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"I tore myself away from the
safe comfort of "certainties"
through my love for truth;

and truth rewarded me."







They were born into a Christian culture
and became believers because of cultural influences just like
Muslims in Iran,
or Catholics in Mexico,
or Buddhists in Thailand,
or Hindu's in India.

They know this and yet want to maintain theirs is the correct religion anyway,
just like Muslims, Catholics, Buddhists and Hindu's do when faced with this same sociological data.

Christians claim that these other religions are man-made ones.
But let's connect the dots here.

If other people in other parts of the globe
have created man-made religions

and are persuaded to believe in them because they were raised in their respective cultures,

then why is this not also true for their particular sect of Christianity?








The church gains and maintains
it's hold over young people
by claiming to be the authority
on everything about God & His
( supposed ) will for humanity.

It was wrong when it claimed
He put the Earth in the centre of the universe.

It was wrong when it burnt dissenters alive at the stake.

It was wrong in so many other ways.

It is wrong when it claims that God,
The Holy Spirit lives in and keeps holy those who follow Him.

----

Enthusiastic preachers & writers confused themselves about the definition of spirit.

We can talk about
"the spirit of the age",
( of a period of human history ),

and we are clear that we refer
to some generalised idea of
"a collective mood amongst most people of that time",
" personality traits prevealent ",
" the culture of the time / place" etc.

No one understands this spirit
to be a personified , separately
existing Entity.

Similarly the church has various cultural personality traits,
sub cultures,
which it engenders.

All these are purely human matters.

These institutions
are human creations,

the outcome of flawed past attempts
to understand and deal with
the reality of human life.









My parents had experienced
two World Wars.

It didn't occur to them,
or to me until much later,
that hundreds of millions
of very sincere prayers
would have pleaded for
"the God of love"
to prevent and stop
all those injuries and deaths.

It is easy to sing
"Prayer changes things...."
but only if you don't think it through........










-- Faith is the great cop-out,

the great excuse to
evade the need
to think and evaluate evidence.


Faith is belief in spite of,
even perhaps because of,
the lack of evidence.



















"I want it so that every minister
will be not a parrot,

not an owl sitting upon a dead limb
of the tree of knowledge
and hooting the hoots that have been hooted for eighteen hundred years.

But I want it so that each one
can be an investigator,
a thinker;


and I want to make his congregation grand enough
so that they will not only allow
him to think,
but will demand that he shall think,

and give to them
the honest truth of his thought."


Robert G. Ingersoll ( 1833 - 1899 ),
son of a US Presbyterian minister






















"El Credo falso"

"The Beliefs are false"








New reformation Leaving

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Theology, didactics & practice

consequent to abusive and scandalous behaviors

by practicing believers.


Quotes from religious sources :

"I will put My Spirit * within you and cause you to walk in My statutes,
and you will keep My judgments and do them." Ezekiel 36:27
( The writer attributes these words to God.)

"...ministries of the Holy Spirit.
The filling of the Holy Spirit is how He empowers and controls us (Acts 4:31; Ephesians 5:18).
The indwelling of the Holy Spirit is God the Holy Spirit taking up permanent residence in our lives (John 14:17; Romans 8:9-11; 1 Corinthians 3:16; 6:19; 1 John 4:4).
The sealing of the Holy Spirit is God marking us as His permanent possession (Ephesians 1:13-14)."

"For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father ( God ) which speaketh in you" - Matthew 10:20


"..... But the Godhead of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit is all one, the glory equal, the majesty coeternal.
Such as the Father is, such is the Son, and such is the Holy Spirit.
The Father uncreated, the Son uncreated, and the Holy Spirit uncreated.
The Father incomprehensible, the Son incomprehensible, and the Holy Spirit incomprehensible.
The Father eternal, the Son eternal, and the Holy Spirit eternal.
And yet they are not three eternals but one eternal.
As also there are not three uncreated nor three incomprehensible, but one uncreated and one incomprehensible.
So likewise the Father is almighty, the Son almighty, and the Holy Spirit almighty.
And yet they are not three almighties, but one almighty.
So the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God;
And yet they are not three Gods, but one God....."

from the Athanasian Creed ,
a statement of Christian Trinitarian doctrine and Christology
which has been used in Western Christianity since the sixth century C.E.

Historically, but now thought inaccurately , ascribed to St. Athanasius, Archbishop of Alexandria, who lived in the 4th century C.E.

It is the first creed to vocalize equality of the persons of Trinity.



"About three in the morning,
as we were continuing instant in prayer,
the power of God came mightily upon us,
inasmuch that many cried out..., and many fell to the ground..."
- John Wesley, founder of Methodism

Quoted in "The Holiness-Pentecostal Tradition: Charismatic Movements in the Twentieth Century" ,
By Vinson Synan, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 1997


What a wonderful change in my life has been wrought
Since Jesus came into my heart!
I have light in my soul for which long I had sought,
Since Jesus came into my heart!
Since Jesus came into my heart,
Since Jesus came into my heart,
Floods of joy o’er my soul
Like the sea billows roll,
Since Jesus came into my heart.

I have ceased from my wandering and going astray,
Since Jesus came into my heart!.....

Hymn by R.H.McDaniel 1914, popular in evangelical & fundamentalist churches.


"When a Catholic says that he has been "born again,"
he refers to the transformation that God’s grace accomplished in him during baptism.
............ "Regeneration ( being "born again" )
is the transformation from death to life that occurs in our souls when we first come to God and are justified.

He ( God ) washes us clean of our sins and gives us a new nature,
breaking the power of sin
over us so that we will no longer be its slaves,....

- NIHIL OBSTAT: I have concluded that the materials presented in this work are free of doctrinal or moral errors.
Bernadeane Carr, STL, Censor Librorum, August 10, 2004
IMPRIMATUR: In accord with 1983 CIC 827
permission to publish this work is hereby granted.
+Robert H. Brom, Bishop of San Diego, August 10, 2004 "
http://www.catholic.com/library/Are_Catholics_Born_Again.asp


"God gives us the gift of holiness.
By giving us holiness,
God makes us into something special and sets us aside for God's own purpose."


"When we are baptized, we receive that call to holiness.
From that moment, our life is no longer our own.

“It is no longer I who live,” says Saint Paul, “but Christ who lives in me.... (Gal 2:19b-20).”

we are dedicated wholly to God,
set apart to glorify Him in every aspect of our being, including our bodies.

His Spirit lives within us and so we become God’s dwelling place ...."



" .....ask God to forgive you of your sins right now.
The Bible says, If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins,
and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9 KJV

Truly ask God to forgive you of all of your sins,
and then believe in your heart that he has saved you from your sins.

Salvation is not based on what you may or may not feel, it is based on faith
(believing the promises of God)....".



End of example quotes of teachings by various church groups



NB: In Christian doctrine
"Holy Spirit", "Spirit of God", "Jesus in my heart", "Jesus' Spirit",
"God Indwelling", "living in The Spirit", etc,
refer to an actual ( Divine ) Entity .

Similarly "Born Again","Saved", "Holiness", "Sanctification" , "Finished Work" , etc, etc are actions by God
and NOT considered the same as "trying to live like Jesus',
"developing a holy personality", "trying to be good" etc.


Standard theology claims: "GOD IS PRESENT & WORKING WITHIN THE BELIEVER".

The terminology & explanations used vary from group to group
- but the core idea remains.



These ideas are regularly preached & written ,
often by busy people who do not have time or inclination for careful definitions,
and who definately don't consider contrary evidence.

Childen are simply taught these concepts as being literally true,
and the average churchgoer continues to accept them,
without much reflection, because of constant repetition.


Further study by specialist theologians often only adds an academic patina
over the core "beliefs" instilled in childhood,
without examining actual underlying reality.

The few independantly minded scholars who have brought clarity of thought
are generally marginalised,
and the average minister doesn't hear of them.


There is constant pressure to conform and support / grow the congregation,
regardless of the accuracy of what is taught and sung.


Quote:

"The nature of sanctification,
as well as its method and the relation of the divine and human factors in its prosecution,
is differently conceived by the several types of theology.

1. The Pelagian (*) and Rationalistic view excludes the action of the Holy Spirit altogether;
and makes sanctification to be nothing more than continued right action,
in the native powers of the free moral agent,
by which he gradually conquers evil tendencies and builds up a holy character.

...

3. The Mystical view of sanctification, though never embodied in any church creed,
has existed as a doctrine and as a tendency
in all ages and among all Christian denominations.


... ( This view ) emphasizes spiritual intuition, the regulative value of religious feeling,
the physical communion of the soul with the substance of God,
conditioned on quiet and passivity of mind.

Such views gained great currency in the Church through the writings of the Pseudo- Dionysius,
which were published in Greek in the sixth century,
and translated into Latin by John Scotus Erigena in the ninth century.

They qualified the teaching of many eminent evangelical Schoolmen,
such as Bernard of Clairvaux, Hugo and Richard of St. Victor, and subsequently Thomas a Kempis.


They were taught with great influence among the early Protestants by Schwenckfeld (1490-1561), Paracelsus (1493-1541), Weigel (1533-1588), and Jacob Bohme (1575-1620);
and among the Roman Catholics by St. Francis of Sales (1567-1622), Molinos (1640-1697),
Madame Guyon (1648-1717), and Archbishop Fenelon (1651-1715).
The original Quakers held similar views, as is seen in the writings of George Fox (d. 1691),
William Penn (d. 1718), and Robert Barclay (1648-1690).

A mystical conception is present whenever sanctification is conceived,
not as the goal of effort, but as an immediate gift to the waiting soul.......

From : Sanctification by A.A. Hodge; revised by B.B. Warfield ;
Originally published in Johnson's Cyclopaedia, 1896.
Copied from http://homepage.mac.com/shanerosenthal/reformationink/aabbsanctif.htm


"a. Many understand the indwelling as literal, with the Spirit personally abiding in the Christian.

b. Others view it as figurative...."

The last writer then attempted to define the "figurative" belief with literal terms !

Even though he said explicitly that he had abandoned the literal concept,
he had trouble facing up to the consequences of that abandonment.



Those familiar with church teachings don't need the quotes above to know what has been taught as truth countless times from countless pulpits by countless priests, ministers and pastors.

The quotes are included so that we may understand an important issue :

1 ) The church insists that " The All-knowing All-mighty " is supposedly present within His people.

2 ) He supposedly cared so much for humanity that He chose to be tortured & killed.
( In order to enable Himself to pardon & create a new nature within His own creation.)

3 ) He has supposedly called all people to be His people; and some have responded, praying to Him to enable them to live blameless lives as they devote their lives to His service.

4 ) Some of those " Divinely indwelt people " have commited crimes
& have tried to hide this from their congregations and secular authorities.


Standard theology claims: "GOD IS PRESENT & WORKING WITHIN THE BELIEVER".

The terminology & explanations used vary from group to group
- but the core idea remains.

Clearly this central idea can't be true.




( Quite possibly Church leaders' reluctance to properly face up to instances of physical and sexual abuse stems from a sub-conscious fear of what it must mean.

An unreflective religious acquaintance re-acted to a newspaper report with
" I know of that person, that can't have happened ",
even though the offender and his superiors in the church admitted
( belatedly, after others revealed the facts ) that it did really happen.)


Various confusions / distractions / specious arguements are no doubt being offered, sometimes sincerely,
because " doubt is a sin " and "nothing must be allowed to weaken faith".


Sadly, there is a precedent. Very sadly.

As the final authority on "The God who created the earth and the heavens",
the church insisted on a particular understanding of the universe.


The standard theology of the time demanded that the earth HAD to be at the centre of everything.

Those who found out otherwise were persecuted and silenced for as long as possible.

Later that view became untenable
- it was quietly abandoned -
but the church continued to insist that all it's teachings were the truth and revealed by God.

Eventually the church fragmented into various denominations
- each group claims to speak for the Allmighty
- each demands that those born into it allways defer to it's views.


It is perhaps too early to judge if contemporary church leaders are going to be more honest with this issue.

So far, there is little to encourage optimism.



To reiterate what should be totally obvious :

The central issue here is NOT that people with problems are promoted or sheltered;
or that leaders are over-protective of their organisation/s.

( Critics often don't realise the extent of the teaching on this supposed "Indwelling"
and so limit their focus.
They overlook the fact that the church claims to be UNIQUE.
It claims to be much more than just another group of human organisations.
It claims to be Divinely created & led... )

Often the teaching starts as " God's ( protective ) eye even on the sparrow... and on me...",
taught with confident adult authority from earliest Sunday school to impressionable toddlers.

Regardless to the different wordings,
( eg I was subjected to emotional appeals to "Let Jesus into your heart"
and to " Accept the purifying Fire of the Holy Spirit" )
the differing emphasis in different denominations
and at differing times throughout church history,
this is an essential, central idea within the whole Christian Tradition.


My concern is that Christians , particularly Ministers, Ecclesiastical Leaders and Christian educators
are not "facing up"
TO HOW DEVASTATING THIS IS
FOR THE WHOLE OF CHRISTIAN PRACTICE & TEACHING.

It is now obvious that we MUST see it is just NOT ACTUALLY TRUE
- an outcome of primitive misunderstanding
and wrong-headed ( poetic hyperbole ?) attempts to get people to lead better lives...


The answer is not to blindly pretend that it's correct.
To continue a "business as usual" teaching & preaching effort
is to "bear false witness"
and is gross dishonesty.

The answer is NOT to produce yet another massive , erudite work
with finely-honed wording which attempts to offer a reconciliation
or an accademic adjustment of traditional belief
with what the actual , clearly observable, REAL experience is;

It is to state firmly , clearly , finally & completely :
"Real life experience has proven that what has been taught & written is not true".



Looking back at my religious studies I realise how hard everyone tried to "keep the faith"
regardless of reality, and flashes of rational doubt.

Caught in routine habit, I wasted my time doing just that.

We owe it to future generations to clearly say:

" It was a mistake , a mass of misunderstandings.."
and move to build a better, more accurate future based on reality
and intellectual integrity...




"....... The Father incomprehensible, the Son incomprehensible, and the Holy Spirit incomprehensible.

........ As also there are not three uncreated nor three incomprehensible, but one uncreated and one incomprehensible."

- Athanasian Creed


* " Pelagianism is a theological theory named after Pelagius (ad. 354 – ad. 420/440).

It is the belief that original sin did not taint human nature (which "God called very good" ), and that mortal will is still capable of choosing good or evil without Divine aid.

Thus, Adam's sin was "to set a bad example" for his progeny, but his actions did not have the other consequences imputed to Original Sin.

Pelagianism views the role of Jesus as "setting a good example" for the rest of humanity (thus counteracting Adam's bad example).

In short, humanity has full control, and thus full responsibility, for its own salvation in addition to full responsibility for every sin (the latter insisted upon by both proponents and opponents of Pelagianism).

According to Pelagian doctrine, because humanity does not require God's grace for salvation (beyond the creation of will),[1]
Jesus' execution is devoid of the redemptive quality ascribed to it by orthodox Christian theology."




Also see "Deism" in the footnotes here : LetGo.htm






Giordano Bruno (1546 - 1600 )
Burned at the stake by the church :

"The foolish renounce this world and pursue an imaginary world to come."


Michel de Montaigne (1533 - 1592):

"How many things that were articles of faith yesterday

are fables today."







Why do you emphasise that clergy have special responsibility ?


"Devout people are trained to rely on their priest / minister.

They are seen to be in a special relationship with the Divine.

They are thought to be experts in what they teach.


Any teacher of anything has an obligation to teach what is correct

& to be informed properly on the subject matter,

including facts that might cause thought & re-assessment."








It is quite clear:

We do NOT have,
( and do not need ),
an invisible, pretend "Heavenly Father"
"up" in a primitive imaginary concept of the universe.


When people realised that these ideas
conflicted with reality
the primitive views were not properly questioned,
but were modified
to " everywhere" , "a 'spiritual' place" "in our hearts", etc.


Our present religious variations
were attempts to salvage something from the residual wreckage
of uninformed primitive misunderstandings.

We now have the information.

It is time for an honest use of it,
& and for intellectual integrity...


From Heavenly Dreams Heavenly_Dreams.htm


It is more than obvious:

We do NOT have,
( and do not need ),
an invisible, pretend
" Guardian Father ",
" Jesus living in my heart ",
an " Indwelling Holy Spirit - Third Person of the Holy Trinity "

We now have had time to think about all this properly.

It is time to let it go ,
& and time for intellectual integrity...


Please see :

New Reformation New_Reformation.htm

Leave leave.htm




Please note * : "I will put My Spirit within you.... "

Those of us with a religious background have some idea of what "The Holy Spirit within" means in the context of our particular tradition.

We have no easy way of knowing what it might have meant many generations ago.

Have a thoughtful read of Jesus_died.htm,
particularly the "When the Spirit of the Lord came upon..."
in the green sidebar.

The orginal recorders of those historical episodes,
and the early church selectors of what we now know as "The Bible",
MUST have had an understanding of what it meant which is VERY different
from that taught to today's theological student.

Link to Jesus_died.htm Jesus_died.htm.htm


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