Evangelical "lust" - Is Humility a virtue or a sin? How about Vanity?

Jun 2013
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I said grand churches 'mirror' god's grandeur. Human artistic expression was never meant to equal or surpass god's grandeur. It does, however, try to emulate that grandeur as befits mankind's role as co-author of creation.



I do not begrudge anyone their opinions. I am merely speaking in behalf of catholicism from what I understand of it. People express faith very differently. As long as this is an honest expression, then it's all good.

In fact, I would go further and say that the belief in some transcendent and immutable good is a form of faith. After all, what is god if not a good that is personified in our minds?



What can I say? A church, like the state, is a form of political association hence the practical necessities in perpetuating the association is parallel, if not the same. Neither is perfect. But they are necessary, if we imagine human existence, as we know it, to continue.

Based on your responses, I do not believe you actually comprehended much, if not most of what I said, in many ways similar to the point I was trying to make about observing people that attend church on a regular basis, read the bible and admonish their children for anything that would make them miss going to church, then do the complete opposite of the general theme of Christ's teachings. It is as if they were told that HAD TO go to church, they HAD TO believe in Christ/God.....but they were never taught to actually hear and listen to the sermons, ponder the meaning of the Bible or why some believe or do not believe in Christ, much less god(s) of any sort and if those people might still be a part of God's creation. They never seemed to get the meaning of confession aside from some thought that it was meant as a weekly reset of their "innocence" so they could then return to pursuing the same sins they went to confession to ask forgiveness for. In other words, what I was witnessing seemed to in many ways be disconnected from the very lessons of or meaning of Christ and something that had become systematic and by rote and required or in many ways discouraged any pondering or questioning of faith OR the organized religion and its associates. All I could see was obedience to church dogma and rules, not actual comprehensive thought contemplation and absorption of Christ's teachings. I saw people there because they would be scorned if they were not, as a social event (nothing wrong with that, but seems that's all it was to many) and that other than following the churches rules, the actual lessons of Christ seemed somewhat immaterial and unimportant, at least as far as actually paying more attention to them, than church rules and regulations, was concerned.

These are all not only my observances, but some who were members of the Catholic church, who left for many of the reasons I have cited.

I begrudge no one any belief in anything, as long as their beliefs do not lead to harm to themselves or anyone else. That includes those who do not believe in god(s) or varieties of religion. It seems ironic for those of the Christian religion to judge who or who is not worthy of their god's graces, while at the same time, having faith that their god is the ONLY judge of such things and to recognize the story of Satan/Lucifer and the angel that fell from grace and why.

It is similar to those who seem to be or admit to be trying to force an Armageddon sort of event, somehow under the vain assumption God will judge them to come out on the better side. Wouldn't they be in for a surprise if God said, they assumed wrong, at least in part, because they assumed to know how God would judge them or how they have judged others, in God's stead?

The same with thinking about those people that interpret faith in God as God being everywhere, not just in cathedrals and gold gilded cities dedicated to what some humans think he represents.

If God is everywhere and faith is about how anyone perceives and believes in an entity they refer to as the creator of the universe, then what really IS the need for churches? People can gather together by choice (or choose not to) under God's sky, no less than they can in a man made structure. They can help the needy without an intermediary that pays themselves grand "management" or preaching sums...... No doubt, all humans must eat, including those of the cloth, but while so many have taken vows to devote themselves to Christ/God and live minimally to earthy ways and existence, others who also believe in Christ, live in virtual palaces, gilded in gold or as in some other Christian faiths, not associated with Catholicism, live in the lap of luxury, in some cases provided for, by the "faithful", but poor who are known statistically, to give more as a portion of their "wealth" than those who are very wealthy, perhaps setting a better example of the teachings of Christ than the greedy, gluttonous wealthy do.

Irony abounds when it comes to organized religions and especially Christianity. Missionaries have been a part of the history of Christianity for centuries, as a mean to get people to become Christians, yet the NUMEROUS denominations of Christianity, have spent centuries fighting about which is to dominate. This even continues within the framework of U.S. government as in which of the larger branches within Christianity will dominate the overall Christian faith and as such dominate the policies of American or any government.
 
Jan 2007
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Based on your responses, I do not believe you actually comprehended much, if not most of what I said, in many ways similar to the point I was trying to make about observing people that attend church on a regular basis, read the bible and admonish their children for anything that would make them miss going to church, then do the complete opposite of the general theme of Christ's teachings.
Sorry but are you saying I do not comprehend what you are saying or I do not comprehend what the church is saying?

Most of what you say here, I have already questioned in 11 years of catechism.

It is as if they were told that HAD TO go to church, they HAD TO believe in Christ/God.....but they were never taught to actually hear and listen to the sermons, ponder the meaning of the Bible or why some believe or do not believe in Christ, much less god(s) of any sort and if those people might still be a part of God's creation. They never seemed to get the meaning of confession aside from some thought that it was meant as a weekly reset of their "innocence" so they could then return to pursuing the same sins they went to confession to ask forgiveness for. In other words, what I was witnessing seemed to in many ways be disconnected from the very lessons of or meaning of Christ and something that had become systematic and by rote and required or in many ways discouraged any pondering or questioning of faith OR the organized religion and its associates. All I could see was obedience to church dogma and rules, not actual comprehensive thought contemplation and absorption of Christ's teachings. I saw people there because they would be scorned if they were not, as a social event (nothing wrong with that, but seems that's all it was to many) and that other than following the churches rules, the actual lessons of Christ seemed somewhat immaterial and unimportant, at least as far as actually paying more attention to them, than church rules and regulations, was concerned.
Again, these questions are tackled in catechism, which is assumed you already know. If you do not receive catechism, how are you supposed to understand a sermon?

You seem to be grappling with issues that are deeply theological. Not everyone is looking to argue an ontological point. For most people, faith provides a comfort that cannot be had from a philosophical debate.

These are all not only my observances, but some who were members of the Catholic church, who left for many of the reasons I have cited.
That is unfortunate. If you are really grappling about church dogma, the church has a 2000 years-old history in philosophical thought that is there at your disposal.

I begrudge no one any belief in anything, as long as their beliefs do not lead to harm to themselves or anyone else. That includes those who do not believe in god(s) or varieties of religion. It seems ironic for those of the Christian religion to judge who or who is not worthy of their god's graces, while at the same time, having faith that their god is the ONLY judge of such things and to recognize the story of Satan/Lucifer and the angel that fell from grace and why.

It is similar to those who seem to be or admit to be trying to force an Armageddon sort of event, somehow under the vain assumption God will judge them to come out on the better side. Wouldn't they be in for a surprise if God said, they assumed wrong, at least in part, because they assumed to know how God would judge them or how they have judged others, in God's stead?
I agree. The gospel is supposed to be 'good news'. It is a religion that is accessible to anyone who wants it. It teaches about a god who has already forgiven you long before you have done anything that requires forgiveness. And all that it requires from the individual is to be honest with the dictates of his conscience.

And still, you wish to focus on the ritual instead of the truth that lies behind it. These rituals are not absolutely necessary. What is absolutely necessary -- the grace conferred on the individual -- is already there.

Personally, I do not get where exactly is this fire and brimstone talk coming from. And so I do not listen much to people who finds it necessary to talk this way.

The same with thinking about those people that interpret faith in God as God being everywhere, not just in cathedrals and gold gilded cities dedicated to what some humans think he represents.

If God is everywhere and faith is about how anyone perceives and believes in an entity they refer to as the creator of the universe, then what really IS the need for churches? People can gather together by choice (or choose not to) under God's sky, no less than they can in a man made structure.
If you really wish to be strict about it, the church is the people of god. That's basic catechism. So I do not understand where your insistence of a physical structure is coming from.

In fact, this definition is large enough to accommodate EVERYONE, including the muslim, jew, buddhist and even the atheist. Everyone possess within himself, the semina verbi. That is why it is called catholic. It is universal.

They can help the needy without an intermediary that pays themselves grand "management" or preaching sums...... No doubt, all humans must eat, including those of the cloth, but while so many have taken vows to devote themselves to Christ/God and live minimally to earthy ways and existence, others who also believe in Christ, live in virtual palaces, gilded in gold or as in some other Christian faiths, not associated with Catholicism, live in the lap of luxury, in some cases provided for, by the "faithful", but poor who are known statistically, to give more as a portion of their "wealth" than those who are very wealthy, perhaps setting a better example of the teachings of Christ than the greedy, gluttonous wealthy do.

Irony abounds when it comes to organized religions and especially Christianity. Missionaries have been a part of the history of Christianity for centuries, as a mean to get people to become Christians, yet the NUMEROUS denominations of Christianity, have spent centuries fighting about which is to dominate. This even continues within the framework of U.S. government as in which of the larger branches within Christianity will dominate the overall Christian faith and as such dominate the policies of American or any government.
You are already questioning certain social and political realities, the answers to which I'm sure you already know. Suffice to say that the church is a temporal organization that deals with other-worldly existence. Is it immune to social realities? No. But then again, show me a temporal organization that is.
 
Jun 2013
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Sorry but are you saying I do not comprehend what you are saying or I do not comprehend what the church is saying?

Most of what you say here, I have already questioned in 11 years of catechism.



Again, these questions are tackled in catechism, which is assumed you already know. If you do not receive catechism, how are you supposed to understand a sermon?

You seem to be grappling with issues that are deeply theological. Not everyone is looking to argue an ontological point. For most people, faith provides a comfort that cannot be had from a philosophical debate.



That is unfortunate. If you are really grappling about church dogma, the church has a 2000 years-old history in philosophical thought that is there at your disposal.



I agree. The gospel is supposed to be 'good news'. It is a religion that is accessible to anyone who wants it. It teaches about a god who has already forgiven you long before you have done anything that requires forgiveness. And all that it requires from the individual is to be honest with the dictates of his conscience.

And still, you wish to focus on the ritual instead of the truth that lies behind it. These rituals are not absolutely necessary. What is absolutely necessary -- the grace conferred on the individual -- is already there.

Personally, I do not get where exactly is this fire and brimstone talk coming from. And so I do not listen much to people who finds it necessary to talk this way.



If you really wish to be strict about it, the church is the people of god. That's basic catechism. So I do not understand where your insistence of a physical structure is coming from.

In fact, this definition is large enough to accommodate EVERYONE, including the muslim, jew, buddhist and even the atheist. Everyone possess within himself, the semina verbi. That is why it is called catholic. It is universal.



You are already questioning certain social and political realities, the answers to which I'm sure you already know. Suffice to say that the church is a temporal organization that deals with other-worldly existence. Is it immune to social realities? No. But then again, show me a temporal organization that is.

Again, you demonstrate that you fail to hear and comprehend what I have said and become defensive, even as you agree.

It is not I that insists on the structural, both literal and metaphoric, but those people of the church that insist or demand it, in order to remain a person of the church. Excommunication is not the figment of someone's imagination, but something that is in some ways, defiant of Christ's teachings and that all people are "god's creation". How does one believe in Christ, then reject those who do not "obey"? How do people believe God is the only judge, then pass judgement in his stead or as his proxy, in his name?

My focus on the ritual is focusing on those that focus on the ritual, instead of all the ritual is surrounding. If you heard and comprehended what I have been saying, I am saying in my observation and the observation of some Catholics, the focus of the church and many who claim to belong to the church appears to be MORE on the ritual than on what the ritual surrounds, which are the teachings of Christ.God. As I have been saying, parents focus more on whether their children attend church than whether they live according to Christ's teachings, they care more about weekly absolution than living according to the teachings of Christ and not repeating the same sins they seek weekly absolution for. The rituals are going through the motions for many, not thinking about the teachings of Christ. In short, many have been turned off by the focus on dogma, the focus on ritual, rather than comprehensive and conscious thought of why someone is sitting in church, rising, kneeling and praying in practiced ritual and being preached to, rather than interacting or having to express any sort of deep and sincere understanding and articulation of why they believe in Christ/God and give thought as to how they live according to those teachings or question where they might see contradictions in scripture or the behavior of people that claim to believe in the teachings of Christ/God that appears to defy those teachings, rather than support them.

There seems irony in the thought that there is perhaps no certain or set way to believe in Christ/God, yet there are more Christian denominations than anyone can count and many of them, contending as Catholicism by its definition would like to suggest, claim to be and compete, to be THE way to "believe" in Christ. These competitions for adherents and adherence, seem to render Christ's teachings secondary to which organized religious belief in Christ is to dominate, not only the world of Christian belief/faith, but political influence. In another bit of irony, the many divisions of the Christian faith, do not portray a lot of unity when it comes to what Christianity was all about. This combined with people who sit and hear sermons about the teachings of Christ, then go out and defy those teachings, by doing things like seeking revenge, loving only their brethren, hating, instead of loving their enemies, discrimination, all have turned many off to organized religion. They have not lost their faith in Christ, God or gods, but in some humans that claim to believe in them, then act in ways that do not align with their beliefs.

Sadly some, "churches" or denominations either deny this or delude themselves that loss of numbers in their congregation are due to the something other than what they are told are the reasons for losing members. The books of the Bible speak of humility as a virtue, yet it would seem failure to have enough humility to exercise sincere and honest introspection, fails to demonstrate one believes humility and introspection are virtuous.

A business that fails to take the time to investigate complaints about their products and flaws in them, risks going out of business, as compared to those that take complaints seriously, investigate them and make good on them and improve their products. Churches or religious organizations that continue to ignore why they are losing members, risk going out of business, as well. The difficulty some religions have is change, as they have spent centuries in some cases, presenting dogma, is difficult for them to do an about face on, since they presented some of it as connected to God. It makes it somewhat difficult to then suggest, God suddenly sent down a message that he changed his mind. That can be understood, but it also tends to accentuate how man made much, if not all dogma, is.

Basically I believe more and more people who would otherwise "belong" to specific organized Christian "religion", are looking for something more spiritual than ritual, more humble, honest and introspective, than competitive for dominance in adherents and adherence. Again, this all circles back to the questions of humility and vanity or the notion that one need not possess the capacity to be humble and apply honest and sincerely introspection that would equal their critique of anyone else. In short, how many of us trul critique ourselves (practice introspection) in the same manner we critique some others? How often do we even attempt to see ourselves from the outside, looking at us, the same as we look at others?
 
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Jan 2007
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Again, you demonstrate that you fail to hear and comprehend what I have said and become defensive, even as you agree.

It is not I that insists on the structural, both literal and metaphoric, but those people of the church that insist or demand it, in order to remain a person of the church. Excommunication is not the figment of someone's imagination, but something that is in some ways, defiant of Christ's teachings and that all people are "god's creation". How does one believe in Christ, then reject those who do not "obey"? How do people believe God is the only judge, then pass judgement in his stead or as his proxy, in his name?
The church's temporal authority comes from these:

Matthew 16:18

18And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build Mychurch, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it. 19I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”

Matthew 28:18-20

18And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, 20teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

and John 14,15 and 16 (too lengthy to post).

And even then, the catholic church does not presume to hold power over an individual's conscience. What you conscience dictates is between you and god -- no one else. What the church teaches, it does so from it's magesterium (teaching authority). If you're conscience does not permit you to follow church teaching, it is fine as long as your objection is genuinely and honestly conscientious. If you do follow church teaching contrary to your conscience, then it is under the understanding that you accept the former's superiority over the latter.

My focus on the ritual is focusing on those that focus on the ritual, instead of all the ritual is surrounding. If you heard and comprehended what I have been saying, I am saying in my observation and the observation of some Catholics, the focus of the church and many who claim to belong to the church appears to be MORE on the ritual than on what the ritual surrounds, which are the teachings of Christ.God. As I have been saying, parents focus more on whether their children attend church than whether they live according to Christ's teachings, they care more about weekly absolution than living according to the teachings of Christ and not repeating the same sins they seek weekly absolution for. The rituals are going through the motions for many, not thinking about the teachings of Christ. In short, many have been turned off by the focus on dogma, the focus on ritual, rather than comprehensive and conscious thought of why someone is sitting in church, rising, kneeling and praying in practiced ritual and being preached to, rather than interacting or having to express any sort of deep and sincere understanding and articulation of why they believe in Christ/God and give thought as to how they live according to those teachings or question where they might see contradictions in scripture or the behavior of people that claim to believe in the teachings of Christ/God that appears to defy those teachings, rather than support them.
As I have told you, a sacrament is an outward manifestation of a hidden and higher truth -- something that god conveys to the individual ALONE.

You want to take the eucharist and be instantly transformed? For some, it happens. For most of us, it is a long and difficult process.

There seems irony in the thought that there is perhaps no certain or set way to believe in Christ/God, yet there are more Christian denominations than anyone can count and many of them, contending as Catholicism by its definition would like to suggest, claim to be and compete, to be THE way to "believe" in Christ. These competitions for adherents and adherence, seem to render Christ's teachings secondary to which organized religious belief in Christ is to dominate, not only the world of Christian belief/faith, but political influence. In another bit of irony, the many divisions of the Christian faith, do not portray a lot of unity when it comes to what Christianity was all about. This combined with people who sit and hear sermons about the teachings of Christ, then go out and defy those teachings, by doing things like seeking revenge, loving only their brethren, hating, instead of loving their enemies, discrimination, all have turned many off to organized religion. They have not lost their faith in Christ, God or gods, but in some humans that claim to believe in them, then act in ways that do not align with their beliefs.
I'm sorry but you seem to be suggesting that religion is a quick fix. I do not know of any religion that is like that.

And yes, there exist a deep schism between christian denominations today. But if you really look at the basic belief of christians, you see how very small and insignificant the differences are as compared to what they have in common. So what if mary wasn't a virgin? So what if there really isn't a 'communion of saints'. So what if jesus isn't really god at all? After all, we already share a common morality. What does it matter what another person believes in the privacy of his own thoughts?

Sadly some, "churches" or denominations either deny this or delude themselves that loss of numbers in their congregation are due to the something other than what they are told are the reasons for losing members. The books of the Bible speak of humility as a virtue, yet it would seem failure to have enough humility to exercise sincere and honest introspection, fails to demonstrate one believes humility and introspection are virtuous.
It seems that it is you who do not understand what you are talking about. You keep harping on the political nature of a church when the fact of the matter is -- it is within an individual's consent that a church's powers arise. You are criticizing that church leaders aren't perfect. Who the hell is, anyway?

The truth is, the church is the inheritor of two very different traditions -- the petrine and pauline traditions. It's up to you to choose a preference -- bearing in mind that what appeals to you isn't necessarily what would appeal to another.

A business that fails to take the time to investigate complaints about their products and flaws in them, risks going out of business, as compared to those that take complaints seriously, investigate them and make good on them and improve their products. Churches or religious organizations that continue to ignore why they are losing members, risk going out of business, as well. The difficulty some religions have is change, as they have spent centuries in some cases, presenting dogma, is difficult for them to do an about face on, since they presented some of it as connected to God. It makes it somewhat difficult to then suggest, God suddenly sent down a message that he changed his mind. That can be understood, but it also tends to accentuate how man made much, if not all dogma, is.

Basically I believe more and more people who would otherwise "belong" to specific organized Christian "religion", are looking for something more spiritual than ritual, more humble, honest and introspective, than competitive for dominance in adherents and adherence. Again, this all circles back to the questions of humility and vanity or the notion that one need not possess the capacity to be humble and apply honest and sincerely introspection that would equal their critique of anyone else. In short, how many of us trul critique ourselves (practice introspection) in the same manner we critique some others? How often do we even attempt to see ourselves from the outside, looking at us, the same as we look at others?
What is up with membership, anyway? Are you really going to live your life radically different if you were a protestant and not catholic? The difference is a mere kink in history that occurred hundreds of years ago, fyi.
 
May 2012
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Why do you guys think we Christians voted for Trump as some sort of savior?

We didn't.

That is all coming from you folks.

You do know that Christians can do things where God is not involved don't you?

And that includes politics.
 

Blues63

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Finally I have satified in my mind that you live each day the best you can, be kind, help others, and enjoy.
Admirable, and that is my philosophy as well. Simply be kind, do the right thing, be generous and avoid selfishness and greed and I don't need threats about deprivation of treats from the supernatural to do it.
 
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Blues63

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Why do you guys think we Christians voted for Trump as some sort of savior?

We didn't.

That is all coming from you folks.
Whoever stated thus? The theme I get from the argument is how could Christians support such a obviously vile, selfish and mendacious individual? I never read that anyone thought he was the 'saviour'. I too, find it quite dichotomous knowing the dogma of the church.

What next? Will Satan be rehabilitated and presented as misunderstood to serve some purpose?
 
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May 2012
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Whoever stated thus? The theme I get from the argument is how could Christians support such a obviously vile, selfish and mendacious individual? I never read that anyone thought he was the 'saviour'. I too, find it quite dichotomous knowing the dogma of the church.

What next? Will Satan be rehabilitated and presented as misunderstood to serve some purpose?
Trump has very many faults but we as Christians still have to vote for someone.

That does not mean we support his behavior or condone it however.

As the left would have us believe.

Liberals seem to think that every choice Christians make has to do with God and that's simply not true.
 
Sep 2013
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Have you ever heard of the "Church of the Blue Sky" MaryAnne? While "Blue Sky" has been adopted and incorporated into some actual church names.......there is an informal meaning that essentially takes the notion that god, including a Christian God, is everywhere and everywhere is his church. Nature is literally "God's Country" and his "creation", perhaps more so than man made structures. Included in that is the notion that god, does not care where one thinks about him/her or prays. When young, I would attend Catholic services with a friend, when they were still performed using Latin. I looked around and couldn't help notice how people were doing things by rote, no so much with sincerity and with any consciousness of what they were hearing, absorbing or comprehending, in large part, because most there, could not understand Latin, but they went through the motions and just being in church seemed to be the most important thing of all. Miss church!!???? Oh man, were you a DEEP sinner......yet that does NOT make sense, but for the notion of adherence to attention of a specific church (and the collection plate?) .....if one believes god was the creator of all things, is all seeing and all knowing. Why not communicate with god in the midst of his creation, rather inside a human creation?

I don't know if you have read the book "A Soldier of the Great War" by Mark Helprin.....a long, somewhat surreal, but captivating book (for some) about WWI and Italy. In it there is a small story about how the protagonist, a mountain climber (a lot of WWI was fought in the Dolomite Mountains in Italy) and as a boy, he would climb churches for practice........ He speaks of the irony of how he felt closer to God in the mountains than when he was climbing the sides of churches and the priests would yell at him for doing so, In many ways that epitomizes how in some ways organized religion works against itself and the notion of its gods, even to the point of contradicting what they are teaching in sermons and worshiping. Many young people, as well as thoughtful and honest people of all ages, have become turned off by the hypocrisy of some religious leaders, the dogma and contradictory interpretations of belief when compared to scripture and the overall and general scheme of the vast majority of Christ's teachings as related by the authors of the New Testament, taken with the Old...........

Unfortunately, there always seems to have been those who recognized a way to exploit some of the most profound beliefs (religious) any humans have.....and those believes are founded in faith that god(s) do indeed exist......Who can take that faith away anymore than anyone can take away someone's faith that there are no such things as god(s)? Those who recognized a way to exploit those who have faith in god(s) also recognized a means to force faith upon people, by the use of fear and the wrath of the god(s) if one did not "behave" according to the wishes of the god(s) and a clap of thunder, the death of someone in the community could be used by these exploiters to strike the fear of god and herd people to "faith" based on those fears. At the same time and parallel to all the exploiters, were those with profound belief and faith and built "churches" or perhaps fewer actual structural churches, than congregations, all centered around people who believed in their god(s) not because of fear, but as a means to explain some things and keep "hope" in a place in their mind, if not someplace in the universe, by way of believing god(s) are indeed, "out there" and responsible for, creation. By "creation" they do not strictly adhere to the argument against evolution, but see evolution as a natural part of what was born out of the creation of nature and humans being only one aspect of nature and the creation.

The exploiters have exploited people's faith to direct all sorts of money and wealth to individuals who skew scripture to suggest funneling money to them is as good as funneling money to god......They have in many ways, made themselves, surrogates for god(s) and gotten some people to have "faith" in them and the way they skew scripture and the teachings of Christ to work their personal agendas. "Faith" being something that is hard to remove, is unlikely to change in those whom exploiters have directed towards themselves for their personal profit and agendas......but others who appear to be able to read what is clearly said and capture the main theme of Christ's teachings corroborated across the authors of the books, are not buying what they see those who are exploiting belief or faith in gods(s), are selling and just as you have, questioned how anyone, can buy it, but for not really taking the time to compare what they are being told and how they are directed by some, with what the books of the Bible, even with so many contradictions, still teaches, as an overall and general theme........

It is said, even Mother Teresa questioned her faith, for a variety of reasons and so did so many other heralded religious figures, some of them canonized.........How could such a merciful god, also allow such suffering and starvation.....she would ponder......as so many others ponder the contradictions of reality and claims of their god(s) "kinder, gentler" side.......Still they found reason, in their minds to continue to have faith, perhaps by finding positive signs, among the despair......perhaps from delusion, but faith seems to be the kind of thing that only those that possess it, can know, what it is all about.....thus, why it is so hard to dislodge or change for any that try to seek to change the faith of others.

But for the sharing and support of others, which still could be made by others that share your faith and your feelings about your faith and the faith of others being exploited for the personal agenda and profit of some, there seems no reason why your faith could not be as strong as it ever was, without, as you said, stepping one foot, into a church. I believe there are perhaps surprising numbers of people around the world who feel the same way and still have strong faith in god(s), but do not step one foot into the places of worship, built by humans they are feeling have exploited faith and turned it into a vessel for the personal profit and agendas, of a few. You can still give to those in need, in some ways more directly and there remain "churches" or congregations of people who dedicate their faith, to doing good works for those in need. What the exploiters have done to drive many away is harm faith in their churches and thus whatever monies collected in the plates that went to those in need, rather than to the construction and maintenance of mega-churches, mega mansions for mega church preachers, mega audio visual equipment, 54 million dollar jets for mega church preachers and more......are hurt by those turned off by those who exploit faith and the faithful, funneling money to their personal bank accounts and political agendas, under the guise of "men/women" of "God".
I remember going with a neighbor to her church back in the days when the mass was in Latin too.
 
Jul 2015
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Did the Evangelicals that voted for Trump (because they couldn't vote for those who were sinners and wanted Trump to stop sinners?) ever actually read the Bible?

Donald Trump's vanity fest
Donald Trump's vanity fest

VANITY
What Does the Bible Say About Vanity?

HUMILITY
What Does the Bible Say About Humility?


What were/are they thinking........if in fact, they are thinking, at all?

Do they not see what everyone else (including HUGE numbers of Christians), can see?

They once were blind, but now can see? Can see what?
How about GREED? The Gospel of ABUNDANCE. Pray with me, tithe tithe tithe and GOD will reward you with riches here and in heaven.

Pat ROBERTSON is a WHORE for Jesus!