Thursday, 25 May 2017

The Fatal Flaw

There are many reason I grew out of Christianity. Perhaps the most significant one is this.

Christianity claims to have the one truth that is for all humanity for all time. This is based on it's scriptures, core doctrines and theology. It's essential to understanding the work of Christ and to reject it directly challenges the premise that Christ died for all humanity's sins and that the Judeo/Christian god is indeed the one true god of all the universe.

I believed this most of my life and any inklings of doubt were quickly quelled by reminding myself that "who am I to question god's plans", and "his ways are higher than ours" etc.

But ultimately the problem is insurmountable. If this gospel is for every person who ever existed and ever will exist, and is the most important information in the entire universe that determines not only our well-being in the present but also our eternal destiny, then god has failed to achieve this on a scale that is tragic beyond belief.

We are told that it's our responsibility to spread the gospel to all the world.
Can we take seriously the idea that god would put this life and death matter into the hands of the humans he apparently created in the complete foreknowledge that they would fail to do so - and fail on a grand scale!

Did he forget about the billions of people before Jesus? Or did he treat them all with the same disdain he had for those he drowned in the flood?

Did he realise that billions of people in all the countries and nations outside of the middle east throughout all history would never hear this message, let alone understand it's implications?

Did he realise that still, countless billions, through no fault of their own have no idea of this one true god and the way to be saved from our sin and his wrath? Or that billions never will?

"But God's ways are higher than ours!!" Yeah right. I'm not seeing it, despite years of genuine attempts to figure out how this works.

This is the fatal flaw in the whole system. God has failed to deliver the goods. Most of humanity is lost, and possibly in ways that are too horrific to contemplate.

I have not had one single descent response to this - ever. Not even the best theologians I've read have addressed this issue in a rational way. They all end up with "his ways are higher..." etc.

The reality is this - whether we like it or not. Christianity is one particular religion that arose from one particular tribe in one particular region. It had no concept of the world as we now know it. It created a god that fitted their small, primitive world view. It worked for them in that context (although I would even question that). It never was and never will be the one truth that sets all humanity free. But to let go of this delusion is to let go of the basic tenets of the belief system, and that will cause a complete crisis of faith - something that most are terrified to allow.

Monday, 15 May 2017

My Legacy

Many people think that I'm "out and proud", and that my days of living in hidden trauma, depression and self loathing are long gone. 

I guess I do give that impression because I'm a passionate advocate for helping people untangle the mess of religion that causes untold damage to millions (and not just LGBT people). I speak about how amazing life is now that I'm free from the bondage and abuse from that belief system.

But there's a legacy (a very large legacy) that I live with - that most who have been through this sort of stuff live with.

Let me explain...

On one level I've never felt more at peace to be free from religion and dogma. I understand love in ways I never thought possible. Life is infinitely better!

But I lived a nightmare for most of my 60 years. I lived a life of shame and guilt - of being a failure, a "freak", faulty, rejected and deeply tormented for being something I couldn't change, which culminated in a meltdown after my wife died.

It's been a slow journey out of that mess, and the legacy of that life is deep and lingering. I'm on antidepressants and still have bouts of depression and anxiety. I have ADD that became far worse after the meltdown. I can't absorb complex technical information any more (I used to be a technical writer and Instructional Designer). My brain runs full tilt all the time, dancing from one thing to another without a word of warning. I get confused easily. I'm impulsive. I lose track of what I'm doing. It's not just old age, lol, although I'm sure that doesn't help! 

I struggle every day. It took me 2 years to write It's Life Jim... not only because of the time it took to untangle so much of the mess, but also because my mind doesn't operate in linear coherent ways any more (not that it was ever that good at it anyway). Some days I get up with the best of intentions and clarity only to find it turns to vapour the moment I start to be "productive". I practice mindfulness and go for long walks. I take time as best I can, to slow down. I like my wine and beer, and the odd bit of wacky weed to help slow down the endless barrage of chatter in my head.

I struggle with how most of my life was a complete waste, never finding peace or integrity, self worth and living a complete lie, damaging those closest to me, as well as myself. Sure, there's all the platitudes about my life's journey and nothing is a waste etc... I get that, really I do. But that doesn't help the deep scars left by the endless years of crap.

Daily, "normal" life is not something I do well. I'm one of the walking wounded, with a pronounced limp that I'm slowly realising may never go away. And yet, the paradox is I'm happier than I've ever been. A deep happiness and peace - so much better than my previous life.

One thing I can give, without hesitation, is my integrity and honesty about who I am, what I've done and where I'm at. I can only "share my journey" (cliche alert) with as much honesty as I'm capable of mustering, because that is the only thing any of us can do in the end. Sure I "preach" about the things that have set me free, and I'm passionate about everyone growing into real life and love without fear or dogma. But I'm just me, still discovering my own biases, how my paradigm works, how I affect others, how much I really live what I preach.

My favourite tag line is "Live loved". I'm still learning how powerful and profound those simple words are. Some days are better than others, but it's always a step forward.

The legacy of christianity, for me, is deep. I've seen the utter failing of it's core doctrines. I'm not as bitter as I used to be, and have always recognised that many beautiful, loving people have found a belief system that works for them. They are the ones who have shaped their beliefs around their own inherent beauty, rather than the reality of the belief system itself, but that's a whole other story, lol.

So I guess I'm saying that if I (or anyone) give the impression that I'm suddenly free and perfect after a lifetime of abuse, then sorry, it doesn't work like that.

Now, where's that beer?...

Thursday, 4 May 2017

Pedophile priest forgiven by church...

(Update: this is probably a fake news story, but it doesn't change the issues I'm addressing)

This is not uncommon, as we are all too aware!

Pedophile priest with HIV who raped 30 children forgiven by church
Paedophile priest with HIV who raped 30 children forgiven by church...
Any sane Christian will immediately say that this is not God's will, that it's evil and so on - and rightly so.

I'm not commenting about the subject matter itself though. I'm addressing the whole problem with God allowing this horrific stuff to blacken his name.

Countless atrocities over the centuries, big and small, have been committed by the church. They paint the church as a dark place indeed, despite the glimmers of loving genuine people of the faith.

But here's the problem...

We worry about the tainted image of God and proclaim "but we aren't all like that", and of course that's true. But millions of people don't know that! They have never seen the "good" side. They are ignorant of all you who understand that love is the main thing, so they quite genuinely assume that Christianity is a heap of crap.

God does nothing to stop this.


He is silent. Yes, you may say, it's up to us to put the record straight and show people how good this god really is, but that never stops this sort of thing. As desperately as we may try to paint a good picture more crap is smeared over the whole thing.

There are lots of trite answers about why god allows this - answers that try to find some sense, but all fail miserably in the light of simple truth and logic. They all end up with the same lame answer - "because god".

People are bitter, angry, horrified, over the hypocrisy of the church. They are the laughing stock. And god is still silent, and not one Christian has a decent response. It's just, you know, because god!

You don't need a religion to be a loving, moral person. We are ALL capable of being better than this god. And better yet, WE then become responsible members of humanity as we work together to confront this type of evil. We don't have to try and justify it all through complex twisted doctrines and theologies. We no longer have a scapegoat.

WE become responsible for love on this planet.

WE are love.

You can believe in a god of some sort if you like, but if you place doctrines and theology above the love of humanity in any way, you have missed the plot.

It's time for humanity to mature, grow up, out of religion and accept our rightful place and responsibilities.