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OfflineHidingInPlainSight
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The corrupted church of today.
    #2343838 - 02/17/04 12:51 AM (12 years, 9 months ago)

For a little background, I originally came from a baptist church that I have grown up in for 17 years. I accepted Jesus Christ into my life, and gave control of my life to him. I have been trying to lead a sin-free life based on what the Holy Bible says. Although its hard, i'm trying my best.

Now to my point.

It has come to my attention that the church of today has taken a dramatic fall in its goals and beliefs, compared to when churches were first organized and brought up. I feel like churches of today are focused more on their image to the public, because a good image leads to more people, which leads to more money being given by people.

An example of hypocritical teachings in my ex-church:

I met a girl at church, and we started hanging out. People at the church knew that I used cannabis, because I am not going to put on a "mask" for church, then take it off when I get out. I am going to be a completely honest person.
After the youth minister at our church finds out this girl is hanging out with me, he says "If you don't change how you act, im going to remove your influence from the church." Over the course of time, many parents supposedly will not let their children hang out with me because of me being a sinner.

In more simple turns he was saying, "We don't want sinners in our church."

That brought this event in the bible to mind:

Quote:

John 8:3 And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst,
4 They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act.
5 Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou?
6 This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not.
7 So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.




If the church cared as much as they act like they do, they would've tried to "help" me get away from cannabis, instead of basically condemning me from the church. [I believe using cannabis is not a sin, based on the bible and God not convicting me of it being wrong, while he convicts me of other actions I do as being wrong.]

Another point i'm trying to make is to not base your opinions on people who claim themselves to be "Christians", but are hypocrites. There are christians out there who live their life according to God. You will know who they are when you meet them.

Todays church should be focused on loving everybody, trying to help them keep from doing wrong, presenting God's love and grace, and giving them the opportunity to get saved. Not on public image, or money.

I don't know how other churches are in other areas, but I assume that most churches function the same.

Since then, I have moved away from the church, and decided to praise God in a comfortable always loving environment, nature.  :heart: :thumbup: :grin:


Edited by HidingInPlainSight (02/17/04 12:53 AM)


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Invisiblesilversoul7
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Re: The corrupted church of today. [Re: HidingInPlainSight]
    #2344099 - 02/17/04 01:46 AM (12 years, 9 months ago)

Wherever you find authority, you'll find corruption. Don't believe for a moment that the corruption of the church is a recent phenomenon. I think that corruption began in the church as soon as a hierarchy developed. Pretty much every religion starts with a good idea, and then someone figures out how to use it to gain wealth and/or power. But the truth is free. I believe Jesus said that whenever two or more people are gathered in His name, that that shall be called a church. So forget about that fascist center of hypocrisy you've been going to. If you want to celebrate the Sabbath, just find another Christian friend and pray together every Sunday. That way you take the authorities out of the picture, and it's just you, your friend, and the Word.


--------------------


"It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong."--Voltaire


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OfflineFrog
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Re: The corrupted church of today. [Re: silversoul7]
    #2344270 - 02/17/04 02:30 AM (12 years, 9 months ago)

:thumbup:


--------------------
The day will come when, after harnessing the ether, the winds, the tides, gravitation, we shall harness for God the energies of love. And, on that day, for the second time in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire.  -Teilard


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OfflineHidingInPlainSight
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Re: The corrupted church of today. [Re: silversoul7]
    #2345221 - 02/17/04 12:35 PM (12 years, 9 months ago)

Those are some true words Silversoul. :smile:


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OfflinePedM
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Re: The corrupted church of today. [Re: HidingInPlainSight]
    #2345256 - 02/17/04 12:44 PM (12 years, 9 months ago)

ledzepln86,

Speaking personally, the greatest misgiving I have about Christianity and it's church has to do with their outright rejection of different religious and philosophical systems. Their apparent inability to follow their own doctrine is secondary, and thought to be a symptom of this problem. As a Buddhist speaking to a Christian, what is your view on alternative spiritual paths? Do those who lend their prostration to great teachers other than Christ condemn themselves to an eternal misery? Are they, so long as they practice a non-Christian faith, excluded from the bliss of heaven? What is your opinion?

Speaking from the heart now, it is precisely the unwillingness of the Christian church to accept differing views on spiritual issues that landed me in Buddhism. Buddhism holds no such divisiveness, and in fact has many written doctrines against such divisiveness, commanding honor to those of all faiths which are grounded essentially in compassion for others. The teachings of Shantideva in particular so closely match the way of life Jesus taught that it is astonishing. More and more as I come to understand the teachings of Buddha, it seems that the teachings of Jesus do not belong in the same book as the story of Creation, Moses, King David, and so on and so forth.

The verses you quote from John 8:3-7 are quite beautiful, and really emphasize the enlightened quality of Jesus Christ. Any spiritual person of any faith really cannot help but marvel at such a passage. Why should this wisdom be exclusive to those who call themselves Christians?

The last time I attended church was per request of my mother and father, whom are very worried about my choice of path, Buddhism. The entire theme for that Sunday morning was: "Why other religions are deceptive." The preacher made his way on stage and proceeded to slam Islam, disparage Hinduism, and especially knocking Buddhism and it's "Godless" nature. The points he presented would be unworthy even of this small online forum. Should he have decided to present his case here, there is no doubt in my mind that his views would have been easily torn apart by any of posters here. But each divisive remark he made was met with cheers and applause, "Amen" and "Hallelujah". It was like some kind of celebration of segregation, or boundry reinforcement.

There was special emphasis on the "errors of Buddhism" and other eastern philosphies. A member of the church was invited on stage to share his experience of converting from Buddhism to Christianity. He told tales of Buddhists engaging in ritual sex acts and blood letting. I was absolutely stunned by the degree of lies and hatred presented here in this supposed house of God. Afterward, a swarm of the Church's senior staff gathered around me, knowing me to be a Buddhist, and proceded to attempt some kind of rapid detox, drilling such suggestions into me like "God Loves you" and "Satan has deceived you." Even going so far as to say such things as "God has told me that you are special to His plan."

It started to become evident that my attendence on this particular morning was carefully planned. This being a small church, it is not difficult to organize a theme for someone such as myself. It gradually became clear that someone had said something to the effect of "Let's show that Buddhist kid what Buddhism is really about.", assuming that I was naive and would believe whatever I heard.

I was mortified. My training in patience and compassion was screaming to take hold of this experience, but was insufficient. I felt offended, enraged, like lashing out. But then, I remembered that Jesus would not behave the way these people were behaving. Jesus would neither say, think, or do any such things. I turned my mind in this direction and found great relief. It was these men who had gone astray. And so, in great irony, I took refuge in thoughts of Christ to escape the bombardment of accusations from these men of Christ. I could not help but laugh.

I felt the need just now to share this story. It weighs heavily on my heart, the intolerant trends all throughout Christianity. Even the kindest, most sincere Christian practitioners that I have encountered still become isolated when they discover that I am a Buddhist. My wonderful parents being Christians and myself being a Buddhist has fostered quite a gap between myself and them, one that I'm not sure how to heal. Discusing these issues has been helpful.

I'd love to hear any thoughts.


--------------------


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Gyroscope full album available SoundCloud or MySpace


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InvisibleDoctorJ
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Re: The corrupted church of today. [Re: HidingInPlainSight]
    #2345275 - 02/17/04 12:54 PM (12 years, 9 months ago)

dont even get me started on Baptists. It is my personal opinion that Baptist are the WORST SECT EVER!!!

There is this one Baptist church in Dallas that has been expanding since the early 80's. First it was just a big church, then they bought the shopping center accross the street. Now they have this huge fucking stadium up in Plano. It has a $3 million sound system- my buddy helped put it in. They also have a Starbucks inside the temple. (seriously)

Not only that, but they still own and operate several shopping centers. WTF does Jesus have to do with charging people rent? Money changers, get out of my temple. That shit isnt a church, its a tax free corporation. The people that go there arent parishioners, they are stockholders.

I dunno man, everytime I get involved with Baptists or their church it always leaves me with a real slimy feeling- moreso than most branches of christianity. They seem to be more on the fanatical, judgemental side of the spectrum of organized Christianity. I helped teach a sunday school class at a baptist church once and they kept putting all this pressure on me to become "part of their flock." Even when i said no, they kept mailing me stuff and calling my house and coming by and shit. It was more like a fucking psycho cult than a fellowship.

Not only that, but even though i was a christian at the time, they kept telling me I was "going to hell" because I wasnt a baptist and hadnt been baptized according to their rites. (My baptism was Episcopalian)

I dunno dude, honestly, I've seen a lot of sects of Christianity and Baptists just leave me with the worst taste in my mouth.

Why not try and find a Bible Church? If thats, too secular, i find that the Episcopalians offer a really good religious experience, with incense and monotones and dimly lit chapels. Or better yet, a Gnostic church (if you can find one).

Or best of all, screw organized religion and find your own spiriutuality! Thats what I did!


--------------------
peace, pot, and microdot!


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OfflineFunguy
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Re: The corrupted church of today. [Re: HidingInPlainSight]
    #2345476 - 02/17/04 01:45 PM (12 years, 9 months ago)

Most all of you know that I am a Christian. I too believe that certain plants have used beyond those for food and shelter. However, not everyone believes that. While I do not hide the fact that I occassionaly use entheogens, I also do not exclaim it every time I meet somebody. The main reason for this is because I don't want to make someone stumble. Some people have had major problems with drugs, it's not the drugs themselves, but the person's personality. Now I could not out of good conscious smoke a doobie in front of them, because (especially if they knew I was a Christian) it might push them away from Christ. I can understand where your youth director was coming from. Not everybody is mature enough to handle any type of sacred plant. What if one of the kids that looked up to you decided, "hey, if he does it, why can't I?" Then they go out, get drunk, high, etc, and do something stupid and get themselves killed.
Now saying, "we don't want sinners in church" is just wrong. Everyone sins, including (truly) saved people. They are still human after all. A lot of people are taught a false doctrine of what it means to be a Christian. A lot of people have false ideas of what it means to be a Christian. A true Christian would lovingly talk to you about Christ and why you should come to know him. It should be about love.
BTW, in the Bible it states that where there are two or more people worshipping, God is there. That is church. God bless.


--------------------

OTD UNDERDOGS

Is attention your retarded heroin?


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Offlinefireworks_godS
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Re: The corrupted church of today. [Re: HidingInPlainSight]
    #2345747 - 02/17/04 02:59 PM (12 years, 9 months ago)

Quote:

Funguy said:
I can understand where your youth director was coming from.  Not everybody is mature enough to handle any type of sacred plant.  What if one of the kids that looked up to you decided, "hey, if he does it, why can't I?"  Then they go out, get drunk, high, etc, and do something stupid and get themselves killed. 




I understand too. He sounded sort of ignorant to me. Sounded like he had a mixture of fear and unawareness all mixed into one. If someone is going to "be pushed away from Christ" by an action of someone claiming to be Christian, well, they shouldn't be seeking Christ.

Hehe, Ped, you would love the Simpsons episode where Lisa becomes Buddhist. Mr. Burns turns the church into a complex just like Doctor J described. Lisa was outraged and set out on her own to find her own faith... they try bringing her back with Christmas. "Marge, you can save more souls with presents and Santa than with this 2,000 page sleeping pill".

Anyways, it is a great episode... really proved a point. :wink:

And I laughed outloud when you mentioned "boundary reinforcement". Damn, did it again. Myself, I have been looking for my Bible, I really want to give it a read... I knew where it was until the kid started drawing in it with a pen and I moved it... I really want to give the book of John a read. :grin:

People who are capable of understanding follow their own path... people who aren't capable of understanding are manipulated like herds of cattle. The blind leading the blind... or something. hehe

But ja, not a lot of people seem to make it out of this school named Earth.... *shrugs* :wink:
Peace.


--------------------
:redpanda:
If I should die this very moment
I wouldn't fear
For I've never known completeness
Like being here
Wrapped in the warmth of you
Loving every breath of you

:heartpump: :bunnyhug: :yinyang:

:yinyang: :levitate: :earth: :levitate: :yinyang:


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OfflineAlan Stone
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Re: The corrupted church of today. [Re: HidingInPlainSight]
    #2346476 - 02/17/04 05:57 PM (12 years, 9 months ago)

What I basically think of this is... no offense to others meant: maybe the concept of sin is just far-fetched? Why believe in sin when God forgives you anyway?


--------------------
It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.

- Aristotle


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OfflineSpecialEd
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Re: The corrupted church of today. [Re: HidingInPlainSight]
    #2346528 - 02/17/04 06:05 PM (12 years, 9 months ago)

Burn the Priest.











^^^
Good band, as is the reincarnation, Lamb of God!  Great in concert. :lol:


--------------------
"Plus one upvote +1..."
--- //
-- :meff:
  /l_l\/
--\-/----


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OfflineViveka
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Re: The corrupted church of today. [Re: Ped]
    #2346806 - 02/17/04 06:52 PM (12 years, 9 months ago)

Much respect to you for using the ignorance and cruelties directed towards you as fuel for your own inner peace.
I learned a similar lesson, but under a different circumstance, when I was really into Buddhism two years ago. I was in a position where I was sorting out the pieces from my farce of a family upbringing and the people in my new "family" setting at the time were in a toxic state of their own. I learned that the healthiest thing you can do for yourself is to take all the negativity and anger and hate and victimology that you feel or that people project onto you and use it as fuel for your own inner strength and integrity. This fire consumes these wastes of energy and grows your spirit at the same time by transmuting disapointment into surrender, insecurity and pride into humility and rashness and anger into patience and perserverence. Peace


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OfflinePedM
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Re: The corrupted church of today. [Re: Viveka]
    #2346970 - 02/17/04 07:33 PM (12 years, 9 months ago)

:thumbup:

Thank you.  Buddha Akshobya's path was like this, of transmuting negativity.  It just so happens that the Buddhist Centre to which I am devoted is called Akshobya Kadampa Buddhist Centre.  I'll take this advice to heart.


--------------------


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Gyroscope full album available SoundCloud or MySpace


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OfflineMarkostheGnostic
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Re: The corrupted church of today. [Re: HidingInPlainSight]
    #2347530 - 02/17/04 10:30 PM (12 years, 9 months ago)

CHURCH IS A HOSPITAL FOR SINNERS,
NOT A HOTEL FOR SAINTS.


--------------------
γνῶθι σαὐτόν - Gnothi Seauton - Know Thyself


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OfflineMarkostheGnostic
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Re: The corrupted church of today. [Re: Alan Stone]
    #2347556 - 02/17/04 10:43 PM (12 years, 9 months ago)

GOD forgives a penitent Heart - those who recognize their sin and want to be cleansed. Salvation and sanctification are not automatic. Unconditional Love is not received by and transmuted by an impenitent Heart. In other words, forgiveness by GOD does not occur against one's will. It is a matter of doing GOD's Will, which is being loving, merciful, compassionate, forgiving oneself. The means ARE the end. The Way to BE is The Way to GOD.


--------------------
γνῶθι σαὐτόν - Gnothi Seauton - Know Thyself


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OfflineFrog
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Re: The corrupted church of today. [Re: Ped]
    #2347569 - 02/17/04 10:46 PM (12 years, 9 months ago)

Quote:

Ped said:
Speaking personally, the greatest misgiving I have about Christianity and it's church has to do with their outright rejection of different religious and philosophical systems.




Yes. It has only been in the last couple of years that I am learning that they are probably wrong. It's one thing to believe, according to Christian dogma, that one must believe that Jesus died for one's sins in order for one to go to heaven. But to say everyone else is excluded is arrogant. I think people are closed-minded.

Quote:

Their apparent inability to follow their own doctrine is secondary, and thought to be a symptom of this problem.




We're supposed to love each other, as God loves us. I don't understand treating others differently, or as "bad" people, just because they have different beliefs.

Quote:

Do those who lend their prostration to great teachers other than Christ condemn themselves to an eternal misery? Are they, so long as they practice a non-Christian faith, excluded from the bliss of heaven? What is your opinion?




I believe that there's the possibility that other religions may just call Jesus other things that what we call Him. Regardless, we're not supposed to be sitting around deciding who is going to hell and who is going to heaven.

I, personally, believe what the bible teaches, that you have to accept Christ as your saviour to get into heaven. But I'm also not willing to say anyone is going to hell because there may be more to all that than we know, considering that yes, the bible was written a long time ago, and by humans, and may have errors.

So I'm willing to see what happens when I get there and see who made it and who didn't. Until then, I am making no judgments on my own.

Quote:

Speaking from the heart now, it is precisely the unwillingness of the Christian church to accept differing views on spiritual issues that landed me in Buddhism.




I think it's because of some personal things I went through that my search for answers brought back to my Christian foundations, minus the church. I still believe what the bible teaches, but I don't go along with the church too much.

I still occasionally go to church, but it's hard because I see them as "stuck". They're still beginners. Not that I'm so much further ahead, but I want to know more than what they teach.

Quote:

The verses you quote from John 8:3-7 are quite beautiful, and really emphasize the enlightened quality of Jesus Christ. Any spiritual person of any faith really cannot help but marvel at such a passage. Why should this wisdom be exclusive to those who call themselves Christians?




This is open to everyone. Just like I don't believe the teachings of Bhudda and other religions are off-limits to me. I will listen and read, but I don't think that excludes me from heaven, either. Much of what I see written in other religions resembles things taught in the Christian religion, which makes me think that Jesus might have traveled a little more than is thought.

Quote:

The last time I attended church was per request of my mother and father, whom are very worried about my choice of path, Buddhism. The entire theme for that Sunday morning was: "Why other religions are deceptive." The preacher made his way on stage and proceeded to slam Islam, disparage Hinduism, and especially knocking Buddhism and it's "Godless" nature. The points he presented would be unworthy even of this small online forum. Should he have decided to present his case here, there is no doubt in my mind that his views would have been easily torn apart by any of posters here. But each divisive remark he made was met with cheers and applause, "Amen" and "Hallelujah". It was like some kind of celebration of segregation, or boundry reinforcement.

There was special emphasis on the "errors of Buddhism" and other eastern philosphies. A member of the church was invited on stage to share his experience of converting from Buddhism to Christianity. He told tales of Buddhists engaging in ritual sex acts and blood letting. I was absolutely stunned by the degree of lies and hatred presented here in this supposed house of God. Afterward, a swarm of the Church's senior staff gathered around me, knowing me to be a Buddhist, and proceded to attempt some kind of rapid detox, drilling such suggestions into me like "God Loves you" and "Satan has deceived you." Even going so far as to say such things as "God has told me that you are special to His plan."

It started to become evident that my attendence on this particular morning was carefully planned. This being a small church, it is not difficult to organize a theme for someone such as myself. It gradually became clear that someone had said something to the effect of "Let's show that Buddhist kid what Buddhism is really about.", assuming that I was naive and would believe whatever I heard.

I was mortified. My training in patience and compassion was screaming to take hold of this experience, but was insufficient. I felt offended, enraged, like lashing out. But then, I remembered that Jesus would not behave the way these people were behaving. Jesus would neither say, think, or do any such things. I turned my mind in this direction and found great relief. It was these men who had gone astray. And so, in great irony, I took refuge in thoughts of Christ to escape the bombardment of accusations from these men of Christ. I could not help but laugh.

I felt the need just now to share this story. It weighs heavily on my heart, the intolerant trends all throughout Christianity. Even the kindest, most sincere Christian practitioners that I have encountered still become isolated when they discover that I am a Buddhist. My wonderful parents being Christians and myself being a Buddhist has fostered quite a gap between myself and them, one that I'm not sure how to heal. Discusing these issues has been helpful.





I think their hearts were in the right place, but they went about it the wrong way. Christians can be very insensitive people, at times.

Christians believe that if you don't believe in Jesus dying for your sins, you won't go to heaven. They don't want to leave relatives behind, so they try to convince everyone that they are going to hell if they don't believe as the Christians do.

A better way to do it is to model your life on the life of Jesus and, if anyone asks you why you live the way you do, explain, but not in order to convince them to adopt your beliefs. Sway them by modeling your beliefs rather than preaching at them.

I've had people read the bible "at" me, and it pisses me off. If I want some bible-reading, I'll go to a bible study, or read it myself.


--------------------
The day will come when, after harnessing the ether, the winds, the tides, gravitation, we shall harness for God the energies of love. And, on that day, for the second time in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire.  -Teilard


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OfflineHidingInPlainSight
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Re: The corrupted church of today. [Re: HidingInPlainSight]
    #2348156 - 02/18/04 01:15 AM (12 years, 9 months ago)

I like what most of you guys said. :smile:  :thumbup:

Ped: My beliefs come directly from the Holy Bible.

I can only imagine what churches would be like now if they stayed away from commericialism and business.

I love Markosthegnostic's saying: Church is a hospital for sinners, not a hotel for saints. :smile:  :thumbup:


Edited by HidingInPlainSight (02/18/04 01:15 AM)


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OfflineHidingInPlainSight
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Re: The corrupted church of today. [Re: Frog]
    #2348175 - 02/18/04 01:19 AM (12 years, 9 months ago)

Quote:

Frog said:
I believe that there's the possibility that other religions may just call Jesus other things that what we call Him.




^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
Exactly my thoughts too.


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InvisibleShark
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Re: The corrupted church of today. [Re: MarkostheGnostic]
    #2348244 - 02/18/04 01:41 AM (12 years, 9 months ago)

CHURCH IS A HOSPITAL FOR SINNERS,
NOT A HOTEL FOR SAINTS.


Well, yes thats how it should be. But does that mean thats how it actually is, or ever will be? Well, no. I cant see church ever breaking away from its current trend. Dident the current bible that christianity uses actually come about because the Roman emperor saw profit in it and printed the versian we now know?


--------------------
nothing i say is real


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OfflineGeeno
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Re: The corrupted church of today. [Re: HidingInPlainSight]
    #2348859 - 02/18/04 07:00 AM (12 years, 9 months ago)

This is why I love my friends Christian church so much, I might start going. While some people there are your stereotypical "church lady" type that I believe is more of a personality/outlet type of thing (aka you will always find these people in these groups). There are some very open minded people that go there. I had a nice discussion about the "he who is without sin" passage in the bible with them. Very inspiring. I could probably go to their church tripping balls telling them a bunch of tripped out theories and theyd be like "wow thats kinda like this in the bible", thats cool with me.


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OfflineHidingInPlainSight
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Re: The corrupted church of today. [Re: Geeno]
    #2349445 - 02/18/04 11:38 AM (12 years, 9 months ago)

That's the kind of church I need to get into Geeno. :smile:


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