Monday, February 23, 2009

Training Yourself Not to Think - Part I

I noticed at a young age that being a good christian requires not thinking about some things. Good christians do not think about the horrors and cruelty and bloodshed that permeates the bible. Good christians obviously don't think much about what Jesus is quoted as saying (pray quietly while alone, blessed are the peacemakers, judge not). Nor do good christians think at all about Occam's Razor (at least as it applies to their faith).

I never really expected to see anyone write an article openly spelling out that being a good christian requires one not to think.

The Pendulum Swings*

Marie Jon

There are people who have many misconceptions of Christianity. Some believe it is a heavy weight of do's and don'ts piled upon one's shoulders. thinking about someone other than one's spouse is a sin. i bet everyone who read that sentence immediately committed thought adultery. having brought that up, i will now spend all day unable to do anything other than commit thought adultery. (fortunately for me, i have a fantastic imagination and no shame at all.) Others believe that it's an "if you sin, you'll go to hell" doctrine. pretty much. Some believe that preachers are only in the pulpit to make money. some of them. some of them are very sincere people who really do want to save others. not the way i'd go about it, but at least they're trying. There is the proverbial lie that God is always watching to catch you when you make a mistake "proverbial" lie? if god is omniscient, than god does indeed know when you make a mistake, though i suppose we could classify that as a byproduct of being omniscient rather than intent., and there's the pesky inconvenience of attending church in the first place. meh.

The human mind can create a list of impossible expectations ummm . . . what exactly would qualify as an impossible expection from an OMNIPOTENT being? that lead to fear and a spiritual disconnect of hopelessness. atheism? Eventually, people who feel this way close their Bibles and never darken the doors of a church. in fact, they may well be reading my blog right now! to which i say "stop reading and go commit some thought adultery. i won't tell." They make the decision simply not to believe in God anymore.


nobody "decides" to believe or not believe. it's not something you can turn on and off. belief is like love. you can't simply decide to love someone, nor can you decide to stop loving someone. in fact, i would guess that a certain number of agnostics are people who intellectually are atheists, but haven't lost that last vestige of belief.

I suppose one could say some "divorce" God and banish Him from their lives forevermore see above, but do these same people become born-again atheists she means atheists that aren't afraid to speak their minds.? Too often, non-believers come face to face with a hell of their own making. what?

Living with occasional doubt oh, i see, we're not even going to try to prove the last statement.

I realize that my thoughts are probably not going to reach many atheists. i'd be surprised if they reached any However, my writings proclaim the existence and the power of a loving God. not so far. Often, I do touch the hearts of skeptics, doubters, and a few scoffers can i have some proof here? is that too much to ask? i don't claim to regularly defaith people, because i couldn't possibly back up that statement. mostly i just amuse other atheists. Most likely, you are a person who fits the profile of the believer in God who is sympathetic to the idea that there is a Creator who cares. You probably believe as I do, and want to live your life as Jesus did when He was here on this earth. you want to be homeless, poor, hunted by the authorities and tortured to death?

I believe in God and His word. However, doubts occasionally sneak in. They really do. I then begin to wonder if it's all true. Did God come to Earth? Will there be a Second Coming? you're not quite hitting the atheist level of doubt yet, then. At times, do preachers and the founders of our churches unknowingly deceive themselves and others? yes, the answer to that would be yes. they also knowingly deceive others. it happens. Could it be that their faith is merely wishful thinking? that is indeed a possibility, yes.

The famous author Clive Staples Lewis (better known as CS Lewis) found faith late in life. After many years of a fulfilling Christian walk, he confessed that, at times, he had his doubts. This is common among believers while on their way to becoming mature, well-grounded Christians. The pendulum* swings for many. There are days when it is easy to believe in the existence of God. Then there are times when we wonder where God is. However, it is interesting that the pendulum* of inner doubts and questioning does not just affect Christians. It swings for atheists, also. why yes, atheists do convert to theism. theists also become atheists. the more things change and all that. For you see, it was C.S. Lewis' direct admission that he lived on both sides of the fence. He was an atheist who eventually became settled in the knowledge of Jesus Christ and lived out the rest of his life as a believer in Him.

Please understand that whichever view you embrace, your feelings will continually attack your convictions. i'm having this Jerry Springer "you don't know me!" moment, but she's probably right. doubt is the human condition. Just as Christians have their moments, atheists have their misgivings. If you believe in God, there will still be times when it seems that this material world is the only reality. Disbelieve in the Almighty God, and you must face hours when the material world seems to shout God does exists. okay, that doesn't happen to me. i occasionally do wonder if maybe, just maybe, the fact that everyone seems so damn sure of it means something, and then i remember that an appeal to popularity is a ridiculous argument. That is the atheist's often-undisclosed dilemma. or one atheist's dilemma Lewis explained that if we are believers, we need to fortify ourselves against doubts. here's the honesty i spoke of earlier: in order to believe you have to figure out how not to think too hard about what itis you believe. He used a phrase "train the habit of faith."

Daily prayer is a must, and spending meaningful time giving great thought to Who we believe in strengthens us. or prevents us from thinking about other things. In other words, fixing our minds on God's love for us becomes factual truth. sure. i absolutely could convince myself of any kind of crazy shit i wanted to if i really wanted to. that doesn't make it "factual truth". Christ died so we could have eternal life and live life here "more abundantly." god sacrificed god to god to change a rule god made. explain that to me. Meditate on the cross of Calvary if you're going to meditate, i don't suggest trying to meditate on bloody imagery. sort of defeats the purpose, and consider how the Savior of the world, who left the glories of heaven, rendered us an enormous gift that came at an agonizing sacrifice. woopity-do-dah. he suffered for 3 days. then he rested for a little bit and came back to life. anybody who spent time in a concentration camp suffered more than that.

It is amazing that atheism has become such a force in our world. yeah, it's such a force that presidents claim we're not citizens and "she's an atheist" is the worst insult some people can think of. we're just poised for the takeover! It is truly sad when many intelligent men and women who are philosophers, educators, and scholars trust only in their human wisdom. i suppose i could trust in your human wisdom, but it's easier to go with my own. either way, it's all human wisdom. They've taken the leap of faith into the void of an empty universe. um, what? my universe is full of stuff. you know, like planets and stars and stuff. In Psalms, God's Word says: "The fool has said in his heart, 'There is no God'" (Psalms 14:1). if i ever get a hold of a time machine, i am going to find the person who wrote that and beat them with a stick while shouting "who's the fool now, bitch?!" We love to call the atheist a fool. yes, isn't insulting people fun? And our history books are full of colorful stories of brilliant people who have gazed at the stars and foolishly said, "It means nothing. The planets and galaxies got here by themselves, and so did we." life isn't meaningless, and i'm rather wary of people who can't find it's meaning without resorting to what somebody else tells them is the meaning. Strange that these leaders, authors, historians, and statesmen often don't seem to be fools. maybe cause they're not fool? occam's razor. I suppose some could make the argument that if these brilliant human beings don't believe, how can you and I stay on the safe path of righteousness? self delusion is a powerful force.

This is getting rather long, so we'll have to review the rest of this fascinating look into the art of self delusion later.

*being a hopeless Gears of War addict, the word "pendulum" makes me think of the Pendulum Wars, as in "Lot of good soldiers from the Pendulum Wars buried here. Sure could use those men now."


  1. :sigh: I would love to know where these people get this idea that belief is like an on/off switch. That's really kind of sad, it should be something more than that.
    And the idea of constantly thinking of God to keep yourself from doubting? OK, that's bizarre. I have great faith, and I don't spend my time thinking about it so I don't doubt. I would worry greatly about people who do.

  2. it's bad psychology at best. can you imagine using that in another context? worried about your husband cheating on you? think happy thoughts instead! memories of your rape got you down? think about puppies instead!

    repression is not a winning strategy.


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