How Religion/Faith Robs Man                                  

Brian Worley                            

First, let me say that I just don't know if there is a god out there somewhere or not. And only a religious hack can be certain "in his heart" that there is one. Everyone else usually ponders this question sometime during life. This is usually where some "minister" comes onto the scene with the answer. If your interested, come and find out more about it at his church (the club). This is one of mankind's proverbial "fork in the road" moments. Man eventually decides if he will follow either the institutional road of religion, or live outside of its confines and keep his options open in his life.

Giving Your Life Away

Deep inside I sense that there probably is a power behind the universe, but this power has not left us any instruction manuals (bibles, etc.). There has been no written "revelation" or instructions about how to live our lives, only manmade books with the pretension that it is from God! A man that feels like he needs to be told by a man made book that he needs to give his life to "Jesus" does just that... HE GIVES HIS LIFE away! Their life is now under the control or influence of "the club" if they are sincere about it. This is where his struggles really begin (again I say... if they are sincere). The Christian life is difficult to live, and to live up to. It is a life that asks for sacrifice from its practitioners. Intellectually, you accept it by faith.

The Christian life is to be lived by faith . Faith is an admission that fact is too strong of a word to describe what you believe in is true. You could call a persons faith a theory, because you just can't call it a fact. To those who read, there are many books out there that display the absurdity of faith and the bible. My theory is that similar points of view (anti-bible/religion) are best "kept quiet" to benefit those who have interest in you to continue practicing your faith/religion. Who benefits? Those living outside of faith's confines, they have an advantage when they conduct "business" with you. They know that probably you will follow the disadvantageous scriptures viewpoint. Obviously, "the club" benefits from your continued practice.

We might not have money, health, friends or family, but every man has a certain amount of time in which to live. Now, what you do with this time often determines what quality of life that you will have. Time usually tells you where a man has been, and where he is going. When a man discovers that his faith belief system has little substance. That his life has been lived centered upon propped up myths, he then begins to discover how religion/faith has robbed him.

The words to Bon Jovi's song "It's my Life" expresses a powerful thought in capsule form about faith's imprint on life. Of note to this author are these words "Let's sing a song for the broken hearted. A silent prayer for faith departed"... ... .(on to the Chorus) "It's my life, its now or never. I ain't going to live forever. I just want to live while I'm alive... ..Its my life!.

THE CLUB

If you were to take away the faith element from churches all you would have is a religious club. I could always tell which ministers passionately believed what they were saying, their churches usually grew. Now, there are those Christians who believe that they have both faith and the facts on their side. These people are sincere and bold, they are open to talking to a skeptic because they believe the truth is on their side. These types I respect, they are what I call a fundamentalist. I define a fundamentalist as one who's basis of belief are tied to a written scripture believed to be from God. If they believe a certain aspect of faith, they have a scripture to back it up with. They believe because of a cause, and what church they settle in will be based in that cause and psychological aspects.

I find the non fundamentalist view tougher to respect. They jump on a bandwagon and have little conviction about what they believe. They are usually takers of the benefits of a church but deep down they pick and choose what part of the scriptures that they want to believe in. The scriptures are demanding upon people. Since the scriptures are the basis of Christianity, shouldn't a non fundamentalist just admit that they don't believe and end the charade? What can you do with a man whom doesn't believe what he believes in? You could say that they are in the church based on psychological aspects.

To avoid being verbose, basically you have two types of clubs. Either you're a fundamentalist or your not! These two differ on their basis of their fact, the scriptures. But what they have in common is that to journey with them you must have faith! Doesn't it seem strange that they have to say they believe it by faith (they have to give it the benefit of the doubt to continue to believe). When given the ultimate challenge, faith can be destroyed by the scriptures own internal inconsistencies if one is open and intellectually honest. One could say a fundamentalist is closer to abandoning their faith than a non fundamentalist when they are challenged.

When the word fighting comes up, usually we think of the fundamentalist first! But this isn't exactly fair to the fundamentalist. Both of these fight, often with each other over members of their respective clubs straying towards another congregation. For if a member leaves their church, so does "their capital". I can't think of any group in society that is more divisive than ministers and churches. Thomas Jefferson expressed this idea in a letter he wrote to Thomas Whittemore on June 5, 1822 "[Creeds] have been the bane and ruin of the Christian church, it's own fatal invention, which, through so many ages, made of Christendom a slaughterhouse, and at this day divides it into castes of inextinguishable hatred to one another".

THE CHOICE

Most would agree, that ministers should know the scriptures very well. Over the years, they should come to master the scriptures. You would think that in time ministers would do as I and others have done by walking away from the faith because they find it untenable to continue. Obviously, most of them do not leave. They stay for a variety of reasons. First and foremost is, if they leave how will they make a living? How will they feed their families? They know they will face abandonment or disapproval from those whom previously admired them. They know if they leave the faith they should also leave the area in which they lived. If they don't, they stand to be frequented by both the wrath of those they offended in leaving the faith. And usually more difficult is being in the place to where you face those that are open about their faith, you being the one that could possibly destroy their belief system. Often, that minister was responsible for them having their faith to begin with!

Remember earlier me mentioning that I could tell which ministers actually believe what they were teaching (or were good actors)! For those ministers whom aren't passionate, it is a sad state to be stuck in his faith and have to make a living at it when you don't strongly believe in it yourself. Their ministry is gone, at this point it isn't about truth or building up the soul of man. They are doing what they have to do, their going through the motions. This is my theory on why ministers can be so mean when they perceive that they are "crossed". It is about survival and economics.

Now, some ministers lack the capacity due to lack of proper education, intellect or courage to do the right thing. I view it like this: let us say that brains are like light bulbs, with 100 watts the brightest bulb there is. Some men have 90 watt light bulb for brains, while some others have lesser than 25 watts. What is illuminated at this level? People do follow them.

THE AFTERMATH

Most congregation members are not aware of this aspect of ministers and the ministry. I call it the aftermath. After a war, you deal with the aftermath. As a former minister, and most current ministers would probably agree with me by saying the greater part of the attrition rate of their members is not due to matters of faith but to "personality conflicts".

Now ministers should not get all of the blame, church leadership and other members can also leave its own aftermath. The pressures on living in certain ways to remain in favor also takes its toll on its parishioners. This brought out the need of a Christian psychology movement. Now everyone has problems, but Christianity's problems are more involved. The trick is to keep these same people within the confines of "the club" with the Christian answers they have to work with. When I ministered, I often cringed when I heard Christian psychology's scriptural solution. Often their answers conflicted with the bible. Christianity claims to have the answer to most any of man's problems. Funny how in real life they promise much more than they actually deliver.

Don't get me wrong, I do believe that churches also do much good for the community. It helps children who have inattentive parents. It helps to have a "community" within reach for its members. Socially it gives man a platform to interact with those of mutual thoughts. It is entertainment and fills a void by giving the people "something to do". Churches usually are among the first to offer help when someone is "down and out". Weigh the good versus the bad things of the church on a scale; man would be better off without it!

The point that I want to make is "Does the church really offer anything of substance, or just the illusion of it? Please re-read the prior question and ponder the ramifications. For example, the promise of eternal life in heaven (or is it a fear of hell). Once you die... .you are dead! You spent your life living for a better hope in the supposed next life. I agree with Bon Jovi it is better to "live while I'm alive". This eternal life is a false hope that "the club" sells people! How can you sell something that you do not possess (eternal life). You can only sell the illusion!

The offer of forgiveness is another illusion. Sure, everyone has done things that they know were wrong and they regret doing. But how can a "club" offer forgiveness that comes from "God"? In reality, they act as a broker does and the club gets its commission. Follow my rhetorical questions... Did "God" speak to them? If he did, did anyone else hear what was said? Did "God" give them a paper receipt as proof? In reality, why can't a man feel remorse for his wrongs, try to right his wrongs if possible or give back to the community in some way as a token of his appreciation? This idea of forgiveness is part of the churches psychological hook into man. Even when "forgiven" the lashing out at sin is a reminder and instigator of false guilt.

The life and teaching of Jesus definitely has to be accepted by faith. Has anyone read what a contemporary of Jesus said about Christianity? Read Tacitus " The Annals of Imperial Rome" where he discusses Christus. Nothing I read gave me any indication of divinity! The historian Josephus is easily discredited! Even the gospel writers themselves didn't write their accounts of the events until at least some 60 years after Christ's birth. And we won't even discuss their contradicting the others account! So let us realistically face the case for faith that is before us. If it is presented fairly, accurately and objectively the case for faith is a very weak proposition and not worthy of acceptance. Knowing what I now know, I can strongly say that mankind would be better off without religion or faith.

AFTER CHRISTIANITY

Who says that you must believe anything at all? I chuckle when the religionist insist on giving people like myself a title like atheist or agnostic. I also chuckle when they cannot explain to others still in their faith why I left the faith. They often must change my story to protect their viewpoints. Often they rationalize (lie) and say I left the faith for some other reason other than the Christian faith is a simply untenable proposition for me to continue believing in. To those whom feel that we would have bedlam in society without the bible... .what do we now have? This is an absurd argument, we have plenty of laws that don't include stoning gay people!

A personal note about faith's departure upon my feelings. The causes that once pressed upon me have disappeared. I am not upset with differing competing viewpoints from other "ministers" that I felt deceived people. I found myself more concerned about the environment because Jesus will not return to fix our problems. I am not angry with gay people for their choices. When I see a drunkard living in the street my first thought now isn't "he needs Jesus", my thoughts are that he needs some real help. It is also nice to give of yourself without expecting a "blessing in return", if you think about it this whole idea is just "trading with the divine". It is also nice to know that you no longer have the approval of the "good ole boys" anymore. I am no longer a "fisher of men" as the bible says, when I relate to others I am not secretly trying to get them into faith. My motives are true.

I urge those who are contemplating a departure of faith to resist the urge to join another religious type institution, all that would be is a lateral move to your detriment! Have a "coming out party", declare yourself free of religion and identify yourself as a skeptic when you are asked about it. To those whom have come out of religion and that have had an actively giving role, I urge you to find a worthy cause and use it to express the giving side of yourself to. Encourage others contemplating leaving their faith who might not be so strong as yourself in their journey from faith.

10 POINT SUMMARY ON HOW MAN IS ROBBED

1.   Time that was taken.
2.   Sacrifices that were made for the cause.
3.   Christian psychology's damaging aspects (false guilt, etc.).
4.   Finances lost when given to the club.
5.    Free time and entertainment choices were restricted.
6.    Prejudices/dislike against people for their choices (gay people).
7.    Family division because of faith.
8.    Your "Christian behavior" was probably annoying to others, earning you    disfavor.
9.    You were in a disadvantageous position in business as a Christian practitioner.
10.   Politically, many Christians are patriots. They are often diverted into fighting for an unworthy cause while greater problems need the attention. The environmental movement also suffers when great numbers of people feel Jesus will come back and solve mankind's problems.

  

Brian Worley   Ex-Minister.org     May 28, 2007    All rights reserved

 


 

 



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