great! I'm glad you are able to view the time you spent in xianity this way. I have some friends in the Sovereign Grace Ministry. I couldn't help but notice how significantly those churches in particular preach a lot about how people are weak, dirty, sinful, helpless creatures desperately in need of Christ to survive. Even as a xian, I had a hard time to "lay down my pride" and swallow that horse pill!

 

I tend to think of faith as a conceptual placebo pill. I know it's a placebo, so it won't work. But people who have faith can't find out it's a placebo, or it stops working. Placebo or not, I think it might be doing something, and something is better than nothing, right? I think this is why I don't wish to tear down christianity for those people who have nothing left to hope for except faith. It's like giving a child a lollipop to make their pain go away after they've fallen down.

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While I am grateful for my journey in and then out of Christianity, I realize I used it as method toward better living. At the time I didn't believe in myself enough to do it. Once I was made whole (meaning I now accept myself as I am), I couldn't stay in that place of perpetual brokenness, where Christianity tries to keep you.

 

Great! I'm glad you are able to view the time you spent in xianity this way. I have some friends in the Sovereign Grace Ministry. I couldn't help but notice how significantly those churches in particular preach a lot about how people are weak, dirty, sinful, helpless creatures desperately in need of Christ to survive. Even as a xian, I had a hard time to "lay down my pride" and swallow that horse pill!

 

I tend to think of faith as a conceptual placebo pill. I know it's a placebo, so it won't work. But people who have faith can't find out it's a placebo, or it stops working. Placebo or not, I think it might be doing something, and something is better than nothing, right? I think this is why I don't wish to tear down christianity for those people who have nothing left to hope for except faith. It's like giving a child a lollipop to make their pain go away after they've fallen down.

 

I definitely see your point. I think those type of believers put us thinking nonbelievers in a tough place, because, for me, I don't want to bring them down, but I also don't want them to stay there. A relative just found out she has cancer to the liver after years of alcohol abuse (and hep-c from drugs in her early 20s). She is not, nor has ever been, an active christian, but said yesterday, "Isn't it great that god made our livers to regenerate itself?"

 

I didn't say anything, but also felt like saying, "Isn't it great that doctors had evidence and foresight to warn you for over ten years that you needed to find a way to quick drinking or you would develop cancer to the liver?"

 

By bringing god into the equation, she takes away her personal responsibility, as well as the credit from doctors who warned her in the first place.

 

But, I don't say anything, because I think deep, deep down she knows the truth but is too proud to admit the damage it caused herself, as well as those around her.

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While I am saddened that people don't realize it is their own inner strength that ACTUALLY gets them through tough times, I don't think everyone has it in them to realize and come to grips with that. I've seen some newer members to Ex-c who I won't mention by name that are good examples of that. It's almost like Wile E Coyote running off a cliff. He's ok until he looks down.

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God does not help the weary. The 'weary' have a false hope in being rescued at one point. Faith can be a great thing if one can hold on to it. It did make my life somewhat easier; always believeing from day to day, that god was going to rescue me from the sufferings of life.

 

I never take this away from the 'innocent' christian anymore. I did at first, but soon realized that it wasn't a nice thing to do to the poor ole' human race. It gets them through this 'weary' life.

 

I just do drugs now........GONZ9729CustomImage1539775.gifeek.gifWendyshrug.gif

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Do the math. The negatives of religion outweigh the positives. The negatives would include destruction of families, political upheaval, war and murder. That some people get false comfort and hope from this evil system hardly justifies its continued existence.

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Do the math. The negatives of religion outweigh the positives. The negatives would include destruction of families, political upheaval, war and murder. That some people get false comfort and hope from this evil system hardly justifies its continued existence.

florduh, that is always a very good point. A very good point indeed. Now, what to do about it? Wendyshrug.gif

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Do the math. The negatives of religion outweigh the positives. The negatives would include destruction of families, political upheaval, war and murder. That some people get false comfort and hope from this evil system hardly justifies its continued existence.

florduh, that is always a very good point. A very good point indeed. Now, what to do about it? Wendyshrug.gif

For starters, stop validating someone's false belief even though it may be providing false comfort to them. Don't worry, they won't abandon their magical beliefs just because you make it clear that you don't buy it. However, others may see your example of honest skepticism and eventually seek the truth. Organized religion will always exist because human nature demands it, and there is too much easy money to be made. We don't have to condone it with our silence.

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Do the math. The negatives of religion outweigh the positives. The negatives would include destruction of families, political upheaval, war and murder. That some people get false comfort and hope from this evil system hardly justifies its continued existence.

florduh, that is always a very good point. A very good point indeed. Now, what to do about it? Wendyshrug.gif

 

Accept the fact that your mind and your willpower is stronger than any God.

 

Back when we were messed up Chrisitans we imagined that God was there helping us get through it. It was our mind and our willpower. I think realizing the truth makes us stronger.

 

I have not been depressed since leaving church. I've had some tough situations, situations that would have made the me of a few years ago depressed. But I choose to not be depressed. My mind is stronger than any God.

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To me personally faith in God only did harm (made me feel guilty, afraid of hell, miserable with intrusive thoughts all the time etc - a lot of us here know that).

 

On the other hand I acknowledge that for some people it can give something positive. My father has a health condition that ties him to bed til the end of his life. He's in that health condition for ten years now. Mind you, his God did not help him, he got this brain stroke while he was a Christian. He considers it a "miracle" though that he did not die. We all made those kind of excuses for God when we were Xtians.

 

Anyway, I can see that his only hope in this life is his faith in God. That either God will miraculously heal him or at least he will live a fully healthy life again in Heaven. Even though my dad can be pretty agressive in trying to shove down God on my throat and even if he is a pretty annoying and judgmental fundy, I just could not bring myself to tell him there is no God. Of course, he would not believe me anyway, it would only poison our relationship, but another reason is that I would not want to take away his only hope either. It's a delusion, yeah, but in his case IMO this delusion gives him hope.

 

Like Karl Marx, I consider religion a drug. This means it's harmful for most people but can be useful for some. It only makes harm in the lives of people who are healthy, but it can help the sick. I can also see the drug analogy when I think back of testimonies in my church from people who used to be drug addicts but got rid of it after becoming Christians. Of course, these were celebrated as miracles of God and these people will feel forever grateful to "God" for saving their lives. What I see in this mechanism now, though is that one drug got replaced by another. These people, IMO, are dependent types and now Christianity is the drug they can depend on. A positive aspect of it is, that at least it is not physically harmful, unlike drugs.

 

Also religion can give the motivation for people (for example criminals) to change who otherwise would not have that motivation. Heaven and Hell, God and Satan are pretty simplicistic messages for anybody to understand, even for the uneducated. And if you can get a criminal to believe that, then of course that could induce a change in him. After all noone wants to burn in hell for ever. I really think one purpose of religion was from the get go to keep people in line.

 

Of course, none of the above makes Christianity true, but as a kind of mental manipulation and a delusion it (or any religion) can work and it can even help some people.

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Do the math. The negatives of religion outweigh the positives. The negatives would include destruction of families, political upheaval, war and murder.

 

On the other hand I also have to agree with this. As long as belief in God remained a personal matter it would be OK that it's a drug or placebo for some. Anyone can have any delusion he wants, I wouldn't care.

 

However, on a social level Christianity and religion in general is more often than not is an aggressor. In some countries (including the leading power of this world) you cannot get elected if you don't call yourself a Christian. Laws and rules of whole countries are based on questionable Christian or other religious "ethics": the war on gays, women, on people of other faiths, science etc.

There are churches considered to be above the law (see the Catholic church and how they hide pedophile priests in the Vatican), churches shamelessly cheating out people's money etc etc. So, no, it's not a harmless delusion at all, but it's a very harmful mass delusion of mankind. So I actually understand the so called "militant atheists" as well, like Richard Dawkins.

 

To put it in my personal perspective of my dad: While I would not want to take away his delusion that gives him the only hope he can be given at this point, on the other hand I know that I wouldn't want people like him have political power. He would be a dangerous Christo-fascist if he had power (he's a very judgmental fundy). I can see that even if I love him. Christianity made him that way. Fortunately he does not have power.

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i don't come from a "christian god" country.

 

Broken people die and survive on reasons/faith that they know how they cope or not. Some people relied on god/gods/karma or some people i know, depended on their own grit and determination.

 

when people are broken, they don't need the truth that hour of need but kindness.

 

i am taught to be kind outweighs being right.

 

cheers

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That faith is what ultimately brought us to reality. I think you will be hard pressed to find a gathering of individuals anywhere who have the amount of faith as the members of Ex-C once had. So though I empathize with your friends ever so pressing heart for god it may be that faith that brings her to a new reality outside of religion.

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This.

558607_360201490720637_1154282303_n.jpg

 

Before I became annoyed by this photo a friend posted to her FB, I stopped to really think about what it means for someone of faith. My friend, and every Christian like her, for that matter, have no reason to have hope; no reason not to end it all tonight if it weren't for the faith they have in God.

I'm talking about someone whose life is an upward fight, grew up in poverty & abuse, anyone they cared about dies or walks out on them, they struggle with failing health & mental illnesses... broken people. We all know at least one, right? Maybe you are one...

 

And how could I, or anyone, look someone like that in the eyes and say that their God is not real? He's real to them- shouldn't that be enough?

 

Now that I think of it, I know countless individuals who, were it not for their faith in God, would not be alive today. I don't think that's because God does miracles, but because faith is the hope that keeps them holding on. How could I challenge a faith like that?

 

I'm not suggesting I, or any of you should go back to believing, by any means. We put a lot of thought into how Christianity is harmful; how we've been hurt by it, I'm guilty of this too, but what if we put more thought into the positives that faith gives people; the positive things, however small, that Christianity taught each of us while we were in it.

If I didn't know any better I would think this came right from an xtian fundamentalist. What positive things did it teach me while I was in their cult? Zilch. They didn't teach me anything I didn't know about already especially in the area of morals.

 

You ask how could you challenge a faith like that? Simple. It's no different than challenging a person who is delusional and acting out his/her delusions in society.

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i don't come from a "christian god" country.

 

Broken people die and survive on reasons/faith that they know how they cope or not. Some people relied on god/gods/karma or some people i know, depended on their own grit and determination.

 

when people are broken, they don't need the truth that hour of need but kindness.

 

i am taught to be kind outweighs being right.

 

cheers

I couldn't have said it any better Pratt. Thanks!
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what if we put more thought into the positives that faith gives people; the positive things, however small, that Christianity taught each of us while we were in it.

 

Quite frankly, I am not sure there was anything positive that Christianity taught me about faith.

 

If there was ever a time in my life when I needed faith, "god" apparently was too busy watching little kids get killed in Bosnia or something, because his silence told me he couldn't be bothered with me. It became clear to me at that point that if I wanted anything done in my life I was going to have to step up and do it myself, because the odds of it happening by magic were about zero.

 

I also think that picture is a cop out. If you go through life believing you are weak, then you might as well just wear a sign that says "please take advantage of me"....

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what if we put more thought into the positives that faith gives people; the positive things, however small, that Christianity taught each of us while we were in it.

 

Quite frankly, I am not sure there was anything positive that Christianity taught me about faith.

 

If there was ever a time in my life when I needed faith, "god" apparently was too busy watching little kids get killed in Bosnia or something, because his silence told me he couldn't be bothered with me. It became clear to me at that point that if I wanted anything done in my life I was going to have to step up and do it myself, because the odds of it happening by magic were about zero.

 

I also think that picture is a cop out. If you go through life believing you are weak, then you might as well just wear a sign that says "please take advantage of me"....

Very astute comments MIke! Looking back, surviving a childhood many wouldn't have walked away from without horrific damage, I can say I really did rely on the trinity - me, myself, and I.

 

Humans have an incredible amount of strength to overcome practically anything which self loathing xtians can't fathom because they can't handle the reality. The reality is that the world can be a very cold, dangerous place at times and you have to deal with this. They can't, we can - case closed.

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On the other hand, it looks like to me that faith is conditioning learned helplessness. Only, instead of the famous 1968 study about dogs and electric shock (The Alleviation of Learned Helplessness in Dogs, listed on the index above), it's about people and the bad stuff that happens in life. To sum up: dogs were confined in cages, and subjected to periodic electric shock through the floor. The dogs that were in cages that had only part of the floor electrified learned very quickly to jump out of the way to avoid the shock, but dogs in cages with the whole floor inescapably electrified just sat there and took it.) If faith is the cage with the totally electric floor, people learn to just sit there and take the bad stuff without having to do anything about it. It's mean to shock dogs. It's also mean to train people to helplessly wait for supernatural aid. And if it doesn't come? It's their own fault. Classic victim blaming. Cruel, simple, and highly effective way to keep people under control.

Also straight-up evil, IMO. It's not just comfort, however false, to me, it's a brutal means of emotional sabotage. As for depressed Christians, I'd be pretty depressed too, if I were in a situation like that. It's the disease masquerading as the cure.

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