Although I left Christianity over 20 years ago, it took a long while for me to erase the doctrines that had been embedded within my consciousness for 15+ years. It was not an easy road.
As Stephen Van Eck wrote on the Deism.com website: “Once sucked into the parallel universe of Christianity, [a person] is too intimidated by threats and rationalizations to attempt escape. Even thinking along alternative lines will induce severe feelings of guilt.”
Writing my book helped tremendously because of all the research and reading I did. Learning how and why certain doctrines of the Christian faith (e.g., final judgment, burning fires of hell, Satan and his demons, the end-times) were introduced into the faith was extremely liberating … and removed a ton of guilt and fear.
I also found out some things about the Bible. As many others, I had been taught the Bible was “God’s Word” (even though the interpretation of what “He” said varies considerably among denominations). Through my studies, I discovered that much of what is in the bible is the result of stories, epics, myths, legends, proverbs, etc. that were passed by word of mouth from one generation to another. This is particularly true of the Hebrew Bible, but intrinsically typical of the New Testament scriptures as well. Can you imagine the burden that was lifted when I found out I wasn’t genetically inclined to sin and thus in need of someone to save me from being human??!?
Contrary to what one might think, the many discoveries I made did not turn me into an atheist. However, I definitely do not believe in a supernatural being who lives somewhere “up there,” who can be manipulated by prayer, or who has a “will.” Rather, my image of “God” is far more encompassing and has nothing to do with religious belief. In fact, I’m extremely reluctant to even use the word “god” because of all its connotations.
In any case, I find my life so much more fulfilling now. Truly, what a relief it has been!
November 22, 1963 – John F. Kennedy is assassinated.
February 21, 1965 – Malcolm X is assassinated.
April 4, 1968 – Martin Luther King Jr. is assassinated.
June 5, 1968 – Robert Kennedy is assassinated.
In the span of five years the citizens of the United States lived through four very traumatic assassinations. I was two years old when JFK was assassinated and seven when his brother Robert was killed by Sirhan Sirhan.
I remember nothing about this period of time but I imagine for my parents and other adults it was a period of great concern for this country. How couldn’t it be? A President, two African-American leaders and the second coming of Camelot all killed in five years.
On this day that we honor the life and legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. I thought about all the fear of the unknown that must have taken place during…
Over the period since the Orange Monster (“affectionately” known as tRump) has been actively strutting his stuff as PEOTUS, how many have noticed how often he sings his “I know something you don’t know”ditty?
He sang it all during the selection of his cabinet members. He chants it regularly related to his tax returns. He hums it whenever he’s asked about his business empire. He croons it when questioned about his relationship with Vladimir Putin. He sings it (loudly) whenever anyone questions him about his actual plans for the country.
And most recently, he really belts it out when questions arise about his indiscretions with a select group of Russian women.
I do hope he picks a new theme song after his inauguration … but somehow, I don’t think he has any others in his repertoire.
When Adam made a freewill choice, the iniquity that was placed in Lucifer, activated Satan and made the God of this world.
The preceding was a comment made by someone on another blog during a discussion we were having on the “Big Bad Guy.” It took me aback as I’d never heard this particular interpretation of how Satan originated. In fact, my immediate reaction was “Huh?”
As many of you know, I researched the idea of Satan fairly extensively for my book and nowhere did I come across anything even remotely similar to this person’s statement. And I essentially told him that.
He responded by pointing out to me that Ezekiel wrote in Chapter 28, verse 13, “You were in Eden, the garden of God …”
Oh, O.K. Now it made sense. Sorta’. Let me explain.
A large number of Christians teach that Satan originated as an angel who used to possess great piety and beauty, but fell because of pride. They believe this angel’s name was Lucifer.
To substantiate this belief, they use Ezekiel 28:12-15, where they are convinced (have been taught) that Ezekiel is writing about a “fallen angel.” Yet when we look at context, we see in Verse 12 that Ezekiel has been instructed by the “word of the LORD“ to “raise a lamentation over the king of Tyre.” Nowhere in this passage does the “word of the LORD” redirect Ezekiel to address someone else.
Nevertheless, believers cling to the teaching that Ezekiel is writing about Lucifer.
Another portion of text which Christians are certain refers to Lucifer can be found in Isaiah 14:12-17:
How you have fallen from heaven, morning star, son of the dawn! You have been cast down to the earth, you who once laid low the nations! You said in your heart, “I will ascend to the heavens; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of Mount Zaphon. I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.” But you are brought down to the realm of the dead, to the depths of the pit. Those who see you stare at you, they ponder your fate: “Is this the man who shook the earth and made kingdoms tremble, the man who made the world a wilderness, who overthrew its cities and would not let his captives go home?” (KJV)
As they do in Ezekiel, they completely ignore Verse 4 of the chapter where it clearly states Isaiah is directing his comments to the king of Babylon.
Nevertheless, try to convince a believer of any of this.
The simple truth is this. Contrary to common belief, there is no “fallen angel” by the name of Lucifer. And to take it a step further, the entity known as “Satan” is not this “fallen angel.” In fact, there is no “Satan.” He is a construct of imaginative writers … but that’s a topic for another time.
To close this “lesson,” I offer the following from Wikipedia:
The name Lucifer is the King James Version rendering of the Hebrew word הֵילֵל in Isaiah (Isaiah 14:12). The Vulgate translation uses the Latin word lucifer, but with a lower-case initial. The Hebrew word, transliterated Hêlêl or Heylel (pron. as HAY-lale), occurs once in the Hebrew Bible and according to the KJV-based Strong’s Concordance means “shining one, light-bearer”. The Septuagint renders הֵילֵל in Greek as ἑωσφόρος (heōsphoros), a name, literally “bringer of dawn”, for the morning star. The word Lucifer is taken from the Latin Vulgate, which translates הֵילֵל as lucifer, meaning “the morning star, the planet Venus”, or, as an adjective, “light-bringing”.
Later Christian tradition came to use the Latin word for “morning star”, lucifer, as a proper name (“Lucifer”) for the devil; as he was before his fall. As a result, “‘Lucifer’ has become a by-word for Satan / the Devil in the church and in popular literature.”
Hope that clears things up relating to Lucifer/Satan and the “fallen angel.”
I just read a post about heaven and couldn’t resist sharing a portion of it.
What is Heaven like? Asking this question to roomful of Christians will most likely get a different answer from each one. The one question that will really baffle them is this: What form will you take in Heaven? By asking that I ask will you be a child? Will you be reborn? Or will you enter your new life as you left your old one? Say you get decapitated in a 24 car pileup with a door handle in your stomach. Will you arrive in Heaven with your head in your hand? Perhaps Heaven has kiosks akin to what we see at Sheetz, with St. Peter handing out those tickets you get a deli. And on these kiosks maybe you can choose what you’d want to look like. Could you imagine that with our materialistic society? You’d have every guy walking around as either Brad Pitt or Idris Elba with no penis being under 10 inches.
The writer also speculates about “Hell” in the same post and asks, is it really that bad? 🙂