Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for January, 2022

By Mike Edwards

Reliable God followers speak of God guiding us. I am not talking about “God guarantees you prosperity” types who are living off your funds. The Bible does say that we are guided by God’s Spirit (Jn 14:16-17; 16:13) rather than by a Book or Scriptures. Many suggest God’s voice obviously isn’t audible but like a silent whisper, clear mental impression, or “we just know.”  Color me a skeptic. I don’t just know! How do we go about discerning God’s guidance?

God can’t make future decisions for you

It is natural to think an all-knowing, powerful God has special insights into future outcomes. But to say God knows the future suggests a predetermined future which makes freedom nonsensical. God’s plan can’t be a detailed blueprint but a general one to set us free to love. God can’t tell you if your partner won’t end up betraying you or your new job won’t end up being phased out. God joins us in an unknown future. God surely desires we choose the wisest path known at the time based on past experiences, current circumstances, and future aspirations.

God doesn’t really have to speak to us about moral decisions 

It is only intuitive that a Creator loves the ways their creations ought to love one another. What rational being doesn’t know we ought to love others like we want to be loved? Many decisions are obvious – murder, stealing, adultery, etc. is wrong. Even if God was with us in person, God doesn’t have to speak if a decision is clearly moral. Many decisions though aren’t clearly moral.  God joins us in an unknown future in taking risks to change the world.

Uncertainty can be a good thing

We all want God to communicate in certain terms. God supposedly came in person but Jesus’ miracles didn’t obtain the results some may suggest if God would stop hiding. God’s awing or overpowering presence may only lead to fearful obligations to obey. Isn’t our love in human relationships greater when we have to trust than know for certain what the future holds together? The road traveled of learning, reflecting, and not being coerced may best lead to lasting convictions and more meaningful relationships. God may not speak to us demonstratively out of love. 

Personally speaking – how do I know it is God’s voice?

I don’t know if it’s God’s voice! Am I a spiritual loser? I don’t meet my own expectations morally much less God’s, but God is still working on me. But I hang more with God than most. Writing is the same for me as conversing with God. For the past 40 years I often write up to four hours a day. I attended church at least weekly for over forty years. I talk to God a ton while exercising walking almost daily. I have learned I don’t need to be certain what God is telling me. God has given me freedom to make decisions, and I understand the consequences of immoral decisions.

Doesn’t God guide us through unspoken influence?

Influences in our life don’t have to be audible or certain. My parents aren’t alive, but I am still influenced by them in my decisions. God can’t tell us that our decisions will work out. God deals with a free world also. God is hoping with us that our decisions will make for a better world. Don’t we sense God’s influence when we have thoughts to be the perfect partner, parent, or friend we desire to be deep down. I sense God’s encouragement to continually strive to make the best decisions I know at the time. Our pursuit of a godly life is never in vain!

How Can We Know It Is God Guiding Us?

MikeEdwardsprofilepic125

Mike Edwards has been writing for Done with Religion for some time and has been a great addition to the site. Mike also has his own site where he writes that can be found at What God May Really Be Like  He can be contacted by email at: medwar2@gmail.com

Read Full Post »

by Jim Gordon

Those of us who were brought up in church were taught from an early age that God is up there in heaven somewhere, looking down on us who live here on earth.

When we would have a special meeting or a revival service, I can remember the pastor telling us that God was going to show up and the spirit would fall.

Why is it we are told that God is up there and we are down here? Why are we told God may show up now and then when the conditions are right? Why would God only show up at certain buildings and certain times?

The Bible states that God sent his Spirit to live within us all the time. The Kingdom of God is within us. Jesus prayed in John 17 that we would be one as he and the father are one. God now lives within us since we are the temple of the Holy Spirit. We are merged together with Him. We are one with God as Jesus is one with God.

When two people marry, God says they become one. It is the same with God and us. When we put our faith in him and accept his free gift of grace, we become one. We are no longer separate, but we are one with God. That does not mean we are God, but we are merged together as one. We are the temple or house of God. The Spirit lives within us.

We have to get the religious thinking out of us and begin living the truth. God is not up there somewhere, separated from us. We are the temple of the Holy Spirit. God is within us. There is no separation, no waiting on God to come down. We do not have to follow Christ, we walk with him because he is within us.

We do not have to wait until Sunday to go to a building for God to show up, that is not his house. We are the body of Christ, each of us are equally important parts. We are his dwelling place, each and every day. We are one with God.

Jim Gordon and his wife left the institutional church after spending over fifty years within the system. Jim wanted a way to express his thoughts and concerns about the religious system and why he and his wife decided to leave the institution but not their faith in God. Jim can be contacted by email at: jimgordon731@gmail.com

Read Full Post »

By Mike Edwards

“Lies” is a strong word because I readily admit no one can prove what an invisible, inaudibly God is truly like. I am reacting to those who claim they know the “Truth” and don’t readily admit their interpretations and understandings of the Bible aren’t necessarily infallible. Most agree the only God worth believing in must be loving and perfect. Let’s have open-minded discussions what perfect love looks like. We can disagree but please don’t claim certainty according to a Book subject to interpretation. See link at the bottom of this Post for further elaboration in a brief Book I wrote.

God can’t create a place such as Hell!

God can’t condemn gays for being gay!

God can’t favor men over women for certain roles in church or in marriage!

God can’t only let Christians into heaven!

God can’t be for terrorists who deny freedom of belief!

God can’t control evil and suffering!

God can’t arbitrarily answer your prayer and not others’!

God can’t be a moral hypocrite who says “do as I say not what I do”!

God can’t be mysterious if wanting to be known!

God can’t be an angry, egomaniac!

God can’t be a hidden agenda proselytizer!

God can’t know the future while creating freedom!

God can’t be a Jesus killer!

God can’t be a Bible-worshipper!

Lies About God – Don’t Believe Everything You Hear!

MikeEdwardsprofilepic125

Mike Edwards has been writing for Done with Religion for some time and has been a great addition to the site. Mike also has his own site where he writes that can be found at What God May Really Be Like  He can be contacted by email at: medwar2@gmail.com

Read Full Post »

by Jordan Hathcock

Awkward church moments – aren’t they the best? I was around 14-years-old, passing the sacrament at my L.D.S. Ward, laughing with my friends in front of the whole congregation (big no-no). Why? Oh I don’t know, maybe it was due to the fact we were adolescence, attempting to do a “holy” thing but really the only thing that was holy was our love for laughter with friends? I can’t really remember what triggered it, all I recall is the feeling of guilt (due to getting scolded by leaders and parents) instead of the total unbiased freedom of joy. Yes, I get there is a time and place for everything but I also can’t help to see why we can’t include comedy in our rites and rituals? Is it due to the fact that if we indulge in the act of laughter it will produce the infamous act of irreverence which leads to sin (gasp!)?

It reminds me of the famous line from Tommy Boy from the master himself: Chris Farley:

Were you watching Spanktravision? Or were you watching that funny comedian, oh what’s his name, Buddy Wackit. Hey, there’s a pretty girl out there, maybe she goes out with one of the yankees…Richard, who was your favorite Little Rascal? Was it Alfalfa, or was it Spanky, hehehehehehe, sinner.

It’s funny how, if looked at with a comedic lens, some sins are kind of hilarious. I think that this outlook can be very healthy when it comes to encountering ones sin issues and others. It allows us to step back and get a perspective that removes us from our baggage which then helps us encounter grace (a free gift of abundant love). I understand that this idea of sin has brought a lot of damage to others when it comes to one’s worth and mental health but I still believe this word plays a role in our reality.

The definition of sin in the Bible is missing the mark. This does hold true to an extent. But, if we dig more deeply, I think we could say sin is “a misperception of oneself in reality” (more on this later). So, what is the “mark”? A perfect state of being (in the sense of doing nothing wrong)? Living a perfect life free from lying, stealing, cheating, killing, and “spanking the monkey” (hehe)? Drum roll please…dumdumdumdumdum…NO! It’s not any of those things, in my opinion.

***Side note: While we are on the topic of “spanktravision”, masturbation is definitely off the list since there never was a command against it in the bible (fun tidbit ). But I get the warning. When we use it as a form of “unrelational” pleasure with no other loving partner involved (i.e., pornography) it can lead to broken relationships (even though this might not be the case for everyone: context is everything). Even then, this is not what I’m referring to when it comes to sin.***

The mark definitely prevents those actions from happening. But it’s not those acts specifically. Then what the hell is it? Well people, the freakin mark is LOVE. Love is God and God is Jesus and Jesus said: You (the rest of us) are gods (John 10:34). Not gods in the sense of becoming what the serpent succeeded in tempting the Adam and Eve with (i.e., a relationship NOT based on partnership with others in order to create peace, love and mercy but a relationship based in greed and selfishness)–but in the the way of what Paul referred to as fellow heirs with Christ (Rom 8:17–Authentic Connection).

I’m not taking away the seriousness of missing the mark of love. It’s a big deal. Jesus was executed because of our denial in the importance of trusting in love. We scapegoat the victim in order to secure our violent social structures and individual egos. We choose violence instead of love. We will accuse all day long to keep our domination systems in place. The spirit of accusation is what the Bible calls the satan.

We are all created in God’s image. It’s the process of seeing the divine in us that we become aware of the “mark” (Theosis). SIN IS NOT TRUSTING IN HOW GOD SEES US: AS BELOVED! When we trust this, we have a change of mind and return to our true self (aka Repentance). When we don’t, this “un-trust” leads to all the consequences (war, murder, theft, cheating, environment damage, racism, gun violence, etc.) that hinder us to fully becoming the True Human race.

When we find ourselves accusing others to gratify our desires of righteousness (being in “correct” standings with our tribe) then we fall into the trap of the satan. It’s bye bye fat head from there. Oh, but not so fast there buddy boy. As a participant in Christ, I believe Jesus showed us how to break free from the bondage of sin into the liberation of grace. To live a life fully lived by loving your enemies! Let’s face it. If we embrace our sense of humor, we smile down on our enemies not make war with them.

This is how the world is healed from sin (which brings salvation). We come together to help the least of these. Jesus saves us from the accusatory lifeless cycle of sacred violence into the beautiful flow of shalom and forgiveness. Not only for the human race but for the entire universe. This is where our misperception of ourselves in reality comes into play. The reality of God is love which brings peace. This way of Jesus will bring healing to ALL the nations. His Spirit is flowing through all of his creation NOW. But, in order for the universe to trust and participate, it’s up to his participants, here and now, to represent his beautiful way.

In the end, according to close family and friends and even Chris Farley himself, the lack of love (not the side effects of sin) is what pushed Farley to an early death. Sure, the unhealthy lifestyle was a major factor in Farleys overdose but the root cause of it all was him not feeling loved. May we all find humor in our bones and come to the realization that we are all beloved NOW rather than later. It’s all about presence (what better way to encounter this then laughter?)…because life is to abundant to waste it. Chris Farley’s sense of humor still is bringing joy in this crazy world. This is no accident. Humor coincides with love. The two cannot live without each other too long as Mr. Farley said himself:

This notion of love is something that would be a wonderful thing. I don’t think I’ve ever experienced it, other than the love of my family. At this point it’s something beyond my grasp. But I can imagine it, and longing for it makes me sad.

Jordan Hathcock began writing as a regular guest blogger and has been a great addition to the site. He also writes at his own site called Hazy Divinity He can be contacted by email at: jrhathcockss@gmail.com

Read Full Post »

But Do We Force It On Others

by Jim Gordon

As followers of Jesus, we have a hope within us that is positive. We have a hope of living in fellowship with God, living within the Kingdom of God now and in the future. Because we have this hope, we are often times told we have to share this with others. Have you ever felt guilty because you did not say something to someone about Christ? Do you feel obligated to speak your mind about sin and forgiveness? Do you feel it is your duty as a Christian to force every opportunity into a chance to tell someone about salvation?

Quite frankly, I disagree that we are required to force any conversation or any friendship into a time of evangelism. I agree that some people have the gift of evangelism and should be using that gift to the fullest, all under the guidance of the Spirit. I also feel that not all of us need to be forcing the issue with those we come in contact each day.

As Christians, we are told to love God with all our heart, soul, strength and mind, and to love others as ourselves. When we live our lives each day under the guidance of the Holy Spirit and the love of God, the way we act will be a witness to God’s love, much more than any words we can speak out.

Anyone can speak words…words of condemnation, words of how we should live for God, words against particular sins, but words themselves have no strength. It is the daily life we live allowing the love of God to show through that makes a difference. When we consistently live what we believe, it has more impact than thousands of words.

We need to remember that it is the Holy Spirit that convicts and draws people to God. It is not our job to be condemning people and trying to prove to them that they are sinning against God.

It is written in the Bible that we should live a quiet life, work with our hands and be ready to give an account of the hope that is within us.

1 Thessalonians 4:11, 12 – Do all you can to live a peaceful life. Take care of your own business, and do your own work as we have already told you. If you do, then people who are not believers will respect you, and you will not have to depend on others for what you need. (New Century Version).

1 Peter 3:15 – Through thick and thin, keep your hearts at attention, in adoration before Christ, your Master. Be ready to speak up and tell anyone who asks why you are living the way you are, and always with the utmost courtesy (The Message).

Notice we are told to be ready to speak up when asked. Go about your daily routine, minding your business, living a peaceful life, but be ready at all times to give an answer about salvation and God’s love when someone asks. Only when the Holy Spirit is leading the opportunity and the words will it make an impact on people.

By living in this way, and not forcing our views on others, the words we say will have more meaning to those who are curious enough to ask what the hope is that we have within us.

Jim Gordon and his wife left the institutional church after spending over fifty years within the system. Jim wanted a way to express his thoughts and concerns about the religious system and why he and his wife decided to leave the institution but not their faith in God. Jim can be contacted by email at: jimgordon731@gmail.com

Read Full Post »

By Mike Edwards

Decades ago, I was taught things about God that I couldn’t imagine would be true of a loving God. See here.  I can imagine some had no reason to doubt what authorities were teaching them, which eventually lead to leaving God or making God less a part of their life. Why follow a God you couldn’t respect. Question if what you hear doesn’t seem to be right what a loving God would truly be like. You may be right! These are the main beliefs that nagged at me that I became convinced couldn’t be true of a loving God:

That God created a place such as Hell for those who didn’t accept God in their life here on earth. We human wouldn’t even create such a place and consequences for our worst enemies.

What Does God Believe About Hell?

That God actually believes women were not as gifted as men leading in at worship setting or at home. What Does God Think About Women?

That God condemns gays for a choice they have no control over – being gay. Gays no more than straights choose control being attracted to the same or opposite gender. What Does God Believe About Gays?

That God only lets into heaven those who believe in and accept Jesus into their hearts. Half the world born never had a Bible or knew of Jesus. What Does God Think Of Non-Christian Religions?

That God controlled the minds and pens of the writers of the Bible. A loving God who created freedom can never act controlling. Don’t believe everything the Bible claims God did. What Does God Think About An Inspired Bible?

That God foreknows the future. If God already knows what choices we make, this denies the reality of freedom. God actually joins with us with all the joys and pain of an unknown future. What Does God Know About The Future?

That God is a mystery sometimes, because the Bible contributes immoral behaviors to God. This makes assumptions about the Bible and implies God can be a moral hypocrite – “do as I say not what I do.” What Does God Think About Being Labeled Mysterious Or Hypocritical?

I am grateful for the relationship I have with my Creator, but the emphasis on we are obligated to constantly tell God how great they are doesn’t seem natural or relational. I am convinced God doesn’t like to appear egotistical. What Does God Think About Being Told How Great They Are?

Most would agree the Bible says to forgive. To one’s surprise the Bible can also be interpreted to suggest forgiveness requires regret. It matters what we tell others, especially victims. What Does God Think About Forgiving The Guilty Who Deny Wrongdoing?

The God That Turned Out To Not Be True!

MikeEdwardsprofilepic125

Mike Edwards has been writing for Done with Religion for some time and has been a great addition to the site. Mike also has his own site where he writes that can be found at What God May Really Be Like  He can be contacted by email at: medwar2@gmail.com

Read Full Post »

Or Is There a Better Way?

by Jim Gordon

white book page
Photo by James Coleman on Unsplash

We who are part of the Christian faith have a lot of terminology we use, but often do not think about the real meaning. Rather than continue to use some of these phrases, we should stop and think about what we really mean.

If you have been around church very long, one such phrase you have probably heard is we want to live a ‘biblical life’ or ‘we are a biblical church’. At first this sounds good and spiritual, but after thinking about it a little, these are a couple of the phrases we may want to reconsider.

What Do We Mean by Biblical Living?

The Bible can be very confusing and sometimes mentions ways of life that do not seem very Christ-like. Biblical living can also seem very different from the life of Jesus. By biblical living, I am talking about reading the Bible with the thought that every written word is literal, inerrant and directly from the hand of God, no questions asked. It also means we read the Bible based on modern times and do not take into effect that customs, words and times have changed over the centuries.

Biblical living often means we follow a pastor who we look to as a middle man or woman between God and us. We take the pastor’s interpretations and views without really thinking for ourselves.

Biblical living has led to slavery, murder, the dark ages, witch hunts, the crusades and various forms of hatred, exclusion and discrimination.

Biblical living can vary according to church doctrine and personal interpretation, which has led to thousands of different denominations. This of course leads to division among the brethren.

Organizations such as the KKK came into being, with its hatred and discrimination against people of color partly due to what was read in the Bible. Some information on the KKK and Christianity was listed at gotquestions.org and you can read about it at this link.

Another issue that can be found in the Bible is the acceptance of slavery. Christianity Today ran an article discussing slavery which can be read at this link.

Living a biblical life can easily lead to discrimination against women. Women were considered property in the middle east and had no individual rights. Even in our world today, at one-point women did not have the rights that men had, and still endure many inequalities to this day.

grayscale photo of group of people performing rally on street
Photo by Giacomo Ferroni on Unsplash

Biblical living required that a woman caught in adultery be stoned.

Biblical living required a woman who was not a virgin on her wedding night to be executed.

Biblical living can lead to the killing of children. We read passages about how children should be killed for doing certain things, such as in Leviticus where it is written that if a child is rebellious, he should be stoned.

Biblical living required people abstain from certain foods and fabrics, it restricted what people could do on certain days and a host of other rules and laws.

There are passages that condone having multiple wives, restrict women from teaching in the institutional church and that discriminate against those who are LGBTQ.

Clearly, biblical living can take effort on our part in trying to interpret and follow each Bible verse literally. Of course, the problem is which interpretation or which doctrine do we determine to be the correct one?

Biblical Living Seems So Hateful

So often the religious world seems to be so hateful toward those who are different. Religion says do not associate or accept those that do not agree or measure up; stay away from those who are sinful and unworthy.

We often read that God told the Israelites to completely wipe out and destroy certain groups of people due to the way they acted or believed.

I personally think God is highly misrepresented in the Bible, especially the Old Testament. I think many times when men wrote that God said this or that, it was more of what they wanted to do rather than God actually telling them to do such horrible acts. They would do what they wanted, then say God told them to do it.

Should We Disregard the Bible

By saying all this, does that mean the Bible is not important? Should we ignore it and stop reading it? Of course not. The Bible is inspired and written by men who experienced God and walked with Jesus. The Holy Spirit can enlighten the words written and can lead us to the Living Word of God who is Jesus. The Bible is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction and for instruction in righteousness.

The problem is when we elevate the Bible to being equal to God or make it more important than the Spirit who lives within us. Many people seem to think of the trinity as the Father, Son and Holy Bible.

When we think about all the killing, discrimination and injustices that are done based on people’s interpretation of the Bible, we should begin to question why this is. Could it be that biblical living really is not what we want? I believe there is a better way of living our lives for God, and that is Christ-like living.

What is Christ-like Living?

Christ-like living is following the example of Jesus. We can find out how Jesus lived and treated people as we read the gospels in the Bible. Rather than living by man’s doctrine and interpretations, or by exact adherence to biblical verses, we look to the Holy Spirit who lives within us. The Bible can be very helpful in how we live and how we love God and others when the Spirit reveals the truth to us.

love one another chalk written on concrete floor
Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

We know that Christ-like living showed mercy and grace to the woman caught in adultery. We also know that Jesus did not ignore or look down upon women. He associated with them and treated them as equals.

We know that Christ-like living did not murder.

We know that Christ-like living provides freedom.

We know that Christ-like living does not judge, condemn, discriminate nor exclude.

In direct opposition to biblical living, Christ-like living puts all the effort on Christ. Jesus said to take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart and you will find rest for your souls.

We do not hear very much taught about the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus seems to contradict many of the biblical sayings during this teaching. Jesus often said ‘you have heard that it was said this or that, but I tell you this’. Jesus was saying the he had authority over the written word. Of course, we know from John 1:1 and 1:14 that Jesus is the Word of God. The Bible is a written account about God, but does not have the power and authority of Jesus who is the Word of God.

In his article, Why You Should Run from “Bible Believing Churches”, Adam Ericksen states the following:

The Bible contains human testimony about how God works in the world, but it is not God’s inerrant Word. The Bible points beyond itself to God, and in the New Testament, to the God revealed in Jesus. The Bible even claims that Jesus is the Word of God, not the Bible itself.

Jesus warned people about elevating the Bible above himself. “You search the scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that testify on my behalf. Yet you refuse to come to me to have life.”

In Conclusion

Jesus came into the world for the purpose of showing us what God is really like. The way Jesus lived seems like such a contradiction to some of the ways of biblical living we see in our world. Jesus showed us that God is love by the way he loved and accepted people. The same people that many in the religious world condemned, would not associate with and found completely unworthy to be loved.

Christ-like living is based on love. Jesus said to love God and love one another. Since we have the Spirit of God living within us, we know we can act from love in how we treat one another.

In Christ, we can be free from biblical living to live a Christ-like life because of the grace of God. We do this by following the leading and guidance of the Holy Spirit who lives within us.

Christ-like living is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. This is certainly a better way to live and follow Jesus compared to some of the biblical ways we have been taught.

Jim Gordon and his wife left the institutional church after spending over fifty years within the system. Jim wanted a way to express his thoughts and concerns about the religious system and why he and his wife decided to leave the institution but not their faith in God. Jim can be contacted by email at: jimgordon731@gmail.com

Read Full Post »

By Mike Edwards

I am not going to attempt to answer this question with Bible verses. Most would agree the Bible says to forgive. To one’s surprise the Bible can also be interpreted to suggest forgiveness requires regret. It isn’t too presumptuous to imagine what a loving God is like through our moral intuitions, our consciences. We aren’t always certain how to best love, but most sense that we or a Creator ought to love others as we want to be loved.

Why it matters whether to tell others to forgive or not

Victims can feel more victimized, and feel God must not understand their pain, when told to forgive their abuser no matter what. What is there to forgive when one denies wrongdoing? Easy forgiveness can allow a husband’s abusive behavior to continue. When a sexual abuser doesn’t acknowledge their actions, secret behaviors continue. Isn’t the whole point to do whatever helps control bitterness and stop more victimization, though forgiveness doesn’t wash away memories.

The Bible surprisingly says to not forgive sometimes

One may be surprised to see the Bible can also be read to suggest forgiveness requires regret thus admission. The implication is we don’t necessarily have to forgive those who lie about their actions. God is said to forgive if we forgive others (Mt. 6:14-15). Forgive if they repent (Lk. 17:3). God in the OT is often said to not forgive the rebellious (i.e. Josh. 24:19). It’s hard to defend a loving Creator would ask us to do something God doesn’t – forgive the unrepentant.

The Bible isn’t a question-and-answer Book

My point is not to insist one should or shouldn’t forgive in their circumstances. Usually, there are different opinions on meaning and application of the same passage. The Bible was never meant to be a rules book but for reflection in one’s circumstances. “Turning the other cheek” doesn’t mean a women should accept abuse at the hands of her husband. The Bible is valuable because it suggests not always handling certain circumstances naturally, humanly-speaking. Bitterness or revenge can worsen a victim’s circumstances.

But Jesus said to turn the other cheek (Mt. 5:39)

Some scholars suggest Jesus advising to “turn the other cheek” (Mt 5:39) was illustrating how to respond to insults, not that we can never respond to violence against us or others. Other scholars have suggested a possible literal translation of Mt. 5:39 is “do not resist by evil means.” This doesn’t mean nations can’t defend against evil dictators. Jesus often used hyperbole for emphasis without stating exceptions. It seems best to neither seek vengeance nor to ignore possible justice. If one is truly sorry, shouldn’t they readily admit their guilt?

When do we forgive?

For some forgiving can cause feelings of further victimization and bitterness; for others forgiving can control bitterness and possible acts of revenge. Many may be haunted with thoughts whether they must forgive their violator at the urging of others. We are free to make the wisest choice we know without being guilted by others about God. God may not be as non-empathetic as thought. Consider forgiveness if one admits guilt and seeks to make amends. Whether a future relationship is possible depends. Seek the mind of God what actions in relationship difficulties lead to your best interest in the long-run in a world full of disappointments.

What Does God Think About Forgiving The Guilty Who Deny Wrongdoing?

MikeEdwardsprofilepic125

Mike Edwards has been writing for Done with Religion for some time and has been a great addition to the site. Mike also has his own site where he writes that can be found at What God May Really Be Like  He can be contacted by email at: medwar2@gmail.com

Read Full Post »

by Jim Gordon

It is so hard to believe how fast time flies by. For my wife and I, as 2021 came to an end our participation with the organized church finished its ninth year. 

After so many years of feeling dissatisfied with organized religion, we decided to make a break from the traditions, rules, regulations and doctrines we each grew up learning. After nine years, we still believe we made the right choice. 

It can be a scary decision to stop attending something that has been part of your life since you can remember. So many friends do not understand why we made this decision. So many people feel we are wrong and have fallen from grace. 

Now let me say, neither of us think there is anything wrong with participating in the church system. We do think we need to call it as it is, church is not a building or place we meet God. The Church is made up of each of us as followers of Christ. It is a way of life that goes on day by day, anywhere, anytime. God says we are now His temple and He lives within us, not a building made by hands.

Happy new year 2022 2927225 Vector Art at Vecteezy

Looking to the new year, we see it as a time of new beginnings with our walk with God. Another year to share the love of God with people we meet each day. We see this as a new start away from old covenant, law-based, man led religion. It is continuing to walk with Jesus as our friend and partner in the grace and freedom He provided. 

It is a walk consisting of loving God and loving others. Accepting and loving the people we come in contact with each day. It is not a set of rules to follow, or things we need to do to be a better Christian. 

It is coming to realize that what we do or do not do, does not make a difference in our relationship to God. It is letting Christ live through us and letting His love touch people. It is knowing that Christ paid the price for our salvation. It is learning to live by grace, and grace alone and not by adding law and works. 

After so many years of ‘going to church’ each Sunday, we are still learning where this path will lead us, but we know that we both feel closer to God. We feel a new dependency on fellowship with God and with our fellow believers. We also feel a renewed sense of excitement now that we are out of the box of organized religion. 

We continually look forward to see where God takes us and how He will touch people with His love as we walk with Him day by day.

Jim Gordon and his wife left the institutional church after spending over fifty years within the system. Jim wanted a way to express his thoughts and concerns about the religious system and why he and his wife decided to leave the institution but not their faith in God. Jim can be contacted by email at: jimgordon731@gmail.com

Read Full Post »

By Mike Edwards

Christians can make faith too complicated. They insist on a set of beliefs or saying a magic prayer. It is said you can’t just believe there is a God. After all the Devil believes there is a God! But the Devil was committed to opposing God. Even the Bible doesn’t declare faith to be a set of beliefs but hope in what you can’t see. (Heb 11:1) Do you hope/believe in a good God and want help to be more the person you deep down desire to be? Then, I am convinced God welcomes you.

You don’t have to accept the Bible when contradicts your moral inclinations 

I have written a great deal about RETHINKING THE BIBLE  Certain views of the Bible has kept many from following God. The Bible can’t be the authoritative guide about God because we disagree what it says about many moral issues including Hell, gays, women’s roles, etc. And even if our interpretations were infallible, we can’t be sure the biblical writers always knew or portrayed God accurately. Honestly, I trust my moral intuitions more than I do any biblical interpretation. 

You don’t have to be a church-goer 

In the Bible “Church” was not a building one attended once a week. Jesus referred to His followers as being the Church. Jesus didn’t specify where followers must gather or what they must do. Find environments to be encouraged and inspired to love as radically as Jesus did. A mediator between God and you such as a pastor or priest isn’t necessary. Pursue God on your own terms. Do not feel God thinks any less of you if decide to not attend the traditional church.

What did Jesus mean when said “follow me?” 

Jesus didn’t ask the disciples for certain commitments before following Him. He certainly didn’t ask for unshakable belief. Some of the disciple didn’t believe Jesus’ resurrection talk until had physical proof. If you saw someone die on a Cross and alive days later, you may believe too. Yes, Jesus also said: “Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.” (Mt 10:38) Was Jesus supposed to say “remain self-centered because that will lead to happiness?” Jesus didn’t reject those who didn’t instantly go all-in. If wanting to live for the Devil, then don’t follow Jesus.

What specific changes might Jesus be looking for?

If reading this and wanting to have more of a relationship with God, I bet you are in the club. When one asked Jesus how to have eternal life, He simply said to love God and your neighbor (Lk.10:25-37). Loving God is loving your neighbor. If you desire a legacy for being known for loving others like you want to be loved, you are a candidate to take the leap of faith and follow God. My hunch about what Jesus was thinking when challenging others to take up their cross – not what we can do for God but watch what I can do for you if you are seeking changes for good.

What do you have to lose taking the leap of faith?

I dare you to challenge God. If God claims to love us and guide us, God should be able to convince you over time they are worth following. You may be able to do it on your own, but I need all the help I can get. God through their influence has made me a better man, husband, father, and friend or at least better than if on my own. I have experienced God’s encouragement to continually strive to be better. I got nothing to lose except selfishness and a lousy legacy. A godly life lived is never in vain!

What Do I Have To Change To Be A True Follower Of God?

MikeEdwardsprofilepic125

Mike Edwards has been writing for Done with Religion for some time and has been a great addition to the site. Mike also has his own site where he writes that can be found at What God May Really Be Like  He can be contacted by email at: medwar2@gmail.com

Read Full Post »

Randy Scobey

Let's have the courage to be ourselves, together

The Sons are Free

Matthew 17:26

Frozen in the Fire

Rising up through Grace

Writer Dylan Morrison

Fascinated by the Nazarene but unimpressed by religion!

Follow Your Arrow

Unashamed of who God made us to be, and unapologetic in our pursuit of God and our purpose in His kingdom

Blind Injustice

Injustices we may not be aware of

Sophia's Essays

This is where I post my essays, primarily about LGBTQ+ issues, politics, and Christian theology.

DB Art

Our natural world has a unique beauty to behold. I bring it to you in a perspective you've never seen before.

Hazy Divinity

Welcome To The Party

Candice Czubernat

A leading voice in the LGBTQ and Christian dialogue

Our Journeys Matter! - Posts

Done with Religion ... Not Done with God

Ally's Notebook

Thoughts To Share

Life of a Prodigal

Searching for Truth outside the church walls

What God May Really Be Like - Misbeliefs About God

To those done with religion but not God and my kids (Click FOLLOW for future Posts; See ABOUT/USING THIS SITE tab to navigate Site)

Christy Lynne Wood

Looking for the Real God

Confessions of a Recovering Churchboy

What I bought before, I just can't sell

Intermission

Reflections in the midst of life.

She Seeks Nonfiction

A skeptic's quest for books, science, & humanism

The Wild Frontier

The search for infinite Truth and the invincible Love of an incredible God.

A Wilderness Voice

"The glory of this latter house shall be greater than of the former, says the LORD of hosts: and in this place will I give peace, says the LORD of hosts." (Hag 2:9)

What does the word God mean to you now?

It's been a long journey - so far!

Entering the Promised Land

by walking in the Spirit

Beyond Church Walls

Done with Religion ... Not Done with God

Escape to Reality

Explore the wide spaces of God's amazing grace

%d bloggers like this: