I WANT IT TO BE TRUE DAMMIT IT! I DO!

I received an email from a Christian well-wisher who sent me the video below. The video produced a tear in my eye (just one). Maybe it's because my dad is dead and then maybe because in these hard economic times I'm hurting financially and might need some heavenly help. There's a huge emotional pull to the Christian message (on one level) that draws me back to that story. But I just can't believe. It's not true at all.

34 comments:

toomanytribbles said...

i don't understand how someone would want this.

i much prefer the responsible camaraderie of equal relationships than this juvenile need for a father-figure to take all the hurt away.

Sabio Lantz said...

John, I deeply appreciate your honesty !! Any movie about father-son relationships where there is misunderstanding and then acceptance and forgiveness is also a tear-jerker for me. If we don't or didn't have a real dad to provide such love, an imaginary Dad is the next best thing for us. We get tears when we imagine the happiness of a deep relationship with our fathers whether it is via the movie or a Christian god. And if you were lucky enough to have such a parent, the memory of that bond can bring tears.

The heart is what makes the person, our beliefs are mere clothing. A real loving relationship with understanding and forgiveness is what we can offer others. I remind myself to give to my son now so as to help him avoid a future where his only connection to an accepting loving parent is imaginary.

Harry McCall said...

In an ancient and medieval worlds where the mean age for both men and women were about 30 and where most died in child birth or before 20, the fatherly love and hope promised by Christianity was the illusion that caused it to win out over its religious competitors.

Hope does not have to be true, it only needs to be hope.

Gandolf said...

Hard times sure remind us of the importance of family dont they John.

That video sure is aimed at plucking the heart strings, with the "father figure"suggestion of some God isnt it.
I think as we evolved human survival left us naturally feeling sad when those very close to us are gone.Numbers of family and tribe we have connected with having strength and our better well being etc.

Im guessing even (most) folks who are not really even that close to any real family,still have this feeling of needing a tribe or some type of connection to some group for support etc.

And the idea of this father figure shown in the video would maybe even be fine if it actually helped.But with so many splits and separate religious faith divisions having happened since the supposed Adam and Eve ,im wondering how it can be considered to be really so beneficial??.
Ive heard people talk about how studies have concluded that much of societies ill`s seem to point to connections to the general break down in society of the family unit or "tribe" thats happened.

Like faith believers all so often splitting and dividing time and time again for thousands of years over trying to translate some ancient superstitious incoherent rant all the same way but never being able to!, is really likely to generally be helping the human family unit??.

Yeah right !.....Not :(

I suggest many folks chewed over and spat out in the long past by these many faiths with such rigid often non compromising beliefs,has really helped break down the importance of the family unit in society in general.As even people who have actually managed to escape them still carry on a certain amount of this nastiness learned, introducing it more and more into society even whether they actually continue with any faith belief or not.

Should we really be expecting some bloke in the street that societies some how has allowed to be taught that even those around you all to often are to really be so expendable,to always have a love for people and not be robbing raping and even killing ??.

I cant see why?.

And the worst problem i sadly see with this predicament we now find ourselves in is how fast humanity will ever be able to move on from this.Because lets face it its not really going to be easy,im only guessing John but it seems to me that even you maybe might be feeling pressures in some ways coming from those folks you naturally still love but who still feel a need to try to pull any string they can find to break ya down and have you return.

Bruce who post here sometimes i think has maybe also felt the religious sword that seeks to weaken those that dare question.

Its not like its really so uncommon.Ive seen it working many many times.

Jim said...

That video was some seriously sappy adolescent boyish fantasy.

And you wonder why women lament, "Where have all the real men gone?"

A lot of them never grew up and are stuck in eternal boyhood--never maturing into adult men. They're selfishly clamoring for a daddy figure who loves them and accepts them instead of maturely accepting the world as it is and recognizing that it is up to them to make it a better place--God surely ain't gonna do it.

Notice how in the song, it was all about him (the singer)? Sorry, no tears from me. All I thought about was how happy this guy was that God ran to him--ignoring the fact that God did NOT run to help the typhoon victims, children born with childhood diseases that suffer and die early, child abuse victims, etc.

I have come to the conclusion that Christianity is pure adolescent selfishness. Old boys and old girls stuck in childhood.

The world needs mature, adult men and women who will work to improve the lot of all humans--not sappy, wishful childhood thinking.

Real humans--doctors, scientists, engineers, chemists, entrepeneurs, et al have historically improved real human lives--songs like this have not saved one child from disease. (But it's probably made $$$)

sfwc said...

Your post struck home for me; I also wish the gospel were true but can't believe it. I know it is hard, and I admire you for being prepared to share this with us.

goprairie said...

the good things that happen to us in life are because of other people and the basic inherent instinctive way that we care for each other. it should remiind us to cultivate existing relationships and welcome new relationships. with real poeople. there is no god to do any of that and to seek it from a god is only endless disappoint or pathetic pretend play. the only place it is is in real people.

Jason said...

If I wanted one of these Religions to be true, it certainly wouldn't be the Christian version. I would have to go with perhaps a Buddhist reality or something along those lines. Although, A Scientologist reality could be interesting

sunmosthigh said...

The pic at the end is the same as the huge pic in the lobby of (gay) Ted Haggard's church in Colorado Springs before his "downfall". It was discovered that many of his chosen art pieces were of a male/gay/sensual nature. This was one of them - the one of Jesus holding the "sexy" man with exposed belly.

Michael said...

(Sorry if duplicate entry. The latter is more up to date)

Hi John,

Thanks for the email reply. Interesting blog, here. I too, appreciate your candor.
------------
TMT and Goprairie,

Indeed, what a joy is that fellowship of peers and relationships with fellow human beings you mention.

But the specialness of the song & vid, was not just the Father who took the hurt away, but the One Who also loves us in spite of our selfishness and wayward ways and who welcomes us back when we turn to Him! Oh, that we can love and forgive like that!
------------
Gandolf,

Gotta hand it to ya, partner. You are SO right about people being divisive. Because of it, I went through a period of disheartenment in my faith. It turned out to be a great blessing for me, b/c around year 2000, it made me take my eyes off men and fix them on Jesus; the One and Only; the Prince of Peace. And how beautiful it is to find a church that focuses on Him, rather than trivial issues!

I've also concluded that many of the "splits" are just preferential stuff. A lot of churches with minor differences in doctrine and practice bear no animosity for each other and will cooperate to accomplish wonderful, humanitarian things for the Lord.

Regarding "Christian" misbehavior; anyone can pay lip service, but are such people really His? Didn't Jesus give the world the right to determine who His real followers are by their acts of love?
------------
Jim,

I too, wonder where all the real men have gone. It seems the fatherlessness of our society is deteriorating the very fabric of it. Check out the fatherless connection to the rising stats since the early 70's on: sexual abuse/activity, drug & alcohol abuse, mental illness, suicide, academic performance, teen pregnancy, criminality and early death. So whether adolescents want a father-figure or not, the evidence suggests they NEED one.

I cannot level criticism at most of the Christian fathers I've known. They are unselfish, sacrificing, family men and have my IMMENSE respect and admiration. May God help me be like them.
------------
To all,

I know the gospel sounds too good to be true - too fantastic. ESPECIALLY when people who supposedly accepted it treat others like dirt; like hypocrites.

But always recall, that if you feel the need for God's forgiveness and transforming power in Jesus Christ, IT'S STILL THERE!!

What if I looked at thousands of pornographic imgages? Still there. Stole a bunch of money? Still there. Cheated on my spouse? Still there. Said and wrote terrible things about Him? Still there. Convinced others to abandon Him? The name, Saul of Tarsus sound familiar? It's still there. Make no mistake, when we decide to repent of sinful behavior and turn to Him, He WILL receive us. Wanna see God run? You know what to do. He doesn't change. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever.

I'm in Colorado Springs. Tell me if there's anything I can do for you. Meanwhile, here’s another magnificent song called "A Better Way" by the Canadian band, Downhere: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VatnKzkuRbA

Love,


mike

eheffa said...

Michael,

If it could be shown that your god is a fantasy & nothing more than the product of a lot of wishful thinking, would you be willing to acknowledge the truth & let go of your comforting delusion?

Just wondering...that's what I had to do. It isn't easy but it is liberating not to have to live a lie.

-evan

Michael said...

Eheffa,

Sure, I'll engage in apologetic and philosophical discussions, since I accept the general revelation of God through natural theology. And don't worry; I don't get snotty or sarcastic and I will respect your dignity, even if we conclude with polar opposite convictions.

Fire away.

Michael said...

SMH,

I've no idea if that's why (or even if) Haggard selected it, but the painting is "Forgiven" by Thomas Blackshear, which came out in 1992.

Here's an inspirational interpretation of it at Dayspring:
http://www.dayspring.com/movies/view.asp?moviename=forgiven.swf

Blackshear is also known for black heritage works. His bio:
http://www.christcenteredmall.com/stores/art/blackshear/blackshear_biography.htm

And here is a very meaningful painting by Spencer Williams, called "Centurion":
http://www.jesuspaintings.com/religious_paintings.htm

goprairie said...

Doesn't this sugary pap fall under the category of 'if you can't tell it from parody . . . . '?

Don't you idiots GET it? It is not some insipid 'one who loves us' doing good for us, it is real actual people. Real actual people ARE capable of great love and forgiveness and joy and challenge and caring and giving. Real people engage in it all the time. By themselves. With no fake magical force involved at all. Give up the silly sappy fantasy and pay attention to real life.
Your god has no arms to hold you or feet to walk in the sand to carry you, but REAL PEOPLE do.
Wake up and smell the coffee real people make and quit wasting your time of your silly sappy fantasy world. Ick.

Gandolf said...

Hi Michael

You said..." I've also concluded that many of the "splits" are just preferential stuff. A lot of churches with minor differences in doctrine and practice bear no animosity for each other and will cooperate to accomplish wonderful, humanitarian things for the Lord."

Either way,a split is still a split right? and most usually over some trivial disagreement of a bible or faith book thats sending so many mixed messages its no wonder so many just cant really get to agree with each other.
And its still the cause of many arguments n heated moments nasties and general shunning and no talkies etc etc between previous family and friends.I`d think you`d have to be turning a very very blind eye to a whole lot that actually does! go on quietly behind the scenes worldwide in very many places wouldnt you?.

To me it seems to kind of be like suggesting if somethings half pie or even a little less than that, it means its still just fine and dandy?.These arguments and trivial differences over faith beliefs that do divide many people and infact is most likely the cause of the many new different cults or churches that are still forming each year worldwide thinking some how that "they" are a little better than someone else.Atleast some of them sticking their noses up at others in one way or other,sooner or later!.
How is this a good type of message to be sending out to the other people in general in this world that oviously also need to come more togteher and try to stop bickering over matters?Should we expect its being that helpful?,lets not forget faithful folk having been in so many numbers for many many years, surely must have to have already been very efluentual in whats happened and what we have.

I really cant see how its ever gonna be that helpful?.

Please explain how all the faith books that are notoriously divsive in their nature with being so often contradictive and almost always very hard to decipher and (all) agree on, hence the (reason) we do! have so many different churches etc all over the place.

Is ever going to be that helpful for a good role model in general for the (rest of the world) to also learn to be less devisive and more inclusive and peaceful and loving or whatever.

Gandolf said...

Seems to me faiths are so busy consentrating with everything else thats wrong in the world.

And in the heavenly presense and great glorious wonder of this supposed father.

They forget to wonder if they might actually have something to do with the problem

Gandolf said...

(The type of sensible Mathematics it seems is often used against us by the faithful)

Non believers suggest to the faithful that faith beliefs in these religious words and books written by mere men do often cause much to much confusion division and nastiness etc so something must surely be very wrong somewhere.

The faithful comes back with the ko power punch! that division and nastiness etc existed also within societies with no faiths too dont forget!

The equation answer then is

1 + 1 = ok !.

Nothings wrong and no changes needed.

Michael said...

Thanks for the replies.

Ya, I'd seriously be stuffing ma noggin' in the sand if I denied the charges leveled at Christendom. But I accept none leveled at Christ. Can you imagine the world if everyone treated each other like He wants? What if fathers followed His command (even when it's tough) to love their wives, children and fellow human beings like that?
------------
Goprairie,
Ozzy Osbourne has a song, "Dreamer"
(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YbJqswLi3uE) in which he sings, "Your higher power may be God or Jesus Christ - it really doesn't matter much to me; without each other's help, there ain't no hope for us..." The song makes a good point, and so do you. If we're not helping and taking care of REAL people, it really DOESN'T matter! James says that in such a case, our faith is dead - useless - we don't really trust Him.

What's really amazing is the TRANSFORMING power of Jesus Christ! Have you never met someone who gave their life to Him and made a complete turnaround from selfishness and misery to service and joy? Look for them. Talk to them. Walk with them.
------------
Gandolf,
True dat, homey. Some splits are over trivial stuff. Dat's what was gettin' me down, man - slowin' ma roll. But imagine if the church folk get focused on Jesus and avert their gaze from the petty. Now THAT is a church that's a joy to serve and worship with!

Yer right on, that some Christians look around at the world and complain or criticize. But many get involved to provide relief. Google Christian charities and standa back, 'causa the screen, she's a gonna explode with all the hits. All legit? Nope - some just want yo Benjamins, not giving a bleep about the suffering. But the ones that really serve Him? They'll make a grown man cry with their benevolence.

While scipture is both simple and profound, it's really not too hard to understand the basics. Look how Jesus just rolled it all up for us: Love God with all your might, and your neighbor as yourself. Does God want us following a checklist, or does He want our heart?

Gandolf said...

Michael you said "But imagine if the church folk get focused on Jesus and avert their gaze from the petty. Now THAT is a church that's a joy to serve and worship with!"

I happen to agree with you it sounds great.

But this has always been the dream for thousands of years now right?.

It just hasnt worked or been able to happen.Should we be faithful of this dream for (another few thousand years) in such faithful hope! while continuing turning a blind eye to what the real evidence seems to suggest?.

You said"While scipture is both simple and profound, it's really not too hard to understand the basics"

Well admittedly you are still the faithful type, while i am no longer i now look for evidence.With that big difference naturally we will often likely see many things quite different.

If you happen to still have faith that translation is not such a problem,im not going to go calling you any names.But let me just simply say the factual evidence we have seems to be suggesting something quite different to what you suggest,it must be very hard to translate which is why we have so very many different splinter groups that all cant quite agree.Thats the evidence i suggest we do see!,should we just have faith with you partaking in your hopes? or with open eyes not be to blind to what can actually be seen!.

If "the basics" are actually all that really matters! and this book is to continue enjoying the faith some folk have in it as divine and coming from some superior God figure who know (all about) everything thats for the best.

Then why such complicated book full of so many many mega laws and expectations etc?,that so very many do find very hard to understand.

If this supposed god only expected the basics then thats all he would likely have passed on right?.Because in his great wisdom of everything he/she would have known very well!!,about this mess that has now eventuated though to much complicated stuff! and being both wise and strong surely would not have allowed this to happen in the first place and go on.

As such then i suggest the supposed (divine) books that we actually do have,surely would be expected to be about the basics you speak of! and not a lot more.

Gandolf said...

"But imagine if the church folk get focused on Jesus and avert their gaze from the petty"

Is this faithful hope ever likely to turn into any real (reality) and ever be seen.

When the (manual) for the proposed product that is actually being used,seems to try to be expecting so very very much more!

PhilosophyFan said...

I really want it to be true as well. Unlike Lewis: "You must picture me alone in that room in Magdalen, night after night, feeling, whenever my mind lifted even for a second from my work, the steady, unrelenting approach of Him whom I so earnestly desired not to meet. That which I greatly feared had at last come upon me. In..1929 I gave in, and admitted that God was God, and knelt and prayed..."

Michael said...

Gandolf,
What I'm trying to say is that there already are both individual Christians and churches who do focus on Jesus, are reasonably tolerant of different views and ARE a blast to serve with. Not just a far away dream of the ideal. I mean real people I see several times a week.

I feel bad for those who have had bad experiences with legalistic, judgmental, unloving types, but want everyone to be aware that the enire landscape of Christendom isn't so.
----------------
Philosophy Fan,
Ya, I like Lewis' work. Outstanding apologist.
----------------
Anyone,

Share with me, if willing, your spiritual background.

PhilosophyFan said...

Also, some of the above posts are just bizarre.

No wonder women are looking for real men? What??? I have never, ever heard this from a woman. You go for that angle in getting women, though.

Sorry, that just made me chuckle.

PhilosophyFan said...

To think... all those childish adults in the military who happen to be Christian. Somehow stuck to their realiance on God which...makes them unable to make a contribution in the world. No girls want them because they're not real men.

Gandolf said...

Michael said..." Gandolf,
What I'm trying to say is that there already are both individual Christians and churches who do focus on Jesus, are reasonably tolerant of different views and ARE a blast to serve with. Not just a far away dream of the ideal. I mean real people I see several times a week."

Well Michael, if Churches and Christian etc mostly are all getting along all so nicely overall like you say they do.Then why do we ever have the need for new variations of churches and cults to form from time to time.

All im saying is that even if the type of Christians you suggest you personally are with, is actually in existence.Evidence from a rather long past history seems to suggest it doesnt actually happen so often so much everywhere.

Why do i say this?

Well because we do actually now have very many splits and separations even within Christianity,and most every year im pretty sure there is forming here and there even quite a few more.

Surely we shouldnt see the existence of such phenomenon?,if this bible manual actually was such a well developed script for suggested purpose of bringing people together and creating peace.

The question is maybe not so much about what type of christianity (yours) personally is and how good it may or may not be etc etc .But maybe more about (overall) whether these faith beliefs tend to lead towards a more inclusive? or exclusive? world.

In this divided world where the value of the family and tiribal unit has broken down & people can esily sometimes rob and even kill ya.With having now also so very many splits within all of its own christian families as well,surely the teachings of Christianity cannot be so quickly dismissed as maybe not being part of the problem with whats been going down.

Its all very well to be (suggested)that some religious manual book on life is basically (supposed!) to be all about love of each other and togetherness etc etc.Sure that sounds rosy dont it.

But what good is that (suggestion) ever gonna be?, if a few thousand years already so far (suggests_ it so often really has such a opposite effect.

How can faith belief itself so obviously have a recipe it uses for divided faith!.And yet somehow be expecting any different to happen from the rest of the world?.

If it was ever gonna honestly work,we would have seen much more evidence of it happening now!.

Faithful folks can tell us forever until they almost go blue in the face!.That the bible is (supposed) to do this and that and bring people "together" and make them more "loving" and "happy" and "inclusive" blah blah etc etc.Yep we been told that thousands of years now!!

Doesnt EVER! make it so though does it!, just because you might think you can try (repeating) it enough times over and over and over

Michael said...

Gandolf,

If I may, what's your spiritual background?

Gandolf said...

Michael said... "Gandolf,If I may, what's your spiritual background?"

Hi Michael well put it this way it sure was a nightmare.

But i dont understand why me specially telling you what particular type it was, will help explain why these nightmare christian faiths form in the first place.

The one i was once personally involved with has little bearing on how these things come about.

You need to look at the confusing incoherent mess and harshness also written within this book the bible, often suggested by many to be a manual for life to ever start to understand that.

Naturally some faithful folk like to compare different church groups so some can hopefully stand back and say oh but unlike us "they over there" are just not being christian etc.Thats the problem its just that simple.

It might be fine and dandy if this book only contained the wonderful directions of love and kindness etc like you suggest your personal christian friends all adhere to .

But it obviously contains so much more as well, which explains how and why so many abusive churches also exist.

Michael said...

Gandolf said..."...it sure was a nightmare."

Please elaborate. You've already expressed what you currently believe and I'm not trying to trick you -- I'm genuinely interested.

AznHisoka said...

Michael,

Why has Christianity separated us, instead of united us? Do you know how much psychological pain it has caused people to tell their parents that they don't believe anymore?

Why is the Bible so full of inconsistencies? If it wanted us to be good, kind human beings, why couldn't it just tell it to us in a more simple, direct manner? I'm into personal development right now and love it, you know why? Because I read these books that are sooooo easy to understand! The Bible is incomprehensible!

Why does God want us to get baptized, drink Jesus' blood so we can get to heaven? Why doesn't he care about kind, selfless acts? Getting baptized ain't helping no poor kid in Africa get food. Donating money will though! Yet the first gets you to heaven.

Look around us. Wars, conflict, hunger, fighting, violence... I know God gives us free will, but if he wanted to spread a positive message, dun u think he would not give us doubt about the truth of the message? Give us some damn proof, THEN yeah you can give us free will to decide whether or not to follow it.

Michael, it's not too late. There was a sunk cost in following Christianity, but don't live your life in vain. Think about these things:

1. If you were born in Pakistan, would you believe in Jesus?

2. What makes you so sure you know God better than any person following Islam?
Are you smarter than them? Have a special connection to God than them? Think about the reverse question and how someone from Pakistan would answer it. Compare your response with his/her probable response.

Michael said...

Aznhisoka,

[Pain from telling parents]
Why tell one's parents? Strange Q, I know, but there is a point.

[Biblical inconsistencies]
I haven't found CONTEXTUAL inconsistencies in the Bible. Some things may have dual meaning. Now we can pull stuff out and distort it, if we wish.

[Tell us to be good in a simple way]
Like, "Love God with all your heart, soul, strength and mind and your neighbor as yourself."? Really, all we need to do is copy Jesus' behavior.

[Bible is incomprehensible]
You have a point in that some things are hard. But as a whole it's both simple and profound. It varies with the person, but most of the basics seem around 5th grade comprehension.

"Why...baptized...drink Jesus' blood."
These actions have both an obedient and symbolic component. More detail if you wish.

[Why doesn't he care about kind, selfless acts?]
Are you going by what someone TOLD you the Bible says?
Matt 10:42, James 1:27, James 2:14-17. Plenty more where they came from. Jesus was all about caring for others.

"Yet [baptism] gets you to heaven"
It's really trust in Jesus Christ and his saving sacrifice. Works cannot do it (see Romans 6:23, Ephesians 2:8-10). Repentance and baptism is our RESPONSE to that good news. It's how we accept His gift.

[Give us some proof]
I know some people want a face to face w/ God before they believe, but they might change their mind if that happens. Think about this. There are really smart, educated people among believers and unbelievers. Is it really an intellectual problem? Could it instead be a "willingness" problem? Many people who are willing to trust Him are very compassionate, loving, unselfish, joyful folk.

"If you were born in Pakistan, would you believe in Jesus?"
That is a very good question. I know God is just and deals with all fairly, so if they don't know any better, He'll handle it. But if those born there don't believe, does it make it untrue?

"What makes you so sure you know God better than any person following Islam?" I don't doubt that there are loving people following Islam. I have studied world religions, but really just needed to decide if Jesus'(peace be upon Him) claims were true. I have studied and I believe they are. He is the Prince of Peace. The Son of God. The Savior of the world. He commanded us to love and forgive one another. He told us to be willing to die for what we believe, but by no means hurt others for it. He said "I love you" in a way that cannot be bettered. I truly want to love Him back.

Gandolf said...

Michael said..."Gandolf said..."...it sure was a nightmare."

Please elaborate. You've already expressed what you currently believe and I'm not trying to trick you -- I'm genuinely interested."

Sorry Michael to be honest im genuinely just far too embarrassed :)

AznHisoka said...Michael,"Why has Christianity separated us, instead of united us?"

Yeah some rather strange sort of divine book it must be.Certainly find it awfully hard to ever consider it as "extremely good" or "unusually lovely" as divine is also defined in my dictionary.

Somethings really wrong.

One reason i see no good reason to need to go pointing out what particular type of abusive church i personally had dealings with.Is because they are most certainly not the only ones by a long shot.There is plenty of them around.

They cant all have just been so simply effected by this supposed evil can they.My church family and friends honestly do believe what they do is right.And like most other abusive churches they also honestly believe they have used this christian bible to help them come to their beliefs.

Faithful folk can turn a blind eye as long as they wish and some can even tell us that this book supposedly has brought them personally to being in some special wonderful group.That might even be quite true.

But just because some people dont happen to personally get cancer from smoking ciggys,doesnt happen to then mean that smoking ciggys must then just be quite ok.

Evidence seems to suggest people smoking more often also have health hazards.Evidence we have seen over many THOUSANDS of years also seems to suggest use of the Christian bible more often causes much division and sadness too.

Is atomic warfare also fine?...After all some might say, it only effects certain people adversely.

Michael said...

Gandolf,

I can tell you a lot of it has to do with us. Our attitude means a lot. I had two totally different experiences with a church in CA. The 1st time I attended there, I had a lonely, self-pity, "why doesn't anyone reach out to me" attitude. My spiritual growth floundered. My career took me to other places for a few years, then back again. THIS time, I took the attitude, "what can I do to help/contribute?". Man, what a blast! What a huge difference unselfishness makes. I once read that spiritual maturity is directly proportionate to unselfishness, and I agree. Look at Jesus, the epitomy of unselfishness and spirituality!

Again, I'm sorry you had such a terrible experience in the past, and I hope if you try again, it's much better for you. If you're not involved in unselfish endeavors already, I highly recommend it. If all Americans get in such a habit, we'll almost put the mental health industry out of business!

If there's anything I can do to help, lay it on me. My email is mikebForJesus@yahoo.com, if you just wanna have a private sidebar conversation.

Gandolf said...

Cheers Michael thanks for the kind thoughts and offers of help!.

However there is no need to go feelin sorry for me because like they say, what doesnt actually get ta kill ya only makes you much stronger in the end anyway.

Its interesting what you have said but some how i doubt it was my attitude that caused so many families to be split and quite a large number of folks to even commit suicide over the years.And so much more.

And maybe i might even be able to just simply feel complete hatred for these folk if i didnt know better and know them well enough to know they actually do what they do because through reading the faith book they only do it through thinking its whats right.

I understand its not so easy for faithful folk to allow themselves to ever consider it might actually be something a whole lot more than just simple attitudes that might be the cause of these things.

The folks themselves in this group i speak of also can only allow themselves to ever consider that the split families and suicides etc are all caused by some supposed evil spirit.

Its often referred to as being in some type of denial i think.

But the fact still remains that there actually is quite a large amount of abuse that happens within many faith beliefs worldwide.And i suggest its likely even much more than we actually know about yet.

There is no need for you and i to agree on matters here, but personally it seems to me that trying to lay blame merely on peoples attitudes is not really doing much justice at all.

Michael said...

Gandolf,

The congregation itself didn't necessarily change. My example was citing my own contrasting attitudes and the satisfaction I personally felt from each. I believe we are designed to serve others. If we think of ourselves too much, mental health will probably deteriorate.

I'm very sorry to hear of the tragic events, but we surely cannot blame those on the teachings of Jesus. When one truly follows the Lord, inner peace results. If however, one allows selfishness and worldliness to persist while trying to follow Him, it will not work - and from experience, I know it can lead to misery. He says quite clearly that anyone coming after Him must DENY himself, take up his cross daily and follow Him.

May you find peace, comfort and healing in the Lord.