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Preachers Say The Dumbest Things
Is There A Hell Below?
The incorrigible Bill Maher made a documentary a few years ago that explored why the Christian faith has such a strong (and sometimes crippling) grip on society. On one hand, he interviewed people who made a "career change" into ministry, and on the other, he explored extremist views of Muslims, and other groups who have "obviously" got it wrong in the eyes of most people. The revelation he made was astounding: there are many schools of theology and divinity, but nearly anyone can be a preacher. There are 10-year-olds preaching in churches who have neither the knowledge nor the life experiences to know of what they speak and claim to believe in, which has led to religious fanaticism with glaring omissions of reality.
Prayer Over Medicine
An Epic Faith Fail
Remember the Schiables? They killed not 1 but 2 of their eight total children. They promised the judge this would never happen again, but now that two innocent children have died of completely treatable disorders, they are now fulfilling 3 year jail sentences. Extreme occurrences like these are not commonplace; however, the lack of balance in the teaching of doctrine exacerbates this kind of thinking at the risk of destroying faith. I personally attended a church where 3 women died of the same form of cancer after the pastor decried and declared life was the word of the Lord to them. The ripple effect of emotion throughout the congregation ranged from total outrage to disappointment to unbridled rage. Faith was lost for some, and many questions were unanswered, which led these members to seek answers either from other churches or elsewhere altogether. I chose the latter.
Gender Roles and The Good Book
The biggest issue I have with the clergy outside of an inexcusable ignorance based on a lack of research is the lack of wiggle room in the doctrine. i have heard it said over and over my whole life, "God is the same yesterday, today and forever" and if you are not in agreement with what is being taught, you are letting the devil use you. I remember a point in high school when I would learn something during the week that would be totally shunned or contradicted Sunday morning. I also remember losing respect for those trusted to teach me about spiritual principles because they had no answers for me, only stunned silence. My thoughts were you have been following this doctrine your entire life and got stumped by a question from a 16-year-old? I was floored at the general ignorance.
One instance that shattered the idea that homosexuals were hellhound was meeting a hermaphrodite.
I am from a one-horse college town, and everyone knows everyone. I met a girl who everyone said was gay, but I didn't really see her that way. She had facial hair and no breasts. She just looked like a lost little boy.
As it turns out, she was born with both parts, and instead of taking her home and determining which parts were functional over time, her mother decided she wanted a boy, so the penis and testicals were removed.
It was not until years later when she didn't develop like a woman or menstruate that it was obvious the wrong choice was made.
I decided then that it was impossible for a loving God who had a plan for all of us and created us in His image for a special purpose to create us in a physical conundrum and then banish us into the abyss for acting on the urges developing from it. It just didn't make good sense. to me.
Carlton Pearson's Gospel of Inclusion
Darwin has been long since dead, and yet the whole religion versus science debate rages on. There is even a new theory circulating called the gospel of inclusion. I find that to be ironic since all-encompassing love is supposed to already be a given. Anyway, Carlton Pearson has been ostracized for saying he does not believe in a hell at all. I kind of side with him. If a person told you they loved you but there was no reconciliation on any level, that love would seem phony, wouldn't it? I do believe the reason Pearson thrives regardless is because his love for all people allows him to sincerely extend a hand of fellowship to those who live an alternative lifestyle, and based on the Christian theology, isn't that the point? Saving the saved is not important; the lost need the love and support.