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I think people are scared of religion
April 10, 2008
1:36 pm
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jv63
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And why not?

People have awful things in the name of religious beliefs throughout history.
However people have done some truly wonderful things as well.
I am a 44year old man and I do have a particular religion that I believe in.
In my life I have had the opportunity to meet and get to know many different people of many different religious/spiritual backgrounds and we have gotten along quite well.
A few examples I am a Christian Belonging to the Catholic Church, and yet many of my good friends are Baptist and Lutheran and many other Protestant denominations. We can study the Bible together and get along fine. The same is true of my Native American friends my Jewish friends Buddhist, Muslim, Hindu and Sikh. Though I haven’t done any real Bible study with my non-Christian friends. The common thread I have found in these people is their spirituality is the connection with a creator. It’s astounding to me when I look for similarity instead of difference I always find something positive.

However I have also been witness to the overzealous type in many religious peoples.
In my opinion to many people try to reduce the almighty to a petty score keeper sitting on the sideline marking down demerits for our wrong doings and if you build up enough brownie points you will get the big payoff HEAVEN woo hoo!!

These same people go around judging and condemning others as if it will take the focus off their own imperfections. How silly is that. If I am to claim belief in God then I have to acknowledge that I am not a supreme being and I am never going to be perfect. In my imperfection how then could I possibly Be qualified to judge someone else or presume to say That I know how you should live.

The one similarity that truly unites me with the spirituality/religions of humanity is:

That each one the afore mentioned friends of mine from different religious backgrounds are seeking the same thing.

To Love and serve God with all their heart and to help their fellow human being.
To seek Love Peace and enlightenment.

All that harsh Judgen and Preachin and Condemning to Hell Has nothing to do with Real Spirituality or sound religious belief.

After reading that mess on the support side I just wanted to share.
This is just my opinion. What’s Yours??

April 10, 2008
4:45 pm
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on my way
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To go along with your thread title, I agree that people are scared of religion, mostly for valid reasons. They either had negative experiences growing up, or it was shoved down their throat, etc., all in the name of God. Then as years passed, 'religion' became more of a set of rules to live by or follow which were impossible to do so. Then if one couldn't live up to it, which no one really can, then guilt, etc. and all of those negative feelings were felt...and 'religion' got a bad rap. Also, people think that they have to 'change', or feel they have to give up their lifestyle. So religion on its own merit has never been very popular. It makes people 'feel bad'.

There is a website, 'Notreligion.com' which is all about 'relationship'. I beleive God wants a relationship that he invites and we can accept it or not. I think he is all about grace and love and empowering. But when we get into the rules and the condemnation tht comes from those, it is no fun. I think people misunderstand God. He isn't religion, IMHO. And I agree with you we are all seeking the same thing, but we are not all on the same page.

April 10, 2008
5:31 pm
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I hear what you're saying jv. I think people are scared of religion because there's people involved in them, and people hurt each other with it.

That's what happened on support.

Like OMW says, that is what's happened with many people.

The holier than thou stance is in no way related to a walk with Christ. It's not how He was.

People take this holier than thou stance and it turns people away from Him, silences those who walk with Him. Holier than thou people don't serve God, they serve God's opposite alter ego. But they don't know that, they've been decieved.

This is the spiritual crucifixion of Christ. We already had the physical.

And it's being done by people who claim to be people of God.

had HopeSprings jumped in and started screaming about Islamic beliefs and attacked that gal for defying Allah, told her to put a towel around her head and let people stone her or something, I'd bet money that he/she would have been banned. Not God.

It just saddens me that people can use God to hurt others and suffer no consequence.

God always takes the fall, always has, always will.

free

April 10, 2008
5:51 pm
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jv63
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Hello
omw and free. Good posts thank you for responding. I really think that people get it so confused. there is a lot of stuff about being good or being bad or measuring up. I don't think it's about that at all. I am glad you mention this site because that relationship is where it all begins for me. I think some folkes get it mixed up. the love and compassion and abilty to forgive are the beatiful byproducts of this relationship.

When I read those HORRible things that were said to the lady on the suport threads, my hackels went up immeadeatly. It's ok with me if the SC does what he/she wants with this site, because I work in an environment where the only time God is mentioned is usually in a swear. even in this racket people know that I am a Christian by how I live. I don't have to mention God to them .The best evangalization tool in the world is to do what Jesus said Love God with all my heart and love others the way Jesus loves us. We can still post on the other side with out saying a word about God prayer etc. "They will know we are Christians by our Love."

jv63

April 10, 2008
5:53 pm
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As a minister, let me state that I am not into "religion," but into "relationship with God." Period. The traditions of men and legalism are exactly what Jesus came to expose and destroy. The Pharisees imposed terrible burdens upon the people, endless laws and rules. And yet, they lacked their own, personal relationship with God.

Remember, when the disciples of Jesus asked Him how they should pray, He broke all convention and tradition, beginning His prayer with the words, "Our Father." Never before had any man addressed God as "Father," yet this is the very relationship which He offers us through His Son.

When I read threads which use religion, legalism, (translation: hell, fire and brimstone) and judgment to beat up a poster, I am deeply grieved in my spirit. This is NOT from the God I know. Nor would it please Him in any way. Are there "right & wrong" absolutes? Of course. But it is "...the goodness of God that leads a man to repentance." Not beating him up with criticism and judgment.

I have had the privilege of introducing many broken and weary souls to Jesus. None of them turned to Him because I spoke words of harsh religion and laws to them. It was kindness, empathy, gentleness -- HIS kindness, HIS empathy and HIS gentlenss flowing thru me -- which touched their hearts.

Unfortunately, those who miss the boat on this give the rest of us (NON-legalistic) Christians a bad name. I am, indeed, a Bible-believing, fundamentalist Christian, but I hope God permanently removes my voice box or removes my ability to communicate with another human being, if I ever violate and grieve His Spirit by judging another or failing to show His mercy to all.

- Ma

April 10, 2008
5:59 pm
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jv63
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OOOOOOOOOOOOohhh

Thanks Ma
Your post is great.

I have been journaling on this subject and these legalists and their misguided piety is somthing I like to call the vocal minority. They do not represent what is in the hearts of vast majority of Christianity.

April 10, 2008
6:11 pm
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jv63 -

I agree that they are NOT the majority. Unfortunately, they do alot of damage to the world's conception of fundamentalist Christianity. Just as the Islamic extremists (terrorists) give a bad name to their fellow Muslims who are NOT extremists. Just as the zealots gave a bad name to the rest of the Jews. And on it goes...

- Ma

April 10, 2008
6:11 pm
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That WAS a really good post Ma. And yeah jv, it IS a vocal minority.

free

April 10, 2008
6:14 pm
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It is unfortunate that the extremist voice of one, resulted in a ruling by SC of silence for all. I wish there had been another ending, but the damage is done. And all it took was ONE. Darn it.

- Ma

April 10, 2008
6:20 pm
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jv63
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Thats true Ma but I for one am not going to quit reading and posting on the sup side. I will continue to reach out and connect with people. Jesus didn't abandon me when i needed him.

I don't want to become part of the barny and birtha betterthanu croud by living in the black and white.

April 10, 2008
6:32 pm
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jv63 =

I hear you. And agree.

- Ma

April 10, 2008
8:14 pm
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I'm so glad there is a place like this thread for us Christians to express ourselves. I agree with all of you. Free, jv63, Stronginhim77. I like the point you made about a relationship with God, not a religion. This is exactly how I feel!!! "but I hope God permanently removes my voice box or removes my ability to communicate with another human being, if I ever violate and grieve His Spirit by judging another or failing to show His mercy to all. "

I hope I can someday be as wise, compassionate and forgiving as you are.

Praise be to God. God bless all of you.

April 10, 2008
9:29 pm
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I'm not afraid of religion. I was deep into it, came out, was agnostic and am now an athiest. Its not easy questioning the beliefs you've had since you were born. Some people seem to be able to do it, but I will say circumstances help a lot. Its all about what affects you emotionally.

And for example, athiests get all the hatred. Atheists dont hate christians like christians hate athiests. Who's afraid of who then, you decide.

April 10, 2008
9:30 pm
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that was for jv, oops.

April 10, 2008
11:25 pm
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Christians hate athiests?

April 10, 2008
11:27 pm
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This was in May 2006:

- Atheists Identified as America’s Most Distrusted Minority,
According to Sociological Study

http://www.asanet.org/cs/root/.....distrusted

75% of this country identifies themselves as Christians, so ... I'm right then, yea?

April 10, 2008
11:29 pm
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Free, also, not all but most, ofcourse. Thats what I meant and what the article also says. I dont think you hate athiests eh.

Here: I was close friends with these two people. One day I told them I'm an athiest and they swore at me and stopped talking to me, but now we're ok again with them saying its just better if we stay away from the topic and I agreed. Again, you can see (generally) who's afraid of who.

April 11, 2008
9:27 am
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guest_guest

I have many good and precious Christian friends. The ones I call "The Real McCoy." And not a single one of them feels any hatred (or even dislike) of atheists. Compassion, perhaps, but not hatred.

So, I truly cannot agree with you, no matter what your article said. Even so-called "expert articles" can be mistaken.

Does it happen? Yes. But not with REAL Christians. Only with those who are Christians in name only, not in their spirit & heart. HUGE difference. I am sorry that you were so gravely mistreated by some "name onlies."

- Ma

April 11, 2008
9:59 am
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I believe in God. I pray. I do not go to church.

I was born and raised catholic and have been rebelling against it for years.

Jv- I believe that you are a good christian, because you have an open mind about acceptance. So does Ma.

My experiences with the catholic church are far from great. Now before all the catholics jump down my throat, I am going to say that I am not against anyone who is catholic, it's just not for me.

People are afraid of religion for many reasons. Finding a connection with God or whoever your higher power is, brings peace, in my opinion.

Our world is filled with so much hatred and judgement, I want to believe that there is something greater in the next life filled with love and acceptance by all.

Autumn

April 11, 2008
10:39 am
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Good morning autumn,
I am touched by your post the people in the Catholic Church has obviously done some real bone head things just like everywhere some of the greatest mystics of all time like Padre Pio were persecuted by the church and the beatified as a saint after their death. Sooooo i definatley understand how you feel. But you are a child of God and a believer in Christ and thats what counts.

Guest I can only say that I don't hate atheists at all. I still have to say i think we might be talking about a vocal minority here. I respect your right to choose your beliefe system as you see fit. I believe God gave us all free will to make the choice for our selves, and if God trusts you to make your choice then by golly I trust you too.

JV

April 11, 2008
2:00 pm
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I was raised Catholic, became agnostic,began to question the existence of God at all, and then on a trip to Italy,saw so much evidence of Christ (at religious sites)that I started to believe strongly again. I have been studying A Course in Miracles and have begun to be more spiritual, more sane and more happy. What a relief!

April 11, 2008
2:46 pm
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I was raised in many different religions, depending upon whom my mother was dating. She dated a Presbyterian, a Methodist, a Roman Catholic and -- finally -- a Jew. So, I was exposed to ALL of them. Wound up an agnostic/borderline atheist by the age of 20. At 36, I became a Christian. Having experienced both, I can state that Christianity is VERY DIFFERENT from Roman Catholicism. One is about "relationship;" the other is about religion. I never knew the difference before I was 36, but I am grateful that I understand it now.

- Ma

April 11, 2008
2:49 pm
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I'm not scared of religion.

My view is some who are religious are filled with religeous fear. The persecution, damned to hell fire and Judgment day types. If you don't believe in God the way they do they slam you with "your going to hell" or you are lost.something to put you down.

I have my beleif system and I've done extensive research on it.

What I don't like is the reflected religious fear thrown my way, when I hold up my beliefs.( not made up, but documented history of religious formation, how it really was, not the editted version we get today)

I get where your coming from....I have freinds who are religious, and I don't try to convince them otherwise, because they function on the same principals i do....except "what" god really is.
I can go to a church, and sit at a table when people pray without making a comment or belittling their way Unless they pull the "you're damned" card.

However I haven't gotten the same respect from SOME cristians/catholics, or other denominations.

The sanity of religion comes from belonging.Because it's influence is HUGE, and having others around you who beleive the same is affirming. It appeals to our need to belong.

So many who don't beleive are isolated.That is not right!?

April 11, 2008
2:57 pm
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jv63
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Hold the Phone there Ma

How can you say that Catholisism is not Christianity??????
That doen't sound like you understand at alll???/
please clairify

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