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"God"

Discussion in 'Spiritual Growth & Development' started by StoleNelotS, Dec 29, 2010.

  1. StoleNelotS

    StoleNelotS New Member

    I was raised a christian and fell out of it pretty early on. Mainly because of how the bible discribed God: jealous, cold, cruel, and all sorts of nasty things. So how does the "nice" afterlife you talk about work under a horrible god like the one in teh bible? Or is the bible wrong??
     
  2. RobertaGrimes

    RobertaGrimes Administrator

    The afterlife evidence is utterly consistent in showing us that God does exist - in fact, nothing else but God exists! - but the genuine God has little in common with the God of the Bible. The real God is absolutely loving and forgiving and is infinitely powerful energy - God is not human, and never takes human form. God has no human vices, either: God is never jealous, cold, cruel, nasty, or in any way vindictive. So, yes, the Bible gets God wrong in a lot of the details. An easy way to think of it is that the Bible documents man's search for God, so the Bible sees God in human terms: it assumes that whatever is true of human beings must also be true of God, in spades! The words of Jesus in the Gospels, though, are God's eternal search for man. You can feel safe in returning to a Christianity based just in the Gospels, and in worshiping the God of absolute love that Jesus introduces to us there.
     
  3. StoleNelotS

    StoleNelotS New Member

    i dont know about that, cuz alot of stuff in the New Testiment is pretty foul too. Like the stuff Paul says about women and basicly all of revalations. Should I just concentrate on what Jesus says? And throw the rest out?
     
  4. RobertaGrimes

    RobertaGrimes Administrator

    Yes. If you want to know God, don't read the whole Bible; instead, read only the Gospel red letters, which are the reported words of Jesus. When you think about it, the God that Paul espouses is not far removed from the Old Testament's Jehovah: Paul's God is mean and petty and nasty enough to need to punish Jesus for our sins. Christians are so used to this concept that they never stop to think how insulting it is to both Jesus and God!

    Think about it. Your best friend deliberately does something that hurts you - steals and wrecks your car; poisons your cat; whatever. You are very, very angry with your friend, but you say, "I am having trouble forgiving you but I love you too much to condemn you. So I am going to ask my beloved only child to accept responsibility for your actions, and then I'll beat her with a belt and send her to bed without any supper."

    Could you ever do something like that? Of course not. You are mature enough to work through your anger and forgive your friend. And certainly you are not nasty and petty enough to need to punish somebody so you can feel better! ... So, is it possible that you consider yourself to be more mature and more loving and more forgiving than God?

    And look at what Christianity does to Jesus! The Lord tells us repeatedly in the Gospels that He is our ultimate teacher - He insists that we follow His teachings carefully - yet in mainstream Christianity, the Lord's teachings are mostly ignored. Instead, Christianity turns Jesus into a human blood-sacrifice! As the beautiful old Christmas carol says, "Jesus our Savior was born for to die."

    But abundant afterlife evidence shows us a perfectly loving and forgiving God Who never judges anyone. To God, each of us is the holiest and best-beloved child of all. God and Jesus both are so much more than Christianity makes of them: God is the infinitely powerful, infinitely loving Source, and Jesus is His Son Who came to teach us the truth. Jesus said, “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?” (LK 6:46) “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (JN 8:31-32)
     
  5. Cromulent

    Cromulent New Member

    This is a pretty reasonable approach to Christianity. A pity that so few Christians see things this way. :(
     
  6. Wendygo

    Wendygo New Member

    I don't know if I agree, I mean if you take that approach what keeps you from just ignoring every thing else you don't like in the bible? I'm not a Christian, but ignoring everything that makes God look bad seems like a pretty self serving way to go.
     
  7. RobertaGrimes

    RobertaGrimes Administrator

    Okay, Wendygo, let's take a different approach. Let's ignore everything in the Bible that doesn't agree with modern afterlife evidence (or, indeed, any other kind of modern evidence). If you do that, you find that the words of Jesus in the Gospels are perfectly consistent with the afterlife evidence, but nothing else in the Bible agrees in the same way. When you read the Bible through and reach the Gospels, the difference between those four books and the rest of the Bible is pretty startling!
     
  8. deadwrongbook

    deadwrongbook New Member

    I agree, Cromulent. It is a pity. Ghandi once said something like: "If all Christians were like their Christ, the whole world would follow them."
     
  9. RobertaGrimes

    RobertaGrimes Administrator

    Learning that nearly all the Gospel teachings of Jesus are exactly consistent with the afterlife evidence has been the greatest thrill for me in all my half-century of afterlife research. He told us things 2000 years ago about God, reality, death, and the afterlife that we could not have confirmed by other means until the 20th century. And the odds against chance for all those correspondences are so high that we cannot imagine such numbers! Effectively, then, each proves the truth of the other, does it not? Jesus shows us that the afterlife evidence is genuine, and that evidence proves that Jesus is the real deal.

    Proving that Jesus really knew the truth changes everything! It seems to me to be incumbent now on everyone who claims to be a Christian to read the Gospel words of Jesus as absolute, eternal truth, and then to live by them. REALLY live by them. Let's all work to prove that Gandhi was right ;-)!
     
  10. VioletRose

    VioletRose New Member

    So, I should sell my shirt to buy a sword? ;)

    (Luke 22:36- yes, I know it's out of context. Just a wee joke)
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2011
  11. RobertaGrimes

    RobertaGrimes Administrator

    Poor Jesus! He knew what was coming. His urging of His disciples to carry a sword as they followed Him to the Mount of Olives is interesting, in that it suggests that He thought they would be in personal danger if they were near Him when He was arrested.

    Gandhi also urged us to be the change that we want to see in the world, which is a teaching that is amazingly consistent with what the afterlife evidence suggests about the true nature of reality!
     
  12. Bama

    Bama New Member

    Yep ... it is hard to follow Christians with all the judgement and hell talk you get from that religion .
     
  13. OldManRobot

    OldManRobot New Member

    To be fair, it's not too hard to find judgmental and sanctimonious jerks following any given creed you can name. People are people, after all, and they'll tend to use whatever doctrines they can find to justify the way they were going to behave anyway.
     
  14. BrokenSpiral

    BrokenSpiral New Member

    I don't think so, OldMan Robot, compared to what its holy book actually says, christians seem to be fairly "out there" when it comes to being judgemental and overbearing. That was part of what pushed me away from christianity in teh first place.
     
  15. VioletRose

    VioletRose New Member

    It's easy to mix up cause and effect for things like this. Are they overbearing and judgmental because they're Christians, or do they just use their religion to justify what would otherwise be unacceptable behavior?

    Based on the fact that this sort of behavior seems to occur in every religion, in every country, I tend to favor the second explanation.
     
  16. RobertaGrimes

    RobertaGrimes Administrator

    Having been a devout Christian all my life, I don't like to see Christianity bashed. Not that it doesn't deserve it! There are about 50,000 Christian denominations now, and many of them are utterly certain that the faithful followers of all the others are going to end in a fiery hell. For Christians, God's love is a guessing-game! You can follow the teachings of Jesus your whole life - you can lead a life of loving service - but you are damned if you are not a Catholic or a Baptist or a Mormon or... take your pick. Is there anyone on earth who imagines that what we have now is what Jesus intended?

    Realizing that Jesus told us 2000 years ago things that we could not have learned by any other means until the 20th century has been the most amazing and wonderful discovery of all my years of doing afterlife research. Not realizing that death is an illusion, mind you. And not even learning that we can now prove that God is Love, and nothing but God is real. No, for me the best part has been learning that Jesus is a real eternal being who walked the earth 2000 years ago with knowledge that had to have come straight from God!

    But simultaneously with that discovery, I suffered an awful realization. The religion that I had believed Jesus started doesn't seem to be His religion at all. It is the Apostles' religion, grounded in Hebrew prophesy and twisted and tweaked over 2000 years into all those warring denominations. Indeed, there is no core Christian dogma of which I am aware that is rooted in anything that Jesus is reported to have said! (Well, yes, He taught us love and forgiveness, and Christians repeat His Gospel words; but as has been said by others in this thread, there is no more judgmental group on earth as a whole than modern mainstream Christians.)

    I still don't know what we are supposed to do with this information. I welcome your suggestions! Surely even with its flaws, if mainstream Christianity is pointing new believers to the teachings of Jesus - which we now can prove are factually accurate - then that is something we want to encourage. But there is no afterlife evidence of which I am aware which suggests that you have to be any kind of Christian to make it into heaven! Instead, there is plentiful evidence that following the teachings of Jesus is what counts, even if you have never heard His name.

    If you are a Christian, and if it troubles you to read this, believe me, I understand! It was years before I was able to dare to think what I now say aloud. For me, it came down to having to decide whether I believed the teachings of my church (and I have been both a "saved" protestant and a rigorous Catholic), or whether I believed Jesus of Nazareth. You may be able to hold both in your mind, and if you can do that, then I salute you. I couldn't have them both. But, more and more, I am finding that Jesus is enough.
     
  17. papajohn

    papajohn New Member

    Compared to the amount of proclaimed Christians in the world there is only a speck here. Why then did our loving God allow Paul to be more persuasive than Jesus? Most of the Christian churches lean toward fire and judgement. Maybe the better question is why did he allow it to get so out of hand? One of many stumbling blocks. Being led astray instead of led toward.
     
  18. RobertaGrimes

    RobertaGrimes Administrator

    That is a very good question, my friend! Most Christians believe that the entire Bible is the Inspired Word of God, when a close read of the whole Bible indicates that if that is true, then God must be inconsistent, petty, and irrational. Judgmental and cranky. Demanding love while withholding it. Of course, the genuine God is none of those things! Afterlife evidence reveals a God so absolutely loving and so perfectly forgiving that I have found no evidence in all my decades of looking for it that God ever has judged anyone. Indeed, out of the entire Bible, only the Gospel words of Jesus are consistent with the afterlife evidence, and they are absolutely consistent - the odds against chance for so many consistencies are astronomical. It took me a lifetime of study to conclude eventually - and reluctantly - that mainstream Christianity's doctrines are inconsistent with the teachings of Jesus. If I am right (and indeed we might debate this), then since Jesus is a powerful eternal being who came to us 2000 years ago with knowledge that had to have come straight from God, why on earth did God allow Christianity as it developed to get Him so wrong? Why did God let professed Christians do so many horrible things in His name, from the Inquisition and burning heretics at the stake through the forced conversions of Native Americans and Africans under torture? WHY?

    I don't know why. And it would be good to know. The only answer that I can come up with is that this is another of the things that we cannot understand while we are here because our perspective is wrong and our understanding is simplistic. From the perspective of eternal life, in a reality where time is just illusion and where each lifetime is a relative eye-blink, this centuries-long detour of Christianity might have been planned as just a useful set of earth-lessons for us. For certain, the planting of facts in the Gospels that we couldn't have confirmed until now, and this letting His burial shroud survive until only now can we confirm that it is real - these two ancient time-bombs planted to go off together - that is not coincidental. And knowing that, I believe that even though we have trouble understanding it, all of this still must be part of God's plan.
     
  19. PassedPawn

    PassedPawn New Member

    When you say to just read the red letter gospels, does that mean just the books from Matthew to John or does that also include other books like Acts, etc.? I think there are some books after John that include Jesus' dialogue and not sure if they should be included for reading.
     
  20. RobertaGrimes

    RobertaGrimes Administrator

    Hi PassedPawn! The only books of the Bible which include the recorded words of Jesus are Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. In so-called red-letter Bibles, His words are printed in red so they are easy to spot. Those who heard Jesus speak memorized and passed down what He said as oral tradition, and about thirty years after his death the books which became the Bible's four Gospels were written down based on these oral traditions (along with a few other useful gospels which didn't make the Bible cut, for whatever reason). Given this initial unwritten period, and then given the 2000 years in which we know that the Gospels were edited, it is amazing that the Gospel words of Jesus still agree so precisely with the afterlife evidence! Since there is evidence in the Gospels that Jesus intended His teachings to replace (or "fulfill") the Old Testament, and since the rest of the New Testament was written by ancients who seem not to have understood a lot of what Jesus said, I now read only the red letters in the Gospels. Without the distractions of the rest of the Bible, those words sing today with amazing brilliance!
     

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