Are there any TRUE christians?

Susan says:

I recall a conversation I had with a christian about my thinking religion is often duplicitous, & I was using the example of my grandmother. She was a southern baptist & was forever trying, giving me bibles for xmas, inviting me to “grandparents day” at church, which always happened to coincide with my visit. Yet she was totally racist (nigger jokes), lied, was manipulative & cruel to children, was judgmental. I pointed out these traits as being in contradiction with christian values. The other person said it wasn’t christianity that was the problem, it was that my grandmother wasn’t a good christian.

But doesn’t that raise quite a question? The basis of christianity is the bible. Of which there are several versions, all of which have been translated thru several iterations, from what is clearly a collection of parables & fables used as teaching tools for herders & farmers, & it’s about as clear as a horoscope. The fact that there are so many factions using the same bible, who are quite different from each other…Doesn’t the wiggle room provided by the bible mean you can always forgive the bible, then just insist the user isn’t doing it right? Isn’t humble enough? Isn’t hearing god’s message clearly because or pride or something? Apologists always back into “that’s not being a good christian,” but that’s hardly a worthwhile defense when there really is no “one good christian” definition.


22 Responses to Are there any TRUE christians?

  1. Andrew says:

    The only thing more full of S&!t than the Bible is the group of zealots that claim to get a clear message from it.
    I’m sure that Jesus, (if he was even a real person), would be appalled at today’s Bible and even more flabbergasted at what people are doing in his name.
    The first mistake is giving more clout to a Christian than say.. someone who believes that the earth is hollow and there is a civilization inside there, it’s all poppycock, it’s all made up.
    The problem with the Bible is that it was made up by dozens, maybe hundreds of people, all with a different agenda, and twist. It’s so inconsistent and contradictory, you would have to be fully brainwashed just to not laugh while reading it.
    When someone tells me how a Christian should act, I just substitute Christian with something equally crazy, like “unicorn follower”. “That’s not how a unicorn follower should act.” In that light it makes sense that people are just making it up as they go along.

  2. The Atheist says:

    I think it’s perfectly legitimate to point out that the actions of a few eccentrics who claim to follow the Bible (or any set of teachings) aren’t good representatives of the Bible’s message. But I find that overall, Christians are no better people than non-Christians. On the contrary, Christianity seems to give its followers permission to act badly, both individually and en mas. Steven Weinberg summed it up succinctly when he said:

    Religion is an insult to human dignity. With or without it, you’d have good people doing good things and evil people doing bad things, but for good people to do bad things, it takes religion.

    Mat 7:18-20 says:

    A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

    Is there any reason that the Bible should be exempt from its own test?

  3. Susan says:

    The bible is like the wall around the city keeping out the infidels – it must be protected at all costs. When christians do good works, the bible gets the credit for being the handbook. When they do something bad, even calling it christian, then suddenly the bible is out of the picture. Credit goes to the bible, blame to the individual. And thus the bible is always perfect. Frustrating.

  4. Michael H says:

    When dealing with a fundamentalist of any persuasion, I like to remember a quote from Anthony deMello, J.S.:
    “There is absolutely nothing that the Rigid Believer cannot find an explanation for”.

    Conclusion ? (for me is Frank Zappa’s quote: “Take the Kama Sutra. How many people died from the Kama Sutra as opposed to the Bible? Who wins?”)

  5. I want you to know I have seen the sincerity of your posts. You’re not far from finding the answers you’re looking for.

    The one thing I think you’re missing from the puzzle you’re frustrated with, is the personalization of the Lord Jesus. And what is called, “the indwelling of the Holy Spirit”.

    Religion will simply take the words of the Bible and adapt them to meet their particular needs. This is the definition I’ve often used for “Religion” (Man’s attempts to please his version of God).

    A living and interactive faith in the Lord Jesus, on the other hand, will eventually become both more than the man and indestructable. The reason for this is that Jesus is absolutely both real and Lord of all Life. His promises are true, for He cannot lie. And He is the creator of everything you percieve as life here.

    I don’t bat even one eyelash at saying those things about HIm. Because I’ve come to learn they are absolute and true.

    As you search out these things you will continue to come to that certain dead end alley. It is at the end of that cobweb infested place where you are being asked to make a choice. It’s not man who is asking you to choose. It is Jesus.

    I do respect all your interactions with me. Your sincerity shows. And I appreciate it. I’m not trying to convert you by stroking your pride. I just want you to know that someone sees it. Weakness in Jesus’ people will cause us to sometimes react a bit defensively. But I ask you to offer us mercy and try to look beyond that. It’s often like a stranger comes up to you and begins to run down your family name. We try to keep it under control. But our love for Him is intense, to put it mildly. We are instructed not to react this way. But……… shrug shrug….. I’m sorry if I cross you in this manner. And I ask understanding from all who poke and prod at Christianity in order to prove it’s varasity. We’re just fools who are learning from the Master of Life.

    May God Himself bless you in this search. He is worth finding. I testify this from a perspective of one who has learned to sit at His feet and learn.

    By His Grace.

  6. I would point out something here that might help clarify the bad name Christians seem to draw (“seem” is being way too kind).

    If I wanted to tear down any social structure I wouldn’t use a direct attack of hacking limbs or even banishing them from society in general. I would infiltrate their group, act like them enough to get honors, then allow myself to be seen corrupting their code of honor.

    This has been done and will continue to be done. I’m not surprised that this activity escapes the understanding of those who look at Christianity from the outside. And consider, it’s been over 2000 years now. Just look at the history books (if they can truly be trusted to be pure) and you’ll see millions of such attacks. Yet there remains the central and honest few who will ignore the effects of these attacks. Christianity has become a horrible lable to wear in this world. But it started that way didn’t it?

    And if we need modern day proof of this kind of attack, just look at the tea party folk who were warned about this. Enemies don’t advertise these days. They sneek in and prepare, as best they can, then they do to as much damage as they can.

    One “proof” I recognized as I entertained the ideals of christianity was it’s place in society. I looked for the ideals which were least admired, and received the most curses from the general public. I came to understand that man hates everything about God. So, I’m not surprised. I embrace it. I don’t mention that hatred to cast a bad light on anyone. It is simply a fact.

    By His Grace.

  7. The Atheist says:

    Thanks for the kind words! I hope I treat everyone with the same candor, sincerity and respect without exception, regardless of the extent to which I agree or disagree with some of their views.

    It’s not that I’m frustrated with the idea of a personal God. Rather, I find that the claims by others of personal religious experiences aren’t a very good reason for me to believe that God exists:

    1) if there were a personal God as portrayed in the Christian Bible, then I would be able to have a personal experience too. In fact, any one who wanted one could have it. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard sincere Christians bemoan the fact that regardless of how many times they’ve begged to have an experience with God, and no matter how sincere they were, the best they ever get is the “still small voice” – which is indistinguishable for normal thoughts that we all have.

    2) if personal experiences with God were real, then I would expect that the experiences would be similar. But the experiences are very different from one religious group to the next. Christians describe experiences that are informed by their concept of Christianity, Hinus describe experiences that are informed by their concept of Hinduism, Macumbeiros describe experiences that are informed by their concept of Macumba, etc.

    3) personal religious experiences are typically recounted as though they were as real as waking consciousness, however when pressed for details, the person recounting the experience backpedals and admits the vagueness of the experience – with an important exception:

    4) the religious experiences that seem most real – as apposed to ones that are recounted as real but then turn out to be vague – seem to be associated with mental illness:

  8. I am not a smart man. And I am not a prophet. I am neither wise nor eternal. I am a fool who has begun to understand the Grace God pours out to all who will humble themselves before Him in the name of Jesus His Son.

    I have asked the Lord what to respond to your comments. You have understood the basic rift between faith and reason. And you press a man’s mind to answer. But I do not answer now with a man’s mind. Please bear with what follows. For it does not come from me.

    We are told (in every religion) to humble ourselves before the Most High God. This is reasonable if we come to the conclusion that God is far more pure than any man. It is in this recognition that we bow before Him.

    In this “bowing” and humility we open the pages of the Bible and read of His testimony regarding man. The Bible is not intended to be a historical account. It is more a message delivered through time by He who is beyond time. He speaks from everything that is not perceived by man. And uses man’s words to explain what man cannot understand without God’s help.

    If you will read what is written there, He will guide you into understanding and “The Faith” of Jesus’ sacrifice. This is where I started. This is where every man of God begins and continues to learn. Everyone who learns from Him endures the humility of knowing the foolishness which lives in the very soul of man. And strives to listen to what is the Righteousness of God.

    I know that was a bit of a lengthy response. I’m trying to listen to the Lord’s guiding in this answer. A great teacher might know great things. But he does not use his “great” concepts when talking to those who are not yet aware of the intricate and subtle differences in knowledge. So it is with God. He speaks from perfection to those who are far from perfect. We try to relay what we understand by using words and actions understood by our peers.

    One note of encouragement for you: Every time I bring you to the Throne of God, I get the perception that He has noticed your strivings in understanding these things. If He has given you notice, He will be more than willing to teach you according to His wisdom and mercy. Reach out to Him by reading His testimony to man, the Bible. He has said this: “Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God”.

    You are, evidently, my brother in Christ. For once a man is set aside by God, who can tell his beginning? It is the “fruit of eternity” that we look for in the development of Christ in a man. But like a small tree, we can only tell the nature of it by the leaves and fruit. He has heard your desire and has begun a fire in you to understand His ways. I do not say this because I read your posts alone. But by the testimony of Jesus within me. Search out what is true and you will receive the reward of your earnest search. For all who seek Him find Him. And all who hide this seeking as a treasure will reap the reward of their efforts. He is, by no means, cruel. And He rewards every effort we make toward Him.

    By His Grace.

  9. Because I have made the statement that you are evidently my brother in Christ, I am in wonder. It is not that there is intention in me to render such a word without reservation. And it is not “mainstream” churchey stuff to say such things. So I pondered this while I worked on things necessary. While working, I “heard” the following regarding such things (by “heard”, I mean that I find it in my mind. I find confirmation in my conscience; there is no guilt or guile attached to it. And what was understood finds complete support in the Bible.).

    “What God has begun to build will come to completion. His will is not thwarted by the sinfulness of man. And His word does not go out from Him without accomplishing that for which it is sent. If He has called you His, then it will be. For salvation does not come by the will of man, but by the Spirit of God.” (Philippians 1: 6, Isaiah 55:11, John 3:5-8)

    No one who becomes His knows when or where it begins. And the “fruit” of proof in a man is not evident at the first. Neither the man himself nor those around him will know when it begins. But iwhat God has begun, will certainly come to be. God, the Father of Jesus the Christ, is the God who calls that which is not as though it were so. And His promises are true. If He calls you His, it is as though your maturity in Him is complete. There is a path of growth to walk. But it is His hand which directs and challenges. Watch and see.

    By His Grace.

  10. Randy says:

    Some would say I am a Christian, but after many decades of searching for the truth, I have come to a point in my spirtual path, where I now call myself “one of the redeemed’. Jesus redeemed EVERYONE, whether they acknowledge it or not.
    The question arises: Why would an infinitely loving Creator demand a human sacrifice to pay for our “original sin”? I am beginning to think now, that the Creator didn’t demand the sacrifice; That it was human kind that demanded absolute proof of the Creators forgiveness. In the Creators infinite love, He sent his Word, which became flesh, and showed us perfect love, in human form.
    I do not believe that Adam and Eve were ‘literally’ two homo-sapiens. Carbon dating and fossil evidence disprove that pretty clearly to anyone with an open mind. I do not believe that Cain procreated with one of his sisters.
    The Creator apparently greatly enjoys creating things, and also seems to take plenty of time in doing it. What artist or scuptor wants his work finished instantly? Most often, they enjoy the ‘process’ of creating. It is possible that at some point in time, the Creator decided that ‘Homo-sapien’, his evolutionary creation, was ready to be instilled with something that separates us from the rest of the animals. At some point in time, we were ‘evolved’ into spiritual beings in his image. We obtained free will and reasoning: the ability to also ‘create’, just like our Creator.
    There are no other animals that can think of an idea, and make something new using that idea. Where are the dog and fish and chimpanzee hospitals and art museums and such? They have been around longer than we have, I would think that they have had enough time to come up with something along those lines. We are obviously different, and the Creator evolved us that way, in his own good time, and his own good way.
    I do not know what ‘original’ sin really was, however I do know that everyone of us has in some way caused, either accidentally or purposely, harm to other people whom God loves. All of us have ‘sinned’ in that we have harmed a ‘child’ of God. We may have owed a debt to God for that, But it also has been payed by Jesus’ Blood. (We still owe a debt to the person we harmed though, which is a longer subject of discussion).
    Wherever or whatever Eden was, I do not believe that we were cast out of Eden. I believe that it is possible that our ancestors felt very guilty, and FLED from Eden. God has been reaching out to us ever since, but in our pride and ignorance, we demanded proof. Primitively, we have sacrificed all sorts of things to ‘the gods’ to appease them. It seems to be in our nature to demand payment for grevances, and in our ignorance we also try to appease the Creator in the same way, believing that the same is demanded by Him (Convenient literary pronoun. God has no physical body, and thusly no sex) Perhaps our original sin was a lack of trust in the infinite forgiveness of our Creator?
    To answer your question: Yes, there are true Christians, as much as there are ‘true’ doctors, lawyers, carpenters, etc… Christianity is a learning process, (hopefully). What professional should be judged by the performance of a free willed pupil?
    Jesus admonished us to seek the narrow path to true spirituality.
    Many ‘Christians’ never find that path because of false teachings and selfish, prideful, and duplicitous motivations.
    I had a spiritual experience. I no longer need the Bible or any traditional teachings to believe in Jesus. Disprove anything in the Bible, it won’t shake my faith one bit. In the deepest pits of dispare in my life, The one we call Jesus, came into my mind, (call it a vulcan mind meld if you like) and told me that he knew me, and loved me, and that he loved EVERYONE just as much, and that everything was going to be fine in the end. He did not SPEAK to me in words. He communicated an entire Idea to me in an instant. I know what his thought FEELS like. I guess some would say that as one of his sheep, I know the sound of my sheppards voice.
    I would say to people who have not had that experience, that they should not feel unloved. You do not want to go where I went, and be in such a horrible pit of helpless dispare like I was, before I called out to Him.
    If you seek Him, solely, with NO DUPLICITY in your heart, you will find Him. Truely seek the truth and you will find it. And it will set you free.

  11. The Atheist says:

    That’s a very interesting set of conclusions and I can tell they came from deep reflection, vs. the automatic, authoritarian acceptance of dogma. I’m interested in discussing differences of opinion (I love those types of thoughtful conversations!), but I’m even more interested that despite our different beliefs, we are both willing to openly call into question our own beliefs and have genuine conversations about them (conversations as opposed to proclamations of dogma). That’s all too rare these days.

    Can you talk about the details of the experience you had? I’ll understand if it’s too personal since you mentioned that it was the result of an extremely low point of your life.

  12. What words are there to reply when a man speaks from his understanding? Weren’t the friends of job chastised because they presumed to know Job’s mind better than he? And they also presumed to know the mind of God. The message I’ve posted before relays what I have heard. And all the questions you’ve presented are your questions. I find it curious at the turmoil you’re experiencing. On one hand you question. then on the other hand you appear to believe. I will simply respond with these words:

    Holy Father, Your wisdom is too high for man. As you said to the ocean, “This far you shall come and no more”, so it is with the understanding You have allowed mankind. I know Your hand is working here. And I give all credit to the good appearing to You. As a man walks from darkness to light there is that place of confusion. And this too is placed before us by Your Holy Wisdom and Will. You are God. May Your will be done forever. By Jesus Your Holy Son, I thank you for what we receive and endure.

    By His Grace.

  13. Randy says:

    I was basically raised as a Christian, first in the Baptist Church, and then when I was 14, I was baptised with my mother as a Catholic.
    When I was about 29, I fell in love with a very wonderful, compassionate, thoughtful young woman whom I completely loved and adored to the depths of my soul. Unfortunately, she was already married to a very good friend of mine, and I was married with three children. There are certainly plenty of appropriate names for me and what I did, all of them well deserved. But the worst thing I did was to love this human even more than I loved God. Certainly God is more resilient than the people I so deeply betrayed and hurt when we were found out.
    In addition to the guilt of what I had done to my friends and family, I suffered terrible withdrawl from my deep feelings for this ‘soulmate’ I had lost. I was pretty messed up in the head, and I reached a point where I did not want to live anymore, but knew that I could not commit suicide. I did not want to be at work. I did not want to be at home. Did not want to be anywhere. I would come home from work and go to my room and cry for hours every night for several months. I sought help from several councellors, and anyone that might help me ‘get over’ the loss of this ‘soul mate’ I had found. No one could help me. Of course they couldn’t because I had let a human into that special place in our soul where only God belongs.
    I do not say these things to evoke sympathy, which is completely undeserved, but to help you understand the wretched condition of my spirit at the time.
    One final morning, I was wallowing in self misery, having exhausted any possible resource, when I recalled some of the Christian teachings about Jesus. He was called ‘Wonderful Counsellor’ amoung other names, and scripture told me that He had known everything about me since I was in my mothers womb. I also believed that Jesus was the greatest psychologist ever to live. (Much of what He taught had everything to do with human behavior, and little to do with ‘making rules’). Having exausted every other possible avenue,at that moment of realization that only Jesus ‘really’ knew me, and only He would know how to ‘fix’ me, I spoke out and said those words to him, from the deepest dispair of my life; from the deepest heartfelt and hopeless need, I said: “Jesus, I am hopelessly lost and no one can fix me. Jesus, I – need – YOU!”
    At that moment I realised that Someone else was actually inside my mind. Just for a moment, and then they were gone. But in that moment I was filled with complete and utter joy, because He alone who was found worthy by God; He whom we call Jesus, had come and told me that he knew me and He loved ME! But at the same time He told me that His love for ME, was no different than His love for EVERY individual human being that ever lived.
    I was healed of my broken spirit at that moment. My life has not been the same since. I was set free. (I realised later that this love I experienced is called Agape Love. It is individual and universal all at once). Our souls were made by God and our souls yearn for His love. His love therefore, can heal any wound.
    I KNOW that Jesus has God’s appoval. He is the worthy one. I don’t care what is said or suggested about Him. I don’t care what part of the various Bibles someone wants to refute. I KNOW that the perfect Lamb Of God ‘spoke’ to me in that moment and I know how perfectly God loves EVERY ONE of us.
    I KNOW that it was our task as Christians, to “Go forth and spread the GOOD NEWS that Jesus Christ is Lord and he has Redeemed us one and all!
    The Dogma and Human precepts that have tarnished and diluted the ‘Good News’ message over these last 2 thousand years is the fault of we failable human Christians, and for that we must suffer the wrath of non-Christians who rightfully hate us.
    There you have the readers digest version of my ‘experience’.
    I have spent most of my life looking for truth, and realised early on, that no one religion has ALL of the truth (but lots of human precepts!). Bits of truth can be found in many religions, and in many other places too. They are pieces of the puzzle of ‘The Meaning of LIFE’ , and someone who TRULY seeks to find them will find them. It is a life long process, seeking the Truth. The biggest piece of the puzzle, the most important one, is that God redeemed us one and all, by the Blood of Jesus Christ.
    I look forward to discussing our ideas. I hope that I may learn some bits of truth from your ideas.

  14. The Atheist says:

    Wow that’s one hell of an experience. I don’t mean just the part where you felt Jesus was in your mind, I mean the whole thing. That had to be hard to share, so thanks for laying it out. I hope things have gotten easier for you and the others involved since all this has taken place.

    If I can ask, did you feel certain that it was Jesus, or was it more like “some greater being” who you identified as Jesus because of your Christian upbringing? I’m asking because others of different faiths tend to label their experiences with the names of gods that they were raised to believe in. Some people think of God or the gods as a cosmic consciousness that is known by many names, like Jesus, Krishna, Ahura-mazda, and many others. Do you share this view or do you feel certain that Jesus is the only God (or based on what you’ve said, perhaps you view The Father and Jesus as 2 separate beings)?

    I’ve never had a personal experience anything like the one you described, but I’ve had “spiritual feelings” on occasion. I feel reasonably certain that none of my experiences were the result of any disembodied mind, divine or otherwise.

    Do you feel that the Bible doesn’t reflect the truth about God because it doesn’t correspond with your experience, or have you arrived at this conclusion through study? Or perhaps it’s a bit of both? Do you continue to have personal experiences? If so, are they still as clear and intense as the one you described?

    What do you think about God allowing suffering in the world? Sure, there is a lot of suffering caused by humans. So we might say that humans have free will and through free will they cause others to suffer. But there is also a lot of suffering that is not caused by humans. Virtually every living organism suffers – life has evolved such that most higher-level beings feel pain and fear through their life time, and then finally die a painful death.

    Finally, why do you suppose that feeling the presence of God isn’t a common experience? In other words, why would God remain hidden from most all of us, except for a few individuals who are at the end of their rope?

    Sorry about the “20 questions”! I’m not asking to be in any way rude or argumentative. I’m just trying to understand about your experience and what you believe. It may well be that you haven’t considered some of these questions and you don’t have an answer – that’s perfectly OK. Or maybe you ask yourself some of these same questions too.

    • Randy says:

      Many hours of discussion in your questions!
      I would like to take them one at a time and in order, if that is ok.
      I believe in ONE Creator. If there are lesser gods, that does not change in my mind that there must have been an ‘original’ Creator to start it all. If the Roman and Greek god’s were real, I would submit that maybe (I can’t prove it, and I am not saying that it is absolutely true, just speculation) they were the fallen angels who came down from heaven and ‘procreated’ with human females, thereby begetting the Nephilim. Genesis 6:4. If such were true, they were all, Including Zeus, (who could have been Satan),still created by THE God.
      Jesus spoke of “other flocks” John 10:16. I am not so arrogant as to think that a mighty and prolific creator such as God, would be content to only have made mankind and then stopped. I suppose that God made lots galaxies and if He so desired, populated it with whatever space aliens or whatever he so chose to create.
      I would also suggest that just because there have been many who claimed to be gods or saviors, or whatever, does not mean that Jesus was not the REAL one. The concept of suggesting that because there have been so many fakes, that ALL of them are fake is a logical falacy of arguement.
      Jesus is God’s “Word, become flesh”.
      BEFORE Jesus was Jesus, he was the ‘Word of God’.
      Allow me to back track a bit, and please sit down and allow your mind to open for this part: I believe that God is pure energy, and that He has a consciousness. A ‘will’, so to speak.
      I believe in the ‘Big Bang’ theory. In the beginning, we are told by the Bible, there was God, and the Word was with God. John 1:1.
      But just a moment before ‘The Beginning’, there was only God. No body, no clouds, or stars, planets, not even any empty space. (That part is pretty hard for our minds to grasp.) There was only God, and his concious thought. The very first thing that God created, was the very first ‘communication’ that he made. a ‘word’ is a form of ‘communication’. I believe when the Bible talks about “The Word” of God, it means “communication”.
      If I send a bouquet of red roses to my girlfriend, I have ‘communicated’ and idea of love to her, without even speaking.
      God communicated something to someone with everything he created. Apples, peaches, women, blue skys, clouds and rain, fresh air, etc… those are all beautiful expressions of His love for us. He communicated to us who were to come later, and to the angels and to any and everything he created. In a sense, I and you, are “communications” of God to other people. In a sense you and I are “words” of God. But we are not THE Perfect Word of God become flesh, whom many call Jesus.
      Did God split into two separate conciousness”in the beginning” to allow the “Word of God” to start making everything? That is a tough question, and arguements about exactly what the “Trinity” is, continue to this day. I do not know the exact answer to that. But the moment that Jesus was conceived, there can be no more arguement about the Word of God NOT being a separate conscienceness.
      Einstein proved that all matter is made up of massive amounts of pure energy. (His ‘Theory of Relativity’ got misconstued, and He made a mistake in using the speed of light in his equations as a CONSTANT,an impassable barrier, but I believe he was correct about the energy/matter thing) Energy cannot be destroyed. Conversely, it cannot be created. I do not have all the details worked out, but I believe that God, by His mere thought, transformed a small portion of himself:(infinite energy), into matter all at once, and that is how the ‘Big Bang’ occured. (Millions of Christians would call my idea heretical, because it does not agree with the 7-24 hour day idea of creation. Which is another many hour long discussion of WHY I don’t believe that.) All of that matter could not be contained in the area where it was willed into existence, at the center of the ‘known’ Universe, I suppose, and exploded out. (I also do not beleive in the perpetual expanding and collapsing of the universe theory. It has only happened once, and it will only ever happen once, due to the every weakening of the relative gravitational pull of the matter which powerfully exploded outward. Eventually, increasing distance causes the gavitational pull to become insignificant and inconsequential.)
      Samuel Clemens suggested that we are all merely a thought in God’s dream. Perhaps, but it all still feels very real to us doesn’t it? If what Clemens said is true, will God wake up and we will all be gone? NO. If Samuel Clemens was correct, it was only partly so, in that God is not ‘dreaming’; He is ‘thinking’, and there is no one nor anything outside of his thought to distract Him or interrupt that thought process.
      This theory can get pretty hard to grasp, and I will probably get flack from BOTH sides of the endless arguement of Creation Vs Evolution.
      But let me digress here and suggest that because I was speaking to Jesus in my moment of deep dispair, that it would seem odd for some other entity such as Krishna, Ahura-mazda or whomever, to interrupt and step in, to pretend to be Jesus, because that would be a falsehood, which is contrary to truth seeking of most spiritual teachings. If I was incorrect in calling out to Jesus, I would think that another loving entity would have, after entering my thought, Identified themselves. If there is a Redeeming entity OTHER than Jesus, I cannot say, But I must say that His thought seemed to have a definite quality about it that testified of His station as God’s Son and our Redeemer. If Jesus has redeemed other worlds or civilisations, I do not know, or if there are other Redeemers for other worlds, I cannot say, or if there are other redeemers for other ages of the Earth, I don’t know, (Jesus spoke of “this age, or the age to come,” when speaking about a particular sin, and He was born on the cusp between the age of but Aries and Pisces) However, Jesus is MY redeemer, in THIS age, and by virture of his message in my head, I believe he is everyones redeemer in all the ages of the past or what remains of the future, at least speaking of Homo Sapiens on planet Earth.
      The only other so called ‘god’s’ that I can possibly think of would have been the fallen angels, who possibly wandered the earth perhapsand especially around Greece and Rome, until they were destroyed, (only bodily) by the great flood. I think their souls if this is true, now wander the earth, looking for bodys to co-habitate in carnal pursuits, and we would call them demons. The ‘Voice’ in my head did not ‘Feel’ like a hateful, selfish demon. It felt like pure and endless love, forgiveness and compassion. Hardly the traits of any demons.
      Properly answering your questions would take a long time, so
      I would like to pause here to see if you have any thought about what I just shared, before we move on to your other questions, or, If you think I am just totally whacked out, we can stop here and go our separate ways. :)
      Just one last thought: Each of us must choose whether we believe it more possible that a bunch of lifeless matter in the universe just came from nowhere, and somehow morphed into living matter: plants,and then concious living matter: animals, and then sentient and willful living matter with amazing qualites and properties of skill and talent and reasoning, and creativity, or whether we beleive that there was a greater consciousness that willed everything into existence. If we differ on which we choose, we will never come to an agreement, Because neither can be ‘proven’ at this time.

    • The Atheist says:

      Taking questions one at a time is fine. Thanks for sharing your views! You make a good point about fake saviors – other fakes are no reason to presume that Jesus was a fake.

      I wasn’t suggesting that some other god was pretending to be Jesus. I was wondering instead what you thought about the possibility that you interpreted your experience as a visit from Jesus, in the same way that a Hindu might interpret a similar experience as a visit from Krishna. Where you would align your thoughts during the experience with familiar words or concepts from the Bible, a Hindu might align his thoughts with the Vedas (you might “think like Bible verses” where a Hindu might “think like Veda verses”).

      What you are describing might be seen as “whacked out”, but only in the sense that you’ve constructed a story about motivation for the universe – why it’s here (God wanted it). However, it is very “not whacked out” in the refreshing way that rather than deny scientific evidence about the universe to match your theology, you instead seem to be willing to change your theological beliefs to coincide with observation – if God created the universe, it seems like He did it through the means that science describes. That takes a lot of guts and most theists I know would be afraid to do that.

      If your only real evidence of God is your experience, and if experiences like yours are rare (and also varied in that individuals of other faiths have them but then interpret them in light of their own faith), then would it be expected that most people do not believe in God (and that if there is a God, that’s how he wants it)?

      • Randy says:

        As I mentioned, Jesus referred to “other flocks”. This could mean there were other cultures of humans, or maybe even other species of sentient beings on other planets that he ‘shepherded’. The ‘WORD’ of God (Which eventually became Jesus) appeared many times as described in the old testament. The ‘Burning Bush’ that Moses listened to, I believe may have been the Word of God. Jacob, who ‘wrestled with an angel’, may have actually wrestled with the Word of God. This could be another very long debate amongst Christians, but to make a point here: There is nothing that says that The Word of God did not visit other peoples on earth, and may be called by other names. Jesus remained on earth for 40 days after he was resurrected from the tomb. It was only a few of those days that he appeared to his appostles. One can wonder what he was busy doing during the remainder of those 40 days. Perhaps he appeared to other cultures? Perhaps they know Him by other names than Jesus. I do not have the answers, but my faith does not preclude these ideas.
        I guess that I would need to hear what these other peoples experiences have to say about what they think God is. I would need to hear what they feel is our relationship to God, before I could offer an opinion about their particular revelations or personal experiences. Perhaps they are all one and the same ‘Word of God’. Perhaps not. There are certainly plenty of fallen angels and false gods, and plenty of imposters. Satans greatest tool is that people do not believe he exists.
        I know many Christians who would argue endlessly that their religion is THE ‘true’ Christian religion. And they have no real proof, except that they have founded their belief on their personal valuation of WHO it was that introduced them to that religion. I did not do this. I am a truth seeker, and I have to the best of my ability, tried to cast off an duplicitous motivation whilst I seek it.
        I have an open mind. I question my own beliefs and thought quite regularly, when new information is presented. I am not seeking to be right, rather, I am seeking the truth. My thoughts about evolution being real, but divinely guided, I had when I was about 17 years old. I had never heard such an idea before, and when I told my God Father about it, he laughed at me. That did not change my opinion. It just made too much sense to me. (There is too much evidence that the earth is billions of years old, and life is far too complex to be an accident). Interestingly, about 30 years later, I heard my God Father expressing the same opinion as I had to a bible study group.
        God created the laws of science and mathematics. He faithfully obeys his own rules too. Jesus multiplied loaves of bread and fishes to feed the hungry. Pharaohs magicians, and Moses, turned their staffs into serpants. Certainly the human mind has powers that we do not understand yet, that can channel and form matter from God’s infinite energy (He made us in His image). If we could possible avoid destroying ourselves for long enough, I believe we would figure out the science as to how they did that. We call them miracles and magic because we do not yet understand the science behind it. But don’t get your hopes up. We are too selfish and greedy. We will destroy ourselves and this planet if God does not step in and prevent it.
        I don’t think my experience I had is rare. God rarely screams at us above the dinn of all the willful distractions that we surround ourselves with. All of the sensations we fill our thoughts and emotions with and drown out his normally quiet voice. God reaches out to us, and calls to us, but he will not force us to hear him. Free will. It is most often in deep dispare that people finally hear Him. That is just part of our ‘fallen nature’ as Christians refer to it. Like the old addage: There are no athiests in a fox hole.
        I absolutely do not think God ‘does not care’ if people do not believe in Him, or that that is how he wants it. He LOVES us! But we are foolish if we think we can hurt His feelings enough to make Him do things OUR way. Satan would have us beleive we can rebel against God en-mass and thereby foil His plans. According to the Bible, Satan already tried that with one third of the angels and it did not work then either.
        Those that truly want to know God can find him, but we need to quiet our spirits to do so. Getting to know God is a life long process. Fortunately, God is patient, and your timeline with Him is different than anyone elses. God gave us two eternal gifts: Life and free will. Both of them are sacred to Him. Where you spend eternity is up to you, thanks to Jesus.
        I have one more piece of ‘evidence’ besides my ‘experience’: The gulf oil spill. If you read Revelations 8:8, there is a striking resemblance. The ‘something like a burning mountain falling into the sea’, the ‘killing of a third of the fish’, the ‘third of the ocean looking like blood’, etc… Many Christians will argue for many reasons that I am wrong, but John, who had the revelation did not know exactly what he was seeing. We hear his interpretation of what he saw. Does that mean that the end of the world is tomorrow? No. But I am amazed at the similarities. What are the chances of something written almost 2000 years ago taking place in such amazing reality? I am now doubly convinced.

  15. I may have passed my usefulness in responding to your blog. It is your right to include or reject my words as you please. But a word of caution enters my soul as I read the current thread. In this I make no accusations, I only point out something of value:

    In everything we hope to accomplish, it is not wise to throw away any item of possible value. Even if, at present, we don’t see the appropriate place for it. Many feel the Bible has become dispensable after receiving the knowledge of Jesus within them. I felt it too. And I also disgarded His Word for many years. But now I can say with certanty, that a large part of my problems came to me because I did not regard the wisdom of its testimony. Now, I grasp at every possible source of strength. And this includes the Bible. I would not have known the Lord if it hadn’t been for that book. And its value still has strength to move the greatest saint into a greater place of understanding. Its words are alive.

    Again, I mean no accusation regarding this. It’s a truth I’ve come to deal with personally. I hope it helps. I remember this: “Your word have I hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You.”

    • Randy says:

      I am assuming that you may be referring to my statement: “I no longer need the Bible or any traditional teachings to believe in Jesus.” I stand by that statement, because I already believe. That does not mean I do not continue to read and learn from the Bible. I have not abandoned it’s truths, and I continue to seek truth within it.
      I ment to get across the idea that if someone were to refute something in the Bible, it would not affect my belief in Jesus.
      This is a logical falacy that many try: refute the smallest part of something and declare it’s entire premise or content to be false.
      I believe that any time a failable human is involved, there is the potential for mistakes, or worse. I know there are many millions who believe that every word of the Bible is true and comes directly from God. I do not agree. There are only a few instances that I can recall where God directly instructed someone to write something down.The book of Revelations is one, and in another instance, God wrote it down Himself on stone tablets. I am not a Bible scholar and have not read it ‘from cover to cover’, however I have spent many years off and on pouring through it’s contents.
      There is also a very long discussion to be had concerning the actual ‘assembly’ of the Bible into it’s original form circa 300-400 AD, not to mention its modification by Martin Luther and later King James.
      But these issues have been argued ad nausem by Baptists, Lutherans, Assembly of God, Catholics, Seventh Day, etc…
      We, if that might be an issue between us, are not going to solve it here, and I would not be comfortable trying to doing so on this third party’s site.
      I hope this helps clarify my meaning, and I appologize if I have clumsily interrupted a dialog between you and ‘The Atheist.
      For my part, I have read your gentle messages and enjoy your input.

  16. The Atheist says:

    Hi, hiwaychristian. You’re responses are welcome here!

  17. Bruce Wilkinson says:

    The basis of christianity is not the Bible. It is Jesus Christ. The Bible is comprised of two collections of writings that testify of him. The old testament which prophesies of his Advent and his mission and follows his lineage. The new testament which documents his life and teachings. It is cynical in the extreme to suggest that both are a manipulative lie. Many Christians appear to believe that a mere expression of belief sets them above the unbeliever.

  18. The Atheist says:

    I agree that Jesus is the basis of Christianity. But more precisely, it is the figure of Jesus as the New Testament authors portray him that is truly that basis. Since there is virtually nothing known about Jesus outside of what is found in the New Testament and other non-canonical early Christian writings, the Bible with the other early Christian writings is really the basis of Christianity.

    Bible is a collection of writings from different authors who lived in different times, places, and cultures, so I agree that it is naive to talk about the Bible as a monolithic whole that is entirely a lie. However there is little doubt for example that several of the epistles written in Paul’s name were forgeries; that is, written by other people who falsely claimed to be Paul.

    I think you’re right that many Christians feel that their faith makes them superior. It’s a little ironic since for the most part, the New Testament exhorts the faithful to be humble rather than proud. Maybe these Christians are proud of among other things, their humility. :)

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