To preface what I say I have to give some background of myself. When I was 27, I decided to commit myself to the pursuance of ministry. I went to school eventually in my early 30’s and concluded with a thirty year active period of music ministry and preaching as well as pastoring internal groups of a larger church as others like myself did to promote Christian growth in a smaller discussion group and prayer. I also taught Sunday School to teenagers and adults alike.
What I found during those years is that traditional Christianity does in fact kill the average Christian in the end. The local church building becomes the gathering place of a local group of people who likely originally came under the pretext of the tenants of Christian faith, but it became a club of sorts for dinners, special musical gathering, yard sales, car washes, and the proverbial bingo games. Sure, they will still profess their belief, but it isn’t the foremost reason they go after a period of time. There are no times of concerted prayer to find God’s will to change the direction of men who seek to do evil. There is no time set aside to touch the spirit realm causing change in our own lives.
Tradition is the biggest killer in the Church. Presumed beliefs take hold as a congregation listens to what the preacher says and does not ferret it out of the Bible for themselves. Charles, you’re right. People don’t study. Once they study they will find a lot of their beliefs will become the lies they are.
I’m not religious. I’m a Christian. As I previously stated, Christianity is a lifestyle, not a religion. Religion comes when a group takes a belief and puts it in a box and calls it a church. Then they add their icons layered in gold in some instances and call it a holy place. That pulpit is no more sacred than an old pair of worn athletic shoes. What’s sacred is the heart of man. His spirit is the one and only true temple in their body as they walk this earth.
What makes some preachers such as they are is beyond me. I found that my former pastor was a man who provoked me to study, because his teachings were so different than I’d ever learned. He made me very upset that he tipped over the money changer’s tables in my heart. I dug and dug on my own trying to disprove his teachings and in time found I could not from my own summations. Right now I could walk into any typical church and speak straight from the Word and be thrown out in short notice. People don’t like change. I can attest to that myself.
One thing that sets me off is that the more one studies their belief is that there is so much overlap into other beliefs. There’s a string of fact that runs through them all that ties them together. People say we all came from Adam and Eve. I doubt that. (Here we go). Genesis says God created man after his likeness. My question is how many men were there that weren’t created in His image. There were other men already present on earth at the time. The Bible proves that point. Some were giants even.
The appearance of contradictions in the Bible I surmise is because men of the past have put together what they believe is Holy Scripture and left out what is likely thousands of other Christian writings.
It’s enough to say we cannot exhaust this discussion you invoked. People will use and abuse any faith, because there are enough weak minds out there. Atheist isn’t a name I’d put on people. We all believe in something. Even if you believe in nothing more than fate, it becomes your faith. Agnostic is more appropriate for most so-called non-believers.