Conversations with a Christian(part 2)

Christian:  I have to tell you this. I would be being disobedient to God if I didn’t.  You need to get back into reading the Word of God.  You need to be reading it and spending time in prayer.

Me: That doesn’t work for me.  You know me.  I studied my Bible, memorized scripture and prayed everyday.  I wanted nothing more than to love and please God.

Christian:  You really need to try doing that again.

Me:  To be honest, it was when I was right in the middle of reading and praying that the thought came to me that I needed to scrutinize my own beliefs in the same way I had always scrutinized other beliefs.  I had never done that before and it came to me that I should.  What was that?  Why would I think of that when I was closest to God?

Christian:  Well, I hate to say this and I don’t do it to hurt you, but that was Satan.  You entertained his voice.  Look where you are now.

Me:  Silence… okay, oh my god…I need to go now…

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54 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. ... Zoe ~
    Apr 15, 2012 @ 01:41:37

    Back to the formula. Bible. Read. Pray. Rinse. Repeat.

    Where would the faith be without “Satan” eh? Thank “God” there is a Satan. Answer for everything. 🙄 On the other hand, I well remember. *sigh*

    These conversations are so difficult.

    Reply

  2. notabarbie
    Apr 15, 2012 @ 02:02:00

    They are. At the time, it was like a punch in the chest. Things like that don’t get to me so much anymore, but when they resurface, I blog…all better now 🙂

    Reply

  3. juliesamazed
    Apr 16, 2012 @ 08:38:04

    “Bible. Read. Pray. Rinse. Repeat.” LOVE it, Zoe! Thanks for the post, B!

    Reply

  4. cclody
    Apr 17, 2012 @ 02:21:50

    “Bible. Read. Pray. Rinse. Repeat.”…brilliant! It is sad that those feeling the nudge to witness base their approach on an agenda that somehow all will be better if they quote a verse. Evangelism is not the marketing of a book, the bible, it is about a person, Jesus Christ, whose greatest gift of nearness is during our greatest darkness. Evangelism at its worst is a marketing agenda – yet at it’s best, it is the best solution for despair. I believe you, me and everyone genuinely seek truth – wishing you the best. Peace, Chris

    Reply

  5. notabarbie
    Apr 17, 2012 @ 03:17:16

    Thanks for reading and commenting Chris. I really do appreciate it. You say that Jesus’s greatest gift is nearness during our greatest darkness. That is simply not true. The idea of Jesus drawing near is a good one, the reality of it, is a myth. Jesus never wrote anything, but those who wrote of him, presented him as loving and forgiving. They also wrote of his exclusivity. Here’s the sticking point: With all his love, he also said he is the only way to heaven. He, in essence, excluded all other belief systems; in fact, he condemned them to Hell. Now, for me, that doesn’t really matter. I don’t believe the man Jesus in the Bible ever existed. You, on the other hand do believe Jesus existed and so you have something to think about, if you genuinely seek truth, right?
    Peace to you as well.

    Reply

    • cclody
      Apr 17, 2012 @ 03:45:25

      I understand your perspective, maybe all to well. I respect your points to a degee yet find denying the historicity of Jesus objectionable. Faith in Christ is not something done out of fear which seems to texture your reply. Maybe you wouldn’t focus so much on the condemnation aspects of Christianity, if you were first exposed to the compassion preached by Jesus in the Beatitiudes. I know, I know – reading the bible ain’t part of your future, however, I challenge my faith perspective daily with other perspectives so I may better listen to another and learn compassion for experiences I’ll never face. Hey I read a little Dawkins today maybe you could take a minute and read the Beatitudes. BTW, great question…What is Truth? …or is it Who is Truth? Wishing you well! Carpe diem, Chris

      Reply

  6. notabarbie
    Apr 17, 2012 @ 05:09:04

    Thanks again for reading and commenting Chris. The truth is I have probably read the Bible through more times than you have. I don’t feel the need to lay out all of my credentials here, but I’m fully aware of what Jesus taught, his ministry and his claims. Heck, I’m pretty sure I had the Beatitudes memorized at one time and I’m certain I’ve taught a few Bible studies on it. With that said, my rejection of the existence of the Biblical Jesus is based on lack of extra Biblical evidence, not emotion. The same can be said for my rejection of Christianity as the one true religion. When I was a Christian, I thought I challenged my faith as well, but the truth is, I only went so far. It’s extremely difficult to break free from the indoctrination and truly test. As I said in my post, when I actually scrutinized my own belief system in the same way I did others, it fell my friend and it fell hard. I read things I didn’t want to read, I explored areas that I was afraid to, but I felt I had to do it. I simply KNEW beyond a shadow of a doubt that Christianity would stand, but it didn’t. I have no problem with people believing in things that are not real. If it helps them, great! It is when that belief system causes them to force their ideals on others, and that there way is the only way and others must believe it too or burn, then I have a problem. I believe that you are a sincere person and I hope I haven’t sounded angry or mean, because I am neither of those things. I hope you will keep reading. Have a great night.

    Reply

  7. ... Zoe ~
    Apr 18, 2012 @ 19:57:37

    1. CClody writes above: “It is sad that those feeling the nudge to witness base their approach on an agenda that somehow all will be better if they quote a verse.”

    2. CClody again here: “Maybe you wouldn’t focus so much on the condemnation aspects of Christianity, if you were first exposed to the compassion preached by Jesus in the Beatitiudes. I know, I know – reading the bible ain’t part of your future, however, I challenge my faith perspective daily with other perspectives so I may better listen to another and learn compassion for experiences I’ll never face. Hey I read a little Dawkins today maybe you could take a minute and read the Beatitudes.”

    Zoe here: CClody, how is your approach &/or agenda in example #2 any different than the one you comment about in example #1?

    In number one you bemoan the fact that others think it better if they quote a verse . . . “sad” in fact. Then you turn around and do your own bit of evangelism by dropping the Beatitudes/Scripture into the conversation.

    You did the same thinng in example #2 that you’ve accused others of doing in example #1.

    Above all, their is a hint Implied in your suggestion that perhaps our host here, Notabarbie is not familiar with the Beatitudes. It’s difficult for Christians to see other Christians leave the fold. Almost always, in an effort to draw us back, someone finds us and gives us their formula. Bible, read, pray, rinse, repeat. It may be brilliant as you said, but it’s exhausting to hear it over and over again. And you may not buy into that particular method but I suggest to you that you aren’t far off the mark with your, ‘maybe if you just read the Beatitudes and focus on compassion and not condemnation sister notabarie, you’d be healed!’

    CClody, all you’ve done is approached notabarbie with another Christian formula. When you consider all the denominations, diversity, unity and disunity within Christianity, we who leave the faith are often inundated with countless forumula’s that are given to us to make our deconversion all better. Seriously, it’s exhausting.

    Leaving the faith is not a tit-for-tat journey CClody. Here, you read the Beatitudes because I read a “little” Dawkins. Can you see how this comes across? Oh yes, all of us just love Richard Dawkins. You’ve implied here that he’s someone important to notabarbies journey and I think in a more general way that we are all a bunch of Dawkinites. Are you thinking if you mention a known atheist that somehow you’ll gain brownie points from those who have left the faith?

    I figure you are sincere as well but I’m not sure you understand or respect the journey at all.

    Reply

    • cclody
      Apr 19, 2012 @ 00:10:09

      These discussions may seem like an agenda Zoe, that my “formula” is “here read the Beatitudes” but a response to notabarbie experience that Christianity condemns all to hell outside its happy bubble. No it does not. Christianity is not a formula nor an agenda Zoe, it is an invitation to Truth. My reason for mentioning the beatitudes (which I agree I did assume notabarbie’s depth of understanding this portion of scripture and yes I agree it sounds a bit tit for tat and I’ll own that), to see past possibly her comment that The words of Christ are explaining the very breadth of Christian perfection and those suffering are offered the hope that there is reward promised from a faithful God. If you believe our host, beyond a shadow of a doubt that Christ did not exists, maybe a practical question would a non-existent person have such a profound impact on our human history, after all our calendars ae based off of Him. Again, I have no agenda but a sincere interest to understand notabarbie’s “de-conversion” and I hope my intentions somehow find its way through the blur of criticism of what we assume. For the record we all assume in replying to blogs don’t we? Whether we admit it our not, we all carry a bias and just love to label one another when we know Truth lies somewhere in between. I respect your comments and I apologize for assuming ( even unconsciously).
      Peace,
      Chris

      Reply

  8. notabarbie
    Apr 18, 2012 @ 21:58:17

    Thank you Zoe. You said it way better than I ever could. You are exactly right. With all their good intentions, when Christians offer their formula, it implies that we have some sort of a problem that needs curing. They never seem to get that the only problem we really have is them trying to make us feel as if we are less in some way (which, of course, is the way of Christianity) and they, are more because they have the one true answer. It is exhausting.

    Reply

  9. ... Zoe ~
    Apr 19, 2012 @ 01:29:18

    CColby: “These discussions may seem like an agenda Zoe, that my “formula” is “here read the Beatitudes” but a response to notabarbie experience that Christianity condemns all to hell outside its happy bubble. No it does not.”

    Zoe: If I’m not mistaken, Notabarbie and my former Christianity did indeed teach that those outside the faith are indeed hell bound. That was our experience. Apparently, your Christian belief is different? Are you saying that our sincere and committed walk with the Lord Jesus Christ was wrong? Our Christianity was wrong? Are you saying yours is right? You boldly proclaim “No it does not.” It seems that you are saying that you have the “correct” interpretation of Christianity is. Is that what you are saying?

    You see, I read here that you are telling Notabarbie that her experience is wrong. Perhaps even that she doesn’t know what she’s talking about?

    CColby: “Christianity is not a formula nor an agenda Zoe, it is an invitation to Truth.”

    Zoe: It is your invitation to “Truth” as you believe it, see it, understand it. You are telling me what Christianity is not and what it is. By who’s authority do you speak to be with such confidence? God’s? If so, is God giving to you the “Truth” but not giving the “Truth” to your fellow brothers and sisters who don’t believe as you do but still call themselves Christians?

    CColby: “My reason for mentioning the beatitudes (which I agree I did assume notabarbie’s depth of understanding this portion of scripture and yes I agree it sounds a bit tit for tat and I’ll own that), to see past possibly her comment that The words of Christ are explaining the very breadth of Christian perfection and those suffering are offered the hope that there is reward promised from a faithful God.

    Zoe: Thank you for admitting it. We who leave this faith get it all the time. Many of thought the same as you at one time in this regard. We’ve been there, done that.

    As for encouraging her to “see past” her comment, again, an assumption that she hasn’t already examined her former faith. That she hasn’t considered what you are trying to get her to consider. If you are suggesting the those of us who have left the faith don’t know just how much the Christian faith can and does offer to the suffering, than you don’t have any depth of understanding about our stories and who were were in Christ, nor about our ministries or anything about our lives.

    CColby: “If you believe our host, beyond a shadow of a doubt that Christ did not exists, maybe a practical question would a non-existent person have such a profound impact on our human history, after all our calendars ae based off of Him.”

    Zoe: Why not? Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny ring a bell? There are countless non-existent dieties in history. Why not another? As for the calendar, kind of paganish, isn’t it? And why the need for the early church to attach their Christian celebrations to already entrenched pagan celebrations. Why is are our Easter celebrations determined by the full-moon appearance in either March or April and why is it that the Greek Orthodox church celebrate Easter a week after the west does? Why don’t they follow the moon? I’ve got a feeling your “Him” is based off of the calendar and not the other way around.

    As for the impact on our human history, I can’t nor would ever deny it. Does it prove “God” is, or that “Jesus” is? The religion of Islam can claim the same argument for Allah and Mohammed. “Profoud impact” there I’d say.

    CColby: “Again, I have no agenda but a sincere interest to understand notabarbie’s “de-conversion” and I hope my intentions somehow find its way through the blur of criticism of what we assume. For the record we all assume in replying to blogs don’t we?”

    Zoe: I don’t know. Sounds like another assuming generalization to me.

    CColby: “Whether we admit it our not, we all carry a bias and just love to label one another when we know Truth lies somewhere in between. I respect your comments and I apologize for assuming ( even unconsciously).
    Peace,
    Chris”

    Zoe: There’s an undertone to your words Chris. In order to perhaps level the playing field, you got us “all” having “bias” and claiming we all “love to label.” 🙂 Another tit-for-tat perhaps. ‘Look Zoe, you’re no better than I am!’ 😛

    Here’s what really must dredge up my bias and label tendencies because it sure gets to me. ” […] when we know Truth lies somewhere in between.[…]

    Pardon me again, but that’s another big assumption. You many know “Truth” lies somewhere in between . . . I do not. Did you ever have your parents get upset with you, yell at your or lecture you and say, “Chris! You know better!” That’s why your comment here reminds me of. I had a commenter recently tell me that “I know better” on my blog. What does that mean? How can one know better when they do not and how is it that I can know better listening to you when as is the case for most who have left the faith, we’ve listened to many a “Chris” – heck we were you.

    We listened, we preached, we studied, we missioned, we gave, we wept, we rejoiced, we prayed, we loved, we repented, we sang, we taught, we comforted, we mourned, we cooked meals, we vacuumed floors, we built churches, we moved sheets of plywood and watched out for nails. We directed traffic, we taught seminars, we led countless to a saving knowledge of Christ, we went to Bible college, we counselled . . . we lived a Christian life more than any of us ever have to discuss or admit to. Your attempt to understand may be admirable to your way of thinking and I accept your apology. Just know that you telling us what Christianity is or isn’t and all about “your” “Truth” insinuates that we don’t know what you are talking about and haven’t been where you are. We have been. When you suggest all we need is a fresh reading of this or that . . . it won’t go well. I no longer accept that Christianity is an “invitation to Truth.”

    Reply

    • cclody
      Apr 19, 2012 @ 02:28:37

      So are you on your second or third energy drink Zoe? Is this really how you have conversations? Apparently, you haven’t caught my drift that I am not trolling for debate but happened upon this blog and was truly curious. I have not doubted nor criticized our host’s nor your experience to a Christian call yet you take pride in droning on and on ….another sip…and on and on. I realize, and now I’m pretty sure I am not assuming, you believe “winning” in lieu of actually understanding is the most important part of what you call an argument. Thank you for coming to our host’s side and protecting notabarbie from the peresistent cclody who “proclaims” to know better….never said that. Take …a….breath…again this is not about winning. Thank you for assuming the role of speaking for others in your new ministry, but I didn’t think it was necessary. As you can tell, I did not respond to our host’s reply because I respected her decision and was thankful I was wished a “good night.” Apparently at that point you felt the need to throw on your cape on and fly over here to deflect the flaming arrows apparently still airborn and headed towards our host. Again thank you for your intervention.

      Blessed are the peacemakers….

      Peace,
      Chris

      Silence… okay, oh my god…I need to go now…

      Reply

      • ... Zoe ~
        Apr 19, 2012 @ 06:58:55

        You’re welcome Chris.

      • cclody
        Apr 19, 2012 @ 08:27:21

        🙂

      • notabarbie
        Apr 21, 2012 @ 05:29:39

        I must apologize to Zoe for getting so caught up in responding to you on the heaven and hell issue, etc., that I had not taken the time to address your reaction to her comments and to her personally. (puts on Incredible Hulk Hands) What’s your deal anyway? Are you threatened by her? You try to discount her responses by attempting to present her as someone who is some crazed woman hopped up on energy drinks. You refer to her responses and smug, insinuate that she is some lunatic inserting her own agenda and speaking for others. You insult her and make a joke (“felt the need to throw on your cape on and fly over here to deflect the flaming arrows apparently still airborne”) out of her desire to come to my defense. Unlike you, Chris, Zoe knows full well the affect people like you have on those of us who have de-converted. You refer to her well-articulated responses as, “droning on and on,” and say that she cares more about winning than understanding–those are just a few examples. When you strip away the “Aw shucks, can’t we all just get along, I love Jesus, go in peace” persona, you are just another, “Christian” ass hole. Seriously, what is it about you people makes you so passive aggressive? For some reason you think we can’t see through it or we don’t know what you truly mean by the things that you say. I think you are a little stunned when someone calls you out on it like Zoe did–and Boomslang and Dagoods. Blessed are the peacemakers Chris? If there was a Jesus, I think he would be referring to you as a whitewashed tomb and running your ass out of the temple.
        Peace.

      • cclody
        Apr 23, 2012 @ 20:12:11

        I await your apology.
        Peace, Chris

      • notabarbie
        Apr 23, 2012 @ 22:05:18

        If I believed in Hell,it would have to freeze over…

  10. notabarbie
    Apr 19, 2012 @ 01:58:35

    My heart is pounding! Bravo!! and thank you!

    Reply

  11. boomslang
    Apr 19, 2012 @ 03:58:46

    “Christianity is not a formula nor an agenda […], it is an invitation to Truth.”

    Now outside of the Christian bubble, I can see how pompous I might have once sounded. ‘Nothing wrong with an invitation, mind you, but purporting to possess knowledge that others do not, and capitalizing it, no less..i.e….”Truth”. Wow. Notwithstanding, I would never turn down an opportunity to gain more knowledge, just so long as it could be demonstrated to be based on fact(s).

    Reply

    • notabarbie
      Apr 19, 2012 @ 06:56:23

      Let me ask Chris a question. Do you believe that those who do not believe in Jesus Christ will go to Heaven? If yes, on what do you base that belief, and if no, where will those who do not believe in Jesus go?

      Reply

  12. juliesamazed
    Apr 19, 2012 @ 06:08:43

    So very interesting. So many words. Too bad we are speaking different languages. Having been there, we understand CColby’s too well to be persuaded.
    Notabarbie, Zoe, and myself took our Christianity so seriously that we knew we had to be COMPLETELY honest with ourselves, and admit that there was no one on the other side of that door to heaven. It was sad and scary, but there were so many reasons. Once I saw them, it became clear as day. And it would take the return of JC himself, in front of my eyes, to change my mind.

    Reply

    • cclody
      Apr 19, 2012 @ 08:25:26

      sorry previous comment posted prematurely (please delete previous post notabarbie)…I’ll try again:

      Please, for just one moment, please put down your defenses, I am not trying to persuade, I am simply utterly amazed at the extent you promoted your Christianity and concluded that total rejection of even God(assuming “nothing” is on the of that door to Heaven) was rational. I am NOT calling you irrational. Before I jump into notabarbie question of who enjoys Heaven and who doesn’t, I would like to open up the forum with questions that help me understand my continued draw into Christianity and maybe give insight to what I see as “rational”:

      Is it true that suffering and humiliation precede the condition for glory?

      Don’t we all, like Cinderella, first have to sit in the ashes before that glass slipper will fit our feet? Isn’t sublimation always a means to the sublime? Isn’t it precisely when we are vulnerable and unable to impress or overpower others that we are finally open to intimacy, love, and family? Aren’t self sacrifice and self-denial, in the end , the way real love manifest itself? Isn’t the crucifixion of the private ego the route to empathy and community? Isn’t the forgiveness of those who hurt us the final manifestation of human maturity? Finally…and, most graphic of all, isn’t the way Jesus died – innocent, trusting, unwilling out of love to protect himself against suffering, absorbing hatred and sin, understanding and forgiving those who were murdering him, refusing to resort to any kind of superior physical power to overwhelm his adversaries, refusing to give back in kind, and refusing to give himself over to bitterness and cynicism – the paragon of mature human love? I continue to believe that love is the deepest mystery within the universe. It lies at the base of everything, the cosmic, the biological, the emotional, the psychological, the sexual, and the spiritual. There is no level of reality where one doesn’t see the relentless deep pull inside of all things towards a unity, community, fusion, and oneness beyond self. Love stirs all things, speaking to every element in the language it can understand. Deep inside of us, we know too this alone can bring us home.
      These questions continue to challenge me and my faith and how I try, although horribly sometimes, to express to others a reason to turn to Christ while trying to understand and respect their decision to do otherwise. As always, I believe we are all seeking truth. Enjoy your night, Chris

      Reply

      • boomslang
        Apr 19, 2012 @ 09:26:18

        “These questions continue to challenge me and my faith and how I try, although horribly sometimes, to express to others a reason to turn to Christ while trying to understand and respect their decision to do otherwise.”

        With all due respect, having “a reason to turn to Christ” really doesn’t mean all that much if there is no “Christ” to turn to. Believe it or not, some (most? all?) former Christians really have stopped believing that “Christ” has a referent in reality. IOW, suppose I have a reason to want to turn to Christ – say, I want to see all my deceased relatives in “Heaven” one day. Okay, well, I don’t believe in the supposed individual who is presumably the ticket to that desire. Moreover, even if I agree with you that “love is the deepest mystery within the universe”, I fail to see how that is somehow a “bridge” back to Christianity, and/or, how it increases the probability that an invisible, conscious being wants to have a relationship with me.

  13. DagoodS
    Apr 19, 2012 @ 21:24:39

    I do love when Zoe rouses from her normally more stoic (yet not so stoic) prose and demonstrates her ability to accurately pierce the underneath fester. When we initially met (on-line) I was truly blessed to see her repeatedly demonstrate certain position’s difficulties with one or two subtle sentences, what it takes me pages to do. Such a talent…

    cclody, in very small part I sympathize with your inability to communicate with deconverts—the Christian community as a whole has done a terrible job teaching Christians how to relate, converse or even abide with those who left the flock. However, that excuse will only take you a little way and no farther. Zoe has pointed out numerous problems with both your approach (“not to use verses” and then you use verses!) as well as your content (imaginary persons effecting history.) How you respond is now up to you.

    cclody: Apparently, you haven’t caught my drift that I am not trolling for debate but happened upon this blog and was truly curious.

    Really? Is that true, cclody?…or should I say, “True”? You are probably unaware is how many times we have the conversation:

    Deconvert: Something I observe.
    Christian: Bible. Read. Pray. Rinse. Repeat.
    Deconvert: I’ve read that section, and did you know this fact and that fact and this problem, and this author’s contention and these issues and this history and….?
    Christian: [Avoid all the above.] Hey, I was just curious why you deconverted.

    O.K., cclody…if you were “curious”…do you know what curiosity necessarily produces? Questions. If one wants to know about a subject, one asks. Go back and read your first comment—do you see any questions? All I see are instructions. Perhaps your next comment fares better—do you see any questions? Hmmm…more instructions. In the third comment, amongst more instructions, we have a glimmer of a question in whether an imaginary person could affect history. I see Zoe answered that promptly and you wisely chose to drop the question as you were clearly out-classed there.

    By your fourth comment you are reduced to sarcastic questions only, some internet psychoanalysis and…yet more instructions.

    Really, cclody? You were “curious”? Why does your curiosity breed commands and no questions?

    Reply

  14. cclody
    Apr 19, 2012 @ 22:29:21

    Thank you for your honest reply, I actually feel like I’m having a conversation instead of being on some bizarre game show. If it helps understand my amazement at comments like Christ simply did not exist, it is because it seems to kick against the goades of the obvious effect this person had on human history. On a very small note of observance in a previous post on our host’s blog, the fact that there are no writings by Jesus in the Bible does not mean He logically did not write anything. Right? The writings in the bible clearly state that many things were not recorded that took place. It is safe to say that the bible was not physically authored by Christ. By the way do you have anything written from your grandfather’s childhood? Again, that was a small point I thought needed to be addressed. Back to not believing in Christ and further conclude has no referent in reality seems to even deny historical reality. In all due respect, this claim is either based in arrogance, blissful ignorance, or fact. Outside of even believing this individual, Jesus, as the Son of Man, there is an established cause and effect that not only began this movement called Christianity but persevered. This is not to be smugly equated with the perseverance of Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny, because this perseverance was founded in the real blood and real deaths of martyrs. Afterall, were the apostles at least real people?
    I anticipated your question with questions that would hopefully evoke a written understanding of what is love. Your question is a good question and I think it first deserves your respectful response to how you define love. I dare never again assume, especially with Zoe watching, your consideration of this invisible concept called love.
    Peace, Chris

    Reply

    • boomslang
      Apr 20, 2012 @ 10:09:07

      “Back to not believing in Christ and further conclude has no referent in reality seems to even deny historical reality. In all due respect, this claim is either based in arrogance, blissful ignorance, or fact.” ~ cclody

      Please clarify for my benefit: What is “historical reality“? The way I understand it, history cannot prove anything in an absolute sense; it can only tell us what most likely happened(or most likely did NOT happen). History certainly cannot prove supernatural claims. For instance, just because it says in history books that George Washington was said to have chopped down his daddy’s cherry tree and that he threw a coin across the Potomac river, that doesn’t confirm those claims in any objective sense. On the other hand, at least we have biographical documents written by people who lived in George Washington’s time.

      So, history says that George Washington most likely really was our first President, but that he most likely did NOT perform those two amazing feats mentioned above. What probably happened, is that people embroidered and/or exaggerated the truth in an attempt to show him as larger than life.

      Reply

  15. notabarbie
    Apr 19, 2012 @ 23:20:49

    Ahem? Hand raised. I asked a question of Chris that he never answered…Chris?

    Reply

    • cclody
      Apr 19, 2012 @ 23:30:09

      I will…I will… but first I just need to know… If you were at a horserace, would you bet your life’s savings on the horse with blinders on or off?

      Reply

  16. notabarbie
    Apr 20, 2012 @ 03:32:45

    I would want him to have the blinders on of course, because I would want him to stay the course and do my bidding, without the distractions of other options. See how that works? You ask a question and then I answer. Now you try it.

    Reply

  17. boomslang
    Apr 20, 2012 @ 05:30:43

    “I will…I will… but first I just need to know… If you were at a horserace, would you bet your life’s savings on the horse with blinders on or off?” ~ cclody

    So, you came up with an analogy that illustrates that there is at least one instance when it is good to not be distracted—to stay focused on one thing; to go in one direction. Very good. One nit-pick, though—we have evidence that we can actually examine that proves that we can lose money betting on a distracted horse. Conversely, we don’t have one iota of evidence that we can examine that proves that we lose anything if we are distracted from the Christian philosophy. ‘See the difference? IOW, to make your analogy truly analogous, you might ask…”If you were at a unicorn race, would you bet your life savings on the unicorn with blinders on or off”?

    BTW, none of us Ex-ers would even have a “life savings” if we had stayed focused on “Jesus”. If I remember correctly, Jesus was the guy who said to NOT plan for the future. ‘Just sayin’.

    Reply

  18. notabarbie
    Apr 20, 2012 @ 07:48:48

    …Chris?

    Reply

    • cclody
      Apr 20, 2012 @ 22:52:13

      C’mon, wasn’t that a good question, considering you named your blog to accept all the distractions our minds can feast on? Anyway, sorry for the delay to your question, work took me far away from my desk and at the end of the day I had to pay my respects and condolences to a family that lost their child to pediatric brain cancer. Mourning took precedence to your reply.
      So to your question you already know the answer to considering your list of “credentials” and the fact that you “probably read the Bible through more times than I have, ” (note to Zoe, this is what we call an assumption and an immature way to begin this type of conversation).
      Your question:
      “Do you believe that those who do not believe in Jesus Christ will go to Heaven? No.
      If yes, on what do you base that belief, and if no, where will those who do not believe in Jesus go?” Their choice.
      You are asking a question about Christ’s judgment capacity where Christianity can only claim to accept God’s solution for atonement. The earthbound church cannot render this judgment of eternal condemnation, despite its ability to forgive and guide those to its sole source of Truth which is in the person Jesus the Christ. As it pains you to know while making this conversation far from comfortable, if a person is exposed to the Gospel, understands God’s solution for all those born as children of wrath, then choose to reject God’s revelation of attaining eternal salvation through His Son’s atonement, then they blaspheme the Holy Spirit and condemn themselves by their own unwillingness to die in the friendship of Christ. In essence, their pride has woefully led them to not choose the invitation to union with God. On the other hand, it is the truly repentant that “followed” the commands of Christ whom God alone will judge worthy of eternal salvation. The Christian journey continually begs God to look upon its faith, not its sin, while gratefully pursuing the commands set forth in love as a sign of personal acceptance of God’s atoning solution. The prize of Christianity is to be “known” by its Judge; otherwise He will ask those to depart for He does not “know” them because of their wickedness. Ultimately, Christ is the only door to re-union between creation and Creator. I base this belief on the bible, tradition, and the irrefutable legacy of believers that died in the friendship of Jesus.

      But, what about those who don’t “know” Jesus, have never been exposed to the Gospel, or died before the revelation of the Gospel. That answer, I firmly believe, is found by Christ Himself who proclaimed, “And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they will hear My voice; and there will be one flock and one shepherd.” (John 10:16) If Christ died for all sins (past, present and future) and was the creator of time which He Himself can stand outside of looking at everything as if it is the present moment, then Christians are given a small glimpse at His fairness, His Mercy, and His unquestionable capacity to judge those who are given an opportunity to “hear” His voice. Again I base this answer on the scripture presented. Ibelieve the question of “fairness” is answered by God’s revealed solution.

      Hindsight tells me that replying to your and others guests’ doubts to the existence of Christ may have promoted a different discussion. Therefore, better late than never, let’s me start that.
      If Jesus is a “myth” (notabarbie/zoe), an non-actual “referent in reality (Boomslang), “imaginary persons effecting history (Dagoods), and the “return of JC himself, in front of my eyes, to change my mind” (juliesamazed), then the question at hand is what is considered legitimate proof that Jesus existed at that time. What would you demand to prove today that someone existed over 2000 years ago?
      How does the following square with your previous comments regarding Christ as a myth:
      Although the New Testament proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that Jesus actually lived, it is by no means the only historical evidence available.
      • Around the year A.D. 94, the Jewish historian, Josephus mentioned Jesus’ name twice in his book, “Antiquities of the Jews.” In section 18 of that work, Josephus wrote: “And there arose about this time Jesus, a wise man, if indeed we should call him a man; for he was a doer of marvelous deeds, a teacher of men who receive the truth with pleasure” (emp. added). Then, in section 20, Josephus documented how a man named Ananus brought before the Sanhedrin “a man named James, the brother of Jesus who was called the Christ, and certain others” (emp added).
      • About 20 years later, Tacitus, a Roman historian, wrote a book surveying the history of Rome. In it he described how Nero (the Roman Emperor) “punished with ever refinement the notoriously depraved Christians (as they were popularly called).” He went on to write that “their originator, Christ, had been executed in Tiberius’ reign by the governor of Judea, Pontius Pilot” (Annals 15:44, emp. Added).
      Even though Tacitus, Josephus, and other historians from the first and second centuries A.D. were not followers of Christ, they did have something to say about Him – and they even verified that Jesus was a real person Who was so famous that He even attracted the attention of the Roman emperor himself!
      Replying to Zoe’s confident reply, “I’ve got a feeling your “Him” is based off of the calendar and not the other way around,” is confusing. Another reason to believe Jesus was a real person because our whole dating system is based upon His existence. The letters “B.C.” stand for “before Christ” and and the letters “A.D.” (standing for Anno Domini) mean “in the year of the Lord.” So when a history teacher speaks of Alexander the Great ruling much of the world in 330 B.C., he or she is admitting that Alexander lived about 330 years before Jesus was born.
      Even though this is only a sampling of the evidence relating to the man known as Jesus, it is enough to prove that He was a real person, and not just some imaginary character. Although I may “see by faith,” I also do not accept His existence blindly—it is a historical fact. As always, peace. Chris.

      REFERENCES
      Josephus, Flavius (1957 reprint), The Life and Works of Flavius Josephus, trans. William Whitson (Philadelphia, PA: John Whitson).
      Massey, Gerald (1985), Gnostic and Historic Christianity (Edmond, WA: Holmes Publishing Group).
      Acharya, S. (1999), The Christ Conspiracy: The Greatest Story Ever Sold (Kempton, IL: Adventures Unlimited Press).
      Tacitus, Cornelius P. (1952 reprint), The Annals and the Histories, trans. Michael Grant (Chicago, IL: William Benton), Great Books of the Western World Series.

      Reply

      • boomslang
        Apr 21, 2012 @ 00:36:19

        Notabarbie: “Do you believe that those who do not believe in Jesus Christ will go to Heaven?”

        cclody: No.

        Fair enough.

        Notabarbie: “If yes, on what do you base that belief, and if no, where will those who do not believe in Jesus go?”[emphasis, mine]

        cclody: Their choice

        Help me out, here. How is saying that it’s “their choice” to question of where nonbelievers will go, an answer? Maybe you misunderstood the question? I’d like to give benefit of doubt, but I’m afraid I can’t. You don’t like talking or thinking about hell, do you? If I’m right, I wonder why you don’t like talking about it. I mean, if, in the end, the occupants of “hell” DESERVE to be there, I don’t see what the problem is. When I hear Christians say things like, “Sin must be punished!”..and.. “God’s justice is Perfect!”, it seems to me that Christians would jump at the opportunity to talk about the cold, hard truth that all non-Christians will **forcibly be put in a place of eternal torment when they expire. After all, Jesus, whom Christians claim to follow, made upwards of 70 references to hell.

        **I say “forcibly” put in hell, because no sane person makes a conscious “choice” to go to hell, or as Revelations puts it, to suffer their second death in a “lake of fire”. To suggest that people would willingly go jump into a “lake of fire”(or any place where they will be tormented 24/7 for all of eternity), is utterly preposterous. But I don’t want to speak for other nonbelievers, here. So, let me put it this way: I can promise you that I will NOT, willingly, go walking into hell. Do you know what that means, cclody(and other Christians)? That means that someone (or something) will have to physically put me there against my will. Now, who do you suppose that will be?

        To break it down, this whole notion that nonbelievers “choose” not to believe and/or “choose” to go to hell is a false dilemma that Christians set up. They obviously fail to see that non-belief is NOT a “choice”. Seriously, does any adult here remember the day that they chose to stop believing in Santa or the Easter bunny? I’ll wager not. If you’re like me, your belief in those characters simply crumbled one day as a result of honestly looking at the claims a little more closely. Until Christians get through their heads that some people are simply unable to will themselves to believe that which they find unbelievable(like that’s “crazy”, or something), it’s going to be difficult to find common ground, IMO.

        “Ultimately, Christ is the only door to re-union between creation and Creator. I base this belief on the bible, tradition, and the irrefutable legacy of believers that died in the friendship of Jesus.” ~ cclody

        Basing your premise on “the bible” is circular. Surely you know that. As for “tradition”, it’s tradition to put cookies out for Santa. Are such traditions a good reason to adopt a belief in Santa? No. As for a “legacy”, I’m not sure what makes something that is handed down “irrefutable”.

        What would you demand to prove today that someone existed over 2000 years ago? ~ cclody

        First things, first: I don’t “demand” anything. If you, and/or, other Christians, and/or, this (supposed) “God” expect me to adopt Christianity, then I’ll need evidence that it’s true. I don’t demand any evidence, because if no one expects me to believe it?….fine…. I’ll be on my merry way.

        What I’d accept as proof that Jesus actually lived? Well, if Jesus was raised from the dead(as Christians insist), then he’s still alive, yes? Assuming so, I would seriously consider changing my mind if Jesus appeared in the flesh(just like he presumably did just a few thousand years ago) and performed miracles. For starters, healing an entire children’s hospital

        “Although the New Testament proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that Jesus actually lived, it is by no means the only historical evidence available.”

        Who’s the source of this comment? In any case, even if this were true, history does not (and cannot) prove that Jesus was “Divine”, IOW, that he “actually lived” *after* he supposedly died on the cross.

      • cclody
        Apr 21, 2012 @ 03:09:28

        Forcibly? However, if Christ is the solution and unless you are a robot, you are fully concious of His invitation to “Come follow me,”…it seems reasonable that choice must precede being “forcibly” condemned to Hell. Now, how about telling me what happens when you die?

      • notabarbie
        Apr 21, 2012 @ 00:51:58

        Ahhhhhh, there goes Boomslang beatin’ me to the punch! 🙂

        Chris, You said, “but a response to notabarbie experience that Christianity condemns all to hell outside its happy bubble. No it does not,” but you see, it does and you just said it pretty plainly…oh wait…nevermind. Why is it so difficult for Christians to come right out and say that they believe that anyone that does not believe that their redemption comes from Christ, is condemned and we all know what that means—Hell? It does sound, hmmm, I don’t know…arrogant, perhaps intolerant? It seems if Christians have such a difficult time with this maybe they should reconsider their belief system. They are all bold about it when they speak privately to each other…I know, I did it, but to the people that supposedly deserve this Hell, they are mute or when cornered, put on their tap shoes and start a-dancing. “Oh no, god is love,” or, “do any of us deserve heaven?” or the best one yet, it’s “their choice.” Tapity, tapity tap…

        As far as your historical proofs of Jesus, and I hesitate to even address them, because it’s usually a waste of time, but I’m going to anyway. Maybe you will find it interesting. You offer proofs that are shaky at best and here is why, the passage from Josephus has been shown to be an absolute forgery, and even conservative scholars admit it has been tampered with. But even if were it historical, it dates from more than six decades after the supposed death of Jesus. I could go into details here, but they are easy enough for to find, if one wants to find them.

        As far as Tacitus, he wrote much later and it was second-hand history—you know, hearsay. He never mentions Jesus, only “the sect known as Christians” living in Rome being persecuted, and “their founder, one Christus.” Tacitus claims no first-hand knowledge of Christianity. There is no historical evidence that Nero persecuted Christians–Nero did persecute Jews, but that’s not the same, now is it? There was no “great crowd” of Christians in Rome around 60 C.E., as Tacitus wrote, and, interestingly, the term Christian was not even used in the first century. No one in the second century ever quoted this passage of Tacitus. In fact, it appears almost word-for-word in the fourth-century writings of Sulpicius Severus, where it is mixed with other obvious myths. Citing Tacitus, is tantamount to citing fiction. I have references for this information, but as I said earlier, it is very easy for you to find.

        You say, “
Even though this is only a sampling of the evidence relating to the man known as Jesus…” this is not accurate either. Your samples are pretty much it. I was shocked to discover that myself. Even after I had rejected Christianity, I still believed that the man Jesus, as portrayed in the Bible, was a literal historical character, just not God who died and rose, etc. I grappled with the whole, “liar, lunatic, Lord, proposition. I never thought that one of my choices also included myth, but that’s what the biblical representation of Jesus is—just another myth.

        Even as I write this, I feel myself getting pissed off. It’s so frustrating to me to see yet another Christian assuming that those of us who have left the faith did not first consider every bit of information we could find. I can only speak for myself here, but losing my faith was one of the most devastating events in my life. I WANTED to prove Christianity true. I didn’t just wake up one day and say, “Hey, I don’t want to be a Christian anymore, woot!” I read and prayed and prayed and prayed. I poured over documents and read every book I could get my hands on. I begged God to make himself real to me. If there were a personal god, he would have known my heart and mind and been very aware that I was clutching to the last shreds of my faith and yet there was nothing but silence. I gave up most of my friends, my sister, my mother because I could no longer believe in their god. Do you think I didn’t want to believe it? Do you really think any of us approached our de-conversion in a cavalier manner? Can you try and understand why we appear to lash out at you and others like you?

        You try and act like you are curious or just wanting to have dialogue, but in truth you think you have the answer, no, you KNOW you have the answer—the one True way—and you see us as angry and bitter and just a little ridiculous. You remind me of just how hateful Christianity is and how intolerant, judgmental and arrogant it makes its followers. I was one myself, but you also remind me of how happy I am that I’m not anymore.

  19. DagoodS
    Apr 20, 2012 @ 20:11:16

    cclody: These discussions may seem like an agenda Zoe, that my “formula” is “here read the Beatitudes” but a response to notabarbie experience that Christianity condemns all to hell outside its happy bubble. No it does not.

    notabarbie: Let me ask Chris a question. Do you believe that those who do not believe in Jesus Christ will go to Heaven? If yes, on what do you base that belief, and if no, where will those who do not believe in Jesus go?

    Did I miss cclody’s answer to these questions?

    Reply

  20. notabarbie
    Apr 20, 2012 @ 21:52:36

    If you missed it, I did as well. He said he would and he’s a Christian so I’m sure he’ll keep his word…

    Reply

  21. cclody
    Apr 21, 2012 @ 02:19:19

    Seriously? You “Their choice.” “Hell” is implied as the alternative to the reply to the previous question. With your “credentials” I gave you the benefit of the doubt that you could understand the concept of condemnation. I don’t have a problem with saying Hell, I have a problem with people choosing it when presented with a chance to avoid it. I believe you notabarbie when you said you wanted to believe, in fact, I was NOT some “Christian assuming that those of us who have left the faith did not first consider every bit of information we could find.” Why say that? Hasen’t Zoe pointed out to us and the blogsphere the consequences of assumming? Honestly, I’ve tried to be delicate in my wording.

    Since you continue to focus on me saying, “that Christianity condemns all to hell outside its happy bubble. No it does not,” Let me be clear, the focus of Christianity is not to go around condemning people who don’t believe in the resurrection. The only authority the Church has is to forgive. The salient alternative to condemnation, that means “going to Hell”,……..
    …you heard that right.?… good,

    …is that its “Good News” offers a solution to our status, whether one is aware of it or not, that they were born as “children of wrath.” I am still stunned notabarbie that even this reference did not fall somewhere in the benefit of your doubt for me. That atonement for our status (born as children of wrath), required our choice (…remember “Their choice”) through God’s gift of free will to choose the Gospel invitation rather condemnation. That is the ones born already condemned would experience the “Wrath” of God which somewhere lost in your patience to be gracious and reasonable would imply “Hell.” Notabarbie, I am not mocking your credentials, whatever they may be, nor am I not blind to the reality that your personal journey to “de-convert” was very painful in ways I’ll never know. Please don’t allow my curiousity regarding your story of complete embracement to complete abandonment to be offensive. However, it seems fair that if you blog, “Conversation with a Christian”, which is intended to ridicule the Christian approach while slapping your fellow non-believers on the back as you laugh, why would you be offended if a believer stumbled onto your post? If it just “pisses you off” that the ones you ridicule ask why, then add “Christian views or any other theistic views unwelcome here” after your appropriately labeled “Blinders Off.”

    As always, Peace. Chris

    Reply

  22. notabarbie
    Apr 21, 2012 @ 03:01:30

    The title is “Conversation with a Christian,” because that is just what it was, a literal conversation I had with a Christian and is also very representative of conversations I have had with other Christians as well. My blog title, Blinders Off, is in reference to the fact that in order to stay in the religious world, to continue to believe and live a life guided by a myth, one would have to keep blinders on. I took them off and immediately began to see that I had believed and had made all my life decisions based upon a lie. I’m not being closed-minded here. I am open to myriad of ideas, philosophies, religions, etc., but once they lack the evidence to be entertained as valid, I reject them.

    It’s intriguing how you say things like, “Let me be clear, the focus of Christianity is not to go around condemning people who don’t believe in the resurrection.” Really? If that statement weren’t so sad it would be extremely funny. Then you counter with, “The only authority the Church has is to forgive.” I find myself wondering, forgive what? Forgive those of us who don’t believe, or those who have not made the correct choice? Forgive what? You say that Christianity isn’t about condemning and yet with your very words you condemn…and the reason I find all this so intriguing is because you don’t even recognize it.

    Reply

    • cclody
      Apr 21, 2012 @ 03:19:48

      Wow. Who’s the blind one here? I’ll give you the benefit f the doubt and allow you to at least provide the Christian concept of why we are forgiven.

      Reply

      • boomslang
        Apr 22, 2012 @ 01:31:38

        “I’ll give you the benefit f the doubt and allow you to at least provide the Christian concept of why we are forgiven.”

        I’m not entirely sure to whom this is directed.

        In any case, since there is an extremely high chance that you won’t agree with any non-Christian’s take on “Salvation” including “why we’re forgiven”, I fail to see why we should waste each other’s time on a goose-chase. To me, it would make much more sense for you, the believer, to give your rendering of “why we’re forgiven”, and then go from there. ‘Just a suggestion.

  23. boomslang
    Apr 21, 2012 @ 03:39:11

    “Seriously?

    Yes, seriously. Unless I’ve misunderstood or misread something, when Barbara asked you, point-blank

    “[…] where will those who do not believe in Jesus go?”

    After the quoted question, I see the typed words, “Their choice”.

    If that is in fact your “answer”, it doesn’t actually answer the question. To you, a person who dies a nonbeliever has presumably already made his or her “choice”, right? Unless “their” refers to some other individuals besides us nonbelievers.

    “With your ‘credentials’ I gave you the benefit of the doubt that you could understand the concept of condemnation”

    I look forward to your setting me straight, regardless of my “credentials”. As I understand it, we’re all born condemned. Do you agree, or disagree? Let’s begin there.

    “I don’t have a problem with saying Hell, I have a problem with people choosing it when presented with a chance to avoid it.”

    And what part of “false dilemma”(aka false dichotomy) do you not understand? I “choose” NEITHER, ‘ follow? And yes, that is a valid third option if the first two are options that are unproven, and therefore, options that I am unable to honestly believe have a referent in reality. What? Does “God” accept liars? I only ask because I would be lying to myself if I were to say I believed in “heaven” and “hell”, which would be necessary before I “choose” one of them.

    “That atonement for our status (born as children of wrath), required our choice (…remember “Their choice”)”

    What on earth do you mean, here? Please clarify once and for all who “their” is. Do you by chance mean “Adam” & Co? If so, feel free to explain how it is possible for one person and a possible accomplice to make a decision on the BEHALF of you, me, and everyone else. I mean, isn’t that the whole point of “free will”..i.e..for each person decide for themselves when confronted with choices? Can someone choose “God” on my behalf? ‘Didn’t think so.

    “through God’s gift of free will to choose the Gospel invitation rather condemnation”

    One is never choosing freely when there is a threat for making the wrong choice. If one believes that they will fry in hell for eternity for not choosing God, that is no more a “free choice” than when the mugger gives his victim a free choice to either hand over their wallet, or to have their head made into red confetti.

    Reply

  24. boomslang
    Apr 22, 2012 @ 02:17:50

    “Forcibly?”

    Yes, forcibly. And? Again, what part of “forcibly” don’t you get? If I die a non-believer, I understand your conviction to be that your “God”(the “Judge”) must mete out his “perfect justice”. If I understand further, your conviction is that my sentence is that I spend an eternity being tormented with fire. Yes? And please note—we are talking after the point of no return. IOW, it is immaterial to say that a serial killer could have chosen not to kill, after he’s already committed the crime and been tried and convicted. He, too, is beyond the point of no return. Now, if the accused won’t WILLINGLY sit in the electric chair or lie down on the gurney for the lethal injection, someone’s going FORCIBLY put him there, right? Assuming you agree, I’m saying that I will not WILLINGLY go jump in some “lake of fire”. ‘Follow? Someone will have to PUT me there, and I want you to tell me who that is. ‘Listening.

    “However, if Christ is the solution and unless you are a robot, you are fully concious of His invitation to ‘Come follow me’,

    The serial killer in my analogy is fully conscious that “the solution” to staying off death row is to not kill in the first place. But again, immaterial, because in my analogy, he has already killed.

    “…it seems reasonable that choice must precede being “forcibly” condemned to Hell.”

    Let me be clear: I do NOT believe in hell(or heaven, or Yahweh, or Jesus), and furthermore, even if I thought for some reason that “hell” was real, I don’t believe that any sentient being deserves to be infinitely BURNED with fire for finite crimes. If I take this stance to my grave – and if on the extremely, extremely off-chance Xianity is true – then I presumably will spend my life in this “hell” place. Do you follow so far? Assuming so, mark my words—I will NOT walk into “hell” of my own will. Someone will have to forcibly put me there. I cannot make my position any clearer. Now, what I want to know is who will physically put me there once my sentence is handed down?

    “Now, how about telling me what happens when you die?”

    All sorts of things will happen after I die. First and foremost, I will lose consciousness and never regain it. Then, I’d imagine that my friends and family will gather round to talk about their good memories of me, and of my Christians friends and family, I suppose they’ll talk about what a horrible person I was and how I’m in hell, and deserve it. Well, at least, if they’re consistent with their beliefs, they will. I wouldn’t count on it, though.

    But to answer your question, I guess the answer is technically, “nothing happens”.

    Reply

  25. notabarbie
    Apr 22, 2012 @ 04:13:08

    Hmmm…what happens when we die Chris?…Well…there really are only a couple of things that any human being knows for sure. We stop breathing, our heart stops, we lose all brain function–sometimes all at once, sometimes one at a time, not necessarily in that order. After that, unless we are burned, we decompose and our bodies go back to the earth. Those are the only things we know. Once dead, we cease to exist. That’s all. Some Christians, well, actually, all Christians that I have told this to, think that because of my view, I should be hopeless, which is kind of interesting, because it makes me want to live out this one life that I have with as much enthusiasm as I can.

    Reply

  26. boomslang
    Apr 22, 2012 @ 05:00:04

    “Some Christians, well, actually, all Christians that I have told this to, think that because of my view, I should be hopeless, which is kind of interesting, because it makes me want to live out this one life that I have with as much enthusiasm as I can.” ~ Notabarbie

    Here’s my question: If one cannot find meaning and hope in a mere 60, 70, 80 years, I wonder how they’ll find to go on existing forever. What?….doing all of your favorite things for the first 1000 years will give you the hope to be able to do it for the next 1000 years? Singing your favorite hymn every day will give you something to look forward to? Boy, oh boy!……ceasing to exist is sounding more and more like “heaven”! ; )

    Reply

  27. notabarbie
    Apr 22, 2012 @ 05:13:23

    Now boomslang, we will be in our “glorified bodies” then…remember? I asked my mother, when I was little, what we would do in Heaven forever. She told me that we would get to praise, worship, and serve Jesus. I said, “That doesn’t sound like fun.” She told me I would want to do those things because he died for my sins and gave me the ability to go to heaven…huh? Wait a second… Yeah, you are right! Ceasing to exist does sound more like the better option.

    Reply

  28. boomslang
    Apr 22, 2012 @ 23:48:18

    @ Notabarbie,

    My grandmother believed the same..i.e…that when Jesus returns, he is going to resurrect all believers from their graves and give them new, “glorified bodies”. She even commented once that this is why she was so against cremating a family member’s ashes. Oh, and also, she picked out the dress she wanted to be buried in..i.e…her favorite blue dress. I wanted to ask her how she felt about wearing the same dress for the next one hundred bazillion years, or if Yahweh was going to take her shopping at TJ Max. But I didn’t, because I was afraid she’s say, “yes”.

    Xianity: A license to believe the absurd.

    Reply

  29. boomslang
    Apr 22, 2012 @ 23:51:40

    ‘Lots of good, practical questions going unanswered in here. How revealing.

    Reply

  30. ... Zoe ~
    Apr 25, 2012 @ 06:33:22

    Hi Notabarbie,

    Thank you.

    Reply

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