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On the road to reason


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#1    Quicksand

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Posted 29 April 2005 - 09:24 PM

Note: I orignally posted this on exchristian. Since I've been hanging out on this site and probably will for sometime you might as well know something about me. I am not going to comment very much, unless you have pointed questions. /Taylor


At one time, I was very capable of believing in the whole Jesus story and even God (and later butt-plugging aliens from outer-space); children tend trust their parents and elders after all. So this is my story, why I am now incapable of believing this religion or the supernatural because of applied reason and research, and innate skepticism.

Prior to the 3rd grade and moving out to the suburbs of Milwaukee, I attended religious private schools. A Catholic and and a Lutheran one. I had very early Bible instruction and was fairly well integrated into the life and community of the Church. I had emotional and learning problems as kid, so this necessitated my parents sending me to private schools. You see, I was expelled from Milwaukee public schools for a number of years and that Catholic school, well they expelled me too. Ha ha! So nice to sit back and laugh at it now. I was way too much to handle! Anyway, I still look back at my years at the Lutheran school quite fondly, despite the beatings I received when I smarted off. I was a great student and of all my studies and required things I should memorize (which I forget what now), the Bible I excelled in because I enjoyed it the most.

But I get ahead of myself here. Born in the early 70's, I was baptized Serbian Orthodox on the behest of my Mother's grandmother and confirmed Lutheran in the early 80's. The first time I ever learned about death, was Jesus. I was touched deeply by that. How could a person that would never know me, die for me? The response was immediate of course I loved this person back and without condition. The other immediate response I had was fear too, I remember my early vivid, sweaty nightmares of Hell that my Church elders and my parents told me about.  I cried and cried. I imagined what it would be like to burn and burn forever. As a child, I knew that my mind would always get the best of me, it did time and time again, and that Hell was my only fate. But it bothered me, why did Jesus die for me again? I could never resolve this at this time in my life.

Regardless, I was so indoctrinated into the faith. Motivated by my natural instincts to love, and to fear, I was a Christian. Never questioned it. Never thought different.  

Once we left the city, I started attending the public schools in our new community. I lived near a town of 300 people and the nearest large town was around 10 thousand strong. Milwaukee was still close, about a 40 minute drive away. But in terms of my location, it was light-years away. I really had no friends (except my brother, who to this very day is my best friend I love you J!) so I spent lots and lots of time reading alone and getting on by myself just fine. Also, being a spaz still made people avoid me don't blame them a bit. We found a Lutheran Church, signed up for Sunday School, and I even became a Lutheran Pioneer. (Well, until they kicked me out of that. Sense a theme here? LOL)

It was at this time, I began to look at life a bit different, between the years of 3rd and 6/7th grade, when I was confirmed. I was no longer in that constant environment and was learning all new sorts of things in school, expanding my knowledge base. And Church really got in the way of G-Force, a sunday cartoon, that I loved. But really, with the new things I was learning, I was developing my budding skepticism.

I was basically chided and forced by my folks to get confirmed. Our Pastor from the Lutheran Church in which we (irregularly) attended at this time, came over and impressed upon us that our spiritual health was at stake (although in my young and inarticulate mind, no one could tell me exactly what a "spirit" was to my satisfaction) and that I may want to get married someday (although I knew that I never wanted to) and it would be important for some reason when that happened.

So, my parents (for review), my brother, and myself packed up for evening confirmation classes. I have commented before that my Pastor was a YEC, and I found his explanation and support of such a young Earth utterly ridiculous and false. Children know how to lie. We do stupid things and have to cover up for it. Natural and part of the learning process. I could sense his justifications as false from the discord in his voice. I also remember my Pastor and my Sunday school teachers teaching us that even if a person does good, yet without the Christian GOD, they have not done any good at all and would not receive the reward of Heaven. I rejected that teaching right off the bat. Why would a God care, if after all, he knows how many hairs are on my and my parents head, who was doing good and for whatever reason?  Good is good no? This seemed like such a petty distinction to make for something as so benevolent, that I was assured over and over again, that this God was. I mean, Jesus was his son after all, that died for all of humanity sins, making all us equal. Non-christians doing good, yet burning in hell?   I wrestled with the unfairness of it all, and rejected that teaching.

It was during these confirmation classes, and the study and reflection I did, that I renounced and apostate from the religion. I knew it what was false. My brother had a similar experience as well, and rejected the religion upon the YEC teachings of our Pastor. He's three years younger than me too. This is also why we are both so fascinated by Atlantis and other Lost Kingdom stories.

About God, I was up in the air about. But, I have always thought, that if such a being exists, He would know what to do to convince me that [iIT[/i] exists. And if it were the Christian God, God has but no choice to intervene directly. My soul is at stake is it not?  

Back to Confirmation. The day finally came. I said the words, and I drank the wine and ate the bread along with my brother as our folks smiled on. My Pastor assured us that it would become the actual blood and flesh of Christ. (Back of my mind I was like Gross!) But it did not. It was the same assurance that I got if I asked God or Jesus to answer me if I had problem, he would do so. No voice came. And I knew what my own voice sounded like ringing in my head. Nothing came. So I tested what my elders said, and nothing came of it. I knew my decision was sound.

Confirmation was the last time I was in Church as a Christian.

Since then, I have developed my knowledge base, read the Bible, researched other religions and the evidence behind lost kingdoms as well, peered back through history and the formation of the religion itself, paganism, art history, hermeneutics, language, philosphy, world history and so much more. I spent several years reading and learning on my own, and not necessarily at college, trying to answer questions, probing for reality. I worked hard, partly as an obligation to myself, but if God did exist, I owed it to Him to come of full reason and dedicated myself wholeheartedly.

God does not exist. The supernatural does not exist.
If it does, it is beyond any human possible way to access it.

Now, I want to do good is all. If your God burns me for the good I do because I reject his contradictory religion, then this God is really a beast.

I will take that punishment.

I will not sacrifice my integrity.


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#2    dmgspycat

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Posted 30 April 2005 - 04:56 AM

If you are looking for approval for the path you are on , then you have to give it to yourself...that is real faith. The law is written on everyones heart already. I believe there is an afterlife.

"You get your information from the daily press. Yet that is the very last place on earth to seek for truth in any state of form." Emma Goldman, March 1, 1933

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#3    saucy

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Posted 30 April 2005 - 09:51 PM

Wow...I've known all those things about the catholic and Luthern (just like catholic) churches.  They preach a lot of false doctrine.  Where the hell do they get the idea that the bread and wine actually turn into flesh and blood.  I've heard that's what they believe, but it isn't supported anywhere in scripture.  All Jesus says is, "take this in rememberance of me".  Take the bread to REMEMBER his crucified flesh and drink the juice (you don't need wine, juice does just as well) to REMEMBER the spilt blood.  The fact that they hit you and beat you is way out of line.  It's not up to them to punish you, but up to your parents and I firmly believe that.  Confirmation classes and baptism when you're a baby...sorry, it's all wrong.  Baptism is an expression of faith, something you cannot do when you're a baby and there's no mention of confirmation classes for salvation.  Neither is baptism necessary for salvation.  The whole idea of heaven and hell.  The truth is, whether you accept this or not, every person deserves hell.  I dislike preachers who constantly remind people that they're going to hell.  I preach about the good news, not the bad.  We all sin and the wages of sin is death.  To you, what is doing good?  The bible says you cannot reach salvation through works, but by grace.  If you accept that Jesus died for your sins, then your debt is paid.  That's all there is to it.  You don't need to be a member of a church or be baptised and no amount of money or good works can get you in.  That's why Jesus died, to pay off the debt, but you have to accept it for it to work.  
           It seems to me like all the authority and pressure of the catholic church turned you against it.  I know a lot of people the same way.  They believe in so much that's not true because it isn't written anywhere in scripture.  I'm a self-proclaimed Christian.  I am a preacher, in bible college because I want to be, and I will one day be a ordained pastor.  I teach the young adults in my church and I am also part of the youth group and something called AWANA, which is for kindergarteners up to 6th grade.  I do all this because I love it, not because I am forced.  I know I am saved and going to heaven.  I will one day find the right woman and get married and have kids.  There's nothing in the bible against that.  My pastor is married with five kids.  I'm allowed to enjoy life.  I have chosen to follow God and I know for a fact He exists.  He has proven it to me more than once.  You, it seems, got fed up with the catholic church and left.  Did you bother to find other churches of other denominations?  We personally don't believe in denominations because there's nothing scriptural about them.  You'll be amazed at how different a baptist service is from a catholic.  It's much more casual and easy going.  There is just so much wrong the catholic church does.  They were calling the pope the other day the "holy father".  What the....only God is the holy father.  No man can be called holy.  



#4    dmgspycat

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Posted 01 May 2005 - 12:03 AM

Hey saucy, I just read your post and I feel that if I were to be a christian that I would do as you. No pressure, get married...enjoy life. I do hope that when you teach those kids that you teach them tolerance of other religions though. This is a diverse world and the important thing is whats in your heart no matter what religion you follow...that is my opinion anyway. I just hate to see another religion usurp itself over others, that causes indifference. Religion was a stepping stone to spirituality for me...I am not a follower of any religion though I too used to be Catholic...I learned alot about empathy being a Christian. Anyway...good luck to you...see you on the other side...lol.

"You get your information from the daily press. Yet that is the very last place on earth to seek for truth in any state of form." Emma Goldman, March 1, 1933

"But this is their game. They're counting on your patriotism to distract you from their plunder. They're counting on you to be standing at attention with your hand over your heart, pledging allegiance to the flag, while they pick your pocket!" Bill Moyers

#5    Jesus_Freak

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Posted 01 May 2005 - 12:25 AM

very nicely said Saucy! I'm a non-denominational christian myself. I was turned off by the catholic religion about a year ago. I was brought up catholic, but i stopped going to church for a while, and found a new, protestant one. I didn't like the catholic faith because of how much of it isn't in the bible. I decided it wasn't for me, and turned to my current church. Saucy is right though, a catholic mass is set to a very strict pattern, but a protestant service is very laid back, and usually very thought provoking (depending on the pastor). My pastor is hilarious. He cracks jokes throughout the service. We have a full band, and a big screen projector for video clips and pictures. Lyrics are displayed on the screen when the band is playing. Sounds a lot different than a catholic mass eh? But honestly, i was turned off by the catholic church when i was old enough to realize that i didn't have to be catholic. I would suggest trying to find a new church. You might find one that you really like.

Edited by Jesus_Freak, 01 May 2005 - 12:25 AM.


#6    starlitkate

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Posted 01 May 2005 - 03:53 AM

Thank you saucy!! I give you kuddos for that speech. I find it nice that you lovingly speak with passion and peace. However, I do beleive that phrase that if you accept jesus died for you then that is a winner, but I beleive that you gotta try to be a good image like mother theresa was. She was a person of God that spent her life talking of it and helping others out and still had grace.  I'am not a born again christian but my beleif is the baptist christian beleifs. Baptists churches are calm and they accept you no matter who you are cuz  they love you and preach of love. They don't force you to go to the alter against your will like so many pentacostal churches have done. Now first time I ever went into a Catholic church was a few yrs. back when I was in hard times and didn't have my spouse or child at the tme to comfort me. There was no baptist churches close to me so i went to this catholic church up the street. I went in. Not one person as I remember came over and hugged and welcomed me. Only thing I remember was silence except for the preacher and choir. I expected the preacher to say 'I would like to welcome, and we love her and hope she finds what she is looking for and hope she comes back', as in speaking to me. Cuz anytime I have gone into a baptist church they have given me a lovingly welcome and made me feel welcome. It felt when  I went into the catholic church like they could had cared less whether I came back or not and it was like I was just someone passing thru. And I happened to go on a Wendsday mass and so it was with the whole smoke thing and I just didn't feel loved there. And I remember being at my Kentucky home going to baptist churches and singing in joy and laughing and hugging while we sing in love and with music and made it feel welcome. And the catholic church did none of that. I even took part in the standing up and everything except for that stuff they put on your tongue. I didn't find what I was looking for so I went home and  prayed to what I beleived was in my heart and God answered my prayers and that moment on things got better by the day. I still had struggles living on my own in Maine when I had no family around to help me cuz they were down in my home state KY. And I knew right then, that catholicism wasn't for me. Baptist are loving and never forceful on you.
Now the baby bapitising thing, I didn't have that done to my daughter. I figured that when I take her to church and only when she herself understands and beleives this is what she wants then she can. I will not force her to do something she don't understand of. I will raise her in church-baptist church and speak of love to her like my fellow home baptist did to me and hope to follows that path. I will show her the love of baptist christian religion and if she follows a different religion then fine. I won't hate her or turn away from her for it. I will show her love from my religion, not the forcefulness or unlovingness that catholism and pentacostal has shown me. So that way she will  understand and know what is right for her! grin2.gif

Edited by starlitkate, 01 May 2005 - 03:55 AM.

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#7    DaKong

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Posted 01 May 2005 - 04:00 AM

*bows head*

I understand. May God redeem your soul. Even if you've turned from him.

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Imma postin ur fohrums, lolz.

#8    whoa182

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Posted 01 May 2005 - 06:16 AM

Hey nice story!

There should be more of these on this forum from people.

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#9    whoa182

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Posted 01 May 2005 - 06:20 AM

edit : Removed comment.   Please read over the new guidelines to using the spirituality forum.   It is not used for debate or otherwise on someones faith.   Please, if you wish to do this use the Spirituality vs Skepticism board.

Edited by Subtemperate, 01 May 2005 - 07:31 AM.

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#10    Hans Dolbrook

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Posted 01 May 2005 - 10:08 PM

i believe in a higher power,i always will.you have the right to not believe as much as i have the right to believe my friend,and do'nt let anybody tell you otherwise.

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#11    Ashley-Star*Child

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Posted 02 May 2005 - 01:47 AM

I haven't read the whole thing. Might later, but whatever the case, it's your choice and your decision, no one on this board can change it for you.

A quick not about the bread and wine.

The bread (which is actually UNLEAVENED bread, as in no yeast. The Catholics do respect this with the Eucharist, but orthodox don't, using normal leveaned (with yeast) bread) and Wine is a Passsover traditional (Passover finished last night btw). What Jesus was doing that Thursday night was the the Passover Sedar (He did practice Judaism) as is the actually breaking of the bread. A cup is left out for Elijah etc. The bread and wine became symbolic of the sacrfice He was about to make. No one said bread and wine turn into blood and flesh that is disgusting.

The church (all of them) have changed and ignored alot of rules so I wouldn't be surprised if most people didn't know about that. And yes it does have to be wine, not juice. Wine is part of the Sedar, and it was wine that symbolized the wine. It was wine that was foretold by an angel to Noah when he came off the Ark and asked if he should replant to vine o which Satanail had originally planted in Eden, that was told to Noah TO replant it because it would one day be used for religious purposes, even though one should be careful as there was 'evil still in it'. Not juice. Wine. Red wine.

I do have a few problems with the timing though. The only time the Fast of the Firstborn (only for firstborn males) is done on a Thursday is when Passover falls on a Friday (Sabbath) and is then transfered to Saturday night (the nd of the Sabbath, which has a normal fast of yeast anyway). The Fast of the Firstborn comes first, so the Sedar, which Jesus was doing shouldn't have happened until Saturday. The da of Passover always falls on 15 Nassan (first month of the Jewish year March/April) and the Fast of the Firstborn is a da before (except in the case above). So, in my opinion, and from what I know of it, if Jesus was doing the Sedar on Thursday (and no, it wouldn't always for the rest of history fall on a Thursday it would be 15 Nissan) and not the Firstborn Fast, then it would make more sense.

There were two things that mrk this date out. According to Nicodemus, He was crucified on March 25 Julain date (which is 23 Gregorian) and that does in some years (not 33 A.D. though) run into 16 Nissan (it would be the day AFTER Passover, not the first day, Passover goes for 8 days nightfall to nightfall), AND on that day, when th Sun went black there was also apparently an eclipse at 3pm. To happen in the day it would have to be a Solar Eclipse and not a Lunar (there are more Lunar eclipses near that date) and a TOTAL ecplise (there are 4 eclipses pre year, two being total). If it wasn't an eclipse it's harder to date, but it if WAS it can be backtracked (which I'm currently looking into).

Edited by Ashley-Star*Child, 02 May 2005 - 02:21 AM.

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#12    SCARLET1

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Posted 02 May 2005 - 01:48 AM

Very well said, all of you.

I also attend a Baptist church, and it is so interesting to see the differences even from one Baptist church to another. I used to attend one with my parents while I was growing up, and then a bunch of people left after some trouble between families and such. In fact, it was at this church where I first saw my future husband. I really didn't attend much anymore, since it seemed that those who stayed were bitter and unforgiving toward those who'd left, and the entire building (during service and after) just felt DEAD.

Then, when I got married and had our first baby, we moved about 40 miles away, and didn't attend church regularly, because of my husband's work schedule. He also was slightly bitter toward the entire Christian religion, because while he attended a "Christian" school, they mistreated him horribly -- all in the name of "discipline". His thought was that all Christians ever did was preach about money, about how you dress, or whether you smoke and drink...which I admit happens quite a bit nowadays....

Anyway, his best friend (whose name we are using for our now overdue son's middle name) is the son of a pastor, and once my hubby got a new job, he encouraged us to come to their church. We did, and we haven't stopped going since. As a result, his whole family (my in-laws) now attend the same church, and there is such a visible change in their attitudes -- it's very encouraging.

BTW, the church my husband used to attend was an Assembly of God/Pentacostal church. And so was the "school" he had attended. Not saying that *all* AOG churches are bad...just a funny coincidence there.

I pray that God blesses you all, and thanks for sharing your experiences and thoughts!!

~Scarlet~


#13    Quicksand

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Posted 02 May 2005 - 03:45 PM

QUOTE(whoa182 @ May 1 2005, 01:20 AM)
edit : Removed comment.   Please read over the new guidelines to using the spirituality forum.   It is not used for debate or otherwise on someones faith.   Please, if you wish to do this use the Spirituality vs Skepticism board.

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Hey, I have no problem. Whoa. If you got a comment for me, go ahead and post it.

To assert that the earth revolves around the sun is as erroneous as to claim that Jesus was not born of a virgin.

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#14    101

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Posted 02 May 2005 - 06:10 PM

Quicksand, I can see why you are so afraid of everything. Fear enbedded in you like that. But God is love and you should know that. Just because a personb is good. Does the right things and all why in the world will they not accept Christ as their savior. I am just wondering. I feel as if you still love God and he will always love you. People have just shown you differently. But I hope that you will embrace God's love. And if you want it is is here for you. Love in Christ, 101

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#15    Quicksand

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Posted 02 May 2005 - 07:12 PM

Whew, I've got an interesting range of comments here.

QUOTE(101 @ May 2 2005, 01:10 PM)
Quicksand, I can see why you are so afraid of everything. Fear enbedded in you like that. But God is love and you should know that. Just because a personb is good. Does the right things and all why in the world will they not accept Christ as their savior. I am just wondering. I feel as if you still love God and he will always love you. People have just shown you differently. But I hope that you will embrace God's love. And if you want it is is here for you. Love in Christ, 101

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I'm sorry, but I am not afraid. Where do you read that? Where did I state my fear 101?

I can tell you didn't bother to even read my testimony above.

The God you speak is of a personnel God that you've only picked and choosed what you admire about "it" as a reflection of yourself. I can tell you've never read the damn Bible and make the fallacy of selective reading.

Anyway, other that, I don't understand the rest of your rant there.

____

QUOTE(openmind1963 @ May 1 2005, 05:08 PM)
i believe in a higher power,i always will.you have the right to not believe as much as i have the right to believe my friend,and do'nt let anybody tell you otherwise.

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Thank you!

__

QUOTE(whoa182 @ May 1 2005, 01:16 AM)
Hey nice story!

There should be more of these on this forum from people.

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Thanks again. I've posted this on exchristian.com and the comments I got were from exchristian's of various degrees that have been through similar experiences or couldn't reconcile the contradiction in the theology that the blind faith requires of you too. In other words, good people that made a decision out of god conciseness.

This little piece is really just a part one. Mostly from the time when I was kid. Someday I will write a better more in-depth piece that brings in my other learning and experiences with religion.

Mostly I have an investigation of logic and philosophy. Learn to think, before I choose to believe

QUOTE(DaKong @ Apr 30 2005, 11:00 PM)
*bows head*

I understand. May God redeem your soul. Even if you've turned from him.

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LOL. Okay. If you believe God is the creator and origin for everything in this world, then my reason comes from him. So, when "I turn from God," it is because of the gifts of reason that He has given to me and consequently, found Him to be hopelessly contradictory and unintelligible.

Anyway if your God is all-good, then it doesn't matter what I believe on not believe. An all-benevolent being isn't going to roast me in hell for eternity. Only a demon would do that.


QUOTE(dmgspycat @ Apr 30 2005, 07:03 PM)
I do hope that when you teach those kids that you teach them tolerance of other religions though. This is a diverse world and the important thing is whats in your heart no matter what religion you follow...

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I whole-hardly agree with you.

QUOTE(saucy @ Apr 30 2005, 04:51 PM)
The fact that they hit you and beat you is way out of line. 
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Confirmation classes and baptism when you're a baby...sorry, it's all wrong.  Baptism is an expression of faith, something you cannot do when you're a baby and there's no mention of confirmation classes for salvation.  Neither is baptism necessary for salvation. 
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The whole idea of heaven and hell.  The truth is, whether you accept this or not, every person deserves hell. 
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I dislike preachers who constantly remind people that they're going to hell.  I preach about the good news, not the bad.  We all sin and the wages of sin is death.  To you, what is doing good? 
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The bible says you cannot reach salvation through works, but by grace.
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If you accept that Jesus died for your sins, then your debt is paid.  ...  That's why Jesus died, to pay off the debt, but you have to accept it for it to work. 
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It seems to me like all the authority and pressure of the catholic church turned you against it. 
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I have chosen to follow God and I know for a fact He exists. 
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You, it seems, got fed up with the catholic church and left.  Did you bother to find other churches of other denominations? 
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We personally don't believe in denominations because there's nothing scriptural about them.  You'll be amazed at how different a baptist service is from a catholic.  It's much more casual and easy going.  There is just so much wrong the catholic church does.  They were calling the pope the other day the "holy father".  What the....only God is the holy father.  No man can be called holy.

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Well, private schools have what is called "corporal punishment." But those wounds heal quick and I rejected the religion on grounds of its contradictory and chauvinistic doctrines and not by this regressive form of punishment. I don't think you even bothered to read my statement.

Regardless, you are right. That type of punishment is wholly uncalled for.

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Such a loving God and religion you have. You teach your children they are essentially evil and deserve an eternity in Hell. Monstrous.
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Wonderful, but you still teach about Hell. In my mind, if Christianity is going to grow up (so to speak) it would do best and dish the doctrine of Hell. However, then there's little need for Salvation.
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Of course, it does. So you are predestined by God no matter what. Accordingly, your God has predestined me to roast ever so deliciously  for eternity in Hell.

When you're in Heaven with the Saints, you can watch with a great smile how us poor predetermined sinners, by your God, are doing in Hell!

Good news!

Furthermore, the only way to get to heaven, according to Jesus of the synpotic gospels is Matthew 19:21. Paul agrees in Galatians 6:2, but contradicts himself three verses later by Galatians 6:5

Anyway, there both wrong. I don't have the verse on hand, but if I remember correctly one must be immersed with Jesus to be saved. What the hell does that mean?
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And why did he die for my sins? You said it yourself, it is by grace. God's grace. That being the case, it doesn't matter whether I believe or not.

Again, salvation is mooted.
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Catholic? Interesting, never said I was a Catholic. Again, you did not read my statement. Better lay of the saucy there Father.
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I'm not shopping for a religion here.
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Of course, your sect it the one true sect of God's holy religion.
All the rest get it wrong in some ways.

Incoherence at its finest.
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Thank you for comments all and to those who actually did read the thing. Any pointed questions, please ask and feel free to post whatever you want regarding my statement.

Again, thanks. //Taylor


Edited by Quicksand, 02 May 2005 - 07:15 PM.

To assert that the earth revolves around the sun is as erroneous as to claim that Jesus was not born of a virgin.

Cardinal Bellarmine -  Attributed (During the trial of Galileo)




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