A wee bit of background.

View previous topic View next topic Go down

A wee bit of background.

Post by Guest on Wed Sep 02, 2009 10:31 pm

This is more for those here who don't know me very well yet. Those old timers from B-net already know about my beliefs & why. I am a former Christian who had turned away from Christianity in 2000 at the age of 55. There are very many reasons why. Some have to do with my own experiences as a Christian & from the actions of others in Christianity from 1947 on. But they are only a part & not the sum of why. I've been a 2nd grade Sunday School Teacher, a Lay Youth Minister in both an AELC Church & an Episcopal Parish. As well as a Ordained Elder in the Melchazedak Priesthood of the Church of Jesus Chris of Latter Day Saints. I've also been in a Pentacostal Church, A Souther Baptist Church when I was a young teen. As you can see I've been exposed to a wide variety of denominations. Going from very Conservative Fundalmentalist to very Liberal.

It was only after starting in 1995 that I read through the Bible with open eyes that I started to change. I couldn't reconcile the God of the Bible with my own beliefs. There's no nice way to put this, so please forgive me. I began to see the God of the Bible as a Evil, Satanic, Genocidal & Murdererous Psycopath. And not as the Loving God I had been led to believe in. A lot of this was based on the stories starting with A&E, through the Flood, Sodom & Gommorah, the Genocide of the Canaanites ( Numbers chapter 31 )& much more. I couldn't reconcile the murder of innocent babies, babies in the womb, innocent children with a God of Love. These are just a small example. I couldn't reconcile how a God who created everything Perfect could also then create evil to lead his creation astray. It doesn't matter if the above stories are considered alligorical, mythlogical, or true. No matter how I looked at them I came to the same conclusions. Then there's the NT stories. The Alledged Virgin Birth, the alledged miracles performed by Jesus. But most of all the story of the Crucifiction, death, & Resurrection. And no Christian so far has been able to show/prove to my satisfaction that any of that actually happened. Throughout the history of Humanity there have been similar types of Death & Ressurection Religions. Similar in motif to the NT. Not the exact same but similar. And some of those religions were already old & had been in existence for hundreds if not over a thousand years before Jesus. I've pointed out other religions that started out with a Charismactic Leader & had grown over the centuries into Worldwide Religions. Two examples are Islam & Mormonism. Their believers believe just as fervantly as Christians that their religion was established by God as the only true religion. I could make over hundreds of posts as to why I left & now reject Christianity. But that's not the purpose of this thread. My only purpose is to tell to those here who don't know me very well some of the why behind my decision & why I can no longer believe. I'm not out to convince anyone to leave a Religion they strongly believe in. And I would be the first to tell you to stay strong in your faith if it has helped you to be a more Loving person. Neutral

Guest
Guest


Back to top Go down

Re: A wee bit of background.

Post by free2beme on Thu Sep 10, 2009 8:13 am

Hello Warlord! I actually did not know all of this about you! Nice to see you in these parts!
avatar
free2beme

Posts : 33
Join date : 2009-09-09

Back to top Go down

Re: A wee bit of background.

Post by AutumnalTone on Thu Sep 10, 2009 8:22 am

I've recommended elsewhere a book I think you would find most interesting: _The Early History of God_ by Mark Smith. It provides an examination of Israelite religion as the Israelites separated themselves from the other Canaanites and moved from polytheism to monotheism. Many of the characteristics attributed to Yahweh are the result of deliberate conflation of Yahweh with other deities, primarily El.
avatar
AutumnalTone

Posts : 325
Join date : 2009-04-14

Back to top Go down

Re: A wee bit of background.

Post by DeavonReye on Thu Sep 10, 2009 10:15 am

I share in some of what you posted here, warlord. I'm sure you have heard the many christian excuses for all the deaths before, as have I, . . . but they started to no longer make sense. Like you, I was very devout and believe all that the preacher told me. It wasn't until that I started to really look into many of the things you brought up that I, too, started to fall away. It really IS hard to reconcile "a God of love" with what you find in the Old Testament. Even in the New Testament, . . . the fact that any "salvation" is predicated upon a person's ability to believe the story to be true, and if one can't, that "thought crime" is what sends them to the punishment of hell. Again, not an act of love. So many inconsistancies arose that I no longer could believe what I had been taught all my life.

A question for you, though. Do you still have lingering thoughts of "fear of being sent to hell for no longer believing"? Childhood indoctrination has longevity.
avatar
DeavonReye

Posts : 769
Join date : 2009-06-15
Location : SW MO

Back to top Go down

Re: A wee bit of background.

Post by Guest on Thu Sep 10, 2009 12:47 pm

SeventhCrow wrote:I've recommended elsewhere a book I think you would find most interesting: _The Early History of God_ by Mark Smith. It provides an examination of Israelite religion as the Israelites separated themselves from the other Canaanites and moved from polytheism to monotheism. Many of the characteristics attributed to Yahweh are the result of deliberate conflation of Yahweh with other deities, primarily El.

Another good book is "THE 4000 YEAR HISTORY OF GOD" , by Karen Armstrong. Another good book is WHEN GOD WAS A WOMAN, by Merlin Stone.

Guest
Guest


Back to top Go down

Re: A wee bit of background.

Post by MaineCaptain on Thu Sep 10, 2009 1:05 pm

DeavonReye wrote:
A question for you, though. Do you still have lingering thoughts of "fear of being sent to hell for no longer believing"? Childhood indoctrination has longevity.

I know this was not for me, but it does in a way apply to me. I was never as religious as you or Warlords, But was a believer in my young years, and in those young years I did believe in hell, and feared it.

Oddly though I never though of it as fire and brimstone, but as the life I was living at the time. (I know, but that's a whole other story)
One of the only things that stopped me from walking in front of a bus as a 7 year old was the thought that I would die and go to hell and be right back where I was for eternity. That frightened me. So I hoped I would grow up and get away (hoped not believed) from the hell I was living.

I tell you that to tell you this. I no longer believe there is a hell to be sent to. I do believe, and I am sure many of my Pagan friends will differ in this belief, but I believe the after life has chambers, and I believe that one can get stuck, but I also believe one can get out of a chamber that is unpleasant. Granted it is the Shaman training that has lead me to this belief but it makes sense. To me anyway.

So although I did very much believe in a hell of eternal pain and misery as a child, I no longer believe such exists. I believe the Universe or Multiverse has more justice then that.

I hope some of that made sense.

_________________
Your beliefs don't make you a better person, your behaviour does.
avatar
MaineCaptain
Admin
Admin

Posts : 2869
Join date : 2009-04-01
Location : New England

Back to top Go down

Re: A wee bit of background.

Post by DotNotInOz on Thu Sep 10, 2009 2:53 pm

The Christian Bible represents how an ancient people understood their concept of God.

Thus, the OT God is an angry chieftain, wrathful, jealous and likely to fly off the handle and kill groups of people for what seems like no good reason but to show that he can.

Gradually through the NT, the writers show a more complex understanding of their deity. By the time of its writing, it had become possible to understand God as love, mercy, justice and so forth...in short, a more civilized and reasonable person.

I truly think that ancient writings of this sort are interesting mostly as a measure of human progress, a means by which we can see how people in ancient times and primitive societies developed ideas about what Deity must be like. Their struggles to decide what was goodness and righteous behavior are part of the mixture as well.

There's also much in the Bible that we likely will never understand, certainly not what was the writers' intent and meaning. I think that Revelation likely was some kind of elaborate code, perhaps for a mystical order who had meanings for its references that would have been understood far differently than the "Rapture" folk do today.

So, "the Word of God"? Hardly. "Words attempting to express a long-ago understanding of God" would be more like it.
avatar
DotNotInOz

Posts : 2795
Join date : 2009-04-02
Location : St Louis MO burb

Back to top Go down

Re: A wee bit of background.

Post by AutumnalTone on Thu Sep 10, 2009 3:17 pm

The proto-Israelites were Canaanites--early Israelite ruins show an identical culture to that found in early Canaanite ruins--and evidence indicates they worshipped a pantheon of Canaanite deities, including Yahweh. Yahweh is a storm god--which led to the rivalry with Ba'al Haddad.

The interesting thing to note is that the descriptions of a loving, beneficent god match those of El/Ilu, the head of the pantheon. The Yahweh cult conflated Yahweh with El by appropriating those descriptions over time. It wasn't that people of the time could only conceive of petty, vengeful deities and only later could conceive of beneficent deities, The conception of El/Ilu (and Asherah/Athtiroth and others) show that the positive traits were understood and appreciated much earlier than the appearance of Christianity.
avatar
AutumnalTone

Posts : 325
Join date : 2009-04-14

Back to top Go down

Re: A wee bit of background.

Post by MaineCaptain on Thu Sep 10, 2009 3:52 pm

Thanks Seventh Crow.
It is interesting that they settled on a Storm god as their one and only

Interesting.

I don't suppose you could recommend somewhere I could continue to research this, I find it very interesting.
Thanks either way. Very Happy

_________________
Your beliefs don't make you a better person, your behaviour does.
avatar
MaineCaptain
Admin
Admin

Posts : 2869
Join date : 2009-04-01
Location : New England

Back to top Go down

Re: A wee bit of background.

Post by DotNotInOz on Thu Sep 10, 2009 4:03 pm

SeventhCrow wrote:The proto-Israelites were Canaanites--early Israelite ruins show an identical culture to that found in early Canaanite ruins--and evidence indicates they worshipped a pantheon of Canaanite deities, including Yahweh. Yahweh is a storm god--which led to the rivalry with Ba'al Haddad.

The interesting thing to note is that the descriptions of a loving, beneficent god match those of El/Ilu, the head of the pantheon. The Yahweh cult conflated Yahweh with El by appropriating those descriptions over time. It wasn't that people of the time could only conceive of petty, vengeful deities and only later could conceive of beneficent deities, The conception of El/Ilu (and Asherah/Athtiroth and others) show that the positive traits were understood and appreciated much earlier than the appearance of Christianity.

Interesting, SeventhCrow. I didn't know this.

Consequently, I was only interpreting the Bible based upon my understanding of what people who conceived of God that way would be like.

Wouldn't you agree, though, that very little idea of a loving Deity is recorded in the Christian OT?
avatar
DotNotInOz

Posts : 2795
Join date : 2009-04-02
Location : St Louis MO burb

Back to top Go down

Re: A wee bit of background.

Post by Sponsored content


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

View previous topic View next topic Back to top

- Similar topics

 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum