Andy Stanley & people who left Church

Billy Graham has passed away.
I suspect that Andy Stanley will now be the one who “directs society” rightly or wrongly, about Christianity.
He has recently preached a series of sermons on why people have likely rejected or turned away from Christianity and/or God, but that those versions or beliefs about God, were inaccurate and asks: who told you that? (I wish I could remember the name of this series or how it was worded/titled. Gods of the NO Testament?? Not sure.) But I couldn’t help thinking that people turned away from those things because they heard them in Church, for years, and their lives turned out differently from what they heard. It’s the churches who very likely who told them. Most of the public hasn’t gone to Seminary.

It seems to me as if Andy Stanley is laying groundwork on TV to criticize what has “gone before” in churches and getting ready for some sort of “re-set” as to what the public will be taught. People should be watchful to see where all this goes.
I’ve also heard that Andy has had arguments or disagreements with his dad, Charles Stanley and I think Andy himself has admitted that he likes to read DE-conversion stories (about people who have left the faith). I cant help wondering if sometime in the next few years that he himself may decide he no longer believes anymore. That may not happen. Whether it does or doesn’t is a separate matter.

The main thing with him right now looks to me to be about him trying to convince people that the Christianity folks have left over the last 30 or 40 years wasn’t the “Real” Christianity, and I’m curious to see how he will “define” it all and how he might make it appealing today to get people back into Church, as the numbers are significantly down.

.The sad part is too many people don’t read their New Testaments enough to call him on some of his teachings and challenge or refute him.
Example: will he say that Homosexuality is wrong, as it says, strongly, in the last half of ROMANS, Chapter 1 ?
Example 2: does he preach “Once saved, always saved?”, that you can’t lose your salvation? I believe that is a false doctrine, whoever teaches it. It ignores other clear teaching about “Apostasy”, and falling away, and falling-from-grace, and backsliding.
Where is any preacher on TV on the Daystar television network who will say Homosexuality is a sin? Either they wont, or they will poo-poo it with: welllll, it is, but then so is lying, stealing, lust, etc. That may be true, but you can tell they are really letting it slide. Or, they’ll simply accuse you of “legalism” which is really just a tactic to get you to shut up.  These days church attendance is down in the USA. I wonder what tactics will be used to get the public to become Christians and get them back into church? Joel Osteen is wrong. Rock music and blue jeans has been tried. Hyper-Grace and over-emphasizing “love” has been tried. Beware of falsehoods. Where will it go from here?

Losing Faith in Faith

My last post just before this one, was a PRO-Christian post, in favor of Christianity. This one isn’t. Dan Barker was a Christian but later on he left the faith. He writes about it in his book: Losing Faith in Faith. I was a little reluctant to post this, but as I’ve said before, what you choose to believe or not believe is entirely your own doing. No matter what your religion, philosophy or belief, can it stand up to the embaressing or tough questions that others might raise against it?  If you are a Christian, have you read any skeptical books? Likewise, if you are an Atheist or of some other Faith, have you read any PRO-Christian books? I think that’s fair. Make your own investigation and decide for yourself. One more thing: Barker does give footnotes and references. Do you know of any author who can disprove or counter his footnotes?  Norm Geisler? (Giesler?)  Ron Rhodes? Dan Comfort? To look at it another way,  C.S. Lewis was not a Christian but later he became one, so these things can work both ways.     https://www.amazon.com/Losing-Faith-Preacher-Atheist/dp/1877733075/ref=sr_1_1?s=apparel&ie=UTF8&qid=1516476834&sr=8-1&keywords=losing+faith+in+faith

Christian Answers to Skeptics

Are you a Christian? But do you you still have questions? Can you answer the tough questions that the Skeptics ask? I do not have these books and it is up to each of us to decide if we believe the answers that are offered, and their accuracy. This website is new to me. Decide for yourself. But there is plenty of info offered here, to defend the Faith.  Check it out.  http://alwaysbeready.mybigcommerce.com/bible-difficulties-apparent-contradictions/

Is there a Purpose to Living? by Alan Watts.

I do not always agree with Alan Watts. I enjoyed this particular thought-provoking short talk. Thanks, Youtube. Does Life have a purpose? If it doesn’t, why can’t Life still be good?  What do you think?

 

 

 

 

Church Membership & Personal Info

So! You visit a new church. You visit 4 times. You decide you like it there. You decide to become a member.  So you fill out a Membership Application.

STOP!

Have you ever stopped to realize: Seriously? Was it necessary for anyone who wanted to become a Christian to “apply” for nembership at say, the Church of Corinth? Or the Church of Philippians? Or Thessolonica? I seriously doubt it! It was very likely enough to convert (not necessarily from there) and to simply keep on showing up!

Nowadays we have Computers and I have read online of Churches today who keep computer files on their members and even labeling some of them as “ANTAGONISTS” to the Pastor!, if they dare to question anything taught from the pulpit.  Or maybe ask too many questions, or bring up another view in a Bible study, etc. I’m serious! There have been testimonies online written about this. But they won’t announce that they’ve done that to you.
Really, do they *need* to know your annual income? Or even your occupation? (unless you’re a stripper, etc.) Do they ask you for your Social Security number?  Why? It’s none of their business! Maybe they don’t ask for your Social security number, but still…

Honestly, when was the last time you were physically sick but still at your home, not in a hospital, and the Pastor, or anyone else really, came out to your house out of “Agape-Love” to check on you? Very Seldom, I’ll bet.

So then, really, why should joining church need any more than your Name?

Do you really honestly *expect* your new Church to do a background check on every single member in their congregation? No? Then why do they even need your phone number? Or email address, or physical address for that matter. Really! What they care about is whether or not you show up for services! And seriously, why does your address and phone number really *need* to be “on file”? Let’s say your Church has 150 people in it, or more. Why can’t you simply give your phone number to 10 or 11  people you’ve become close to? Who else needs it? Why?

What if you kept regularly attending services without officially joining? Would they require you to join (fill out paperwork) or leave? Is that Biblical?

Your privacy can be abused, even in Church. It isn’t necessary for Salvation. But most folks just follow along, never questioning….   Click comments, above the beginning of this post, then keep scrolling down to see all of them.  Thanks.

 

 

 

God vs. Agnosticism & comments on Spirituality

There probably IS a God!  Why do I think so? Keep reading.

But first, some comments on “Spirituality”. If I were sarcastic, I would say: Pfffftt! “Spirituality” is just a term that total Wimps use to describe themselves because they have no clue what they believe! All in the name of “open-mindedness”, of course.

And there you have it. Too often spiritual people can’t (or won’t) define anything!  They seek the “light” but fall apart when you ask them to describe just exactly what “light” is.
Or they get dreamy-eyed about “Oneness”. Really? Ever take a logic course? If there is no separation and “everything is united” and “all is one”, then you are also one with your Cat’s catbox and the garbage dump! Why not? Everything means everything and All means All. It’s not a buffet where you can pick this and leave that.

But that’s terrible. So they change the subject, or perhaps they accuse you of simply not being “evolved” enough. What a cop-out. People can believe what they want. But I have more respect for anyone who will define what they believe, and why they believe it. But onward to my main point:

Is there a God?  My answer: Very likely, yes! It makes more sense that there is. I will explain why.  But first, know that I myself am not a practicing member of anything. At least for now. So I hope that is less biased when I share this, in response to Agnosticism—

Atheists and Agnostics often say: There is no God and the Universe always was.
But one question keeps nagging at me, and its one you almost never see any agnostic or atheist ever address online:
HOW?–does our human consciousness, intelligence and self-awareness arise or come out of an IM-personal UN-conscious Universe? This is never addressed.

Is the planet Jupiter alive? Does it think? Is our Sun a conscious being? Most everyone believes “No.” Is the Milky Way galaxy a conscious, living and thinking being? I haven’t heard anyone say so. So how does an unthinking Universe create thinking beings? That’s one for all Agnostics and atheists to ponder.

Since we are self-aware and thinking beings, it would make more sense that we came from something else that also is self-aware and thinks. ie. God. But before the atheist freaks out, realize that even if we granted that, it does not automatically mean Christianity is true. We are simply establishing that there is some type of “intelligent, conscious creator”. Not any particular religion.

At this point, the atheist will say what they always say: Who made God?
The response is: God was always there. And who made the universe?
They will counter: The Universe was always there.
The response to that is: Then you have a problem, because if the Universe was always here, people very commonly don’t think of the Universe as being alive, or a thinking being. But if there was always some sort of Creative-Intelligence..i.e. a God who thinks, then it wouldn’t be such an impossible thing to create other “chips off the old block” who also think, like us.
So either blind, non-living matter was always here and how on earth did it ever create anything consciously aware, when it itself isn’t?–or–there was always some intelligent, creative power. Since we humans have intelligence, it seems more sensible that we came from something, or someone, that also has it.

#Agnosticism #Atheism #Spirituality #Skepticism #20-Somethings #Christianity #Philosophy