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Author Topic: reasons for rejecting the bible/religion/whatever  (Read 3534 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: February 15, 2013, 11:02:15 PM »

(ok, so this is going to be kinda vague since I'm trying to keep it short)

It starting to seem to me like most people reject the Bible or Christianity for really bad reasons, mostly just 'feelings,' not liking its morality or simply not understanding it. The second especially in regards to sex (probably the #1 reason) - but of course "I don't like it" or "I want to do whatever I want to do" is really a foolish criteria for determining truth. The third mainly has to do with that the Bible requires a lot more literary and rhetorical knowledge to appreciate then most people have (just having the concept of hyperbole would go a long way, there's people that reject Christianity because they really think Jesus asks them to despise their family).

Does anyone know of any books dealing with any of this? Christianity is loosing people not because people are making hard decisions and sifting the wheat from the chaff.. its really just because people 1) Are thinking with their emotions 2) Can read the bible but don't really know what it means sometimes.
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« Reply #1 on: February 16, 2013, 08:43:13 PM »

(ok, so this is going to be kinda vague since I'm trying to keep it short)

It starting to seem to me like most people reject the Bible or Christianity for really bad reasons, mostly just 'feelings,' not liking its morality or simply not understanding it. The second especially in regards to sex (probably the #1 reason) - but of course "I don't like it" or "I want to do whatever I want to do" is really a foolish criteria for determining truth. The third mainly has to do with that the Bible requires a lot more literary and rhetorical knowledge to appreciate then most people have (just having the concept of hyperbole would go a long way, there's people that reject Christianity because they really think Jesus asks them to despise their family).

Does anyone know of any books dealing with any of this? Christianity is loosing people not because people are making hard decisions and sifting the wheat from the chaff.. its really just because people 1) Are thinking with their emotions 2) Can read the bible but don't really know what it means sometimes.

Hey, I can frequently read the Bible and not really know what it means  Wink.  However, I do not reject it or its message (to the extent that I know what it means, that is Wink).

On a more serious note, I think a lot of people reject Christ and Christianity because, well...it's not about *them*, and when they do realize that it means things like suffering and bearing crosses, well, heck...what fun is that?  Roll Eyes
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« Reply #2 on: February 16, 2013, 10:47:42 PM »

(ok, so this is going to be kinda vague since I'm trying to keep it short)

It starting to seem to me like most people reject the Bible or Christianity for really bad reasons, mostly just 'feelings,' not liking its morality or simply not understanding it. The second especially in regards to sex (probably the #1 reason) - but of course "I don't like it" or "I want to do whatever I want to do" is really a foolish criteria for determining truth. The third mainly has to do with that the Bible requires a lot more literary and rhetorical knowledge to appreciate then most people have (just having the concept of hyperbole would go a long way, there's people that reject Christianity because they really think Jesus asks them to despise their family).

Does anyone know of any books dealing with any of this? Christianity is loosing people not because people are making hard decisions and sifting the wheat from the chaff.. its really just because people 1) Are thinking with their emotions 2) Can read the bible but don't really know what it means sometimes.

Doing your own will is the fundamental of satanism.

Google "Do what thy wilt shall be the whole of the law".   You'll find a satanist behind that quote.
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« Reply #3 on: February 17, 2013, 01:36:15 AM »

Want to know what I think? I think that people are rejecting Christianity because they are trying to read the Bible and understand God on their own or with the guidance of these weirdo tele-evangelists on TV, opposed to understanding it all through the lense of the Orthodox Church--which is the context by which the Bible was meant to be interpreted through (1 Tim 3:5).
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« Reply #4 on: February 17, 2013, 02:27:02 AM »

People reject religion, the Bible, God, the whole enchilada, because there is no real compelling factor in life for religion anymore.  Sure, some people are poor or sick and find solace in religion, but most people recognize that they can be successful without God.  Sure, they might not "get to heaven," but they have a home, a family, and food on the table.  What else do they need? 

I find that, personally, when I'm confronted with a bunch of scriptural writings about how I should amend my life, or a sermon at Church or something, I can't help but say "But I don't caaaaare!"

The spiritual aspect of things isn't really the most important part of life when one has what they need.
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« Reply #5 on: February 17, 2013, 02:51:29 AM »

People reject religion, the Bible, God, the whole enchilada, because there is no real compelling factor in life for religion anymore.  Sure, some people are poor or sick and find solace in religion, but most people recognize that they can be successful without God.  Sure, they might not "get to heaven," but they have a home, a family, and food on the table.  What else do they need? 

I find that, personally, when I'm confronted with a bunch of scriptural writings about how I should amend my life, or a sermon at Church or something, I can't help but say "But I don't caaaaare!"

The spiritual aspect of things isn't really the most important part of life when one has what they need.
Is that successful?

No amount of idols can fill the gap left in the soul where the Holy Spirit should reside.
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« Reply #6 on: February 17, 2013, 02:21:21 PM »

I would agree that many turn from Christianity because of misconceptions. I certainly did. If I understand you correctly you're looking for book reference that explains Christianity in general layman terms?

It's an older book, and the author was not Orthodox, but I still think ‘Mere Christianity’ by C.S.Lewis does an outstanding job of that. Titled accordingly as he intentionally tried to avoid the primary differences in denominations, to focus on the basic (mere) fundamental beliefs shared by most forms of Christianity. Others can chime in if they disagree but I think it is generally accepted by Orthodox, most Protestants, and the RCC.

In a different book the same author offers a witty quote pertaining to the "I want to do whatever I want to do" reason for rejecting Christianity that you mentioned:

"There are two kinds of people: those who say to God, “Thy will be done,” and those to whom God says, “All right, then, have it your way.” - C.S. Lewis

I am about to sit down and begin ‘Indication of the Way Into the Kingdom of Heaven’ by Saint Innocent. A Priest let my daughter borrow it and she recommended it to me. It was apparently used in the early to mid 1800's to introduce the Gospel (Orthodoxy) to Alaskan Natives. I have only read over the intro thus far but it seems to be a nice depiction of The Word in layman terms.

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« Reply #7 on: February 17, 2013, 04:59:21 PM »

(ok, so this is going to be kinda vague since I'm trying to keep it short)

It starting to seem to me like most people reject the Bible or Christianity for really bad reasons, mostly just 'feelings,' not liking its morality or simply not understanding it. The second especially in regards to sex (probably the #1 reason) - but of course "I don't like it" or "I want to do whatever I want to do" is really a foolish criteria for determining truth. The third mainly has to do with that the Bible requires a lot more literary and rhetorical knowledge to appreciate then most people have (just having the concept of hyperbole would go a long way, there's people that reject Christianity because they really think Jesus asks them to despise their family).

Does anyone know of any books dealing with any of this? Christianity is loosing people not because people are making hard decisions and sifting the wheat from the chaff.. its really just because people 1) Are thinking with their emotions 2) Can read the bible but don't really know what it means sometimes.

Doing your own will is the fundamental of satanism.

Google "Do what thy wilt shall be the whole of the law".   You'll find a satanist behind that quote.

Do we have to do this again?
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« Reply #8 on: February 17, 2013, 05:14:36 PM »

It's "...thou wilt..." anyway.
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« Reply #9 on: February 17, 2013, 06:22:29 PM »

Then get a OSB orthodox study bible.
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« Reply #10 on: February 19, 2013, 09:15:15 PM »

(ok, so this is going to be kinda vague since I'm trying to keep it short)

It starting to seem to me like most people reject the Bible or Christianity for really bad reasons, mostly just 'feelings,' not liking its morality or simply not understanding it. The second especially in regards to sex (probably the #1 reason) - but of course "I don't like it" or "I want to do whatever I want to do" is really a foolish criteria for determining truth. The third mainly has to do with that the Bible requires a lot more literary and rhetorical knowledge to appreciate then most people have (just having the concept of hyperbole would go a long way, there's people that reject Christianity because they really think Jesus asks them to despise their family).

Does anyone know of any books dealing with any of this? Christianity is loosing people not because people are making hard decisions and sifting the wheat from the chaff.. its really just because people 1) Are thinking with their emotions 2) Can read the bible but don't really know what it means sometimes.

Doing your own will is the fundamental of satanism.

Google "Do what thy wilt shall be the whole of the law".   You'll find a satanist behind that quote.

Do we have to do this again?

Do what again?  He said the #1 reason for people reject bible/religion/whatever was "I want to do whatever I want to do".

That *IS* the teaching of the satanic church, in Crowley's writings, and is pretty much stated in the Wicca creed.

I was just relaying the information.   I think it is very important for people who believe that they "want to do what they want" to understand that is *exactly* what Lucifer did, and *exactly* what Satanists preach.

I also believe that the OP was correct, that people "wanting to do what they want" is one of the largest reasons people are not Christians.
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« Reply #11 on: February 20, 2013, 11:25:11 AM »

Threads like this give me a headache. The, ah, "reasons" that most of you are throwing out here aren't my own, or those of a great many people I've talked to who have left whatever religion they were brought up in.

I don't quite know what you mean when you talk about "rejecting" the Bible. As far as rejecting religioin goes, I haven't been able to accept any given religion's historical and/or metaphysical claims, so yeah, I guess you could say I've rejected them. I can't say that emotion had much to do with it, nor did I reject them simply because I don't want them to be true. And desire for sex certainly doesn't have anything to do with it.
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« Reply #12 on: February 20, 2013, 01:37:04 PM »

Yes, echoing the sentiments of the poster above me, the reasons presented by most here are quite removed from reality. While there are likely some who have left religion on account of libertinism, it is most certainly not the cause of most cases. Examine history as well as the present. In both instances, people are more than capable of remaining nominally religious whilst behaving as fiends. Those who have left to pursue selfishness have simply jumped aboard, so to speak, an already sailing ship. Most reasons resemble something like (and I will leave it to your judgment how fair or poor these reasons are) :

1) Not having an expected spiritual experience. This is especially true in certain Protestant sects where such things are anticipated. Many people get nothing from prayer.

2) Perception of the church as a source of strife and division. For the most part, the church (in fact, religion in general) has grown with the times and adjusted its morals accordingly. This, however, is not true in all cases (e.g. some churches' condemnation of homosexuality). Those who leave for this reason oft see the church as a symbol a bigotry and disunity (if not outright hatred).

3) Perception of the church as anti-science. While most churches have relented and accepted the truth in evolution, the few that hold out have more or less served as a strawman for Christianity in general.

4) Hypocrisy. While hypocrisy is no new phenomenon, the new cultural climate (that is the western trend of abandoning religion) makes people more likely to leave for such reasons. Hypocrisy/scandal can come from a pastor, priest, or even another layperson.

5) Ecumenism/Cultural Exchange. Not a direct cause, but a significant factor. The technology of today along with globalism have given rise to a greater understanding of other religions. The average person has a more accurate conception (or at least less propagandized one) of what other religions teach. Perennialism, indifferentism, or even conversion are possibilities. At the very least, holding to religious exclusivism is harder now than it has been in quite some time.

Of course there are plenty of other reasons (such as reasons logical) people abandon faith (some of which have been mentioned in the aforementioned posts). Neither I, nor anyone I know (with perhaps one exception) has left faith/religion on account of earthly pleasure.
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« Reply #13 on: February 23, 2013, 05:43:17 PM »

On a more serious note, I think a lot of people reject Christ and Christianity because, well...it's not about *them*, and when they are deceived by false teachers into thinking that it means things like suffering and bearing crosses, well, heck...what fun is that?  Roll Eyes

Corrected you, as Jesus Christ(God) never wants us to suffer, He said,

John 10:10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

and

Matthew 10:22, and you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.

Jesus Christ wants us to suffer when for Him, if necessary(aka Martyrdom) for His Name Sake, not for nothing, if there is nothing to suffer for, no prosecution etc, then in no way does God want anyone to suffer, and even in suffering for His Name Sake/Him, under prosecution, He still doesn't want anyone to suffer, the Christian life in the early Christian days was full of suffering, so yes God would require them to suffer for His sake, but now this has diminished, so the Christian life is less suffering, but of receiving Life from Jesus Christ(YHWH), now if you're under prosecution you are to suffer for His sake.

Jesus Christ only expects you to suffer for Him, for what is right, for His sake, therefore only If necessary, if not then there is not reason to suffer, just don't sin, help and love your neighbor, and help them stop suffering. so God(The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit) allows us to suffer because He has to, to give us free will beings eternal life,(as proven here http://savedbychrist94.blogspot.com/2013/01/the-problem-of-suffering-permanently.html  ) to build perseverance, and so others can repent.

So no, The Christian Life, the life God(The Father, Jesus Christ, and The Holy Spirit) gives us is not a life of suffering, only under prosecution(any I might add, minor or major like martyrdom)

The life of this world(sin) is a life of suffering, sadness, no joy, depression, unsatisfaction, evil desires that harm others or themselves, not The Life God(The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit) gives us.

Other false burdens are like for example, burdening those who are homosexual, when homosexuality isn't even a sin, they are missing out on God(The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit) because one of the folks mentioned by The Holy Spirit through Paul(1 Timothy 4:1-5, 4 The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. 2 Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron. 3 They forbid people to marry and order them to abstain from certain foods, which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and who know the truth. 4 For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, 5 because it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer.)

People decide to make their own doctrines, 1 Timothy 6:20-21 20O Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to you, avoiding worldly and empty chatter and the opposing arguments of what is falsely called “knowledge”—21which some have professed and thus gone astray from the faith.


We need to start teaching The Truth Doctrines of The Old and New Testament and stop causing others to stumble, I once did this and now suffer guilt(and I hope never do it again, will always check if The Doctrines I have are correct and Biblical), but I repented,


Luke 17:1-4,

And he said to his disciples, “Temptations to sin are sure to come, but woe to the one through whom they come! It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck and he were cast into the sea than that he should cause one of these little ones to sin. Pay attention to yourselves! If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him, and if he sins against you seven times in the day, and turns to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ you must forgive him.”
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« Reply #14 on: February 23, 2013, 09:08:16 PM »

You should Reject the bible cause it was put together by Evil Saint Constantine in the third century in the council of Nicea where he influenced and forced all of those poor Bishops to accept his four gospels over hte three hundred possibly more true Gospels than the ones we have.

But in all seriousness, most people who reject the bible do it out of face value, no deep study or conclusions drawn from actually reading the thing. They see things they think are:

absurd, Talking donkeys, Slaying of a thousand men with a Jawbone from a donkey

Immoral, Israel being commaded to kill all the inhabitants of Canaan to the last woman and child

or what they perceive as just weird and totally nonsensical, book of revelation.

Nothing will solve their preconceived notions unless they have some interest in studying this, unless they ask themselves the question and seriously reflect on it "is there a meaning I am missing?"
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« Reply #15 on: February 24, 2013, 04:44:25 AM »

Old testament is too horrible,bloody and voilence?
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« Reply #16 on: February 24, 2013, 07:09:48 AM »

They think if they tell themselves something enough times, it will become true.  They aren’t the ones who worry me.  The ones who worry me are those who accept only the parts they like and disregard the parts they don’t.  Cherry picking Christianity. 

I second the suggestion of Mere Christianity.
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« Reply #17 on: February 24, 2013, 07:47:43 PM »

They think if they tell themselves something enough times, it will become true.  They aren’t the ones who worry me.  The ones who worry me are those who accept only the parts they like and disregard the parts they don’t.  Cherry picking Christianity. 

I second the suggestion of Mere Christianity.

Give us examples of cherry picking, if you mean that they do certain sins(evils) then we agree, but with things that aren't sin(homosexuality, premarital sex, sexual attraction), then there is hypocrisy as one would call things not sin, a sin, proving 1 Timothy 4 True.
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« Reply #18 on: February 24, 2013, 08:00:53 PM »

but with things that aren't sin(homosexuality, premarital sex, sexual attraction)

Do you read the Scriptures with blindfolds on or something?
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« Reply #19 on: February 24, 2013, 08:54:18 PM »

but with things that aren't sin(homosexuality, premarital sex, sexual attraction)

Do you read the Scriptures with blindfolds on or something?

No, he just went the Thomas Jefferson route and threw out the parts he didn't like.



One reason that many people I have talked to use is that they can not see how a murderer or a rapist can possibly get to Heaven, while the President of a Charity (or some other generally good person) would go to Hell for not being a Christian.
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« Reply #20 on: February 24, 2013, 08:58:50 PM »

but with things that aren't sin(homosexuality, premarital sex, sexual attraction)

Do you read the Scriptures with blindfolds on or something?

Often it is the blind man who sees the most.
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« Reply #21 on: February 24, 2013, 09:13:54 PM »

but with things that aren't sin(homosexuality, premarital sex, sexual attraction)

Do you read the Scriptures with blindfolds on or something?

Often it is the blind man who sees the most.

Except when ditches are involved
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« Reply #22 on: February 25, 2013, 10:03:17 AM »

(ok, so this is going to be kinda vague since I'm trying to keep it short)

It starting to seem to me like most people reject the Bible or Christianity for really bad reasons, mostly just 'feelings,' not liking its morality or simply not understanding it. The second especially in regards to sex (probably the #1 reason) - but of course "I don't like it" or "I want to do whatever I want to do" is really a foolish criteria for determining truth. The third mainly has to do with that the Bible requires a lot more literary and rhetorical knowledge to appreciate then most people have (just having the concept of hyperbole would go a long way, there's people that reject Christianity because they really think Jesus asks them to despise their family).

Does anyone know of any books dealing with any of this? Christianity is loosing people not because people are making hard decisions and sifting the wheat from the chaff.. its really just because people 1) Are thinking with their emotions 2) Can read the bible but don't really know what it means sometimes.

It would be difficult to summarize why each individual opts out of Christianity, if they were ever a part of it anyway.

A book "Atheist Delusions: The Christian Revolution and Its Fashionable Enemies" by David Bentley Hart, has received some good reviews.  It's published by Yale University Press.  He doesn't write about social psychology / sociology though.  He writes more from an historical perspective.  I have it, but haven't read it yet because I'm not too interested in New Atheist debates, which often are attacks on Christians and Christianity based on the history of the western Roman Catholic Church, and now on Emperor Constantine.  The historical / historiography analysis might be interesting though.  Somewhere I read or heard that David Hart is Orthodox, but I'm not certain about that.
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« Reply #23 on: February 25, 2013, 05:29:27 PM »

but with things that aren't sin(homosexuality, premarital sex, sexual attraction)

Do you read the Scriptures with blindfolds on or something?

Nope I read The Bible with my eyes open, if I didn't I'd be committing life ruining sins, I used to believe homosexual, premarital sex, and even sexual attraction to be a sin, when this was made up by man, not God(The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit)

For Homosexuality, Every sin punishable by death is repeated in Deuteronomy, yet in Deut. it isn't there but Temple Prostitution is.

For Premarital Sex, see Acts420 he utterly destroyed the man made doctrine of premarital sex being sin

For Sexual Attraction, God(The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit) never condemned it, yet promoted it, Matt. 5:27-28 in Greek is about Adultery not "lusting", God created sex and sexual desires, and God promotes sexual desires(By Solomon),

Proverbs 5:

15 Drink water from your own cistern,
    running water from your own well.
16 Should your springs overflow in the streets,
    your streams of water in the public squares?
17 Let them be yours alone,
    never to be shared with strangers.
18 May your fountain be blessed,
    and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth.
19 A loving doe, a graceful deer—
    may her breasts satisfy you always,
    may you ever be intoxicated with her love.
20 Why, my son, be intoxicated with another man’s wife?
    Why embrace the bosom of a wayward woman?

What I notice is that everything that is sin harms another person(or themselves) unjustly.
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« Reply #24 on: February 25, 2013, 05:35:39 PM »

Note it says "the wife of your youth."

"The wife."

Not, "any random stranger."
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« Reply #25 on: February 25, 2013, 10:56:20 PM »

Thanks for the suggestions.

Nothing will solve their preconceived notions unless they have some interest in studying this, unless they ask themselves the question and seriously reflect on it "is there a meaning I am missing?"

^That is definitely important. If more people would think "Why did Jesus say this?" or "Why did something so extreme happen?" rather then go "OMG, that is horrible!" or "They just don't want me to have fun" (which honestly is what every last atheist I've read from or talked to expressed, that religion is all just a conspiracy to keep them from doing something sensuous or enthralling) it would be better.
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« Reply #26 on: February 25, 2013, 10:57:11 PM »

I have asked this question a lot.  The answer that keeps coming up (I get into a lot of discussions on this) is that the average person does not see anything in the average Christian that sets him / her apart from themselves.  I struggle with this continuously even in the "Orthodox" Church.  Simply put, the average Orthodox Christian seems to me to be no happier, heathier, spiritual, holy, or better than most of the people that I saw in my former Churches.  If anything, I would say that the "average" Orthodox Christian that I have met often appears less of those things than the "average" person of my former Churches.  Granted, I have seen some pretty Holy people in the Orthodox Church, and that is pretty much what keeps me going - the fact that there are people in this Church that I want to be like one day.  The problem is, that is not what most people see when they walk into the "average" Church of any denomination, and it is sure as heck not what they see when they see me.  Most of the highly liberalized Churches in this country really have nothing to offer.  If you really want to understand why people reject God, ask yourself what they see in YOU that would at all cause them to think that there is a God.
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« Reply #27 on: February 26, 2013, 01:55:44 AM »

Thanks for the suggestions.

Nothing will solve their preconceived notions unless they have some interest in studying this, unless they ask themselves the question and seriously reflect on it "is there a meaning I am missing?"

^That is definitely important. If more people would think "Why did Jesus say this?" or "Why did something so extreme happen?" rather then go "OMG, that is horrible!" or "They just don't want me to have fun" (which honestly is what every last atheist I've read from or talked to expressed, that religion is all just a conspiracy to keep them from doing something sensuous or enthralling) it would be better.
I believe you meant to attribute that quote to someone else.
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« Reply #28 on: February 26, 2013, 03:12:17 AM »

Note it says "the wife of your youth."

"The wife."

Not, "any random stranger."

I think the issue here comes down to the context of marriage. What many people ignore is that there really was no such thing as fornication back during the time of the Old Testament. People were generally married off the moment they reached sexual maturity or were kept under close watch in their parents' household. There really wasn't a such thing as dating or going out. And even in the rare occassion that two unmarried people did have sex/fornicate, they were considered married. The man simply paid a dowry to the woman's father as a consequence.
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« Reply #29 on: February 26, 2013, 03:13:48 AM »

I have asked this question a lot.  The answer that keeps coming up (I get into a lot of discussions on this) is that the average person does not see anything in the average Christian that sets him / her apart from themselves.  I struggle with this continuously even in the "Orthodox" Church.  Simply put, the average Orthodox Christian seems to me to be no happier, heathier, spiritual, holy, or better than most of the people that I saw in my former Churches.  If anything, I would say that the "average" Orthodox Christian that I have met often appears less of those things than the "average" person of my former Churches.  Granted, I have seen some pretty Holy people in the Orthodox Church, and that is pretty much what keeps me going - the fact that there are people in this Church that I want to be like one day.  The problem is, that is not what most people see when they walk into the "average" Church of any denomination, and it is sure as heck not what they see when they see me.  Most of the highly liberalized Churches in this country really have nothing to offer.  If you really want to understand why people reject God, ask yourself what they see in YOU that would at all cause them to think that there is a God.

I always like to look to the Monastics to remind me that God still works through His Church--even if we don't allow Him to fully illumine us.
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« Reply #30 on: February 26, 2013, 05:26:44 AM »

Christianity is loosing people not because people are making hard decisions and sifting the wheat from the chaff.. its really just because people 1) Are thinking with their emotions 2) Can read the bible but don't really know what it means sometimes.
The reason people are rejecting Christianity appears to me to be the simple fact that we no longer live in a society in which Christianity developed as the religion of state. Christianity developed as the official state religion of the Roman Empire which for over a millenium was the model fo all later medieval Christian kingdoms. The further from Byzantium the more watered down religion became until we arrive at the secular Christianity of US TV Evangelists. This is because the legacy of the development in the interaction between scholars and theologians was not completely carried over to the newer forms of Christianity, in short it lost all context. You can't just pick up the Bible, read and understanding it fully without appreciating the context in which it developed.

2) They can read the bible but don't know what it means.
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« Reply #31 on: February 26, 2013, 06:04:45 AM »

They think if they tell themselves something enough times, it will become true.  They aren’t the ones who worry me.  The ones who worry me are those who accept only the parts they like and disregard the parts they don’t.  Cherry picking Christianity. 

I second the suggestion of Mere Christianity.

Give us examples of cherry picking, if you mean that they do certain sins(evils) then we agree, but with things that aren't sin(homosexuality, premarital sex, sexual attraction), then there is hypocrisy as one would call things not sin, a sin, proving 1 Timothy 4 True.

The hypocrisy is saying sin is not sin.  Cherry picking.
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« Reply #32 on: February 26, 2013, 06:06:37 AM »

but with things that aren't sin(homosexuality, premarital sex, sexual attraction)

Do you read the Scriptures with blindfolds on or something?

Nope I read The Bible with my eyes open, if I didn't I'd be committing life ruining sins, I used to believe homosexual, premarital sex, and even sexual attraction to be a sin, when this was made up by man, not God(The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit)

For Homosexuality, Every sin punishable by death is repeated in Deuteronomy, yet in Deut. it isn't there but Temple Prostitution is.

For Premarital Sex, see Acts420 he utterly destroyed the man made doctrine of premarital sex being sin

For Sexual Attraction, God(The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit) never condemned it, yet promoted it, Matt. 5:27-28 in Greek is about Adultery not "lusting", God created sex and sexual desires, and God promotes sexual desires(By Solomon),

Proverbs 5:

15 Drink water from your own cistern,
    running water from your own well.
16 Should your springs overflow in the streets,
    your streams of water in the public squares?
17 Let them be yours alone,
    never to be shared with strangers.
18 May your fountain be blessed,
    and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth.
19 A loving doe, a graceful deer—
    may her breasts satisfy you always,
    may you ever be intoxicated with her love.
20 Why, my son, be intoxicated with another man’s wife?
    Why embrace the bosom of a wayward woman?

What I notice is that everything that is sin harms another person(or themselves) unjustly.
You bought the propaganda hook, line and sinker, then asked for more. 
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« Reply #33 on: February 26, 2013, 08:33:40 AM »

Doing your own will is the fundamental of satanism.

Aren't you the one who has invented your own confession by yourself?
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« Reply #34 on: February 26, 2013, 02:51:35 PM »

I have asked this question a lot.  The answer that keeps coming up (I get into a lot of discussions on this) is that the average person does not see anything in the average Christian that sets him / her apart from themselves.  I struggle with this continuously even in the "Orthodox" Church.  Simply put, the average Orthodox Christian seems to me to be no happier, heathier, spiritual, holy, or better than most of the people that I saw in my former Churches.  If anything, I would say that the "average" Orthodox Christian that I have met often appears less of those things than the "average" person of my former Churches.  Granted, I have seen some pretty Holy people in the Orthodox Church, and that is pretty much what keeps me going - the fact that there are people in this Church that I want to be like one day.  The problem is, that is not what most people see when they walk into the "average" Church of any denomination, and it is sure as heck not what they see when they see me.  Most of the highly liberalized Churches in this country really have nothing to offer.  If you really want to understand why people reject God, ask yourself what they see in YOU that would at all cause them to think that there is a God.

Have you always had this gift of discernment, before becoming Orthodox?
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« Reply #35 on: February 26, 2013, 03:26:13 PM »

(ok, so this is going to be kinda vague since I'm trying to keep it short)

It starting to seem to me like most people reject the Bible or Christianity for really bad reasons, mostly just 'feelings,' not liking its morality or simply not understanding it. The second especially in regards to sex (probably the #1 reason) - but of course "I don't like it" or "I want to do whatever I want to do" is really a foolish criteria for determining truth. The third mainly has to do with that the Bible requires a lot more literary and rhetorical knowledge to appreciate then most people have (just having the concept of hyperbole would go a long way, there's people that reject Christianity because they really think Jesus asks them to despise their family).

Does anyone know of any books dealing with any of this? Christianity is loosing people not because people are making hard decisions and sifting the wheat from the chaff.. its really just because people 1) Are thinking with their emotions 2) Can read the bible but don't really know what it means sometimes.

I see it as the opposite, people cling to Christianity -- especially evangelical/Protestant Christianity due to "feelings".  There are a lot of hurting people, and unfortunately Jesus is reduced to their emotional blanket.  The reason why I am no longer Christian is mostly I've concluded that there isn't nearly as much evidence as I thought to have established the existence of the Apostles, or the details of their lives.  Many of the apocryphal accounts we have of their lives, which were influenced by Tradition cannot be said to be for certain.   Many of them we are not even sure how they were said to have died, or if Thomas really went to India for instance especially with its current political boundaries as a nation.

But I do agree that there's some things in the Bible that I don't understand.  Like why God seems to command people to wipe out entire tribes such as the Amalekites for instance,  or why in 2 Kings the prophet Elisha sends a pack of bears to maul some youths for merely calling him "baldhead".  Why Christianity and Judaism look at the same Scriptures, but drifted so far apart theologically that they no longer understood each other?   I don't know if this thread is a place to ask those questions, but I'm still looking for answers.   And I know sometimes on OC.net things can get a little heated, but I'm wanting to keep all such discussions professional and civil.  I'd continue with other questions, if anyone's willing to engage -- if not, I would understand. 
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« Reply #36 on: February 26, 2013, 03:37:41 PM »



I see it as the opposite, people cling to Christianity -- especially evangelical/Protestant Christianity due to "feelings".  There are a lot of hurting people, and unfortunately Jesus is reduced to their emotional blanket.  The reason why I am no longer Christian is mostly I've concluded that there isn't nearly as much evidence as I thought to have established the existence of the Apostles, or the details of their lives.  Many of the apocryphal accounts we have of their lives, which were influenced by Tradition cannot be said to be for certain.   Many of them we are not even sure how they were said to have died, or if Thomas really went to India for instance especially with its current political boundaries as a nation.

Who spread the faith if not the apostles? Almost no-one in the first century AD can be proven to exist. There are even some theories that claim that all works, or most works, of Antiquity were actually written by monks in the Middle Ages.
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« Reply #37 on: February 26, 2013, 03:53:46 PM »



I see it as the opposite, people cling to Christianity -- especially evangelical/Protestant Christianity due to "feelings".  There are a lot of hurting people, and unfortunately Jesus is reduced to their emotional blanket.  The reason why I am no longer Christian is mostly I've concluded that there isn't nearly as much evidence as I thought to have established the existence of the Apostles, or the details of their lives.  Many of the apocryphal accounts we have of their lives, which were influenced by Tradition cannot be said to be for certain.   Many of them we are not even sure how they were said to have died, or if Thomas really went to India for instance especially with its current political boundaries as a nation.

Who spread the faith if not the apostles? Almost no-one in the first century AD can be proven to exist. There are even some theories that claim that all works, or most works, of Antiquity were actually written by monks in the Middle Ages.

It helps when your religion becomes the religion of the State, especially in a power-house such as the Eastern Roman Empire.  I am just assuming here, that these missionaries had the support of the Emperor when they went somewhere.   As to before that, the best I can say is by word of mouth -- I cannot say "who" specifically, but I do know that the Gospels themselves even though they were attributed to the Apostles.. probably had other authors.   There were many competing religious ideologies in the Mediterranean at the time, and it just so happened that Christianity was a lot easier to join.. than say the Mithraist cult was with its secret rituals reserved only for a few.  I'd be glad to be wrong about the above, but that's what I'm thinking.
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« Reply #38 on: February 27, 2013, 01:37:13 AM »



I see it as the opposite, people cling to Christianity -- especially evangelical/Protestant Christianity due to "feelings".  There are a lot of hurting people, and unfortunately Jesus is reduced to their emotional blanket.  The reason why I am no longer Christian is mostly I've concluded that there isn't nearly as much evidence as I thought to have established the existence of the Apostles, or the details of their lives.  Many of the apocryphal accounts we have of their lives, which were influenced by Tradition cannot be said to be for certain.   Many of them we are not even sure how they were said to have died, or if Thomas really went to India for instance especially with its current political boundaries as a nation.

Who spread the faith if not the apostles? Almost no-one in the first century AD can be proven to exist. There are even some theories that claim that all works, or most works, of Antiquity were actually written by monks in the Middle Ages.

It helps when your religion becomes the religion of the State, especially in a power-house such as the Eastern Roman Empire.  I am just assuming here, that these missionaries had the support of the Emperor when they went somewhere.   As to before that, the best I can say is by word of mouth -- I cannot say "who" specifically, but I do know that the Gospels themselves even though they were attributed to the Apostles.. probably had other authors.   There were many competing religious ideologies in the Mediterranean at the time, and it just so happened that Christianity was a lot easier to join.. than say the Mithraist cult was with its secret rituals reserved only for a few.  I'd be glad to be wrong about the above, but that's what I'm thinking.

Mithraism was actually very, very widespread (all the way to the most remote border forts in Scotland). Also, Christianity was secret and reserved for the few in the beginning... remember "catechumens depart"?
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« Reply #39 on: February 27, 2013, 06:49:52 PM »

Have you always had this gift of discernment, before becoming Orthodox?
I don't know about any particular "gift".  Perhaps I was already Orthodox in belief before I was ever exposed to an "Orthodox" Church.  Perhaps I am still Lutheran in belief after being baptized Orthodox.  I do know that not many of my former beliefs changed, but rather a few holes in what I believed were filled.  I guess that I will find out the Truth before too long.  I probably have far less time to live than I have lived already.
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« Reply #40 on: February 27, 2013, 11:34:19 PM »

Have you always had this gift of discernment, before becoming Orthodox?
I don't know about any particular "gift".  Perhaps I was already Orthodox in belief before I was ever exposed to an "Orthodox" Church.

How could you be certain?

Perhaps I am still Lutheran in belief after being baptized Orthodox.

Why do you say that?

I do know that not many of my former beliefs changed, but rather a few holes in what I believed were filled.

No new holes were created?

I guess that I will find out the Truth before too long.  I probably have far less time to live than I have lived already.

I hope you are well.
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« Reply #41 on: February 28, 2013, 09:47:17 AM »

Have you always had this gift of discernment, before becoming Orthodox?
I don't know about any particular "gift".  Perhaps I was already Orthodox in belief before I was ever exposed to an "Orthodox" Church.

How could you be certain?

Perhaps I am still Lutheran in belief after being baptized Orthodox.

Why do you say that?

I do know that not many of my former beliefs changed, but rather a few holes in what I believed were filled.

No new holes were created?

I guess that I will find out the Truth before too long.  I probably have far less time to live than I have lived already.

I hope you are well.

1. I am never totally certain about anything.  I only believe on the preponderance of the evidence presented to me.
2. How does the priest really know what is in the heart. 
3. I would not say so.  If I answered in the way that you probably intended, I would have to agree with you.  But probably the biggest hole that was filled was the way that I view holes.  My Lutheranism (as well as my early Orthodoxy) was very black and white.  That left a lot of grey area as a large hole.  Orthodoxy has shown me that to some extent, that grey area is quite alright.  We do not have to know everything, nor are we under any obligation to try to explain what has not be revealed to us.  As such, I have become much more comfortable with not knowing everything, and therefor it is no longer a hole for me.  Does that make sense to you?
4.  I am not, but thank you for your hope.
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« Reply #42 on: February 28, 2013, 03:14:55 PM »

Have you always had this gift of discernment, before becoming Orthodox?
I don't know about any particular "gift".  Perhaps I was already Orthodox in belief before I was ever exposed to an "Orthodox" Church.

How could you be certain?

Perhaps I am still Lutheran in belief after being baptized Orthodox.

Why do you say that?

I do know that not many of my former beliefs changed, but rather a few holes in what I believed were filled.

No new holes were created?

I guess that I will find out the Truth before too long.  I probably have far less time to live than I have lived already.

I hope you are well.

1. I am never totally certain about anything.  I only believe on the preponderance of the evidence presented to me.

I'm certain about what I believe.  My practice (praxis) may not be where I want it to be; however, my faith isn't based on preponderance of the evidence but absolute belief in the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.

2. How does the priest really know what is in the heart.

Have you discussed that with your Priest?
 
3. I would not say so.  If I answered in the way that you probably intended, I would have to agree with you.  But probably the biggest hole that was filled was the way that I view holes.  My Lutheranism (as well as my early Orthodoxy) was very black and white.  That left a lot of grey area as a large hole.  Orthodoxy has shown me that to some extent, that grey area is quite alright. 

Sometimes, I live in a black and white world as well.  When it comes to Orthodox faith, I've seen a lot of grey areas and I've had a few holes that I've had to fill and acknowledge that some of the holes were my fault.

We do not have to know everything, nor are we under any obligation to try to explain what has not be revealed to us.  As such, I have become much more comfortable with not knowing everything, and therefor it is no longer a hole for me.  Does that make sense to you?

Yes.  Some things are a mystery that defy explanation or logic.

4.  I am not, but thank you for your hope.

You are in my prayers.   angel
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« Reply #43 on: February 28, 2013, 04:43:40 PM »

I'm certain about what I believe.  My practice (praxis) may not be where I want it to be; however, my faith isn't based on preponderance of the evidence but absolute belief in the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.

But isn't that a rather meaningless statement?  I used to confess the same thing as a Lutheran.  So do Anglicans.  So to Roman Catholics for that matter.  And, each claim to be that Church.  I am certain, based on the preponderance of what I have read, that they are wrong.  But I was not born believing that, nor did I spend the first 33 years of my life believing that.   
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« Reply #44 on: February 28, 2013, 08:46:41 PM »

Doing your own will is the fundamental of satanism.

Aren't you the one who has invented your own confession by yourself?

No.  I follow the commands of God.   See it's men's will that messes up God's will.

For example your church doesn't understand this:  Exodus 20:4 (Words of God Bolded)

Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: 5 Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, or serve them.




"My confession" is just trying to do the will of God, which is exactly the opposite of how it seems to me, that you are trying to portray me.

The irony I see in this this is that EO have allowed the will of men (bishops), the tradition of men (bishops), and the vote of men's will (which they call God's will) to trick them into directly disobeying the commandment of God.  The EO can only become frustratingly angered, because to admit that they do not follow the commands of God, would be admitting they could no longer be EO.   (That is if their love for the church itself exceeded that of the love for God).

The reason I can't be EO, is because I love God and wish to follow God's will.   When the will of men can convince you to do the DIRECT OPPOSITE of that which God has commanded you NOT to do, then who's will is it? 

So attacks do come at me, but it is from frustrated people because they don't know what else to say.  IMHO, this stuff is not arguable.  Look at the photo, they are disobeying God's commandment in Exodus 20:4 - plain and simple.

So I ask you two questions -

1) If I obey the commands of God - Whose will am I following?

2) If I bow to images of the likeness of things in heaven & disobeying the command of God - Who's will am I following?

I'm sorry if this seems attacking, but please just try to see it at face value.   Read the command, look at the photo (I know you don't have to because it happens all the time in EO).

My own confession is to do the will of God, not follow the disobedience that has been passed down post 300 A.D.   
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