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Rocky

"Why I am an Atheist who believes in God" by Frank Schaeffer

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"My kaleidoscopic beliefs are fickle and motivated by desire, wishful thinking, and wanting to fit in with my family and community and to make my marriage work. My dogmatic declarations of faith once provided status, ego-stroking power over others and a much better income than I’ve ever earned since fleeing the evangelical machine. Certainty made things simple, gave me an answer to every question and paid the bills. With the acceptance of paradox came a new and blessed uncertainty that began to heal the mental illness called certainty, the kind of certainty that told me that my job was to be head of the home and to order around my wife and children because “the Bible says so.” Embracing paradox helped me discover that religion is a neurological disorder for which faith is the only cure."

Schaeffer, Frank. Why I am an Atheist Who Believes in God: How to give love, create beauty and find peace (p. 13). Frank Schaeffer. Kindle Edition.

I don't consider myself an Atheist, but I'm far from a fundamentalist Christian anymore. IF I had to put a label on it, Deism may come close. Btw, I still appreciate much that is in the Bible. 

Nevertheless, I'm finding a lot in this book that I like. You might too. 



Some of you may already know who Frank Schaeffer is. Some of you may already know that I don't look at the Bible in nearly the same way I (we) did when affiliated with twi.

Edited by Rocky
Quote formatting is messed up. Everything after the book citation should NOT be in quotes
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Yeah, sucks when the Quote thing doesn't work properly.

I'll read the article you reference later.  Gotta go to work now.  Yep, still working, can I have a few more hours in the day please? so much to do nowadays.

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7 hours ago, Rocky said:



Some of you may already know who Frank Schaeffer is. Some of you may already know that I don't look at the Bible in nearly the same way I (we) did when affiliated with twi.

It does sound interesting – and might be right up my “philosophical alley”. I’m probably somewhat of a Christian agnostic, if I had to describe myself “Christian agnosticism. Christian agnostics practice a distinct form of agnosticism that applies only to the properties of God. They hold that it is difficult or impossible to be sure of anything beyond the basic tenets of the Christian faith.”  from Wikipedia Christian Agnosticism     I had a coming-out-of-fundamentalism-party on another thread  (  here  ) …  :rolleyes:

I like   Frank Schaeffer's   style of writing; I’ve read another one of his books - Sex, Mom, and God: How the Bible's Strange Take on Sex Led to Crazy Politics--and How I Learned to Love Women (and Jesus) Anyway  -          There is a chapter called Sex with the Ice Sculpture, an hilarious story of him at 10 years old carving an ice woman out of the deep wet snow and then proceeded to yada yada yada (oh no, he yada yada’d over the best part :biglaugh:   )…anyway, thanks for sharing, Rocky – I’ve put that book on my wish list…fyi – your link did not work – if you were just trying to show the book on Amazon – here it is  "Why I am an Atheist Who Believes in God" book on Amazon

 

Edited by T-Bone
a revisionist would give you the time of day - several times a day as it changed on the clock

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I fall in the category of agnostic after reading this article. To me, there is certainly a Higher Power that has helped me through out my life. I used to attend Overeaters Anonymous meetings, and they have adapted Alcoholics Anonymous 12 steps for their program. Several of the steps require a belief in a Higher Power,  who will assist you in overcoming your addiction. 

No more can I believe in a God, who created a Son, by impregnating a maiden on Earth. This birth caused all male babies under the age of one, to be executed. 

Or the Son rising from the dead, so mankind could be saved from all their wrong doings. It is difficult to understand what a couple did (eat an apple.) in the Garden of Eden centuries ago, was so terrible that it made me a sinner, in need of redemption. I wasn’t around at the time, don’t blame me.

I have participated in Ouija board sessions. That plastic thingamajig, answered every question it was asked correctly, except once, and that answer was within the ballpark of possibilities. The spelling was always accurate. A group of  us got together and performed levitations. Amazing what was done.

These are considered in the realm of Satan. But, in all my years as a Christian did I witness anything supernaturally happening. Raising someone from the dead is always talked about, but only done in books or accounts from the bible. Never saw anyone recover from a disease after being prayed for by having hands laid on them.

Anyway, the Ouija board and  levitation  convinced me there is a Higher Power, who is above my pay grade, that can help me with my daily life. I don’t pray for help, just focus my mind on my Higher Power helping get the job done. 

 

 

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6 hours ago, T-Bone said:

It does sound interesting – and might be right up my “philosophical alley”. I’m probably somewhat of a Christian agnostic, if I had to describe myself “Christian agnosticism. Christian agnostics practice a distinct form of agnosticism that applies only to the properties of God. They hold that it is difficult or impossible to be sure of anything beyond the basic tenets of the Christian faith.”  from Wikipedia Christian Agnosticism     I had a coming-out-of-fundamentalism-party on another thread  (  here  ) …  :rolleyes:

I like   Frank Schaeffer's   style of writing; I’ve read another one of his books - Sex, Mom, and God: How the Bible's Strange Take on Sex Led to Crazy Politics--and How I Learned to Love Women (and Jesus) Anyway  -          There is a chapter called Sex with the Ice Sculpture, an hilarious story of him at 10 years old carving an ice woman out of the deep wet snow and then proceeded to yada yada yada (oh no, he yada yada’d over the best part :biglaugh:   )…anyway, thanks for sharing, Rocky – I’ve put that book on my wish list…fyi – your link did not work – if you were just trying to show the book on Amazon – here it is  "Why I am an Atheist Who Believes in God" book on Amazon

 

Yes, that's what I was aiming for... should have tested it when I posted. Thanks for covering for me. :doh:

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1 hour ago, Stayed Too Long said:

 

Anyway, the Ouija board and  levitation  convinced me there is a Higher Power, who is above my pay grade, that can help me with my daily life. I don’t pray for help, just focus my mind on my Higher Power helping get the job done. 

 

 

Wow... :wave:

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Two millennia after Jesus taught, Christ-like change is beginning to infuse the world at many levels more widely than ever before. So

why does it seem as if so many Christians still fail to grasp the essential truth of our faith: inclusion and justice? Maybe our blindness started when the first Christians didn’t believe what Jesus told them about the kingdom of God: “Neither shall they say, Lo here! Or, lo there! For, behold, the kingdom of God is within you” (Luke 17:21, emphasis added). Irrespective of Jesus’ teaching we continue to tie faith to doctrine, geography, nation, male prerogatives, homophobia and race. It is as if we’ve rewritten Jesus’ saying as: “They shall say, Lo here! And, Lo there! For, behold, the kingdom of God is only found in correct doctrine believed by the chosen few of our tribe!”

Schaeffer, Frank. Why I am an Atheist Who Believes in God: How to give love, create beauty and find peace (pp. 55-56). Frank Schaeffer. Kindle Edition.

 

Could it be that despite the insane subculture devised by Wierwille, the influence of God's "word" IS moving over the world?

I'm digging Schaeffer's book. :dance:

 

 

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Quote

 

Two millennia after Jesus taught, Christ-like change is beginning to infuse the world at many levels more widely than ever before. So

why does it seem as if so many Christians still fail to grasp the essential truth of our faith: inclusion and justice? Maybe our blindness started when the first Christians didn’t believe what Jesus told them about the kingdom of God: “Neither shall they say, Lo here! Or, lo there! For, behold, the kingdom of God is within you” (Luke 17:21, emphasis added). Irrespective of Jesus’ teaching we continue to tie faith to doctrine, geography, nation, male prerogatives, homophobia and race. It is as if we’ve rewritten Jesus’ saying as: “They shall say, Lo here! And, Lo there! For, behold, the kingdom of God is only found in correct doctrine believed by the chosen few of our tribe!”

Schaeffer, Frank. Why I am an Atheist Who Believes in God: How to give love, create beauty and find peace (pp. 55-56). Frank Schaeffer. Kindle Edition.

== == == ==

Rocky:

Could it be that despite the insane subculture devised by Wierwille, the influence of God's "word" IS moving over the world?

I'm digging Schaeffer's book. :dance:

 

 

Good point, Rocky…makes me think of another passage that addresses a similar issue of small-mindedness:

37 On the next day, when they had come down from the mountain, a great crowd met him. 38 And behold, a man from the crowd cried out, “Teacher, I beg you to look at my son, for he is my only child. 39 And behold, a spirit seizes him, and he suddenly cries out. It convulses him so that he foams at the mouth, and shatters him, and will hardly leave him. 40 And I begged your disciples to cast it out, but they could not.” 41 Jesus answered, “O faithless and twisted generation, how long am I to be with you and bear with you? Bring your son here.” 42 While he was coming, the demon threw him to the ground and convulsed him. But Jesus rebuked the unclean spirit and healed the boy, and gave him back to his father. 43 And all were astonished at the majesty of God.

46 An argument arose among them as to which of them was the greatest. 47 But Jesus, knowing the reasoning of their hearts, took a child and put him by his side 48 and said to them, “Whoever receives this child in my name receives me, and whoever receives me receives him who sent me. For he who is least among you all is the one who is great.”

49 John answered, “Master, we saw someone casting out demons in your name, and we tried to stop him, because he does not follow with us.” 50 But Jesus said to him, “Do not stop him, for the one who is not against you is for you.” …Luke 9: 37-43, 46-50 ESV

 

Perhaps the disciples were envious of someone else doing what they couldn’t do - and maybe were not that altruistic either…But whatever the issues were – I like Jesus’ response which seems to defuse the intolerance and depolarize the differences…so I like Schaeffer’s “why does it seem as if so many Christians still fail to grasp the essential truth of our faith: inclusion and justice?”…inclusion indeed, the body of Christ is a whole lot bigger than we think…perhaps it is something we must continually try to comprehend – that Jesus’ teachings transcend  “doctrine, geography, nation, male prerogatives, homophobia and race” et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.

 

 

Edited by T-Bone
a revision that transcends other revisions

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7 hours ago, T-Bone said:

Perhaps the disciples were envious of someone else doing what they couldn’t do - and maybe were not that altruistic either…But whatever the issues were – I like Jesus’ response which seems to defuse the intolerance and depolarize the differences…so I like Schaeffer’s “why does it seem as if so many Christians still fail to grasp the essential truth of our faith: inclusion and justice?”…inclusion indeed, the body of Christ is a whole lot bigger than we think…perhaps it is something we must continually try to comprehend – that Jesus’ teachings transcend  “doctrine, geography, nation, male prerogatives, homophobia and race” et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.

Indeed, it seems clear to me that the Jesus depicted in the Gospels was an "outside the box" thinker and doer. His disciples weren't sinister. Rather, they simply had not yet escaped "the box" that their culture had raised them in. 

It takes time to change cultures.

To me, reflecting back on my 12 years in twi, the mindset was much more geared to limiting biblical understanding to the box Wierwille both grew up in and built around himself and his culture than, "oh... how interesting, let's ponder how that might be the case..." type thinking. Of course, that mindset had a solid anchor in his desire for glory and power.

Btw, last night, I listened to a ted talk that was quite interesting along these lines. 

 

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Good TED talk, thanks Rocky…I enjoyed that.

I got a kick out of the story of someone asking Dr. Einstein why he issued an exam with the same questions as last year – and his response was that the answers have changed…love that…probably why some of my belief system is in a state of flux – still asking some of the same questions I’ve asked before – but it seems like the answers have changed.

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1 hour ago, T-Bone said:

Good TED talk, thanks Rocky…I enjoyed that.

I got a kick out of the story of someone asking Dr. Einstein why he issued an exam with the same questions as last year – and his response was that the answers have changed…love that…probably why some of my belief system is in a state of flux – still asking some of the same questions I’ve asked before – but it seems like the answers have changed.

I loved that too! :love3:

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