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God: A Help or a Burden?

Discussion in 'Christianity DIR' started by Confucian Mormon Buddhist, May 18, 2017.

  1. Confucian Mormon Buddhist

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    There's an argument I've had numerous times which has been weighing on me.

    I'm basically just a deist, but I've spent time with Mormons, Pentecostals, and Baptists. One thing I've found is that all three of these Christian denominations have different thoughts regarding the impact God has on a person's life. Specifically: Does being a Christian tend to make life easier or harder?

    The Mormons don't really play up God's helping power a lot, but they generally talk about him positively. You'll certainly hear plenty of stories in church about God saving people, or helping them get a job... the usual "benefits." Mormons are also a people who have recently experienced genocide and hatred, though, and so they're just as familiar with the hardships that come from their faith. Still, though, it seems to me that Mormons present Christianity as being a thing that improves one's life, but carries risks.

    The Pentecostals I was with were very, very much focused on the positives of serving God. The pastor of my congregation argues that it's not necessarily God's will for people to be martyred (he claimed the apostles willingly exposed themselves to that risk), and he frequently argued that ignoring the will of God confounds one's life while serving it makes it better. Very temporally-focused. In discussions I had with a friend there, though, he warned that the "beginner grace" of converting wears off, and it takes more and more effort to maintain that peace. In general, God increases his burdens, and the pastor would actively pray for bad (!) stuff to happen to the congregation to challenge us to grow. So, their attitude seemed to be that Christianity improves ones life, but advancement means hardship.

    My Baptist pastor hasn't really talked about God's impact on temporal life, but I have a Baptist friend who talks about religion a lot. He's the guy who got me thinking about this topic. I referred to following God as improving one's life, but he argued that it increases (!) your hardships. He points to examples like the Book of Job and dismisses the churches that preach about God's immediate benefits as "prosperity gospel" churches that are just selling what people want to hear. He argues that Christianity brings persecution and troubles.

    I think he's full of himself; pretty much every church and the Bible itself tells stories about God helping those who need him. Why do people pray for aid? For that matter, who would even want to follow a God who flings misery at you but never blessings? I think my friend is just bound up in a very negative, paranoid form of Christianity (he's also a conspiracy theory nutter), but I thought I'd share this topic here where some other people might be able to comment.
     
  2. outlawState

    outlawState Deism is dead

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    The short answer is that is all depends whether you adopt a legalistic approach to faith, or a spiritual approach to faith. Too often the fruit of attending churches is to be ensnared by their legalisms, whether it be tithing, or whatever. Pastors can be very intimidating. As for praying for hardships, what utter folly! I'd say that pastor needs to be stood down immediately. God can destroy anyone at any time. The Lord's prayer says "deliver us from evil." Praying to God for trouble is sheer arrogance, as if to defy God.

    Frequently it is churches themselves that are a cause of misery for promoting heretical doctrines. To go to a church is a big step and you need to make sure that the church is not going to damage you more than it will benefit you.

    As for baptists and pentacostals, my experience is generally negative, although I am sure there are some decent Baptist pastors, but many are full of their own self-righteousness and look down on anyone who does not measure up to their expectations. In my life I had one baptist pastor who criticized me for wanting to get a job (he said I loved money even though I had never had a job before - what a fruitcake) whilst another baptist pastor said I should not be doing the job I was doing because it was in defence (another nutter).

    In short whilst God is a help, the so-termed people of God can appear as the most demented and misguided people on the planet, and "ivory tower" pastors cocooned in their small worlds can be amongst the worst. Be always on your guard, as Jesus said.
     
    #2 outlawState, May 18, 2017
    Last edited: May 18, 2017
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  3. trablano

    trablano Member

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    I'm a christopagan and I cannot well decide whether my time in evangelical christianity blessed me or cursed me. I got a slew of hesitations, fears and depressions from that religion. It's been a brainwashing. Before I joined christianity I believed in God and mysteries, but then they got to explain the mysteries to me and suffering set in for me. I don't know why they rely on the bible so much, I don't know what they want with all the condemnations of gays or members of other religions or outsiders generally. It's not a real religion anymore, it's more of a paranoid and xenophobic club.

    But that doesn't say anything about the real Christ and the jewish god. I have come think that Jesus was a jewish Saint who wanted to save Israel from Rome but could not. Paul later made him the world's savior, but that's a bit much for a demigod. Generally I think it's bad to think of him as omnipresent and so overimportant. If you meet Christ on a smalltime level, that is if you can find an old chapel and pray to Jesus and he responds, he is wonderful and sweet, but the religion turns him into a dictator. Oddly enough, that's more fitting to evangelicalism than catholicism. Sure, Christ is reverred a lot in catholicism too but it's more solemn and beautiful in the services, and the Pope knows what he is saying about the poor, the foreigners, the other religions.

    I've built my own thoughts about God. I think he is the Earth Spirit, and there are three of them. The Big or the old earth spirit, the young earth spirit, and the newborn earth spirit. Sometimes we're not with these spirits and our places are dry and not so nice. But when you come upon a river and sit down there you can normally feel the earth spirit. Christ knew this secret and many others too but he is something of a punished god. Nobody wants his tolerance and love and they paint him on a flag and make his religion a kind of fascism with the hellfire threats and all. While hell is what Jesus wanted to save others from no questions asked. At least hell is no real threat and only constitutes a realm of evil where some go after life who want to do evil.
     
  4. outlawState

    outlawState Deism is dead

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    No such thing exists. Christ said you cannot have two gods.


    Christ was not tolerant of those who refused him. In fact he would not even speak to the Canaanites. Hell is for anyone who makes it their business to peddles lies (Revelation 21:8), not only for those who "do evil."
     
  5. trablano

    trablano Member

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    Sorry man, but you're engulfed in fanatism not in love. Jesus was a saint of love and tolerance is part of that. You only have an old book, and even that doesn't always speak in your favor. "Love is the main sum of instruction" (Letter to Timothy)
     
  6. outlawState

    outlawState Deism is dead

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    Jesus "love" was discriminatory, not unconditional. The Israelites had engaged in just the sort of Christo-paganism that you describe between 900-600BC, combining YHWH worship with heathen gods. That is why the king of Babylon was sent to despatch them with the sword and ship them off to Babylon.

    It a fantasy to suggest that Christ allowed any other gods besides YHWH. Monotheism is not fanaticism, but the only valid interpretation of Jesus' ministry and the whole bible. Jesus had no time for those who would not repent.
     
  7. trablano

    trablano Member

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    You only have the bible as your defense. The cross and the resurrection speak another language. Same as the experience of so many people on the world who were touched by the love of Jesus or by the love of other gods. YOUR monotheism certainly is fanatism.
     
  8. outlawState

    outlawState Deism is dead

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    I'm sorry but your interpretation of the rationale behind the cross is nonsense. Jesus did not die that people should continue in sin, or in opposition to the law of God. That is first century gnosticism, of the Nicolaitian order who followed the teachings of Balaam who seduced the Israelites away from the true faith.

    And Jesus only had the bible as his justification as to why he had come. If you reject the bible, you reject Christ for Christ vouched for the Old Testament law. There is no such thing as Christianity without the bible. Christ is not Aphrodite, the goddess of love.
     
  9. trablano

    trablano Member

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    There is the bible and there is the message of the cross. Jesus died so that there would be a counterweight against sin and that really everyone has a life after death. That was just Jesus' love. He is better than what the bible writers made out of him - an idol for the christian club! Sin is a bad term for evil, because our education by our parents is enough and love is the fulfillment of the law. But the old law, that of the so-called holy writings, has been removed entirely from importance. So I reject much of the bible, and accept Jesus Christ and Magdalena his love too. You have a neutered Jesus who only spreads wrath and judgment. So watch out because what goes around comes around. God does not judge and you shall not judge either, except to uplift and help someone with honest and good words. And Jesus also knew the other gods, the 3 magi from the east explained everything to his parents. Mary is also important as mother of god. And Jesus had the mother god and the father god with him. The bible only records the story of Paul, the greedy and manipulative law teacher!
     
  10. outlawState

    outlawState Deism is dead

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    Everyone does not have life after death. You've fundamentally misunderstood the gospel. It is only those who respond to the gospel in the prescribed way who will be rewarded with life after death. Without faith no-one can please God and without faith no-one will obtain eternal life.

    Mary is of no importance whatever. She is not the "mother of God" but the mother of the man, Jesus.

    The old law, that of the so-called holy writings, has NOT been removed entirely from importance. It teaches those who respond to the gospel the way of faith and the path to heaven.

    You're treating the gospel as some kind of magic potion, which it isn't. It is designed to lead people to faith, but faith requires obedience.
     
  11. trablano

    trablano Member

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    But are you even obedient to love now? Can love not be tolerant and accept those who think differently? Remember how Jesus loved his enemies, he even went to the cross to show that he loved them and didn't want to condemn them. You really overstep your boundaries here. Every creature is totallly loved by God, he loves them just like you. Moreover the eternal life is cosmic, every animal and every plant has an afterlife as well. God is omnipresent, He and His wife the goddess care for the sparrow, much more for us...
     
  12. outlawState

    outlawState Deism is dead

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    You're not Christian at all but a heretic. I'm not being rude, just truthful. YHWH had no wife. Idolatry of the feminine is idolatry. The bible ordains excommunication for such as you, as you know. I've nothing else to say to you.
     
  13. trablano

    trablano Member

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    Haha, I don't care being a heretic when it comes to your "churchianity". If you can't be obedient to love, you must excommunicate. Shine on, little pope!
     
  14. Confucian Mormon Buddhist

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    I find it bizarre that you claim to follow a prophet but insult the scriptures that both teach about that prophet and which that prophet also confirmed as being the truth... why insult the Christian community by stealing it's God when you obviously don't believe in him?
     
  15. trablano

    trablano Member

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    You mean me,, Confucian? I don't steal Jesus, I believe in him, just not in the evangelical bible-gnawing way. God most certainly has a wife in my book, and Jesus had a girlfriend in Mary Magdalene too. It's time she is given justice by others. The bible has been forged until it's hardly recognizable anymore. And science knows the Israelites had more than one God until monotheism arrived in Babylon and later in Judea when they found the lawbook in the temple of Yahweh.
     
  16. Dantedeven

    Dantedeven Member

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    Oh, what a good topic. This is my opinion, and this is just an opinion:




    When i read the book of Job for the first time, it was like i was watching in the mirror and i was very dissapointed and upset with the Lord. But, "It was better for me to be upset with the Lord temporary and know why, then to be upset constantly and not know anything." So, i have read the book of Job and while it is easily one of my favourite books in the Bible, i have not one single clue what this book means.... And I still have questions like:

    Why did God allow the satan to do these things to Job, a respected faithful servant?
    Was Job an sacrifical biblical example of the possible dangers that exist unseen?
    What did God want to achieve by allowing satan do these things, for all satan did was sin, which is what he likes?
    Does God secretly also still loves Satan, allowing him to act once every ??? years?
    What could it possibly be that God wanted to prove towards that satan character, was it really just to prove him wrong, and why?
    I mean he was banned from heaven. right? Its like satan was his neighbor...
    What in Job attracted satan so much that he actually invested time in Job, a simple human?
    Do you know these answers?



    Hmmmmmm..... ...?


    "When divine things actually happened, i didn't believe my eyes. But when nothing happened, i believed that what my eyes did not see." So clearly this whole religion thing is not for everyone, because i can imagine it would be HORRIFIC for some people. Especially those that commit sins against the decaloque, knowing that something extremely powerful knows everything you know. Would that revelation not almost feel like the realisation of having your webcam hacked honestly? And would you then realize why God dislikes shame, like, A LOT? And whydoes God dislike shame?..God knows... i don't, lol. Maybe deism is a great option, and maybe it is not.

    Ah well, curious people are always curious. And the trials REQUIRE faith. And once you start to be open about your faith, and read the bible and say: "Yes!" or "No!" or "Whatever!" or "Really?" or "O God!" then, for some people, life gets harder and harder and harder and harder and nothing divine happens. Do you lose faith? Or is your heart convinced? What then is the use of faith, if suffering is not relieved while practising it? Bla, bla bla, Why is this, that etc. etc.... Thousands of esoteric questions unanswered, worth it?... Or headache?... i dont know, do you? Maybe deism is a great option, and maybe it is not.

    But i will tell to you exactly why life gets harder for some people once they know about faith. Because there is something going on between something unseen. Or unknown, or unnoticed... i don't know what it is, do you? But peoples are definately some sort of game, like being hunted for something. Both religious or non religious people... but i don't know why, do you?

    And honestly... do you really think that God is just going to show every heathen, heretic or atheist, everything considering all that is, without even building trust first?........Of course he does! Because people won't freaking believe it anyways, even if it the truth stood before their very own eyes! People won't even notice it, nor do they see what is happening. Because God was all like: "Hello little human, here is a book for you, btw, its 2000 years old, it hasn't been updated for a while....good luck!"..... And what did Moses think?....."Yes, Moses, hello. I am a flaming bush now.. because I SHALL BE THAT WHAT I SHALL BE (3:14). Here, have a look at this decaloque, what? No! of course you can't have the original. Yeah, i don't know, just write it down or something. Here are some stone tables, Oh yeah, YOU SHALT REMEMBER ME FOR ALL GENERATIONS TO COME, k bye." and you read it and will litterally have no clue what you just read. And bam, distraction, the wheel of samsara.

    But if you get out of this wheel of samsara by curiosity, revolt, accident, force or whatever, you will literally have one chance to return to God. And denial is not an option. especially if you showed your devotion and allegiance openly. Because if you do that then you have attracted the attention of something different. And he is a big jerk i can tell you that, that i do know. And then you better have good faith, because no human can help. Because humans are pretty much... hamsters.. and human civilization is almost like... ants? If you have imagination i guess.

    Bye.
     
  17. nPeace

    nPeace Well-Known Member

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    My experience - always a help; never a burden.

    In life, there are always problems, but things can become a bit more difficult when one becomes a true follower of Christ.
    The reason for this, it seems, is as Jesus says.
    John 15:19
    They are going against a world that is under Satan's control.
    1 John 5:19
    ... which would not be easy.
    Luke 13:24
    Matthew 7:13

    It may seem that Jesus is saying that it will be impossible for some who try to make it, but other scriptures seem to suggest that they don't make it because of what they allow to hinder their progress - like material pursuits for example.
    Matthew 19
    23 Jesus said to his disciples, “I can guarantee this truth: It will be hard for a rich person to enter the kingdom of heaven. 24 I can guarantee again that it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter God’s kingdom.”
    25 He amazed his disciples more than ever when they heard this. “Then who can be saved?” they asked.
    26 Jesus looked at them and said, “It is impossible for people to save themselves, but everything is possible for God.”
    27 Then Peter replied to him, “Look, we’ve given up everything to follow you. What will we get out of it?”
    28 Jesus said to them, “I can guarantee this truth: When the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne in the world to come, you, my followers, will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. 29 And everyone who gave up homes, brothers or sisters, father, mother, children, or fields because of my name will receive a hundred times more and will inherit eternal life.

    Matthew 13:1-23

    Despite these and more, my experience is that a life of obedience and service to God, results in far more blessing than there is pain, and there is even joy while experiencing the pain - crazy as that sounds.:D
    1 Peter 5:10; James 1:2, 3
     
  18. nPeace

    nPeace Well-Known Member

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    This is the way I understand it, in a nutshell.
    Satan seems to have made a charge to God before the entire assembly of angels.
    That charge seems to have take shape in the garden of Eden.
    Genesis 3:1-5 "Is it really so... God has said...? No no no no. God lied..." basically.
    Although, the scriptures don't specifically mention the charge in Genesis 3, it is mentioned in Job.

    Job 1:6 Satan apparently knows when God holds meetings - because apparently it's a routine, sort of like in the case of Judas knowing where to find Jesus, in order to betray him.

    Job 1:7 After verifying that Satan has been busily looking for meat to get between his teeth (1 Peter 5:8) - primarily good meat (faithful ones - Revelation 12:13-17), God put the question to him. Job 1:8
    God points to a man that clearly has resisted Satan continually.
    Can you see the steam coming from Satan's ears as he says, between clenched teeth,
    Not in those words. :D Job 1:9-11

    In chapter two Satan presses further vying for what he thinks will allow him to win, and prove his claim. Job 2:4

    This is not the only account I find, that gives evidence that Satan charged that mankind basically can easily be persuaded to leave God basically be disloyal - not love him, but pursue their own interest - their own 'freedom'.

    The account of Jesus' life appear to reveal this. For one thing, his being led into the wilderness to be tempted by the Devil, and the tests he faced throughout his earthly life course.

    However, these account seem to suggest that God allows Satan the opportunity to prove his charge. By doing so, he is allowing the angels, and his earthly subject to provide an answer to the charge, and prove Satan wrong. Key text - Proverbs 27:11

    Being almighty, God can and will restore the losses that may result from this, as he demonstrated, in the case of Job - restoring his flesh to be younger than he was previous, and giving him even more than he had. Job 42:12-16
    Romans 8:18-25
     
    #18 nPeace, Jul 3, 2018
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2018
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