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!

Addendum to Logic vs. Creativity

Sometime back, I wrote a post about my new “creative” blog. Since then, I’ve moved it to a new location and made some other changes. Unfortunately, the few (!) of you that chose to “follow” got lost in the shuffle … although your comments made it through .. ??

Anyway, if you would like to “re-follow”, please visit the new, reworked blog and add your name to the list.

While you’re there, check out my newest (old) creation that I’ve added (Larry and Jaimie and Skip).

 

Reblog: Tough Talk from our President?

More than once, this guy has put my thoughts into words … and he does it extremely well.

Ends and Beginnings

“North Korea is looking for trouble. If China decides to help, that would be great. If not, we will solve the problem without them! U.S.A.” – Donald Trump tweet 4-11-17

According to Donald Trump’s son Eric, the President ordered the launch of 59 cruise missiles at a Syrian government air base in large part because his daughter Ivanka was “heartbroken and outraged” by the images of children being “sprayed down by hoses to keep their skin from burning.” Certainly I agree, as a father nothing is more difficult to view than pictures of children that have been harmed in any way.

But how about the pictures of thousands upon thousands of children behind fences in refugee camps. Or the video of children trudging through a wasteland of sand trying to find a home beyond the range of bullets and bombs. Why don’t those images tug at Ivanka’s heartstrings? Trump’s 59 cruise missiles were…

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Some Personal Stuff

This post is a bit different in scope and topic in that it’s a bit more “personal.” Yet I ask a question at the end that might trigger some discussion.

We are seriously contemplating moving. I (my other-half joined me after retirement about four years ago) have lived in this home for nearly 13 years.  It’s an older home (1979) with almost 1800 square feet. The bedrooms are very large,  something you don’t find in newer homes, and it also has a walk-in pantry  — another feature pretty much non-existent in today’s homes. The lot is just a bit over 1/3 acre.

It doesn’t have a lot of the fancier trimmings (hardwood floors, granite countertops, etc.), and while we’ve made several improvements, it won’t stand up against newer homes. However, one thing it has going for it is location. It’s situated among the pines and is at the end of a cul-de-sac with only two other homes (very quiet). The neighborhood in general is appealing and the people (for the most part) keep up their yards (considering it’s a rural area).

(No, I’m not trying to sell the home to any of you. Just providing some background. 😉 )

The reasons we want to move are many and varied, but suffice it to say the area just isn’t working for us anymore. We actually put the house on the market a year ago but removed it when we couldn’t find a replacement home that fit our needs.

Now here is the reason for my post. We’ve found a home in another city that we’re very interested in. It’s most definitely pushing our budget, but it has the features that we want/need. If I were still a Christian, I’d most likely be on my knees every night and also be in constant “conversation” with God, asking “Him” to make everything “work” for us to buy this home (which, of course, involves selling our current home and getting the price we need).

But I’m not a Christian. And I don’t believe in God or prayer.

And this got me to thinking.

What do you do when you really, really want something in your life? The question is primarily directed to ex-Christians since you’re the ones who in a past life (like me) probably asked/begged God to make things “work” … to make everything “come together” and grant the desires of your heart.

But even if you’re someone who has never turned to a god with requests — what do you do when there’s something in your life that you ardently desire?

Reblog: Church and State: Are there Limits to Loyalty?

Superb essay!

(And it has nothing to do with the fact he praised my book.) 🙂

The Secular Jurist

By Robert A. Vella

The definition of loyalty as unwavering devotion to a person or idea is something of a misnomer.  Whether voluntary or not, people are loyal only as long as the conditions upon which it is based remain in effect.  Marital loyalty is lost when one or both spouses break the vows they had made to each other or the mutual trust they had shared.  Dictators lose the loyalty of their subjects when it can no longer be sustained through coercive or manipulative means.  Ideas lose the loyalty of supporters when exposed as being fundamentally flawed or fraudulent.

Loyalty is a trait highly regarded in human cultures precisely because it is so transient.  Disloyalty is as conversely reviled because it is perceived as being ubiquitous.  Loyalty requires continual conscious effort.  Disloyalty requires only impulsive behavior.  To maintain the loyalty of others, people commonly employ guilt and even fear

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Big G, Little J, and The Other Guy

There’s an active conversation going on over at Ark’s blog that includes a Christian pastor ( a comparatively rare type of visitor for this blog).

Many of the “regulars” have asked him some probing questions and so far, he’s handled them fairly well (considering he’s a Believer).

In one comment, he made reference to the “Trinitarian Theology” — and I asked him if he knew the genesis of this belief. He responded that he had read all the documents leading up to the formation of this doctrine and we would “talk about it later.”

Since the comment section is getting quite long on Ark’s blog, I’m posting the question here — both for “Mel’s” response as well as any others who would like to jump in.

So … how did the doctrine of the “Holy Trinity” get started?