Christians are Revolting - Sean Lauren

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otseng
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Ch. 12 - Churchification

Post #151

Post by otseng »

Ch. 12 - Churchification

"I posted it to the Debating Christianity forum, but I did not get much of a response as it had been immediately transferred to the random ramblings category for lack of any substance of which to debate."

Well, now you have the power to move topics to Random Ramblings!

"Thinking people and witty people were no laughing matter. They promoted disunity and questioning which is damaging to the business of a church."

"I began to give up on churches again."

I can sympathize with your frustration with churches. It's hard to find a place in typical churches for critical thinkers. Pastors are afraid of controversial topics. It might cause people to leave the church. However, it's quite unlike Jesus. Jesus often said controversial statements and never worried about amassing a huge following.

"Jesus said to them, "Very truly I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you." John 6:53

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Ch. 13 - Reradicalization

Post #152

Post by otseng »

Ch. 13 - Reradicalization

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I generally agree with your assessment of what the NT church looked like. The modern church is far from what is described in the Bible.

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Ch. 14 - Unthreading

Post #153

Post by otseng »

Ch. 14 - Unthreading

"While I personally knew I meant no malice, it still hurt deeply knowing that I could be viewed so harshly from so many people simply for trying to be the best I could be for God."

This seems to be a recurring theme of the book. And though this is unfortunate, unfortunately, this is not uncommon. I was once in a church where a friend of mine was zealous in trying to reach his neighborhood and tried to recruit people from the church to help him. What did the church leadership do? Did they encourage him and try to help him? No, instead they excommunicated him from the church. It's ridiculous things like this that burns people in church. In protest, I left the church as well.

If it weren't for the people in the church, church wouldn't be too bad. Though the people are flawed, I do not think it's an indictment against Christianity itself. As mentioned in the previous chapter, we do not follow the model of what is laid out in the Bible. Rather, we follow our own corrupt model and do not do what God wants.

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Post #154

Post by otseng »

Closing thoughts.

I appreciate being able to debate a book where the author is also a participant, and even more so that the author is a regular forum member! I now know more about Sean than any other poster on the forum.

Sean's thoughts on his earlier manuscripts can carry over to the final publication...

"My tone of writing often hinted at personal despair or disgust, demonstrated disgruntlement"

To me, the book was mostly a rant on Christianity and was primarily an autobiographical look on his negative experiences with being a Christian. Though he states that a purpose of the book is "to spur the world on towards a more loving disposition", I do not see how the book can achieve that. The book is mostly about relating about how he tried to follow God with his whole heart, but more often than not resulted in him being burned. It does not offer practical steps for people to be more loving and does not really motivate people to do so. Also, I suspect only a very limited audience would want to read this book. The people that I'd recommend this book to would be to Christians who want to understand how one person who was once a devoted Christian could lose his faith. I'd also recommend this book to forum members who would like to know more about ElCodeMonkey.

I actually agree with many of the issues presented in the book about modern Christianity. There are many problems with Christianity today and agree it is far from what Christianity should be as described in the Bible.

I appreciated the candor of the book and several times I was surprised by the honesty. Few people would be so candid and open.

Again, I highly recommend this book for forum members, whether they are Christian or not.

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Post #155

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I assume this is a quotation from the book:
"While I personally knew I meant no malice, it still hurt deeply knowing that I could be viewed so harshly from so many people simply for trying to be the best I could be for God."
For a long time, I thought that I had to work hard to be the best I could be for God. But then I realized that I was trying to do that in my own power. It was when I realized that I had been filled with the Holy Spirit and that he was the one who would guide and empower my walk with the Lord, everything changed. I then realized that it wasn't about me doing my best for God, but God doing his best THROUGH me.

I'm sorry, Sean, that you met so many people wearing the Christian label who disappointed you. I gather that they were disappointed with you, too. Here's the thing: There are no perfect Christians. There are only people engaged in the life-long process of being sanctified. We need to be kind to and encouraging of each other in the process.'

A Christian is someone who is in a relationship with God through the person of Jesus Christ and the infilling of the Holy Spirit. I could not disavow the reality of my heavenly father any more than I could disavow the reality of my earthly father. People who are in relationships with the Lord can get angry with him because they think he has let them down or they can be hurt by people who wear the label of Christian, but they don't deny God exists.

Additionally, a Christian is someone who has been born again. That means that his or her dead spirit has been brought alive by and in Christ. That means that any atheist who says he used to be a Christian was never a Christian in fact, but only nominally or culturally because you can't be "unborn" spiritually any more than you can be "unborn" physically.

Bottom line: Don't let fallible human beings keep you from Christ. If you do that, you lose and the devil wins.

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Post #156

Post by ElCodeMonkey »

otseng wrote:To me, the book was mostly a rant on Christianity and was primarily an autobiographical look on his negative experiences with being a Christian. Though he states that a purpose of the book is "to spur the world on towards a more loving disposition", I do not see how the book can achieve that. The book is mostly about relating about how he tried to follow God with his whole heart, but more often than not resulted in him being burned. It does not offer practical steps for people to be more loving and does not really motivate people to do so. Also, I suspect only a very limited audience would want to read this book. The people that I'd recommend this book to would be to Christians who want to understand how one person who was once a devoted Christian could lose his faith. I'd also recommend this book to forum members who would like to know more about ElCodeMonkey.

I actually agree with many of the issues presented in the book about modern Christianity. There are many problems with Christianity today and agree it is far from what Christianity should be as described in the Bible.
Apparently this thread was moving along without me. I must have missed one of the updates and then it stopped giving them to my email. I appreciate the feedback and discussion overall. I find it interesting that my goal as stated ("to spur the world on towards a more loving disposition") is not visible from within the book itself. I think this is a difference in personality. For me, pointing out a flaw is a means to improve. Showing the uglier sides of Christianity is a call to become beautiful. Showing the hate and denouncing it is a means to encourage love. I have come to conclude that most people do not see it that way. A gripe is a gripe and nothing more. The goal was to point out the cracks and flaws within Christianity to have them mended and return to the love I believe Jesus taught, but perhaps I just don't tie it back around well enough. I intended to show that Christianity's fruit was failing and the salt had lost its savor to make my perspective on Jesus' teaching more palatable. Recognizing current failure should encourage seeking new answers. I had hoped to demonstrate well that the church had lost its way, that Jesus predicted it would occur, and to re-instantiate the proper way which is essentially humanism with a God-ordained radical flavor. Further, I hoped to have atheists better understand Christian and vice versa. With understanding comes easier compassion and less hate. At least, that's what I had hoped to accomplish.
I'm Published! Christians Are Revolting: An Infidel's Progress
My Blog: Friendly By Nurture
The Wisdom I've gleaned.
My Current Beliefs.

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Post #157

Post by ElCodeMonkey »

I'd be interested to hear other perspectives on what the book is "about". Is it "about" simply getting burned by Christianity? Maybe a better title would simply be "Burned"? Or maybe "Burned by Fire Insurance" or the like? :-)
I'm Published! Christians Are Revolting: An Infidel's Progress
My Blog: Friendly By Nurture
The Wisdom I've gleaned.
My Current Beliefs.

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