“He’s A Christian”

I recently spoke with someone who was describing the character of a particular individual. She commented he was honest, dependable, and sincere. Then she added … “He’s a Christian.”

I’m at a loss as to why that last phrase has anything to do with the qualities of this – or any other – person.

In my opinion, just because someone happens to claim the title of “Christian” does not mean that individual holds the gold standard for being above-average, upstanding, and trustworthy.

Truth be known, there are a LOT of people who have never set foot in a church who are “honest, dependable, and sincere.”

By the same token, there are scores of “Christians” who would stab you in the back in a heartbeat.

The actual meaning of the word Christian is, “A religious person who believes Jesus is the Christ and who is a member of a Christian denomination.” Notice that there’s no mention of character assets or strengths. Nowhere in the description does it say the person should be trusted ahead of someone else.

Just a little food for thought …

Thanking God for Hurricane Sandy

I just saw this heading on a blog posting, “Give Thanks For All God Has Done” … and it got me to wondering.

Does that mean Christians are to thank God for sending Hurricane Sandy? Should they thank “Him” for:

  • Destroying hundreds of homes?
  • Leaving thousands of people without power?
  • Causing the deaths of loved ones?
  • Shutting down businesses?
  • Eroding beaches?
  • Leaving travelers stranded?
  • Starting fires?
  • Disrupting the supply of clean water?
  • Enticing looters to steal and destroy?

Apparently so, because on ChristianAnswers.net, it clearly states that God controls the weather and even sends deadly storms. So this blog poster seems to have had it right … thank God for all He has done.

The article on Christian Answers goes on to say that the REASON for storms such as Sandy is because of man’s fall into sin and God’s curse. It further declares that all the pain and sorrow of this world (including severe weather) demonstrates that we are living in an “imperfect world.”

Hmmmm.

I don’t know about anyone else, but I kind of like the world I live in. It doesn’t seem imperfect to me at all. Especially when I look around at all the wondrous parts that make up this awesome planet.

But then, I’ve acquired a different perspective on the way things are over the past several years. And quite frankly, I like my outlook better.

Is God in the Stars?

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When I look up at the stars at night and contemplate the billions and billions of galaxies, my mind staggers as I try to understand how it all came to be and why I am a part of it.

As I gaze at the magnificent expanse of darkened sky, I become acutely aware that I am merely a speck of dust in the grand scheme of things. Yet, for reasons beyond my understanding, I have been given the opportunity to live on this planet … in this solar system … in this galaxy … in this universe … at this moment in space and time.

Some would say a “God” is behind everything. I simply cannot accept this because it signifies some mystical supernatural being exists somewhere “out there” and has control over everything.

Rather, I believe we are a part of something far beyond our comprehension. To try and give it a name takes away from the mystery and wonder of our beingness.

photo credit: cuellar via photopin cc

“Thank God”

OMG! I just read this comment on another blog and couldn’t resist sharing it:

Personally, I think my sister’s rant said it best. Her husband (evangelical) said after a major ugly storm that took down a pile of trees that missed the house: “It’s a miracle! God really took care of us today!” She stares at him with her jaw dropped, then says: “Excuse me? Who SENT this weather? If a tree landed on the house, but didn’t cause much damage, it would be, ‘Wow, God kept us safe.’ If the tree took half the roof, you’d say, ‘Wow, at least God kept us safe!’ If the tree had smushed me, you’d say, ‘Well, it was just her time – she’s with God now.’ If the tree had smushed YOU, I guess I’d be saying, ‘Thank God.’”

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!