Christianity?

I am not going to go on a rant on Christianity. I went through my anger stages with it ages ago. My background is as a Southern Baptist Missionary. I believed completely and was a fundamentalist of fundamentalists. I left it slowly as chinks in my faith began to strike at it leaving a crushed heap. When I first left the Baptists, I sought out a denomination that seemed less literal..and took a few years to finally choose to convert to Roman Catholicism. I even tried a stint as a monk. But finally I came to see that I could not say the creed in good conscience. From there I was years later to take the fragments of what was good from it and leave the rest...or as we here in the south say...you eat the meat and spit out the bones. (not a good analogy for a vegetarian but you get it LOL) I think modern Gnostics do this well as many see the demiurge responsible for the atrocities in the Bible and the true God who his the spark in all things encourages the good things.



Reason 1 that I am not a traditional Christian: God is attributed to doing or ordering some evil things. These things include animal and human sacrifice, murder of entire towns with the women being kept as booty, supporting death of infants. Subjugation of women, the environment, and gay people. Yes, God is shown as doing and saying some fantastic things, but they are intertwined with the evil things. This creates a kind of double mind in almost every Christian I meet. They either simply overlook the cruel God seen in there, or explain how the evils are not really evil, or simply pick and choose what kind of God they want and follow those verses.



Reason 2 that I am not a traditional Christian: The Bible is flawed and contradictory. From the verse in Matthew "proving" that Jesus is the Messiah by quoting a prophecy that does not exist to the schizophrenic God, to the commands that God says are for all time that can be later broken....it is too much. The Bible is flawed. We can top it with the fact that the Bible was put together and compiled and put together by men with a very set agenda that excluded other types of Christianity of the time. We also know that the Bible was written by men who believed a certain way and presented Jesus exactly how they want to see him.... Now that we are gaining more and more insight into the historical Jesus we are realizing he is different from the Christ of faith. The two are not the same.



Reason 3 that I am not a traditional Christian: The Christian mindset. There are two basic types of Christians. (Actually there are much more than two but a basic mindset is what I am speaking of here) There are those who take much of the Bible literally (evangelical/conservative), who I will call Side A and those who approach it much more liberally who I will call Side B. Side A believes that those who do not believe the full Christian doctrine (Apostles or Nicene Creed gives a good summary)will be damned to hell or annihilation. So they don't want humanity to perish and try to convince us to believe as they do. And intellectual assent is simply not enough, but one must believe with a full heart. This creates a barrier between Side A and all others. The world is divided into the saved and unsaved. There can be no real relationship nor open minded dialogue between Side A and those of other faiths.

Side B is much more agreeable. They do not take the Bible literally. They often, but not always do not believe in a literal virgin birth and resurrection. They also see the Bible atrocities as done by men.. They admit the Bible is a human product with errors, they were written by men with their bias, prejudice, and a worldview and viewpoint of God that is very different from our own. They pick and choose what parts of it they want to follow. What my question is- how do you decide what you pick and choose what to follow? Why honor a book that demeans women, supports genocide, racial segregation, sexism, and homophobia? Yes there are great truths found in it, but these truths can be found elsewhere apart from the negative.

That said: there is much of how Jesus lived that is admirable. You see a human man struggle with his prejudice against gentiles, the commercialism of religion, fundamentalism, and what it means to love the outcast. Reading The Gospel of Thomas you get another picture of teachings of which some definitely predate the four Biblical gospels. You see a man, absorbed in God who calls others to be what he is. He, being a human made divine, calls all humanity to divinity. It is not about who is saved and who is not. While he was a Jew, it seems he went beyond it to humanity and compassion as being his religion. He honors compassion beyond his own religious rules and actively argues with those who seek to put religion above humanity. This is a Jesus that I can relate to. He gets angry. He confronts his own prejudices. He did not found a new religion. He called people to know God directly...and that faith in God is only known through how one treats others.

Comments

  1. Please read The Laughing Jesus and please encourage the UPS to read your blog. Oh, I'm going to do that part myself. This is wonderfully thought out. Good for you.

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  2. Never thought about how all the stories about God's visciousness created a double consciousness in people. Thanks for that.

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