Mainstream Christianity got it horribly, horribly wrong

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    Aug 22, 2013 11:58 AM GMT
    Special request: if you're a non-Christian, please don't diss those of us who are.

    If you've already seen my other thread about this, I honestly don't know how else to do this.

    In the last few days, certain things happened around me, and others came to my knowledge. I became insanely angry as a result of those things - angrier than I was able to deal with.

    Here's the thing.

    People reading the Old Testament or the Mosaic Law assume that they're reading the way God wanted things to be. They're assuming that the heteropatriarchy n the bible are an eternal status quo. They're assuming that even after becoming Christians, God wants people to observe the Mosaic Law or some hybridization of Law and Grace.

    But the Law was an abberation. The Law exists in order to give the curse meted out in Eden a structure (whether you read that story literally or not is irrelevant).

    To demonstrate one way the Law "answers" the Edenic incident: because Eve happened to be approached
    by the Serpent first, and because she was first to view God through a lens of hierarchy and structure rather than intimacy and trust, the curse "unbalanced" relationships, bringing in domination and hierarchy mostly upon women and also upon men. The Law was given so this imbalance could be stabilized in a code and people wouldn't abuse one
    another; it was given to regulate and supervise the problem. When people "sinned" it was because they'd overstepped its bounds.

    The overall thrust of biblical history is towards a reversal of the curse and a dismantling of the Law. Many people-groups have instinctively worked out some variation of the
    patriarchy encoded in the Mosaic Law. Christianity is counter-cultural in that it lives "above the Law" in a lifestyle informed by outrageous love and generosity that's meant to go waaaaaay beyond tolerance.

    Whenever Christians impose the Mosaic Law or some diluted version of it, it leads to death. The Powers and Principalities (dictators as we have them here in Africa) use the Mosaic Law to keep people in relational and political imbalances, and people
    allow it because they think that the Mosaic Law is normative; they think it contains "traditional values".

    But it's not. The Mosaic Law is incompatible with freedom and equality because it was introduced to regulate a curse. That Law itself is a yoke of bondage. The Law reveals God's heart only insofar as the Law regulates the curse of Eden. But it is not God's best for humans. God's best is that
    "There is now no more Greek or Jew, there is no more slave or free, there is no more male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus." The Grace that the Christian God wants us in cannot exist apart from a knowledge of Jesus. But it must not ever be mixed with Law either. Some people would be offended at the exclusitivity of this statement but I'm just answering mainstream Christianitiy on its own terms.

    "There is no more Male And Female." If we continue defending
    Traditional marriage in the name of God on one side of the world, we'll continue getting gay killings on the other side. The very mind-set that the Law was supposed to supervise reappears. Defend traditional marriage citing the Law of God on one side of the globe, and you'll get misogyny, child labor and poverty on the other side. We're all so intimately connected. Yes, there are victories - but they're interruptions in a series of homophobic incidences unless you live somewhere really cushy.

    The Law of God is not to be trifled with: it must be kept wholly, or exchanged for Grace in Christ. Many people think they have the option of living somewhere between. Between pure Law and pure Grace is really, really volatile.

    Whenever the bible discusses normative marriage structures (and slavery for Christian slave owners and masters), it is making concessions to the structures that we live in, which we feel we could not survive without. It is not giving them an unqualified, eternal endorsement.

    I submit that the church made a mistake when she made the concessions out to be part-and parcel of God's will for us by reading into the concessions an eternal, unqualified hybridization of Law and Grace.

    This now allows the Powers to claim that the inequality they impose on people is justifiable because it's God's will. Do you know why Africa is in the shape it's in? Our politicians get to cite "God's will" when doing things that appear righteous, insofar as they play to people's tribalistic, nationalistic and instinctive knowledge of the Law. But
    their long-term effects are disastrous.

    To impose any hybridization of Grace and Law on society, in the name of God, will bring about gender inequality, homophobia, poverty, injustice, unequal access to resources and a whole bunch of other complications. It will bring about psychological oppression and overwhelming feelings of guilt and condemnation. It will mess society up in seemingly unrelated ways. It will keep people really small and really disempowered.

    I have watched people and activists try to fight for gay rights in South Africa. I was confused because we have a Constitution that supports them. When I realized that the church was actually at the root of the problem because she didn't "get the message" that she was supposed to be spreading, I started writing against the cultural and
    religious atmosphere we live in. I was told to stop - that the culture we live in (especially here in SA) is inherently the way it is and there is nothing that anyone can do, since the Law affirms many of its unequal social structures. "Patriarchy works," someone said to me.

    People say that because they can't see past the temporal benefits that they get while many who are on the wrong end of the hierarchy suffer. It's not just wrong: it's damnably wrong. Either people will begin to see that or I will opt out.

    To conflate gay rights with human rights is trickery UNLESS you can flesh out that homophobia is also an abberation that exists along the same structures that every other inequality exists in. I have hopefully fleshed that out in the essay attached below. Many Christian denominations think that successful Christian discipleship is about better adherence to the Law. I chew my way through most scriptures used to defend that position in order to show that it's not tenable.

    Successful Christian discipleship is holistically loving God,
    holistically loving people and holistically loving creation. It is freedom from the mindsets and structures of the world and of the Law.

    Basically, to disparage one segment of the human race because it doesn't live by a Mosaic lifestyle model - is to reinforce the imbalance and keep history bound and dead.

    For me to sit by while homophobia happens allows every other form of oppression to happen because it's coded into the same structure. It is not distinct from any other injustice. I find it abhorrent and I can't pretend to be okay while I know it's going on.

    I'm on a hunger-strike until mainstream christianity "gets it." The below started as a suicide note because my church didn't get it. Nobody got it. But it's all there - the more we do things "in the name of God" - the more we impose our worldviews on other people - the worse we make things.

    I cannot, cannot, cannot abide intolerance and discrimination against myself or another person. It makes me sick.

    http://suicidewritesnotestoo.wordpress.com
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    Aug 22, 2013 12:51 PM GMT
    And this is why I turned atheist. If God is powerful enough to create this vast universe we live in (and maybe even other universes), then he should be powerful enough to prevent "evil" from ever happening in the first place. And as for having his son killed in an archaic belief that killing/sacrificing stuff actually brings magical good, no "loving" god would do that.

    The entire story of the bible - or any religion for that matter - just makes no sense. When growing up, I was suicidal many times over my sexuality and other conflicts with religion. Then in my 30's I started researching more and came to the conclusion that there is no god. Since then I've been happier than ever before, and get happier every time I see more evidence for the NON-existence of a god.

    BTW, I'm not dissing you for what you believe. All I'm saying is, instead of fighting Christianity on its own terms, spend a little time researching ALL religions in depth. You'll be amazed at how similar they are; and it really puts into context just how inconsistent they are. Would your God be so rude as to make up rules so ambiguous that NOBODY can get it right, even after 300,000+ different religions?
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    Aug 22, 2013 2:46 PM GMT

    the_blogger said, "Successful Christian discipleship is holistically loving God,
    holistically loving people and holistically loving creation. It is freedom from the mindsets and structures of the world and of the Law."

    Very wonderful and I agree with you. Good thing you are here with us to say such a thing.

    Now I have a request.
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    Aug 22, 2013 5:24 PM GMT
    You really need to stop thinking & frustrating about what the church thinks & focus on what you believe.

    Church is an egoistic organization. What do you expect them to be, they act according to their desires and demands others to follow them. They claim to be Christians, but their actions are the exact opposite to the teachings of Christ.
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    Aug 22, 2013 6:02 PM GMT
    Here's the skinny on it:

    There are strong biblical clues that God handed the Law down in order to cover mankind's shame; there are strong biblical clues that God created His Laws in order to trip people up.

    When God said, "Don't steal" He was instantly accusing people of being thieves at heart.

    When God created the provision for polygamy. He was respectably dressing up that society saw its women as objects. For a man to make recourse to the provision is to wallow in the very shame that the provision was made for; for men to do it en masse is for society as a whole to unmask itself.

    In the bible, God sets men up as leaders, both socially and in their families. He then mocks their impotence even as men rush to embrace the pomp He's set before them.

    When God instituted the types of marriage that He did in the Mosaic Law, He wasn't blessing the marriage union: He was quarantining everything that was wrong with it. For society to insist on traditional marriages is for them to admit that the quarantine is necessary.

    When society argues for the "traditional family", they are showing that civilization is so fragile that it must only be very carefully built on traditional families. When traditionalists argue that every society that allowed any other model eventually demised in war, they are admitting that we need to cover up man's animosity towards fellow man behind the respectability of traditional families, rather than have the balls to ask what it is about the world that keeps purposely destroying non-conventional societies.

    When people quote the bible's prohibition against "lying with a man as with a woman," when they disparage men who "turned aside from the use of the woman," they inadvertently unmask their true beliefs about women.
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    Aug 23, 2013 4:34 AM GMT


    lol, and I still have a request.
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    Aug 23, 2013 4:36 AM GMT
    Listen to this audio book, I recommend you
    http://librivox.org/what-i-believe-by-leo-tolstoy/
    It's free to download.
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    Aug 23, 2013 8:34 PM GMT
    Dude.....get some therapy. icon_rolleyes.gif
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    Aug 24, 2013 7:03 AM GMT
    To The Blogger,

    Listen and watch this video on Adam and Eve.



    The laws Moses shared were not directly related to the Adam and Eve you're talking about. If so, God would have given Adam and Eve some going away from Eden homework. The amount of time from Adam and Eve to Moses is more than a thousand years (and if you want to be scientific about it, it was more than 20,000 years; and, if you want to get Human Origins about it, it was more than one million years).

    Second, the laws of Moses are the laws of an Ancient Hebrew people.

    Is it right to sort of apply inductive reasoning--taking the god and laws of Ancient Hebrews and making them general principles?



    Get off the hunger strike.

    Tell the Christians that bother you:

    God does not always give parents a boy and a girl as children. Sometimes God gives two brothers, two sisters, and an unequal number of brothers and sisters.

    What the Old Testament suggests is that we are to keep one another. Am I my brother's keeper? Yes.

    When the police keep us safe, he's a brother being a brother's keeper (when we are not talking about corruption).

    When the fireman keep us safe, he's a brother being a brother's keeper.

    When a writer keep us safe from ignorance, he's a brother being a brother's keeper.

    When an entertainer keeps us safe from boredom, he's a brother's keeper.

    When a bisexual/homosexual man gets horizontal with another man giving him affection and isometric tumbles in the bed which are strengthening and affirming in their kindness, he's being a brother's keeper.
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    Aug 24, 2013 12:26 PM GMT
    paulflexes

    And this is why I turned atheist.


    StephenOABC

    Oh Lord.


    Paul

    If God is powerful enough to create this vast universe we live in (and maybe even other universes), then he should be powerful enough to prevent "evil" from ever happening in the first place.


    Stephen

    If an Ancient Hebrew notion of God is powerful...

    If a Creator-God notion of God creates the universe, there should be no evil. You know how violent the solar system is. You know how violent geological history is.

    Paul. Come on.



    Paul

    And as for having his son killed in an archaic belief that killing/sacrificing stuff actually brings magical good, no "loving" god would do that.


    Stephen

    God isn't only the planetary deity Venus.

    The spirit of the times isn't only the Age of Taurus or the Age of Libra.

    The Old Testament took place mostly in the Age of Aries. The sacrifice theology is an Age of Aries thing or something done by a Piscean hero to mark the end of the Age of Aries.


    Paul

    Then in my 30's I started researching more and came to the conclusion that there is no god. Since then I've been happier than ever before, and get happier every time I see more evidence for the NON-existence of a god.


    Stephen

    Your research included Journey of the Soul or Destiny of the Soul?
    Did your research include Astrology at its best?


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    Aug 25, 2013 2:47 PM GMT
    I was raised in the Christian belief, but over thepast 7 years now, I stop subscribing to some of its BS. There are some nice attributes in it where it speaks to honesty, love and respect for one another, but that's about it to be honest.

    When I look at something like homosexuality which exist in all walks of life, classes of people, pretty much since the beginning of civilization, yet the Church honestly expects me to take a 2,000 year old book with a 2,000 year old message to define my life while at the same time discriminating against me for natural feelings I can't control?

    The church has been a very divisive entity for a long time, it has started wars and caused people to hate one another for no good reason.

    I will say this, there is a higher power though. I do believe there is some force controlling all of this, I don't know what it could be. Some might call it God, Mother nature, Spirit, but there is indeed a higher power.

    Just the fact that you think about your existence, what is the ultimate purpose of life, humans, what is 'my' ultimate purpose, what is the planets ultimate purpose, what is the universe ultimate purpose? The fact that that I am even asking about that would in itself prove that there is some intelligent designer at least wanting you to question things and to really know things for yourself and not just follow a rule book and bunch of Christians whose only objective in life is to try and avoid some imaginary hellfire.

    They say the bible is the inspired word of God written by early Christians, but I believe it was written by persons drinking a lot of spiked grape juice.
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    Aug 28, 2013 3:05 AM GMT
    PaulDee said

    I believe it was written by persons drinking a lot of spiked grape juice.


    It's a more serious affair than that--a much more serious affair than that.
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    Sep 01, 2013 5:10 AM GMT
    StephenOABC said...
    Stephen

    God isn't only the planetary deity Venus.
    ...
    Dude, study just a simple modicum of astronomy. Venus is Hell, in every sense of the word (quite literally).

    If God is Venus, I want absolutely nothing to do with him, except grope his arms since Venus is really really really REALLY REALLY REALLY HOT!!!

    Now, go back to your textbook and shut the fuck up. Venus is not god, so stop being so goddamn stupid that you think that helluva planet is.
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    Sep 01, 2013 5:13 AM GMT
    meninlove said

    lol, and I still have a request.


    Bump.