The Consider The Lily Blogger, 220 Lily, Thinks You Should Believe in God For Anything, But This Was Sure Not Her Message to Me in 2016

The Consider The Lily Blogger, 220 Lily, Thinks You Should Believe in God For Anything, But This Was Sure Not Her Message to Me in 2016

About two years ago a person calling himself or herself (I will assume this is a woman) –  “220lily” – (who has her own blog (Link): here – January 2019 update: as of this date, Word Press says that the 220Lily blog is no longer available; I wonder why she deleted her blog?) – she had the audacity to scold and lecture me in the comment section of my own blog, under one of my (Link): One Stop Threads.

I just checked out Lily’s (Link): Twitter page (edit January 2019: she has also deleted that particular Twitter account, though I don’t know when), and on it, she says of herself:

“White. Female. Pentecostal. Philosopher. Preacher. Poet. Travel tweets: English churches, Bible sites. Tennessee, USA”

I think after exchanging several posts with her, I blocked her. (I may tweet a link to this blog post to her on Twitter and block here there, too, as I’m not interested in having an on-going debate with her, but I think she should be made aware of this blog post.)

220Lily became increasingly judgmental as our exchange continued – and that is (Link): not what my blog is about.

Yes, please click that link to visit that page (here it is again), and please scroll down to the comments section to see the conversation that 220Lily and myself had. (Link to the first post from 220Lily to me is located (Link): here.)

I just now noticed the passive-aggressive, catty, bitchy barb that 220 Lily left in her initial post telling me that she allows all comments on her blog, even those that disagree with her blog – as though this makes her superior to me or my blog in some fashion.

Let me tell you, I may not allow argumentative comments on my blog (which I state up front, right at the top of the blog’s main page, hello, so it is not a surprise), but I don’t automatically assume that I’m better person or a better blogger than someone else who blogs differently from me or who has differing blog rules from mine. Good lord, the arrogance.

Today, in March 2018, I once more looked at Lily’s posts on my blog because I was editing one of those ‘one stop’ threads. I skimmed down and saw her comments again.

I clicked on her screen name in one of the comments she left on my blog to see if she has a blog, and if so, what she’s been writing lately. She does in fact have her own blog, and her last post to her blog was published about a week ago.

As I compose this blog post today, this is the most recent post on her blog, “Consider the Lilies”-

(Link): Do You Believe?  (that link is to her blog post on her original blog; it is no longer available –
– she has re-posted it to a new blog location
(Link): here – “Do You Believe?”)

(Link): Twitter Link about Blog Post

Here are a few excerpts from that blog post by 220Lily:

Excerpts by the Consider the Lily Blogger:

I shared this story here last week (see “Face to Face”), but I’ll share it again because I think more people need to hear it.

Last Sunday morning at church, I prayed to see God’s power.

Tuesday night, he answered my prayer.

How? When I went to bed, my cell phone had 6% battery power left. It had been in the red zone (0-15%) for hours, but I wanted the battery to drain completely so I could recharge it. Minutes later I checked my phone and the battery level was 16%, out of the red zone.

What happened? God miraculously powered my phone, without electricity! Is this event technologically possible? No. Old batteries do funny things, but they can’t charge without electricity. …

What does this experience tell me? God can do anything instantly, without human help.

Yes, he gives people the knowledge to design phones and perform surgery.

Sometimes God chooses to work through human instruments. But they’re not necessary.

Man isn’t indispensable because God isn’t limited by human power. He can make pigs fly if he wants to. And it’s easy for him. There’s no struggle! The question is, do we believe?
//// end excerpt

What hypocrisy, considering this person’s condescending lecture to me two years prior on my own blog (again, you can view Lily’s condescending and victim blaming comments to me under a blog post here).

Continue reading “The Consider The Lily Blogger, 220 Lily, Thinks You Should Believe in God For Anything, But This Was Sure Not Her Message to Me in 2016”

Former Pastor Says He Lost Faith After Staff Member Beat Spouse, Faithful Mother Lost Baby – and Some Sanctimonious Christians Are Sitting In Judgement Of This Guy

Former Pastor Says He Lost Faith After Staff Member Beat Spouse, Faithful Mother Lost Baby – and Some Sanctimonious Christians Are Sitting In Judgement Of This Guy

I appreciate this pastor’s honesty in why he’s left the Christian faith.

Some excerpts from his story, which I’ll discuss below the excerpts:

(Link): Former Pastor Says He Lost Faith After Staff Member Beat Spouse, Faithful Mother Lost Baby

Excerpts (written by Leonard Blair):

Jim Palmer, a former evangelical pastor who once served in ministry at Willow Creek Community Church in Chicago and went on to preach the power of faith to hundreds as lead pastor of his own church in Brentwood, Tennessee, is now the vice president of the Nashville Humanist Association, which promotes humanism and a secular state.

Palmer, 53, (Link): told The Tennessean that his journey away from faith in God was triggered about 20 years ago by two devastating events. He said his faith was shaken when he learned that a church staff member was beating their spouse.

It then suffered another blow when a woman encouraged by his sermons believed her unborn child diagnosed with a fatal disorder would live. The mother blamed herself when her child died soon after birth.

“That triggered, ‘How can I preach this stuff?'” Palmer said. “Beneath the appearance and the surfaces of people’s lives there was a level of suffering and brokenness for which my theology did not touch.”

In his journey away from faith, the former pastor also lost his marriage.

I saw this article Tweeted a few days ago on the Christian Post account, and I glanced at a small number of replies to it, as well as to the replies people left under the article on the Christian Post.

As to be expected, the Christians who left comments below the tweet questioned the guy’s reasons for finally rejecting the faith, some of them quite snotty about it, as well.

Continue reading “Former Pastor Says He Lost Faith After Staff Member Beat Spouse, Faithful Mother Lost Baby – and Some Sanctimonious Christians Are Sitting In Judgement Of This Guy”

Does Jesus Alone Really Fill That Empty Space? And: When God Acts Like An Atheist

Does Jesus Alone Really Fill That Empty Space? And: When God Acts Like An Atheist

I was wondering if anyone else reading this, who accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior (became a Christian), ever experiences a feeling that something is missing in you or your life, or if you ever feel as though there’s a hole in your heart, or if you ever feel an emptiness?

I do at times, and I don’t understand why, since I grew up hearing that everyone has this hole in their heart, and only Jesus can fill it. And, further, if you believe in Jesus, Christians say, that emptiness will go away. What if it does not? Or, what if it returns?

I’ve done the whole Jesus thing. I was a devout Christian for years and years, but at times I still feel as though something is missing.

Continue reading “Does Jesus Alone Really Fill That Empty Space? And: When God Acts Like An Atheist”

Too Cool for School: The Ex, Quasi, or Liberal Christians (and Atheists) Who Think Their Snarkiness Against Christians Makes Them Clever (But It Doesn’t)

Too Cool for School: The Ex, Quasi, or Liberal Christians (and Atheists) Who Think Their Snarkiness Against Christians Makes Them Clever (But It Doesn’t)

This post contains some vulgar language.

edited to add: I’ve already been told by two different people that this post is too long. Sorry, being concise has never been a talent of mine.

Someone also informed me that this blog post of mine has been linked to at a sub thread on Reddit (Link): here / on (Link): Reason and Faith on Reddit

Someone in that Reddit thread thinks my title of this post is “an atrocity,” but I feel it pretty much accurately sums up what I’ve seen online the last decade or more


In my faith crisis of the last few years, I’ve visited more sites, blogs, groups, and forums that are critical of Christians or Christianity. I sometimes find myself agreeing with some of their criticisms of evangelical, Protestant Christianity (sometimes not).

One of the recurrent tendencies that crops up in such blogs, forums, and groups that disturbs or annoys me  (or has me doing a lot of eye rolls) are that many of the people who post to these types of groups act as though they are Too Cool for School.

Continue reading “Too Cool for School: The Ex, Quasi, or Liberal Christians (and Atheists) Who Think Their Snarkiness Against Christians Makes Them Clever (But It Doesn’t)”

Critique of Pastor Groeschel’s “I Want to Believe But…” Sermon Series (Re: Unanswered Prayer, etc)

Critique of Pastor Groeschel’s “I Want to Believe But…” Sermon Series

Christian Post recently published this summary of Groeschel’s sermons, and I take strong issue with it, which I will explain below the long excerpts from the page – but if I didn’t blog my criticisms of this guy’s sermon, I was going to go nuts -several of his points or assumptions annoyed me up the wall:

(Link): God Is Not Your Puppet, Says Pastor Craig Groeschel by A. Kumar

Here are some excerpts from that page, and I will comment on this below the excerpts, which is pretty long, so please bear with me:

Pastor Craig Groeschel, senior pastor of Life.Church, has started a new series, “I Want to Believe, But…,” to address difficulties some have in believing in God.

In the series’ first sermon on Sunday, the megachurch pastor dealt with the notion that God should give us exactly what we want and when we want it.
“God is too big to be a puppet of mine,” he stressed.

Some believe in God and others don’t, but there’s “a newer category of people that are saying, ‘I wanna believe in God but I’m struggling to,'” the popular pastor said as he introduced the (Link): series to the congregation on Sunday, the 21st anniversary of the church.

Continue reading “Critique of Pastor Groeschel’s “I Want to Believe But…” Sermon Series (Re: Unanswered Prayer, etc)”

One Foot in Christianity, One Foot in Agnosticism – In a Faith Crisis

One Foot in Christianity, One Foot in Agnosticism  – In a Faith Crisis

November 2016. (There is a moderate amount of swear words in the post below)

Some of the points in the post, in brief (the long explanation is below):

  • I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior before I was ten years old
  • I have read the entire Bible.
  • I spent many years reading books ABOUT the Bible (e.g., books about its formation and history)
  • I spent years reading Christian apologetic literature
    – so do NOT tell me that I “do not understand Christianity” or that I was “never a REAL Christian to start with”
  • I currently have doubts about the Christian faith and/or aspects of the Bible
  • I have not rejected Jesus Christ Himself
    (he’s pretty much Christianity’s only good feature or selling point, as far as I can see at this point)
  • I am not an atheist
  • I am not a Charismatic
  • I am not a “Word of Faither”
  • I was brought up under conservative, Southern Baptist and evangelical teachings and churches
  • Even though conservative Christians claim to believe in the Bible, they
    • cannot agree on what the Bible means or how to apply it – this is a huge problem as I see it in the faith
    • they diminish the role of the Holy Spirit or deny Him and that He can work for Christians today, because they are “hyper sola scriptura” and have reduced the Trinity to “Father, Son, and Holy Bible,” (this is also problematic),
      they usually do this because they are hyper-cessationist and paranoid or hateful of Charismatic teachings or practices
    • they teach that most to all of the biblical promises are not for Christians today but are only for the Jews of 5,000 years ago, there-by teaching that the Bible is NOT relevant for people today  (this is also problematic)
  • If you are a Christian, do not act like a smug dick about any of this and immediately disregard any points I have to make about God, the Bible, or other topics, because in your view, I am a “Non-Christian who was ‘never’ really saved” -not to mention, that is not even true.
    I was in fact “truly” saved, and I am / was, a “real” Christian.
  • No, I don’t want to enumerate a detailed list of reasons why I have doubts about God, the Bible, or the faith.If I were to provide such a list or explanation, your average Christian would only want to debate each and every point to argue me back into fully believing. (A witnessing tip to Christians: doing that sort of thing is NOT an effective way of “winning back a lost sheep to Jesus.”)

DETAILED EXPLANATION

I find that people who are both Christian and Non-Christian (and several other categories of people I bump into on Twitter and other sites) get frustrated when they cannot easily box me in.

People seem to be more comfortable with labels, but I’m not sure what label I would give myself these days.

I have briefly tried to explain my current religious beliefs on my Twitter bio, and I explain them a little more on my blog’s “About” page and have mentioned them in a post or two over the course of the last few years I’ve been blogging here.

Here is my background:

I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior prior to turning the age of ten.

That means: I believed that Jesus took my sins upon himself, he was without sin, he paid the price for my sins, and was raised from the dead three days after having been crucified – and if I believe in all that, if I put “saving faith in” Jesus (as opposed to mere intellectual assent), my sins have been forgiven by God, and I go to heaven when I die.

I read the entire Bible through when I was 18 years old, and afterwards, I read a lot of the Bible in the years after. Prior to that age, I had read portions of the Bible when younger.

Continue reading “One Foot in Christianity, One Foot in Agnosticism – In a Faith Crisis”

Evangelism Using Death, Heaven, Hell Talk Don’t Work on ‘Unchurched’ Americans, Survey Finds

Evangelism Using Death, Heaven, Hell Talk Don’t Work on ‘Unchurched’ Americans, Survey Finds

(Link): Evangelism Using Death, Heaven, Hell Talk Don’t Work on ‘Unchurched’ Americans, Survey Finds by  B. Showalter

Excerpts:

July 2016

Non-church-attending Americans are generally open to talking about faith but few wonder about life after death – which is the tactic many Christians are taught to begin conversations, a new LifeWay Research study commissioned by the Billy Graham Center for Evangelism at Wheaton College finds.

Nashville-based LifeWay Research published a (Link): study Thursday that examines the types of church activities that “unchurched” Americans are interested in as well as how open they are to talking about faith.

By “unchurched” the researchers mean “those who have not attended a worship service in the last six months, outside of a holiday or special occasion like a wedding.” Surprisingly, the survey found that more than half of Americans who don’t go to church self-identify as Christians.

Continue reading “Evangelism Using Death, Heaven, Hell Talk Don’t Work on ‘Unchurched’ Americans, Survey Finds”

On Not Filtering Every Choice Through the Bible

On Not Filtering Every Choice Through the Bible

This is one of those topics I’m working my way through right now. Maybe a year from now, my opinion will flip on it. But here is where I am now.

I was first made aware of this post from John Piper’s “Desiring God” web site via someone posting to SCCL Facebook group.

Here it is:

(Link):  How to Drink Orange Juice to the Glory of God by John Piper

Excerpts:

  • I said that one of my reasons for believing this comes from 1 Corinthians 10:31. “Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” I asked, “Is it sin to disobey this Biblical commandment?” Yes.
  • …Some of you then asked the practical question: Well, how do you “eat and drink” to the glory of God? Say, orange juice for breakfast?
  • ….Orange juice was “created to be received with thanksgiving by those whobelieve the truth.” Therefore, unbelievers cannot use orange juice for the purpose God intended—namely, as an occasion for heartfelt gratitude to God from a truth heart of faith.
  • But believers can, and this is how they glorify God. Their drinking orange juice is “sanctified by means of the word of God and prayer.”

Yes, it’s an entire post explaining why and how Christians may drink Orange Juice to the glory of God.

This is a part of Christianity that I am glad to leave behind. In my faith crisis of the last few years, there have been some advantages to ceasing turning to the Bible as an authority in decision-making in life in every area.

Continue reading “On Not Filtering Every Choice Through the Bible”

16 Confessions From People Who Waited Until Marriage To Have Sex

16 Confessions From People Who Waited Until Marriage To Have Sex

You will have to visit the web page linked to below to view the confessions, as they are in screen cap format. I am not uploading screen caps from their page to mine.

(Link): 16 Confessions From People Who Waited Until Marriage To Have Sex 

  • “It wasn’t perfect but it was wonderful, intimate and adorably awkward.”
  • by Kelsey Borresen
  • Though we’re living in a time where (Link):  pre-marital sex is widely accepted, there are still many men and women who choose to stay virgins until the wedding night.Some consider waiting one of the best decisions they’ve made, while others look back on the choice as a major source of regret. On (Link): Whisper, an app that allows users to share their secrets anonymously, people reflect on the experience of (Link): saving yourself for marriage.
  • See what they had to say below:
  • [Text on one screen cap reads]
  • “I waited until my wedding night to have sex. My husband is terrible in bed and can’t please me at all.”
  • [Text on one screen cap reads – link to post]
  • “I was a virgin until my wedding night. My husband wasn’t. Turns out, I was better at sex than he was!”
  • [Text on one screen cap reads]
  • “I lost my virginity on my wedding night. Honestly I feel like it’s been healthy for my marriage. I can’t keep my hands off my wife.”
  • [Text on one screen cap reads]
  • “I lost my virginity to my husband the morning after our wedding. It wasn’t perfect, but it was wonderful, intimate and adorably awkward, and we finished together”
  • [Text on one screen cap reads]
  • “I waited to have sex until I was married. I deeply regret that decision because on the extremely rare occasions we actually have sex, it isn’t enjoyable.”
  • [Text on one screen cap reads]
  • “I waited until marriage, so did my husband. Wasn’t a religious choice. And yes, it was totally worth it

I don’t understand people who toss in the qualifier “but it wasn’t a religious choice” when discussing things like this. I take it to mean they are trying to appeal to an increasingly secular society that scoffs at anyone being motivated by theism, religion, or spirituality at all.

Continue reading “16 Confessions From People Who Waited Until Marriage To Have Sex”

Leaving Christianity gave me the fairy-tale ending I always wanted / Divorce and pre-marital sex destroyed my relationship with Christianity by T. Sheehan

Leaving Christianity gave me the fairy-tale ending I always wanted / Divorce and pre-marital sex destroyed my relationship with Christianity by T. Sheehan

Even though the details of my life and situation are different, I sure did relate to this lady’s story.

My eye brow did raise at one or two points of this essay, such as her claim that people at her church encouraged her to get an abortion when she became pregnant out of wedlock, and from the way she discusses her church, they sound pretty conservative and legalistic.

Perhaps she is telling the truth and that really did happen, it’s just that most conservative Christians are pro-life, not pro-choice, so I am having a hard time picturing any of them advising a pregnant woman to get an abortion.

With possibly a few wacko Protestant church exceptions, (Link): like this one, where the church’s preacher allegedly encouraged the women members to get abortions. But then, of course, there is information such as this: (Link): 2015 Poll: 70% of American Women Who Have Abortions Identify As Christian

By and large, though, most churches are pro-life, not pro-choice.

At one point in this essay, Sheehan says that although she and her male friend were not having sex, that due to being constantly suspected and accused of having sex by Christians at her church, is actually what in large measure drove her and her boyfriend to become sexually active with one another.

Major irony there. Or maybe not…

As I have said time and again at my blog, most Christians, just like secular culture, just blindly assumes that celibacy is impossible for anyone over the age of 25 or so, and that it is impossible for men and women to be platonic friends.

It is entirely possible for men and women to remain friends, and it is entirely possible for an adult to stay celibate for months or years at a time.

I have also explained before, in previous posts, that one reason there is so much fornication among Christian singles is precisely because most Christians have such low expectations: they expect that single adults will, or have, had sex outside of marriage. It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy quite often.

The couple discussed in this post were expected, assumed to be, and suspected by their fellow congregants of sleeping together; this couple got tired of being falsely accused, so they figured, well, we might as well have sex, since everyone is already assuming we are and harassing us over it.

I also notice that one reason this woman’s husband, who was a Christian at one time, but is now an atheist or agnostic, began losing his faith over how miserably his grief (over the death of his father) was mishandled by Christians.

Oh yes, I relate: after my family member’s passing a few years ago, rather than receiving love, empathy, and encouragement from Christians in my family or churches I went to, I instead received judgment, criticism, platitudes, or indifference. This in turn is one of several things that caused me to partially leave the Christian faith.

One of a few things that caused Sheehan to leave the faith is over how one church she attended mishandled her abusive marriage – her priest told her to stay with the abusive husband.

This advice is also usually given in Baptist or Protestant situations. Christians often put keeping an (abusive) marriage before the welfare of the two persons who comprise the marriage.

Abused wives are usually instructed to stay with the abusive spouse and submit to the abuser more, or just pray about things. None of this resolves the situation but actually prolongs it.

I am not surprised in light of all the insensitive treatment that she and her husband endured at the hands of other believers, that they both developed major doubts about Christianity and walked away from it.

There were a few supportive comments to the woman who wrote this, in the comments area under the essay, but there were also a lot of hateful, judgmental, or naive posts left to her by Christians.

There were also a few annoying posts by atheists who were just there to say “all religion is idiotic, there is no God” to any of the well-meaning, yet naive Christians who were telling her to hold on to the faith, in spite of the Christians who had been mean to her at her prior churches.

Honestly, I wish those types of atheists would refrain from posting under articles like this one by Sheehan. I find their opportunistic, anti-theism drivel and rants to be about as bad as the nasty posts by the Christians who scolded Sheehan for leaving Christianity.

(Link): Leaving Christianity gave me the fairy-tale ending I always wanted 

  • Divorce and pre-marital sex destroyed my relationship with Christianity by T. Sheehan
  • My family has always been part of the Catholic Church, including being actively involved in fighting for those beliefs in Ireland and France through the centuries. It is all I knew and I never imagined a life without it. Even in today’s permissive society, divorce is still a huge don’t in the Catholic Church.

    When my priest advised me to stay in an abusive marriage rather than lose access to the Catholic religion, I stayed — until my husband left me for one of the many women he had been seeing.

    I went back to my priest for help but instead found myself without a church.

    Confused and directionless, I ended up seeking help at a Word of Faith Christian Church in Texas.

    Although the church and I both believed in Jesus, the similarities ended there. Everything was so different from what I had grown up with, it made the transition very difficult.

    They kept trying to break down my identity by using scripture to suggest that everything about me, from Catholicism to my Irish culture, was evil and against God. It was like going through spiritual boot camp as they attempted to rebuild me into a person that could gain access to heaven.

    During my time there, I met my current husband. He was also having a tough time as his father had died suddenly the year before, causing him to question the church he had been raised in and even the existence of God due to how they handled his grief.

    We became really good friends who spent hours talking as we each struggled with our sheltered worlds collapsing around us, no matter how hard we tried to fight to keep the walls intact.

    The damage in our lives, caused by blind devotion to a religion, forced us to question all the truths we had been raised to believe.

    Continue reading “Leaving Christianity gave me the fairy-tale ending I always wanted / Divorce and pre-marital sex destroyed my relationship with Christianity by T. Sheehan”

Some of My Thoughts Regarding ‘Why do evangelicals lose their faith?’ – Podcast by Unbelievable

Some of My Thoughts Regarding ‘Why do evangelicals lose their faith?’ – Podcast by Unbelievable 

The other day, I posted this (part 1 to this post):

I have re-listened to the podcast this evening and wanted to comment on some of what I heard.

In the program, there is a guy named Rodney who was once a conservative Christian, who drifted into liberal theology, and who now says he has a “deistic philosophy” and he says he is “agnostic about most religious questions.”

He says he has same sex attraction, and was put off to Christianity for (among other reasons):

How American conservative Christianity tends to over-identify with, or promote, the Republican Party (right wing American party), and that some preachers are too condemning of homosexual persons.

Rodney also says he does not accept the notion of an eternal Hell.

A few times, Rodney mentions that he has a deist- like view of God. He thinks all of us humans are rats, the earth is a big laboratory, and God is a scientist in a white lab coat observing us all but not intervening.

Rodney thinks if God is involved with human life, that God should do things like cause all members of ISIS (terrorist group) to drop dead of heart attacks. He does not believe that God helps people to pass school tests, find parking spaces, or cures diseases.

The show had a Christian author and guest on named Os, who replied to some of Rodney’s points.

_Some of my thoughts on the show and the topics Rodney raised._

1.) Politics and Liberal Vs Conservative Christianity

I am right wing politically and have been a Republican (GOP) my entire life.

I have very large misgivings about the GOP the last few years, though, so I’m not totally sure where I stand politically, though I do not ever see myself becoming a liberal or a Democrat.

I do agree with Rodney that too many conservative Christians conflate Christianity with the Republican party.

But then, a lot of liberal Christians or liberal Christian denominations entwine a lot of liberal beliefs and causes with the faith too, (such as support of abortion, the Democratic Party, liberalism, and homosexual marriage).

Continue reading “Some of My Thoughts Regarding ‘Why do evangelicals lose their faith?’ – Podcast by Unbelievable”

Why do evangelicals lose their faith? – Podcast by Unbelievable

Why do evangelicals lose their faith? – Podcast by Unbelievable

Off to the right hand side of this blog I have a blog roll. Linked there is “Unbelievable,” a podcast by a Christian guy who normally covers topics pertinent to Christian apologetics. He usually has some pretty interesting shows.

I was (am?) a life long Christian but one who’s been doubting the faith the last few years.

I have not totally left the faith itself, but there are parts of it that I’m having trouble accepting or grasping now.

At times, I am disappointed in or by, or angered by Christians, or the behavior of other Christians. That plays into some of the struggles I’ve been having with the faith.

I don’t think I can ever hop on board the Atheist train. I don’t think atheism is intellectually feasible. It seems so devoid of hope, too. And some of its adherents seem just as fundamentalist as some religious theist types. Some of the militant atheists are also smug and condescending as all get out, traits which I have always reviled.

So, this particular episode of Unbelievable looks to be pretty interesting, though I’ve not actually listened to it yet – I’ll probably listen to it later (if so, I may edit this post at a later time with my thoughts on it):

(Link):  Why do evangelicals lose their faith? Os Guinness & Rodney Wilson (pod cast / audio / radio show)

  • Christian author and cultural critic Os Guinness’ new book called “Fools Talk: Recovering the art of Christian persuasion” is aimed at helping Christians develop a confident and winsome approach to engaging those who are closed to faith.
  • He engages with ex-evangelical Rodney Wilson who has researched the reasons why evangelical Christians lose their faith in his book “Killing God” as they discuss the cultural and doctrinal barriers to embracing Christian faith.

EDIT: new post reflecting on this podcast:

—————————

Related Posts:

(Link): No Man’s Land – Between Agnosticism and Christianity / Also: It’s Emotional Not Intellectual (PART 1)

(Link):  Suffering and Misery Trend Du Jour (part 1) 

(Link): Permissiveness, Cheap Grace, and Easy Forgivism Run Amok in Christianity – Dallas Preacher Todd Wagner Says Christians Can Use Heroin / Why some Christians turn agnostic

(Link): Guilt Tripping or Shaming the Hurt Sheep to Return to Church

(Link): Why People Don’t Go To Church (various links and testimonies March 2014)

(Link): Christians Who Take the Bible Literally Cannot Agree On Much of Anything 

(Link): Power Point, Boring Churches, It’s all about Jesus, Church Quitters, No Community, Selfish Preachers, Churches As Stalkers / (Re: Why Some Drop Out of Church)

When Christians Love Theology More Than People by S. Mattson

When Christians Love Theology More Than People by S. Mattson

I first saw this mentioned on Defend The Sheep’s Twitter account.

I’ve been thinking the last few months of writing a similar essay. The guy who wrote this arrived at some of the same conclusions I have.

(Link):  When Christians Love Theology More Than People by S Mattson

Here is how the introduction starts:

  • Beyond the realm of churches, religious blogs, and bible colleges, nobody really cares about theology. What does matter is the way you treat other people.

Continue reading “When Christians Love Theology More Than People by S. Mattson”

White Christians No Longer Majority in U.S.A. (2015 Pew Study)

White Christians No Longer Majority in U.S.A. (2015 Pew Study)

Possibly one good thing about white Christians being in the minority is that perhaps they will re-evaluate how they treat marginalized groups, such as adult singles.

(Link): Pew: White Christians No Longer in Majority

  • by Nick Glasss, November 2015
  • White Christians now make up less than half of the U.S. population, largely receding from the majorities of most demographic groups, with one notable exception: the Republican Party.
  • According to the latest results from Pew Research Center’s Religious Landscape survey published Monday by (Link): National Journal’s Next America project, just 46 percent of American adults are white Christians, down from 55 percent in 2007.

Continue reading “White Christians No Longer Majority in U.S.A. (2015 Pew Study)”

One Woman’s Experience With ‘Post-Traumatic Church Syndrome’

One Woman’s Experience With ‘Post-Traumatic Church Syndrome’

I regularly blog about topics pertaining to singleness, dating, and marriage and so on, but – as someone who has been undergoing a faith crisis the last few years, I am also interested in topics like this one:

(Link): One Woman’s Experience With ‘Post-Traumatic Church Syndrome’ by Carol Kuruvilla

Excerpts:

  • What do you do when the faith you grew up in just doesn’t make sense anymore?
  • This is the dilemma Reba Riley, a 33-year-old from Cincinnati, faced in her late 20s. She was brought up in an evangelical Christian household, but soon realized that the questions she had about her faith weren’t being answered by the theology preached by her family’s church.
  • The spiritual crisis prompted her to embark on a wild journey through 30 different religious traditions in just one year. Half of these were various strands of Christianity — from Mormonism to the practices of the Amish — and the other half included Hinduism, Paganism and others.
  • The purpose of the quest wasn’t necessarily to find a new faith, but to combat the bitterness that had grown in her heart when she thought about God.
  • Three years after her experiment concluded, Riley told The Huffington Post she now calls herself a Christian, but with many, many qualifiers. Her faith is now about practicing love and finding God in unexpected places.

Continue reading “One Woman’s Experience With ‘Post-Traumatic Church Syndrome’”

Rom Com Movie on Women Allowing Themselves To Be Used By Men – And A Leading Man Disappointment

Rom Com Movie on Women Allowing Themselves To Be Used By Men – And A Leading Man Disappointment

(This post has been edited farther below, over August 8 – 10, with more observations based on some new interviews or links I saw.

This post covers several topics, including but not limited to: how feminist characters are depicted in movies, the impact of sexism on dating, to actors who publicly express their religious and political views in an obnoxious manner.)

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I am normally not a fan of “Rom Com” (romantic comedy) movies.

But I heard some good things about this particular one.

I don’t know if I want to say what it is, if I want to say what its title is.

I’ll call it “Rom Com X.”

(If you have seen this movie you may be able to guess what it is, even from my vague description below.)

One reason I don’t want to just come right out and say the title of this movie is because farther in this post I have some mild criticisms of one of its actors, and I do not want any of his fans coming here and leaving me hostile posts. I am not going to name the name of the actor I discuss below.

Rom Com X has been on cable TV a few times. I’ve seen it about twice so far, maybe three times.

I find the MC (main character) sympathetic. Well, usually. There are a few scenes in the movie where she did or said things I never would have, where she unnecessarily was hostile to a person or two.

But of course, to balance that out, she was going through a very difficult time in her life, so to a degree, you do understand she is lashing out on occasion at others and being cranky because her life is in a tail spin.

This movie was interesting on several levels to me.

I related to some of the plights of the MC (main character) in a very big way.

She and I do differ on a few points, but I have some things in common with her, if not in the details, but in the overall scheme of things.

There is an actor who plays MC’s (Main Character’s) eventual love interest in the movie. I’m going to call this guy “Actor X.” I will refer to his character’s name as “Roger.”

Continue reading “Rom Com Movie on Women Allowing Themselves To Be Used By Men – And A Leading Man Disappointment”

More Musings about Applicability of the Old Testament, Via One Man’s Testimony About Jeremiah 29:11

I don’t have a link for this. I was watching Christian show “700 Club” about a week ago. There was a testimony by a guy on there who said he grew up with his family taking him to church and presenting an image of God as a violent jerk who predestines for you to suffer and have misery.

As this guy grew older, he had some tough times. I don’t recall his exact life story – I think he became a hard core drug addict, robbed little old ladies, was in a gang, and so on. I don’t remember the specifics.

I also don’t recall the exact context of how he heard Jeremiah 29:11 for the first time – I think he said he was invited to church by a friend, and the preacher quoted Jer 29.11 from the pulpit.

This guy had never heard Jer 29:11 before, but this verse really clicked for him.

He said for the first time in his life, he said he understood God’s character better: that the God he had been taught (probably in Calvinist or Reformed churches) is not the God of the Bible.

That is, when bad things happened to him in his life, he realized that those bad things were not God’s plan for him or his life (which is what he had been taught at a previous church in boyhood).

Here is Jeremiah 29:11:

  • 11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Reading or hearing that verse for the first time revoluntionized that guy’s life. It shifted his whole paradigm of who God is and gave him a sense of hope for the future. He became a Christian.

I am bringing this up because I keep seeing Christians online yell and scream that Old Testament verses are not, in their opinions, meant for Christians today – a view that does not completely make sense to me.

If they don’t get cranky about it, some of these Christians mock and ridicule Christians who use such Old Testament promises for themselves today. And these are usually the Christians who claim to be “sola scriptura.”

Assuming God exists: who is to say that God does not harken a certain Old Testament verse written specifically for Joe- Bob- the- Jew back in the year 3,245 B.C. for a Christian reading that verse today? I believe some Christians call this a “Rhema” word?

Just because a verse was written in first context for Edna the Hittite back in 4,893 BC does not necessarily mean that God does not think it cannot or does not apply it to a Christian today who is going through a particular circumstance.

It’s strange how hyper sola scripturaists continue to limit the Bible and its applicability; they make half the Bible null and void for anyone who is a Christian today.

Hyper Sola Scripturists, biblicists, whatever term they should be nailed with, tend to think that the Holy Spirit does not do miraculous works today (such as healings), and they think that the Old Testament is only for ancient Jews. Which leaves them with what, a weak, Deist God who refuses to intervene directly in his creation today and half a Bible that is dead, largely irrelevant, and moot?

I find it fascinating that a man who was lost said it took hearing Jeremiah 29.11 to turn his life around today, in 2015 or 2014, or whenever this pivotal point happened.

Some Christians will argue that Jer 29.11 (which is in the Old Testament) applies only to ancient Jews in their particular historical context of the time and not to Gentile believers today, but a man today, in or around 2015, found healing in that very verse. So, is Jeremiah 29:11 really only for ancient Jews when God (if he exists) is using it to reach Gentiles in 2015?

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October 6, 2015  Update.

And I just saw this in my Twitter feed, via Crosswalk:

(Link): Stop Taking Jeremiah 29:11 Out of Context!

See? Christians are still debating if Jer 29.11 is applicable for Christians today or not. I can guarantee you that in several months time, there will either be a Christian on TV or in a blog post arguing the opposite of this Cross walk page – that Jer 29.11 is in fact applicable for believers today.

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Related posts:

(Link):  Does God’s Plan to Do You No Harm, Prosper You, And Give You Hope and A Future Involve You Dying In a Fiery Plane Crash? Regarding Jeremiah 29:11

(Link):  Gallup: Record Low 24% Believe Bible Is Literal Word of God (May 2017)

(Link):  Unanswered Prayer and Diversity of Doctrine and Interpretation (podcasts)

(Link): Christians Who Take the Bible Literally Cannot Agree On Much of Anything 

(Link): Christians Once Again Trying to Explain Who The Bible’s Promises Are For – TGC Article

Church must avoid becoming Fight Club to attract men by H. Coffey

Church must avoid becoming Fight Club to attract men by H. Coffey

(Link): Church must avoid becoming Fight Club to attract men by H. Coffey

Excerpts.

  • Jan 21, 2015
  • When I saw the latest statistics suggesting that the majority of British men don’t believe in God, I wasn’t surprised. Saddened, yes. Shocked, no.This is an issue the Church of England has been struggling with for years.
  • From a purely anecdotal perspective, wander into any Anglican church these days and you’ll likely as not be struck by the gender gap, with females accounting for the majority of the congregation. Dig a little deeper and you’ll probably also find that a core of thoroughly capable women are quietly but determinedly running the joint and keeping the whole place afloat.This is backed up by various reports over the last 10 years, which indicate that women outnumber men at UK churches by up to 15 per cent.It’s a headscratcher, and, like with all sets of data, you can read into it what you will. Around the time the people in this specific study were coming of age (they’re all now in their early 40), there was a bit of an influx of what are jokingly referred to as “Jesus is my boyfriend” worship songs – the type that go something like:
  • “Ooh, I love Jesus so much, I give my heart to him, he is sooooo dreamy.” Admittedly, having to sing this type of nonsense in church might have felt pretty emasculating for a young man, maybe even enough to put him off our Lord for good….What worries me far more about statistics like this being released is the potential response from Christians and the Church.
  • They’re always grist to the mill for dyed-in-the-wool traditionalists who like to wave them around shrieking: “See! We told you this would happen if you let women have opinions, and stand at the front of church, and be vicars. We told you the men wouldn’t like it. You’ve feminised the Church! Of course the men are leaving!”
  • This sexist hysterical crew seem to think that, in slowly but surely embracing equality, the entire Church is being transformed into one long episode of Loose Women. That by letting women lead, it naturally follows we’re creating an environment that is “toxic” to men. What a load of tosh.However, there has been a far darker reaction when we’ve seen reports like this before: a move to create a toughened-up, more masculine Church.

Continue reading “Church must avoid becoming Fight Club to attract men by H. Coffey”

Christians Once Again Trying to Explain Who The Bible’s Promises Are For – TGC Article

Christians Once Again Trying to Explain Who The Bible’s Promises Are For – TGC Article

Christians can’t seem to agree on when or if the promises in the Bible – especially Old Testament ones – apply to Christians today.

Here is another example of writers on another Christian site attempting to explain which promises are meant for Christians today and which are not:

(Link): Which Promises Are For Me? on The Gospel Coalition site, written by Jen Wilkin

I have more comments below this.

Excerpts:

  • Not many things are more comforting than a promise made and kept. And not many things are more hurtful than a promise broken. Knowing we worship a God who keeps his promises is a source of deep joy. But misapplied, this knowledge can also lead us to treasure-hunt Scripture for promises in problematic ways.
  • How can we know which promises are for us? How can we lay claim to the promises of the Bible without overstepping their application? Here are some common pitfalls to keep in mind as you study.
  • Common Mistakes

    Confusing a promise with a principle. Promises are always fulfilled 100 percent of the time. Principles state general truths.

  • The book of Proverbs is often mistaken for a book of promises, when in fact it is a book of principles. The principle of “train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it” (Prov. 22:6) is generally true and wise to heed. But it is not a guarantee that every child raised with godly instruction will become a believer in Jesus.
  • Ignoring the context. We often apply a promise to ourselves before considering its original audience or its historical, cultural, or textual context. In some cases, a promise was made to a specific person for a specific reason and has no further application beyond its immediate context. In other cases, the application can only be properly made after the promise is understood in its original context.
  • God’s promise to Abram of land and offspring (Gen. 12:1–3) cannot be taken to mean God will give me a house or children. It can, however, be applied to mean he will give me a spiritual inheritance through Christ.
  • Overlooking the “if.” Promises that contain an “If” require some form of obedience before we can expect them to come to pass in our lives. They are conditional.
  • Limiting a promise to your own understanding. Even when we rightly recognize a promise as intended for us, we often impose our own understanding of exactly how it will be fulfilled. Or we are tempted to impose our own timeline on its fulfillment.
  • Yes, God does have a plan to prosper you and not to harm you (Jer. 29:11), but as in the case of the people to whom those words were originally written, that “you” is more likely a collective reference to the body of believers, and that plan may play out across centuries in ways we can’t possibly predict.
  • To recognize this intent does not diminish the beauty of the promise at all. It actually enhances it.
  • Do your homework. Before you write it on a note card for your fridge, before you post it on Instagram or shop for it on a coffee mug or declare it your life verse, make a thorough study of where your promise lives in Scripture and in biblical history. Make sure it’s a general promise, not a specific promise to someone else or just a general principle to observe. Check for any “ifs” that might change its application.

The page goes on and on like that; click the link at top if you’re interested in seeing the full article.

Perhaps some Christians needed to be made aware of these things, but I’m over 40 years of age, have been a Christian since before I hit age ten, have read the entire Bible as well as many books about Christian theology and apologetics.

I don’t think I really need a basic primer on these things at this stage.

I find a lot of the points in the article are rather basic and based on common sense.

Even under her “Do Your Homework” section, I’m sorry, but Christians to this day still debate and fuss over if Jeremiah 29.11 is for believers only today (she mentions that passage in her article).

She seems to feel that Jer 29.11 is for ancient Israelites only, but I still find other Christians who believe it’s equally applicable to Christians in America in 2015.

Her article only adds to the confusion, in my view. That Christians have to keep explaining and teaching which biblical promises and verses apply to whom does not clarify the situation, but piles on.

I can guarantee you if Christians of other denominations read this page (I refer again to (Link): Which Promises Are For Me? ) that this lady wrote, they will each have their own particular objections or areas of disagreement.

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Related Posts:

(Link):  Christians Who Can’t Agree on Who The Old Testament Is For and When or If It Applies

(Link):  Gallup: Record Low 24% Believe Bible Is Literal Word of God (May 2017)

(Link): More Musings about Applicability of the Old Testament, Via One Man’s Testimony About Jeremiah 29:11

(Link):   Does God’s Plan to Do You No Harm, Prosper You, And Give You Hope and A Future Involve You Dying In a Fiery Plane Crash? Regarding Jeremiah 29:11 and Its Application

(Link): Christians Who Take the Bible Literally Cannot Agree On Much of Anything 

(Link): Sometimes the Bible is Clear – Regarding Rachel Held Evan’s Post

Hypocrisy Among Christians and how it leads some to question or leave the Christian faith

Hypocrisy Among Christians and how it leads some to question or leave the Christian faith

I have a few other topics or news stories I wanted to blog about today and the other day, but I find myself getting sidetracked to discuss these other issues. Maybe I’ll blog about the rest tomorrow or next weekend.

This topic is (for me anyhow) rather complex. I don’t want to spend a lot of time explaining it, but it’s one I’ve seen crop up recently on other sites or in my personal life, and this will probably be another one of my long posts. Even though I have other things I wanted to do today, like bake a batch of cookies.

Whether Christians like it or not, some Christians, including lifelong Christians such as myself, are either considering leaving the faith, or have done so already, and all because the hypocrisy they see in self professing Christians.

Continue reading “Hypocrisy Among Christians and how it leads some to question or leave the Christian faith”