Contrary to a literal interpretation of what some of the Biblical prophets mentioned about themselves and in referring to others, I was not born "knowing" God in my mother's womb. However, I do understand how predisposition fits here. I was predisposed. My first thought when God came up was, how can anyone know that? I wasn't dismissive of the idea. I just truly couldn't see how people, if they had the same sensory limitations I had, could know about God. I remained open and wanting to know. Jesus was a nearly completely different matter.
I came easily to believing in God teleologically and for incommunicable reasons; but Jesus, while I liked him very much and felt awful at what had been done to him, didn't click for me until I started from scratch seeking the answers as to why things were going to Hell in a hand basket again with 9/11 and more so, the obviously highly immoral invasion of Iraq.
I reread and revisited everything I thought I knew questioning everything. In the process, naturally, I considered every philosophy and religion starting from the most fundamental aspect looking for what worked from one end to the other. In the process, I determined to finally dig into Christianity, something I hadn't done enough to rule it in or out. That's when major cross-referencing of scripture per Jesus dawned on me. (My "Christian" and other education had been severely lacking, something that I complained about when I was a young child and on and off again along the way.) The rest is history, as they say.
Psalm 22 just "blew me away." Isaiah 53 did more of the same. Things just kept falling into place, and things started happening in my life that were nothing less than astounding relative to things that had happened to me before, which I had already thought were amazing.
So, I've tried to impart various things, and in the process, I've run into many variations on atheism. Atheism used to be a rather un-subdivided category for me when I was young. Let me say that I am now able to, and do, differentiate between atheists. There are atheists out mowing people down, and there are atheists dead set against that. The latter are generally more righteous than the former, assuming that the latter are consistently more generous and less sexually depraved, etc. The same applies to those who believe in spirit, gods, God, Jesus, etc., or claim to.
Heaven and Hell are continuations of what happens here. We get what we create or bring forth. This plane of existence we call the here and now is a trial — a filter. We're being sifted. It isn't inconsistent with what we call the natural processes but truly does transcend them.
Now, for me, it is both a matter of faith and knowledge. I do trust God. I do trust Jesus.
When the "time" comes, I will not be throwing atheists into the "Lake of Fire." What there will be though is a separation. There are "levels" of Heaven and Hell, and frankly, this is one of them.
You've heard of Ockham's razor. Well, I have to tell you that it's wrong. Complexity is infinite right along with simplicity. This, along with how to view many other terms, is too abstract for many at this stage. The thing is that the mind of God comprehends that infinity, and righteousness is the path.
Who God is, is not Satan or the devil or whatever term is used to describe evil. God does separate, but Satan punishes. The understanding of this is summated in the words of Jesus when he said, "Woe unto the world because of offences! for it must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh!" That's the King James Version. Scholars and theologians haven't associated that with Satan as the ruler of this Earth in the form of worldly Presidents and others who take it upon themselves, whether "authorized" by the people or not, to mete out what those Presidents and rulers consider justice but which when viewed in the totality of Jesus's message, is actually offensive to God, which is clear in that it runs contrary to Jesus saying don't resist evil via violence.
Most "Christians" just never get this far in their thinking. Most excuse those rulers by basing the excuse on Paul's Romans 13, where he says such rulers are the instruments or ministers of God. However, they are really the instruments of Satan. This observation is very difficult for Pauline Christians. They consider Paul's writings to be on par with Jesus's words; and in many cases, they consider Paul superior to Jesus, which I say here because I've seen them quote Paul endlessly without ever even mentioning Jesus's words to the contrary. They do this because it's much easier to live by Paul's words than Jesus's, although they don't care to admit this.
Knowing where Satan fits in and doesn't is just something people have to contemplate. God is perfect, and Satan has no part in that. Christians are to look to perfection — to become one with God, which by the way, is not an ego-trip.
The following should appear at the end of every post:
According to the IRS, "Know the law: Avoid political campaign intervention":
Tax-exempt section 501(c)(3) organizations like churches, universities, and hospitals must follow the law regarding political campaigns. Unfortunately, some don't know the law.
Under the Internal Revenue Code, all section 501(c)(3) organizations are prohibited from participating in any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office. The prohibition applies to campaigns at the federal, state and local level.
Violation of this prohibition may result in denial or revocation of tax-exempt status and the imposition of certain excise taxes. Section 501(c)(3) private foundations are subject to additional restrictions.
Political Campaign Intervention
Political campaign intervention includes any activities that favor or oppose one or more candidates for public office. The prohibition extends beyond candidate endorsements.
Contributions to political campaign funds, public statements of support or opposition (verbal or written) made by or on behalf of an organization, and the distribution of materials prepared by others that support or oppose any candidate for public office all violate the prohibition on political campaign intervention.
Factors in determining whether a communication results in political campaign intervention include the following:
- Whether the statement identifies one or more candidates for a given public office
- Whether the statement expresses approval or disapproval of one or more candidates' positions and/or actions
- Whether the statement is delivered close in time to the election
- Whether the statement makes reference to voting or an election
- Whether the issue addressed distinguishes candidates for a given office
Many religious organizations believe, as we do, that the above constitutes a violation of the First Amendment of the US Constitution.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
That said, we make the following absolutely clear here:
- The Real Liberal Christian Church and Christian Commons Project not only do not endorse any candidate for any secular office, we say that Christianity forbids voting in such elections.
- Furthermore, when we discuss any public-office holder's position, policy, action or inaction, we definitely are not encouraging anyone to vote for that office holder's position.
- We are not trying to influence secular elections but rather want people to come out from that entire fallen system.
- When we analyze or discuss what is termed "public policy," we do it entirely from a theological standpoint with an eye to educating professing Christians and those to whom we are openly always proselytizing to convert to authentic Christianity.
- It is impossible for us to fully evangelize and proselytize without directly discussing the pros and cons of public policy and the positions of secular-office holders, hence the unconstitutionality of the IRS code on the matter.
- We are not rich and wouldn't be looking for a fight regardless. What we cannot do is compromise our faith (which seeks to harm nobody, quite the contrary).
- We render unto Caesar what is Caesar's. We render unto God what is God's.
- When Caesar says to us that unless we shut up about the unrighteousness of Caesar's policies and practices, we will lose the ability of people who donate to us to declare their donations as deductions on their federal and state income-tax returns, we say to Caesar that we cannot shut up while exercising our religion in a very reasonable way.
- We consider the IRS code on this matter as deliberate economic duress (a form of coercion) and a direct attempt by the federal government to censor dissenting, free political and religious speech.
- It's not freedom of religion if they tax it.
And when they were come to Capernaum, they that received tribute money came to Peter, and said, Doth not your master pay tribute? He saith, Yes. And when he was come into the house, Jesus prevented him, saying, What thinkest thou, Simon? of whom do the kings of the earth take custom or tribute? of their own children, or of strangers? Peter saith unto him, Of strangers. Jesus saith unto him, Then are the children free. (Matthew 17:24-26)