• Soteriology – Are Some Types of People “UnSavable?”

Soteriology – Are Some Types of People “UnSavable?”

I was just asking this on another blog. I will copy and paste most of my comment from there to here.

I’ve been wondering about this for months now.

There are some Christians, who, unfortunately, make holding “correct doctrine” a necessary component of receiving salvation, though I do not recall the Bible anywhere teaching this.

At most, the Bible says belief of Jesus as the Christ and acceptance of Jesus as Savior is the barometer of saving faith, and not whether or not one agrees with or believes in things such as Gender Complementarianism, Transubstantiation, the Pre-Trib Rapture, a literal Hell, an allegorical Hell, Old Age of the Earth, Young Earth Creationism, and so on.

There is the OSAS (once saved always saved) Vs. Conditional Security debate: some Christians believe once a person accepts Christ as Savior, she can never have her salvation taken away or revoked, while other Christians believe it is possible for someone who accepted Christ to have her salvation nullifed or cancelled because of personal sin.

I’ve done a lot of reading about Sociopaths and Psychopaths, and I’ve watched documentaries about them. Continue reading

• America Godless? Number of People with No Religion Soars (2019)

America Godless? Number of People with No Religion Soars (2019)

There are now as many Americans who claim no religion as there are evangelicals and Catholics, a survey finds

April 2019

“Religious nones,” as they are called by researchers, are a diverse group made up of atheists, agnostics, the spiritual, and those who are no specific organized religion in particular. A rejection of organized religion is the common thread they share.

…The meteoric rise of religious nones began in the early 1990s and has grown 266% since 1991, he [Burge] said.

Burge estimates that ‘No Religion’ will be the largest group outright in four to six years.

Experts still debate the factors behind this wave of Americans declaring no religion.

America Godless? Number of People with No Religion Soars

The number of Americans who identify as having no religion has risen 266 percent since 1991, to now tie statistically with the number of Catholics and Evangelicals, according to a new survey.

People with no religion – known as ‘nones’ among statisticians – account for 23.1 percent of the U.S. population, while Catholics make up 23 percent and Evangelicals account for 22.5 percent, according to the General Social Survey.

Those three groups now represent the largest the religious groups in America. 

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• Why So Many Americans Are Turning to Buddhism by Olga Khazan

Why So Many Americans Are Turning to Buddhism by Olga Khazan

I find the timing of this article by Khazan in The Atlantic (linked to much farther below in this post) so interesting.

I just came across this article a few days ago, and for the last few months, I’ve been thinking about researching Buddhism more, and maybe taking up some of its practices.

(I do not intend on becoming a full-blown Buddhist, or identifying as a Buddhist, even if I may adopt some of its practices. I’m still at the research phase right now. Perhaps I will decide to have nothing to do with Buddhism after I look into things more. I don’t know.)

I once saw a documentary about singer Tina Turner a couple of years ago (yes, that Tina Turner).

According to this documentary, Turner was raised in Christianity but later converted to Buddhism in adulthood, when she was facing a lot of struggles, if I recall correctly. Her Wiki page says she practices Nichiren Buddhism.

I am interested in any practical teachings Buddhism may have, such as meditation, in dealing with things like anxiety.

I found no help in the Christian faith for anxiety and other problems I’ve had over the course of my life, which I wrote about in more detail in this post.

I was a very conservative, devout, run of the mill Christian from my childhood up to my 40s, and not only did Christianity not alleviate my problems, but it exacerbated some of them.

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• Christianity Did Not Help Me, It Did Not Work For Me

I was a very devout Christian from childhood up to my early, maybe mid, forties.

These days, I don’t know what I am (religiously speaking).

As I look back over my life, I can see that not only did the Christian faith not help me much, but as some of its teachings were taught to me, it created obstacles in my life, and kept me stuck in harmful patterns or ways of thinking.

Supposing there is an afterlife with a Heaven and a Hell, and acceptance of Christ means a ticket into Heaven upon death, that works out just fine. I can sure see how that is beneficial later on.

Christianity, though, did not really help me with very much in the present life.

Any pain, problems, or stress I’ve had so far were not relieved by the Christian faith.

Prayer, Bible reading, believing in Jesus, volunteering at charities, attending church – none of that alleviated my problems.

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• As Churches Struggle to Help Christians With Mental Illness, Many Flee by Leonardo Blair

As Churches Struggle to Help Christians With Mental Illness, Many Flee

I am not surprised by this. I was diagnosed with clinical depression at a young age, and I also had Social Anxiety Disorder, and to this day, I still have Generalized Anxiety Disorder.

During all that time, I was a devout Christian, but Christianity never brought me relief or healing from depression or anxiety.

Some Christians I met along the way (and a few I’ve met recently) do not understand mental illness. They incorrectly assume that mental health issues are purely spiritual and can be “prayed away.” They cannot.

Please note in the reporting below that Christian ignorance and insensitivity about mental health problems have caused some to reject the Christian faith.

As Churches Struggles to Help Christians With Mental Illness, Many Flee by Leonardo Blair 

Snippets:

As studies continue to show how ill-equipped many churches are in ministering to Christians who struggle with mental illness, some who were once among the faithful are now speaking out about how the spiritualizing of their conditions in church culture forced them to flee.

In a recent discussion sparked by a rant in a subreddit of more than 40,000 anonymous former Christians, many shared stories about how they were forced to suffer as their evangelical churches and family members urged them to pray away conditions such as bipolar disorder, anxiety and ADD before they were finally able to get help.

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• Insensitive, Clueless, or Off-Base Responses by Christians to Pedophile Preacher Article on Christian Site

Insensitive, Clueless, or Off-Base Responses by Christians to Pedophile Preacher Article on Christian Site

I wanted to discuss some of the comments I saw below the last article I just blogged about, which comes from the CBN Site. I blogged about it here:

The Pedophile in the Pulpit: How a Respected Pastor Abused Hundreds of Children for 40 Years, and No One Knew by Heather Sell

Article Comments

I skimmed some of the comments under that article (edit: link now fixed) on the CBN site.

Alex is an adult who says when she was a child that her preacher father sexually molested her. Later in life, she and her brother reported their father to the police, where the police discovered he had raped and molested other children, too. He was arrested.

Alex said she walked away from the Christian faith as a result of the abuse.

Here is what she said, and this is what some of the self-professing Christians in the CBN comment box were reacting to:

Alex has traveled a road that’s not uncommon for abuse victims of spiritual leaders. She stopped attending church and has no desire to go back. “I don’t like the idea of God as a fatherly thing,” she said. “If that’s who He is He wasn’t there for me. If my dad was supposed to be someone who was spreading His word – that’s not the case at all,” she said.

/////

Unfortunately, some of the Christians reacted to Alex’s rejection of the Christian faith inappropriately – rather than just express their condolences towards her that she was harmed by her father, they chose to defend the Church or God.

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• The Pedophile in the Pulpit: How a Respected Pastor Abused Hundreds of Children for 40 Years, and No One Knew by Heather Sells

The Pedophile in the Pulpit: How a Respected Pastor Abused Hundreds of Children for 40 Years, and No One Knew by Heather Sell

Some of the following story was shown on the Christian television program The 700 Club a few days ago, and I watched most of it.

This pastor was molesting at least one of his own kids, a daughter.

If I recall the interview with her correctly, I think she said that his molestation of her caused her to leave the Christian faith. I am not sure how she identifies herself today, if she would say she is an atheist or agnostic or what not.

This goes to show that yes, the behavior of self-professing believers of whatever world view (Christian, Islam, atheism, what have you) can negatively impact someone to the point they want nothing to do with the respective world view / faith.

I also related to the poor wife who said she was expecting people (I would gather especially Christian friends) to gather round her in her time of need (after her ex- husband was arrested) but nobody stepped forward.

I know that feeling of abandonment all too well, though in my case, it happened in the context of the death of my mother – Christian friends and family either avoided me during my time of grief or lectured and scolded me.

Here is the report?

The Pedophile in the Pulpit: How a Respected Pastor Abused Hundreds of Children for 40 Years, and No One Knew by Heather Sells

Snippets:

SOMERSET, Pa. – John and Clara Hinton arrived in Somerset, Pennsylvania in 1972. Just two years into their marriage and with a young daughter, the young couple was eager to start their ministry at the Somerset Church of Christ, a small congregation in the rural community.

John had completed a Bible degree at Oklahoma Christian University and served as a youth pastor when he stepped into the pulpit.

‘I wish my husband was like yours’: The Respected Dad

The two would go on to have eleven children and Clara considered John to be a model husband and father. She described him as soft-spoken and thoughtful, fixing her breakfast every morning.

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