Leaves Leave, Grass Withers. It’s only Natural

The Manipulative Character of God’s “Conditional”  Unconditional Love

“If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.” -John 15:6 KJV (of course)

I read a recent post on a Christian Blog I follow about Abiding in Christ, the vine to our branches.

It wasn’t a new concept to any Christian who’s read John’s gospel, chapter 15. I used to read thru the gospels and Acts of the Apostles monthly as part of my devotional reading and bible study. I’ve even taught the verses and chapter fairly regularly as part of my teaching/discipleship of other men down thru the years.

The message is that Life, Hope, Meaning and Identity itself is derived from and dependant on our continued connection to and subsistence from Jesus as our “life giving spirit”. (1 Corinthians 15)

Overall, the encouragement to remain connected and “life supplied” by the connection In and To Christ was a positive one, offering greater freedom and “abundant life” (John 10)

“For the sun is no sooner risen with a burning heat, but it withereth the grass, and the flower thereof falleth, and the grace of the fashion of it perisheth: so also shall the rich man fade away in his ways.” -James 1:11 KJV

But there is always another side of any coin

The same promise of peace and abundant life and loving acceptance and security “in Christ” offered just as sure a “promise” and warning of destruction, abandonment, hopelessness and loss of value and even personhood if you ever were to stray, or if any of His Branches should ever  “Leave” Him. 

This is the emotionally manipulative power of “Indoctrination” in action rather than simple teaching. 

Teaching is communicating and passing on knowledge and understanding. 

The process implies and in fact relies on a two way give and take, a teacher teaching and a learner learning, most of the time by asking questions, working things out, challenging answers and sometimes even changing the answers by mutual discovery. Learning is primarily an exercise in Discovery and questions.

Indoctrination on the other hand is not about Discovery and Questioning to understand or even Evaluate truths. It is primarily what used to be called “rote” learning. 

Everyone can remember High School History classes. Names, dates, people, places often devoid of meaning or context. “You don’t have to understand it, just learn it”. As most College students or graduates can tell you though, they “learned” it only for as long as they needed to hold on to it and pass the test or quiz or semi final. Then it was summarily jettisoned to make room for the next mass of ‘edible’ but indigestible information. 

Indoctrination comes at the Price of your Freedom

As Christians, we are taught to learn and study and assimilate material and ideas and concepts absolutely vital to our Eternal Survival, but never to question, evaluate, judge or Discover, much less reject, the truthfulness of the Truth ™ we are “learning”. 

This is how Teaching differs from Indoctrination and Brainwashing, to use a purposely loaded term, differs from Real Learning. The extra kicker is that the constant threat of Rejection, Punishment, Abandonment and Eternal Torture in a place called Hell loom in the back of the mind, always presenting the counterbalance of Fear to the encouragement to Faith and Love for a God who says he offers Unconditional Acceptance, Love and Forgiveness.

If love, acceptance and forgiveness have as conditions Remaining Faithful or not questioning, they are not Unconditional. Doubt, Questions, Discovery and Understanding by challenging and evaluating answers are enemies of this kind of Faith and Learning. There is always the Firebrand waiting to set you ablaze for the crime of leaving or doubting. The threat of Hell and Eternal Torment is enough for most “branches” to Abide in the Vine. 

But some, like me and others who have deconverted from previously long held beliefs and cherished memories, have had the courage to evaluate and judge for ourselves, challenge and even reject what we previously were taught, believed, and even taught to others to be True ™, after going on a Journey of Discovery and finding that they just were not actually true in reality.

Yet… The threats and taunts from others who are still believers like we were, afraid to question and unwilling to accept that they even could, come daily as reminders of the Fear we once called Faith.

One man’s “abide” is now become my “you better not leave”… motivated at least subconsciously by “…because I can’t”. My freedom is too much for them to bear. It beckons them to Freedom also. A freedom that they are taught to Fear on pains of Hell.

  • But what kind of life is that? 
  • To Fear the God you love? 
  • To Love the God you Fear? 
  • Why not find out if there is any Truth in what you believe to be Truth ™? 
  • If it were all just a bunch of Bulls#!t, wouldn’t you want to know?

“When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.” –1 Corinthians 13:11 KJV

This is why Christian blogs Fear deconverts and Block, Edit and Delete our Comments on their blogs. But they have no control here to “stop the mouths” of those who don’t believe their Apologetics BS anymore.

My encouragement for Christians like I was is to Think for yourself. Start your Journey of Discovery today. Like, comment, share and subscribe to The Recovering Know It All. Let’s do this.

-kia

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175 thoughts on “Leaves Leave, Grass Withers. It’s only Natural

  1. Another good and thoughtful post Mike.

    When in the midst of the Christian delusion I operated on the supposition that ‘God’ is good, perfect and loving. This caused a suspension of critical thinking and meant that when things didn’t work out, when the promises failed I concluded it must have been my fault. Perhaps I had done something wrong, perhaps I had failed to abide, perhaps I did not trust, etc. – it was never the fault of ‘God’ by definition it couldn’t be as ‘God’ was defined as perfect.

    It is virtually impossible to see the emotional manipulation it entails until one is well clear of the mire.

    Liked by 4 people

      • Nan it is only now, 18 months after my deconversion, that I have reached the point where I can start to see these things.

        Christianity had deeply influenced the way I looked at so many issues. It takes a long time to unravel. Just one example is abortion, after my deconversion I was very much still against abortion, indeed I saw it as akin to state sanctioned murder. This was because I saw life starting at conception. However it is only after a long period of time that I am coming to realise that this is not a correct understanding.

        Liked by 2 people

      • My fault. I have no illusions about innate goodness on my part.

        I realise I am a imperfect person. However I don’t see why this therefore means there must be a God.

        To me, the world operates in very much the way one would expect of there was no God. Christianity, in particular, has problems making sense of suffering. However in a godless world suffering does make sense. It does not make suffering any less tragic, but it does at least make sense.

        Some other religions who hold to a less benign version of their deity don’t struggle quite so much to explain suffering as Christianity does. The problem with Christianity is that their version of God is altogether too perfect to make sense in an imperfect world.

        Liked by 3 people

        • “I realise I am a imperfect person. However I don’t see why this therefore means there must be a God”

          I agree, as I don’t believe that’s the sort of correlation one makes.
          You’re entitled to your belief and subsequent conclusion that there is no God. The rest who do believe there is a God, do so on the basis of knowledge, understanding, basic logic.

          I don’t believe Christianity has difficulty explaining suffering. Yes, I’ve heard it said many times by Christians, however it’s quite simple really – “sin kills”… spiritually it kills immediately… physically, if it doesn’t kill immediately, it does so slowly – depression, anxiety, fear, stress, etc. sickness, and ultimately death.

          The reality is, the majority of the world (even some of those professing to know God) do live as though there is no God. 😦
          The fact that you and many live that way doesn’t change the absolute reality that there is a God.God’s existence is not dependent upon our ability to acknowledge Him!

          “The problem with Christianity is that their version of God is altogether too perfect to make sense in an imperfect world.”
          How can this be a problem – God’s perfection in light of an imperfect world…. especially to one who has read the book from cover to cover.
          Funny, I see the complete opposite in your last statement.

          Like

            • What you’ve said is not compatible with Scripture at all!

              This is Jesus’ promise:
              In the world you have tribulation and distress and suffering, but be courageous [be confident, be undaunted, be filled with joy]; I have overcome the world.”

              In this world, we’re all connected… and this means that what one person does, affects not only him but others as well.

              You have a fundamental misunderstanding of John 14:12-14
              I assure you and most solemnly say to you, anyone who believes in Me [as Savior] will also do the things that I do; and he will do even greater things than these [in extent and outreach], because I am going to the Father. Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me[e] anything in my name, I will do it.

              12, 13, 14 is the same promise reiterated for surety/certainty!

              Trying to apply the Word of God contrary to Scripture will never work Peter.

              You can only receive from God what His Grace has already made available.
              Ex: asking for what someone else has is covetousness and there’s no grace for that.

              Liked by 1 person

              • Hi Ancients, I have some sympathy with your arguments as they are very close to what I used to argue when I was a person of faith. Indeed it was not so long ago that I would send videos like the following to my friends:

                I think most of us want there to be some underlying purpose and redemptive value in suffering. But as I look at the world post faith I see suffering explained by natural factors, bad luck bad actions.

                Liked by 1 person

              • Hi Peter,
                While I do like you… no sympathies please 🙂
                We’re told and we know that there is suffering in the world and the reason for this suffering.
                What you and your video and others have eluded to is Christ Jesus as the author of that suffering… and once again that is not Scriptural.

                God anointed/appointed Jesus of Nazareth who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed of the devil.

                Did you get that – not oppressed of God! Oppression/suffering is of the devil.

                Jesus referred to the woman with hemorrhaging as being bound by the devil
                On and on…

                No one said there was underlying purpose and redemptive value in suffering. If this were the case, the people who suffered the most in this life would have the most purpose and the most redemptive value!
                Clearly this is not the case.

                Borrowing the following illustration.
                Promise of God — Problem — Provision

                Based on our conversations Peter, you fail to receive the Provision because the moment you come upon a Problem, you believe God is the author of that Problem or the very Problem itself… and so you proclaim His Promises null and void.

                …I see suffering explained by natural factors, bad luck bad actions.

                That’s not surprising. “A carnal man with a hardened heart will always find some natural explanation for the supernatural even if he heard an audible voice from God.”

                For the slow, I’m not saying suffering is supernatural.

                Liked by 1 person

            • weroifntehjoieer bvhroitirjgrjfdnddjhtir

              Hi Gill, I bet you were unable to read what was written above, and correctly so, because it’s unintelligible.

              You’re able to understand what I’m currently writing because it’s intelligible: there’s a mind -thought, and intent- behind what’s stated.

              So basic logic dictates there’s a Creator behind all things that are created… there’s a maker behind all things that are made… there’s a Lawgiver behind all laws … there’s a programmer behind all codes/programs… there’s an author behind a book…. you get the point, I hope.

              Need I go into the extreme complexity, yet intelligibility of the language of DNA.
              In other words, there must be a mind behind all that information!

              So basic logic tells me the characteristics of this universe and its inhabitants: vastness, complexity, intelligence etc. must be the result of an even greater intelligence/mind GOD.

              Think of this – all the intelligence of man combined, cannot create a blade of grass… yet I’m supposed to believe no intelligence went into creating the blade of grass I take for granted. NOT gonna happen!

              Liked by 2 people

            • Let me interject here, if I may… Logic has nothing to do with our belief that God exists… It is a matter of faith, that is clearly spelled out in Hebrews 11:6…

              “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” (NKJV)

              Unless one has been a receiver of the rewards God promises His redeemed children…it will be hard to believe that God exists in the first place…

              bruce

              Liked by 1 person

              • I would completely agree that logic has no place here.

                Now can you explain why “Faith” is a valid way of knowing truth? Isn’t it possible for me to have faith in Allah, or Vishnu, or one of many other religions as the truth, and have it go uncontested. Thus it makes your truth only subjective to you. Yet if there is a God is universal and exists shouldn’t that knowledge not depend on personal experience? Shouldn’t something that is real and in existence be present regardless of belief but through measurable evidence? If no human were alive, wouldn’t God still exist? Because anything can be brought into existence through faith.

                Liked by 1 person

              • That’s exactly the point bruce is missing as he attempts to dismiss his responsibility to demonstrate that what he believes to be true is actually True. When you wipe the table trying to not be held to evidences and just run back to Faith, it’s impossible to dismiss other people’s Faith as just as valid as yours is. Brilliant, but he doesn’t really care about Truth

                Liked by 1 person

              • Mike, I know the truth Jesus speaks about in John 8:31-32… The truth that will set one free from the chains Satan has bound them with… And every word I speak to you and others is nothing but the truth…

                Like

              • Mike, a believer that God fills with the Holy Spirit has absolute proof that they are a redeemed child of God… Of course you are familiar with Romans 8:15-16…

                “For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” 16 The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God,” (NKJV)

                The Muslim, the Hindu, and any other religion other than Christianity, cannot experience what only the God of the Bible is able to do…

                Like

              • Swarn, there is a difference between faith, and saving faith… I made the “sinners prayer” some 30 plus times in a 15 month period of time… On the day God chose to grace me with salvation…He did so, because I finally believed that Christ would forgive me of my sins, as God gave me the will to love Him with ALL of my heart, mind, and soul… I confessed my sins with godly sorrow and a repentant heart, and at that moment in time the weight of a lifetime of sins came off my shoulders…

                This is not possible, unless God has drawn a sinner to Himself…John 6:44… Our part in salvation is receiving God’s grace after understanding and obeying the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ…

                I know this sounds like hogwash to all of you…but without experiencing the love of Christ filling one’s heart with His joy (John 15:11), I understand why you think I am a fool…

                That’s OK…

                bruce

                Like

              • I don’t consider you a fool because I don’t doubt at all this was an experience that you had. I mean you could by lying, you could be misinterpreting the experience, but this is what you believe to be true for you. I have no problem with that. But to say that your personal experience is anything more than truth for more than just you, would be unfair. You make claims about Mike’s feelings and personal experience and deny him his personal truth, yet expect others to honor yours.

                You have also not answered my question regarding faith as a means for determining God’s existence. There are many who have faith in God, but God has different characteristics than that described in the Bible. Why is their faith any less valid than yours, and doesn’t a Muslim’s faith speak to their being a God just as much as yours. Doesn’t a Hindu’s faith have just as much validity as yours? To say that it doesn’t mean that your personal experience is more valid than anybody else’s. Not to mention that when faith is used as a basis for truth, anything can be brought into existence by faith alone.

                Liked by 1 person

              • It’s your brain releasing an endorphin cascade that you’ve mistaken for evidence of an outside agency. Prayer shuts down blood flow to certain parts of the brain and feelings of contentment and joy are not an uncommon byproducts. That’s why people meditate… same areas.

                Liked by 1 person

          • “You’re entitled to your belief and subsequent conclusion that there is no God. The rest who do believe there is a God, do so on the basis of knowledge, understanding, basic logic.”
            No you don’t. You believe because you’ve been inculcated and brainwashed to believe it’s true. Your beliefs are not based on knowledge and certainly not based on evidence or logic. Where you summoned the courage to make a ridiculous statement like that, I have no idea.

            Liked by 1 person

  2. Good post. As a relative newcomer to the ranks of free thinkers, I appreciate rational posts like this that tend to validate the same thoughts that bother me about Christianity in particular and organized religion in general.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Mike, I continue to pray for you, Peter, and Ark’s gang…that the Lord will draw you in, and fill you with the Holy Spirit… This de-conversion you speak about was never a conversion to Christianity to begin with…
    When one has the Holy Spirit living within them, after being graced with salvation after a regeneration of the heart…and the blessings God provides continue to amaze the believer…there is absolutely no doubt that God exists…
    The Apostle Paul pens this, in…Romans 8:15-16… For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” 16 The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, (NKJV)
    (EDIT: link removed per kia)

    Liked by 1 person

          • Because even God’s people are being destroyed because of a lack of knowledge. Many Christians are on the broad road of destruction – doesn’t mean they’re hell bound.
            Just look around, it’s difficult to see the difference in their lives from those who do not know nor have a God.

            Liked by 1 person

        • No, Bruce, you’re not sharing love. You are trying to emotionally manipulate others because your reasoning is insufficient. You insult Mike and other people who have the courage to begin to think for themselves with a kind of denialism that you impose on them, namely, you could not have ever been a real Christian because you’re not still a Christian. You wave away all the reasons that matter to them and pretend they don’t matter because YOU say they don’t. And then you excuse your bullying with then lie that you LOVE them. No, Bruce. You don;t love them because you do not and will not respect them enough to be able to think for themselves. You demand they think like you do, believe as you do, be only on your ‘team’. That’s not love, Bruce. That’s emotional manipulation. And that’s a central component of indoctrination that has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with learning. You actually demonstrate the difference here with your inane yet oft repeated claim that denies people their former identity because you say you love them.

          That’s just bullshit wrapped in loving piety. It’s still bullshit, let’s be clear, and it stinks just the same. You don’t love any of us because you cannot accept us as we are.

          Liked by 5 people

            • Anyway Mike Bruce is arguing with the wrong people. He should be arguing with ‘God’ because according to Bruce’s theology it is the choice of ‘God’ as to who is saved. You and I have no say in the matter.

              Liked by 2 people

          • “You don’t love any of us because you cannot accept us as we are.” tildeb, you don’t know my heart… Only God does… I love each and every one of you… Why would I waste my precious time trying to share the love of Christ with all of you, if I didn’t care about your eternal life ??…

            If I didn’t believe lives could be changed, why would I be here ??

            With God…ALL things are possible… I will continue to share my faith with all of you…until the Holy Spirit tells me to stop…

            bruce

            Liked by 1 person

            • To convert us as you’ve been charged to do. That’s it. Love has nothing to do with this task except as a means to an end, which reduces it from love to emotional manipulation. You care about your task and not the actual and real charges upon which you exercise your task. You couldn’t care less which charges you target as long as you target charges with this crap in order to discharge your duty. Take away the duty (and look for honest care, compassion, and concern and it’s not there), take away the ‘love’ you profess to have.

              Like

              • To some, evangelism and outreach is just a job. People are just targets and numbers, not people. I never considered it such in my efforts, but some do. But it’s weird for someone who says he believes in Divine election to say it’s his charge to convert anyone, wouldn’t you say?

                Like

              • Oh, it’s batshit crazy when combined with the idea that this god is omnipotent and omniscient. Bruce cannot change what his god has already ordained and put into motion yet he feels compelled to try to ‘change’ people and introduce them to his god and salvation. These are incompatible premises. I often wonder why more Christian heads don’t simply explode.

                Liked by 1 person

              • There’s no task to convert anyone!
                No person can change another individual. That’s impossible!

                Agape love is a decision and has nothing to do with emotion. Agape Love is patient, kind, not boastful, does not remember wrongs, forgives all things, endures all things etc. – all the characteristics of what I’ve seen Bruce endured with all you guys… all these things are decisions one chooses to make and is devoid of emotion… so it’s impossible for Bruce to be emotionally manipulating you.

                It’s you guys who have no idea what true and genuine agape love is. If even I can take notice… imagine who else notices.

                Liked by 1 person

      • Victoria, that is brilliant. It reflects exactly what I thought when I first read Bruce’s comment. At least some of our other interlocutors have the capacity to engage in discussion. I am afraid Bruce does not discuss, he preaches.

        Liked by 2 people

          • But Bruce shouldn’t we be able to discuss the evidence for/against God existing?

            Invariably you bring up the matter of personal experience as your evidence. This is not very helpful for us as we have not had the same experience.

            I have been around Church circles long enough to be wary of experiences.

            A more objective basis for testing whether or not God exists is the reliability of the Bible. On that front there are many contradictions and errors in the Bible. However apologists are disingenuous and flat out deny clear contradictions using the most implausible arguments. I mean to say Mark could not even get his geography correct, he could hardly have been inspired by God.

            Like

          • Putting one’s own personal experience once again as truth, while discounting the personal truth of others.

            Cognitive dissonance at its finest.

            Perhaps all this personal experience stuff isn’t the best way at arriving at the truth. As individuals we have a great number of biases that cloud our ability to determine what our experiences mean. This is why science is a superior method for uncovering truth.

            Liked by 3 people

            • Swarn we often see sincere religious fok reach very different conclusions on issues. With both parties saying that ‘God revealed the matter to them’.

              I saw a lot of this when I was involved in churches and is part of the reason I came to be wary of personal revelations and experiences. Indeed one person I respected told me in great detail what ‘God’ had revealed to him about what was going to happen to me. I initially accepted it but over time I came to see that none of it transpired and I realised this person was deluded.

              Now this person was someone who sounded a lot like Bruce.

              Liked by 2 people

          • “Peter, there is no room for discussion when you tell me God does not exist !! He lives in me, and I pray He will live in ALL of you before you pass on from this life…”

            2 can play that game

            Bruce, there is no room for discussion when you tell me God does exist !! He’s a made up mythical figure and a delusion. I hope you will figure this out before you die so you don’t spend your entire life in the glorification of a myth and a delusion.

            Liked by 1 person

    • It’s funny that you would pretend to know what someone else’s personal feelings and experience are like, when your entire belief system is predicated on your own personal feelings and faith. I mean it’s just as easy for me to say, “Well as a Muslim I don’t think you have a true personal relationship with God, because I know God through the prophet Mohamed and the Koran, and so you are being led down the wrong path.” You see how easily I can disprove your personal truth, with my personal truth?

      It’s also odd that you would criticize Mike for not being a true Christian, when there are some 30,000 Christian denominations on Earth all believing themselves to be the true Christian. There is no more guarantee that your brand of Christianity is any more correct that a Catholic or an Episcopalian.

      Finally there is another explanation to why Mike isn’t a Christian anymore. It’s not because he wasn’t a true Christian, it’s because it IS all make believe, and he has realized it and you have not.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Well Swarn Gill… While it is true there are now over 40,000 Christian denominations…the simple truth is that a person is only a Christian in God’s eyes (a true Christian), when God has graced them with the indwelling Holy Spirit, at the moment He has forgiven their past, present, and future sins…

        I thought I was a Christian for almost 52 years… Sadly, with no heart regeneration by God, I was only a Christian in my own mind…

        Since I believe no true Christian will ever lose their salvation…I believe anyone who said they were a Christian, and now they don’t believe there is a God…was never filled with the Holy Spirit to begin with…

        I mean no disrespect to anyone who reads this… I speak what God has laid on my heart with love and concern for all of those who don’t know Christ as their personal Lord and Savior… I am called to share my faith, and do my best under the extreme persecution and ridicule many of you show me on this and other blogs…

        bruce

        Liked by 1 person

        • I understand what you are saying, but you still haven’t really addressed my concern. You again are speaking for your personal experience, what is true to you, and you alone, and yet you presume what is true for Mike, based solely on what you believe to be true. Which you yourself have admitted is only through faith. Which is a personal feeling about what is true. By your own reasoning therefore, you cannot know how Mike experienced his religious feelings. Your feelings do not equal facts about truth, they are your feelings.

          And I don’t mean to make you feel ridiculed, but if you don’t see the hypocrisy in which you decide for others what their feelings were, and condemn those who would question your feelings that determine truth, then that’s a problem.

          Liked by 2 people

              • To acknowledge our point about faith being relative and an inaccurate, and sometimes dangerous, basis for truth, he’d have to be able to question what he believes and consider at least the possibility that he’s wrong. I’m not sure he’s ready for that leap

                Liked by 1 person

              • Agreed…but it’s important to ask the question, at least so other people reading can see they’ve completely ignored it, but also because it reminds them that there is this question they are completely ignoring too. Who knows one day they might choose to confront it. I’m an optimist. I know. lol

                Liked by 2 people

              • Mike I sit wondering why I have spent so much time this evening trying to share my faith with all of you… What other reason would I have, except for my love and concern for all of you ??

                I am done for the night… God bless all of you…

                Like

          • “and condemn those who would question your feelings that determine truth”

            Swarn, I don’t condemn any of you… I share my faith, and the Gospel of Christ for all of you to ponder…

            It is God that will drawn you in… And it is God that will give you the will to love Him with all of your heart, mind, and soul… I am just a vessel He uses to share the love of Christ…

            Liked by 1 person

            • But you are condemn Mike by discounting his own experiences of faith. When Mike says he was a true Christian when he believed, you have no evidence to support that not being true, you can only say that your experience is different.

              Liked by 1 person

              • Tildeb, this article below nails bruce’s behavior, and his last comment last night, claiming persecution (though not the first time), is highlighted in this article as well. This is how evangelicals are trained (indoctrinated), and I’d say he’s mastered the course with an A+. Wouldn’t you? If you don’t have time to read the whole article, you can scroll down to the 3rd subtitle “Being Terrified of Being Wrong”, and go from there.

                http://www.patheos.com/blogs/rolltodisbelieve/2016/09/12/being-wrong-gloriously/

                Liked by 3 people

              • “Being Terrified of Being Wrong”,

                Victoria, as smart as you are, you are sooooo far off base with your analysis of me… All I have to do is see your 3rd subtitle to get the jist of your article…

                I have absolutely no fear connected to my heart, mind, or soul !! You will never get it, Victoria…until you have experienced a heart filled with the love of Christ…

                Read this scripture that come to my mind (thank you Holy Spirit)…

                1 John 4:18… There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. (NKJV)

                This perfect love is the love of Christ filling my heart !!

                I’m not preaching here guys… I am revealing my heart to all of you… Believe me, or not…It is not about me, my friends… It’s about the power of the Holy Spirit that I proclaim, to the praise and the glory of the Lord !!

                Have a great day !! 🙂

                bruce

                Like

              • Bruce, do you know I thought about not putting the subtitle in because I figured you’d see my comment, and that you would automatically make an assumption of the contents based on the subtitle alone. You didn’t disappoint. Read the article to see the “you” you have become due to insidious, strategic indoctrination, and start from the subtitle I highlighted.

                But wait — you won’t because you’re going to come up with the lame excuse (like you have done over and over during the past 2 years) that the “Holy Spirit” warned you not to read it, right? You think you’re original?

                Unlike Swarn, and KIA, I have no hope for you. You are incredibly susceptible to the power of indoctrination. Your behavior is quite predictable—textbook—and it’s what happens to people when they (in your case, especially) chose to stop thinking for themselves. In the meantime, we have to contend with the fallout.

                As the author of the article states, “It’s just amazing to me that a group of people can style themselves the most humble and compassionate people on the planet while in actuality being among the least so.”

                Liked by 2 people

              • Victoria, I like the fact that you call me predictable !! I will continue to be a lover of Jesus Christ…obeying EVERYTHING the Holy Spirit asks me to say and do… You have absolutely no idea of the blessings and the freedom I have in Christ… God’s grace fills me, and completes me !! I have no need to look elsewhere Victoria !!

                I am reminded of the following scripture… (Mike, I really appreciate UR not banning me for posting scripture !! 🙂

                Proverbs 3:5-6… Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
                And lean not on your own understanding;
                6 In all your ways acknowledge Him,
                And He shall direct your paths. (NKJV)

                Victoria, this was penned by Solomon…made by God to be the wisest man there ever was…

                Have a great day !! bruce

                Liked by 1 person

              • !! I have no need to look elsewhere Victoria !!

                Then keep it to yourself, because it’s a placebo effect. You have used your belief as a scapegoat to overcome years of guilt due to your antisocial behaviors and actions towards others. It’s a cowards way of escaping restitution. You say you have a renewed heart. I call bullshit. Example: rather than being a lover to your wife, you demean her with total strangers. Don’t even come here and tell us what love is, you fraud.

                Liked by 1 person

        • You think you are ‘called’ to try to convert others, which you categorize as ‘love’ and yet when these people you ‘love’ tell you to stop, you don’t. You couldn’t care less about those you ‘love’ and certainly don’t have any real respect for them or their wishes because your ‘calling’ is far more important to you than the actual welfare of others. That’s why it’s a false category that you’ve created that in no way reflects the meaning of the term ‘love’. It’s an emotional manipulation you’re trying to pull and calling this lipstick you’re apply ‘love’ doesn’t change the fact that your motivation is still a pig.

          Liked by 2 people

  4. KIA: “This is why Christian blogs Fear me and Block, Edit and Delete my Comments.”
    Oh Really?…. Is this why YOU have blocked/deleted my comment?

    Teaching/Comprehension 101 –
    Go outside… cut off a branch from a tree… observe what happens to the branch.
    You do not even know when you’re getting sound advice.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Excellent post, Mike. It’s interesting, after all the dust settles (when our deactivated neural circuitry associated with critical assessment reactivates) those of us who were once bamboozled realize that a “relationship” with Jesus (and his daddy, Yahweh) is no different than having a relationship with an abusive partner.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Thanks for the link, V. I think many ex-Christians will see just how astutely the article renders their previous mindset and identifies the usual ways and means to avoid an honest examination of them.

    GMF doesn’t disappoint; he doesn’t recognize just how plainly false are his assertions about love. He conflates Christian piety with love and thinks the two are actually synonyms but cannot see the legitimacy of any other religion’s identical reasons. Faith really does addle the brain.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Hey mike. Are you trying to win the ‘stubborn man of the year award?’

    The lesson of ‘abiding……………’ and ”men’ gathering them to be burned…………..and YOUR interpretation……………is so far off course and is proof that you cannot be trusted with scripture. Nice work, to inject your ignorance into a text that is actually warming to a soft and understanding heart.

    ‘Abide.’ You have no clue mike, and your comment thread proves it. But I will not help your inflated ego and rebellion toward God by adding more commentary lest you get the idea that your argument is valid.

    And as a bonus for your laugh fest u said this:

    —-This is why Christian blogs Fear me and Block, Edit and Delete my Comments. But they have no control here to “stop the mouths” of those who don’t believe their Apologetics BS anymore—-

    You. Feared? Maybe by rats mike, but not by people who actually engage the brain, thank God.As for the others, ‘moderation’ is a fine tool, even WP thinks so.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi cs. As for stubborn… Yup. Kansas raised and at least now asking for more evidence of Truth ™ than just “believe me or you’re toast”.
      As for moderating and editing comments? I remember jz posting a screen shot of your displeasure when someone did it to you

      Like

      • Tks mike, but just a correction.

        My so called ‘displeasure’ was not in the ‘moderating’ or ‘editing,’ (which there was not) but was to point out the blatant hypocrisy of complete ‘erasure’ of the lone voice of reason in the cesspool and dung of commentary against God and scripture.

        Kind of like what the msm does for Clinton. Slander it. Avoid it. Malign it. Say it is not true. Etc.

        Like

    • “The lesson of ‘abiding……………’ and ”men’ gathering them to be burned…………..and YOUR interpretation……………is so far off course and is proof that you cannot be trusted with scripture. Nice work, to inject your ignorance into a text that is actually warming to a soft and understanding heart.”

      See how that works Mike? Your interpretation of God’s will is wrong, CS’ is correct. You’re wrong, he’s right. It’s a great way to win an argument.

      Like

      • To borrow the words of One more qualified to say so:

        ‘Ye neither know the scriptures nor the power of God…………’

        So yeah, ash, an atheist (and all unbelievers) cannot understand scripture. But the question u need to ask yourself, is, why do you even care…….

        You care because you cannot hide from the penetrating truth of God.

        Quite simple.

        Like

        • I don’t recognize your authority to understand scripture any better than me or anyone else. I don’t recognize your authority to “understand” the mind of God better than me or anyone else.
          I care because I want myself and my children and indeed everyone to understand the world and the universe around us using reason and logic and the scientific method, and not resort to crackpot fundamentalist Christians like you to telling us you know you’re right 100% the time. Go fuck yourself.

          Liked by 2 people

          • Hey ash-

            Maybe even mike the blog owner will agree that atheism brings out the most venomous and poisonous comments on the web. 😉

            And yet he will side with you as an ally because you both have something in common:

            A despising of all that is good. God is very good, and word is excellent in every way.

            Now go read the dictionary, as your vocabulary needs an update.

            Like

            • Hi cs,
              “Maybe even mike the blog owner will agree that atheism brings out the most venomous and poisonous comments on the web. 😉”
              Not even close. For real hateful comments, I’ve seen much worse from Christians like you, Wally, James, amanda… etc all.

              Like

              • Really mike?

                Venom? Poison?

                Leaves wither, grass fades, but the word of God abides forever…………

                Don’t lie. You and your friends equate scripture as poison, so don’t confuse my appreciation for the word of God with your distaste of scripture, then cite believers as delusional.

                But yeah, F__k y__ ; D____K H___d, on and on and on is dazzling brilliance?

                If you can’t tell poison from pure water, then truly, maybe you are hopeless. You have lost all ability to reason. Hmmm, ever heard about unreasoning animals???????????

                But real poison? Ha, just read the blogs of stone gods, naked apes, women who think they can be men: (Silence whippersnapper!) and your own commentary thread and your own posts. Poison at its finest.

                Stop embarrassing yourself mike and grow up.

                Like

              • Nice mike. Go ahead and try to appear credible, reasonable and sane while you defend a man/woman? who just said ‘f—k y– on you own blog. Go ahead and defend it.

                If it is such wonderful speech and language, I dare you to say F___ y__ to your boss……to your wife……to your mother……….to your children….

                Go ahead, I dare you to say it. Say it today. Then tell us all how that worked out for you.

                You just don’t get it mike. The word for the day: poison. Wake up.

                Like

          • I was wondering how long it would take for the Christian pity party to start. Approximately 9 hours.
            When all else fails, start whining – about whatever you can – usually language. You can tell people they are immoral and “despise all that is good” because they don’t believe in the same god as you, which clearly isn’t hateful, but swearing! Oh boy! How hateful!
            I don’t despise all that is good. I despise YOU CS. Not your imaginary best friend – YOU.
            You seem to think that because you’re a Christian, you have a monopoly on what is good and just. You don’t. I don’t need to believe in superstitious nonsense to know right from wrong. You’re a mouth-frothing, ignorant moron. You’re nothing but a deluded crackpot and a preachy hateful asshole. Once again – GO FUCK YOURSELF.

            Like

            • Ashley, he just doesn’t see how his hostility and aggression leads to this kind of reaction. I’m not sure he will understand it as anything less that ‘persecution’ of his faith until he too gets shocked out of his faith one day like we did.
              I always say “throw a stone into a pack of dogs and the one that cries the loudest is the one that got hit”
              I hope cs is crying the loudest because he’s getting hit with the truth of the lack of Truth in his belief system, and the truth of his behaviour toward those who no longer share it.
              I hope cs will also ‘be as we are’ except for the chains of his faith

              Liked by 1 person

              • I’m very hostile to people like that because I know the outright evil they are capable of when assembled in large numbers. They have a very profound and very negative influence on society – because we allow them to. Not enough people stand up and tell these crack pots to go to hell when they want to use their beliefs as a justification to deny basic human rights to someone they don’t like or for something they don’t agree with.
                I hate that man’s (CS) guts with every fibre of my being and I won’t be shy about telling him so.

                Like

          • I laugh every time I see a believer say that the bible and knowledge of god is incomprehensible to the non believer.
            Here’s their logic:
            1) All are born in trespasses and sin.
            2) You must be “reborn in Christ” and believe in god.
            3) Then they get “special dispensations of understanding”

            Here’s the problem with their logic:
            If god is incomprehensible to the non believer, [that covers everyone from birth] then they have NO WAY to come to a belief in something they can’t understand.

            Rationalizations and sophisticated sophistry in 3, 2, 1……

            Liked by 1 person

            • Not only that… But why no agreement on Christian doctrine and practice?
              Literally thousands of denominations and sects all claiming divine insight for their foundational truths. Boggles the mind

              Liked by 1 person

            • “Here’s the problem with their logic:
              If god is incomprehensible to the non believer, [that covers everyone from birth] then they have NO WAY to come to a belief in something they can’t understand.”

              You are absolutely right in what you have posted… Man cannot comprehend or understand the Gospel of Christ (1 Corinthians 1:18), until God opens their eyes to the understanding they are sinners in need of a Savior… They can make the (quote)…”Sinners Prayer” till the cows come home, like I did over 30 times before God graced me with salvation… But only when God gives us the ability to love Him with AA our heart, mind, and soul…will He grace us with salvation…

              John 1:12-13… But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: 13 who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. (NKJV)

              I don’t expect any of you to understand or believe this… But unless you are drawn in by God (John 6:44), you will not be saved… I, contrary to popular belief, don’t believe God picks and chooses who He will save… But He doesn’t save us unless we are “ALL IN” for Him…

              I will continue to pray for all of you each and every day…because until you drawn your last breath, God can change your will to understand, and obey the Gospel of Christ… (See link below)

              bruce

              http://godsmanforever.com/2014/10/26/the-truth-about-sin-10262014-by-bruce-reposted-from-7112013/

              Like

              • I was with you until right after “you are absolutely right” then my BS filter got clogged and all I could hear was~
                [embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5HFiMXZiLAs[/embed]

                Like

              • Funny how god never appears directly to anyone to “open their eyes” but it’s always left to mouth-frothing, delusional crack pots like you to do it for him – don’t you think? Also, what kind of god lets in excess of 1/2 of the human population languish about, either not believing in him, or believing in other gods (the wrong ones obviously) if his goal is to save everyone?
                He is at bare minimum one of the following and possibly more:
                A) An incompetent idiot, who can do something about is too distracted and forgets to
                B) A cruel, sadistic prick, who can do something about it, but won’t
                C) An impotent, useless twat, who can’t do anything about it

                OR

                D) A figment of your imagination from years of brainwashing and inculcation, coupled with massive amounts of irrationality and cognitive dissonance.

                Okham’s razor: The explanation that requires the least amount of assumptions is more likely to be the correct one. Therefore, I choose option D.

                Like

    • Hey, ColorStorm, are you trying to win the ‘Blowhard of the Year’ award?

      Your comments are so far off course they’re proof that you cannot be taken seriously in polite discussion. Nice work, injecting your ignorance into a post that’s insightful and informative to an enlightened mind.

      You have no clue ColorStorm, and your comment proves it. But I will not help boost your inflated ego and denial of reality by responding any further lest you get the idea your contributions add value to the conversation.

      Liked by 1 person

        • To an ignoramus who still lives in the 4th or 5th century, I can see how you don’t find anything informative or insightful into anything that explains the world and the universe around us without resorting to bronze-age myths and fairy tales. You call it “daylight” but what you really mean is brainwashed ignorance.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Yeah ok.

            You will cry when you understand that ‘no man will be able to buy or sell………… without the mark of the beast.’

            Yep, the cashless society, foretold and written by ‘bronze age ignoramuses,’
            sends your gripes to the scrapyard of pretended intellect, where all godlessness rots.

            Maybe you should pay more attention to: what’s in your wallet? go away.

            God’s word once more shuts your mouth. Are u listening mike?

            Like

            • Lol… Threats of the great tribulation? Book of Revelation?
              You DO realize that not even the majority of Christians believe in that interpretation, right?
              All you have is fear mongering and threats of future punishments and tortures that you can’t substantiate as real or immanent. Pathetic. Are YOU listening?

              Like

              • Mike are you deaf? Or do you just wait for opportunities to pounce on things I have never said?

                I was talking SOLELY about a cashless society; purely unknowable by the writers thousands of years ago.

                Cashless. No currency. C. a.s.h.l.e.s.s. But of course you must at whatever cost, project, assume, malign, and misrepresent. After all, that is how you roll.

                Now, go away and think about your behaviour. And I have not heard you btw, chastise your ashen friend for his/her putrifying comments: go F— y____

                Of course not, you can’t, you wont. You know nothing of impartiality.

                Like

              • And I told you that most Christians, the vast majority of Christian denominations and sects, disagree with your particular interpretation of the book of Revelation and end times.

                Like

            • “You will cry when you understand that ‘no man will be able to buy or sell………… without the mark of the beast.’”

              And do you think, that unto such as you
              A maggot-minded, starved, fanatic crew,
              God gave a secret and denied it me?
              Well, well, what matters it? Believe that too.

              You’re just another crack pot who pretends to know things that he can’t possibly know.
              “Yep, the cashless society, foretold and written by ‘bronze age ignoramuses,’” – the “cashless” society that was so stupid and so ignorant, that they didn’t know where disease came from, didn’t know where the sun went at night and thought they lived on a disc instead of a sphere. Sounds like a great lot to get your information from. That would explain why you are as stupid and as ignorant as you are.

              God has shut anyone’s mouth. The only one I hear talking, is you.

              Go away? FUCK YOU.

              Like

              • Thank you for the compliment. and mike, this bud’s for you.

                Gotta love the wonderful mouth of the proud strutting peacock atheist. 😉 😉 😉

                Oh how God’s word explains it all and reveals the blackness of the human heart.

                Like

              • Gallop away on your high horse you delusional moron. I’m not the one telling people that if they don’t believe as I believe, then they can’t be moral or be good or know right from wrong. You are, you hateful dickhead.
                Take your superior morality and stick it as far up your stupid ass as you can get it.

                Like

      • It was painful for me to leave because I followed my religion to the point of suffering. I loved my faith and I wholeheartedly believed everything it taught – I even argued with my teachers when they misinterpreted something or made shit up when they didn’t have answers. Leaving, even after years, still hurts me in some ways. And I think religious people don’t understand that. They don’t understand that we want there to be a magical man in the sky watching over us that will give us treats after we die and love us uncontionally – we just understand that there isn’t and it hurts that we’ve been lied to for years by people who wrote down these things as scripture hundreds of years ago, probably to control a disorganised and possibly rabid society.

        Sorry, I’m rambling.

        I know that you used to be a Christian, but can I ask of which denomination?

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Nice to read this again. Good post.
    I remain baffled as to how someone such as you, Mike who was so steeped in Christianity was able to recognise the falsity of it all and walk away. Yet people like James, Wally, CS and Unklee just cannot see it?
    Why do you think this is? What holds them?

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think what holds them is the same as what held me for so long. Identity and Pride.
      When you Know it All, and your whole personhood and identity are wrapped up in being a ‘child of the King’ and involved in a Universal War against evil and satan… there is an ethos, an Us vs Them, a mentality of it couldn’t possibly be anything other than what I’ve been taught.. taught others.
      Then the other side of the coin, the mental and psychological abuse and manipulation, and the self preservation instincts.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Even for me, it took years of small things, unknowingly nibbling outside the fence and not being in fellowship, ie staying out of the echo chamber or reaffirmation

      Like

    • Here ya go ark no charge.

      ‘Falsity…walk away…….. others cannot see it.’

      Uh hello, anybody home inside that skull?

      Apparently you mike, and others of your persuasion would rather traffic in stale bread, poisoned water, pretended science, and lazy intellect, for you see, the very book and faith that escapes you, has all the answers to the issues of life, and expertly foresees your very behaviour and even your conversation..

      Sorry boys, no other book on earth comes close in literary quality, history, wisdom, and punishes false Christianity like mikes with blistering words that prove the heart was never right………..for if it was, no sane man would ever return to vomit.
      .
      Sorry fellas, truth be told. One day you may wake up to the truth of creation, God, and scripture. Pride has blinded many a fool, but there is hope. As a bonus, mike here is clueless as to biblical Christianity. No insult, just the facts.

      But the better question on the table: how do bones grow when godlessness is clueless as to the very need for a bone………….

      As I said, apart from God, men are clueless. Get a clue.

      Like

  9. “Yet… The threats and taunts from others who are still believers like we were, afraid to question and unwilling to accept that they even could, come daily as reminders of the Fear we once called Faith.”

    Sad, yet true. Great post.

    Liked by 1 person

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