Join John Adams, world renowned Intl Matchmaker, Thurs nights 8:30 EST for Live Webcasts with FREE Prizes!
And check out Five Reasons why you should attend a FREE Live AFA Seminar! See locations and details.


Scam free! Check out Christian Filipina - Meet Asian women with Christian values! Members screened.
Exclusive book offer! 75% off! How to Meet, Date and Marry Your Filipina Wife



View Active Topics       Latest 100 Topics       View Your Posts       FAQ Topics       Switch to Mobile


Christianity's Four Extraordinary Aspects - Unexplainable

Discuss religion and spirituality topics.

Moderators: jamesbond, fschmidt

Christianity's Four Extraordinary Aspects - Unexplainable

Postby Winston » Tue Feb 25, 2014 7:31 pm

Title: Four Extraordinary Aspects of Christianity That Atheists Can't Explain.

How can Christianity be untrue yet so powerful and transforming? My struggle as a deconvert.

Ever since I deconverted from the Christian faith in 1992, I've been grappling with an issue or paradox that I can't seem to make sense out of. Let me explain.

Using basic logic and reason, one can easily find lots of reasons in Atheistic and Anti-Christian literature and articles to use as a basis for disbelieving in Christianity. There are so many contradictions, logical problems, moral inconsistencies, absurdities in Christian doctrine, and lack of evidence to support the Bible's claims (or what Christian fundamentalists claim that the Bible says). Using logic to take apart the claims of Christians is as easy as shooting fish in a barrel, if one really wants to do it.

There are so many valid criticisms of Christianity and the Bible that make sense and cannot be explained away. In fact, I've listed many of them in my article here. These are all apparent to an objective rational clear thinking mind that has not been brainwashed by the belief that the Bible must be inerrant and the highest authority, being the word of God.

Yet in spite of all this, there still seems to be something very real about Christianity that is transformative and powerful as well which has stood the test of time. One can personally feel the power and realness of it (at least I do). Even as a non-Christian, one has to appreciate and admire that. So I think Atheists are wrong and narrow-minded to dismiss the value of Christianity as a whole. Consider the following verifiable major aspects of Christianity that attest to its real and transformative power throughout the ages and even now.

1. Christianity definitely has the power to transform lives. It has helped many people throughout history til now. There are countless testimonials of people who were broken and at the end of their rope, but after becoming born again Christians, found strength and salvation that brought them back to life. I know of many such people, have met them, and was one myself.

There are even accounts of people who were about to commit suicide but didn't after they found Christ, or found a Bible in a motel drawer and became saved after opening it. So it can even be said Christianity has saved lives and prevented suicides. In contrast, you will never hear stories of suicidal people at the end of their rope who found hope and strength in Atheist literature that saved their lives.

So it does seem that these sincere devout Christians are connecting to some kind of REAL power, whether externally or internally, which has a great transformative effect. I don't think it can be explained psychologically by mere placebo. It seems to be either spiritual, metaphysical, interdimensional, or divine in nature. So how do you explain that?

However, this isn't unique to Christianity. Other religions have transformed lives too. Islam, Mormonism, and even Buddhism has adherents who claim to have been helped or changed for the better by them. So how do you explain that? Christians can't explain this so they can only say that Satan can work behind other religions to fool people, but that is an obvious cop out that proves nothing.

2. Devout authentic Christians radiate a glow and energy about them that is different than secular people. There is something different in their eyes and vibe that sets them apart from average non-religious people in urban life who are materialistic, live for money and status, and have no inner life. If you've been around them, you know what I mean. It's like there is a foundation of righteousness and virtues within them that the secular person lacks. In particular, Mormons are known for their "Mormon glow" that radiates a clean and wholesome appearance. (Google "Mormon glow" and you will see references to this)

Now, I am not referring to any random person who calls himself a Christian, since anyone can pay lip service to being a Christian without living like one. I'm referring to the sincere devout Christian who carries a Bible, has many Bible verses memorized, generally lives according to the principles of his/her faith (not perfectly of course, but generally), and also has some type of "glow" about them. Thus, I think it would be logical to surmise that something very real must have transformed them like this. I don't think something totally false or unreal could do that.

3. Authentic experiences of miracles and answered prayer are common in Christian communities. There are many documented cases of miracles that defy conventional explanation, if one wants to find them. And every devout Christian can cite examples in his/her life of answered prayers that do not seem to be mere coincidence. Even I can.

For example, when I was 14, I was the only Christian in my family so did not have Christian friends to hang out with or even a church to go to. So one night I prayed and asked God to help me find Christian friends for fellowship and to have a church to go to. The next day or two, an old classmate of mine that I knew in 6th and 7th grade named called me. I had not heard from him in almost a year and there was no reason for him to call me. We had no business to discuss. He did not even know why he was calling me. It seemed like an unseen hand was making this happen.

After we made small talk for a while and caught up, I told him that I was listening to Christian radio. Then he asked if I was a Christian and told me that he was too. I told him that I had been since I was 9 but didn't take it seriously until now and had just rejuvenated my faith over the summer. But that I was a lone Christian with no church to go to. He then invited me to his community church.

Soon I went on a hayride with his Church Youth Group at night and then played miniature golf with them afterward. The people at the Youth Group were very warm, genuine and friendly, as if they had good souls. They were nothing like the mean, vile, hostile, rude teens at my school that made me feel vulnerable and uncomfortable everyday. It was refreshing to be around such people. It validated my faith and told me that there must be something to it. And it gave me the meaning in my life that I desperately needed. So for the next two years, I had a church to go to, and Christian friends to have fellowship with.

That's one example of an answered prayer I experienced. Every devout Christian has stories of answered prayer like this, that range from the mundane to the extraordinary. As you read, my prayer was answered almost the very next day by a classmate I hadn't heard from in a long time, who called me for no reason. And this did not seem like a coincidence at all. Old casual friends or acquaintances do not usually call me for no reason after not seeing me in a long time. As a Christian, somehow you just knew when a prayer was answered. I know that sounds subjective, but it was true and made my faith ever more real.

A pattern I noticed as a Christian is that prayers tend to be answered most often when one prays for things that are aligned with God's will. So people who pray for what they are supposed to, will get them answered most of the time. But prayers for things just to fulfill your greedy or selfish desires are usually unanswered. In my example, I was praying for the former of course.

Again, I'm sure that stories of answered prayer are not unique to Christianity. Believers of other religions and faiths have them too, if you want to find and interview them, or read their literature and testimonials. So how can we make sense of that?

4. Since its beginning, Christianity has spread throughout the world on an unprecedented scale that is inexplicable. Even historians marvel at this and have trouble explaining it. How can a small cult in Judea persecuted under Roman rule eventually become the world's biggest religion? This can't be explained just by the Roman Emperor Constantine making Christianity the official religion of the Roman Empire in the 4th Century AD. Many Roman Emperors have promoted other religions and pagan deities, yet they did not spread as Christianity did. It seemed as though Christianity was meant to spread as it did, as though it were destined to be. No Atheist can explain this sufficiently.

See the documentaries "Christianity: The First 1000 Years" and "Christianity: The Second 1000 years" and you will be impressed.

Something that is unreal and powerless could not spread globally like that on an unprecedented scale. Only something with real power and destiny behind it could do that. So how can you explain that? Of course, the same could be said for Islam too, which also spread like wildfire, and is the world's second most popular religion.

Concluding Questions and Speculations

So you see, even an Atheist and non-Christian has to appreciate Christianity. It has helped so many people and transformed so many broken lives. No one can deny that. Sure people have used it to do wrong and abuse others for their own interests. And kings, popes and emperors (e.g. Constantine) have used it subversively for political purposes too. But that's due to the flaws of human nature. It doesn't mean there's nothing to it. Either way, the above is still true regarding the Christian phenomenon.

So I'm not sure how to explain all this. How could a religion that makes no logical sense and is unprovable transform so many lives, produce so many miracles and answered prayers in common people's lives, and spread globally so quickly after its inception?

Does all this mean that everything in the Bible must be true, or that all Christian doctrine must be true? If so, how can one explain the fact that the same holds true for other religions as well? How can one reconcile all this?

Could it be that Christian salvation may really work in connecting you to a real higher divine power or deity, even though some of its doctrines and tenets may not be true? What I mean is that just because it puts you in touch with something divine, does not mean that it's the "only way to God", nor does it mean that every non-Christian is going to hell. And it does not mean that every Christian doctrine based on human interpretation of the Bible must be all true either. Neither does it mean that every extreme claim by the Christian church is true. See what I'm saying?

There are those who believe that there is one God that works through different religions and faiths. These types like to say, "I believe in God but not religion." They argue that God either gave people in different cultures different ways of worshipping him or connecting with him, or that mankind created the different religions in their attempt to interpret the same God. Either way, they argue that a wise and understanding God would be flexible and try to work through all religions as long as people come to him with good sincere intent.

Or could it be that just as there are many people and animals on Earth, so too there are many different Gods or deities in the heavens or higher dimensions? If so, then different deities may govern each religion. Jesus and Buddha may reside in different realms of heaven, for example. If there are many members of every species, why can't there be societies of Gods and deities as well, kind of like the Greek Gods and Nordic Gods? Why does there have to be only one God, just because some book, church or Christian says so? After all, just because a book, church or Christian says something doesn't make it true.

Christians would respond to this by saying that one cannot cherry pick by picking and choosing what one wants to believe and what one doesn't. They argue that you either accept the Bible 100 percent or not at all. But this is an extreme black and white argument, which Christians are notorious for. Reality is not black and white. Any wise person will tell you that nearly all ideas and beliefs have some degrees of truth in them that is often situational, not absolute.

Moreover, if God gave you a brain to think and reason, why not assume that you should use it? One has the right to separate the wheat from the chaff. There is no logical basis to argue that one should accept all of a religion or none of it. Especially when each religion has evolved over time and been changed and tailored by people and rulers to fit their biases and agendas. All major religions most likely have deviated from their original founder's intentions, Christianity included.

So what do you think? How do you reconcile all this? I've been grappling with these issues since 1992 when I deconverted from Christianity. Any of you wrestle with the same dilemma? It seems like a paradox, like much of life is.

It's hard to make sense out of all this. There are many ways of looking at all this and many arguments that could be made on both sides. All of it leaves a lot of uncertainty that is open to interpretation.

What I've concluded is that Christianity is right for some but not for others. It can bring happiness and fulfillment (which it did for me), as well as a sense of purpose. Many people need this. But it also narrows and closes the mind as well. You feel impaired from learning new things that don't fit with Christian teaching.

Problems and restrictions with Christian life

As a devout Christian, you are restricted from intellectual freedom and exploration. For example, Christians are forbidden to study Astrology. So when I was a Christian, I could not pick up an Astrology book without feeling guilty, since I was told that such subjects were Satanic. Christianity's moral laws are also very restrictive if taken literally, especially the "no sex outside of marriage" law. Sometimes, such laws and restrictions make sin more tempting than it otherwise would be.

What's more, trying to live the Christian life seriously is not easy, but often confusing. There are so many interpretations of the Bible, and so many variations of Christian denominations and doctrines, that you are left confused and don't know what to believe. So no matter how serious and sincere you are in your faith, there are no clear definitive answers that all your Christian peers and teachers will agree on.

Also, since God and Jesus can't talk to you directly, you have to always keep guessing what his will is, or look for signs. So often you are left shrugging and wondering, "How do I know what God wants me to do about this or that?" You also can't help but wonder if following God's plan will make you happy or not. I mean, what if his plan is not what you want? What about your freedom of choice? These are difficult issues with no easy answers.

Did Jesus Christ Exist?

In modern times, there are those who claim that a historical Jesus never existed. They call themselves "mythicists" and claim that he was made up, by either Roman Emperors or the evangelist Paul. One of their main champions is Archarya S who wrote "The Christ Conspiracy: The Greatest Story Ever Sold". Another is Joseph Atwill who wrote a book and produced a documentary called "Caesar's Messiah: The Roman Conspiracy to Invent Jesus".

These mythicists do have some valid points to support their theory. However, I think it is more likely that Jesus Existed because:

1) A hoax can only go so far. People can feel the difference between truth and falsehood at a deeper level. For example, women usually know when their partner is cheating on them, even when they have no evidence. They can sense it at an instinctual and intuitive level. Likewise, people can feel out a hoax eventually, even if they fall for it at first. It loses its power over them over time.

Also, a hoax does not result in millions of lives being transformed, and early Christians enduring three centuries of Roman persecution. Nor can a hoax become the world's biggest religion. A hoax does not have the power to transform lives, answer prayers (in ways that coincidences can't, which Atheists can't explain and can only dismiss) and perform real miracles (many of which are documented and attested to by multiple eyewitnesses). So that just doesn't make sense.

2) Plus, claiming that someone never existed is an extreme claim, and unprovable as well. One cannot prove a negative. There are billions of people throughout history that no historical record was made up, but that doesn't mean they didn't exist. Jesus was not a significant figure at the time he lived, so it would be understandable that there are no Roman historical records of him at the time.

3) At the time of Jesus, no one was expecting a messiah that would be crucified. A crucified messiah was never part of Jewish beliefs prior to Christianity. So if someone were to make up a messiah, it would be a great warrior or king figure that won many battles and freed many slaves, like King David or Moses. They would not make up a messiah that was executed by the Romans in the most humiliating way. That would mean that the messiah was defeated and failed. It would be a downer and would not inspire people.

So I think most likely there was a historical Jesus who was crucified, which left his followers confused and disillusioned. So they began looking for a way to justify a crucified messiah. They reinvented the whole theology of the Old Testament, and claimed that it was God's plan all along to have the messiah crucified to wash away our sins. In doing so, they embellished stories about Jesus, including his alleged resurrection. This is in fact, the view that most historians hold about the historical Jesus.

Later on, the Christian message was subverted down the line by those wishing to use it for political control, such as Emperor Constantine, who most likely created the orthodox version of Christianity by combining Jesus' teachings with pagan rituals and Roman hierarchical structures into what became the Roman Catholic Church. Thus, the version of Jesus given by the church today is likely not the same as the historical Jesus. Most neutral objective historians hold this view as well.

For a great book on whether Jesus existed, see Bart Ehrman's "Did Jesus Exist?" Dr. Ehrman is a distinguished Bible scholar, historian and former Christian who has participated in many public debates on Christianity.

Gnostic Origins of Christianity?

Moreover, additional Gospels found during archaeological excavations, known as the "Lost Gospels" which contain Gnostic teachings of early Christian sects, also shed light on this issue. Banned from the Bible by the Council of Nicea - established by Constantine in the 4th Century - these books contain titles such as "The Gospel of Thomas", "The Gospel of Peter", "The Gospel of Mary Magdalene" and even "The Gospel of Judas". They also contain alternate accounts of the life of Jesus.

These Gnostic Gospels contain ideas that resemble Eastern religions (lending credence to the theory that Jesus may have gone to India during the missing period when he was between 12 and 30). They teach reincarnation, individual spirituality, direct connection to God, and allow the possibility of us all becoming "Sons of God" without the need of an institution or priesthood to intercede for us. They also refer to God as both a mother and father, containing masculine and feminine qualities. And they tell of Jesus having a relationship with Mary Magdalene.

These teachings differ from that of orthodox Christianity, which suggests that early Christians sects may have held different esoteric beliefs and a wider theology than that of the mainstream Christian establishment today. What this means is that Christianity may have been far more esoteric, mystical and open-minded before it became institutionalized and canonized by the state for political control by Romans rulers, church papacy, and monarchs. Hence, these texts were not included into the Bible because their ideas did not fit into the agenda of the powers that be. Instead, these texts were suppressed and buried, and the Gnostics were persecuted as heretics until their existence was virtually wiped out.

For orthodox Christians to reject the Gnostic teachings, they would have to take on faith that Emperor Constantine and his council were more interested in truth than in politics and control, which would be illogical, baseless and contrary to common sense regarding the nature of power. History has always shown that rulers are far more interested in control than truth. Their position mandates it, for their job is that of control, not in the spreading of truth to enlighten the masses. Thus to assume that Constantine's decisions regarding the formation of Christian canon and inclusion of the books of the Bible, were infallible and motivated purely by truth, would require too great of a leap of faith beyond reason.

To learn more about Gnostic teachings and the Lost Gospels, look up books by Professor Elaine Pagels, who has written many books on the subject, available on Amazon.com. There are also many documentaries about this subject that you can watch for free on YouTube too.

A wiser and more evolved way to look at Christianity and religion

Even if the Bible and Christian doctrine are not literally true, there does seem to be something very real behind the power of Christianity. Even as a non-Christian, I can see this. It's obvious. But we could say the same for Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, and even New Age beliefs too. There seems to be something very real and transformative behind those religions as well. Most likely, they all contain kernels of truth at some level in their teachings. After all, all beliefs have some degree of truth in them, and this includes religious beliefs as well.

The problem with Christianity is that it has gotten a bad rap from fanatical literalists, and people who have done great wrong in its name (e.g. Crusades, Inquisition, Witch Trials, punishment and executions of opposers to the Church, subjugation of native tribes, etc). It has also become too institutionalized and subjected to politics, power, control and money (especially with the Catholic Church). It also makes extreme claims, such as if you accept Jesus as your Savior you will go to Heaven, but if you don't, you will go to Hell.

All of this has contributed to its highly controversial reputation. But most likely, it has deviated greatly from the original teachings of its founder, Jesus, and his early disciples. So if you remove all that, it becomes not as bad, and perhaps you can then find some truth in it.

Perhaps if we learn to look at these religions more as symbolic metaphors of truth, rather than as literal truth, they would make a lot more sense to the reasoning mind. After all, taking religion too literally results in too many logical problems that cannot be resolved.

So I think that's the best way to approach this. We should see mankind's religions as ideas which point to a higher truth, and serve as archetypes of our collective consciousness. Even Buddhism and Zen teaches that their religion is like a finger pointing at the moon. The finger is not the moon itself of course, it merely points to it.

It would make a lot more sense to look at religion this way. If we did, it would end the perpetual squabbling and debate between different religious beliefs, religion and science, theism and atheism, etc. In doing so, such dualities and dichotomies would be transcended. I think this view would be far wiser and more reasonable than grappling with literal interpretations that cannot be proven or disproven one way or another.

Final thoughts and lessons

In the final analysis, there is so much about reality we don't know and can't explain. We may never have all the answers to life's deepest mysteries. Ultimately, one either embraces this uncertainty and becomes one with it, or tries to find answers in religion, science, spirituality, metaphysics, etc. or doesn't think about it at all and escapes into the materialist pursuits of life. The choice is up to you.

In closing, I will share with you a lesson I've learned about the pursuit of truth: Truth does not come on a silver platter, nor does it come in a package like fast food. Truth is a search, a process, a journey of discovery without end. Truth is also multi-layered. There are outer layer and inner layers. Some of the layers are simple, others are complex, and others are beyond words and human understanding. Just as insects and animals cannot understand mathematics or language, so too there are levels of reality and dimensions that the human mind cannot comprehend. There is a limit to what we can understand at our current level and stage of evolution.

All we can do for now is go by what we know from our experiences, while remaining open to new things, new experiences and new possibilities. As philosopher and freethinker Darryl Sloan stated in his book Reality Check:

"The most productive mindset you can have is simply this: always, always, always have a belief system that doesn't resist change. Go wherever the information leads you, without fear, because surely the truth is never something to dread." - Darryl Sloan, Reality Check
Last edited by Winston on Mon Aug 18, 2014 6:15 pm, edited 14 times in total.
Check out the latest posts in our blog The Happier Abroaders.

Don't forget my HA Grand Ebook and Dating Sites!

"It takes far less effort to find and move to the society that has what you want than it does to try to reconstruct an existing society to match your standards." - Harry Browne, How I Found Freedom in an Unfree World
User avatar
Winston
Site Admin
 
Posts: 23591
Joined: Sat Aug 18, 2007 1:16 pm







Postby Renata » Tue Feb 25, 2014 9:16 pm

It is history but false history. I think we've been only given half of the truth or an edited version; PG13 so to speak. It's rather insulting because so much of this history is blatant & badly covered. My only experience with christianity came from a sunday school church which was a kind nun reading biblical stories. Take noah's arc for instance, he had to have immense teachnology to build & navigate such a ship to house so many creatures. I think there was more technology back then than what's portrayed. They always depict the people from those days as sheperd-like & simple. I don't buy it.

As well priests do exorcisms. What's their expertise? How did they learn to do this successfully? There must be a process & it must be a skill that is learned over time. Don't you think they could teach everyone how to safeguard themselves but instead the power & knowlege is kept. There are more inconsistencies, but I will have post later.
- It's easy to give, when you know what it's like to have nothing. -

- Develop a backbone, not a wishbone. -
Renata
Experienced Poster
 
Posts: 1106
Joined: Sun May 06, 2012 11:14 pm
Location: Ireland

Re: How can Christianity be false yet real and powerful?

Postby momopi » Tue Feb 25, 2014 9:32 pm

Winston wrote:Using basic logic and reason, one can easily find lots of reasons in Atheistic and Anti-Christian literature and articles to use as a basis for disbelieving in Christianity. There are so many contradictions, logical problems, moral inconsistencies, absurdities in Christian doctrine, and lack of evidence to support the Bible's claims (or what Christian fundamentalists claim that the Bible says). Using logic to take apart the claims of Christians is as easy as shooting fish in a barrel, if one really wants to do it.

There are so many valid criticisms of Christianity and the Bible that make sense and cannot be explained away. In fact, I've listed many of them in my article here. These are all apparent to an objective rational clear thinking mind that has not been brainwashed by the belief that the Bible must be inerrant and the highest authority, being the word of God.


Religion is about faith and not logic. The key words for faith is hope, trust, belief. The key words for logic is idea and proof. To have faith is to have trust without proof. Faith is essential for piety, and taking the leap of faith requires you to accept beliefs without proof or empirical evidence.

Religious Morality (good vs evil), Secular/Philosophical Ethics (right vs wrong), and Law/Punishment (fear of consequence) are the 3 points that form the trinity in governing a society's behavior.
momopi
Elite Upper Class Poster
 
Posts: 4707
Joined: Sat Sep 01, 2007 4:44 am
Location: Orange County, California

Postby bladed11 » Wed Feb 26, 2014 4:25 am

To know without a doubt that the bible is true first read it's end time prophecies and then put them side by side with todays events. The Lord Jesus also said that not everyone who confesses his name will be saved. Like those preachers in mega churches or people trying to sneak into heaven through the back way (aka many paths to heaven doctrine). It really stops with him in that he either says you can come in or you can't and supposedly the only alternative to that is hell or "outer darkness". Seems like a harsh punishment but his father gave him the keys to heaven/hell so he decides. Only now is it so hard for people to accept Christ and I mean really do it with full heart not just vain lip service. There you go another end time prophecy fulfilling right in front of us when the end times would be full of apostasy. As all the men here know women in these last days are unbarable and cruel. That is prophesied to happen in the bible. All the prophecies are coming down the pipe if you do a little research you will see the bible is the only text that is exact in prophecy, but a lot of it hasn't yet happened.
bladed11
Freshman Poster
 
Posts: 213
Joined: Tue Sep 03, 2013 12:14 am

Postby MrPeabody » Wed Feb 26, 2014 5:18 am

Historically, Christianity is the belief system that created a common European Culture and formed a common view of reality. Perhaps one reason it was so successful is that it incorporate the best features of the pagans - the organization of Rome and the reasoning of Greek philosophers, such as Aristotle, while suppressing the different Gods and beliefs that created divisions. Back then, people really took it seriously as the correct view of reality and it wasn't just cynical manipulation as claimed by the Atheists. Sir Isaac Newton was a bible scholar and spoke fluent Hebrew. It seems that today, the elites and educated have lost faith and now have replaced religion with science as the truth that they really believe in. However, they haven't succeeded in formulating an alternative philosophy of how to live that would have depth and shape culture like Christianity and the other major religions. The current Atheists are pathetic and spend most of their time in adolescent ridicule. The last serious attempt to address the same issues as Christianity were the existentialists after World War II. Maybe one way to look at it is there is no better alternative. Imagine that you forgot to wash your laundry and you need a shirt. You reach in and pick that shirt that is least dirty. That is the best you can do. All of the religions are flawed vehicles, and compared to the choices, Christianity comes out on top for many people.
MrPeabody
Experienced Poster
 
Posts: 1246
Joined: Sun Apr 13, 2008 6:53 pm

Postby Winston » Wed Feb 26, 2014 6:12 am

Why is no one addressing my key questions above? How do you explain the major transformational aspects of Christianity if it's not true or if it's been watered down and subverted?

I just added this major aspect to the OP that testifies to this:

2. Devout authentic Christians radiate a glow and energy about them that is different than secular people. There is something different in their eyes and vibe that sets them apart from average non-religious people in urban life who are materialistic, live for money and status, and have no inner life. If you've been around them, you know what I mean. It's like there is a foundation of righteousness and virtues within them that the secular person lacks. In particular, Mormons are known for their "Mormon glow" that radiates a clean and wholesome appearance. (Google "Mormon glow" and you will see references to this)

Now, I am not referring to any random person who calls himself a Christian, since anyone can pay lip service to being a Christian without living like one. I'm referring to the sincere devout Christian who carries a Bible, has many Bible verses memorized, generally lives according to the principles of his/her faith (not perfectly of course, but generally), and also has some type of "glow" about them. Thus, I think it would be logical to surmise that something very real must have transformed them like this. I don't think something totally false or unreal could do that.
Last edited by Winston on Thu Mar 06, 2014 5:29 am, edited 1 time in total.
Check out the latest posts in our blog The Happier Abroaders.

Don't forget my HA Grand Ebook and Dating Sites!

"It takes far less effort to find and move to the society that has what you want than it does to try to reconstruct an existing society to match your standards." - Harry Browne, How I Found Freedom in an Unfree World
User avatar
Winston
Site Admin
 
Posts: 23591
Joined: Sat Aug 18, 2007 1:16 pm

Postby Winston » Wed Feb 26, 2014 6:19 am

bladed11 wrote:To know without a doubt that the bible is true first read it's end time prophecies and then put them side by side with todays events. The Lord Jesus also said that not everyone who confesses his name will be saved. Like those preachers in mega churches or people trying to sneak into heaven through the back way (aka many paths to heaven doctrine). It really stops with him in that he either says you can come in or you can't and supposedly the only alternative to that is hell or "outer darkness". Seems like a harsh punishment but his father gave him the keys to heaven/hell so he decides. Only now is it so hard for people to accept Christ and I mean really do it with full heart not just vain lip service. There you go another end time prophecy fulfilling right in front of us when the end times would be full of apostasy. As all the men here know women in these last days are unbarable and cruel. That is prophesied to happen in the bible. All the prophecies are coming down the pipe if you do a little research you will see the bible is the only text that is exact in prophecy, but a lot of it hasn't yet happened.


Come on. That's not evidence and has been debunked long ago. Those prophecies in Revelation are ambiguous and sound too metaphorical to be used as evidence. The notion of there being "earthquakes, wars and famine" can apply to any time in history, not just present times. Every generation of Christians has said that they were living in the last days, and all of them have been wrong. Some historians think that Jesus Second Coming refers to an event in the first century AD that already happened.

Furthermore, there are Bible prophecies that didn't come to pass. For example, the Old Testament prophecies about Tyre being destroyed by King Nebuchadnezzar never came true. It still stands today. And it was not successfully conquered until Alexander the Great did it. And the prophecy of the Hebrews being led to the promised land by Moses never came true either.
Check out the latest posts in our blog The Happier Abroaders.

Don't forget my HA Grand Ebook and Dating Sites!

"It takes far less effort to find and move to the society that has what you want than it does to try to reconstruct an existing society to match your standards." - Harry Browne, How I Found Freedom in an Unfree World
User avatar
Winston
Site Admin
 
Posts: 23591
Joined: Sat Aug 18, 2007 1:16 pm

Postby zboy1 » Wed Feb 26, 2014 9:49 am

Winston wrote:Why is no one addressing my key questions above? How do you explain the major transformational aspects of Christianity if it's not true or if it's been watered down and subverted?

I just added this major aspect to the OP that testifies to this:

2. Devout authentic Christians radiate a glow and energy about them that is different than secular people. There is something different in their eyes and vibe that sets them apart from average non-religious people in urban life who are materialistic, live for money and status, and have no inner life. If you've been around them, you know what I mean. It's like there is a foundation of righteousness and virtues within them that the secular person lacks. In particular, Mormons are known for their "Mormon glow" that radiates a clean and wholesome appearance. (Google "Mormon glow" and you will see references to this)

Now, I am not referring to any random person who calls himself a Christian, since anyone can pay lip service to being a Christian without living like one. I'm referring to the sincere devout Christian who carries a Bible, has many Bible verses memorized, generally lives according to the principles of his/her faith (not perfectly of course, but generally), and also has some type of "glow" about them. Thus, I think it would be logical to surmise that something very real must have transformed them like this. I don't think something totally false or unreal could do that.


Yes, I know what you mean, Winston: The "glow" that you mentioned, does seem to exist in some people. And, for some reason, those same people also seem to have a really blessed-life as well... compared to the average non-believer. I've also heard and seen stories of miracles as well, so that's why I believe the Christian faith is real and not fake.

I think you should consider rejoining the Christian faith, Winston; it would do a world-of-good for you--BUT...I would caution you not to join some Evangelical Christian church group or following freaks like Pat Robertson and John Hagee as pastors...

I would also stay clear of Zionist Christians and Israel-First types; I don't trust the State of Israel or their government, or the Jewish 'elites' for that matter...
zboy1
Elite Upper Class Poster
 
Posts: 4441
Joined: Thu Oct 04, 2007 4:33 am

Postby lavezzi » Wed Feb 26, 2014 10:35 am

When you are a young child, you experience a kind of blissful ignorance and have very few concerns. This is because you are yet to develop a mental-ego and henceforth experience all the problems and suffering it entails. You experience love and protection from your parents during this period. Whenever you feel fear, they are there to console you. There is an inevitable association between the sense of security this brings and the pre-personal mode of awareness possessed during this time which is preferable to the personal or egoic mode of awareness one possesses as an adult. The end result is that humans have a strong desire to regress to the lower or infantile forms of awareness they knew when they were children, and seek various outlets for this purpose. Christianity has developed into one of these outlets for people's attempt at regression to the slumber of childhood, through a projection of parental characteristics onto the deity with whom to seek a relationship with. Another crucial point is that Christianity offers a denial of death; the proposition of everlasting life as a form of protection from the fear of death, in exchange for obedience to it's rules, another parental projection. This is my explanation for the appeal and historical prevalence of Christianity on an individual or psychological level.

On a collective or sociological level, Christianity (and religion in general) is highly ritualistic. This offers mutual understanding amongst people, promoting social cohesion and moral values. Some form of ritual to provide an external constant which promotes common values is absolutely essential for human society. The lack thereof is responsible for much of the chaos in the modern world and the 'disconnectedness' easily discernible among people today.


So the important point is that exoteric religion offers the individual an attempt at regressing to lower levels of consciousness, while esoteric religion offers the individual an attempt at transforming to higher levels of consciousness. The two are polar opposites; to regress is to escape one's current limitations by decreasing awareness, while to transform is to transcend one's current limitations by increasing awareness. We are a spiritually evolving species, caught in a difficult period where we are half way between beasts and gods so to speak. A personal evolution towards higher levels of consciousness is very difficult to achieve because it is unprecedented, while a personal regression to lower levels is much easier and hence much more widespread because it is a state we each possessed in the past. Don't merely succumb to your fears and take this route Winston, stick to what's true and have faith in only that. That's called integrity, and is the only route to true salvation.
lavezzi
Junior Poster
 
Posts: 707
Joined: Tue Jul 12, 2011 5:38 pm
Location: Republic of Éire

Postby The_Adventurer » Wed Feb 26, 2014 10:41 am

I will try to address your question Winston. There are certain spiritual aspects, such as prayer, faith, the power of belief etc. that seem to transcend religion. I read a great book by a Harvard medical doctor, and I wish I could remember the name, that discusses this stuff. If I find it again, I will post it.

In this book, the doctor talks of certain, physically measurable, by machine, changes in a person's body during prayer, but it didn't matter if they were christian, muslim, jewish, buddhist etc. He also noted that people of faith healed better and faster than those without, but it didn't matter WHAT FAITH, christian, muslim, buddhist etc. was immaterial. What mattered was that they HAD faith.

It is very likely that there is only one true spirituality, that ancient people, in trying to understand and explain it, perverted into all these different religions. They may all quite possibly lead to one goal.

We also can't ignore the possibility that people who had the real knowledge purposefully created these religions to control the masses. They mix a bit of truth with their control mechanism ad give it to the public.

Also addressing the issue of ancient technology, stories such as Noah's arc exist in dozens of ancient cultures all over the globe, in slightly differing versions. Nearly every ancient culture, not just the bible, contains stories of an ancient time when people lived extremely long lives. If any of this is true, if ONE MAN can live almost 1000 years, can we really believe they were living like shepherds or cave men? It is quite possible they were far more advanced than us and all of that was lost in the flood.

You mentioned in another thread that you like that show Ancient Aliens. I don't believe in that stuff per se, but I saw a clip where they made a great case for an ancient nuclear war destroying an entire ancient society. I believe it is far more feasible that humans reached an advanced state and destroyed themselves, maybe even more than once, than beings from other worlds being involved. All those ancient carvings supposedly representing spacecraft and tech could easily be stuff that WE had and created before we blasted ourselves back to the stone age.

This is all speculation, of course. I don't know nor do I claim to know. What I do believe, though, is there is something, that "glow", which is accessible to people of ANY religion and maybe that is more important than the particulars of any faith.
“b***y is so strong that there are dudes willing to blow themselves up for the highly unlikely possibility of b***y in another dimension." -- Joe Rogan
User avatar
The_Adventurer
Experienced Poster
 
Posts: 1384
Joined: Thu Aug 23, 2007 4:17 pm

Postby momopi » Wed Feb 26, 2014 7:16 pm

Here's a simple test, ask "even if it was proven that God doesn't exist and you won't go to heaven in the afterlife, will you still follow the teachings and do what is good?"
momopi
Elite Upper Class Poster
 
Posts: 4707
Joined: Sat Sep 01, 2007 4:44 am
Location: Orange County, California

Postby MrPeabody » Wed Feb 26, 2014 7:55 pm

momopi wrote:Here's a simple test, ask "even if it was proven that God doesn't exist and you won't go to heaven in the afterlife, will you still follow the teachings and do what is good?"


Good question. Also, if there isn't any soul, God, final judgment, or karma (in the Eastern context), then the bottom line is that if you do good, in the long run there isn't any long term advantage to it. The good and evil person end up in the same situation. You can do good if you want to, and somebody else can do bad if they want to. No difference. Without God all things are permitted.
MrPeabody
Experienced Poster
 
Posts: 1246
Joined: Sun Apr 13, 2008 6:53 pm

Postby Jackal » Wed Feb 26, 2014 9:53 pm

Winston wrote:How can Christianity be logically false yet so real, powerful and transformative at the same time?


Well, I think most people have the fantasy of the spiritual superman, god, or guru who can solve all their problems. Submitting to an outside being and idealizing it is much easier than honestly looking at oneself and taking responsibility for one's own actions.

MrPeabody wrote:Good question. Also, if there isn't any soul, God, final judgment, or karma (in the Eastern context), then the bottom line is that if you do good, in the long run there isn't any long term advantage to it. The good and evil person end up in the same situation. You can do good if you want to, and somebody else can do bad if they want to. No difference. Without God all things are permitted.


I get what you're saying, but Buddhist theories of karma don't involve a creator god at all, nor do those of Jainism, I believe.
Jackal
Experienced Poster
 
Posts: 1229
Joined: Tue Mar 04, 2008 3:24 am
Location: Hungary

Postby bladed11 » Wed Feb 26, 2014 11:33 pm

Winston wrote:
bladed11 wrote:To know without a doubt that the bible is true first read it's end time prophecies and then put them side by side with todays events. The Lord Jesus also said that not everyone who confesses his name will be saved. Like those preachers in mega churches or people trying to sneak into heaven through the back way (aka many paths to heaven doctrine). It really stops with him in that he either says you can come in or you can't and supposedly the only alternative to that is hell or "outer darkness". Seems like a harsh punishment but his father gave him the keys to heaven/hell so he decides. Only now is it so hard for people to accept Christ and I mean really do it with full heart not just vain lip service. There you go another end time prophecy fulfilling right in front of us when the end times would be full of apostasy. As all the men here know women in these last days are unbarable and cruel. That is prophesied to happen in the bible. All the prophecies are coming down the pipe if you do a little research you will see the bible is the only text that is exact in prophecy, but a lot of it hasn't yet happened.


Come on. That's not evidence and has been debunked long ago. Those prophecies in Revelation are ambiguous and sound too metaphorical to be used as evidence. The notion of there being "earthquakes, wars and famine" can apply to any time in history, not just present times. Every generation of Christians has said that they were living in the last days, and all of them have been wrong. Some historians think that Jesus Second Coming refers to an event in the first century AD that already happened.

Furthermore, there are Bible prophecies that didn't come to pass. For example, the Old Testament prophecies about Tyre being destroyed by King Nebuchadnezzar never came true. It still stands today. And it was not successfully conquered until Alexander the Great did it. And the prophecy of the Hebrews being led to the promised land by Moses never came true either.


Yeah, I realize that, but I think the point was all these things would be taking place all at once in various places at an increasingly powerful way. For example the biggest tornadoes ever recorded in history happened last year. The biggest most destructive hurricanes like sandy. The worst tsunamis. High murder rate. Extremely rare diseases and a return of the bubonic plague popping up. Ever increasing amount of close calls from asteroids. Maybe not all of the historical prophecy came to past. I focus more on end times prophecy so I'd have to look into historical prophecy.. Then again there are historical prophecies that did come to past like Jerusalem being sacked by the Romans and occupied (time of the gentiles). There's a lot of evidence we are in end times. Mass animal deaths to name another. I'm not trying to spread fear but just making note of these things and comparing to revelation. Believe as you wish. I guess we'll just wait and see what happens later to know for sure. The Christian God is definitely a wrathful one, which is not very popular in our new age culture.
bladed11
Freshman Poster
 
Posts: 213
Joined: Tue Sep 03, 2013 12:14 am

Postby Renata » Sun Mar 02, 2014 1:18 am

Renata wrote:It is history but false history. I think we've been only given half of the truth or an edited version; PG13 so to speak. It's rather insulting because so much of this history is blatant & badly covered. My only experience with christianity came from a sunday school church which was a kind nun reading biblical stories. Take noah's arc for instance, he had to have immense teachnology to build & navigate such a ship to house so many creatures. I think there was more technology back then than what's portrayed. They always depict the people from those days as sheperd-like & simple. I don't buy it.

As well priests do exorcisms. What's their expertise? How did they learn to do this successfully? There must be a process & it must be a skill that is learned over time. Don't you think they could teach everyone how to safeguard themselves but instead the power & knowlege is kept. There are more inconsistencies, but I will have post later.


[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eybsf8sRrdE[/youtube]
- It's easy to give, when you know what it's like to have nothing. -

- Develop a backbone, not a wishbone. -
Renata
Experienced Poster
 
Posts: 1106
Joined: Sun May 06, 2012 11:14 pm
Location: Ireland

Next

Return to Religion and Spirituality

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest