How Religion Nearly Shattered my Mind
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08-06-2015, 10:06 AM
RE: How Religion Nearly Shattered my Mind
(05-06-2015 04:30 PM)Airportkid Wrote:  Question I asked of Q some posts back:

(04-06-2015 08:57 AM)Airportkid Wrote:  ... What are some guidelines to help a person distinguish a "messed-up" church from a "healthy" one? In case you find some church attractive enough to get involved in it. What would be "warning" signs that the church is "messed-up"?


Answer:

(05-06-2015 11:15 AM)The Q Continuum Wrote:  ... To answer you and Airport Kid, OCD runs in families ...


Huh


Answer the question, Q, don't disrespect me by addressing me by name and then dishonestly represent your response as answer. That doesn't just disrespect me it disrespects the entire board.

Your post which prompted my question clearly showed you believe there are "messed-up" churches and "healthy" churches. Those are your descriptors, and I can only assume your intention was to describe exactly what they connote. You also expressed dismay that the OP had gotten involved with a "messed-up" church.

It is therefore a reasonable question to ask how one goes about distinguishing "messed-up" churches from the "healthy" ones. The hazards of getting involved with a "messed-up" church can be dire and such churches should be avoided.

How do you tell?

There are a number of contributing factors: Here's some church math. Unhealthy/false churches:

+Add to the Bible as authoritative "scriptures" aka Book of Mormon, etc.

-Subtract from the deity of Jesus

XMultiply the requirements of salvation (give money, be baptized in water, obey the pastor) to the sole requirement, trust in Jesus's atoning death and resurrection

%Divide the body of Christ aka OUR church is the only true church, etc. (By the way, this last is a trait of the RCC)

Sorry for not answering earlier. I felt like the OCD was in play and perhaps not the church leadership, although if the OP's parents interacted with church leaders, I would hope those leaders would be perceptive enough to see the many problems.

I'm told atheists on forums like TTA are bitter and angry. If you are not, your posts to me will be respectful, insightful and thoughtful. Prove me wrong by your adherence to decent behavior.
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08-06-2015, 11:12 AM
RE: How Religion Nearly Shattered my Mind
(08-06-2015 10:06 AM)The Q Continuum Wrote:  
(05-06-2015 04:30 PM)Airportkid Wrote:  Question I asked of Q some posts back:



Answer:



Huh


Answer the question, Q, don't disrespect me by addressing me by name and then dishonestly represent your response as answer. That doesn't just disrespect me it disrespects the entire board.

Your post which prompted my question clearly showed you believe there are "messed-up" churches and "healthy" churches. Those are your descriptors, and I can only assume your intention was to describe exactly what they connote. You also expressed dismay that the OP had gotten involved with a "messed-up" church.

It is therefore a reasonable question to ask how one goes about distinguishing "messed-up" churches from the "healthy" ones. The hazards of getting involved with a "messed-up" church can be dire and such churches should be avoided.

How do you tell?

There are a number of contributing factors: Here's some church math. Unhealthy/false churches:

+Add to the Bible as authoritative "scriptures" aka Book of Mormon, etc.

-Subtract from the deity of Jesus

XMultiply the requirements of salvation (give money, be baptized in water, obey the pastor) to the sole requirement, trust in Jesus's atoning death and resurrection

%Divide the body of Christ aka OUR church is the only true church, etc. (By the way, this last is a trait of the RCC)

Sorry for not answering earlier. I felt like the OCD was in play and perhaps not the church leadership, although if the OP's parents interacted with church leaders, I would hope those leaders would be perceptive enough to see the many problems.

That still does not answer the question. So you give "church math", how do you plug numbers in and what does the output mean? This explains nothing.

"If we are honest—and scientists have to be—we must admit that religion is a jumble of false assertions, with no basis in reality.
The very idea of God is a product of the human imagination."
- Paul Dirac
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08-06-2015, 11:20 AM
RE: How Religion Nearly Shattered my Mind
(08-06-2015 10:06 AM)The Q Continuum Wrote:  
(05-06-2015 04:30 PM)Airportkid Wrote:  Question I asked of Q some posts back:



Answer:



Huh


Answer the question, Q, don't disrespect me by addressing me by name and then dishonestly represent your response as answer. That doesn't just disrespect me it disrespects the entire board.

Your post which prompted my question clearly showed you believe there are "messed-up" churches and "healthy" churches. Those are your descriptors, and I can only assume your intention was to describe exactly what they connote. You also expressed dismay that the OP had gotten involved with a "messed-up" church.

It is therefore a reasonable question to ask how one goes about distinguishing "messed-up" churches from the "healthy" ones. The hazards of getting involved with a "messed-up" church can be dire and such churches should be avoided.

How do you tell?

There are a number of contributing factors: Here's some church math. Unhealthy/false churches:

+Add to the Bible as authoritative "scriptures" aka Book of Mormon, etc.

-Subtract from the deity of Jesus

XMultiply the requirements of salvation (give money, be baptized in water, obey the pastor) to the sole requirement, trust in Jesus's atoning death and resurrection

%Divide the body of Christ aka OUR church is the only true church, etc. (By the way, this last is a trait of the RCC)

Sorry for not answering earlier. I felt like the OCD was in play and perhaps not the church leadership, although if the OP's parents interacted with church leaders, I would hope those leaders would be perceptive enough to see the many problems.

ALL churches are unhealthy and false...the funny thing for me is that with over 40,000 different strains of Christian delusion, all of which think their unique version of fiction is the truth, the will and the way, and all others are false! The irony kills me.

"Belief is so often the death of reason" - Qyburn, Game of Thrones

"The Christian community continues to exist because the conclusions of the critical study of the Bible are largely withheld from them." -Hans Conzelmann (1915-1989)
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08-06-2015, 11:30 AM
RE: How Religion Nearly Shattered my Mind
(08-06-2015 11:20 AM)goodwithoutgod Wrote:  ALL churches are unhealthy and false...the funny thing for me is that with over 40,000 different strains of Christian delusion, all of which think their unique version of fiction is the truth, the will and the way, and all others are false! The irony kills me.

There can be only one. Praise be Bob! SLACK OFF!

#sigh
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08-06-2015, 08:57 PM
RE: How Religion Nearly Shattered my Mind
(08-06-2015 10:06 AM)The Q Continuum Wrote:  ... some church math. Unhealthy/false churches:
+Add to the Bible as authoritative "scriptures" aka Book of Mormon, etc.
-Subtract from the deity of Jesus
XMultiply the requirements of salvation (give money, be baptized in water, obey the pastor) to the sole requirement, trust in Jesus's atoning death and resurrection
%Divide the body of Christ aka OUR church is the only true church, etc. (By the way, this last is a trait of the RCC)

Sorry for not answering earlier ...

Thanks, Q, unlike the Chemist I think your answer sincere and adequate; I don't think naturally subjective factors are all quantifiable into units per sq. meter per second.

Basically, if I understand correctly, a healthy church has no "text" other than the KJV as its source for sermons or counseling, regards Christ as none less than God and therefore superhuman and capable of "miracles", does not pretend or claim anything beyond sheer belief is necessary for admittance to heaven, and does NOT claim itself sole possessor of the "truth" (but DOES at least act in accord with the first three provisions).

There are probably hundreds of thousands of churches that meet that criteria exact to the millionth of a millimeter, yet these same churches (in addition to often being in irreconcilable disagreement with each other despite exact conformance to the above criteria) lose parishioners to psychological distress - and it is significant that your list of criteria makes no reference to psychological factors at all. Psychological factors are at the heart of the OP.

It seems to me that the entire point of church and religion is attaining/sustaining a particular psychological demeanor used to try to cope with life, and assessing a church by criteria that have nothing to do with psychological effect would be, I think, dangerously misguided.

In fact, I would consider a church's degree of conformance to particular religious principles irrelevant to its "health" or "affliction", and instead would measure (if possible to measure) its congregational degree of "what percent of how my life is going is going the way I think I want it to go and how secure do I feel about my future".

My belief is that the percentage that applies to any church congregation would always be less than the percentage that applies to any group of secularists, for the simple reason that church congregations keep returning to church to get reassurance. Anyone with a secure sense of his own future doesn't NEED a church or anything else for constant reassurance.

But a "healthy" church wouldn't do anything to undermine assurance, and nothing in your criteria gives any hint of reassurance, just a hollow recitation of conformance to arbitrary religious principles.
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09-06-2015, 09:47 AM
RE: How Religion Nearly Shattered my Mind
(08-06-2015 11:12 AM)The Organic Chemist Wrote:  
(08-06-2015 10:06 AM)The Q Continuum Wrote:  There are a number of contributing factors: Here's some church math. Unhealthy/false churches:

+Add to the Bible as authoritative "scriptures" aka Book of Mormon, etc.

-Subtract from the deity of Jesus

XMultiply the requirements of salvation (give money, be baptized in water, obey the pastor) to the sole requirement, trust in Jesus's atoning death and resurrection

%Divide the body of Christ aka OUR church is the only true church, etc. (By the way, this last is a trait of the RCC)

Sorry for not answering earlier. I felt like the OCD was in play and perhaps not the church leadership, although if the OP's parents interacted with church leaders, I would hope those leaders would be perceptive enough to see the many problems.

That still does not answer the question. So you give "church math", how do you plug numbers in and what does the output mean? This explains nothing.

Do the math. Churches that say "The Bible is wrong, use this book/tradition instead, Jesus isn't in charge, we are, jump through these hoops and give us money to be saved, and we're the only true church" are messed up, dude!

I'm told atheists on forums like TTA are bitter and angry. If you are not, your posts to me will be respectful, insightful and thoughtful. Prove me wrong by your adherence to decent behavior.
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09-06-2015, 09:50 AM
RE: How Religion Nearly Shattered my Mind
(08-06-2015 08:57 PM)Airportkid Wrote:  
(08-06-2015 10:06 AM)The Q Continuum Wrote:  ... some church math. Unhealthy/false churches:
+Add to the Bible as authoritative "scriptures" aka Book of Mormon, etc.
-Subtract from the deity of Jesus
XMultiply the requirements of salvation (give money, be baptized in water, obey the pastor) to the sole requirement, trust in Jesus's atoning death and resurrection
%Divide the body of Christ aka OUR church is the only true church, etc. (By the way, this last is a trait of the RCC)

Sorry for not answering earlier ...

Thanks, Q, unlike the Chemist I think your answer sincere and adequate; I don't think naturally subjective factors are all quantifiable into units per sq. meter per second.

Basically, if I understand correctly, a healthy church has no "text" other than the KJV as its source for sermons or counseling, regards Christ as none less than God and therefore superhuman and capable of "miracles", does not pretend or claim anything beyond sheer belief is necessary for admittance to heaven, and does NOT claim itself sole possessor of the "truth" (but DOES at least act in accord with the first three provisions).

There are probably hundreds of thousands of churches that meet that criteria exact to the millionth of a millimeter, yet these same churches (in addition to often being in irreconcilable disagreement with each other despite exact conformance to the above criteria) lose parishioners to psychological distress - and it is significant that your list of criteria makes no reference to psychological factors at all. Psychological factors are at the heart of the OP.

It seems to me that the entire point of church and religion is attaining/sustaining a particular psychological demeanor used to try to cope with life, and assessing a church by criteria that have nothing to do with psychological effect would be, I think, dangerously misguided.

In fact, I would consider a church's degree of conformance to particular religious principles irrelevant to its "health" or "affliction", and instead would measure (if possible to measure) its congregational degree of "what percent of how my life is going is going the way I think I want it to go and how secure do I feel about my future".

My belief is that the percentage that applies to any church congregation would always be less than the percentage that applies to any group of secularists, for the simple reason that church congregations keep returning to church to get reassurance. Anyone with a secure sense of his own future doesn't NEED a church or anything else for constant reassurance.

But a "healthy" church wouldn't do anything to undermine assurance, and nothing in your criteria gives any hint of reassurance, just a hollow recitation of conformance to arbitrary religious principles.

For your sake and for the sake of my peace of my mind, I wish you read my posts more carefully before replying.

I said the Bible contains the only SCRIPTURES. Counseling is fine, so are sermons, so are friends giving advice. What I've done as a church counselor is give some scripture, some personal advice, some things I've learned as a lay counselor, but messed up churches twist people away from the scriptures by teaching things diametrically opposed to scripture.

And the KJV-only claim you've made on me is uninformed. I've posted verses here often enough that you should recognized I've maybe posted a KJV verse once out of hundreds of posts. Where do you get this stuff from? Is there an "atheist psychic hotline" or something?

I'm told atheists on forums like TTA are bitter and angry. If you are not, your posts to me will be respectful, insightful and thoughtful. Prove me wrong by your adherence to decent behavior.
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09-06-2015, 10:34 AM
RE: How Religion Nearly Shattered my Mind
(05-06-2015 11:05 AM)Worom Wrote:  
(05-06-2015 10:08 AM)Iñigo Wrote:  Welcome to reason. I hope you are in a much better place now. It is great to hear that science with all it's beauty and elegance was the catalyst for you. Do you plan to pursue a career in science?

Eventually yes, I live in the U.S. so getting a college education is extremely expensive and I don't have the income at this point to support it (undergrad degree would probably cost 40k total just in tuition) . I'm in the spot of I make enough money not to qualify for any financial help, but not enough to actually support the tuition costs.

I've always been really interested in Chemistry I was actually pretty good at it in my honors chemistry classes in high school. I think I would pursue organic chemistry as my field of study might even try for a PHD someday.

I am partial to it, but organic chemistry is a great career whether in academia or in the chemical industry. In terms of finances, keep in mind you just need to get through college. You will be financially independent when you get to graduate school.
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09-06-2015, 10:47 AM
RE: How Religion Nearly Shattered my Mind
That seems like a constraining upbringing. I grew up Catholic and went to the best Catholic schools. The Catholic church fully embraces science. And pseudo science such as theistic evolution.

A later life atheist, I was defending church beliefs into my early thirties.

We have to remember that what we observe is not nature herself, but nature exposed to our method of questioning ~ Werner Heisenberg
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09-06-2015, 11:03 AM
RE: How Religion Nearly Shattered my Mind
(05-06-2015 04:30 PM)Airportkid Wrote:  Question I asked of Q some posts back:

(04-06-2015 08:57 AM)Airportkid Wrote:  ... What are some guidelines to help a person distinguish a "messed-up" church from a "healthy" one? In case you find some church attractive enough to get involved in it. What would be "warning" signs that the church is "messed-up"?


Answer:

(05-06-2015 11:15 AM)The Q Continuum Wrote:  ... To answer you and Airport Kid, OCD runs in families ...


Huh


Answer the question, Q, don't disrespect me by addressing me by name and then dishonestly represent your response as answer. That doesn't just disrespect me it disrespects the entire board.

Your post which prompted my question clearly showed you believe there are "messed-up" churches and "healthy" churches. Those are your descriptors, and I can only assume your intention was to describe exactly what they connote. You also expressed dismay that the OP had gotten involved with a "messed-up" church.

It is therefore a reasonable question to ask how one goes about distinguishing "messed-up" churches from the "healthy" ones. The hazards of getting involved with a "messed-up" church can be dire and such churches should be avoided.

How do you tell?
There are some good churches and others not so good for health.

There is a church, I think in Kentucky or thereabouts, where the pastor died after he was bitten by a poisonous snake he was handling as commanded in some verse the Bible. That is not a healthy setup I would imagine.

But there are also churches that provide schooling, health and other services in developing nations. Those I would consider a positive and healthy thing to have around.

This is all said without regard to what I think about the truth or lack thereof in their fundamental teachings.

We have to remember that what we observe is not nature herself, but nature exposed to our method of questioning ~ Werner Heisenberg
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