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Here ya go - my church experiences
January 1, 2007
3:31 pm
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bevdee
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Girl I am glad I made you laugh.

I don't know where that came from!! It jsut sort of sprang out of me.

Think about the advice I would get if I posted something like that!! These ladies here would tell me to run like the wind.

The bible tells men they are to strive to be godly. And women are to subvert to men.

With that definition - is this then our culture?

Not to trust in ourself? I wonder at these things. I think I see similarities in the definition of codep, and C/A, and I believe that is why I can't give myself over to a godman.

January 1, 2007
3:40 pm
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ggfred4
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but bev, there is still something inside that doesn't want to miss a chance at heaven or wanting to do the right thing?....Did you see the movie Ghost? scared me...people going to hell...I even read that whole series of books on the rapture about the book of Revelation....

Yet, I hear where you are coming from too...I love to hear and read all views concerning this issue...

I see what you mean about the similarities of codependency, but what is C/A???

January 1, 2007
3:47 pm
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bevdee
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C/A is Charmer/Abuser. That's a good thread right now on the support side.

I know what you mean about the fear that is instilled in us about missing out on heaven. I just don't know for sure. Once, when I worked at a Catholic hospital, I overheard 2 nurses talking. One was telling the other that she was getting married. The other asked, "now isn't he Muslim?" The first one nodded, and the second one said,"Oh HOW are you gonna raise the kids?" The engaged one said, "Oh to be good people, I'm sure."

I read somewhere that revelations only made it into the bible by a few votes when it was being edited by the King James scholars.

January 1, 2007
5:57 pm
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Loralei
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Bev, your C/A viewpoint of the new testament in a nutshell is brilliant! If it's alright with you, I'd love to cut and paste that and pass it around to my fellow nonbelievers. And comparing it to a codependent and C/A relationship makes so much sense. That's yet another reason so many people have such a hard time "letting go" of the church even when they no longer believe. I practice NO CONTACT with organized religion.

I haven't been reading the lib section so I have a lot to catch up with. But I loved that post so much, I had to say something!

January 1, 2007
6:01 pm
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bevdee
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Hey Loralei-

Feel free to use it- Thanks for responding.

Bevdee

January 1, 2007
7:56 pm
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ggfred4
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Bev, been thinking....this whole topic has been on my mind all day....Even through my confusion on which direction I need to go now, I do believe in God and His spirit.......I just do not agree how churches have pitted against each other and some of their ways....I also want to get closer to God......yet, I haven't been doing anything about it....

January 1, 2007
8:45 pm
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bevdee
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GG

I consider the possibility that "God" may not be the white-robed, white haired blue eyed image we have been conditioned to.

Maybe a goddess?

I understand the wanting to connect. All I can tell you is that once I decided to connect with myself first and then decide- man! It was like a weight was lifted from me. But that's just me.

I agree that churches have wreaked alot of havoc. Before all the s**t hit the fan at my folks, my stepdad, a minister was talking about how he hated the whole "Christmas" evolution. He was talking about how he thought Jesus was when he was alive, and how thought he would have hated the tradition. He told me that the reason he never went to church since he retired is that the churches wore him out. He claims he has more time to worship and feels closer to his god since he has no church.

I thought that was interesting.

January 1, 2007
10:18 pm
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ggfred4
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very interesting bev, thanks...

January 1, 2007
10:29 pm
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cyndra820
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Hi Bev and GG,

Wow, you have really given this topic a lot of thought.

I know that adhering to the strict tenants of a faith isn’t for everyone. The whole hellfire thing is something I have a huge problem with. I don’t believe it and I’ve read the Bible several times and have not found proof of the eternal torture in hell. I can’t equate a God of love with one who would let people be tortured for all eternity.

Religion and spiritual beliefs are very personal. Almost intimate. A lot of people get highly defensive if they feel their beliefs are being attacked or put down. So, I try not to do that.

My spirituality is important to me and I take it seriously. I do attend an Anglican church every Sunday. I am fortunate that the priests are very open to discussions about faith and aren’t arrogant or condescending when others express differences.

I know everyone has a different view of God and His place in their lives. My belief is in a God of love who is deeply concerned about humans. Though I have never quite understood why He would create the earth, I do believe He cares for us and we have the power to hurt Him. For me, knowing that my actions can hurt Him moves me. It makes Him more accessible to me.

I read the commentary about the view of God in relation to a charmer/abuser. Interesting. We can look at believing in a specific Christian ideology as having some omnipotent control freak who demands we worship him. I believe that is called megalomania in humans.

The very nature of faith is indefensible. You believe in something you cannot see, hear or touch. Yet you believe. You believe the writings of prophets and disciples who lived over two millennia ago. There is very little archeological proof left. To many having faith makes as much sense as chasing the wind. Yet, if you ask most people around the world they have it. It may not be in a Christian God, but they have some sort of spiritual belief system.

I like to study different religions and look at the similarities of them. Many of the world’s religions have similarities if we bother to look. Does that make one better than the other? Can we determine which one is the “true” religion? I don’t think so. I think each person must examine what their spiritual needs are, if they need any at all, and act from there. They can investigate the various belief systems and decide which one they want or if they would rather take a bit from several and use that as their spiritual foundation.

Christianity is what was chosen for me as a child, but it is something I’ve come to believe in strongly. Do I think that all they teach is correct or even what God wants? No. We were given free will to determine which direction we take. I have never bought Purgatory. It made no sense to me. It seemed cruel and pointless. I don’t believe in hell because a God who loves wouldn’t want anyone to suffer torture eternally. I do believe that God has an active force. I do believe that Jesus died as a ransom sacrifice for us to replace what Adam lost. I do believe in the resurrection. That’s the broad view of my beliefs.

Are they defensible? Only if you believe in the Bible. If you think it’s a nice story then, no I cannot. I do believe that the Bible was written by men who were inspired by God. I do believe they may have made mistakes in wording. I also believe that modern interpretations may have made additional mistakes. So, why do I trust a book that is potentially filled with errors? Because following the recommendations outlined in it will not hurt me. I can choose what I will follow and what I will ignore. That’s what most people do. They choose. That damn free will thing again.

I think it is wrong for churches to push guilt if you don’t follow the laws exactly as they are written. They leave no room for personal choice. They make it so hard to be balanced about religion. I do blame them for the harsh religious strife that exists. I would never tell a Muslim or a Hindu they are going to hell. I would never automatically assume a negative about someone because of their religious beliefs. I wouldn’t treat an atheist or non-believer any different. I’d respect their beliefs. That’s something churches have stopped allowing. Respect for beliefs different from ours. They teach intolerance.

I don’t have room for that in my life be it for religious beliefs, ethnicity, or physicality.

January 1, 2007
10:48 pm
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bevdee
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GG and Cyndra

I believe people are basically the same, regardless of what religion or rhetoric they choose to or choose not to embrace.

I believe it is human nature to be compassionate and human nature to want to help others. I also believe that it is because the horrible things that happen to folks that causes the pure love a human is born with to become corrupted, confused.

Most religions have the same lessons or guidelines for good living. It's common sense, IMO.

Peace, Namaste, Shalom

January 2, 2007
12:08 am
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ggfred4
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so true bev....

January 2, 2007
11:11 am
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Isis
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Bevdee,

A Goddess? Most definitely!

What a great thread. Can't post right now, got errands to run- be back later.

Isis

January 2, 2007
11:17 am
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cyndra820
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Isis,

When I read the Goddess I immediately thought of the Celts and the Egyptians. I believe that sacred feminie is something that Christianity would rather smother than explore. Too bad, it would give them the balance they so desperately need.

Bev,

It is interesting that you believe it is human nature to be compassionate. I believe that compassion has to be taught. I don't know a single three year old who is compassionate. Compassion and empathy are taught. It's environmental not instinctual.

Cyndra

January 2, 2007
11:38 am
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bevdee
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Isis- How good it is to see you!! Of course the idea of a goddess would appeal to you- you with your sassy name!

I'll keep my eye out for you

Bevdee

January 7, 2007
6:53 pm
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lovinglife
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GG~ I just found this thread. I'll have to read up. ((((GG))))

January 8, 2007
10:40 am
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Anam Cara
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Left to ourselves we are at the mercy of our passions - our desires - our fears - our very deeds.
Jesus can save us from ourselves by shedding light into our dark corners - throwing out the evil from the depths of our souls. Let us open our minds to receive his warm love and welcome our saviours mercy this New Year.

January 8, 2007
11:15 am
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Isis
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HUMANITATE MAGIS QUAM RELIGIONE NOBIS OPUS EST

"We need humanity more than religion"

This is my own humble opinion.

More to follow,

Isis

January 8, 2007
1:13 pm
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bevdee
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I'll be waiting girl!!

January 8, 2007
2:54 pm
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Hey Bev

I call myself a 'post-Christian agnostic' still searching for my own understanding of Life, the Universe and Everything.

Book recommendations for you... "Can We Be Good Without God? (Behaviour, Belonging and the Need to Believe" by Robert Buckman (Penguin books). Talks about recent findings in neurobiology that suggest 'hard-wiring' for religious impulses, and (from the jacket blurb) "shows... how we can think about the different religions in a reasonable and equitable way, and how a code of ethics can exist withiout a deity at its center."

I found it interesting reading. Next I want to check out Sam Harris' two books "The End of Faith" and "Letter to a Christian Nation". He talks about the harms that religious beliefs do to human societies. Also want to read the transcripts of the 2006 Massey Lecture series called "The Ethical Imagination" by Margaret Summerville, who talks about adopting the concept of the "secular sacred", which promotes respect for intrinsic human dignity and human spirit without endorsing any one of the existing religions above another. (I heard part of the lecture series on the radio, and would like to read the book now.)

I've met some inspiring Christian peace and social justice activists in my life, but for myself right now I remain agnostic.

Interesting thread... hope to talk more with you soon.

take care, kroika

January 8, 2007
3:05 pm
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on my way
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bevdee,

I have been where you are and am still in it to some degree. I guess the difference is that I know Jesus loves me no matter what I do. And it is because He loves me that I love Him, at least what I know of Him.

We get it backwards, we think we have to DO all of this stuff to be acceptable, and that isn't true. THIS is religion.

IMHO, there has been too much propaganda, too many so-called "Christians" run amuck, when all they want to teach is their own beliefs. I know, I have been there, I have been one of the many that had pat Bible answers for anyone that asked. I had it all backwards. I do beleive the Bible is God's word, and I do beleive that Jesus Christ is my Savior, but it is personal, and not what someone has told me I had to believe. You have to be VERY, VERY careful these days. I encourage you if it is your desire to seek just JC.

January 8, 2007
3:47 pm
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Loralei
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As the historian Stephen Henry Roberts (1901-71) once said: "I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours."

January 8, 2007
3:59 pm
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bevdee
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Kroika

Thanks for the suggestions. I like your self-definition. I will look into the book- I have thought about the peer pressure aspect, and also of the common decency I believe is intrinsic in all human beings.

I read one that really opened my eyes - Losing Faith in Faith, by Dan Barker. Also - When God Was A Woman, by Merlin Stone. Another good one was The Dance of the Dissident Daughter, by Sue Monk Kidd. She struggled with the denial of the feminine in the bible, but was able to reconcile her faith with her feminine identity.

I kind of like the idea of goddesses, or both female and male gods- but I haven't come to any conclusions.

Good to hear from you.

January 8, 2007
4:02 pm
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bevdee
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Miss OMW!

Thank you for your insight. It's much easier to believe what someone "tells" us is right, isn't it? I am glad to see you back.

January 8, 2007
4:02 pm
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bevdee
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Loralei

Thanks for the quote. Very thought provoking.

January 8, 2007
4:23 pm
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Loralei
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Bev, if you are on the crossroads and questioning your beliefs, here is an interesting website I came across. There are also numerous actual deconversion stories from the readers if you check out the forum as well.

http://www.ministerturnsatheis.....index.html

I am also a former believer so I am very familiar with the anguish one goes through when they don't really know what to believe. It takes years figure out what is right for you.

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