Coming Out Yogi

October 2, 2011

Brian asks:

Hey, I was a Christian for 10 years, pursuing Jesus with all my might during my devotions. The thing is, however, that I never grew in my faith. I also had some mood problems that prayer and Bible study never helped. However, since I started doing yoga and meditating, these moods are greatly reduced. I’m fascinated by this yogi philosophy and yogis are some of the most kind and compassionate people. But how do I get out of these church commitments where people need me and how do I explain to them what I’m doing? Especially when I know no one will understand?

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Are there any TRUE christians?

June 4, 2011

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.


Jesus’ subservience to the Father

March 12, 2009

Before the domination of the early Christian sect commonly referred to as the “proto-orthodoxy” (which later became known as the orthodoxy), there were other Christian sects who were also vying for supremacy. Like the proto-orthodoxy, these other sects held an opinion about the nature of Jesus. For example, some sects held that Jesus was a god who only appeared as a man. Others insisted that he was a god but one that was subservient to the God (a.k.a. the Father). Much of what the Church Fathers wrote was intended as a defense of their own particular christology, and as a condemnation of the views held by the competing sects. The proto-orthodoxy view was not merely that Jesus was a god equal to the Father, but that Jesus and the Father are one and the same god.

Yet this seems at odds with various verses in the Bible, such as ones we find in John 5, which make a clear distinction between Jesus and the Father. John 5 quotes Jesus as saying:

(19) …the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.
(20) For the Father loves the Son and shows him all he does. Yes, to your amazement he will show him even greater things than these.
(22) …the Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son,
(26) For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son to have life in himself.
(27) And he has given him authority to judge because he is the Son of Man.
(30) By myself I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear, and my judgment is just, for I seek not to please myself but him who sent me.

How do you suppose the Church Fathers reconciles statements like these and others with their belief the Jesus and the Father are one and the same?


Breaking News: Atheist with Spiritual Gifts

June 28, 2008

According to SpiritualGiftsTest.com,

A spiritual gift is a supernatural ability given by the Holy Spirit to a person at the moment of his or her salvation.

The webmasters at SpiritualGiftsTest.com attend The Vine Church who are affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC). Their site seems to reflect mainstream SBC theology. They provide the following list of gifts, as well as the biblical verses to support their list:

Administration/Ruling Giving Miracles
Apostleship Healing Pastor/Teacher
Discernment of Spirits Helps/Serving/Ministering Prophecy
Evangelism Interpretation of Tongues Teaching
Exhortation Knowledge Tongues
Faith Mercy Wisdom

I took the test myself (you can take it too, the test is here) and guess what! I’ve got spiritual gifts! I answered all of the questions as honestly as I could. I didn’t do it as a joke, I did it because I was genuinely curious about the test. I became curious about it because I’d seen Christians on other blogs claiming to have spiritual gifts and they cited various spiritual-gift test sites as evidence for their gifts; evidence that was accepted by other Christians on the blogs. Since the test results seemed to be an excepted way to know what spiritual gifts you had, I decided to see what the tests were like. I searched on Google.com using the search string “spiritual gifts test” and SpiritualGiftsTest.com was near the top of the list. I took the test.

It turns out that I have every one of the gifts that they test for. My top 4 (20 or more points) are the gifts of Teaching, Wisdom, Knowledge, and Administration/Ruling. SpiritualGiftTest.com says they don’t test for the gift of Tongues among a few others because those gifts are self-evidence – evidently, I have that gift too.

How can this be? According to the site, these gifts are spiritual and they are obtained at the moment of salvation. Possibly I’m actually saved even though I don’t believe that I am. Possibly the claim that spiritual gifts are only for the saved is false. Possibly the test isn’t reliable, and Christians that believe that they have spiritual gifts based on tests like these are being duped by their fellow Christians who run the spiritual-gift test sites. Of course it is also possible, as far as you the Reader knows, that I lied on the test or that I’m lying about my test results. But you can easily verity the plausibility of my claim by taking the test yourself (if you believe you are not saved) or asking an unsaved friend to take the test.

How do you explain my spiritual gifts?  What spiritual gifts do you have?


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