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Why is the God of the Bible so angry? Also - Adam and Eve... come on?


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Initial post: Feb 6, 2008 1:42:29 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 14, 2008 10:55:56 PM PST
Blackout says:
So my question to people who really take the bible as literal truth and God's word:

Why does he come of so wrathful and full of spite and vengeance? I have studied many spiritual texts and in the bible God just seems well, not very nice, and a little more than a pissed off father figure. Why, if pride, vanity, selfishness and those sorts of things are SINS which can't be allowed in heaven...tell me - why then does the very God of the standard bible exhibit all of those properties which are considered BAD or SINS in humans? Such as wanting to be worshiped, and the tons of "I am the Lord thy God and the ONLY God and ONLY worship me, and if you worship anything else or anyone else oh boy you're in big trouble not only are you dead but you're going to burn in hell forever."

!?

That simply makes NO SENSE to me whatsoever on any spiritual level. I mean I read the bible and I was raised in Catholic school till 8th grade and I would try to bring these discussions up in class and just be shushed.

Honestly, God sounds like an egotistical angry kid at a school playground who is trying to play leader type. We have all bumped into these types as kids:

Mitch (11 years old): I'm the best and if you play with Tommy you're dead!!!

Then, this very same God goes and says NOT to be egotistical.

Ummm?

Does anyone else not see this as being backwards?

Now there are plenty of positive morals and things that I find in the bible, such as the 'love others as yourself' and the kindness teachings of Jesus, but I honestly think the 'God' of the bible was made up by people, or it is some other manipulative entity. The very fact that he is called HE and he is so ANGRY at anyone worshipping anything else sounds like whatever creature this God of the bible is is very scared of losing praise. An almighty God would not be scared of losing praise... it seems moronic. It almost seems like it is some other entity that wrote that, that was very scared and needed energy from humans or something. Wacky.

Also, with the original title of my post, I ask for an answer to this biblical paradox, because it has bothered me since I was a little kid and no one who has ever been a true believer in the standard King James o any other version God of the Bible has been able to give me any sort of remotely logical or spiritually valid or at least interesting sounding answer:

The Christian or catholic God of "The Bible" created heaven and earth and the garden of Eden and Adam and Eve and it was beautiful and Adam and Eve knew nothing of evil or of sin in this paradise. Ok, ok that sounds nice. That sounds like a nice entity or God...or whatever it is. OH, but wait!

God: Lemme throw in this one tree, it's the tree of knowledge of good & evil. There it is there. Don't eat from that tree or you'll be sorry.

What!?!

Ok that right there alone seems silly. If God created Adam and Eve in Paradise, and they had no knowledge of evil... why would he go and throw that tree in there which is really an "evil tree" since they already only know good. Also, how is the Garden God created a Paradise, if it now has this evil or trickery tree in it? I mean at this point it really sounds more like God is a practical joker or trickster archetype than an almighty all powerful supreme God lord high that is trying to teach his loving creations, and just the fact that God needs to keep reminding people with titles like that all through the bible seems ridiculously hypocritical, but I digress...

Again, even if all this went down exactly as explained in the Bible, word for word, and then Eve got fooled by the Serpent or Satan and disobeyed God and took and ate the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and then gave it to Adam...

HOW COULD GOD POSSIBLY BE ANGRY AT EITHER ONE OF THEM?

The bible and bible thumper people go round in circles with this and say because Eve deliberately disobeyed God and then so did Adam so they were cast out of the garden because God was upset at their disobeying when he had given them everything good and they had to disobey him and go mess with that tree.

But how could they have truly disobeyed God? As per the words of the Bible hey only knew good, right? So how could they know that disobeying was bad or evil?

How could Eve be blamed for being fooled or led by the serpent to eat from the tree? She was trusting and only knew good, so therefore the serpent was a good thing to her or she only saw good qualities.

I mean it seems the God of the bible really set this scenario up for failure don't ya think? Kind of like giving a 6 year old lit torch and then telling her "not to burn" anything with it but then getting very mad at her when the house burns down because she thought the fire was pretty.

Wouldn't almost any person say the ADULT was at fault in the above scenario? So then what gives with God of the Bible? Adam and Eve are blamed and cause a forever sinning state of humans with a situation such as this, and then Jesus has to come and be tortured to rectify it because of this original ridiculous situation?

How could he be mad at their choice to eat the forbidden fruit of they had no knowledge of what it meant to do something forbidden in the first place? Everything was good to them, and God stuck the tree there and let the Serpent be there in the first place! Stop sticking evil trees and Serpents in your paradises dude when your creations only know good!

The only thing I can see God of the Bible, or BibleGod getting possibly angry with is with Eve's choice when she gave the forbidden fruit to Adam AFTER she had eaten it, because after she had eaten it she would THEN and only then she would know evil and that she was disobeying and all that stuff, but Adam STILL would not have known evil and then been in the same position as Eve in the beginning.

Also why didn't Eve after eating the apple and then feeling shame and evil for the very first time (which is pretty unfair and pretty sneaky of BibleGod to do if you ask me) - why does she not reflect and tell Adam it's a bad idea (which he still wouldn't be able to get because he only knew good at this point and only she now knew good and evil).

The bible kinda skips over all these issues and just jumps to them being ashamed and all, and it's the beginning of God's wrath that continues on throughout the whole old testament.

And if God KNEW this was all going to happen and set it all up this way as his master plan for his new little spirit children to know good, and then good and evil, and go through suffering in order to learn and grow and then come back more fully individual and realized and a higher loving spirit (which would seem to be the only purpose of going through all the trials and tribulations of this silly set up) THEN WHY IS HE ALWAYS GETTING SO MAD all the time and yelling and shouting and condemning and cursing (cursed people, not curse words) and wraths and floods and yada yada?

I rest my case.

Please, if you think you can explain this to me, I would love to hear it.

EDIT: Wow this has gotten some responses going. People sure are passionate about these things. I wasn't able to respond till about page 4. I also run a forum on philosophy/spirituality at BLACKOUT.COM - please come share there as well.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 6, 2008 4:06:20 AM PST
L. Sherman says:
Ha Ha - you sound a bit pissed yourself. I hear ya! I think, being of the Jewish and Catholic doctrines, (that is another story) - it is all about the translation and the determination of one group of people to control another. I know someone who for some fool reason won't marry again because Paul the Apostle said some strange thing about it - she spuots scripture and by the time I wrap my brain around the verbage, I don't think he said what she thinks he said - Paul that is, however her Pastor, who is well versed and "knows" what Paul meant has now convinced her to accept his version (the Pastor's version of what Paul said). Confused? I bet the story was mistranslated a few times, doesn't make any sense to me either. Bottom line, it is all in who is doing the interpretation. Try this - don't always believe what you read and believe only half of what you see.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 6, 2008 1:05:23 PM PST
Blackout says:
I agee with you but I can't tell you how many times I have been labled - EVIL, or had the "you're going to hell then" stuff thown at me when I bing this very basic issues up. I don't bring them up in order to hurt or insult Christians o Catholics. I bring them up because as a person who has felt that there is more to existance then what we just detect now, I have been forever curious about consciousness, spirituallity, and the whole "why are we here?" thing that most people think about a few times in college with friends and then forget about when they got saddled up in real life routines, dets, worries, chores, routines, ect... then OH WOAH WAIT I'm 90.. where did my life go? Time to ge spiritual. The bible!

No I am not angy at all. As a fact I run a humor/philosophy/spiritual website. My favorite book is Hitchiker's Guid to the Galaxy. DON"T PANIC. I think that is all that needs to be printed in any spiritual guide - with maybe adding the words, BE CREATIVE, LOVE AND FOCUS ON GOOD POSITIVE EXPERIENCES.

The later sends you a little forward while the first just tries to keep you calm in this nutty wacky universe.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 7, 2008 9:01:11 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 7, 2008 9:02:17 AM PST
Fisher says:
Chances are you will not get an real explanation from anyone, because it is like explaining a fairy tale. Not likely. The teachings/stories are given to very young children, the younger the better, because they are easier to convince. It is interesting how some people are completely logical on many areas in their life, but so illogical on issues regarding the validity the Bible or its teachings. I think Christians must have secret skepticism, but have been taught for so long never to question, just blindly believe and follow the rules or else! A parent like the god described in the bible deserves to permanently lose custody of the children (for their own good.)

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 7, 2008 8:41:51 PM PST
Blackout says:
I believe in God, but my concept of God is that of ALL - of all consciousness, dimensions, things, non things, at once. I believe we are both all one and individual and we can go back and forth between these states and probably have many times already. I believe we are infinite beings and I believe in love, kindness, and creativity even though many times I have been very disenchanted, depressed or feeling like I didn't even FIT in with this world and how it woks and `what the heck was I doing here?" sort of thoughts.

At the same time, I know, and feel, that from a higher self perspective I most likely chose to come and do this life. For reasons that maybe got cloudy that I have to focus on remembering. I definitely believe souls reincarnate as they wish over and over again. I also believe thought and creativity are extremely important, and that all things that have been created have had to be thought up first, and we all take part in this, and this is only one of many dimensions, realities, mayas, or peanut butter dreams.

Because thought is so powerful, I also believe the God of the Bible probably very well could exist for some people, as well as every other God or concept that anyone or group has put any amount of time or energy or devotion into. In other words, what people believe, they will perceive eventually, and since you are eternal, if you believe you are going to hell or going to heaven to meet a personality style God or Satan or Lucifer, then probably eventually will.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 7, 2008 10:07:03 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 7, 2008 10:16:07 PM PST
unknown says:
First off the bible says (God) always was and had been. He created what the bible calls his first born son (Jesus) Just like any first born person or animal it had to be the first child or yearling that was made by you as a son or daughter (first of your creation) so there for Jesus was the first born to (God) Gods son. The bible goes on to say that all (Other) things were created through his son (Jesus) After Adam and Eve sinned prior to having childern like a scratched pan everything you cook burns so there for we are sinful and die. Satan misled them saying you can be like God if you eat from the tree of knowledge. Now since God was the original creator Satan challenged him in who has the right to rule. So the world is the way it is, but God is not going to let Satan destroy his plans. Palms 37:29 says that the rightuos themselves will posses the earth and reside (Forever) upon it. This is what Adam lost for us. You are putting the blame on God when the bible says that Satan is the ruler of this wicked system of things. These things have to happen in order for the right to rule never comes up again. Also the bible says that (Jesus well on earth resurrected his best freind. Why was there nothing in the bible telling about the after world if there is one and Why did Lazaras not talk about it? The bible states that when you die you go back to dust and are like in a deep sleep. It also states that the sole that is sinning it its self will die. Jesus preformed these resurrections to show it will happen after Armagedon. Contact your local Kingdom Hall of Jehovah Witnesses for more detail

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 8, 2008 4:01:16 PM PST
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In reply to an earlier post on Feb 8, 2008 7:55:24 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 8, 2008 7:55:46 PM PST
Respectfully, unknown, you are telling us a story from a book called the bible but it's only your BELIEF that it's from God. The bible was written by HUMANS and HUMANS have brainwashed each generation into believing the bible is from God. I personally do believe in God, and I believe Jesus was one of many avatars sent by God to teach us LOVE, but the whole bible story is silly, imo. Think about it: Would a being capable of creating the universe really be so PETTY as to sentence most of the world's population to eternal suffering because they weren't smart enough or lucky enough to pick the right religion? Honestly, I think born-again Christians are attributing human attributes to a Being that is much bigger, grander and more LOVING than they can imagine. Quite simply, God is TOO BIG to fit inside one religion! Each religion is that culture's attempt to understand that which cannot be completely understood. Get guidance, yes, but when people use a BOOK as an excuse to kill others, they have certainly missed the whole point! Check this out: http://zeitgeistmovie.com/
PEACE

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 8, 2008 8:44:15 PM PST
Julie says:
I am a Christian and have had these thoughts in the past. As I have come to know the God of the Bible more and more throughout the years I have come to understand Him in a greater way and had some of these questions answered, and others I don't understand I have learned to trust Him in. I have often thought that if I could understand everything about God then He wouldn't be God. Yes, pride, vanity, selfishness -- all these are sins for a human. Why? Because we have nothing to be proud, vain, or full of self about. God is almighty and is able to do anything. He is truly the only one worthy of our worship and praise. For Him to say "worship Me only," and "I am a God above all Gods," is true and right. He is above all and is the only one worthy of worship. We have to think about all of His characteristics as a whole. His Holiness, His Righteousness, His Faithfulness, His love, His wisdom, His justice, etc. He truly loves His creation. Therefore He tells us to worship Him. He knows that is the only way to our true happiness and fulfillment. He knows that if He were to leave us completely to ourselves we would destroy ourselves. So tellling us to worship Him only, our creator God, is a loving thing to do. When He recites all His attributes and asks for praise, it is for OUR good. As far as His wrath is concerned, His Holiness demands His justice. He cannot ignore sin, or He would not be holy. His wrath is described in an interesting way in Romans 1:18-32. "For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness."(In other words, they have been taught the truth and are still unrighteous -- have not turned to God). "Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified Him not as God, neither were thankful: but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise they became fools and changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things." (basically these are things people worship instead of God. They may be visible idols, or they may be material posessions, other people, etc.). "Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleaness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonor their own bodies between themselves." I won't go on quoting these verses, but if you read the passage you see this phrase repeated again, "God gave them up." Then again, "God gave them over." All God had to do was let man destroy themselves. He is a God of grace and His grace extends to all people. He gives rain and food to the just and the unjust. (To those that have chosen Him and those who haven't). All He has to do is remove that grace and we are doomed. A very very important thing to understand is that God is everlasting. He has no beginning and no ending. thats what the verse means: "Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, Thou art God." (Psalm 90:2) His plan for all mankind was determined before creation. His plan to send His Son down to earth to be born and die was determined before creation. There is sooo much that I want to tell you about God that a post is just not enough. He wrote it all down in the Bible. Jesus Christ is not a created being. He is part of the Godhead - The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. He was there at creation. The book of John tells us that Jesus is God. That is the theme of the book. The four gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John all tell about Jesus' life on this earth, but each tells it with a different theme. Matthew tells it as Jesus the King. Mark as Jesus the Servant. Luke as Jesus the Man. And John as Jesus Being God. John 1 tells us that In the Beginning was the Word (that's Jesus) and the Word was with God and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by Him (the Word) and without Him was not anything that was made that was made. In Him was life and the life was the light of men. v 14 says "And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth." There were numerous times that Jesus Himself claimed to be God. John 10:30 "I and my Father are One." God wanted to manifest Himself to man. He wants us to know Him. So He came down in the form of His Son Jesus Christ and paid the penelty for the sin that we deserved to be punished for. The Old Testament was written to show man how helpless we are if we do not have a Savior, and if we try to keep the law to please God. Time and time again we see God's wrath on man in the OT. But Jesus came to be the propitiation for our sins. That is a big word that just means He appeased God's wrath. God is the judge and we come before Him quilty and deserving of death. All have sinned and come short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:23). But Jesus took our punishment for us on the cross. He could only do it because He is the only completely righteous One. He became a picture of the Old Testament lamb that was sacrificed again and again for the sins of the people. No more! The perfect lamb of God was offered for our sins just once, and it met the requirements for our punishment. (Read Hebrews 9:13-15, or even to the end of the chapter). The gift of salvation is to accept the sacrifice of Jesus Christ as the paymnent for our sins. Salvation involves 2 things: Repenting(turning away from sin) and faith(turning to Christ). The key though is that they both occur at the same time. We don't get cleaned up and stop sinning before we come to Christ. We come just as we are. Just like the thief on the cross came. "I'm guilty, Lord, and I can do nothing to save myself. I am doomed without You. Please forgive me of my sin. You are the only one who can free me from my sin and my quilt and punishment. I now put my trust in You alone as my salvation." When we with a humble heart come to Him, the Bible says "him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out."(John 6:35). John 6:36 - "He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on Him." Always remember, God's wrath is present because He is a holy God and man is sinful. We must not compare Him to ourselves. Our minds are so small. Wrath to us is just getting really mad and shouting or punching, or whatever. That is not the wrath of God. His mercy endureth forever. (Read Psalm 136 out loud. It really does something to you to hear it repeated 26 times). You may ask, well, if His mercy endureth forever, then why do people go to hell? His mercy is everlasting and available to all who will receive it. There are many people who refuse to accept His mercy. They say, I don't want your mercy! But His mercy still remains with Him. He gives a person every opportunity to come to Him, but many won't. Is He a loving God or a mean God? I say He is loving. He is taking me to heaven one day and I thank Him on a regular basis that in heaven will be all those who love Him and worship Him. I am soooo glad that I will not have to be afraid of murderers, thiefs, and not even have to worry about sinning anymore. You see, I still sin. But it grieves me when I do and I have to continually come to God and confess my sin. I'm not getting saved again though. He gave me ETERNAL life, and nothing or no one can take that away. Otherwise it would not be eternal. Why did God put the tree in the garden? Well, the Bible doesn't specifically say, but knowing the character of God, it was because He wanted to draw us to Himself. Remember, He had planned salvation from the very beginning. The Bible says so. He is looking to the future when one day all who trust Him will live with Him forever and they truly have made that CHOICE. I was just thinking recently how unfair it was for God to ask us to live holy lives, but then allow all of this unholiness to be around us to turn us away from holiness. There are so many temptations in the world. But then I remembered how much He loves me, and I thought about how wonderful heaven will be one day when all those are gathered around Him having made a CHOICE to be like Him. We could have chosen to live unholy lives, but we CHOSE to live like Him. We love Him -- because He first loved us.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 8, 2008 9:42:28 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 8, 2008 9:54:09 PM PST
"He is a God of grace and His grace extends to all people. "

NOT TRUE, at least not according to born-again Christians. They think God's grace extends ONLY to Christians. They say everyone else burns in 'hell' forever. That doesn't sound like grace to me!!!

In other words, TRUE LOVE AND MERCY would mean having a way to rehabilitate even the people who are too stupid to become Christians, and the kind, gentle Buddhists who see no reason to change their religion because they believe they already have a valid spiritual path. And let's not forget the people who have had their hearts hardened because no one ever showed them any love...I would try to rehabilitate them, even if it took 1000 years or 1000 lifetimes, if I were God...surely God is smarter and more merciful than I AM??? But no, the Christians say that God gives everyone 1 chance, and it's not even a fair chance - many people never had a chance at all...and if they don't pick the right religion, they're screwed for all eternity.

You call that merciful???

Do you have children? Would you sentence your children to eternal punishment?

No?

What, you would love them NO MATTER WHAT?

We mere humans are more loving than the 'God' depicted in the bible.

Surely God is more loving than WE are!

Surely God would not forsake ANYONE, not even the most cruel murderer, who could be REHABILITATED THRU LOVE.

You people are kidding yourselves. You justify your elitism by quoting the bible.

I am NOT disputing the existence of GOD. I believe in God, and I believe in having a relationship with the Holy Spirit, and I believe in following the example of the Master Jesus, who taught us LOVE and MERCY and FORGIVENESS.

The message of Jesus (if the words in the bible can be trusted, as they were written by other people) is incongruent with the 'God' depicted in the old testament.

I think Christians have been duped, if they believe the old testament is authentic. Think about it. If you just read it, without knowing it was supposed to be from God, you would think it was a satanic black ritual instruction book! Complete with blood sacrifice! And instructions on how to INVADE other cultures, kill everyone, and leave NO SURVIVORS, not even the children!

(I HAVE studied the bible - I am referring to Leviticus in particular.)

I know this sounds sacrilegious to you, sorry if I've offended you, but I am trying to convey that there is a DIFFERENCE between believing in GOD and believing in the bible. They do not have to go together.

Why would you want to spend eternity with a being that would be so cruel?

I believe God is a LOVING God and the 'god' of the old testament was not God at all.

You've been duped.

Follow JESUS (or Buddha or any of the avatars of LOVE), follow the HOLY SPIRIT, the LIVING GOD, not some history book! Quit starting wars and justifying them based on some book! Would Jesus start a WAR? forget the old testament.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 8, 2008 10:03:32 PM PST
The bible makes it clear that scriptures are spiritually discerned, meaning you cannot understand the bible apart from the Holy Spirit's revelation. Jesus Christ is the Lamb of God that was slained before the foundation of the world. The main characteristic of God that you seem to be missing is God's holiness and the truth of the bible is not dependent on your approval or even your understanding. Jesus Christ was crushed and beaten and crucified on a cross at Calvary to pay the penalty for your sin and mine. His desire is to save mankind. You must admit you are a sinner and repent from your sins and pray for Jesus to come into your life and be Lord. The bible makes it clear that the way to God is very narrow and few find it. Many believe they are saved but are far from was the bible makes amply clear identifies one with salvation. You can type another angry post if you like but that only proves that you are angry at God's righteous judgment on your life. He wants to save you from your sin but you want to hold onto it and be your own boss. The wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ, my Lord. Jesus demonstrated His love for us in that while we were yet sinners, He died for us. You want God to fit in your finite mind and your finite mold but He's God. He gives you life and breath each day and can take it at His whim. You can reject Him, you can curse Him, but He will judge you one day and you will have to give an account for your life. You will either stand as a repentant sinner who claims nothing but Christ's redemption or you will angrily point your finger at God. And please remember that a person without Christ is condemned already. God loves you. Sin is black. Heaven is sweet. Jesus saves. He's gently calling your name, right now. Get on your knees and ask Him to help you understand and give you eyes to see. He will give your life meaning and purpose as only your Creator could.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 8, 2008 10:53:28 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 8, 2008 10:54:19 PM PST
Again, respectfully, you are completely missing my point.

I was brought up Catholic and then became a born-again Christian at age 20. I went to bible study 'religiously' for 3 years and have read the entire bible.

What you call 'accept Jesus' I call 'allow God into your heart.' THIS I have done!

Now, 25 years later, I still have a relationship with God and pray daily, and have God's guidance in my life.

HOWEVER, I no longer believe the bible is the 'word of God.' It has some good stuff in it, yes, but it also has some horrible stuff. Bottom line is that it was written by HUMANS.

I do believe God speaks to us, but in our hearts. God may even show us signs, give us guidance, thru physical means such as books, other people, nature, etc. God's Spirit is all around us! But the bible is no more the word of God than any other religious text from any other culture or religion. God has tried to reach us with the message of LOVE for millennia. God would not be so petty as to decide the fate of most of his creation based on whether they believed a particular book.

You do not have to believe in the bible, or in the 'sacrifice' story to have a relationship with God.

I personally think the whole sacrifice story is silly. Jesus was important, yes, but it was his LIFE that mattered, his EXAMPLE, not his death! To think that a Divine Being would be bothered by a few hours of torture is laughable. Sure, Jesus suffered, but many humans have suffered. This is not to demean his suffering, but I just think it's illogical to think that we would be 'saved' because of it. The whole idea of 'paying for one's sins' is ridiculous.

Far more logical and reasonable is that we all GROW spiritually, in this world and in other dimensions, and NO MATTER HOW LONG IT TAKES, even if it's thousands of years or thousands of lifetimes in this world or another, we eventually realize how empty we are without God, and eventually allow God into our hearts and souls.

God, being merciful, would never turn us away, ever.

Only humans, with their small minds, would concoct a scheme that says only a few chosen elite are saved and the rest perish.

God is more merciful than that.

Quoting the bible to back up the bible's claims is circular logic. It's illogical to say a book is true because it says it's true.

You have the freedom to believe it, of course, and I respect your belief. Where I have a problem with it is when Christians try to impose their beliefs on others who simply have a different opinion as to the nature of God.

PS I'm not angry. I wish you well.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 9, 2008 4:52:45 AM PST
I wonder how you have arrived at your statement of "God is more merciful than that" as God has chosen to reveal Himself through the revelation of Jesus Christ. John 1 explains that the Word became flesh and we beheld His glory as that of the Father. Jesus Himself said that if anyone has seen the Him then they have seen the Father, He said that He and the Father (God) are one. So yes you can believe in a version of God without the bible but it will not be the God of the bible that is God's revelation to us of how to have an intimate relationship with God. Your conversations don't reveal much realistic evidence as to how you have arrived at your theology. The bible is an accurate history book in that over 800 prophecies have been recorded long before they actually occurred and they are proven facts. If you research the myriad of available historical resources available to us all you will again be able to confirm that Jesus Christ came and truly lived on earth and dies and rose from the dead. These are undisputed facts to those who choose to do the research and not just argue based on no evidence and strictly person opinion. I again submit that Jesus and His resurrection are proven facts and over 800 historical events claimed in the bible have actually come to pass. This gives logic completely over to the fact that the bible is true. Jesus said He was God and that He was THE way THE Life and The TRUTH and NO ONE comes to the Father apart from Him. He said of God, "Thy Word (the bible) is Truth." This is ample evidence for a person to examine themselves and see if they are of the faith. God created us to worship Him and I challenge you to find someone who doesn't worship/talk/pray to some form of this God in their live but the bible makes it clear that there is no other name under heaven by which man can be saved apart from Jesus, and not an opinion of Jesus but the true Jesus as revealed in scriptures. Scriptures make it clear that you must believe the gospel to be saved and that you will no true believers by their fruit. I hope you continue on in your study of the Word of God, the bible and I will pray for you that God will show you that the bible is the only way a person can know and hear from God. He loves you and I have even recently come to care for you and your soul as well.

Blessings on your journey and I hope to talk with you again,

Jackie

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 9, 2008 5:50:24 AM PST
Hey there!

I think God made us have freewill for a reason. We are not robots because if we were, worshiping him would mean nothing. It takes humility to see we need God...when we tap into our best versions of ourselves, we are closer to being more like him. The greatest compliment a child can give to its parents is the desire to be just like them.

God is angry at our sin, because it is ugly. Just like our earthly parents, he wants the best for us. Wouldn't you warn your children and be passioniate about something that could hurt them? Just because God is angry at our sin, does not mean he does not love us....quite the contrary if he was not angry, I would suspect he did not care at all.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 9, 2008 7:31:30 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 9, 2008 7:38:06 AM PST
Jackie, I appreciate your concern and prayers, but I hope you can respect the fact that God gave us free will and I have no interest in the bible. (been there done that and I reject it except as a very good history book) I always welcome prayers if they are for the general good, but please be aware that praying for something against someone's will (such as praying that they believe in the bible when they don't want to) is BLACK MAGICK. Now please understand that I do NOT reject God, only the bible. Most Christians believe it's not possible to know God without the bible, but that's just because that is what they've been taught (by humans).

I invite you to do some research on Emperor Constantine, who, around 300 AD, made a political decision as to which books to include in the bible and which to leave out. There are MANY other scriptures, including those from other cultures, and it was an arbitrary decision based on politics that created what you consider the 'indisputable word of God' so what you are REALLY putting your faith in is a corrupt politician who made decisions as to how best to control the masses. Why do you trust Constantine so much?

You are arguing that the bible is the word of God, yet your arguments are based on quoting the bible! Can you not see that this is circular logic and means nothing to someone who does not believe in the 'authority' of the bible?

Bottom line is that you have CHOSEN to believe in the bible, just as I have chosen not to. As to where I get my guidance, it is from the LIVING Spirit, not a dead book. If Christians believe in the Holy Spirit, why do they get so worked up about a book when they have a LIVING Spirit to guide them? Why did God supposedly speak to people thousands of years ago and not today? See, that is the difference - I believe God speaks to each of us, if we but listen. But the wrathful, cruel being of the old testament might have been an alien or something, who knows, but it was NOT GOD!

I also invite you to watch the movie Zeitgeist. And, here is a wonderful book that explains a lot of why many spiritual people do not take the bible literally: The Christian Conspiracy: How the Teaching of Christ Have Been Altered by Christians by L. David Moore (available at amazon.com) Another excellent book is What Did Jesus Really Say-How Christianity Went Astray: [What To Say To A Born Again Christian Fundamentalist, But Never Had The Information] by Peter Cayce.

blessings

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 9, 2008 7:51:16 AM PST
I hope you are not risking your eternal soul on a lie.

Blessings on your journey.

Because He Lives, I care,

Jackie

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 9, 2008 1:19:27 PM PST
Risking my eternal soul? No, I don't think so. See, I believe that God is so loving that he would never allow someone to suffer forever just because they made a mistake. For example, even if you are right and I am wrong, that wouldn't be very loving of God to condemn me to 'hell' forEVER when he knows my heart is sincere and I pray to him every day. Even if I didn't pray every day, even if I made the 'mistake' of choosing a non-Christian religion, why would God be so cruel as that? See, it just doesn't make sense at all. I put my trust in the LIVING God, and this LIVING God cannot be contained in a book or a religion. I think many Christians live in a perpetual state of FEAR - they FEAR God and FEAR that if they aren't Christian, they'll burn in 'hell.' What kind of twisted view of God is this, that you must live in a constant state of fear? Oh, of course you don't fear for yourselves, because you are the 'chosen few' - but think about THAT for a minute - isn't that quite...prejudiced? To think that God would 'choose' ONLY those smart enough or lucky enough to pick the 'right' religion? What about all the other religions in the world? Many of them think THEY have the 'true' religion. Is God going to punish all of them for their stupidity, even when they mean well? Seriously, if God is that cruel and that petty, why in the world would I want to spend all eternity with a being like that??? I mean, HUMANS are more compassionate than that!!! Interestingly, Christianity and Islam share the early books of the old testament in common, the books that I reject because they depict such a cruel and violent 'God' and both of those religions are the ones responsible for most of the violence in the world. Both are FEAR-based and elitist.

Please consider whether YOU might be the one believing the lie! (Not about God in your life, but about the bible.)

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 9, 2008 1:27:17 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 9, 2008 1:28:25 PM PST
You say "God has chosen to reveal Himself" as if it were fact, but in actuality it is only your BELIEF that the bible is the 'word of God.' Some people believe God reveals him/herself in Nature, in our hearts, in our spirits....

As for your 'evidence' that biblical prophecies have come to pass: those are subject to interpretation. There are many crazy fanatics right NOW trying to START A WAR WITH IRAN in order to orchestrate events and FORCE the fulfillment of THEIR interpretation biblical prophecy! (Would Jesus start a war? Would Jesus kill anyone? the old testament 'God' yes, but JESUS, the 'Prince of Peace?')

There are many other sources of prophecy as well. Many psychics who have lived and prophesied. The bible is NOT unique in that respect.

As for proof that Jesus existed, even that is disputable, although I personally believe there is enough evidence to support the belief that he did exist. I have no problem with Master Jesus - I think of him as an 'older brother' so to speak. But just because he existed does not 'prove' that the BOOKS written ABOUT him BY HUMANS are the 'word of God.' It just proves that the bible is a good history book. No argument there.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 9, 2008 1:56:27 PM PST
You and I both deserve hell. We are sinners in the hands of an angry God. The only way to satisfy His wrath is through the blood of His son Jesus. The word of God is true and on it's authority, one day you will will bow your knees and proclaim that Jesus Christ (of the bible) is Lord to the glory of God the Father. I pray you make that decision before it's everlastingly too late. Eternity is too long to be wrong. The scriptures make it clear that there is a way that seems right to man but in the end it brings death. You want to be right, I simply want to be used by God to do whatever He wants me to do. I truly don't care what you believe to the extent that I would type for hours defending something I've settled in my soul forever with someone who has an elementary level of defending truth. You are angry and it's crystal clear that your anger is at God. You have no peace and that's clear in your continuance of this discussion. I feel deeply sorry for you and wish I could sit down with you and share from my heart but you don't give any evidence of wanting to admit that you might not know everything and you certainly have no background in philosophy or theology or even a basic understanding of how to prove historical facts. Truth is not relevant. Truth is a person and His name is Jesus, the Lamb of God that takes away the sins of the world. You and I are so small and fragile and insignificant to this life or anything from it's past or future. If we had time to read all there is we would still be so.......NOTHING. God made a way for me to be saved and is offering the same way to you. You hold on to so much about God but have not proof of where your beliefs come from. You hate me because of what? Because I am a child of God through a personal relationship with Jesus (of the bible). If anyone is in Christ they are a new creation. Old things have passed away behold all things become new. I had a life changing experience with Christ eight years ago and the Holy Spirit from that point forward has illuminated my mind with an understanding and hunger for the word of God. That's what He does. If all you have is basic "spitting". Find another child like discussion and waste another day of your life on NOTHING. I know Christ because He transformed my life and took away my fears and gave me hope. I have prayed to him many times and he has moved on my behalf, because I deserve it? ABSOLUTELY NOT. He is gracious and merciful. He is also just, which means there is not one single sin every committed that won't have to be paid for. NOT ONE. I am resting my soul on Christ and His redemptive work on Calvary. Not how my sinful mind can't comprehend how God would send someone as wicked as you or me to hell. I am clean because of the blood of Jesus not because I think God is good or that I am. I am going to pray that God takes away anything from you that gives you any kind of comfort or false hope and I hope that in that place of fear you cry out to God to deliver you and my friend, He will!

In Christ,

Jackie

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 9, 2008 2:19:27 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 9, 2008 2:24:19 PM PST
Whoa, Jackie, hold on! Hate you?? Where did you get THAT from???

Jackie, I don't hate you and I'm sorry for inadvertently offending you. It seems that Christians are always offended any time someone doesn't agree with them. But to accuse me of HATING you?? Please calm down and you will realize that you really jumped to conclusions on that one.

Ok, here's the deal: I respect that you have had a life-changing experience, and I believe that it was real. But, see, SO HAVE I! All that you said, about having that personal relationship, praying for guidance, being made new, all of that, I TOO have experienced! That is why I have such a strong, unshakable faith in the Living God!

The difference is that the Living Spirit (apparently) directed you to the bible, but I was directed, thru my prayer and guidance, elsewhere.

I definitely believe that there are lots of wisdom and guidance in the New Testament, particularly in the words of Jesus. So I consider Christianity to be every bit as valid a path as any other religion.

I just don't believe in the old testament, and I don't believe that the bible is any more the 'word of God' than any other spiritual book. LOTS of spiritual books can be used as instruments by God to teach us things. You have chosen the bible; I have chosen another path. I consider both valid.

The disagreement is that you consider YOUR chosen path, the particular path God has led you to, to be the ONLY path and assume that it's not possible for God to lead someone else on ANOTHER path.

THAT is the difference between you and me, and THAT is the source of my annoyance (not anger - you misinterpret - I am merely annoyed) with people trying to impose THEIR chosen spiritual path on others. Evangelical Christians generally do not accept the validity of other religios/paths, and those who choose other paths find that attitude extremely offensive.

Why? Because you are trying to IMPOSE your beliefs on someone else.

Now, please be aware, that according to some other spiritual paths, YOU are guilty of BLACK MAGICK by INSISTING on praying that certain things happen to another person against their will. Please consult your bible. Jesus was a perfect gentleman and NEVER imposed himself on anyone!

Jackie, listen to yourself: "You and I both deserve hell. We are sinners in the hands of an angry God. The only way to satisfy His wrath is through the blood of His son Jesus."

Wow, that is really creepy! You have just admitted that you believe God is angry and wrathful. Essentially, you have admitted that you are living in a state of FEAR.

It is I who pity you, Jackie. See, I have had positive experiences with God. I have felt peace and comfort and LOVE from God, so much so that I have absolutely ZERO fear of any such place as your 'hell.'

As to what my sources of inspiration are, I would be happy to share them with you, if you were open to hearing about them, but it is obvious that you are not. No matter what I would share, you would undoubtedly tell me it is wrong because it's not bible-based, so there would be no point. But please do not make the mistake of assuming I have replaced the bible with NOTHING. No, I have my own spiritual foundation of belief. But it is very fluid and not based on any book. I learn a lot from many books, from many people, from many experiences. God uses many things to speak to me. I am not limited to a book written about the experiences of people who lived thousands of years ago.

Again, you have chosen the bible, and that's cool. Perhaps some day God will guide you to a bigger understanding and heal you of the fear your religion has imposed on you.

Jackie, I wish you peace in your life, I really do. And I know you mean well towards me. But I reject your FEAR. Fear is not from God. And the God I know is not angry and wrathful.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 9, 2008 2:28:47 PM PST
You are passionate. I'll give you that : ) I have shared the spoken Word of God to people many times and watched God prick their hearts and watch them get gloriously saved. Only a living book, the Word of God, the bible can do that. And Jesus did die to satisfy God's wrath and God does command us to pray that his will be done in the life of others and sometimes the only way to accomplish that is to pray for God to remove anything that is giving a person a false sense of peace.

I have not blogged/chatted in a long long time. I am rusty and prefer face to face chatting.

Blessings,

Jackie

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 9, 2008 2:30:02 PM PST
PS. My rejection of the bible has EXPANDED my understanding of and my relationship with God. God is BIGGER, GRANDER and MORE LOVING than I ever believed him to be while being limited to the bible. The strictures of FEAR and false authority imposed by HUMAN religious leaders are gone, and what is left is reliance upon the LIVING SPIRIT...Faith in the LIVING GOD, who is revealed anew each day, in my life and yours if you look...all around us.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 9, 2008 2:38:48 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 9, 2008 2:41:07 PM PST
Thank you for calming down. ;-)

Oh, I have no doubt that many have converted to your religion. On the flip side, many have also LEFT your religion (myself included).

I will tell you this: Simply repeating bible quotes and the same arguments does nothing to change the minds of non-Christians. If you believed in a LOVING God instead of an angry, wrathful God, I would suggest that you try LOVING people instead, and respecting their beliefs.

But, alas, I must now respect YOUR belief that you are right and I am wrong and nothing we can say will ever change that.

I would NEVER impose my beliefs on you, Jackie. I mean it when I say I wish you well, but the difference is that my well-wishes have no strings attached like yours do.

I can only invite you to open your mind a bit...maybe watch Zeitgeist or read one of those books, perhaps...if you feel interested. Not likely, I know. I would like to think that you could leave our discussion with a willingness to at least CONSIDER another point of view...but I know that is hopeless, but Christians generally are not ever willing to do that. (NOTE: I have already considered your point of view - I was a Christian for 25 years.)

Therefore, let's just agree to disagree, ok? And, even though I would prefer that you NOT pray against my wishes, ya know what? I know that you will anyway, because you have ZERO respect for my beliefs. And, guess what else: It doesn't matter, because I am secure enough in my beliefs that I have ZERO fear of you and your unwelcome black magick prayers. (No offense intended here either: remember, according to MY tradition, imposing your will on someone else is black magick.)

I respect your right to your own beliefs, because God gave us free will. Therefore, I will not pray that you 'come around' to my thinking. I pray only in generalities such as "I wish her the highest good."

PEACE, Jackie. I wish you the highest good.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 9, 2008 2:52:13 PM PST
[Deleted by the author on Feb 9, 2008 2:57:39 PM PST]

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 9, 2008 2:53:07 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 9, 2008 2:55:14 PM PST
Jackie, I dug up this old email I sent to a friend with whom I was having a similar discussion. I'd like to share it with you, if you are interested, to give you an idea of where I'm coming from:

---

I would love to keep in touch with you! I have a very strong belief that a person's relationship with God is very personal, so I will definitely NOT try to 'convince' you of anything! In other words I am NOT trying to convert you to any religion, or keep you from joining any religion! If you decide to go completely with the Christian faith and quit listening to AFI, I will totally respect that!



I can only share my own personal experiences. If anything I say does not feel right to you, please just disregard that part, ok? I do NOT want to impose my beliefs on you - I am only sharing my experience. This first message is a bit long, sorry! I hope you don't mind but I wanted to let you know where I was coming from. I promise I will NOT try to debate you or convert you to anything! I tend to be a bit long-winded and I do enjoy discussing spiritual things, so sorry this is so long!



I know what you mean about religions causing a lot of wars, violence, and hatred. That can be really confusing, cuz religion seems to have both its good points and its bad points. I think most religions started out good but their leaders ended up getting corrupted by power and then tried to impose their religion on others, with no respect for other people's own religions. It is that forcing, that power, that lack of respect for others, that is bad, imo. There is also a lot of fear in religions - the fear of being punished, the fear of being wrong, the fear of hell. I don't think fear is from God. Religions are good when people become better, kinder, and more loving because of their religion, but bad if the person becomes more fearful, or corrupt like what happens to many preachers and gurus.



It's really a mixture, I think. The challenge is to find the good parts that religion has to offer, without accepting the bad parts. And, it is entirely possible to be spiritual without being religious! I am living proof of that!



I'd like to share with you my story - maybe there will be something useful in it for you.



I was brought up Catholic, very strict. I was taught that ONLY Catholics go to Heaven. Not Baptists, not Lutherans, and certainly not Hindus or Buddhists!



This always bothered me. I would meet really nice people who weren't Catholic and wonder, how could God sentence them to Hell forever? It just didn't make sense.



When I was 18, I left home and the Catholic church. I was questioning a lot of things. I got into drugs for awhile, then quit those, thankfully. Then I got into New Age stuff, which basically says that all the religions have a piece of the truth, but no one religion has ALL the truth, and that God lives inside each of us, and all paths lead up the mountain.



I liked the New Age philosophy a lot, but it lacked the personal relationship with God part.



Then I started going to a born-again Bible study, and became a born-again Christian. This was in 1981 - I was 21.



I loved the singing, the praise and worship. It was very uplifting. I also loved how the people would pray for one another. I had just gotten out of a bad relationship, and I had been abused as a child, so I really needed a lot of healing. It felt great to be part of this group - it felt like the family I had never had!



I got A LOT of good from this during the 3 years I was there. I learned how to pray, and seek guidance from God, instead of relying just on my own intellect. As a Catholic, God had never been very personal to me, and as a New Ager, God had just been 'cosmic' - so now as a Christian, God became personal.



But, to be honest I had a lot of trouble with the dogma, the rigid rules. They told me that only born-again Christians went to Heaven. They even thought that Catholics were 'idol-worshippers' and 'not really Christian'.



I was thinking, 'hey, this sounds really familiar - I have heard all this b4'. Same idea as what the Catholics had told me. So then I thought, 'Well if the Catholics think they are right and the born-again Christians think they are right, then who is right???'



I also had a problem with some of the born-again Christians who told me I was 'satanic' because I was a vegetarian and my husband practiced Martial Arts. I was like, HUH??? They made me watch this video on how all this stuff is supposedly 'satanic' - things like using herbs for health (which I do!), meditation, wearing crystal earrings, etc etc.



I thought, with all of the REAL evil in the world, why are these people so worried about whether or not I eat dead animals?? And crystals, they are used in computers and quartz watches, even if I did use it as a tool to amplify my thoughts, I am NOT worshipping a rock! It was all really ridiculous. And didn't God create the herbs and give them to us as medicine? (I am speaking here about nutritional/medicinal herbs, not mind-altering herbs, btw)



Meanwhile, I had met other people of various religions, or no religion at all, and I wondered how they all fit into the picture. I still went to church, where I enjoyed the praise and worship, but I found myself 'tuning out' about half the sermon. I just really couldn't stomach all the talk about how Christians were 'saved' and everyone else would burn in hell. I would wonder, 'how could God put that person in hell?' I mean, I couldn't even put a person in hell, not even a really evil serial killer - I would try to heal that person, even if it took 1000's of years. Usually evil people were abused as children, so if I were God, surely I could think of a way to rehabilitate that person, right? I mean, maybe if they had been loved as a child, then maybe they wouldn't grow up to be evil?



And what about people who are not evil at all, but just weren't lucky enough or smart enough to choose the 'right' religion? What about the Buddhists who are very loving and peaceful, and worshipping God in their own way, but just call God by a different name? What about the Native Americans who call God 'Great Spirit'? Why should they burn in hell forever just cuz they are not Christian?



If I could not put those people in hell, then surely God, who has much, much more love and compassion than I do, surely God would find a way to save ALL of His 'lost sheep'!



This is what I was thinking. So, I finally came to the conclusion that what I really wanted to do was follow Jesus' teachings, which were all about love, forgiveness, peace, and non-judging. I definitely believe in Jesus, but I do not believe in the Old Testament, which is filled with stories of wars, wrath, punishment, and blood sacrifice, and elitist thinking (God's "chosen" few - I now reject that idea - I now believe we are ALL God's children).



I know that might sound sacrilegious, and I apologize, but I am just sharing with you what I decided for myself. I realized that I believe God to be a loving God, because that is what Jesus taught. I really don't know about the old testament, since humans put those books together and said it was the total 'Word of God'. Then they built a strict religion around it. But other religions have their 'holy books' too, and each one says theirs is the word of God. So who is right? Is it possible that maybe they are all partly right?



We've just been taught all our lives that the bible is 'perfect' and directly from God, and we're not supposed to question that. But I do question it. I think even the bible can be a 'false idol' if it becomes the authority, instead of the LIVING God that is inside us.



Again, sorry if I'm sounding sacrilegious here. I do think the bible has a lot of good in it, and can provide a lot of knowledge. But I think there are other books that do that too, and ultimately all books were written by humans. Even if they were 'inspired', they were still human, and wrote down what they interpreted themselves.



I finally decided, what if, just what if, maybe God has spoken to lots of different cultures, lots of different people all over the world, and they each interpreted his message slightly differently? If you look at all the religions, and leave out the petty details, essentially they are all saying THE SAME THING: LOVE AND FORGIVE AND SEEK GOD.

\

That's really what it all boils down to, I think. I do think religion can be very useful, cuz it helps to have people to talk to and pray with, and encourage one another. But it can be very bad, too, when it is used to judge others and make them feel bad, like they are wrong and you're right, or when people try to control others thru religion. Or worse, fighting wars trying to force others to follow your own religion.



So, I do believe in Jesus' teachings, but that is not necessarily the same as the Christian religion. I don't think Jesus ever intended for wars to be fought in His name, or for people to feel judged by their religious leaders, or for those leaders to impose all those rules. Jesus supposedly only gave us 1 rule: the Golden Rule - love God and love everyone else as ourselves. The religious leaders of his time thought he was a rebel cuz he associated with the social outcasts. But he did not judge those people. If he were here now he would not judge someone just because they listen to AFI! :^) I think Jesus intended to let us know that He is with each one of us, and each of us can seek Him - we do not need a religion or a preacher to be between us and the Lord.



In other words I now believe that it is possible to have a relationship with the Lord without necessarily strictly following the man-made 'rules' of a particular religion.



I think people focus too much on the rules and trying to decide who is saved, instead of just LOVING and trying to do good in the world.



When I meet someone, I don't judge them by whether they are Christian or not. What I go by is, are they loving and kind? If so, I believe they are walking with the Lord, even though they might not even realize it!



Likewise, there are some people who call themselves Christian but are not following Jesus' teachings at all! For example, my teenage son used to attend a Christian homeschool group. Everyone said the director was a 'godly' man. This man was very strict on stuff like non-Christian music, morality, etc. But when my son's girlfriend needed help, this 'godly' man was very cold. He was more concerned about making sure my son and his girlfriend never got a chance to kiss, than he was about helping the girl with her emotional problems. He was very self-righteous and arrogant. Most people there could not see that about him - they only saw what was on the surface. He went thru the motions but deep down he was NOT a very nice or loving person.



It can work both ways. I know both wonderful and awful people who are Christian, and both who are not Christian. I don't really think the label matters much; what matters is the heart, what is inside that person. I don't think God looks at what religion someone belongs to, but the person deep down inside.



As for beliefs, I consider each religion to have a part of the truth. I think God is so much bigger and grander than we can possibly imagine - He just cannot fit into a box, a set of rules. It's like the blind men and the elephant:



4 blind men approached an elephant. The 1st blind man touched the elephant's tail and said 'Aha! An elephant is like a rope!'



The 2nd blind man touched the side of the elephant and said, 'You are wrong. I am right. An elephant is clearly like a wall.'



The 3rd blind man touched the elephant's trunk and said 'You are both wrong. An elephant is like a snake.'



The 4th blind man touched the elephant's leg and said, 'You idiots are ALL wrong! Only I am right! An elephant is obviously like a tree!'



So, that is how I see religion. It can be very useful, but I don't think it has ALL the answers.



In case you are wondering what I ended up doing, well, I have retained my faith in God, and my practice of prayer, that I got from born-again Christianity. I kept the values I got from Catholicism. I added to that, my practice of meditation, as well as some beliefs, from New Age philosophy. I now believe that both prayer and meditation are equally important: Prayer is 'God listen while I talk' and meditation is 'God talk while I listen'.



I no longer attend church regularly, but occasionally I will visit a church and I try out different kinds - Christian, Buddhist, New Age meditation groups, etc. So I am really very eclectic. I have some New Age friends whom I meditate with sometimes, and I have some Christian friends whom I pray with. It doesn't matter to me if their beliefs are slightly different from mine, as long as they are seeking God and have love, then we are praying to the same God, because there IS only 1 God!



My beliefs are sort of a mixture of various religions, but I now believe that the criteria to heaven is LOVE, not what religion you belong to. I now respect other people regardless of their religion (or lack thereof) and try to learn something from everyone I meet. Instead of telling them they are wrong for believing something different, I try to understand them, and maybe even learn something from them. As long as they are not hurting anyone, I think they should have the freedom to believe whatever they want. I believe that ALL paths lead up the mountain EVENTUALLY, but some paths are just rockier than others.


Whew, sorry to go on soooooo long! I just wanted to share a bit with where I am coming from. I hope you might find something in my story that might be useful to you somehow. And if not, or if it feels uncomfortable in any way, please just discard!!



I think each of us has to find our path. What is right for one person (like listening to only Christian music) might or might not be appropriate for you. I think you are definitely doing a good thing to pray to God for guidance. I think that is my main point in all of this - that you have to do what is right FOR YOU, because you feel you are being guided by God after some serious soul-searching and prayer, not just because of what someone told you to do. I wish you the best on your spiritual journey!



Blessings
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