Jesus??
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19-10-2010, 01:01 AM
 
Jesus??
Sometimes I wonder who the hell I was singing to when I sang 'Jesus songs'. Something about worshiping the idea of a supposedly perfect answer to absolutely everything brought a sense of resolve to my sad, sinful self. Taking part in ritualistic acts that the church explains will please God and deepen my relationship w/ him, to entertain the hope of a future resolution to all the inexplicable, unnecessary pain and suffering. Instead of asking myself logical questions that could bring me a more rational piece of peace, I was raised to just give all of myself over to a doctrine which convinces people that blind faith is actually wisdom. A doctrine that discourages questions and looks down on people who do question. I didn't want to be looked down on as the 'Doubting Thomas' of my youth group.

When I did finally decide to ask questions, I found a freedom that I had never known during all the time that Jesus was in my heart. I realized that I'm not a filthy, good for nothing sinner! That I don't need to spend the rest of my life grovelling to some crazy guy who happened to die on a cross, or to some other dude in the sky who doesn't even exist. I learned in a couple philosophy classes that no one can wham-bam prove that God exists using logical or rational arguments. (Not even w/ some kind of adrenaline-induced God-experience they had.)

How do people quantify their God-experiences anyways? In order to establish that something constant is happening amongst all the followers of God, we would need to make a check list that is satisfied before each experience can indeed be classified as 'God-caused'. Here is what I would start w/:

-Tingling sensation throughout body
-Visions of angels or demons, lambs or carpentry supplies
-Realizing that I am speaking gibberish which I will later claim is a different language
-Feeling so much better after someone talks to God w/ me about my problems
-Discover that there's actually some parts of the Bible that kind of make sense and can be applied to my life by interpreting it in a special way that God is moving me to

Maybe that was going too far, but as someone who used to be wholly devoted to Jesus, the Church, and the Word of God, I can actually say that I took part in all of those ridiculous acts. It feels really good to not feel so lost anymore that I need to grasp at any sliver of meaning I can find in day-to-day life, or search for my purpose within a book. I've realized that everyone CHOOSES what they need to get through each day. Some people choose Jesus, and other people choose logic/science. People can find meaning and purpose in many different things.

At first, it was terrifying. I thought that if I didn't have Jesus, my life would fall apart or that I'd have no more joy or anything to live for anymore. Thankfully, I discovered true joy, and true friendships, as well as more meaning in my life that I no longer need to grasp for. The purpose I choose to live for now has nothing to do w/ a man floating around in the clouds allowing countless unnecessary sufferings to occur to his supposedly 'beloved children'. What I choose to need and make my purpose out of is simply to love the friends and family I am blessed to know. I do my best to get to know each friend as best as I can, so that I can love them better. Sometimes I'm good at this, and sometimes I suck at it. But I never feel depressed or unclean when I fail anymore.

Why? Because I now know that I am more than just a primitive-minded, evil-natured life form who needs a book to teach me how to be a good person. I've learned that I have the ability to use logic and when I do, I then make healthy decisions which benefit my life and the lives of those around me. I believe that true 'salvation' is not attained by giving our lives over to someone else, but allowing ourselves the right to claim it completely. People who claim otherwise are just too damn afraid to try living their lives independent of the approval they've conditioned themselves to need within a certain belief system, and actually own up to their own shortcomings. It's easy when God is there to lean against whenever we fail. But I don't think we develop genuine character by leaning on an imaginary being. We develop genuine character by standing on our own two feet.

I think that when I used to sing to Jesus, I was actually trying to reach the 'something out there' that could help me love myself. After 20 years of singing and praying to Jesus, I still hadn't found it. The church kept saying, 'just look to Jesus for your strength', but I didn't find my internal strength and love till I looked within myself. It's kind of funny that many religious communities drive humility down everyone's throats, and then while being ridiculously humble when thinking of themselves to the point where everyone is depressed cause each person thinks they suck so much, everybody is also SO arrogant and prideful when they think about 'lost' people who haven't found their magic pill of religious depression yet.

Years ago I gave a testimony before I got baptized, explaining how I got to know God and why I accepted him as my personal Lord and Saviour... Looking back, I realize I did this because I genuinely thought that there was no other way. That this was just another stepping stone towards one day feeling loveable and beautiful. I believed that if I continued to be obedient and follow the 'path' of spiritual stepping stones, I'd make it to the golden gates and find my perfect Saviour who would wipe away all tears, and explain all the suffering of the world's injustices.

I've grown up a lot since being in that mind frame, and I think I can safely say that I am done w/ entertaining fairytales and fantasies that do not involve role-playing in the bedroom. And no, I do not think Jesus belongs in my bedroomTongue This is my testimony of how I got out of religion, which I now consider a form of brainwashing and constant operant conditioning.

Can I get an AMEN?!
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19-10-2010, 01:44 AM
RE: Jesus??
Welcome to the real world. You definitely have made a large number of accurate observations and gained great insight into the workings of religion, including the psychological effects.You become free when you learn to accept yourself as you are. Religions won't teach you that because they want you to stay dependent on them.

I do feel that the check list for verifing god-experiences, that you mentioned, may need a re-think.
-Tingling sensation throughout body (There are physical reasons for tingling sensations that don't involve god)
-Visions of angels or demons, lambs or carpentry supplies (There are schitsophrenics, drug users, brain trauma patients and people who have low levels of electrical resistence in there skin who can hallucinate. The last group needs an electric field, either natural or man-made.)
-Realizing that I am speaking gibberish which I will later claim is a different language (It must be verifiebly a language the speaker does not know and they need to use that language correctly)
-Feeling so much better after someone talks to God w/ me about my problems (Talking to oneself can help someone by helping them to organize their thoughts. No god needed)
-Discover that there's actually some parts of the Bible that kind of make sense and can be applied to my life by interpreting it in a special way that God is moving me to (If you "cherry-pick" lines from the bible you can find things that make sense. You could do the same thing by "cherry-picking" thousands of other books including fiction books.)

P.S. I just realized that Amen backwards is Nema which is the same pronouciation as the Ukrainian word for either "nothing" or "all gone." (sorry, I can't remember which). Sort of ironic, isn't it?
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19-10-2010, 08:07 AM
RE: Jesus??
Welcome to the forum, Philosopher. Glad to have you with us.

"Sometimes it is better to light a flamethrower than to curse the darkness."
- Terry Pratchett
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19-10-2010, 09:49 AM
 
RE: Jesus??
Welcome to the forums, Philosopher. Smile

You've come a long way, from the read of it. Don't beat yourself up for having lived the faith you trusted to be true. You were led there. And something deep inside you called you away, and you cared enough about yourself to follow where that led, and now you're free from accepting on faith that you're a damned sinner just as god made you, as he also expects to be worshiped for it.
The Christian faith decried questions, and even imparted fear through scripture and god's wrath for daring to question, because if you think about it you realize the doctrine of Christianity is not intelligent. And that's why the early scribes referred to the believers in it as, sheep. Domesticated Sheep are herd animals, incapable by nature of critical thought. In a charge, every last sheep will run off the end of a cliff, even while the bleating terror of their companions fall fills their ears they'll keep running to join them over the edge,unless someone stops them, because they can not process what's happening so as to stop themselves. That's why they must have a shepherd or perish.

Congratulations, for realizing you don't deserve to be part of the herd. You're smarter than that. Wink
Many atheists arrive from being former Theists. I was raised in a Christian household. One where my parents never thought outside the book, as they were Fundamentalists. As far as I know, I'm the first atheist on either side of the family.
At first, when it seemed scary and I may be wrong in walking away from that faith I was raised in, I'd step back to take a look to see what I'd missed. Maybe if I just didn't take it so literally (Fundamentally), there was a wisdom there that I could work with.
Then some years ago I found a poster on-line that summed the whole thing up for me. And whenever I thought that way again, I just recited the words on that poster and knew, since I'd been a believer far longer than an atheist, that if I just honored the truth it would indeed set me free.
Here's the text from that poster.

Christianity: The belief that a cosmic Jewish Zombie who was his own father can make you live forever if you symbolically eat his flesh and telepathically tell him you accept him as your master, so he can remove an evil force from your soul that is present in humanity because a rib-woman was convinced by a talking snake to eat from a magical tree.

Silly, right? And yet, that's the condensed truth of it.
I wish you peace and you continue forward in your truth.
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19-10-2010, 09:50 AM
RE: Jesus??
Welcomes!
Quote:Can I get an AMEN?!
Nope, it's called RAMEN here.


Jesus must be the most terrible friend one can have. He never talks to one, never contacts one, ignores ones prayers and all that stuff.

Correct me when I'm wrong.
Accept me or go to hell.
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19-10-2010, 10:09 AM
 
RE: Jesus??
(19-10-2010 09:50 AM)Kikko Wrote:  Welcomes!
Quote:Can I get an AMEN?!
Nope, it's called RAMEN here.
But what's that say about all the MSG?Tongue


Quote:Jesus must be the most terrible friend one can have. He never talks to one, never contacts one, ignores ones prayers and all that stuff.
Not to mention his being an abject failure, since he died to take away all the worlds sins and yet people are still natural born sinners, and there is still sin in the world.
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19-10-2010, 10:45 AM
RE: Jesus??
Quote:But what's that say about all the MSG?Tongue
I think I've ran into a language barrier here. You mean something like ''what does that have to say about all of the message''?

Correct me when I'm wrong.
Accept me or go to hell.
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19-10-2010, 12:45 PM
RE: Jesus??
MSG stands for "monosodiumglutimate". It's an unhealthy product used to enhance flavor. There's lots of MSG in Ramen noodles!

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19-10-2010, 01:24 PM
 
RE: Jesus??
(19-10-2010 10:45 AM)Kikko Wrote:  
Quote:But what's that say about all the MSG?Tongue
I think I've ran into a language barrier here. You mean something like ''what does that have to say about all of the message''?
Yep, what Stark said is what I was teasing about. Smile
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