How Some Misguided Christian Beliefs are Very Harmful

Christianity is a very broad group of more than 2.3 billion people throughout the world, and there is tremendous variation in doctrinal beliefs among us. What we have in common is that we all, in some way, recognize Jesus as God’s anointed one sent to us by God. It might be nice if we agreed on everything we believe, but we don’t. And I have no problem with that.

People come to different conclusions on just about everything because we are different. We have different experiences, different ways of thinking, different understandings and insights, and different perspectives. Therefore we often arrive at different conclusions, and religious beliefs are no exception. It doesn’t bother me (and I don’t think it matters to God) that we don’t agree on everything.

But what does concern me is when religious beliefs become harmful—when they begin to hurt either those who embrace them or those who do not embrace them.

harmful beliefs8

Harmful Christian Beliefs

I sometimes refer to harmful beliefs in my writing and even have lists of those I consider most harmful. The first is a list of what I consider foundational beliefs that harm people:

Five Foundational Beliefs that do Great Harm

1. Angry God. God is angry, demanding, and vindictive toward us
2. Inerrancy. The Bible is essentially written by God and every word is inerrant propositional truth
3. Punishment in Hell. God will punish those in eternal fire who do not measure up to his expectations
4. Legalism. God has specified a host of specific rules for us to follow in order to please him
5. Penal Substitutionary Atonement. God poured out his wrath for our sins on Jesus at the cross

From these foundational beliefs derive other beliefs that also do great harm:

Five More Beliefs that do Great Harm

1. Homophobia. God rejects and condemns gays and other LGBTs
2. Christian Patriarchy. God’s plan is for men to lead and for women to be subservient
3. Satan and Demons. Satan and demons oppose God, God’s work, and God’s people
4. Young Earth Creationism. The earth was created about 10,000 yeas ago and evolution is a lie
5. Rapture and End-times Theology. The Bible reveals end-time events, and we must be careful to not miss the rapture

Now you might embrace every one of these beliefs and not feel you are being harmed at all. That’s okay; I am only concerned for those who ARE harmed. I was taught all of these beliefs as a young Christian, and I can witness to the pain and damage they caused me and others. My objective is to assist and support those who were taught these beliefs and now question some of them. Those who are happy with these beliefs are not my primary audience.

In What Ways are these Beliefs Harmful?

I understand these misguided beliefs to hurt people in several ways, and some beliefs tend to lead to one harmful result more than another while others promote more than one harmful result. Three very significant damaging results are:

1. Fear
2. Unnecessary religious burdens and restrictions, and
3. Judgment, condemnation, and rejection

Today we will consider fear. Do you ever experience fear in relation to your spiritual life? I hope not, but millions of believers do; and it is all unnecessary.

I think fear is perhaps the most harmful result of some of these beliefs—fear of angry god, fear of eternal hell, fear of failure in following all of God’s commands, fear of missing the rapture. And I am not talking about that fear which is the awe, respect, and reverence we feel for God; I’m talking about being afraid—very afraid!

The message of Jesus, as God’s representative, is GOOD NEWS! It should not generate fear.

Are we afraid of Jesus? Of course not. Jesus’ teaching and example are based on large measures of love—not fear. And as God’s representative to us I think Jesus demonstrates God’s own attitude toward us, which is love—not fear. I agree with author of 1 John 4:

There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.

One More Common Fear

For many among those who tend to embrace these harmful beliefs there is an additional common fear—the fear of being wrong; they feel it is dangerous to be mistaken in their beliefs and behavior.

This fear is used to prevent people from questioning beliefs they have been taught with such warnings as ‘Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.’ and ‘Lean not on your own understanding’ [Lean to the understanding of our tradition instead].

In other words: ‘Don’t question’, which essentially means ‘Don’t think’. The concern is that if we try to think for ourselves we might come to a wrong conclusions and cause God to be unhappy with us—and this is a terrible prospect in the minds of some people.

But not everyone who believes and teaches differently is a predatory false prophet. And often it is a very good idea to question and investigate our religious beliefs in order to validate them or to discover problems and seek better, alternative perspectives.

More Specific Issues with These Harmful Beliefs

We will discuss the harmfulness of some of these specific beliefs in future articles. But let me say now that I think religious fear and anxiety begin with a misguided view of God’s character. We will talk about that next time.

Jesus without Baggage exists to assist and support those questioning beliefs they have been taught in fundamentalist, traditional evangelical, and other groups. If you know someone who might find Jesus without Baggage helpful, feel free to send them the introductory page: About Jesus without Baggage.

Articles in this series:
How Some Misguided Christian Beliefs are Very Harmful
Belief in Angry God is Perhaps the Most Damaging, Misguided Christian Belief of All
If We Are Free to Approach God Without Fear, What Becomes of Our Other Religious Fears—Like Hell?
Hopeful Universalism and a Gentle Alternative
A Gentle Alternative to Punishment in Hell for Those Who Reject God’s Offer of Eternal Life—Conditional Immortality

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60 Responses to How Some Misguided Christian Beliefs are Very Harmful

  1. Diane Villafane (author Anaya Roma) says:

    Thank you for this page, for these posts. Let us hope the people who need to read and understand will come here. It is very difficult for people to change ingrained belief systems, especially when they are told since childhood that asking questions and doubting are “sins”, and “you are in danger of losing your salvation”.

    Liked by 5 people

    • jesuswithoutbaggage says:

      Diane, I think it is horrid to tell people that asking questions and doubting are sins and that their salvation is at stake. As I have said, ‘Do not question = Do not think’ but some do not want believer’s to think independently.

      Liked by 3 people

  2. Ross Jarvis says:

    A thought provoking post Tim, thanks.
    I think this highlights one big problem in the church. The role of “belief” and the over-emphasis on “correct belief” that is particularly strong in Evangelicalism. I think this would be called Orthodoxy by some. Many of the problems you highlight, lead to great “existential fear” which is very harmful and not recognised, dismissed or ignored by rather too many.
    Incorrect beliefs will also lead to “incorrect practice” (orthopraxy) which is also harmful, or conversely fails to prevent harm. E.g. actively persecuting people for their sexuality or because they are not “orthodox” in their beliefs. Treating people with emotional/mental health issues as victims of “demon possession” etc. etc. These sorts of things can lead to tremendous emotional pain and even suicide.
    I think this over-emphasis on “belief”/adherence to certain propositional “truth”, may be rooted in the Reformers insistence on faith v works, or at least a misunderstanding of what Luther and his ilk meant by this. Leading to a massive under-emphasis on works (orthopraxy).
    Along with the problem you highlight in the church about incorrect beliefs is the problem that too many Christians fail to act on the beliefs they may have right. The commands to love, help the poor and not to build up wealth being uppermost in my mind at the moment.
    Unfortunately for many of us we see the failings in the church over incorrect beliefs and failure to practice what we preach and maybe we miss the many times where things are done well and God is being followed faithfully.
    I wonder whether, as you correctly say, that there is a pressure to “not question, not think” leading to a lack of examination of one’s own life. If we cannot question our beliefs effectively then we cannot examine what we do correctly.

    Liked by 6 people

    • jesuswithoutbaggage says:

      Ross, I very much agree with you on “the over-emphasis on “correct belief” that is particularly strong in Evangelicalism.” You can spend eternity in hell just for being mistaken on a belief! How much pressure is that? And the result of that thinking often leads, not to examining our beliefs, but to avoid examining them out of fear.

      I also agree that incorrect beliefs can lead to harmful practices and harmful behavior that hurts people and can lead to tremendous emotional pain and even suicide. And I like your list of examples. Of course, there are many others from which to choose.

      Some level of belief is important, but who can say their beliefs are 100% correct? On the other hand, we should focus on treating people right–especially the marginalized. We ought to be able to get that right. I really like your final sentence, “If we cannot question our beliefs effectively then we cannot examine what we do correctly.”

      Liked by 3 people

    • ancadudar says:

      “I think this over-emphasis on “belief”/adherence to certain propositional “truth”, may be rooted in the Reformers insistence on faith v works, or at least a misunderstanding of what Luther and his ilk meant by this. Leading to a massive under-emphasis on works (orthopraxy).”

      Bingo! You hit it on the nail.

      Before I read this post just now, I just finished making a comment to another member about Martin Luther on the last JWOB post. This is a really strange coincidence. I will post the footnote about Martin that I just posted to the other discussion.

      “Martin Luther, the Father of the Protestant Reformation, promoted the idea that
      Paul’s epistles “far surpass” the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke. Many modern
      denominations have been established on this view.
      “[T]he epistles of St. Paul… far surpass the other three gospels, Matthew, Mark, and
      Luke.”—Martin Luther (Selected Writings of Martin Luther, Volume 1, by Martin
      Luther, edited by Theodore Gerhardt Tappert, p. 398, Fortress Press, Aug 1, 2007)
      2 Eisenbaum, Pamela (2009-11-19). Paul Was Not a Christian: The Original
      Message of a Misunderstood Apostle (p. 30). Harper Collins, Inc.. Kindle Edition.”

      Here is a free 30-page expert to catch the gist, the whole book is not needed, it gives enough away to grasp the concept.

      Click to access Intro.pdf

      Liked by 2 people

      • Right, and the reason is in the words of his epistles. “ But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.” Colossians 1:11,12. This is Paul’s credentials, if you will. As he was, “made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God; Even the mystery which has been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints:” Colossians 1:25.26.
        The main reason was from this scripture John shared; “For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.” John 1:17.
        Talking about a change, one that is “far surpassing”, this is it. Even Jesus noted a change; “You have heard that it was said of them of old time”. “But I say unto you” Matthew 5:21-48. Jesus upping the ante, so to speak, making what once was hard, now unbearably hard, ending with; “ Be you therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.”
        Why? Because a new and living way had come, and it was standing in front of them. Paul had the honor and responsibility of sharing this revelation Gospel and to, “present every man perfect in Christ Jesus:”Colossians 1:28. Along with a warning, one that would be wise to adhere to, Galatians 1:8.

        Liked by 1 person

        • ancadudar says:

          Thomas Howard,

          “Colossians 1:11,12. This is Paul’s credentials, if you will. As he was, “made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God; Even the mystery which has been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints:” Colossians 1:25.26.”

          What is that mistery? Have you read far enough, Thomas? That the Gentiles should be made heirs together with the Jews. This has nothing to do with good works as required by Jesus for being the fulfillment of the law. . “

          You mentioned Colossians but in Colossians itself, circumcision of the heart is required and so are good works. Are you familiar with why Colossians was written and what it was supposed to address?

          I’m going to try and keep this short, but Colossians is more than likely not written by Paul, it is written after a post-Paulin era and it commemorates what Paul stood for in the face of new threats and heresies entering the Church.

          The letter takes elements of Paul’s previous teachings on the Gospel and Faith, but introduces for the first time a high Christology. What is interesting is that “Paul” speaks as if he does not know the Colossians personally, but has only heard of their faith.

          The Colossians were facing a type of ‘Jewish Gnosticism’ from an extreme sect of Judaism that was different from the Jewish Law of Moses that Paul sought to abolish. This sect of Judaism had a focus on extreme asceticism and punishing the flesh through denial such as “Do not touch, do not taste, do not handle.”

          They believed that if they put themselves through harsh neglect of the body by denying themselves certain food or drink, observances of new moons, festivals, Sabbaths, and worship of angels, that they would then gain a special wisdom and knowledge. They thought that this ‘wisdom and knowledge’ was needed in order for them to ascend through different levels of heavenly bodies and deities before they could become one with God.

          Instead, ‘Paul’ tells them that Christ is the image of the invisible God, the He is firstborn over all creation. 16 For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. 17 And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. 18 And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence. And that in Christ is found all wisdom and knowledge.

          So therefore, since Christ is the image of the invisible God, and since Christ is the creator of every power and principality, and since Christ already punished His flesh in order to ascend and have the Preeminence over everything, then those who are part of His body have already ascended above the other deities, powers, principalities, and powers together with Christ. They already have all the wisdom and knowledge that they need, and that therefore they do not need to participate in these harsh ascetic practices of their bodies and cosmetic rituals or worship of angles in order to ascend spiritual levels and become one with God, as they are already one with Christ by holding fast to Him as their Head the same way the body is attached to it’s physical Head.

          This way Christ as their Head can nourish them and build them up in love and unity. The Romans believed that the head feeds the rest of the body all it needed to survive and grow.

          Read Colossians 2 and 3 and you will see a contrast.

          In chapter 2 they are baptized with Christ, have had their sins washed away, and no longer have to keep the requirements of Law of Moses.

          In chapter 3, the Works and Fruits of the Holy Spirit are required including a mention of the Golden Rule in verse 14 of chapter 3.

          “But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection.”

          This requirement of The Golden Rule, ‘Love your neighbor as you love yourself,’ Good Works, and The Fruits of the Holy Spirit have now shown to be a consistent requirement for Salvation in Galatians, Colossians, Romans, James, Matthew, Mark, Luke, Ephesians, 1 Corinthians, etc.

          “The main reason was from this scripture John shared; “For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.” John 1:17.”

          John was written a long time after Matthew, Mark, and Luke. What did Jesus Christ say He required of those who profess to know Him?

          “Talking about a change, one that is “far surpassing”, this is it. Even Jesus noted a change; “You have heard that it was said of them of old time”. “But I say unto you” Matthew 5:21-48. Jesus upping the ante, so to speak, making what once was hard, now unbearably hard, ending with; “ Be you therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.”

          How are we made Perfect Thomas?

          We are made perfect in LOVE!

          Liked by 3 people

          • Good word, but actually I was just responding, thinking you did not believe “Paul’s epistles “far surpass” the Gospels…” It seems you believe this from what you now share, but I was not sure. As true, we that are “in Christ” have such things, even ”all things pertaining to life…”, 2 Peter 1:3. Yet it is through faith that we receive these, a “faith which works (only, exclusively) by love”, Galatians 5:6, this love that represents God, “for love is of God; and every one that loves is born of God, and knows God”, 1 John 4:7. . Thanks

            Liked by 2 people

      • Ross Parry says:

        a good argument for the fallibility of Luther or any other pastor

        Liked by 2 people

        • Ross Parry says:

          I dont believe Pauls writings far surpass the gospels. Can and should anyone or anything surpass Jesus? Pauls writings are insightful, and help fill in some missing gaps. Paul is a famous pastor among others who can be inspired by the Holy Spirit. But his writing do not replace the teachings of Jesus as the primary message

          Liked by 3 people

          • ancadudar says:

            Ross Parry,
            “I dont believe Pauls writings far surpass the gospels.”

            I agree. I was trying to show how Paul is misunderstood to be teaching faith only as in head knowledge and correct beliefs. I believe that the “faith” gospel Paul was teaching was a faith of works that corresponded to the teachings of Jesus and the type of works and character of the heart that Jesus required.

            Evangelicals love to read out and teach the verses that mention faith in Jesus Christ and the doing away of the Law, but they never seem to read the whole chapter where works of love are required as part of that faith that Paul taught. Love was the fulfillment of the Law, it was the correct Law of the Torah.

            Liked by 2 people

  3. scraffiti says:

    Another good post, Tim.
    There was a time when I scored a perfect 10! All ten beliefs pointed to No.2 – ‘The Word’ as was the mantra. It has taken me several years to come out from under the sheer burden of this ind of teaching. The Word, which of course, is the Bible, was wielded almost as a weapon of mass destruction. All your actions, thoughts and very being were measured by it and you were graded accordingly. Super-spiritual, just-about-spiritual, doubtful and no-hoper but we’ll put up with you although we’ll keep an eye on you. We’ll watch what you say and who you say it to and will chastise you when necessary. You will learn that we are superior and that you are inferior. We will, of course, take your tithes and offerings because that’s God not you! Ask me how glad I was to escape! Keep it coming, Tim.

    Liked by 5 people

    • jesuswithoutbaggage says:

      Thanks for the kind words, Scraffiti! I was also committed to all 10. And, yes, they all arise from infallibility. I also witnessed the kind of control you describe, though I avoided the worst of it by keeping some of my thoughts to myself and just moving on from the church. However, as an adult Sunday school teacher I did push the boundaries as far as I thought the class could handle them.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Ross Parry says:

    The Infallibility of scripture doctrine is quite a problem. Those supposedly teaching it do not follow everything in the Old Testament to the letter. They choose which bits to emphasise. On top of this is the fact that we humans are interpreting what the passage means and how that relates to today. So how can we infallibly claim to know the true interpretation and not misunderstand it? The preachers of such a doctrine show their own arrogance. But because they “act” like they know the truth, people insecure in their faith believe in them even though they are probably bluffing their supposed confidence.

    Liked by 4 people

    • jesuswithoutbaggage says:

      Ross, you said it! “So how can we infallibly claim to know the true interpretation and not misunderstand it? The preachers of such a doctrine show their own arrogance. But because they “act” like they know the truth, people insecure in their faith believe in them even though they are probably bluffing their supposed confidence.”

      I think the confidence of many of them is based as much in the tradition that was taught to them than their personal understanding from the ‘inerrant’ Bible, itself. But who can be that certain?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ross Parry says:

        I believe the NT does set the bar higher with regard to ethics. Even then it took quite a while to eliminate slavery in the Roman Empire among Christian slave owners, which then made a comeback in the British and American systems. Forms of unjust wage slavery still exist and are justified by the religious right. If one looks solely at the epistles one can see ethical failures such as a negative attitude toward women. But then we are supposed to be following Jesus, not Paul Peter or Moses. My chances of misunderstanding what Jesus said and misapplying it are still a testament to fallibility and a warning against infallibity even if one believes the son of God was the only man who did everything perfectly.

        Liked by 3 people

      • Ross Parry says:

        There are personality differences to consider. Narcissists(a personality disorder) are able to “act” with confidence even though they are not are certain about what they are doing as they project. Also they can “act” boldly even when they are doing something wrong.
        Other people who are insecure need moral certainty in everything, that they have everything down right, and this is why infallibility doctrines appeal to them even though they are so dangerous. These type of people feel secure under authoritarians, and why they will often fanatically support them. Narcissists in the church prey on such people and work their way into church power structures easily. Its seems an infallible Bible goes hand in hand with an infallible preacher. It enables a preacher to have greater authority even if he is a fraud.

        Liked by 3 people

        • jesuswithoutbaggage says:

          Ross: “Its seems an infallible Bible goes hand in hand with an infallible preacher. It enables a preacher to have greater authority even if he is a fraud.” Wow, Ross! I think this is true! And if challenged, they can respond with ‘Touch not God’s anointed!’

          Liked by 1 person

        • ancadudar says:

          Ross Parry,
          “Other people who are insecure need moral certainty in everything, that they have everything down right, and this is why infallibility doctrines appeal to them even though they are so dangerous. ”

          This is so true! Nobody can understand and follow all of the New Testament. Some things just do not make sense as we only have half of the corresponding conversation, and the Apostles are not with us to answer our questions. Fundamentalists teach that we must know everything in the Bible correctly with head knowledge like our fate in eternity depends on it so they then they act like they know everything, but what they have is tradition as you have said elsewhere because the Bible is just too complex and fractured for us to know what it really means in every text. This is why there are more than 30,000 denominations!

          “These type of people feel secure under authoritarians, and why they will often fanatically support them. Narcissists in the church prey on such people and work their way into church power structures easily.”

          I really like how you brought up the personality traits of different people and how it plays in with authoritarianism, infallibility, and church structure.

          One of the reasons I focus on Jesus teaching so much now for my own personal life is because I woke up to the fact that I do not want to bring people into an institution for the sake of institution as that is what Christianity has become. Instead, I want people to know the love of God through loving them the best I can according to the parables of Jesus. Also, most but not all, of Jesus parables are easy to follow and without baggage as Tim’s blog is called.

          I also woke up to the fact and the question of what exactly is wrong with life? What is wrong with living alongside all of the other normal people on earth and enjoying life without looking forward to leaving it so soon in some rapture as if things here are so bad, because things are not so bad, and most unbelievers are good-hearted and loving people as well. The only difference is that as a Christian I just feel richer because I know I have a Creator and He is love, and His intentions towards me are good.

          Liked by 1 person

    • ancadudar says:

      Ross Parry,
      Infallibility of scripture is also a problem because by its logical implication some scriptures cancel others out. Not in a positive way either when its scripture against scripture in regards to the New Testament. You cannot love your neighbor like you love yourself and own slaves. Period, there is no way around this fact. We can be decent and nice to our slaves, but we cannot actually love them as we love ourselves and still keep them bound and exploited to serve our own interests. So not all scripture can logically be infallible, and the worse place a person can be in then is to demote and minimize the meaning and action of love to fit the two opposing scriptures together due to an erroneous understanding of infallibility.

      Of course, slavery has been done away with, but the concept remains as the New Testament is full of this kind of stuff. There is a higher law in all of it, some things may be permissible but not perfect. I think we can weed out most of what is infallible by consistency to the highest ethics set forth in the NT. Of course, even then human interpretation still plays a role, but we can get a closer to the truth that way when we highlight certain principles with love being the starting point by which to measure all others for infallibility. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

      Love never fails.

      Liked by 3 people

  5. One of my friends when I was younger told me recently that he rejected God because of the sleepless nights he had. He spent hours worried about hellfire and not being “elect”. He’s an atheist, but more than open to discussing a Christianity not based on fear.

    Liked by 5 people

  6. Do you know a book called 23 Minutes in Hell by Bill Wiese? In it, Wiese, a Protestant minister, claims that God took him to hell in a dream to prove that it is real. He said he saw raging fires, heard screams of agony, and felt demons and other beasts attack him. Pretty much every fundie stereotype about hell is in there.

    If Wiese really believes this then, fine, I guess. But I think it was cruel of him to write a book like this and tell people this is what they’ll get if they don’t fall in line (though he probably thinks it’s helpful).

    Wiese most likely had the dream, but I don’t believe for a second that it was any sort of vision from God. I believe it was simply a manifestation of his own beliefs.

    A comparable example is one night, a few weeks ago, my husband and I decided to watch the movie Van Helsing before going to bed. It’s a horror movie that’s supposed to be an homage to the old black-and-white monster movies, and it features every old monster you can think of from Frankenstein’s monster to Dracula to the Wolfman.

    That night, both my husband and I dreamed about monsters.

    I don’t think that was for any reason other than it was planted in our psyche by that film. It wasn’t a spiritual message that monsters were real or whatever.

    Another example is how, right after watching a scary film, people get freaked out by walking into a dark room. Logically, they know nothing is there, but the film planted things in their mind that scares them into thinking that something may be waiting to grab them.

    I believe the brains of fundamentalists work the same way. They see so much punishment and judgment because they have blinded themselves to seeing anything but that. When they supposedly see “proof” of Satan, all they are seeing is the monsters they have created in their own mind.

    Liked by 5 people

    • jesuswithoutbaggage says:

      Strange Girl, I think I remember that book from from the past, but I didn’t read it. However, I did witness the opposite experience. Years ago I was part of a church of about 2000. One day the pastor was very excited to have a member speak to us about a different dream (or vision). He went to Heaven and described what he saw there, including streets of gold and gates of pearl–remarkable proof of what we had always been taught! Remarkable!

      Well, I was not as impressed as the pastor. I believe the man “most likely had the dream, but I don’t believe for a second that it was any sort of vision from God. I believe it was simply a manifestation of his own beliefs.” Just as you say.

      And, yes, I have had people share with me ‘proof of Satan’ in a similar way.

      Liked by 3 people

    • ancadudar says:

      “Do you know a book called 23 Minutes in Hell by Bill Wiese?”

      I’m actually one that does believe that God will refine and correct certain people in the afterlife, but I do not believe in hell in the way Protestants teach it. There was a youtube video that made the rounds to millions in the Evangelical circle where some “scientists” in Siberia claimed that they drilled deep in the earth and recorded sounds of people burning in hell. After years of this video being played on Christian radio stations and in churches, it came out that someone took recordings for a popular 1990’s horror movie and did a voice over!

      Another one is a young Korean girl under 11 years old who would draw and paint “visions” of hell. She painted the most grotesque images of personal torture saying that Jesus personally gave her these images in spiritual visits and visions of hell. Well, it turns out that she painted scene by scene exact images depicted in the ‘Apocalypse of Peter’ – a second-century apocalyptic forgery claiming Peter’s authorship. Many of the early Eastern Churches used to include it in their readings in place of our NT epistle of Revelations until the Bishops finally put a stop to it, so it was a popular document and easy for anybody to access online as a historical fictional piece. This stuff is shameless!

      Liked by 3 people

  7. Neecer says:

    When I was young, I had a cousin ask me if I knew that I was going to hell (he is of Holdeman Mennonite faith) because I was a Catholic. My mom used to tell me that Jesus cried every time I told a lie and was naughty. My dad, who never joined the Holdeman church, believes in an angry and jealous god. My sister (Anglican now, but raised Catholic like I was) believed my dad wasn’t going to be saved because he wasn’t baptized and she pushed for him to eventually get baptized. My other sister received her calling from God and He showed her Sheol…;began speaking in tongues, believes in the laying on of hands, (she is Evangelical now). All of that is o.k. with me. Hey–do what it is that makes a person feel good. Every single one of them think I am wrong in my beliefs (no devil, no hell) . That’s fine with me, too. But why the pity in their eyes? I don’t pity them for their beliefs. And, every one of them has latched on to their favorite sect at this point and has picked up the mantle of the particular church that they are going to (except for my dad, who couldn’t care less to go to church). I do have guilt and fear hold-overs from when I was young (WHAT IF I AM WRONG?!?), not to mention I rebelled (oh did I) but it is getting better as try to be as much like Jesus as I can (ugh, I fail miserably a lot, but I keep trying). It is a hard pattern to break, especially if you feel as though you are not worthy of being saved in the first place…which to me is what I was originally taught.

    Liked by 5 people

    • jesuswithoutbaggage says:

      Neecer, of course they pity you because you are DEAD WRONG and going to HELL for it. And unless they begin to question some things themselves, I don’t think it is likely to change. But I like your attitude of “All of that is o.k. with me.” I think that is a good response.

      You said, “I do have guilt and fear hold-overs from when I was young (WHAT IF I AM WRONG?!?), not to mention I rebelled (oh did I) but it is getting better as try to be as much like Jesus as I can (ugh, I fail miserably a lot, but I keep trying). It is a hard pattern to break, especially if you feel as though you are not worthy of being saved in the first place…which to me is what I was originally taught.”

      It is often difficult to overcome the feelings and patterns ingrained in us in these situations–but it can be done! You are on a journey. Continue journeying; it can get much better, and the guilt and fear can go away (even if we are not perfect in trying to be like Jesus).

      Liked by 2 people

  8. Fear not just for me, but for billions of others.

    Always worrying about Catholics, Lutherans, atheists, agnostics, the divorced, alcoholics, teens who dance/have sex/go to movies, Christians who died before Luther fixed the church, gays, etc. etc. etc. The weight of the world constantly on your shoulders because you feel like if they’re lost, then it’s somehow your fault even if you didn’t know them, because you 1) didn’t give enough to missionaries, 2) weren’t a missionary, didn’t think to pray that this person who lived 200 years ago in a jungle was somehow saved before they died. (I called them retro-active prayers, because God would know 200 years ago that I would pray it in the future.)

    Then of course, if I do something wrong, I must immediately pray for forgiveness lest I get hit by a bus/die in my sleep/have a heart attack and go to Hell.

    It took probably some 20 years to break free of all this. The first 10 or so years were spent in little realizations that I may have been taught wrong about this or that, but still very much in the Evangelical fold. The little realizations added up over time until they began to snowball and I finally jumped ship, feeling like an escapee.

    Liked by 5 people

    • jesuswithoutbaggage says:

      Nyssa, I love this! And of course you are not alone in this experience. I am glad you are now an escapee–welcome from another escapee.

      Liked by 3 people

  9. tonycutty says:

    Tim, someone once said this to me: “When we stand before Him, you will know how many people were blessed by what you are doing”. I think the same is true for you. Your blog is an oasis of freedom and hope in a morass of doctrinal minefields and despair. Keep up the good work 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    • jesuswithoutbaggage says:

      Tony, thank you so much for your kind words. But I don’t feel special; I just hope I can help a few people a little bit.

      Like

  10. God is angry, but its with the wicked every day (Psalm 7:11), but according to the Gospel (the good news), they don’t have to remain wicked, as they can be changed, 2 Corinthians 5:17. God is love, John 3:16, but if we do not receive it through faith, Ephesians 2:8,9, then his wrath abides, John 3:36.
    The Bible is essentially written by God and every word is inerrant as this is why Paul told Titus to be; “Holding fast the faithful word as he has been taught (proverbs 22:6), that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers (those who oppose it).” Titus 1:9. This “faithful word” here is this very same word we are to “give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine” 1 Timothy 4:13 , as Paul admonishes. Because, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:” 2 Timothy 3:16.
    Hell is real but was not made for man rather the devil and his followers (Matthew 25:41), as apposed to heaven, “prepared for them that love him.”1 Corinthians 2:9. Hell was first prepared for “the devil and his angels,” not Adam and Eve and their posterity. They merely got caught in his snare and destined fate. But this is very reason Christ came to deliver us from that darkness, Colossians 1:13, showing mercy, John 3:17.
    What “pleases him”?, it is faith, Hebrews 11:6. But faith with corresponding works, works we are ordained to follow in (Ephesians 2:10) and if they are not there, such one is not even in the ball park (James 2:17,18). Doing good and communicating (sharing of what you have) pleases Him, (Hebrews 13:16).
    The atonement was God pouring out his wrath for our sins on Jesus at the cross, just like lambs were used for the atonement for the sins of Israel. “For he has made him to be sin for us (John 1:29), who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” 2 Corinthians 5:21. Since Gods wrath was result of our sin, this same “wrath of God revealed from heaven” (Romans 1:18), God made Jesus carry on the cross (1 Peter 2:24). This then is the very wrath, we that believe, are now saved from through Jesus, the lamb of God, “Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.” Romans 5:9.

    Liked by 2 people

    • jesuswithoutbaggage says:

      Thomas, it seems apparent that we disagree on a number of issues.

      Liked by 1 person

    • ancadudar says:

      Thomas Howard,

      “Right, and the reason is in the words of his epistles. “ But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.”

      So Thomas Howard, I went a little further than you suggested and reread Galatians chapters 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6, the whole epistle in fact. I think you misunderstand Paul, like many do. First of all, what Gospel was Paul sent out to preach?

      In Galatians chapters 1 through the beginning half of 5, Paul is saying that the Gentiles do not have to practice circumcision and observe the Jewish ‘Jobs’ such as observing days, months, and seasons, the dietary laws, and the laws of Moses in Leviticus.

      Galatians 4:9-11
      9 But now after you have known God, or rather are known by God, how is it that you turn again to the weak and beggarly elements, to which you desire again to be in bondage? 10 You observe days and months and seasons and years. 11 I am afraid for you, lest I have labored for you in vain.

      5:3 3 And I testify again to every man who becomes circumcised that he is [a]a debtor to keep the whole law.

      2:11-12
      11 Now when [a]Peter had come to Antioch, I [b]withstood him to his face, because he was to be blamed; 12 for before certain men came from James, he would eat with the Gentiles; but when they came, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing [c]those who were of the circumcision.

      You failed to take into consideration Galatians 5:6, 13-14, 16-21, 22-26, and the whole of chapter 6.

      5:6
      For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but faith working through love.

      5:13-14
      For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. 14 For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

      5:16-21
      I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. 17 For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
      19 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: [a]adultery, [b]fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21 envy, [c]murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

      5:22-26
      But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. 24 And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.

      Galatians 6:2, 7-10, 15

      2Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.
      7 Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. 8 For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life. 9 And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. 10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.
      15 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but a new creation.

      They still have to keep the ‘Ethics’ of the Law as required for salvation. The verse you quote in Galatians have absolutely nothing to do with what Paul says in Romans 2 or what Jesus taught. Salvation is by good works out of love. Those required works and the characteristics of love are spelt throughout the parables of Jesus and the rest of the NT so that no one has to guess what they are.

      Read Galatians 2:10. James, Peter, and John were OK with Paul being given the gospel to the Gentiles, but they still required that Paul and Barnabas should remember the POOR, something that has to do with the ‘Ethics’ of the Torah and central to the teachings of Jesus! Peter, James, and John still taught circumcision to the Jews, and they still kept their laws and festivals. The problem is that Paul’s gospel is misunderstood. You make a mistake when you think that Paul and Jesus did away with the Law. Jesus fulfilled the Law, every jot. Love fulfills the whole of the Law. Love God first then your neighbor. Paul did away with the jobs of the law, not the ethics. Read Romans 2, it is not the hearers of the Law that justifies a person, but the doers of the law. The conscious of the non-believers bears them witness whether they do good or bad. Galatians 2:20, “If I have been crucified with Christ, it is no longer I who live but Christ in me…. Can Christ be in a person when Christ said, ‘Follow Me’, and told us what to do to follow Him in His parables?

      Pull out your Bible and contrast Galatians 3 with James 2.

      Galatians 3:6-9
      6 just as Abraham “believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” 7 Therefore know that only those who are of faith are sons of Abraham. 8 And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel to Abraham beforehand, saying, “In you all the nations shall be blessed.” 9 So then those who are of faith are blessed with believing Abraham.

      James 2:14-26
      14 What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? 17 Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.
      18 But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without [a]your works, and I will show you my faith by [b]my works. 19 You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble! 20 But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is [c]dead? 21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar? 22 Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made [d]perfect? 23 And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “Abraham believed God, and it was [e]accounted to him for righteousness.” And he was called the friend of God. 24 You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only.
      25 Likewise, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out another way?
      26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.
      James 2:8-9
      If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you do well; 9 but if you [a]show partiality, you commit sin, and are convicted by the law as transgressors.

      Read Romans 2
      12 For as many as have sinned without law will also perish without law, and as many as have sinned in the law will be judged by the law 13 (for not the hearers of the law are just in the sight of God, but the doers of the law will be justified; 14 for when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do the things in the law, these, although not having the law, are a law to themselves, 15 who show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and between themselves their thoughts accusing or else excusing them) 16 in the day when God will judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ, according to my gospel…… 25 For circumcision is indeed profitable if you keep the law; but if you are a breaker of the law, your circumcision has become uncircumcision. 26 Therefore, if an uncircumcised man keeps the righteous requirements of the law, will not his uncircumcision be counted as circumcision? 27 And will not the physically uncircumcised, if he fulfills the law, judge you who, even with your [f]written code and circumcision, are a transgressor of the law? 28 For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh; 29 but he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the Spirit, not in the letter; whose [g]praise is not from men but from God.

      I’m glad you brought up Colossians. In order to keep this post from getting too long, I will reply in a separate post to the verses you mentioned in Colossians. For now, consider what Colossians did say about circumcision of the HEART and GOOD WORKS required for one to be found in Christ, to be baptised with Him. Contrast it with Romans 2, James 2, Galatians, and the parables of Jesus in Mark, Luke, and Matthew.

      Liked by 2 people

      • jesuswithoutbaggage says:

        Anca, “Paul did away with the jobs of the law, not the ethics.” I really like this!

        Liked by 1 person

        • newtonfinn says:

          Amid all the confusion and controversy over the language in Paul’s letters about faith vs. works, I can’t help but hear the principal teaching of Jesus, that we are to love God with all that is in us, and to love others as we love ourselves. The key to understanding this teaching, I believe, is found in Matthew, where Jesus says that the second, the love of others, is “like unto” the first, the love of God. Does not this intimate linkage indicate that we love God BY loving others, that faith and works are not in opposition, but one in essential and inseparable unity?

          Liked by 3 people

          • Right, as this scripture shows that intimate link; “ If a man say, I love God, and hates his brother, he is a liar: for he that loves not his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen?” 1 John 4:20.
            As for works, this is exactly what Paul spoke of in Ephesians 2:8,9,10, “ For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God has before ordained that we should walk in them.” Basically saying, we are not saved “by” works, but “for” works.
            As these works are the manifestation of faith, as “he that does truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.” John 3:21. Again with the manifesting of our faith; “ Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. If any man’s work abide which he has built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.” 1 Corinthians 3:13,14,15. , as it is only in a true living faith where God is working, working of his grace of his good pleasure in us (Philippians 2:13), does any work then receive rewards, because they have been built upon a good foundation , the foundation “no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.” 1 Corinthians 3:11.

            Liked by 3 people

    • ancadudar says:

      Thomas Howard,
      You said,
      “Basically saying, we are not saved “by” works, but “for” works.”

      How do you deal with Romans 2? Non-believers are made righteous by keeping the law of God written on their hearts without knowing God or the Law.

      Also, Ephesians was not written by Paul. As noted by many scholars, Ephesians makes some mistakes when it speaks about faith because it speaks about it from a post-Paulin era after faith became a religion, it became head knowledge of correct doctrine instead of an active living action. The original Paul did not use the word ‘faith’ in the way. The book of James was written as a response to the type of dead faith that was taught in Ephesians.

      The fake Paulin epistles swallowed up the original heart of the gospel. I think your beliefs are similar to mine, but you get there through a different route.

      Liked by 1 person

      • As far as you using Romans 2 to say “non-believers are made righteous by keeping the law of God written on their hearts…”, It does not say that they are “made righteous”, it says their “conscience bears them witness”, that’s all.
        It just demonstrates that the requirements of the law are woven into their hearts. They know what is right and wrong, for their conscience validates this “law” in their heart and is universal, effecting all mankind. As their thoughts “correct” them in one instance and “commend” them in another. He is merely showing that “if” the Gentiles, who had but the light of nature, were inexcusable, much more the Jews, who had the light of the law, the revealed will of God.
        This does not do away with the rest of the “whole council of God”, which say’s “all have sinned and come up short of the glory of God”, Romans 3:23, as “all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags”, Isaiah 64:6.
        This is speaking of the those that have not yet heard the Gospel preached as the Gospel is this; “For he has made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him (through faith believing).” 2 Corinthians 5:21.
        .Notice, verse 16 he quickly refers to the general judgment, the judging of the “secrets of men”, these conscience’s of non believers.
        I don’t understand how you get it suggest, “head knowledge of correct doctrine instead of an active living action.”These two go together, and Paul lays them both out, Chapters 1-3 are doctrinal and chapters 4-6 are applicational. But believing Ephesians is fake, would taint ones understanding, being in such thought territory. I suggest you get with bible believing group, and be weary of the “many, which corrupt the word of God” 2 Corinthians 2:17.

        http://www.tektonics.org/af/ephauth.php
        It is rather long, but quite revealing, showing the other side of this controversy, and showing how Paul is the author of Ephesians. To believe otherwise is putting one on the road of confusion, and God is not the author of such, 1 Corinthians 14:33. I once heard a man, back in the late 70’s who memorized the whole letter to the Ephesians, orating it on stage. It was astonishing, and made me aware of how important this epistle is and was to this fellow. Don’t have to wonder what his response would be!
        Just a note about the tectonics article, at the end there are 21 response’s to 21 statements, and since he did not number them, one must be careful as to which is statement and which is response. Thanks

        Liked by 2 people

        • ancadudar says:

          Thomas,
          Tim’s blog is not the place for me to rebuttle doctrine as this can go on forever and I’m sure Tim did not intend his blog for this purpose. So after this comment, I will have to stop here.

          I disagree with your assessment of Romans 2. Jesus said so clearly that He does not know those who do not live out love and good works towards others, all of His parables show this and say over and over again that Jesus will give everyone according to their works and that He will judge the heart for purity and love, EVERYONE will be measured by this standard not just the Christians. James spells it out very clearly. Romans 2 says a lot more than their conscious just bearing them witness, it counts it to them as righteousness and true circumcision of the heart, as required for salvation if they keep God’s ethics. The highest ethic is to love your neighbor as you love yourself.

          As far as Ephesians, I have studied this for years now. I have heard the best defense and rebuttals for its authenticity from both fundamentalists and evangelicals. I know their tactics, it’s one of hypotheticals and dismissal if not outright making false claims. I’m not buying, I personally do not find Ephesians authentic, it has the same value to me as a pastor’s sermon, both partly inspired and a human mix of someone attempting to capture the best of Paul while adding their own ideas in there to address a new situation. Ephesians has some beauty and treasures in there, but it is not a foundation of Paul’s core doctrine and his teaching on faith, it is more like end game, a summary of Paul. I think of it like this, someone took Pauls other letters and made a summary of them according to their understanding of what Paul said elsewhere, and some small but deadly mistakes were made in the process.

          I believe the majority of experts and do not hold to the authenticity or authority of Ephesians. The language is also of the late first century and early second-century patristic writings of early church Father’s. I study the writings of the early church Father’s and it has their fingerprints all over it.

          Funny, because now some of the biggest evangelical scholars want to remove Romans 2 out of the Bible, and they are also speaking against the authorship of James. This is because those two threaten a faith and doctrine only Christianity as started by Luther.

          Liked by 2 people

  11. Tim, overall, great article. Thank you. I do have one disagreement though. You wrote: “Now you might embrace every one of these beliefs and not feel you are being harmed at all. That’s okay;” While someone may not be harmed directly and that’s okay, I think we are ignoring the system that can be harmful. A system of thought that harms is not ok. Rapture theology may not harm someone directly in the US, but it has a harmful impact on geopolitical situations in the Middle East and hence someone is being harmed. Yes, we should certainly look at things personally, but also how they impact the world systemically too.

    Liked by 3 people

    • jesuswithoutbaggage says:

      Matthew, you are right of course. My point was not that the beliefs have no further consequences but that I was not calling out and judging individuals who were comfortable with these beliefs. That was not my purpose in this article. However, I see how it could come across as you indicate and perhaps was not a good choice of words.

      Thanks for the pointing that out.

      Liked by 2 people

    • ancadudar says:

      laceduplutheran,

      “A system of thought that harms is not ok. Rapture theology may not harm someone directly in the US, but it has a harmful impact on geopolitical situations in the Middle East and hence someone is being harmed.”

      What you have said is really wise. There is a pastor I know of who preaches on these things and how the ideology of the rapture has caused systematic abuse in certain circumstances because it influences the political stance evangelicals take. Also, many have a ‘the hell with it’ attitude because they think God will burn and destroy this place anyway, so they do not take care of the earth and its resources, and they vote against policies that focus on that.

      Liked by 2 people

  12. Sojourner says:

    This is a good conversation but l do struggle a bit with all the quoting of scripture being that l am no longer a believer in inerrancy. Oh yeah, l qualified as a holder of all 10 of Tim’s list of harmful beliefs. It seems that many on this blog cannot state their opinion without trying to validate it with scripture. And then the sword fight ensues. I hope we can respect one another’s opinions even when not backed up by scripture. Having said that, l know that most of what I do believe about Jesus and God l do get from the Bible. At the same time, much of what I once believed about Jesus, God, hellfire and damnation along with a myriad of other things, but no longer do, I also got from the Bible. I do get tired of all the “the Bible says….., the Bible says…, the Bible says… but I sure like the whole idea of Jesus without the baggage. Good article Tim. I know we don’t agree on everything but your cool in my book. Thanks again..

    Liked by 2 people

    • newtonfinn says:

      You put your finger, Sojourner, on the inherent difficulty that arises when believers in Jesus of a more liberal persuasion cite portions of scripture to make or support theological points. While I acknowledge this tension and share your dislike of proof-texting argumentation, I would also suggest that Jesus himself was a master at picking and choosing portions of the law and the prophets to illustrate or undergird his teachings. Scriptural selection and interpretation IMHO is addressed in his parable about the scribe trained for the Kingdom of Heaven, who is like a householder bringing out of his storeroom treasures old and new. Now there I’ve gone and done it again….

      Liked by 2 people

  13. jesuswithoutbaggage says:

    Sojourner: “This is a good conversation but l do struggle a bit with all the quoting of scripture being that l am no longer a believer in inerrancy.”

    Newton: “You put your finger, Sojourner, on the inherent difficulty that arises when believers in Jesus of a more liberal persuasion cite portions of scripture to make or support theological points.”

    Thomas, let me join with Sojourner and Newton to say that proof-texting is totally ineffective in discussion with someone who is not an inerrantist. We used to have a couple people here who did a lot of proof-texting, and discussion was almost impossible. I understand proof-texting, though, and used to be a major proof-texter myself.

    I don’t mean to discount your contributions, your integrity, or your insights, but proof-texting is not useful as an argument with most of us on this blog. Here is an article I wrote to explain why proof-texting doesn’t help.
    https://jesuswithoutbaggage.wordpress.com/2017/08/30/how-proof-texting-is-ineffective-and-disrespects-the-bible/

    Liked by 1 person

    • ancadudar says:

      Sorry, Tim, I am guilty of some proof-texting myself in my replies to Thomas. I stop it, LOL.

      Liked by 1 person

      • jesuswithoutbaggage says:

        Anca, I was not concerned with your proof-texting. The natural response to proof-texting seems to be counter proof-texting. However, you generally deal with biblical passages contextually and historically, so I don’t think you are really a proof-texter.

        Liked by 2 people

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  15. michaeleeast says:

    Tim, I couldn’t agree more!
    The only thing that I would add is that many Fundamentalists have a fear of sex in general and homosexuality in particular. And this can hangover in the (Fundamentalist) afterlife. Exvangelicals often retain some of this in their unconscious. This can be extremely damaging to Christianity itself. Many modern people will dismiss it out of hand. This may be worth looking into.

    Liked by 1 person

    • jesuswithoutbaggage says:

      Michael, you bring up an important issue. “Many Fundamentalists have a fear of sex in general and homosexuality in particular.” You are absolutely correct.

      Like

      • “a fear of sex in general and homosexuality in particular.” Just, fear with no apparent reason? Harsh criticism for something so pronounced in scripture, as the word not only backs this fear, but gives reason why (1 Corinthians 6:15-20), as fear can also mean respect, and a healthy one at that, as one who plays with fire can get burned. Sexual sins are not only ones which are against our own bodies, but nothing can be more inconsistent, along with being extremely damaging to our profession of faith, than these..

        Liked by 1 person

        • ancadudar says:

          I don’t know Howard, evangelicals, and fundamentalists are quick to cover up the rapes of women and young girls. If they were really afraid of sexual sins, then they would take greater care to report abuses to the authorities instead of blaming the victim and shielding the perpetrator.

          I am against the sexual sins mentioned, but I find Christians to be some of the biggest hypocrites when it comes to sexual double standards. This is true for the past 2,000 years, not just a modern issue.

          Liked by 1 person

          • True, and such shielding should not be, as goes the proverbs 28:13; “He that covers his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesses and forsakes them shall have mercy.”
            as Paul spoke of such seeming hypocrisy 2,000 years ago, when he said “fornication is reported to be common among you” 1 Corinthians 5:1. Now Corinth is a port city with much shipping and yes sailors, though this is no excuse, yet just reality. But as far as church reality, it is 2 Corinthians 5:17, for if any man truly be “in Christ” he then is a new creation, old is passed, new has begun, as a new life ensues, set apart from sin through what Jesus did..
            Along with this new life, Paul advises on how to avoid fornication, letting every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband, 1 Corinthians 7:2. Good advise then, good advise today, yet not totally bullet proof, as then there is adultery, but yet it is Gods way, his plan for man. No, just because someone sin’s, does not make them hypocrite’s, what makes them such is “continuing in” what they were saved from. As Jesus came to save us “from our sins”, not save us “in our sins”, Romans 6:7 and 18, big difference, as, “How shall we that are dead to sin live any longer therein?” Romans 6:2.
            As big a question back then as it is now, and the answer is, how in deed can we that truly believe Jesus died on the tree, 1 Peter 2:24 (used tree here to show how Jesus was made a curse for us, Galatians 3:13) continue in something he was made such a spectacle for! Making a point that how could we do such disrespect to such great sacrifice?
            No, true faith separates those continuing in sin (hypocrites) and those who do not continue, as John points out rather well the difference; “And you know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin (setting the stage as to how we are to be). Whosoever abides in him sins not (meaning does not “continue” in same): whosoever sins (again meaning continuing) has not seen him, neither known him.”1 John 3:5,6. So that is why there are seemingly hypocrites in the “church”, because these are they that “neither have seen him or known” Jesus.
            As knowing Jesus should effect ones life, to the point of effecting ones approach to how one lives ones life!
            Thanks for bringing this point up for discussion as it is very much pertinent for our time.

            Liked by 1 person

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