Jump to content

What it was like growing up in an Assemblies of God cult


Recommended Posts

  • Super Moderator
59 minutes ago, Robert_Tulip said:

True, but to me that only shows that common definitions of religion are in need of change.  I think of religion as any organised activity that promotes shared social agreement relating to spirituality.  That would mean you can have a secret spirituality that you never share with anyone, or that is just a theoretical philosophy, but as soon as you use your views as a basis for organisation you are practicing religion. 

 

Buddhism is a religion where major traditions jettison supernatural aspects.  Similarly, the liberal Christianity promoted by Bishop Spong totally rejects theism, while holding on to Christian tradition and culture.  These are minority viewpoints, but the fact that traditionalists reject them does not mean they are not religion.

 

The literal original meaning of religion is 'rebinding', from the same root meaning as ligament, based on how ligaments bind our bones together.  That means whenever we try to bind people together around shared views we are practicing a form of religion, even if our connection is defined by opposition to an existing belief system, and even if we don't think of our view as religion.

 

I see a lot of grief among people who respect some aspects of religion but can't abide the absurd dogmatism.  So I prefer to say that such people don't deserve to have their legitimate views treated as heretical anathema by putting them forever outside the pale of organised religion.

I heartily disagree almost entirely. Definitions should not be changed to suit someone's current philosophical musings or make the thing more palatable to a larger audience. A dog is a mammal with four legs and insisting we need to change the definition to a winged avian that barks is silly. It's still a dog, original definition.

 

I've always puzzled over people who claim to be of one religion or another but immediately add, "but I don't believe blah, blah, blah." Then why claim a religion that requires belief in "blah, blah, blah?" 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

18 hours ago, florduh said:

John 3:16 is a simple, clear message.

No it is not. 

For God so loved the world – does that mean the physical planet, all of humanity, or just Christians?  Its fit is far from simple and clear with messages like 1 John 2:15 “Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them”.

“that he gave his one and only Son”, - although Genesis 6:1 and other texts say God has other sons.  And the Greek monogenē could mean “only begotten”, not “one and only” as many translations put it, but that opens the theological dispute of whether the Son is subordinate to the Father, which generated the Arian heresy.

“that whoever believes in him” – that is presented by fundamentalists as simple and clear but in fact is incredibly obscure.  The earliest church appears to have believed that Jesus was actually an imaginary allegory, not a real person.  That means the ‘belief in Jesus’ was intended in this text as an entry point for an initiated community who understood belief in Jesus in purely symbolic terms.

“shall not perish but have eternal life.” Ambiguous.  This can be interpreted to mean living in the spirit rather than the flesh in this life on earth, not going to heaven when dead as conventionally understood. 

18 hours ago, florduh said:

There is a minimum requirement if someone is to legitimately call himself a Christian.

Just because dogmatists have said that for two thousand years does not make it true.  If in fact the dogma is a corrupted distortion of the original teachings, then real Christianity requires a deconstruction of this process of distortion and dogma.

18 hours ago, florduh said:

Obviously there are myriad nuances regarding implementation of specific teachings beyond basic salvation by a resurrected Christ, but that's the nature of any religion, no? Even the very new Scientology already has schisms and factions.

“Basic salvation” is the most unclear thing of all.  Science gives no basis to believe in heaven as a literal place.  And the Bible itself suggests heaven is the image of what earth could become (thy will be done on earth as in heaven).  The “resurrected Christ” makes more scientific and historical and even mythological sense as allegory for the Sun than as an example of God breaking the laws of physics.  Jesus himself suggests the goal is to save the world, making the conventional idea of personally going to heaven for ever in return for stated doctrinal assent very shallow.

18 hours ago, florduh said:

It's not that difficult; a Christian worships Jesus the Christ because of his supernatural standing, not because of being able to twist the story of a resurrected god into some dispassionate philosophic musings. 

What you say has accurately described historically dominant Christianity. It does not describe either the original ideas of Christianity that gave rise to the Bible, or what Christianity has to become in order to overcome its current obsolescence.  I can understand that many ex-Christians want the church to fade away and die.  I prefer to argue that Christianity has enduring value as something that contemporary thinking and ethics should build upon and reform, not discard.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Super Moderator
1 hour ago, Robert_Tulip said:

I prefer to argue that Christianity has enduring value...

Your hope and wish is that your debunked Christianity still has hidden gems of relevant wisdom, even Truth. You want or need it to work when it clearly doesn't unless you reduce it to a Philosophy 101 discussion in the Quad rather than what it actually is. Clearly, cherry picking is not just for Fundamentalists!

 

What did Christians believe before there was a Bible? We don't know. Who wrote the Bible? We don't know. Did the writers work together over generations to create a cohesive story with an agenda and goal? It would seem the opposite. Why do some people lend such weight to "revealed" writings and folk tales from the Bronze Age? I'll certainly never know.

 

If you prefer to argue Christianity's value you need to present more than your wishes as evidence.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 hours ago, florduh said:

Your hope and wish is that your debunked Christianity still has hidden gems of relevant wisdom, even Truth. You want or need it to work when it clearly doesn't unless you reduce it to a Philosophy 101 discussion in the Quad rather than what it actually is. Clearly, cherry picking is not just for Fundamentalists!

 

I don't want to turn this AOG thread into a discussion of my ideas, which I have presented to this discussion board in two threads I have started in the General Christian Theological Issues Forum.  More than a hope and wish, the "hidden gems" of scientific validity within Christianity is something I have argued in detail, as presented in my recent paper on Christianity for the Age of Aquarius, linked in that forum.  "What Christianity actually is" is a highly contestable notion, not something that can be simply reduced to prevailing assumptions.  My argument that Christianity began with a now-largely-lost astronomy is not cherry picking, it is a coherent and scientific hypothesis about history. 

6 hours ago, florduh said:

What did Christians believe before there was a Bible? We don't know. Who wrote the Bible? We don't know. Did the writers work together over generations to create a cohesive story with an agenda and goal? It would seem the opposite. Why do some people lend such weight to "revealed" writings and folk tales from the Bronze Age? I'll certainly never know.  If you prefer to argue Christianity's value you need to present more than your wishes as evidence.

These are excellent questions, but the answers you suggest can all be challenged, as I explain in some detail in the threads I have started.  There is good evidence that the authorship of the New Testament involved a far higher level of intellectual clarity than is generally accepted, but this requires acceptance, as Carrier argues, that the ideas in the New Testament evolved as a process of what he calls "sacred allegory", not as an attempt to describe historical events. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...
On 9/14/2021 at 1:02 PM, veganbros said:

We made a video explaining what it was like growing up in an Assemblies of God cult. We would love your feedback! Thanks

 

https://youtu.be/OIKVrzpSBug

I doubt I will get any response to this, as you have hit and run this forum.  But whatever.

 

I was raised in the Ass of God as well.  And, my experience is very similar to yours.  Except, I ended up atheist and carnivore.  Why do you still accept Jesus as the explanation for anything, after that experience?

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Guidelines.