On Offering Up Prayers and Thoughts – and how it annoys Liberal Christians and Atheists

On Offering Up Prayers and Thoughts – and how it annoys Liberal Christians and Atheists

I had been thinking about doing a post about this subject for the past one to two years but never got around to it.

This has become a really big pet peeve of mine, and I see it all the time from liberal Christians, ex Christians, and atheists: criticizing people of faith who publicly offer up prayers or thoughts for people, especially after a national tragedy, such as a mass public shooting or a natural disaster.

Continue reading “On Offering Up Prayers and Thoughts – and how it annoys Liberal Christians and Atheists”

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”

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”

I Waited to Have Sex Until I Was 26, And Now I Can’t Have an Orgasm (by a Woman Raised in Christian Purity Culture) – Provides Yet Another Reason to Ditch the Equally Yoked Teaching

I Waited to Have Sex Until I Was 26, And Now I Can’t Have an Orgasm (by a Woman Raised in Christian Purity Culture) – Provides Yet Another Reason to Ditch the Equally Yoked Teaching

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  • I would not be surprised if (Link): my Blog Stalker, John Morgan, still visits my blog (and sometimes my Twitter account) and steals links and story ideas to blog on at his blog. He’ll probably swipe the following story I found and feature it on his own blog.

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I did not see an author’s name on this. It just says “Anonymous”

I have a few comments below this long excerpt:

(Link): I Waited to Have Sex Until I Was 26, And Now I Can’t Have an Orgasm (by a Woman Raised in Christian Purity Culture)

  • by Anonymous
  • May 27, 2016
  • I can’t even talk to my sister or some of my closest friends about it because they all still think I’m a virgin, living my life of purity for the Lord.
  •  ——–
  • I was raised in an almost cult-like Southern Reformed Baptist church. I was told that sex was wrong, lustful thinking was wrong, and basically anything that involved sex before marriage would send me straight to hell. It wasn’t until last year that I had the first physical step of courage to go against my upbringing and risk losing everyone around me to do what I thought was right and okay as a woman — not what I was told by evangelical men.

  • ….The church taught us that sex was one of the cardinal sins. Once defiled, always defiled. Women could not make decisions without a father or husband to do it for them, and how would we earn a husband if we were not pure?
  • They trained the young girls in our church, myself included, that we should live and die to find a husband. Education was fine, as long as it contributed to getting a husband. “Be fruitful and multiply” was the mantra.

  • I went along with this. It was all I knew, and I had no mother figure to tell me otherwise. As I grew older, though, I grew indignant of my small amount of options.

  • They told us to find a husband within the church, one who was “equally yolked,” but no man in the church chose from the church. They left the church to find wives and left a congregation of deserted and bewildered home-schooled hearts. Yet they were applauded for their fine, godly choices in women. Meanwhile, the women of the church were left to rot.

Continue reading “I Waited to Have Sex Until I Was 26, And Now I Can’t Have an Orgasm (by a Woman Raised in Christian Purity Culture) – Provides Yet Another Reason to Ditch the Equally Yoked Teaching”

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”

Discipling Healthy Male/Female Relationships in the Church Part 1 by Wendy Alsup

Discipling Healthy Male/Female Relationships in the Church Part 1 by W. Alsup

I am fairly certain that the woman who wrote this is a gender complementarian.

I myself am a former (note: FORMER) gender complementarian. I believe that Ms. Alsup might be a “soft” complementarian. If I am mistaken about that, I am sorry.

I’m only somewhat familiar with Ms. Alsup’s writings and views, and if I am remembering correctly, she is not terribly extreme in her gender role views and sometimes writes blog posts criticizing aspects of gender comp, such as the one that follows, though I believe she may support beliefs that women are not to be preachers in churches and so on.

As I’ve noted on my own blog time and again, Christians, especially gender complementarian ones, tend to sexualize any and all persons and relationships.

Of course, secular culture and left wing Christians can also be very bad about sexualizing anything and everything, though, hypocritically, the progressives profess to feeling “icked out” by Christian sponsored “Daddy Daughter” balls and date.

The progressives who find “Daddy Daughter” dates to be patriarchal and incestuous in undertone are often the same ones who sexualize hetero male-female relationships, or male-male relationships.

Progressive Christians or ex Christians tend to operate in the school of “it’s impossible for men and women to be platonic friends.” You can view an example of that here, in left leaning SCCL’s facebook thread about (link): Daddy Daughter dates.

To a degree, I share some of their (their =  SCCL or liberal) reservations or concerns about “Daddy Daughter” dates, but then, I’m also not running around acting as though men and women are incapable of being buddies.  I am not insisting that any and all male-female relationships are sexual, or have sexual undertones, or the potential to be sexual.

One very unfortunate result of conservative Christians, especially the gender complementarians, sexualizing everyone and anything, is that unmarried, adult women are treated like suspected harlots and are consequently shunned or excluded from social events, church functions, or friendships with married persons.

Married persons are coached in Christian sermons, marriage blogs, and TV programs, to steer clear of single women. This practice of shunning single women is sometimes referred to as the “Billy Graham Rule.” (Please see the bottom of this post, under the “Related Posts” section, for links to more information about that.)

(Link): Discipling Healthy Male/Female Relationships in the Church Part 1 by Wendy Alsup

Excerpts:

  • … What was God’s purpose in creating two genders to work together to image Him out into His kingdom? For a time, conservative evangelicals simplistically set up marriage as the ultimate purpose for the creation of two genders, particularly around Genesis 2:18.

The LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”

  • However, if you embrace Jesus as the key to understanding all of Scripture, then Jesus’ words on marriage in eternity give us necessary clarification on the purpose of the creation of two genders in Genesis 1 and 2.
  • God’s purposes for interactions between the two genders in this first sinless perfection in Eden is informed by glimpses of the second.
  • In Luke 20, the Sadducees ask Jesus a question about whose wife in heaven a woman would be if she had multiple husbands on earth. In His answer, Jesus is clear that in heaven we do not marry. (Actually, we do marry, but Jesus is the groom.) Jesus teaches us that the ultimate goal in perfection for men and women is not human marriage to each other.
  • But then, what is left for perfect male/female relationships if not human marriage? Well, a TON is left. But we are warped as a society away from valuing the vast wealth of human male/female relationships that don’t involve sex. 

Continue reading “Discipling Healthy Male/Female Relationships in the Church Part 1 by Wendy Alsup”

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”

Hypocrisy: Secular Pundits Judge Christian Sexuality: Josh Duggar’s So-Called Vanilla Sexual Preferences Deemed Dull

Hypocrisy: Secular Pundits Judge Christian Sexuality: Josh Duggar’s So-Called Vanilla Sexual Preferences Deemed Dull

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Notice: The following post contains obscene language as excerpted from other sites. I may toss in one or two of my own expletives.

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I usually critique Christian views and commentary about sex and related matters here on this blog. And I end up not having flattering things to say about quite a bunch of it.

However, every so often, I see an incredibly outlandish, stupid, inflammatory, or hypocritical editorial or report by secular left wing, liberal Christian, ex Christian, or atheistic sources that unfairly and inaccurately skewer Christians, Christianity, or certain Christian beliefs or practices, and I feel the need to discuss it. This is another one of those times.

Unless you have been living under a rock that last few months, you should already be familiar with Josh Duggar, raised in the infamous Christian patriarchal Duggar family of the reality television series “19 Kids And Counting.”

A story broke a few months ago that Josh molested some of his sisters and a babysitter when he was a teenager, and his parents did not get him proper treatment for it, and they and the sisters continue to diminish the gravity of that entire ordeal.

More recently, Josh Duggar, who is 27 years old and is married with about three or four small children, has been in the news for apparently having signed up for the Ashley Madison site, a site where married people can find willing partners to have extra marital flings. I blogged about that (Link): here.

A bit after that story broke, a porn actress and stripper claims that Josh paid her over $1,000 for a sexual encounter that she said was scary and a little violent. She also said, I think, that Duggar had been following her on social media for awhile and had sent her messages.

As far as Josh Duggar’s leaked Ashley Madison information is concerned, his sexual preferences in a woman partner were revealed by several web sites.

Here is that list of Duggar’s sexual preferences taken from the Ashley Madison leak, as they appear on a site called “Preen.” (More on Preen’s coverage in a moment. For now, here’s Duggar’s list):

  • – conventional sex
  • – experimenting with sex toys
  • – one-night stands
  • – open to experimentation
  • – gentleness
  • – good with your hands
  • – sensual massage
  • – extended foreplay/teasing
  • – bubble bath for two
  • – likes to give oral sex
  • – likes to receive oral sex
  • – someone I can teach
  • – someone who can teach me
  • – kissing
  • – cuddling and hugging
  • – sharing fantasies
  • – sex talk

Continue reading “Hypocrisy: Secular Pundits Judge Christian Sexuality: Josh Duggar’s So-Called Vanilla Sexual Preferences Deemed Dull”