Thursday, May 14, 2015

Speak Your "Faith", Even If Your Voice Shakes

Whose truth? 
There seems to be this illusion of "truth" when speaking about faith of a particular religion. I find that most Christians use the word "truth", while only relying on one source -- one source that is written by man and inspired by God. When you have this enormous book of rules and stories, you also have to take into consideration who wrote it, when it was written and how many times it has been translated as well as how many origins have been lost through the translations alone. Even the word "homosexual" has been translated -- well more like convoluted into something entirely differently. While newer translations used the word “homosexual,” what it comes down to is a tragic loss of translation of two key Greek words, “arsenokoitai” and “malakoi.” If most Biblical interpreters weren’t pacifists, there’d be all-out war between them on the meanings of these words. The explanation that I prefer comes from Biblical scholar D. B. Martin, that “arsenokoitai,” due to its context clues, has something to do with sexual exploitation, like prostitution, not sexual orientation, like homosexuality. You can read more about that here.

Even though the Bible has a lot of discrepancies as far as the time it was written, the 400 years of silence before the New Testament as well as all the books being put together as one canon -- 360+ years later -- something somewhere has to be lost and I stand firm when I say that. The New Testament was put together (not written) nearly 400 years later after Jesus' death. Spiritually handicapped Christians as I call 'em will only learn through text and never read it with spirit and discretion. Religious people scare me because they are never willing to ask questions, to learn more and to reach out spiritually for guidance. Instead, they read literature from 2,000 years ago that's been altered, translated and misinterpreted for centuries and pull that out as "TRUTH".  Faith is not "truth" -- it is clearly believing in something without seeing it for yourself. Shouldn't we be respecting those who believe differently, instead of trying to grab those "lost souls" and brainwashing them with our faith-based religion? There is no scientific evidence of your Bible nor your faith whatsoever.

Which brings me to my next concern. I follow a particular blogger, and even though I typically disagree with many of his posts, I still read it. There's something intriguing about someone who calls faith "truth" and then bashes other people so brutally with the written words of his bible. I follow numerous people who I don't necessarily agree with. I think it gives a clearer picture of my own faith when I read such opposing views. He recently had a post about how Christianity is dying out in America because people are just bored to death in regards to the church. Some are spirit-filled while others are very mundane and downright boring. His concern is that some churches are pretty lax in their ways of teaching about their religion. There's no fear mongering or condemning people to hell -- just loving messages to give you that "feel good" adrenaline when you're there. Well, he pegged me out, because that's exactly why I left the church. There were way too many judgmental people who were not only self-righteous, but they were hypocrites. I had a couple who condemned me to hell. They were living together and both divorced. So, I mean -- which is worse? Your sin, or mine?

Of course I commented because I stated that I knew many people who have steered clear of the church for that very reason alone. Most people I know have a personal relationship with God and pray on their own, instead of fellowshipping with other Christians in a "holy" building. He did point out references to homosexuality for whatever reason -- kind of just threw that one sin in there while leaving a ton of sins out (to which is focuses a lot on), but I brought it back to the center again.
"Thing is, not everyone shares the same beliefs. Beliefs are varied within the trinity-based religions. I do think it’s safe to say that our own walk with God — our own relationship with God is most important. Why isn’t church supposed to be a 'feel good' experience? I have personally gone to a born again church and felt that 'feel good' experience because I felt God Himself. That’s an amazing feeling. Every single one of us are on our own journey. I guess I’m on a different level of 'Christianity' — where I have studied and taken apart the Bible to where the translations have been greatly exaggerated beyond just the black and white written word that we see today. There is the 400 years of silence and with that, comes the New Testament when Jesus was here, which took centuries to include it all in one canon. 'Written by man, inspired by God.'"
I used to love going to a Christian church. I was raised Catholic and went to mass every Sunday, but slept through most of it because it was so monotone and rigid. Once I went to a born again Assembly of God church, I felt the spirit — and that is a wonderful thing to experience on a Sunday morning. What made me push the church away were the followers. They were very judgmental. I feel like the people in the church are trying to play the role of God, and that to me is a very scary place to be.

I respect anyone’s belief. I don’t care if someone has a tattoo (Lev 19:28) or eats shrimp scampi (Lev 11:10). It’s none of my business. They’re not hurting anyone.

The one sin that really bothers me is the 9th commandment. And this particular sin I have mostly seen within our own churches.

The Ninth Commandment: You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. (Lying, gossiping, slandering, backbiting, spreading rumors, deceit, extortion, railing, slander, defrauding, breaking promises, craftiness, hypocrisy, dishonesty, whisperers, idle words, withhold all of the truth, double-tongued, bragging, boasting, flattery, exaggerating the truth, whining, speaking evil of others.)

Maybe you’ve seen the above in your church as well. Personally, I am very discouraged by any church, especially the one I used to attend. While on a retreat with our Catholic school, we were supposed to tell our sins to the priest, who happened to be in one of the small bedrooms that looked pretty much like a jail cell with a huge cross on old painted brick walls. He patted the side of the bed for me to sit there with him and tell him what I’ve done wrong. I got a creepy feeling and tried to leave, but he grabbed me, ripping off part of my shirt. I ran over to where the bus was parked and cried. The nuns grabbed me as if I did something wrong. I went home that day. About 5 years after that incident, the priest was thrown into jail for molesting young children.

My point is: I don’t have faith in people any longer, especially those in a higher religious standing. I put my faith in God only. I believe the Bible was to control the masses for more of a "moral" society. Being sexually repressed has it’s consequences, as I’ve seen with my own priest. I personally think all of them should be married to control some of their perverse desires, but then again, people just go ahead do it anyway. Through negative experiences that many people have regarding the church, it makes it that much harder to trust anyone who says, “This is a sin and that’s not a sin!” And if “the Bible tells me so” without investigating the origin of the meaning, then it’s completely lost all meaning through twisted scriptures by ‘man’ alone. I hope that makes more sense. I appreciate your responses."

The response I got from another commenter named, Mark Reimers was pretty typical.

He said, "Debra, I don't think you speak for many people. For one, the truth isn't even relevant to your comment. Second, yes, the church often doesn't love as it should and I would argue that mostly stems from poor doctrine leading to selfishness and less of a focus on the body of Christ. Just remember, unity only come via the truth. You have to embrace all of what God says or church becomes nothing more than group therapy. Third, I think you underestimate the current level of interest in liturgy -- something you are completely ignorant of or you wouldn't imply that it is boring and mundane."

I'm so tired of hearing the word "TRUTH" by fear-mongering Christians. Your convoluted bible should be a means of guidance with a grain of salt. It bothers me when I hear "truth" only because faith is not scientific. And the other thing is -- I'm on a writer's blog, not a church's website. The writer has a photo of himself with tattoos and a glass of scotch or a bottle beer smoking a cigar most of the time. I mean -- if you're gonna throw stones, let's talk about Leviticus 19:28. But I'm not going to do that. I don't think people will go to hell by having a tattoo and relaxing with an alcoholic beverage. For the love of God -- Jesus turned water into wine for a wedding!


For instance, a woman named, Jenny Maria Holzhauer stated this as a "loving Christian":

"The Christians who actually do set themselves apart and avoid blatant sins are weird in the eyes of the worldly Christians. Somehow we are drastic and "serious Christians" "over religious". La di da. When actually, no. We are following what the Bible says to do and letting the power of Christ change us from the inside out. It isn't some new fangled idea to avoid disgusting sins and be better. And it isn't some sort of agenda and we aren't trying to make others feel bad. What happens is our non sinful lifestyle makes their sinful lives stick out and then people get guilty and blame the Christians. It's about time people stop claiming Christ. If they want to live sinfully, go do it and leave Jesus out of it."

I've seen this before. Christians would rather have you denounce your religion (Jesus/Christianity) rather than claim Christ as your Savior and live your life the way you believe it to be true. They usually come off extremely angry. Why? Why do Christians attack those who live different lifestyles? It's not up to them to "save us" if they feel that we are sinning. But what about the idea of repression? Do you think that maybe in some way, they see how people like myself have peace in my life, yet I have taken the burden of guilt away? Negative emotions like guilt, bitterness, depression are all products of Satan (to which I believe exists). What about priests who aren't allowed to marry who go around molesting young children? Repression can bring out the worst in people. Repression brings people to extremes. God wants us to live a fulfilling life -- a life where you are not hurting anyone -- a life where you are content and at peace with who you are and who you love.

Anger is usually a deep-seated issue when it comes to Christians condemning other people. Most fear-mongering Christians (the ones who tell you that you're going to hell) are usually the ones who have only recently come to God seeking forgiveness for a very extreme sin.

Jenny also stated, "I choose to separates self from gross worldly behaviors. Things I used to do that are so sinful, things I have given to the Lord."

So guilt brought her to the church. But who brought her to the emotion guilt? Other Christians. They made her feel like she was a bad person, when in fact, she's probably a wonderful human being. This is another reason why there are ex-gays. Christians will scare them half to death by letting them know how much God is disgusted with them (aka the Christian who bashed them). Anybody can manipulate someone's thinking by instilling emotions of guilt into their brain. That's how they get people to the church in most cases -- by scare tactics. It's also called, brainwashing.

Having seen all this, it only makes me more sure of my decision to leave the church for good and to rely on my own relationship with God. You know the term, "misery loves company"? That's exactly what they are doing. They're miserable in their own confined and rigid lives that they were guilt-riddened into, that they want other people to live the same exact way. They're not trying to "save you" and they certainly don't pray for those who are seemingly "sinful" in their eyes -- they are trying to get you to live a certain way -- a way like them -- a drone -- a person who is brainwashed to control the masses.

Mere sheep.

God loves you more than anybody can possibly love you. God knows that we are all sinners and that we all fall short. God will not push you away, and He'll always be there if you stray and decide to come back.

Nobody has ever been saved by "obeying the law". It's only through faith that they are saved.

Galatians 2:15-16 —You and I are Jews by birth, not “sinners” like the gentiles. And yet we Jewish Christians know that we became right with God, not by doing what the law commands, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be accepted by God because of our faith in Christ - and not because we have obeyed the law. For no one will ever be saved by obeying the law.

These people might want to brush up on their bible skills.

For more of Deb's articles, please visit: www.debrapasquella.com or join her on Facebook and Twitter. Check out her cooking blog for some of her famous recipes!