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[–] Ch3ck3rs 0 points 4 points (+4|-0) ago 

I wouldn't consider myself a devout christian, but I'll go first... I was raised Lutheran. Sunday school, communion, Wednesday night service... the whole shebang. I really enjoyed church when I was younger and the sense of community was amazing to be a part of. As I got older (late high school) I started to see a lot of dissonance in what was being preached and what I saw in my fellow church goers. I noticed that a lot of people were there to simply be seen being a "good Christian" so that they could say they were a good christian, not because they actually wanted to be. It was more of a show I guess. Mind you, my preacher was a great man, and there were many people in my church who truly believed and lived their life as best they could according to the word because they believed that was how it should be. But I just got so fed up with the fakers that I ended up leaving my church when I left for college and I haven't found one that is sincere since then.

Nowadays, I just take it as a moral lesson: be a good person, don't be like the boy who cried wolf, do onto others as you would have them do onto you, and so forth. Whether or not there is a God/gods and a Heaven/Hell I do not think matters so much that you believe in them. I believe it is far more likely that there is only one god (not The God) that all the religions refer to by a different name. Those religions that have many gods are simply worshiping different facets of the same god instead of the whole being entirely. If you live a good and respectable life you should be able to go to Heaven on the merits of your life, not because you paid hommage to a particular deity. And if I live a good life and cannot get into Heaven simply because I did not sacrifice to a deity then fuck him.

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[–] EasyAI 0 points 0 points (+0|-0) ago 

Raised atheist, turned hippy/pagan, so far as to tattoo a large symbolic chest piece with a pentacle. I took my religious studies very seriously and still do.

Your opinion of God and the facets of him is on par with mine, and he does exist, he is what created that sense of community you enjoyed in the church, and why you felt dejected by the fakers of the church!

Allow me to elaborate. As you know the truth of God is lying somewhere in metaphysics and if you ever open your heart to God of another name, with another party, the experience is not so distinct you feel you've connected with another God. But it can be different. Because God is more than just the creator or the energy and warmth inside us. God is a network. If computers are lIke brains (they're not, but for argument's sake) and the internet connects them, then God is like our internet.

I believe that when you pray or otherwise open your soul, you are connecting. The first thing you distinctively feel is God through that warmth inside you.

But when I went from devout meditation and disciplined self reflection, to outward prayer, everything changed. I visited church and opened myself to God for the sake of experimenting you could say. At this point I was capable of suspending disbelief and wouldn't feel hypocritical or any other reserved feelings.

Well, instead of a calm focused energy as with meditation, group prayer and song made my heart light on fire, energy was explosive and vibrantly coursing through my entire body. A phenomenal experience not being in control and letting it rage wildly when I'm so used to directing that energy with discipline. I thought something was very peculiar about that...

I followed up with talks with the youth pastor, and he was shocked by my mature understanding of God's will and his nature.

For the following week I suddenly felt as though I had changed inside. I felt the weight of Christian morals. I felt regret for my lifestyle I've never felt before. I felt "God's judgement" as the Christians put it. The feeling was truly foreign, because as I felt rregretand judgement come from within myself, I could not identify the source, or trace the feeling to a logical root. But I am no fool, and I already knew that group worship yields profound feelings of community and family like love for eachother.

I think you know where I'm going with this... The conclusion I reached is that group worship does more than just create commune. It enforces it. Through the power of the soul, or metaphysical science, I believe we're not just connecting our hearts but our minds. We are broadcasting our values.

I believe this to be key to the true influence of spirituality. That religious doctrines employ this technique without understanding it, and that this force is what maintains the group's unity.

As a self declared intellectual, I could not accept another group to have such influence on me as to dictate my values without allowing my values to work themselves out logically.

As for you, I believe that you had opened up to your group, and when those artificial values in your heart were offended by the betrayals you witnessed in other members, it led you to the same conclusion about them and you abandoned the establishment altogether. You suddenly had values you couldn't connect to logically, and your "family" was suddenly not really your family, only at face value. It's natural you would feel incredibly displaced by such a sight, while still holding onto your frail concept of faith.

The true goal of Christianity should be to make your faith so strong that those feelings will not discourage you, and that dedicated study of the bible should help you find the truth in a more logical way that those values become internalized. I wouldn't call myself Christian, but I believe their scripture has good lessons, because the values come from a time when the authoritarian elite made decisions for the well being of the human race, and built our values to promote our survival and growth long term. Today in democracy our leadership bases it's values on happiness of the public for election support. That is reflected in the way modern religions of new age variety are based around acceptance of everything, and the old religions are rooted in conformity.

And I will always hold a special respect for Christianity, being designed to adapt to future generations and act as the "salt of the Earth" to preserve us as much as possible long term, until the inevitable downfall of man to the new age theism of accepting anything, and pursuing pleasure above conviction. But I will pursue it on my own, and adapt it to modern day as well as I can on my discretion. I prefer to stay closer to the biblical values than farther though.

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[–] BannedFromVoat_wtf 0 points 1 points (+1|-0) ago 

Wow great responses here.

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[–] BenAhavah 0 points 1 points (+1|-0) ago 

I think Moses was a very smart amd wise man who was able to create a system that could ensure his people a way to last through the ages of it did something of its own accord. The people were not as wise becuase they couldnt fully understand what complete freedom means. So, Moses a priest class to act as the legislation body, so the people could adapt over the years. As long as they kept a history and upheld their bill of rights they wouldnt forget where they came from. I dont think the Jews are any different than any other civilizaton, and their history records prove it. The only difference is, after they were defeated they kept their history as best as possible and their traditions. They also carried their Bill of Rights with them, and their leaders actions correlate to theor periods of destruction. I like Judaism because I see them as the longest living metaphor or commentary on humanity. Jews are human after all. As the leaders embrace the power of Zionism, the people have followed their leaders, this is the first time in history we get to all witness the fall of Israel because it abandoned its bill of rights to live. No country is saved from the malice of its leaders.

Im a Catholic Mystic that has many dreams about Judaism. Judaism is a two thousand year conversation that started when Moses showed them freedom. Zionism like all corrupted governments silence conversation about the Truth of a thing, because they dont want the world to see what they are. Humility is the only way to fix things, however it doesnt make good slaves.

I believe the Catholic faith was intended to be as universal as its founder, my Rabbi Jesus the Christ meant it to be, but as soon as died the apostles didnt understand so they ruined the faith by turning it into a religion.

After careful thought, Ive come to the conclusion that since there will never be an American pope, the American catholics should break away from Rome and restart the Catholic faith that doesnt deify people like the apostles for doing a shitty job.

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[–] SquarebobSpongebutt 0 points 1 points (+1|-0) ago 

I am now a deist primarily because I started asking a lot of the questions you bring up. But I grew up the child of an Assemblies of God mother and a Mormon father. Later in life I was more a Baptist (more on that later). And in the end I tend to be a Christian Deist more than just a plain Deist, probably because my past is mostly Christian (also, my wife was raised Catholic and our youngest was christened Lutheran).

Let me explain a little so maybe this makes some sense to others. I originally followed the primary religion I was brought up in. I am knowledgeable enough about Mormonism but attended almost exclusively one Assemblies of God in particular. This particular church was, not just in hindsight, rather ridiculous because they subscribed to a Calvinistic predestination as well as the whole speaking in tongues stuff. It was hilarious as I got older to have a preacher tell us that we should ask forgiveness for our sins as if it made any difference since God had supposedly already determined before I was born whether I was going to Heaven or Hell. And even funnier when the same 4-5 guys got up each week and babbled as if the Lord had inhabited them and was speaking while one of the other in the posse stood up and "deciphered" his message. And Sunday School was where, when I asked "what about dinosaurs", I was told that they were put into the ground by Satan to lead us astray. The older I got, and especially once my parents divorced, the more I found ways to be busy whenever church was happening. Once I became an adult, I befriended a Baptist preacher who was very good at his job. I actually attended that church for quite some time. He was very knowledgeable about history and languages and was not shy about pointing out where the original Greek said X even though the KJV said Y and would explain how that came about. I think he fascinated me more with the history lessons than with the religion, and in the end he laid the primary seed for my deism since it made me realize the Bible was a book written by men.

Now, to the questions at hand. Most sects of the different religions I have been a member of have councils and such who determine the overall message and decipher the holy books for the clergy, who then disseminate that information to the masses. It was not a very open process, more like "the Elders say" and that was it. Even after reading the Bible, most people get their meaning from the clergy and rarely question it. Questioning it too much usually means being asked to no longer attend services at the worst or just told over and over the official stance at best. Yes, I had both happen at least once. I never really thought about different parts of the Bible and how each different sect emphasised them. By the time I got that far I had made my revelation to myself about the Bible.

And that revelation answers your last question. The Bible is a book written by men partly to tell a story and partly to control the population. This is especially true of the rules in the Old Testament and of the miracles of the New Testament. There is a lot of truth in the book, but much like every other religious text we now refer to as mythology (ie:Greeks and Romans) there is a lot of hoodoo mixed in. For example, a lot of the rules of the OT comes down to how to live as a small population in a hostile desert. Pork and shellfish are problematic to eat even with modern refrigeration. Homosexuality is bad in a small population that needs people to reproduce to grow. Restrictions against certain dress and tattoos and such are generally to keep people from looking and acting like the "heathen" groups surrounding them. In the NT, I have little doubt a person they refer to as Jesus Christ existed, but I put little stock in the miracles (including the virgin birth) as I think they were added to make him seem more important. But most of his message of peace and love is very influencing and valid. And I believe that most religions really do point to the same God, they just have the coloring of men pushing them apart. Why do I still say I am a Christian then? Habit more than likely. But also the core message of the person referred to as Jesus Christ resonates with me. Could be just because I grew up with that around, but even knowing the Bible is full of bullshit, I feel there is truth underneath all the layers of crap.

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[–] Uncle_Slob 0 points 1 points (+1|-0) ago 

so who decides what the new message is?

Man.

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[–] Reddiggoat [S] 0 points 1 points (+1|-0) ago 

Well obviously yes, but I want to know the who and the how. My interest was sparked by the growing number of message-over-tradition churches that have sprung up over the last decade in my area and I'd especially like to hear how some of those adaptations came to be.

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[–] knightwarrior41 0 points 0 points (+0|-0) ago 

you can pick your religion but when it comes to Christianity is really god who chose you

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[–] Reddiggoat [S] 0 points 0 points (+0|-0) ago 

Can you elaborate on how?

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[–] BAppreciAting 0 points 0 points (+0|-0) ago 

Is this a trick question, religion is at best a community space where people gather together to create a greater critical mass, hopefully improving selves, at best?!$.

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[–] Reddiggoat [S] 0 points 0 points (+0|-0) ago 

How?

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[–] icamefromreddityo 1 points 0 points (+1|-1) ago  (edited ago)

I find it interesting that people have the notion that people 'pick' a religion. It doesn't always go down like that. Sometimes faith comes knocking on your instead.

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[–] Reddiggoat [S] 0 points 0 points (+0|-0) ago 

Please?

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[–] icamefromreddityo 0 points 0 points (+0|-0) ago 

Sorry, this would be a nice discussion to have but I don't think it'd be good to do it here. Cheers for your inquiry, hope you get some good answers.

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[–] Reddiggoat [S] 0 points 0 points (+0|-0) ago 

Please share your story, I want to know how faith finds one without other people to pass it on!

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