I've been conflicted about Christianity for a very long time -- for a very long list of reasons. My research and posting on this website is part of my attempt to achieve conflict-resolution. One major problem with anything historical -- is verification -- and this goes for all history -- not just the Greatest Story Ever Told. Another problem is interpretation -- and this applies to everything -- not just to Christianity. Also, there is significant difficulty in transplanting someone and something from antiquity -- directly into modernity. I don't attend church anymore -- and I didn't attend Easter services this morning -- but when I sang in the choir at the Crystal Cathedral, we sang for three or four Easter services -- one right after another! One Easter season, I was a 'body' in the Glory of Easter
-- complete with flying angels and live animals! Sunrise Services at the Hollywood Bowl
were always a treat! But I've read scholarly books and entertained doubts about the Historical Jesus and the theological problems associated with Judeo-Christianity. I've also been attracted to Clean-Sheet of Paper approaches to Philosophy and Theology. Why did Jesus have to die?? Why was the Friday Jesus was murdered on considered to be 'Good'?? Was Jesus a Human-Sacrifice?? Does the Mass involve Human-Sacrifice and Cannibalism?? Is Christianity interlaced with Astrotheology and Paganism?? If Jesus hadn't lived a perfect life -- hadn't been beaten and murdered -- hadn't been resurrected from the dead -- hadn't ascended into Heaven -- and hadn't interceded on our behalf before God the Father for the past 2,000 years -- would we all be doomed to burn forever in the Flames of Hell?? Another thing -- despite the Substitutionary-Atonement of Jesus Christ -- there are literally dozens of New Testament Texts which link Salvation to Behavior (rather than simply a simple belief in and/or acceptance of Christ's death on the cross in our behalf. Could God NOT save us in Old Testament times??
I'm strangely attracted to the Whole Bible -- yet I am VERY troubled with the details. Something seems to be VERY wrong -- and Robert H. Schuller didn't exactly clear things up for me -- even though he seemed to offer a New and Living Way into the Holy Place (the Crystal Cathedral
)!! Some of us used to call Dr. Schuller the Holy One of Garden Grove!!
Theology has been One Big Nightmare for me -- rather than bringing me peace and joy. I often wonder how many people would attend church if they REALLY read the Bible from cover to cover -- and were HONEST regarding its contents??!! What Would John Shelby Spong Say?? How many people would attend church if God didn't scare the hell out of them?? Would my Kinder and Gentler Version of Christianity be Bad for Business?? I suspect that it would. I suspect that this solar system is one big Galactic Business -- where the bottom-line is the bottom-line -- and perhaps this is the way things HAVE to be -- as harsh as that sounds. Perhaps I will have to ultimately make my peace with that which I find to be Utterly-Reprehensible. Would a Solar System Administrator be expected to maximize the bottom-line -- regardless of human-suffering, murder, and mayhem?? My vision for this Solar System involves Politics and Religion which actually make sense -- and where War and Environmental-Destruction are Completely Off the Table. But is this a manifestation of Galactic-Insubordination to the Way Things Are in This Universe?? Is Humanity doomed to the Infliction of Punishment and the Extraction of Payment in Perpetuity?? Is Humanity Owned by a Galactic Star War-Lord?? Would a Regime-Change Replace One War-Lord with Another (Who Might be Meaner Than the First)?? One Last Thing. Easter 2013 is the last Easter in the Easter-Table in the Book of Common Prayer
-- and this table starts in 1786 (I think)!! What Would the Pope Emeritus and Petras Romanus Say??
The following is a post by Antonia on the old Project Avalon
which I thought should be included in this thread. Thank-you Antonia. I trust that I have not used your post in vain. I see a light at the end of the tunnel...but things can be pretty dark at times. Hang on tight...this is a tough read. They don't usually include these texts in the lectionary. How would you like to preach on the following texts? These references are enough to cause a lot of people to run out of the church...sobbing. This is some of the worst material in the Bible. We need to face reality. All of it. I continue to enjoy studying theology - but I think the real truth of the matter is rather obscure and esoteric - and this takes a lot of work and speculation. I think the agnostics may have had it right all along. We just have to keep searching - regardless of how difficult the journey becomes. Did Lucifer have anything to do with the madness documented below - or did Lucifer fight this sort of thing? I'm presently thinking that most all of the mythologies and theologies have a common origin - and that they reveal various aspects of a central small-case deity - and that this might be Satan and/or Lucifer. The large-case Creator God of the Universe seems to be strangely absent in all of this earthly madness. Think human, and think solar system for the gods, goddesses, angels, demons, aliens, souls, interdimensional reptilians, et al. Think Occam's Razor. As you lose your faith - create another one. Never give up. Never stop. Namaste.
Ritual Human Sacrifice
"At that time the Spirit of the LORD came upon Jephthah, and he went throughout the land of Gilead and Manasseh, including Mizpah in Gilead, and led an army against the Ammonites. And Jephthah made a vow to the LORD. He said, "If you give me victory over the Ammonites, I will give to the LORD the first thing coming out of my house to greet me when I return in triumph. I will sacrifice it as a burnt offering."
"So Jephthah led his army against the Ammonites, and the LORD gave him victory. He thoroughly defeated the Ammonites from Aroer to an area near Minnith - twenty towns - and as far away as Abel-keramim. Thus Israel subdued the Ammonites. When Jephthah returned home to Mizpah, his daughter - his only child - ran out to meet him, playing on a tambourine and dancing for joy. When he saw her, he tore his clothes in anguish. "My daughter!" he cried out. "My heart is breaking! What a tragedy that you came out to greet me. For I have made a vow to the LORD and cannot take it back." And she said, "Father, you have made a promise to the LORD. You must do to me what you have promised, for the LORD has given you a great victory over your enemies, the Ammonites. But first let me go up and roam in the hills and weep with my friends for two months, because I will die a virgin." "You may go," Jephthah said. And he let her go away for two months. She and her friends went into the hills and wept because she would never have children. When she returned home, her father kept his vow, and she died a virgin. So it has become a custom in Israel for young Israelite women to go away for four days each year to lament the fate of Jephthah's daughter." Judges 11:29-40
Rules of genocide...
Suppose you hear in one of the towns the LORD your God is giving you that some worthless rabble among you have led their fellow citizens astray by encouraging them to worship foreign gods. In such cases, you must examine the facts carefully. If you find it is true and can prove that such a detestable act has occurred among you, you must attack that town and completely destroy all its inhabitants, as well as all the livestock. Then you must pile all the plunder in the middle of the street and burn it. Put the entire town to the torch as a burnt offering to the LORD your God. That town must remain a ruin forever; it may never be rebuilt. Keep none of the plunder that has been set apart for destruction. Then the LORD will turn from his fierce anger and be merciful to you. He will have compassion on you and make you a great nation, just as he solemnly promised your ancestors. "The LORD your God will be merciful only if you obey him and keep all the commands I am giving you today, doing what is pleasing to him." (Deuteronomy 13:13-19 NLT)
Gods blood lust…Baby Killing
"The glory of Israel will fly away like a bird, for your children will die at birth or perish in the womb or never even be conceived. Even if your children do survive to grow up, I will take them from you. It will be a terrible day when I turn away and leave you alone. I have watched Israel become as beautiful and pleasant as Tyre. But now Israel will bring out her children to be slaughtered." O LORD, what should I request for your people? I will ask for wombs that don't give birth and breasts that give no milk. The LORD says, "All their wickedness began at Gilgal; there I began to hate them. I will drive them from my land because of their evil actions. I will love them no more because all their leaders are rebels. The people of Israel are stricken. Their roots are dried up; they will bear no more fruit. And if they give birth, I will slaughter their beloved children." (Hosea 9:11-16 NLT)
God kills the Good Samaritan
"The ark of God was placed on a new cart and taken away from the house of Abinadab on the hill. Uzzah and Ahio, sons of Abinadab guided the cart, with Ahio walking before it, while David and all the Israelites made merry before the Lord with all their strength, with singing and with citharas, harps, tambourines, sistrums, and cymbals." "When they came to the threshing floor of Nodan, Uzzah reached out his hand to the ark of God to steady it, for the oxen were making it tip. But the Lord was angry with Uzzah; God struck him on that spot, and he died there before God." (2 Samuel 6:3-7 NAB)
"Happy those who seize your children and smash them against a rock." Psalms 137:9 NAB
"He who spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him takes care to chastise him" (Proverbs 13:24 NAB)
"Chastise your son, for in this there is hope, but do not desire his death. The man of violent temper pays the penalty; even if you rescue him, you will have to do it again." (Proverbs 19:18-19 NAB)
God tells his people to Kill Followers of Other Religions
"If your own full brother, or your son or daughter, or your beloved wife, or you intimate friend, entices you secretly to serve other gods, whom you and your fathers have not known, gods of any other nations, near at hand or far away, from one end of the earth to the other: do not yield to him or listen to him, nor look with pity upon him, to spare or shield him, but kill him. Your hand shall be the first raised to slay him; the rest of the people shall join in with you. You shall stone him to death, because he sought to lead you astray from the Lord, your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, that place of slavery. And all Israel, hearing of this, shall fear and never do such evil as this in your midst." (Deuteronomy 13:7-12 NAB)
God demands Murder, Rape, and Pillage at Jabesh-gilead
"So they sent twelve thousand warriors to Jabesh-gilead with orders to kill everyone there, including women and children. "This is what you are to do," they said. "Completely destroy all the males and every woman who is not a virgin." Among the residents of Jabesh-gilead they found four hundred young virgins who had never slept with a man, and they brought them to the camp at Shiloh in the land of Canaan."
"The Israelite assembly sent a peace delegation to the little remnant of Benjamin who were living at the rock of Rimmon. Then the men of Benjamin returned to their homes, and the four hundred women of Jabesh-gilead who were spared were given to them as wives. But there were not enough women for all of them. The people felt sorry for Benjamin because the LORD had left this gap in the tribes of Israel. So the Israelite leaders asked, "How can we find wives for the few who remain, since all the women of the tribe of Benjamin are dead? There must be heirs for the survivors so that an entire tribe of Israel will not be lost forever. But we cannot give them our own daughters in marriage because we have sworn with a solemn oath that anyone who does this will fall under God's curse."
"Then they thought of the annual festival of the LORD held in Shiloh, between Lebonah and Bethel, along the east side of the road that goes from Bethel to Shechem. They told the men of Benjamin who still needed wives, "Go and hide in the vineyards. When the women of Shiloh come out for their dances, rush out from the vineyards, and each of you can take one of them home to be your wife! And when their fathers and brothers come to us in protest, we will tell them, 'Please be understanding. Let them have your daughters, for we didn't find enough wives for them when we destroyed Jabesh-gilead. And you are not guilty of breaking the vow since you did not give your daughters in marriage to them.'" So the men of Benjamin did as they were told. They kidnapped the women who took part in the celebration and carried them off to the land of their own inheritance. Then they rebuilt their towns and lived in them. So the assembly of Israel departed by tribes and families, and they returned to their own homes." (Judges 21:10-24 NLT)
David's Punishment More rape, murder and baby killing demanded by God
"Thus says the Lord: 'I will bring evil upon you out of your own house. I will take your wives (plural) while you live to see it, and will give them to your neighbor. He shall lie with your wives in broad daylight. You have done this deed in secret, but I will bring it about in the presence of all Israel, and with the sun looking down.'"
Then David said to Nathan, "I have sinned against the Lord." Nathan answered David: "The Lord on his part has forgiven your sin: you shall not die. But since you have utterly spurned the Lord by this deed, the child born to you must surely die." (The child dies seven days later.) 2 Samuel 12:11-14 NAB
"When a man strikes his male or female slave with a rod so hard that the slave dies under his hand, he shall be punished. If, however, the slave survives for a day or two, he is not to be punished, since the slave is his own property." Exodus 21:20-21 NAB
Sampson and the Spirit of the Lord
"The spirit of the Lord came upon him (Sampson), and he went down to Ashkelon, where he killed thirty of their men and despoiled them; he gave their garments to those who had answered his riddle." (Sampson used the garments to pay off a bet he lost.) Judges 14:19 NAB
Bloody Sabbath God demands death of man for gathering wood.
"While the Israelites were in the desert, a man was discovered gathering wood on the Sabbath day. Those who caught him at it brought him to Moses and Aaron and the whole assembly. But they kept him in custody, for there was no clear decision as to what should be done with him. Then the Lord said to Moses, "This man shall be put to death; let the whole community stone him outside the camp." So the whole community led him outside the camp and stoned him to death as the Lord had commanded Moses." Numbers 15:32-36 NAB
Murder, Rape, Pillage, and Plunder
"As you approach a town to attack it, first offer its people terms for peace. If they accept your terms and open the gates to you, then all the people inside will serve you in forced labor. But if they refuse to make peace and prepare to fight, you must attack the town. When the LORD your God hands it over to you, kill every man in the town. But you may keep for yourselves all the women, children, livestock, and other plunder. You may enjoy the spoils of your enemies that the LORD your God has given you. But these instructions apply only to distant towns, not to the towns of nations nearby. "As for the towns of the nations the LORD your God is giving you as a special possession, destroy every living thing in them. You must completely destroy the Hittites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites, just as the LORD your God has commanded you. This will keep the people of the land from teaching you their detestable customs in the worship of their gods, which would cause you to sin deeply against the LORD your God." Deuteronomy 20:10-18 NLT
Murder, rape and pillage of the Midianites
"They attacked Midian just as the LORD had commanded Moses, and they killed all the men. All five of the Midianite kings - Evi, Rekem, Zur, Hur, and Reba - died in the battle. They also killed Balaam son of Beor with the sword. Then the Israelite army captured the Midianite women and children and seized their cattle and flocks and all their wealth as plunder. They burned all the towns and villages where the Midianites had lived. After they had gathered the plunder and captives, both people and animals, they brought them all to Moses and Eleazar the priest, and to the whole community of Israel, which was camped on the plains of Moab beside the Jordan River, across from Jericho."
"Moses, Eleazar the priest, and all the leaders of the people went to meet them outside the camp. But Moses was furious with all the military commanders who had returned from the battle. "Why have you let all the women live?" he demanded. "These are the very ones who followed Balaam's advice and caused the people of Israel to rebel against the LORD at Mount Peor. They are the ones who caused the plague to strike the LORD's people. Now kill all the boys and all the women who have slept with a man. Only the young girls who are virgins may live; you may keep them for yourselves." Numbers 31:7-18 NLT
Burning of temple at Baal (There's nothing like a good church barbeque.)
"Then Jehu called a meeting of all the people of the city and said to them, "Ahab hardly worshiped Baal at all compared to the way I will worship him! Summon all the prophets and worshipers of Baal, and call together all his priests. See to it that every one of them comes, for I am going to offer a great sacrifice to Baal. Any of Baal's worshipers who fail to come will be put to death." But Jehu's plan was to destroy all the worshipers of Baal. Then Jehu ordered, "Prepare a solemn assembly to worship Baal!" So they did. He sent messengers throughout all Israel summoning those who worshiped Baal. They all came and filled the temple of Baal from one end to the other. And Jehu instructed the keeper of the wardrobe, "Be sure that every worshiper of Baal wears one of these robes." So robes were given to them"
"Then Jehu went into the temple of Baal with Jehonadab son of Recab. Jehu said to the worshipers of Baal, "Make sure that only those who worship Baal are here. Don't let anyone in who worships the LORD!" So they were all inside the temple to offer sacrifices and burnt offerings. Now Jehu had surrounded the building with eighty of his men and had warned them, "If you let anyone escape, you will pay for it with your own life."
"As soon as Jehu had finished sacrificing the burnt offering, he commanded his guards and officers, "Go in and kill all of them. Don't let a single one escape!" So they killed them all with their swords, and the guards and officers dragged their bodies outside. Then Jehu's men went into the fortress of the temple of Baal. They dragged out the sacred pillar used in the worship of Baal and destroyed it. They broke down the sacred pillar of Baal and wrecked the temple of Baal, converting it into a public toilet. That is what it is used for to this day." 2 Kings 10:18-27 NLT
Saul sent this message to the Kenites: "Move away from where the Amalekites live or else you will die with them. For you were kind to the people of Israel when they came up from Egypt." So the Kenites packed up and left. Then Saul slaughtered the Amalekites from Havilah all the way to Shur, east of Egypt. (1 Samuel 15:6-7 NLT)
During this period, Joshua destroyed all the descendants of Anak, who lived in the hill country of Hebron, Debir, Anab, and the entire hill country of Judah and Israel. He killed them all and completely destroyed their towns. Not one was left in all the land of Israel, though some still remained in Gaza, Gath, and Ashdod. So Joshua took control of the entire land, just as the LORD had instructed Moses. He gave it to the people of Israel as their special possession, dividing the land among the tribes. So the land finally had rest from war. (Joshua 11:21-23 NLT)
God hardens hearts and makes people fight the Israelites only to be slaughterd..
So Joshua conquered the entire region – the hill country, the Negev, the land of Goshen, the western foothills, the Jordan Valley, and the mountains and lowlands of Israel. The Israelite territory now extended all the way from Mount Halak, which leads up to Seir, to Baal-gad at the foot of Mount Hermon in the valley of Lebanon. Joshua killed all the kings of those territories, waging war for a long time to accomplish this. No one in this region made peace with the Israelites except the Hivites of Gibeon. All the others were defeated. For the LORD hardened their hearts and caused them to fight the Israelites instead of asking for peace. So they were completely and mercilessly destroyed, as the LORD had commanded Moses. (Joshua 11:16-20 NLT)
Whole Towns Murdered at the bequest of God
The Canaanite king of Arad, who lived in the Negev, heard that the Israelites were approaching on the road to Atharim. So he attacked the Israelites and took some of them as prisoners. Then the people of Israel made this vow to the LORD: "If you will help us conquer these people, we will completely destroy all their towns." The LORD heard their request and gave them victory over the Canaanites. The Israelites completely destroyed them and their towns, and the place has been called Hormah ever since. (Numbers 21:1-3 NLT)
God’s psychotic Wrath
Weep and moan, you evil shepherds! Roll in the dust, you leaders of the flock! The time of your slaughter has arrived; you will fall and shatter like fragile pottery. You will find no place to hide; there will be no way to escape. Listen to the frantic cries of the shepherds, to the leaders of the flock shouting in despair, for the LORD is spoiling their pastures. Peaceful meadows will be turned into a wasteland by the LORD's fierce anger. He has left his den like a lion seeking its prey, and their land will be made desolate by the sword of the enemy and the LORD's fierce anger. (Jeremiah 25:34-38 NLT)
God Slaughters countless people
In that day those the LORD has slaughtered will fill the earth from one end to the other. No one will mourn for them or gather up their bodies to bury them. They will be scattered like dung on the ground. (Jeremiah 25:33 NLT)
The Cup of Anger God incites hate and anger
Then the LORD, the God of Israel, said to me, "Take from my hand this cup filled to the brim with my anger, and make all the nations to whom I send you drink from it. When they drink from it, they will stagger, crazed by the warfare I will send against them." (Jeremiah 25:15-16 NLT)
And now the LORD Almighty says: Because you have not listened to me, I will gather together all the armies of the north under King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, whom I have appointed as my deputy. I will bring them all against this land and its people and against the other nations near you. I will completely destroy you and make you an object of horror and contempt and a ruin forever. I will take away your happy singing and laughter. The joyful voices of bridegrooms and brides will no longer be heard. Your businesses will fail, and all your homes will stand silent and dark. This entire land will become a desolate wasteland. (Jeremiah 25:8-11 NLT
Has anyone taken a very, very close look at the architecture and art of churches, mosques, synagogues, and government buildings throughout the world? Are there commonalities? Look at the domes. Look at the gods and goddesses. What's going on here? I desire a unified and peaceful world which is genuinely responsibly free. A combined church and state wouldn't be so bad if it wasn't run by the same humans and non-humans who brought us the Crusades and the Inquisition. A minimalist humanist namaste constitutional responsible freedom theocracy might actually work. I just worry that highly disfunctional gods and goddesses would screw everything up - resulting in billions of corpses throughout the world. Would the Latin Mass, the Teachings of Jesus, and the U.S. Constitution be a good place to start? I'd like to know what the Pope and Jesuit General really think about in their most private moments regarding psychology, ethics, governance, science, technology, secrecy, history, spirituality, etc. It might be very, very different than what they present in public. I sometimes imagine their thoughts as they stand before the faithful. Might they be thinking 'if you people only knew what's really going on in this world!' Many people seem to be jumping out of the church frying pan, and into the new age fire. Look at the 'Infiltration of the New Age' thread in MOA. The information presented should be considered very carefully. Is there a Spiritual Switzerland somewhere between the Traditional Church and the New Age?