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My former religious belief of Christianity...

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My former religious belief of Christianity...
This has been dragged from the OT forum, where I wrote:

<<Sarah, my backup is my decades-long interest in my former religious belief of Christianity and my experience gained from much reading and debate and research, including discussions had here on Praize. That forms my opinion. Your opinion is formed from your experience. Does it not need "backup" because you are a Christian? >>

To which, Sarah replied:

<<Jeanne, I really wish I knew more about your "former religious belief of Christianity". What was the belief in that church that so differs with what the Christians here on Praize claim? In spite of our different churches represented here, we are very close in most of the beliefs we represent. And most of the things we disagree on are minor. What actually about Christianity do you disagree with? And what are the sources for your disbelief?

I mean I can understand you might not accept the fact that Mary was impregnated by the Holy Spirit. That takes a lot of acceptance. One has to accept by faith. But where exactly is your faith lacking?>>

First, Sarah, my former religious belief was maybe the misunderstanding is just from my way of writing that phrase.

I was reared in the Methodist Church of the 1960s, which was before the United Methodist Church became more Evangelical. Still...all the basics of Protestant Christianity were there. Apostle's Creed, Lord's Prayer, OT with NT as a new covenant, although I can't say that my childhood studies were that specific on what the new covenant was, but Jesus as savior, crucified for our sins, through whom one enters a relationship with God and hopefully goes to heaven and not hell when one dies. Ten Commandments as list of sins to avoid and good behavior to adopt. A decent suspicion of Catholics and Jews...not that there were that many in my area of the world, but the adults knew who they were.

About what do I disagree with Christianity?

I do agree that humans should deal with others as they would want to be dealt with by them. That is the Ethic of Reciprocity. I agree that murder and theft and bearing false witness are major unethical behaviors, but I do not accept the concept of sin.

I don't agree with religions. I don't agree with the concept that humans need to believe in any non-material entities in order to make sense out of chaos. I don't agree that belief in any deities makes one a better person.

What I don't believe is much. I don't believe in any of it, Sarah. I don't believe in creation mythology or garden of Eden mythology. I don't believe that Jesus was an historical figure, let alone the son of a creator deity. I do not believe that a creator deity exists, nor heaven or hell, nor angels or demons. I do not believe in the existence of a soul, which continues after the body is dead.

I stopped all deity belief around age 32. Before then, I held onto some bits and pieces of deity belief, but not Christianity. Christianity I had left behind by my mid-twenties. But it was the Christianity of my youth and that affected my life forever, which is why I am here and not on some other website debating a different deity belief.

I do believe that modern Christianity in moderate forms may be beneficial to the faithful and to civilization.

As for my sources of unbelief; I must credit my parents, who were more original thinkers than most during that era. After that, I credit myself. However, this is not to diminish the overwhelming credit due to the hypocritical elders and peers of my church and beyond that of Christianity as a whole and religions and deity beliefs in general.

Fortunately, I married a man who was and is a Deist and whose parents were faithful believers but entirely practical people with high intelligence and an ability to not only think for themselves, but who allowed their children to think for themselves...and who kept their opinions to themselves when it came to their children's families. I loved them as much as my own parents and we were the best of friends.

My type of faith is not your type of faith, Sarah. I do not find my faith to be lacking in any manner, but it is not a faith formed from deity belief. I accept only the material world and I have faith that humans have and will decipher that material world using explicit scientific examination and that humans may yet discern what is not known in the present era.

Maybe this helps in understanding me and my way of thinking or maybe it doesn't. I know this way of thought and unbelief is so beyond a believer's ability to accept from another human being. I know that you cannot imagine not having belief and that you believe there must be some powerful missing piece of my life, where something went totally awry and caused me to become an atheist...but there wasn't.

The reason I am an atheist is because there was and is no deity experience in my life. But further, there can be no such experience because such an entity does not exist. When one starts with that concept, all deity beliefs and the religions which surround them, falls apart as mere human imagination and, more often than not, as human machinations.

"The Ox is slow, but the Earth is patient."
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Re: [jeanne53] My former religious belief of Christianity... In reply to
Hello Jeanne.

I've read your post several times now and there are several things I want to ask about. I think it will be best to take the questions one or two at a time. I'll start with just one. You say,

my backup is my decades-long interest in my former religious belief of Christianity

<y question at this point is exactly what did you believe about Christianity? I don't know a lot about the Methodist Church. We don't use some of the items you mentioned in the Baptist Church. The biggest question is, "What did you believe about Jesus?"

Thanks in advance for your reply.
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Re: [ASCombs2662] My former religious belief of Christianity... In reply to
Hi Allen.

One at a time works for me. I have the flu with moderate upper and lower respiratory misery and can handle one at a time better.

You don't use the Apostles Creed? The OT and the new covenant of the NT? The Ten Commandments or Jesus as savior, crucified for our sins, through whom one enters a relationship with God and hopefully goes to heaven and not hell when one dies? The Lord's Prayer? You don't use any of those?

I will admit the decent suspicion of Catholics and Jews has more to do with the era and locale than with any particular sect of Christianity at the time.

What did you believe as a young Christian that was different from my young belief? Or what do you believe as a Baptist that differs from some of that basic Protestant belief?

I am curious to know. I know Baptists, they "use" these "items" but are more Evangelical now, as are the Methodists.

So I believed that Jesus was the son of God, born of a virgin and who lived to be God on Earth, who taught, who was tempted, who worked miracles, who had 12 disciples, was baptized by his cousin, John, who gave the sermon on the mount, who was betrayed by Judas, tired by Pilate, scourged and crucified and who took the sins of humanity on his soul, died and arose from the dead, ascended into heaven, sits at the right hand of God. I believed he taught we should come to God as little children and to love one another and to honor God. Forgiveness was the key, to forgive others and to ask for forgiveness for ourselves and to do it in his name and to believe that God is love and that there is a place for each of us in heaven. I believed he was a white European looking man with long brown hair, fair eyes and a beard, whom the people loved. All that is rather basic belief for a young person growing up in the church of my era.

I don't know who it was who decided to send a soul to hell, but it wasn't relayed to me that it was Jesus. God, I suppose. I just knew that sins would increase the chance that you got sent there after you died.

I asked the first question that comes from all this belief based upon faith; if God made everything, who made God? I didn't accept the answer; that God has always been.

Where does that take us in this discussion, Allen? Did you believe something different about Jesus? Do you now?

"The Ox is slow, but the Earth is patient."