Leaving Christianity – Oh What A Relief It Is!

Oh What A Relief It Is!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!

Reblog: Infallible vs. Mystic

Well worth reading. Even … or perhaps, especially … the comments.

Ends and Beginnings

straight not narrow“The wisdom of the ancients has been lost on these ego-driven, self-righteous, inerrant, infallible, literalistic religionists. The mystics of Christianity, Buddhism, Islam and Judaism present a theology of compassion, sacrifice, voluntary poverty, and intelligence.” – LarryPaulBrown

Infallible – incapable of making mistakes or being wrong.

Mystic – a person who seeks by contemplation and self-surrender to obtain unity with or absorption into the Deity or the absolute, or who believes in the spiritual apprehension of truths that are beyond the intellect.

There are certain verses in the Bible that many Christians have interrupted as God’s (and I guess Jesus to because you know the 3 in 1 thing) position that homosexuality is a sin.

Romans 1:26-27 “Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were…

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Trump Says Whoops! Pardon Me

My intense distaste for tRump and his totally repugnant (and often illegal) antics (both before and after the election) have prompted me to share with you the following post. I’ve referenced this writer before because  (1) I really like the way he writes, and (2) he pretty much says what I’ve been thinking.

In this particular article, the writer talks about how tRump’s past actions of shirking his responsibilities are coming back to haunt him, why it scares the crap out of him, and how he hopes to push it all under the rug by using an action similar to that which has served him well in his business ventures.

It is a well-known and documented fact that Donald Trump companies have filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection six times. For those of you unfamiliar with this process, a company can remain in business while wiping away most if not all of its debts. A bankruptcy court approves a corporate budget and a plan to repay any remaining debt while shareholders and or investors lose all if not most of their equity. Think of Chapter 11 bankruptcy as a pardon, past sins are erased, the slate is clean and in the case of Trump’s Taj Mahal Atlantic City casino ready for another bankruptcy one year later.

If you want to know what this Russia, fake news thing is really all about these six bankruptcies is where a special counsel investigating Trump and his connections to Russia would begin and guess what, it appears that is what is happening.

Over the course of several years and several bankruptcies American banks quit loaning Trump money. Again, a documented fact. Think the old adage “Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me”. Each Trump property is in separate Limited Liability Corporation, a LLC, and it is highly unlikely that Trump signed a personal guarantee for any of the loans, so when one property fails the only recourse a bank has is to liquidate the failed property and hope the assets equal or exceed the debt. They never do.

Trump gets his money out of these properties on the front end, through development fees, management fees, mark-ups on materials and labor, etc. When the revenues being generated can’t support the debt service, Trump files for bankruptcy. What he gets is a pardon, a do over. The guy that he owes $650,000 for purchasing and installing gold-plated toilet levers gets pennies on the dollar or worse, nothing at all. 

As you can imagine, banks got tired of this game as Trump crowed about using the system to his advantage. If you recall during one of his debates with Clinton he characterized his use of the bankruptcy laws as “What I’ve done is I’ve used, brilliantly, the laws of the country.” U.S. banks disagreed and closed the money the spigot to Trump. Unfortunately for Trump, he needed dollars, lots and lots of dollars to prop up and feed his machine, and to pay for the lifestyle he was accustom to living. This is the point where Trumps door opened and the Russians stepped in.

Several press outlets are reporting that Trump and his legal team are now exploring the possibility of Trump pardoning his top advisers, his family members and even himself. What has precipitated this thinking? Special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russian investigation appears to have expanded into Trump’s past finances which means getting his tax returns and loan documents from Deutsche Bank an institution known as a conduit for Russian rubles and Trumps primary lender in recent years.

For Trump, a pardon would simply be like filing for bankruptcy and, as he would describe it, using the laws of the country “brilliantly”. Most of us see the character flaw in this line of thinking and action, but 35% of you still celebrate his behavior. His supporters have thrown morals, standards and character out the window. They don’t care. But here is the issue, they honestly don’t know what they are supposed to care about. They are to busy watching the show, the train wreck. They think they are rooting for their hero but they have forgotten what the battle is all about. At this point it doesn’t matter if they are winning or losing they no longer remember what the game is. It is all about the show, the pageant, the spectacle and for that his 35% have hooked their wagon to the perfect star, the perfect ringmaster for this circus of chaos.

What are you going to do?

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You can read the original here.

More on New Testament Reliability

After a lengthy discussion on the Reliability of the New Testament, the two primary debaters eventually presented their positions and closing remarks, so I decided to close comments.

However, along the way, there were many others who contributed thoughts and viewpoints that stimulated discussion as well. Therefore, I decided to open a new discussion post and I’m leading with a question that Arkenaten (Ark, for short) asked. His inquiry was directed to a specific person, but anyone who has thoughts/answers/opinions is urged and encouraged to participate.

reliable
rɪˈlʌɪəb(ə)l/
adjective
1.
consistently good in quality or performance; able to be trusted.
“a reliable source of information”
synonyms: dependable, good, well founded, well grounded, authentic, definitive, attested, valid, genuine, from the horse’s mouth, sound, true;

Of these (minimal) New Testament events listed below one would reasonably expect to find at least some mention within independent sources especially as we are dealing with the birth, life and death of the Creator of the Universe, Therefore, please list any independent source that corroborates some or all of the following:

The Three Wise Men and the Wandering Star
Herod’s Slaughter of the Innocents
Feeding of the 5000
Feeding of the 4000
Resurrection of Lazarus
Mention of the life and deaths of any of the 12 disciples, including corroborating independent testimony.
Paul’s missions, including his arrest and deportation to Rome.

Please note. We are discussing the biblical character, the miracle working, Jesus of Nazareth , and not an itinerant eschatological 1st century rabbi who may have been called Yeshua.
Thanks.

As a reminder, I will be somewhat absent except for occasional input when I just can’t help myself. 😀

How Reliable is the New Testament?

In previous discussions with a blogger who goes by the handle of “Scientific Christian,” a question related to the reliability of the New Testament came up. Since it’s a topic that cannot be answered in a few words (by believers or by non-believers), I have added this post and opened it up to any and all who wish to offer their claims/proof on either side of the issue.

Please try to keep the discussion “civil” and refrain from insults just because you don’t agree or because the other person may be using what you consider “questionable” sources to validate their belief. Simply refute the claims and provide your own proof.

I will most likely be absent as we are moving within a couple of weeks and there’s still much to be packed. I will, however, check in on occasion — especially if someone says something that demands a response. 😀

HAVE FUN!