HolySpiritLess

I’m kinda Christian, kinda not – and that’s OK in my book, Scouring the net with…

I’m kinda Christian, kinda not – and that’s OK in my book,

Scouring the net with searches for ex-fundamentalists, non-believers, non-Christians, etc., seem to bring up two camps of people.

The Ex-fundies (I guess I fall in this group), many with horrific…

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What is God?

We can’t tolerate the idea that we don’t have free choice, nor the idea that someone isn’t in control.

The Bible; I’ll take it, just not all of it.

I’m kinda Christian, kinda not.  One thing that pulled me more toward the “not” side and away from the “kinda” side was my developed belief of un-belief.  I finally decided that I didn’t agree or believe this verse in 2 Timothy 3:

“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work”

It seems like many Evangelicals use this verse to explain that the entire Bible is true and why Christians are required to believe the entire Bible.

You can’t image my relief when I decided that I didn’t agree with everything in the Bible starting with this verse.  First off, when this verse was written the Bible in its current form did not exist.  That includes the King James or NIV translations.  So it’s hard to fathom how they’ve twisted this to mean today’s Bible.

After that I’ve always wondered if there would be any Christians without the Bible?  What an idiotic question!  The first Christians didn’t have the Bible, did they?  Did the early Christians look at Paul’s writings as inspired by God or just as an elder sending encouragement and instruction?  I guess no one really knows.  But what we do know today is that the majority of Evangelicals believe that every part of the Bible is inspired by God so you have to take it all or don’t take it at all.

We’ll it’s time for a different view.  I’ll take it, just not all of it and I suspect I can still be a Christian and believe that way, but what I know, I’m HolySpiritLess.

Steve Ffink

HolySpiritLess

Christianity. Isn’t it supposed to be about faith, not proof?

Non-Christians have a fabulous and undeniable defense against any proof of Christianity presented to them. They can simply say, “I don’t believe in the Bible”, or even better they can say, “I don’t believe in that part of the Bible”, or “I disagree with that part of the Bible”. Most fundamental Christians are then stumped. The Christian’s sentence started something like this, “The Bible says…”, but the rest of the sentence is unfounded to the Bible disbeliever.

So after that, what are they left with for Proof of God’s existence, or of anything else in the Bible? They can say things like, “Look at nature. It’s proof of God’s existence” or “You can’t dis-prove the Resurrection, so that’s proof of the Resurrection”. I think this is referred to as the Ignorance Fallacy, “Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence”

But why do so many Christians ignore their own beliefs and the Bible when it comes to proving the Bible? And why does it take a not-so-Christian, like me, to point it out to them all the time?

Jesus said in Matthew 18, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” This is usually interpreted to me that unless you have faith like a child you won’t get to heaven. Also Ephesians 2 “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast”.

Isn’t Christianity supposed to be about faith, not proof? I don’t have a problem with Christians who believe the Bible, because we can then both quickly come to an agreement to disagree. But I am bothered by Christians who try to prove Christianity outside of faith, because they generally start with ignorance fallacies and don’t usually follow legal or scientific forms of proof.

The truth is, how can you prove the existence of something you can’t see, touch, examine or analyze?

But what do I know? I’m holyspiritless.

Steve Ffink

HolySpiritLess

I have the right not to know!

I’m kinda Christian, kinda not. I had it in my mind that Jesus said “because you are lukewarm-neither hot nor cold-I am about to spit you out of my mouth”,but it was Luke (Revelation 3:16). So I just want to be clear, I’m Hot-Blooded. I’ve seen more warm-blooded Christians who are more Christian than me and more warm-blooded non-Christians who are more non-Christian than me. I’ve met a few Hot-Blooded Christians and a few Cold-Blooded Atheists. I’m never met a Hot-Blooded me.

I believe very very strongly that I have the right to not choose and I’m Hot-Blooded about it. I decided that I have the right to not know if I’m going to heaven or hell or someplace else or into another me or nowhere after I die and I have the right to spend my life trying to figure it out. I believe I have the right to not know if God or Gods or Spirits or Demons exist and I have the right to spend my life trying to figure it out. I have the right to not jump to quick conclusions simply because the majority of the church believes them or because everyone else doesn’t. I have the right to evolve my opinion as my knowledge expands and let me tell you, I’m very Hot-Blooded about this!

The difference between the Warm Bodies and the Coldies and Hotties is that the Coldies and Hotties don’t ever stop asking questions, which generally leads them toward more questions and fewer answers. The snug little boys and girls have their answers.

HolySpiritLess

Steve Ffink

If we confess our sins he is faithful to forgive us… Boy, what a lot of work!

I’m kinda Christian and kinda not Christian. 20 years ago, when I was 23 I had a bad experience as a youth pastor at a church and my response was to run. I ran away to Mexico and Europe and Japan and I ran away from Christianity.  I’m 43 now and every once in a while I pick up my Bible to take another look. I’m always a little shocked at what I find. It’s not the same Bible that I used to read. I guess that’s because I’m HolySpiritLess, left to ramble through the pages of the Word without the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

Recently I remembered the whole concept of 1 John 1:9. I still have it memorized, “If we confess our sins he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness”.

Boy that was a lot of work!  First off, the confession was easy if you were just confessing to God. But somehow I had it in my head that I also had to confess to the person that I offended, which was difficult, especially if the person I was confessing to didn’t know I sinned against them. Then I had to explain it and confess it.  To top it off, the whole process could be followed by rejection and even worse the other person might sin against me by losing their temper and then I had to deal with their confession.

It wasn’t as hard if the sin was easily defined, like if I lost my temper, disobeyed my parents or purposely hurt someone. It became cumbersome if I wasn’t sure if it was a sin or not, like if someone asked me how I was doing and I wasn’t really doing all that great, but I said I was fine.  Was that a lie?  I wasn’t sure so I confessed it.  Or if I wasn’t really feeling like praying while everyone else was and I took a couple of peeks.  In those situations confessing was easier than not, so the older I got the more I confessed.  “God I’m sorry for looking at that girl, oh man, God I’m sorry I looked at her again and for swearing.”

If you’re one of the few guilt mongers in the world, like me, you know how depressing this verse could be over time and you might also guess how happy I was when I finally threw it out the window.  You can’t imagine the relief!

But now 20 years later as I re-read the verse I’m confused.  I thought the story goes that we deserve death or hell because we’re sinners, but Jesus took our place on the cross and now God sees us as righteous.  That’s what they told me and I told others “Grace” was.  But it seems like this verse tacks on a little caveat.  Yes, you are seen as righteous before God, but you still need to confess your sins to get there.

I guess I could be reading this verse wrong, but what do I know, I’m HolySpiritLess.

Jesus? The Son of Man? Now I’m confused

I’m kinda not a Christian, so bare with me. Since I left Christianity 20 years ago, every now and then I get the urge to thumb through the Bible and it always amazing how different the passages that I was so familiar with appear to me now. Maybe that’s because I’m HolySpiritLess now, left to ramble through the pages on my without the subtle interpretation of the Holy Spirit.

But I haven’t been detoured, like today for example I was reading through Luke and I was surprised to see Jesus calling himself the “Son of Man”. Jesus wasn’t the Son of Man according to all of my childhood and early adult teachings, he was the Son of God.

So after a few quick Google searches I was relieved to learn that I wasn’t the first person to ask this question. In fact, it turns out, according to gotquestions.org that Jesus is referred to as the Son of Man 88 times in the New Testament and according to Answers.com it appear 192 times in the Bible. I haven’t taken the time to count yet.

It seems that there’s a general consensus that the “Son of Man” means human or is a synonym for Messiah. Hmmm…. and that Jesus was still the only true Son of God.

Wouldn’t the phrase “Son of Man” imply that Man is the Son’s father? He didn’t say “Son of A Man” did he? It appears that many others in the Bible are referred to as Son of God, including Jesus. Here’s a short list, Adam, Jacob, Ephriam and David. I got this from a blog that seems to say the “Son of God” means someone who was loyal to God.

This sounds a lot more reasonable then what’s in my head from my early days. Did Jesus himself refer to himself as a loyal follower of God? Was that his intention? Not the idea that I have in my head that he’s God and also God’s Son and also part of the Trinity? It was easy enough to will myself to believe this when I was younger, but now I’m not so sure, but what do I know, I’m holyspiritless.

Steve Ffink

HolySpiritLess

A Holy Spirit Less look at the prodigal son

I’m kinda not a Christian. I grew up in a good Evangelical Christian family and was on the path toward becoming a missionary or pastor or Christian Rock and Roller (Petra, Never Say Die!), but then a few bad experiences, which I’ll talk about more if you stick around, and then walked away, into a better life. That was about half my life ago. I left Christianity when I was 23 and I’m 43 now.

I still keep a few Bibles around so every now and then I’ll pick one up and thumb through it and I’m always shocked at how different the stories and writings apprear to me now. There’s a strong possibility that the Bible appears different now because I’m reading it without the help of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit was my guide at one point in my life. He helped lead me through the difficult waters and helped reveal hidden meanings in the text. But now that I’m HolySpiritLess, I’m left to ramble through the pages on my own and try to understand their mysteries.

Like the story of the prodigal son (Luke 15). Let’s start with that one.

The gist of the story:

Jesus tells the story, a teenager/adult isn’t happy, asks his father for his inheritance early, takes off, parties, losses all of his money, winds up working for the pigs, decides to go back home, his father runs out to meet him, his father throws him a welcome home party, his older brother gets angry, his father tries to conjole the older brother by saying your brother was lost but now he’s found.

Some takes I got when I was HolySpiritful:

1. God loves you even if you leave him and he’ll take you back with open arms

2. The younger son shouldn’t have run off, but he did and it’s good that he came back and everyone will welcome him with open arms.

Other takes I heard seen played out based on this story.

1. Just wait out the trouble-maker, he’ll/she’ll come home just like the prodigal son.

2. It’s okay to ask for your inheritance early and some parents may even give it early so their child will learn the lesson of the prodigal son.

3. Many wonderful people whom we all know have come home.

My take now:

What a strange story. The father must have been an idiot. Here he has a rebellious son and he gives him his inheritance early even though it’s obvious that he’s going to squander it. What parent in their right mind would do that.

The only sane person in this story is the older brother and he has a right to be angry.

Why didn’t the father follow the son, like I think most father’s would do if they ran away with your money? At least he would send out some servants to find out what’s going on with him.

I suspect most loving father’s would welcome the son back, but they wouldn’t throw a party. They would start with a lecture. That makes the most sense to me.

The father’s point to the older brother would do nothing more than aggrevate him. He’s obviously the next one to leave. Plus it doesn’t make any sense. The younger son wasn’t dead and then alive again, he just left and came back. Also, the older son may not always be with his father, especially after a comment like that.

If the point of the story is that God will take you back even if you stray, then the younger brother got the best of both worlds, an early inheritance and a party when he came back. If he would’ve thought things through a little he probably could have avoided the pigs. I hate to try and twist current public opinion of the story, but Jesus’ point isn’t all that clear.

The whole story is just akward and strange. I don’t understand how anyone could make a case for someone whose strayed coming back again. I suspect the person who strayed who hears this story, would be more invorgated to make it in life, so they wouldn’t have to go back instead of squandering all of their money, but what do I know, I’m HolySpiritless.

Steve Fink

HolySpiritless

I’m kinda Christian, but since I left Christianity when I was 23, almost 20 years ago now, I’m always surprised when I thumb through the Bible and find it very different then what I remember in my evangelical days.

I’m kinda Christian, but since I left Christianity when I was 23, almost 20 years ago now, I’m always surprised when I thumb through the Bible and find it very different then what I remember in my evangelical days.