Posts tagged ‘heretic’
I have recently been reading a couple books on addiction, grief and loss. I am doing this because of what I see as the lack of books, support groups, or programs which deal specifically with De-Conversion or Apostasy from Christianity. I have found several books which help one recognize when you are in a dysfunctional or manipulative religious cult of some kind or another, and they have been somewhat helpful. But how does one deal specifically with the loss that accompanies Christian apostasy?
And there is loss. I have been a Christian for my entire life, as far as I can tell. And while I truly am at peace without the threat of eternal damnation looming over humanity, I cannot go that that many years as a devout Christian and not feel a some kind of vacuum left over in my soul.
I don’t think that vacuum is the absence of God. Rather it is the loss of my weekly Bible study, the camaraderie, always knowing when your Christian brothers and sisters will be there…
…or you may get mauled by a she-bear..!!
Since my recent comment about irrelevant and forgotten old radio Bible teachers, I thought I would re-publish this rant from my old website. It is several months old, and I am beating up on a dead guy, but hopefully some of the younger folks out there can relate. Dig?
It was darker than usual this morning due to turning the clock ahead an hour, so I was able to pick up a distant AM station on my drive into work. It was broadcasting a rerun of one of those ancient J Vernon McGee Thru The Bible programs. He was working his way through 2 Kings when he hit this troublesome passage concerning the prophet Elisha…
Have I not written to you excellent things Of counsels and knowledge,That I may make you know the certainty of the words of truth,That you may answer words of truthTo those who send to you?-Proverbs 22:20-21
Lately, I have been considering the point and purpose of Christian apologetics. As a Christian, I felt persuaded to ‘defend the faith’ against the humanistic attacks of my friends at work. Our Thursday night Bible studies at church emphasized apologetic studies, and I devoured each teaching with great enthusiasm. I bought countless tapes from the back catalogue of Bible studies, and listened to them at home, and sometimes, to the great annoyance of my friends, at work. And of course, I prayed constantly for my dad who had converted to Mormonism, because he was deceived from the true Gospel of Jesus Christ.
For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. – Romans 1:20-21
As I witnessed to friends and family, I was astonished how they could so easily reject the Truth. The Truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ was just so obvious and self-evident to any honest person that I felt they really were truly without excuse. Nature speaks to the reality of God…
Yesterday, I wrote an article which offered a radically different interpretation of the Adam and Eve story. I do love the stories of Genesis. They are obviously of timeless quality and influence. I was raised to believe that these amazing, but bizarre stories are true – literally true – the Divine account of the universal and human origins. A recent poll done by USA Today shows that 66 percent of American adults are of the opinion that God created human beings pretty much in their present form within the last 10,000 years.I now believe that the book of Genesis like much of the Old Testament, is mythology. Hermann Gϋnkel in his book Genesis long ago laid out the different types of mythology (or as he called them, legends) contained in Genesis, and how to interpret them as ancient myth that make sense to the modern reader. Gϋnkel emphasizes that myth in Genesis is not fiction, rather it is legend that “adopts and works over certain data which come from reflexion, tradition or observation”.
I want to write my thoughts on the legend of how the human language became confused – The Tower of Babel (Genesis 11:1-9). As a Christian, I was taught that the scattering of the languages was a result of the pride and pretension of humanity…
And the LORD God said, “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him.” Out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the air, From the Ghent altarpiece by Jan van Eyckand brought them to Adam to see what he would call them. And whatever Adam called each living creature, that was its name. So Adam gave names to all cattle, to the birds of the air, and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper comparable to him. – Genesis 2:18-20 (NKJV)
I have always loved the creation stories in the Bible. They were probably among the first things that I read in Scripture, since I remember them from early childhood, and also they are in the front of the book! Christians have interpreted Genesis 2 and 3, the famous story of the Garden of Eden, to be the Fall of Man and the origin of Sin.
Your lips, O my spouse, Drip as the honeycomb; Honey and milk are under your tongue; And the fragrance of your garments Is like the fragrance of Lebanon. – Song of Songs 4:11
Popular Christianity places an emphasis on believers having a Personal Relationship with Jesus. As a Christian, I proudly proclaimed that I did not follow a religion, but that I had a relationship – a personal one-on-one with the Messiah. Looking back, I have no idea how to Biblically justify the idea of a personal relationship. I am pretty certain it is nothing more than modern Christian pop culture. And on a more practical level, I don’t think Jesus wants a relationship with any of us anyway. As a Christian, I talked to Jesus for years, but never heard a word back from him. That is in no way a relationship, despite all the effort I put into it.
As unsupported as I think this idea of a personal relationship is, there are times when Christians seem to think that a mere relationship is not enough. If it were not so grotesque, I think many Christians would want to change the cliché from personal relationship to intimate relationship. The relationship between the Christian and the Christ becomes so close that Jesus becomes a surrogate lover to the faithful Christian. To be a disciple and even a slave to Jesus means, to some of the most devoted, that the relationship with the Savior Jesus must be the closest relationship that the Christian is to hold. As a proud heterosexual male, this gooey GodTalk gave me the hives.
This weekend my wife and I finally finished moving into our new house. As with any hectic real-estate transaction, this one had its share of tense moments and close calls. Purchasing a new house is always a risky venture. Despite it all, I was surprised at how smoothly our purchase went, and how easily we could have lost everything.
As a Christian, I would have been praying vigorously for God’s guiding hand. Before the purchase began, I would have brought my desire to purchase a new house to the foot of the alter. I would have asked God if moving was indeed in his Will – then I would have waited for an answer.