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Old 02-14-2011, 07:11 PM   #28
Exiled Jedi...
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I will start with a quote from Ghandi...

“I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”

Think about that, as I think it a very sad but accurate observation of a lot of the Church, which is not the way it should be....

Originally Posted by Tysyacha View Post
On Hell: This is what I was taught about Hell in my church, at least.
Well that was a stinking pile of poo, for starters how many times did he actual relate his various claims back to the Bible? It contains a lot of taught doctrine, all of which I think is erroneous. If you would really like me to dissect it I can, but if that is the general quality of sermon, I think finding a better pastor would be a good start; that whole thing was Conservative Evangelical Propaganda, and propaganda is usually used by fundamentalists...

Originally Posted by Tysyacha View Post
I TRIED to believe, JUST believe, and have a "childlike faith." That was what my church promoted as the best sort of faith, not the kind that ruminated over the "given" truths as well as the "higher" ones of the Bible.
Paul also tells us to grow into faith and consider things, a couple of observations the Church has often been anti-intellectual and there is nothing wrong with the process you are going through, questions are GOOD.

Originally Posted by Tysyacha View Post
Believe. Obey. Believe. Obey. These were the two core values that my church (and, I thought, Christianity in general) stuck to, hard and fast, like epoxy glue sticks to skin. Meanwhile, I struggled inwardly with romantic and sexual (lustful, my church and Christianity would say) feelings.
Everyone struggles with things such as this...

Originally Posted by Tysyacha View Post
I also scorned and laughed at those who did not believe as I did. The people who partied, and who sat at my lunch table? I sneered at them and what they did, while secretly wanting to be invited. I scoffed at the pregnant girls at my high school, priding myself on the fact that I was still a virgin while ignoring a very basic Christian concept: HUMILITY. This continued all the way through college, where I believed and obeyed, believed and obeyed, nothing more.
More than humility, you lacked loved in the way you reacted to the above... Would Jesus of acted in that manner? No... It is also all to familiar in the way a lot of Christians relate to "non-Christians". In truth, back at school the two of us would not of got on... I have always been seen by other Christians as the "bad boy" Christian, in so far as I always hung around with the people most of the other people in the CU etc did the above to. But scoffing and looking down at people is not imitating Christ, it is acting like the Pharisees - and what did Jesus say about them? You have moved beyond that, which is good, but may I suggest not to judge Jesus by the way Christians act, or the doctrines they try say are from Jesus.

Originally Posted by Tysyacha View Post
Until everything fell apart, and my doubts exploded right out of my chest.
My life has fell apart on a couple of occasions, but I have also found that I have grown most as a person in those times, and my faith has grown also.

I remember during the worst period of my life that Psalm 88 struck a particular cord with me;

Originally Posted by Psalm 88
1 LORD, you are the God who saves me;
day and night I cry out to you.
2 May my prayer come before you;
turn your ear to my cry.

3 I am overwhelmed with troubles
and my life draws near to death.
4 I am counted among those who go down to the pit;
I am like one without strength.
5 I am set apart with the dead,
like the slain who lie in the grave,
whom you remember no more,
who are cut off from your care.

6 You have put me in the lowest pit,
in the darkest depths.
7 Your wrath lies heavily on me;
you have overwhelmed me with all your waves.[d]
8 You have taken from me my closest friends
and have made me repulsive to them.
I am confined and cannot escape;
9 my eyes are dim with grief.

I call to you, LORD, every day;
I spread out my hands to you.
10 Do you show your wonders to the dead?
Do their spirits rise up and praise you?
11 Is your love declared in the grave,
your faithfulness in Destruction[e]?
12 Are your wonders known in the place of darkness,
or your righteous deeds in the land of oblivion?

13 But I cry to you for help, LORD;
in the morning my prayer comes before you.
14 Why, LORD, do you reject me
and hide your face from me?

15 From my youth I have suffered and been close to death;
I have borne your terrors and am in despair.
16 Your wrath has swept over me;
your terrors have destroyed me.
17 All day long they surround me like a flood;
they have completely engulfed me.
18 You have taken from me friend and neighbor—
darkness is my closest friend.
Originally Posted by Tysyacha View Post
Both, and by "the basics", you definitely hit the nail on the head.
I think "Christianity" is simple, and it has been made far to complex, in essence, love the Lord your God, with all your heart, soul and mind, and love your neighbour as yourself. I don't think that your pastor and some members of your church are doing the latter, I can't comment on the former.

Here is something I wrote a few years back you may additionally find helpful;

Show spoiler

I hope that is helpful.

"Love is the only reality and it is not a mere sentiment. It is the ultimate truth that lies at the heart of creation." - Rabindranath Tagore

"Many a doctrine is like a window pane. We see truth through it but it divides us from truth." - Kahlil Gibran
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