Some Things Never Change

Things I Never Learned in Sunday SchoolRecently, in response to a nice compliment from someone who read my book (Things I Never Learned in Sunday School), I commented that although it was a bit “long in the tooth” (published in 2012), I felt the information I shared still had merit.

Later, as I thought about these words, I realized how much truth there was in them because, in actuality, not one part of my book needs changing. Why do I say this? Because there is not one part of the Christian story that has changed. It’s still the same-old, same-old tale related to “redemption from sin” through one man’s death on a cross — as well as all the other “stuff” (hell, satan, anti-christ, last days, etc.) that accompanies this venerable event.

In other words, the contents of my book mirror the familiar saying that’s found in the Christian bible:  “the same yesterday, today, and forever.”

(Although the language of the Bible has occasionally been “modernized” over the years … or explained when it tended to be controversial … the narrative within its pages has remained stagnant.)

What boggles the mind is that in a world where changes are taking place in mere seconds … often faster than we can keep up with … Christian believers continue to cling to a story that was written over two thousand years ago and which, for all intents and purposes, has no connection to modern existence.

Beyond this, they continue to peddle this ancient tale to anyone who will listen (or read) – and often exhibit indignation (and even anger!) when others point out the improbabilities of its credibility.

Of course all this is fine and dandy with me because as long as the human race remains susceptible to myths, legends, and fairy tales … the contents of my book will continue to remain relevant.

And that warms my heart. ❤

32 thoughts on “Some Things Never Change

  1. Because there is not one part of the Christian story that has changed.

    It is still the same medieval melodrama. The liberal Christians at least try to update it to something a bit closer to modern, but conservatives will have none of that.

    Liked by 5 people

  2. there is not one part of the Christian story that has changed. It’s still the same-old, same-old tale related to “redemption from sin” through one man’s death on a cross

    Indeed. If Christianity still exists a thousand years from now, the information in the book will still have just as much merit.

    Liked by 5 people

  3. Whatever change you see in x-ianity comes painfully slow. I have seen change in my time. I know when I was a kid, evolution was something of the devil. Ridiculous! Absurd! But now they seem to want to embrace microevolution, and yet still deny macroevolution. So they dance around with the concept, but still reject the facts. But it is a form of change.

    The basics of their fairy tales, I’m sure those will continue to stand the test of time. Against all reason and with continued denials of reality.

    So, basically your heart will be warmed long after you are gone Nan. Your book will still matter.

    Our blogs will still matter.

    The reason we must continue doing the things we do, is that it matters. And it will still matter as long a the deluded remain so. Damn shame we don’t get paid for the job. Helluva lot of job security in the field of obvious reality, against willfully ignorant keepers of fairy tales and conspiracy theories.

    Liked by 6 people

      • I agree with you Becky, the interpretation of even the most key elements in the Bible changes all the time and varies from one Christian person and sect to another based on their cultural heritage and personal experience. For example to monks and nuns of both of the Catholic churches giving up property and and not producing children; instead of withdrawing from the world into the worship in closed groups are the most important advices Jesus gave in the book, while to all other Christians such seems totally trivial. Despite, that being about the only direct “practical” order/advice Jesus of the book ever gave. The content of the story in the book seems to depend totally on the – assumably quite honest – interpretations of the readers.

        Why is the alledged message from a god so scrambled, that honest believing people seeking morality from it’s pages can not agree on almost anything they think their god wants? Was this the intent of said god, or is it just a nother blunder, like when the same god alledgedly first created the world and people on it but later decided to destroy the world and people in it by a flood, as described in the myth? Or, is it the purpose of this god to make people confused and not find their moral from the book, so that they would have to find it outside of the book and in the real world, like the rest of us do?

        Liked by 1 person

  4. It warms my heart as well Nan. Btw, I am still reading your book, enjoying it very much too. But obviously it has been a very slow read for the mere fact that many/several of my daily/nightly priorities these last 18 or so months have had to be tweaked or changed quite a bit. Apologies. 🙂

    …they continue to peddle this ancient tale to anyone who will listen (or read) – and often exhibit indignation (and even anger!) when others point out the improbabilities of its credibility. Of course all this is fine and dandy with me because as long as the human race remains susceptible to myths, legends, and fairy tales…

    This is very true Nan, particularly what I’ve emphasized. I have received a LOT of indignation and anger because as you remember I spent 11-yeaars, hardcore years in missions and domestically church staff while spending 2 1/2 years, almost 3-yrs at Seminary. In 11 hardcore years, semi-evangelical and as a serious semi-fundamentalist years (knowing the bible inside & out), you develop a lot of closely connected “church” relationships. Many of those Christians considered me a traitor, blasphemer and I received—and still receive today—the coldest indignation I have ever experienced my entire life! If it were the 15th, 16th, or 17th century I am certain I would’ve already been burned at the stake, imprisoned like Galileo, or tortured to death. Instead my once close “Christian™” family-friends disappeared as if I no longer existed. The WORST of these “Christian™” family are my own ex-in-laws and my own two children, my 27-yr old daughter and 20-yr old son. My daughter and son now have refused to acknowledge I even exist, absolutely ZERO correspondence of any kind since October 6, 2019… and counting. 😔 💔

    On a different note, over the last 100- to 75-years science has more than answered why exactly the Christian Faith™ and modern Church still successfully recruit new Followers/Believers. Aside from those very young, naïve children who have no clue what they’re “accepting as Lord & Christ,” most teenagers and/or adults now Follow/Believe due to (very?) traumatic experiences where the victim is desperately seeking immediate relief. And if it isn’t for that common reason then it is because of family expectations. Not just parents, but extended family too, especially if much of the immediate and extended family are all (hyper?) active in church; i.e. Peer-pressure whether subtle or explicit.

    I could go on and on about this modern Sales & Marketing Tactics by the modern Xian churches, but I will spare all of you the dissertation. 😉 😛 I speak on these modern sales tactics in my Dec. 2016 blog-post “Mind and Matter” with sufficient medical-psychological studies and research to show unequivocally that… the reason the evangelical sales tactics still work over 2,000 years later is essentially or wholly a neurological dopamine component. And that is followed by non-stop weekly or daily reinforcement (a vista of theatrical “spirit” performance by fellow Believers/Followers) that keeps or attempts to keep that dopamine high that a non-existent Deity is personally involved and caring for their crappy Earthly lives. 🙂

    Of course, that is a very abbreviated medical-psychological explanation of why after 2,000+ years there are gullible, vulnerable “suckers” around every corner, particularly if the victim is already predisposed to life as hopeless and daunting. That’s my two and half cents Madame. ❤️

    Liked by 5 people

  5. Hi, Nan. You nor your book will ever be irrelevant. Anyone speaking the truth has set a mark that there is a reality, based on scientific and mathematical facts. Sharing your journey has been a positive effort.

    Religion and science were both based on the very rudimentary understanding that had developed to the time when men began recording their thoughts. What we see though, is that religion has never found anything other than the human imagination to offer as evidence, while the idea of all things consisting of atoms and voids, as it were, has proven to be true and factual.
    All those god people who accused Lucretius of being hedonistic never understood what he meant by living a life of pleasure. They could not understand that knowledge, the freedom to pursue knowledge, realism, and secular philosophy could be pleasure enough.

    Some things never change, it seems. The notion that there can be no moral behavior outside religion remains a major fallacy.

    “More surprising, perhaps, is the sense, driven home by every page of “On The Nature Of Things”, that the scientific vision of the world–a vision of atoms randomly moving in an infinite universe–was in its origins imbued with a poet’s sense of wonder. Wonder did not depend on the gods and demons and the dreams of an afterlife; in Lucretius it welled up out of a recognition that we are made of the same matter as the stars and the oceans and all things else. And this recognition was the basis of the way he thought we should live our lives.”

    Professor Stephen Greenblatt in his book The Swerve, writing about Lucretious’ treatment of atoms and voids in On The Nature Of Things.

    “The cosmos is within us. We are made of star-stuff. We are a way for the universe to know itself.”
    Carl Sagan

    I can’t find anything to cite or quote from the field of religion that indicates any advancement in understanding the myths and mysteries since its beginnings.

    So, you see. You are in good company.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Our of curiosity I looked up one of our former preachers. Into his 80’s now and still preaches wherever/whenever needed. Still preaching exactly the same IFB sermons as he did years ago. Nothing has changed.

    Liked by 4 people

  7. “Because there is not one part of the Christian story that has changed.” Well, in Matthew 2:23-25, it USED to say, “And at the mall, Jesus bought a pair of red sandals that he later returned due to the fact the bottoms of them fell off two weeks after he purchased them.” Recently, that verse has been updated to read, “It wasn’t a mall where Jesus purchased the sandals, it was from a Roman shoe salesman/con-man named Bert Augustus Whizalot who refused to refund Jesus his $$ and now burns for all eternity in Hell.” Slight change, but a change nevertheless. 🙂

    Liked by 5 people

  8. I dunno. I have not read your book, although I have the best of intentions.

    From what I’m hearing, I will find your personal journey enlightening, perhaps shining a light on my own.

    Your argument here seems to be a flat rejection of any possibility that some ancient truths may transcend time and technology. If, as I believe, you are wrong in that, then we are allowed to follow an ancient belief to which those truths are central.

    I look forward to your book and more of your wonderful efforts on this site.
    I have discovered to my surprise that I have grown old, but I suspect you have more to teach me.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Burr, “ancient truths” (emphasis on the last word) WILL transcend time and technology. But IMO, the contents of the “Holy Bible” does not fit the definition.

      My book is not so much about my personal journey as it is a layperson’s observations/analysis (based on beaucoup references!) of the many fallacies contained in the bible.

      As for growing old? I’m already there … but I haven’t let that stop me!! 😀

      Liked by 2 people

  9. It seems to me this is somewhat related to binary thinking.

    To give an example, it’s like feeling everything in the Scripture must be historically and literally true, or nothing can be seen as true or helpful. I feel like sometimes truth can be better conveyed through myth and allegory. In that way, it is not simply constrained solely by the culture or thought patterns of a specific time.

    Questions of ultimate meaning and purpose, our place in the universe, spirituality are timeless.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Indeed, there are obvious mythical elements to the Bible story as well as historical parts. I for one agree, that we can learn a great deal from myths, allegories and fables just as well as from verifiable history. Human experience changes over time and from culture to culture, but the human condition is universal to us throughout our history and typically myths, altough in appearance cultural, in essence often describe what is common and important to all of us, because we are humans. Though often our respective cultures affect what we take on as important from any mythical, or from historical stories.

      Like

    • Becky, there is no argument from me that the bible contains some truths. BUT … not every word/event/action within its pages matches that description. And, like all things debatable, who makes the final decision of what is and what isn’t?

      My religious history was evangelical and I wrote my book from that experience. Indeed there are more “liberal-thinking” believers (like yourself), but it is the evangelicals that make the most noise and push the hardest to “win souls.” Yet many (most?) of their “arguments” are based on what they have heard from the pulpit, much of which is simply fallacy. My book refutes these teachings.

      While myths and fables and allegories can be learning tools, one must be able to discern between them and truth. Unfortunately, many can’t.

      Like

    • I’ve come to the view after years of reading the great works of the Western Tradition and plenty of other books that literature is both particular (reflecting concerns of that time, place, and culture) and universal (reflecting broader human concerns of people and individuals across different time periods and cultures).

      I see no reason the Bible is any different in this regard. It is both a product of its time and it contains elements, wisdom, stories that anybody can relate to. Unfortunately, some people want to read every element as literal truth and history.

      Liked by 1 person

    • ultimate meaning and purpose, our place in the universe, spirituality

      I don’t see that the Bible has anything of value to say about those things. Meaning and purpose exist only in the context of the desires of a particular conscious mind; my life has no “ultimate” meaning or purpose, only the meaning and purpose I choose to give it. The people who wrote the Bible believed that the universe consisted of a flat Earth with a roof over it and water above that, so it’s pointless looking to them for insights into our place in the universe as it really is. “Spirituality” is just mumbo-jumbo and doesn’t mean anything. There are hundreds of better books to read for ideas about questions of this kind.

      Liked by 3 people

  10. One thought: perhaps people cling to the Bible, flawed as it is, because in a world that whizzes about like a high speed chipmunk, sometimes, it’s the one steady rock in their lives. The church, the sermons, the same old same old, may just be comforting to people who otherwise would be bewildered by the changes that happen almost overnight.

    It doesn’t have to be right, or true, or even marginally connected to anything, but it stays where it’s put, and you can read the same book your great grandfather read, in a kind of ageless continuity.

    Remember how, when we were kids, we wanted the same stories told to us, over and over, and when we got old enougb we read them for our selves. It was a kind of familiar thing that you could count on to not change, in a life that changed every day…

    Liked by 1 person

    • You make good points, Judy. But, IMO, the fact that adults must cling to fairy tales and ancient stories to get through life is sad. In so many ways.

      Indeed familiarity can be soothing, comfortable, and reassuring, but LIFE is full of new and wonderful experiences! If one is not careful, it will all pass them by as they hold onto “the familiar.”

      Liked by 2 people

  11. The signs of my senility are showing! When I read the first paragraph of this post, I thought to myself, “I didn’t know Nan had written a book!” And so, I hopped straight over to Amazon to see if it was available for my Kindle. I was thrilled to see that it was, but then a message popped up telling me that I had already purchased this book on April 13th, 2019!!! More than two years ago! I’ve been remiss in both forgetting I had bought it, forgetting you had written it, and worst of all forgetting to read it! I shall remedy that last oversight within the week, and for the rest … I blame my age!

    Liked by 2 people

    • HAHAHA! That “age” thing can definitely play havoc with memory! Just this past week, I received a bill from my eye-doc and I could NOT recall the visit! Finally, something popped into my head that triggered my memory … but there was definitely several minutes when none of the brain synapses were working.

      I’ll be looking forward to your thoughts about my book. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

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