Personal Apologetic

Most of this blog is focused on attempting to present evidence that is logical, empirical, historical, and otherwise as verifiable and undeniable as possible. Christianity does not shy away from this, for much of the apostles’ efforts and writings were aimed at correcting error and presenting truth.

I also present to you a bit of internal evidence. I was saved over 28 years ago. Before that I was not much interested in Christianity or spiritual things in general. Since then, the desire to learn of Jesus and know God has only grown stronger. I have as much interest and drive surrounding Christian things as I ever have, and each year the desire to do Christian service work seems to grow stronger.

Every other hobby and interest I’ve ever had has eventually grown tiresome. Things I used to be interested in, I find sitting in the corner gathering dust. I still get interested in a few new things, but after a while I lose interest in those things too.

Yet I cannot explain the inner drive in psychological terms. Something inside of me is driving me, keeping me up nights and taking my days off to learn of God and find ways to communicate Him to others. If I find myself with some extra time, some Christian-related activity appears on the horizon to fill the time. I find myself wishing I could stop all secular activity and do this constantly. The drive inside to know and do Christian things has been in me for all these years, and is stronger than ever. All other hobbies and interests come and go, but almost thirty years of Christian work has me wanting still more.

I have no other way to explain this other than I have been changed from the inside out, and this drive inside me is not a hobby or a fad. I have a spirit inside me that was not there before, and will not go away, thank God.

So this is my personal apologetic. I know it will not do anything to persuade the hardened skeptic, but maybe it was not intended to. In the realm of proofs for God, it is a strong one in my life and my witness to others.

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About humblesmith

Christian Apologist & Philosopher
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32 Responses to Personal Apologetic

  1. thoughtofvg says:

    as an agnostic, i would be fascinated to know- what made you become so much more spiritual 28 years ago? It is certainly interesting reading this as someone who neither believes or certainly disbelieves in God, as a change from non-faith to finding faith seems rarer than one losing their belief in God. Thank you for the interesting read.

    • humblesmith says:

      It all started when my sister asked me — well, nagged me actually — to go to church with her, saying “you should come hear this pastor.” He was actually quite good, and more of a teacher than a preacher, and it was the first I’d really understood what was meant by “the gospel.” Prior to that, I didn’t understand the connection between some guy dying 2000 years ago and me. But this teacher explained it on a level that made sense to me…..God is perfectly holy and pure, and our sin separates us from a pure and holy God. Thus we have all separated ourselves from a holy God, and since he is also perfectly just, it would be wrong of him to just ignore our transgressions. Jesus paid the price, and reconciled us to God. This reconciliation is a free gift that we only accept….we cannot work for it or be good enough to deserve it.

      When I understood that, the lights came on, and I was changed. The bible calls this “regeneration” and says that the christian is changed from the inside. We tend to get it all wrong, and want to change ourselves from the outside, but we cannot. When I was changed on the inside, God changed my desires and gave me meaning and purpose. In short, God changed me. That’s why I have the drive I have today.

      By the way, are you a hard agnostic (can’t know) or a soft agnostic (don’t know)?

      • thoughtofvg says:

        Thanks for the reply. I am more of a soft agnostic-as to say one can’t know seems very close-minded to me. I have had both experiences that would point to and away from God and have read convincing arguments for both sides, so i like to think that i’m heading in the direction of an answer-but as aristotle suggested, it might not be possible to know for sure until one reaches the point at which God (or whatever may be there) is. I also as of yet have no idea what that direction may be.

        The best that an agnostic can do is try and find out what they believe to be the truth, which is one of the reasons i felt inclined to ask you why became more religious. If i do come to the conclusion that God exists, i imagine my concept of God will be quite different to that which is shown to us in the Bible, as I try not to use scripture in my opinions; i feel that due to the retranslatations and changes of interpretation over history, it no longer accurate enough to take for granted.My point can be seen simply by looking at the subtle differences between different modern Bibles.

        But despite that, there are plenty of good arguments for God that use empirical knowledge, or through reasoning. Aquinas’ ideas for example are quite convincing for the existence of God. He came up with the ’5 ways’: the argument from motion (which observed that everything is in motion, well before newton’s laws), Causation of existence, Contingent and neccessary objects (which i find very convincing indeed), Argument from degrees and perfection and finally the teleological argument-similar to todays intelligent design theory.
        So yes, i’m a soft agnostic who actively searches for the ‘truth’, whatever that may be.

        • R.Ross says:

          Interesting post. Of course the most sensible position is that of a soft agnostic because in truth there is no certainty either for a God or not for a God.
          I feel the same as you do about religious and biblical teachings although all religions at core say the same things, it is the minds of men which have distorted the original spiritual teachings – all of which emanated in the matriarchal religions before God became a man. Then again, God can’t be a woman either but has to be all, everything, no exceptions.
          The strongest argument for ‘God’ – although not a God of religion, merely a God, is the fact that the universe/cosmos constantly demonstrates intelligence at work, both in design and function. This cosmic consciousness/intelligence also has to be everything – in other words the world looks more like a great thought than a great machine and this world of matter is merely another manifestation of that consciousness.
          I see ‘God’ more as this cosmic consciousness which is the source of all things and human beings as co-creators, not only of this world but also of God. What matters most of all is that we find meaning and purpose in our lives and each of us will find it in different ways. For some it is religion, others spirituality, agnosticism, even atheism – there is no right or wrong way, just following one’s truth. At least that is how it seems to me. What purpose is that this is a meaningful, purposeful and intelligent universe and I suspect, if I had to guess, that our purpose is to become more conscious so that we work with all that ‘is’ as opposed to having it work us.

    • papapound says:

      Yep, I could see how you say that if the internet is your source.

      However, in general in American, the churches are full of either non-Christians or demoralized and declawed Christians. That is my view of the state of the church.

      HumbleSmith is rare in America. That does not mean that God is not at work in the world. He works are massive in the “the global south”, which is not all “south” by the way.

      All that said does not take anything away from the Word of God being the Word of God either.

  2. portal001 says:

    I can relate to feeling driven, however I think that even before I was a Christian I had a drive of some sort to consider what is truth. However with me there seems to be a distinction between studying and following what I have understood to be truth. I am driven to study, to learn about Bible translations, the history of denominations, different religions. But I find that there is a difference between studying and actually following God.

    Just some thoughts:

    The opportunity to study and learn is given to us. Based on my circumstances I (at this time) have the privilege to commit hours to either idleness or the study. I am forced to do neither. I am living in an age where I can access information rapidly and can cross-reference this with other information with a click of a mouse. I am privileged from the efforts of others, including my parents, to be able to read and write. Furthermore I live in a country where the government has made this mandatory. I did not work to earn any of this. I am privileged by God to have given me such gifts, to have given me such health. To be able to see so I can read. To be able to hear so I can listen.

    However with more blessing comes more responsibility. I have been given much, I think I am expected and should give much back.

    To the man who works from 9-5 in a field or factory his faith is just as precious as any other believer, even though he may not understand as much, since during the day he is working hard to live instead of studying hard to understand.

    Certain understanding may come through his work, by practical means; this understanding might not be able to be attained by the man who only reads and studies.

    So therefore who has more understanding? The man who works – his work is practical. During his work he may have time to reflect, depending what he is doing. However, he doesn’t have the privilege of studying for hours. However without his mind being filled with contradictions from study mixed with the words of others and conflicting ideas he might actually understand more than the man who is blessed with time to sit and read.

    However if the person who studies diligently because he has been given the time and privilege to do so finds out more and understands more, isn’t he also more accountable?

    For what does he do with the understanding he now has been given? To the man who works all during the day in practical hard labour, is he in a better position than the man who studies all day and understands more, yet doesn’t apply this understanding in practical application. Who is the worse off?

    Besides what will be gained from more understanding? More accountability?

    If a child uses a word he knows not the meaning of and abuses it- he knows not what he does. But if a child who knows what he is doing acts the same way – is he accountable for that?

    Does more understanding demand more responsibility? And if this responsibility followed, will the person who understood be in a far more dangerous position than the person who did not? What is the better position?

    Wisdom in itself is not useful unless it is shared or applied.

    Furthermore – if a person knew and understood all, and could remember all then they would never be making a mistake; they couldn’t because everything would be intentional (based on them knowing all).

    Therefore they would be completely accountable to their actions.

    Is it to God’s grace that we can’t understand all?

    However, intentionally remaining ignorant in order to avoid accountability doesn’t seem responsible to me.

  3. R.Ross says:

    Everyone’s personal spiritual journey is interesting and there is much that you say which I find interesting but as a woman I do not, will not, cannot relate to a He/Him God because it is too much God made as man, literally and I also do not, will not, cannot relate to any spiritual – actually it is not spiritual it is religious – concept that one can be or is somehow ‘saved’ through belief, except in a metaphorical sense where, if you like, our Spiritual Self is ‘saved’ from disuse.
    If you mean ‘saved’ in a religious and literal sense then how can a God who selects and discriminates be a superior being?
    To me this is God made in man’s image – small, petty, vindictive and prejudiced. It simply does not make sense if there is a God, intelligent force, cosmic consciousness etc., that everything should not be a part of that ‘God’ and that we are all spiritual beings having a material existence and we never lose our spirituality, or are rejected.
    Just as you can’t be ‘half pregnant’ neither can God embrace some and reject others simply because of what they believe.
    It is the narrowness of religion, the petty rules and regulations, the misogyny and sexism which led me to leaving it all behind so that these days I have a great deal of time for God and none at all for religion. But I do respect the fact that we all walk different paths.

    • humblesmith says:

      R. Ross, you have said a lot in this post and several others to follow. Much of it I find very interesting, because your view probably agrees with a large number of the population. I hope to explain the Christian answers to to part of it here, then I want to make the rest of it a blog post……I hope you do not mind. But I think you’ve raised many very important questions that provide a chance for a Christian apologist to explain the Christian position.

      You said “Everyone’s personal spiritual journey is interesting and there is much that you say which I find interesting but as a woman I do not, will not, cannot relate to a He/Him God because it is too much God made as man, literally and I also do not, will not, cannot relate to any spiritual – actually it is not spiritual it is religious – concept that one can be or is somehow ‘saved’ through belief, except in a metaphorical sense where, if you like, our Spiritual Self is ‘saved’ from disuse.”

      The first part I agree with you. I’ve always found other people’s spiritual journey to be interesting, and I’ve found I can learn things from their statements. I’ve also always been interested in what other groups believe, and why they are different and what is the same.
      Next you make a couple of “I do not, will not, cannot” statements. As long as you realize that this is matter of your own will and not something inherent in God, then there’s not much I can say about this. You do not wanting to bend your will to God, which unfortunately is the case for many people. But as for the suggestion that there is somehow something amiss when God presents himself in personal pronouns, I must respectfully disagree. God is infinitely wise, and we are significantly flawed, and our judgement about what is right is skewed at best. Further, outside of what God reveals to us, we know precious little about God. But we know that He is not human, and does not reproduce, so male/female distinctions in God’s being is just not there, at least in human sense. But God, in his wisdom, has chosen to reveal himself in male pronouns, and we either bend our will to accept this or we do not.
      As for the concept of whether someone can be or is somehow saved through belief, I’m afraid that this is the only solution. Let me explain.
      First, we are separated from God. He is perfectly holy and good, and we are all flawed due to sin. We have all done something wrong, the greatest of which has been to ignore the Father and his son Jesus at some point. Because of our sin, we are separated from God, which is called spiritual death. The only way for us to be reconciled to a holy God would be either 1) do some behavior that would make it up to him, or 2) have someone else do this for us. It cannot be option 1, for this involves doing something, and doing something is what got us separated from God in the first place……our behaviour is sinful, and sinful behavior can only get us separated from God, not get us reconciled. But if Jesus paid the price of death for us when he died on the cross, then the price is paid, we have the possibility of accepting Jesus’ payment, or not, and this by trusting Jesus. So belief in the vicarious payment of Jesus in our place is the only way to be reconciled to God. Our futile works got us separated from God in the first place, and more futile works cannot fix the problem, it only makes it worse.

      Will you consider having totoal trust in Jesus today?

      The rest of your comments I will try to respond to in a blog post. Thank you for such interesting conversation.

      • R.Ross says:

        I saw this in my mail but do not have time to read it carefully, as I wish to do, and to respond thoughtfully but will do so tomorrow. I do not mind reading your response as a blogpost.

      • R.Ross says:

        humblesmith, to respond to your post.
        I am not so sure a large number of people do have the same views as I do, particularly in the US which is the most religious of all the developed nations and generally of the christian persuasion. I do think that the numbers are growing in terms of people holding similar views to mine but I also believe at this point in time the numbers are small.

        This is long but I want to explain my position carefully so you understand why I don’t believe, or won’t or can’t believe as you do. I would also qualify by saying that I believe we are all different and we are all called to walk our own spiritual paths – what is right for you is right for you and what is right for me is right for me.

        I respect your integrity and your faith even as I articulate why I find it unacceptable for me. I believe God values the uniqueness of each and every one of us and wants only to see us manifest our full potential, however that may be done. There is not one right or wrong way of doing this.

        You said:The first part I agree with you. I’ve always found other people’s spiritual journey to be interesting, and I’ve found I can learn things from their statements. I’ve also always been interested in what other groups believe, and why they are different and what is the same.
        Next you make a couple of “I do not, will not, cannot” statements. As long as you realize that this is matter of your own will and not something inherent in God, then there’s not much I can say about this.

        This is not so much my own will as my own truth and given that I believe all that exists is inherent in God then this too is inherent in God. My belief is that everything we see in this material world is God made manifest – there is no separation – all is God, therefore all is inherent in God. At least by my reasoning and belief.

        You said: You do not wanting to bend your will to God, which unfortunately is the case for many people.

        No I do not because I do not believe in a God which would ask or need me to ‘bend my will’ except in terms of acknowledging that while we may not control what happens to us we do have some control over what we do with what happens to us, and sometimes it is necessary to stop ‘doing’ and to surrender to ‘being.’ What I do believe in is a world in which when we surrender to the knowledge that there are greater forces at work in this world we gain access to, or become more a part of, the truth of what we are. In other words we have free will and we are meant to make use of it but we also have to learn that there is a point where we surrender our trust in outcomes to forces beyond ourselves – whether we call those forces God, destiny, fate, angels or whatever.

        God as I see – S/HE has no need of anything from us but merely wants to see us living to the fullness of our potential as co-creators in this material world. It is our capacity for free will which makes us able to function as co-creators and therefore to express God more fully in this material world.

        You said: But as for the suggestion that there is somehow something amiss when God presents himself in personal pronouns, I must respectfully disagree.

        God doesn’t present her or himself in personal pronouns – human beings seek to ‘create’ god as a gender. Before God was a man, in the patriarchal age, the last 5,000 years or so, God was a woman in the matriarchal age. Clearly God is neither male, nor female, nor personal in that sense. If God were to see a need to present her or himself in personal pronouns then that would suggest that God saw a need to discriminate, at that point in time, against one sex in preference for the other. Clearly no God worthy of belief would be so petty.

        In truth, if one were to have a God which chose a gender then the logical choice would have to be feminine for it is the feminine which brings forth the masculine in a literal sense and not the other way around. S/He contains He, just as females contain males to bring them to birth. He does not and cannot contain she in any metaphorical or literal sense. In addition, we all start out as females and a male is produced through hormones which change the original female foetus. So, if one were to argue that God had a need for a gender it would have to be female. The fact that it is male suggests this has come from the ‘mind’ of men and not the mind of God. Given the levels of misogyny which has been at work and which is still at work to lesser degrees in religion throughout the patriarchal age, I would be suspecting men, not God, of a need for personal pronouns.

        I would add though that because I believe all happens for a reason and an ultimate good, that we needed a patriarchal age to follow a matriarchal age in order to understand our nature better and to be able to marry the two, a sacred marriage, the hieros gamos, which is now underway and which will take us further and more fully into our spiritual selves.

        You said: God is infinitely wise, and we are significantly flawed, and our judgement about what is right is skewed at best.

        This kind of God is God made in the image of Man. Any God must be all things. For human beings to be created by God and yet to be somehow not of God and flawed means we are separated. We are not. We are one. We may be flawed and our judgement may be skewed but that is a part of our experience and journey in this material world. Ascribing wisdom to God as a particular and flaws to us as a particular personalises God in a way which does not make sense to me. God either is all or God is not and if God is not all then this is no God who could be the source and expression of this cosmos and everything in it. You cannot be half-pregnant and you cannot be half God – it is all or nothing. God is either everything or there is no God and the latter again, does not make sense to me given the evidence for intelligence and consciousness at work in this world.

        You said: Further, outside of what God reveals to us, we know precious little about God. But we know that He is not human, and does not reproduce, so male/female distinctions in God’s being is just not there, at least in human sense. But God, in his wisdom, has chosen to reveal himself in male pronouns, and we either bend our will to accept this or we do not.

        I believe we know a great deal about God because God is everything. Observing or experiencing an ant or a rock, we know God; living our lives as human beings we know God; observing a sunset, cloud, storm, tree, river, ocean, cup of tea, vase, shovel, car etc., we know God because everything is God – everything which exists in this material world emanates and is sourced in the cosmic consciousness we call God. At least that is how I see it.

        You use the term ‘bend our will’ again and this is one aspect of all religions which is common and which I can never see as coming from God but only coming from human beings. This is the sort of language people used about the patriarchal age at its worst – when the father was ‘god’ in the family and wife and children had to bend their will. I happen to believe in a God of love and that the most powerful force at work in the world is Love and there is no place for ‘bending wills’ where Love is concerned.

        You said: As for the concept of whether someone can be or is somehow saved through belief, I’m afraid that this is the only solution. Let me explain.

        I do understand the religious beliefs you espouse, or rather, I know them, but they do not make sense to me and so I choose not to hold them but I will respond to what you say.

        You said: First, we are separated from God. He is perfectly holy and good, and we are all flawed due to sin.

        This teaching has become entrenched in Christianity. I do understand that. But it was not where Christianity began. This is an creation of the human mind which enabled the early church to have greater power and to continue to gain greater power. In some areas of Christianity more enlightened thinking has led to a diminution of this belief and rightly so – for it does not make sense.

        Why would a God which is all that is and who is perfectly holy and good create something flawed and evil? More to the point, how could something flawed and evil come out of something holy and good? And, if God is all and the greatest power which exists, then how can anything be separate from God?

        You said:We have all done something wrong,

        Yes, but it depends on what you mean by wrong. To me wrong is being cruel to others, lacking compassion, being selfish etc., … it is not about belief. And even there I would say there are no mistakes, merely different turns on the path. Everyone makes mistakes but forgiveness is one of the most powerful of spiritual teachings – if we can forgive ourselves and others then any God can forgive us.

        You said: the greatest of which has been to ignore the Father and his son Jesus at some point.

        That is theological dogma particular to the christian religion. It has no meaning to Hindus, Moslems, Jews or anyone in fact who is not a fundamentalist Christian and that means the majority of people in the world. It does not make sense that an all powerful God would create a world where only one religion got it right! That is the sort of belief which would come from the minds of men and not the mind of God.

        You said: Because of our sin, we are separated from God, which is called spiritual death.

        Yes, I do understand the theological dogma but it doesn’t make sense to me. God is either everything or God is not and if God is everything then we cannot be separated. There can be no spiritual death because the spirit does not die. We are spiritual beings having a material experience. That is my view anyway and it is one which is validated through the numerous and increasing number of Near Death Experiences. People who undergo NDE’s return and whether atheist or evangelist before it happened they invariably drop all religion and commit their lives to living as spiritual beings having been told that all is one and our task in this world is to live with love.

        You said: The only way for us to be reconciled to a holy God would be either 1) do some behavior that would make it up to him,

        Hindus believe the same thing. From my perspective this is not only not a teaching of Jesus Christ whom you profess to follow but it is so petty that I simply do not believe it could ever have come from any God worth bothering about. This is the sort of thing the ego says, or demands, not the mind of God.

        You said: or 2) have someone else do this for us.

        Yes, this is also found in all other patriarchal religions. It’s a common theme and a source of empowerment for church, mosque, synagogue and temple. Christianity believes that Jesus ‘made things up with God’ for us, but the church was quick to find ways of making money out of having priests ‘do this for us.’ As a belief I find it backward and exploitative, if not downright childish.

        You said: It cannot be option 1, for this involves doing something, and doing something is what got us separated from God in the first place……our behaviour is sinful, and sinful behavior can only get us separated from God, not get us reconciled.

        This not only does not make sense it is cruel. I have personally experienced the things done by wounded and damaged people – it was not their fault and I know that and can forgive and yet you are telling me that throughout the world, the wounded, the damaged, the ignorant, the mentally defective, the physically damaged (blind, deaf, mute) are sinful and separated from God because they don’t believe what you and others believe they should? That God cannot forgive !!! Ridiculous. God is love and within love there is no judgement and no condemnation and no need for forgiveness.

        Evil is Live spelled backwards. Having pondered deeply the damage done in dysfunctional families I have come to believe that evil and sin are sourced in ignorance and woundedness – if I can forgive my parents then God can forgive anything.

        The God who judges in this way is the God of the Old Testament. Vindictive, petty, childish, arrogant, venal – God made in the image of man. This is God as Father, or even Mother of the worst kind.

        You said: But if Jesus paid the price of death for us when he died on the cross, then the price is paid, we have the possibility of accepting Jesus’ payment, or not, and this by trusting Jesus. So belief in the vicarious payment of Jesus in our place is the only way to be reconciled to God.

        So everyone else is wrong? The atheist who lives the best of lives and who spreads love, compassion and joy is condemned and the christian who spreads misery, cruelty and pain is saved because he or she ‘believes.’ Quite simply it is simply silly. It was exactly these sorts of beliefs, along with the misogyny, which caused me to reject religions and to stick with God.

        I have studied Christianity, both Anglicanism and Catholicism, as well as Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam and Judaism and they are all awash with misogyny and in essence say similar things – believe what we tell you to believe and you will be in God’s good books – you will be saved.

        In this magical, mysterious, wonderful world we have billions of people – most of whom do not believe as you do – many of whom follow no religion at all – and yet they live full, loving, valuable lives and your belief system would have them condemned?

        I think what I continue to find surprising is how often insightful, intelligent, kind, compassionate, decent people can believe in something so vindictive, unforgiving and destructive.

        You said: Our futile works got us separated from God in the first place, and more futile works cannot fix the problem, it only makes it worse.

        We were never separated and we cannot be separated. We are God and God is us and all is as it should be. We are in this world to learn to become more conscious – not less – to make up our own minds and to express our spiritual natures in a material world as co-creators with God. That is how I see it.

        You said: Will you consider having total trust in Jesus today?

        No. Because Jesus, if he ever existed in any historical sense and even if not, is just one of many light-workers who have existed throughout time and what matters is living by the teachings ascribed to him, although they were not original to him, and not simply deciding to ‘have total trust.’

        And also because I believe that we are meant to take responsibility for ourselves in this world and not to hand over responsibility to anyone or anything else in the way that a child needs to do with a parent. What matters is not what we believe but how we live our lives – how we treat ourselves and others and the capacity we have to respond with compassion and courage.

        And I don’t need to put my trust in anything beyond the purposeful, meaningful, sometimes painful, often challenging, fascinating, beautiful progression of my life and my sense of a joyful relationship with a purposeful, meaningful, beautiful consciousness at work in this world – I am sticking with God and have no need for religion.

        The trust we need to have is in a God, in whatever form works for us, as the source of all being – cosmic consciousness – all that is – and in knowing that as expressions of God we are, each and every one of us perfect at any given moment.

        • humblesmith says:

          Thank you for you lengthy response. There is so much here that I’m afraid I don’t quite know where to jump in.

          I’d like to continue to talk, if nothing else so that I can more fully understand you. Tall you what……I’ll post one small response to something you’ve said on a new post dated today, and let’s see what we can learn from each other.

    • R.Ross says:

      portaloo1,
      You are reducing something complex to a black and white situation which is much too narrow for any kind of satisfying conclusion.
      You said:
      Do we accept them? and ignore them? or even worst justify the contradictions……(like I think most christians do)

      or

      Accept the truth, that the Bible is not perfect/inerrant? And that my GOD, Christianity may be one big lie?

      Anyone who believes in absolutes, Truth/Lie or Black/White or Right/Wrong is going to have a problem. In reality life is very often grey.
      Of course there are truths in the Bible but then there are truths in many writings whether spiritual, secular or religious. I happen to feel that the biggest problem with the Bible and religion is the same problem which applies to The Koran and The Torah and all religious ‘books’ and that is they are interpreted literally when they were meant to be interpreted metaphorically.
      Of course there are errors. The Bible, like all religious books was handed down orally for millenia before being written down and from the point of writing, were edited numerous times. Everyone is subjective and that subjectivity, particularly given the patriarchal nature of the world at the time religions developed, has been transmitted to these books – including The Bible. Humans are only human after all and while there may be some things which are inspired – as in sourced in ‘God’ the reality is that there are many things in the Bible which are sourced in the petty minds of men and all the politics, powerplay and manipulations that involves.
      As a part of that subjectivity the word ‘virgin’ for instance in The Bible has taken on a meaning which was never a part of the original Aramaic where the word meant, not a woman with an intact hymen, but an independent woman – a woman who was not dependent on a man.
      The really important thing is that the sensible and spiritual parts of The Bible are valuable and they echo and are sourced in all spiritual teachings throughout millenia. The word Amen for instance comes from the ancient Egyptian and and was their word for the Sun God they worshipped – as Christians now worship the Son (Sun) God today. And the Lord’s Prayer has also been found in ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs. The spiritual teachings of Christianity, at core, can be found in the ancient Goddess religion, in Hinduism, Jainism, Islam, Judaism, Buddhism and all religions and thus reflect the inherently spiritual nature of human beings.
      The teachings of Jesus for instance, in the main, existed long before he did – in the sayings of Mithras and numerous other saviour/redeemer gods.
      So, don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. Ignore that which does not make sense or which appears ignorant, misogynistic, racist, vindictive, backward or just plain wrong and find your own spiritual path whether it is expressed through christianity or some other religion or no other religion. Our spiritual nature is a vital part of who and what we are. We are spiritual beings having a material existence and we can do that with religion or without it.
      They are my thoughts anyway on your quandary.

      • portal001 says:

        Thanks for your thoughts :) I appreciate it

        • portal001 says:

          You know this is Ryan right? :)

          • R.Ross says:

            Sorry, no, his aunt actually. Same initials. I think Thomistic Bent appears on my FB because of Ryan. I look at it sometimes. I walk a spiritual path but non-religious having studied most of them and found them wanting.

          • portal001 says:

            This was a blog I had been following for a long time, and it raised alot of questions for me.

          • R.Ross says:

            Questions are good. The spiritual path is a journey not a destination. I actually believe we all find our own way in our own way and there is not one answer for everyone – I also believe that our task in this world is to become more conscious and that requires a lot of questions, some answers, and a life’s journey.

  4. portal001 says:

    No, I mean this IS Ryan – as in me, im Ryan, your nephew :)

    • R.Ross says:

      You did make me laugh. We must chat more though. I think/feel an important part of the spiritual journey is talking, listening, pondering and reading. I think I said to you the other day that a priest I worked with said that to mature spiritually we have to throw away the religion we have learned and then come back to it when we have matured. That’s not an absolute and in fact he was talking about people who rejected religion but the questioning is a part of that process of maturing – of making up your own mind.

      • portal001 says:

        I believe it’s about our relationship with Truth. My conviction is that Truth is found in the Person and teachings of Christ, through Gods Spirit. People can get involved in theological and philosophical discussions but I think that can only take people so far.

        • portal001 says:

          Also, Im glad blogs exist because it allows different views to be expressed openly and discussed with respect to the people involved :) thats is one reason why I like this blog, since peoples posts seem to be considered thoughtfully by others, and people are not treated dismissively :)

        • portal001 says:

          However, I believe this, but I haven’t always lived like I believe this. Which is something that confronts me.

        • R.Ross says:

          You said: I believe it’s about our relationship with Truth. My conviction is that Truth is found in the Person and teachings of Christ, through Gods Spirit. People can get involved in theological and philosophical discussions but I think that can only take people so far.

          Truth is subjective in many respects but yes, I agree it is about our relationship with Truth and our Truth may not be the Truth of someone else but they are Truths all the same. You find yours in the person and teachings of Christ – I do not find my Truth there and neither do many others. Some find their truth in Nature, others in Buddha, Mohammed or numerous other religious figures or systems.

          I find my Truth in living my life to the best of my ability as part of an intelligent and conscious universe.

          At core all of religions and spiritual belief systems say the same things. The teachings of Christ can be found in all religions, just attributed to others and the teachings of Christ can also be found in the most ancient of religions – Isis, Mithras and legions of other mythical and historical and semi-historical figures. It is the teachings which matter and to that degree, yes, theological and philosophical discussions can only take people so far.

          It is how we live our life that matters. Going to church is a practice which can comfort us but it does not make us christian, spiritual or a better person as a matter of course. Some of the most christian, spiritual and compassionate people I have ever met are atheists. I suspect that in the next world, in fact as Christ said, what will be taken into account is not how much we believed, nor how often we went to church or mosque or synagogue or temple, nor how often we prayed – but how we lived our lives; how we treated ourselves and how we treated others.

  5. R.Ross says:

    Ha, ha, ha. How funny. How neat. I took the You Know to be a turn of phrase. Hi Ryan.

  6. papapound says:

    Thanks for this post.

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