Faith

This is some bodies personal proposal for faith.

Quote : FAITH A difficult but very important topic. I propose that faith is one of the most abused topics in Christian religious circles. I am not expecting the reader to accept anything I write on the basis of “faith”. You should accept it only on the basis of it’s appeal to your integrity, your inner light and of course support of appropriately applied scripture.

Appeal to “faith” can be a form of abuse? When the suggestion is made that something should be accepted on the basis of faith – just be wary. The appeal to accept something by faith is quite subtle because, if I question, my doubt is likely to be regarded as a lack of faith, and because faith is held to be a primary quality of Christian certainty and salvation, any expression of doubt can prompt a discomforting put-down. This potential is exploited very effectively by leaders and the power hungry hierarchy.

What is faith all about? What is it – and what is it not? What was “faith” to the writers of scripture and what has become in the hands of the religious powers? Faith is a means of embracing those aspects of God which are beyond our capacity to reduce to rational concepts. Faith is not intended for believing things which are verifiable by available means. To come quickly to an obvious application for those from a cultish background; faith should never be proposed as a means of countering disturbing but verifiable facts. For example a leader may insist that followers should exercise “faith” as to “the pure line of leaders” and then insist that any move to make “thorough inquiry” into facts is a serious breach of faith and trust. That leader should not be trusted. He is asking you not to trust God but to trust him. “God is light and in Him is no darkness at all”. (John 3 v19). But “Men have loved darkness rather than light; for their works were evil” (1 John 1 v5). Be very wary of any system which makes you feel threatened when you follow your conscientious inclination for inquiry into facts. Confidence systems and confidence men work this way, they expect you to trust them, and they make you feel an outsider if you show any doubt. Jesus did not discourage inquiry or doubt and neither did the apostle Paul.”

——————————————————————-

With all due respect to the person who wrote this , i find it interesting and would like to look at it.I truly hope this person wont be offended if i discuss it a little . In my opinion faith has effected my life … it effects the lives of many …As a human being if faith is going to exist in this life around us …Then in my opinion i don’t see why any of us should be excluded from ever discussing any parts of it. We shouldnt be excluded from discussing any of it within the EB , or out of the EB ….Whether we be Faithful , or non faithful.

The first part i find extra interesting is this bit :”When the suggestion is made that something should be accepted on the basis of faith – just be wary.”

Well ok .We need to accept the Holy Bible or Quran or any other religious holy book on faith , because we were not there in person.Matter of fact there is even some doubt that the folks who wrote the bible were actually there in person either.When scholars dating even the earliest gospel at 40 years after the events it describes .If we posit that Matthew was approximately the same age as Jesus (who was said to be around 30) then that makes Matthew at at least aged 70 when he wrote the book.Now thats mighty old considering medicine wasnt really around much and people often died all the time, and a ripe old age like that would have certainly been pretty uncommon back in those days.And besides that imagine a 70-year-old who lived such a hard life those folk did,trying to write an exact account of what happened at least 40 years ago.

So belief in whats written within the bible does rely totally on faith.Yet this book does appeal that we do accept it .

Ok lets look at the next interesting line that i have highlighted : “Faith is a means of embracing those aspects of God which are beyond our capacity to reduce to rational concepts. Faith is not intended for believing things which are verifiable by available means”

Ok well i guess that kind of confirms we rely totally on faith.But hold on we have just been advised to be wary ! .Well i couldn’t agree more .And because “Faith is not intended for believing things which are verifiable by available means” …Then maybe that suggests its wise we should really be extremely wary .

Then this writer goes on even further to say : “For example a leader may insist that followers should exercise “faith” as to “the pure line of leaders” and then insist that any move to make “thorough inquiry” into facts is a serious breach of faith and trust. That leader should not be trusted. He is asking you not to trust God but to trust him. “God is light and in Him is no darkness at all”. (John 3 v19)”

Hey but that’s exactly what folks who wrote all these holy books expect us to do all the time also right ?…Expect that yes we should : “exercise “faith” as to “the pure line of leaders” and then insist that any move to make “thorough inquiry” into facts is a serious breach of faith and trust “..Yeah that’s right …These holy book writers of ancient times insist non believers will not be in heaven .Non believers will not be saved .Non believers will end up in hell .We cannot be eye witnesses.So we have no way of knowing whether its true the writers were eye witnesses …Therefore these writers do expect us to exercise faith and accept whats written in these holy books entirely on faith ….And as they do also suggest only the believers will get to heaven …then it’s also a given fact that they obviously don’t really want any people questioning this “faith belief” either .

The writer of this article also suggests : ” That leader should not be trusted. He is asking you not to trust God but to trust him. “God is light and in Him is no darkness at all”. (John 3 v19).”

Well i do absolutely agree , all writers of all holy books are actually asking the reader to have faithful trust in the writer of the holy book . Because there is actually absolutely no “objective” way to hear or read any honestly objective opinion of any God or deity that may actually honestly exist anywhere in the universe …unless that God personally actually arrives here on the scene in person , himself .

You know folks of faith also talk about the existence of this “objective morality” …..They suggest it is  “objective moral law” and it given from God to us humans …… But the funniest thing is they don’t tell us to ask God himself ….They don’t ever say ask God and hear it straight from the horse’s mouth ….. No they don’t …They tell us look here its written here in this holy book …This holy book that those ancient human faithful folk actually wrote .Meaning whats written within these moral values has no more “objective value” than any of the moral values of absolutely any other group of human moral thought . For it is only one human groups opinion of what might be moral ,compared to what another human group may consider is moral ….Because God cannot appear in person to give this Godly objective value , that many folks of faith try claiming honestly actually exists .Without ability of God appearing in person ,it simply comes down to opinion of one group ,verses opinion of another group .

It’s a sleight-of-hand trick these faithful folk like to use .And you know what …this particular faithful sleight of hand magical trick, has been used as a very deceitful propaganda tool to try to demean any bases for moral value , of any folks without faith .Its been used to attack atheism, by suggesting atheists have no bases for moral value .When a group of atheist has as much bases for moral value , as does any group of faithful folk.

Faithful folks bases for moral value was based on moral relativism also. Their moral value was relative to their culture and generations , which is why we see moral value change within holy books between the first and second testament , with regard to the practice of stoning people to death.

Now im not suggesting any folks of faith purposely set out to promote anything deceitful .I don’t even suggest folks within the EB are purposely interested in promotion of deceit either.

While faith exists in our lives around us …It’s just a fact of life that some folks will become drawn into being involved in it.

However after saying all the above i feel very thankfull that i can be extremely happy to also report that this writer also writes …quote : Jesus did not discourage inquiry or doubt and neither did the apostle Paul 

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About ExEB

I'm a agnostic/atheist . Interested in learning more about science. I also am an "ex-member" of a group most publicly known within modern times, as the Exclusive Brethren. Whom are an off-shoot of the original Plymouth Brethren group. I'd say it likely my personality could possibly be described as quirky.You know ,as in being , unconventional , unorthodox , unusual, off-centre, strange, bizarre, weird, peculiar, odd, freakish, outlandish, offbeat, out of the ordinary, bohemian, alternative, zany I'm sure iv'e been classed as "crazy" . Many times But then, being born into a group like the exclusive brethren. Doesn't lend itself ? to tend to produce things considered as being "very normal" .Does it I escaped the Exclusive Brethren cult as a 15 year old teenager. Even since that time iv'e been trying to adjust to living life outside the cult. With much of my life being lived within the genre of "wild colonial boy" style. In the general sense of a church-rebel picking and choosing from role models who appeared within-life along the way. But as the exclusive brethren cult had traditionally maintained a general church-rule , of need to shun and totally excommunicate any ex member of their group.Treating such people as if they were dead. Thus this situation developed more to do with my need of following traditionally enforced church-rule , as apposed to it being so much about "life-choices". Certain emotional experiences, and parts of life in general, have led to me adopting a sense of low self esteem. Which is a situation i still deal with from time to time. Through my ongoing interest in science. I find i am able to gather more information to help me better understand my situation. Much about life for me, has often seemed like a massive puzzle.With many missing pieces.
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5 Responses to Faith

  1. Paul Darroch says:

    Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God; St Paul writing to the Romans a people having many gods says “since what may be known about God is plain to them, for since God’s creation of the world God’s invisible qualities, his eternal power his divine nature have been clearly seen…” “Jesus Christ the same yesterday today forever” “That which was from the establishment (Arche) which we have seen with our own eyes, looked at touched this is what we want to talk about- The Word of Life” quotes from Paul and the last one from St John.
    As a religious cynic, as someone who has spent most of my life working alongside those who have attempted to disprove all that I have believed, and at times I will work with them if what we have is a religious ‘con job’- I too am as critical as it is possible to be about what is Faith as opposed to wishful thinking or people speaking religious words.
    The proof is in the integrity of the product. Far from being as you suggest two different “Testaments” (and Old and a New – or the very worst example of such a view “Dispensationalism ) I come from a school of Bible Scholars and prophets who see no difference nor any break between the Hebrew part of the Book and the bit written latter first in Greek which contains Hebrew thinking. Nothing has changed, so that Abraham has a dispute over the Beersheva well of water with the King of Gaza- and if I remember correctly Israel was shelling Gaza just a year or two ago… Nah nothing has changed. The old is still at work! Same dispute ongoing!
    So what is faith ? Well firstly it is not in any way trusting or allowing our families to trust Bruce Hales! God forbid!
    The man is not God, and if he speaks God’s word he does so badly such that other Brothers have a better understanding of God and God’s word than he has. In fact with today the 17th of December 2010 the ANZ bank moving to take away the farm of a Dragaville farmer putting in a security guard and taking away plant and machinery we have a sign as to why responsible Brethren must now disengage our meeting halls and our businesses from Hale; or we will see the same Australian Banks take away our New Zealand Brethren Community wealth because of all the devious things that Hales has done in writing debt agreements with these untrust worthy Australian Banks who pay their executives as if they as well are untouchable ‘gods’ (God is angry!)
    Faith is pure and simply in God.
    My Nelson Brethren ancestors mocked the highest Christian leader appointed by Queen Victoria- Bishop Hobhouse. Were they then in rebellion against “The Church”… well who cares, their testimony in the back blocks of Nelson is that God provided for them, that God spoke to them from the Bible, and long after the Hobhouse name has disappeared from Nelson Godly families such as the Deck Family (both Open and Exclusive) carry on. When God speaks to your heart, such as Abraham hearing to take his son up a hill to kill the boy… well do it and see what happens… Later the logic of the event may appear to us and others, but the results and fruit of it is always righteousness and eternal life. In 1990 I heard from God to take my family from Favona down to Nelson. The Mapua Nudist Park was the cheapest accommodation (it was the end of a cold winter), then the Principal of the Mapua school took pity on us and we got given the Ngatimoti School house where my wife’s Exclusive grandfather (Roland Wills) had grown up with his father there, and this just down the road from where on the first day of 1860 the Brethren story began.
    You see! I have a testimony of Faith- I heard! I went! It was hard- but God provided!

  2. Paul Darroch says:

    Apology: I want to apologize to ethnic Chinese EB’s for a comment i made about them being lead by an Atheist Communist Party in an Earlier Einstein exchange.
    While it is true that in the 1820s Edward Irving, JND and other English biblical intellectuals had become More Zionist than the Jews and were expecting God to do things in Palestine with an unshakable faith in God’s word; the world’s first Zionists were of course as we all know; CHINESE 2,400 years ago in the pre Chin era.
    Si An the place where tourist go to view a tiny part of Mountain Li the great unexplored tomb of Emperor Chin Shi Huang is both in meaning (West Peace) and in sound Zian!
    And the facts that China had borrowed intact maybe from the time of Solomon or perhaps from the Babylonian dispersion intact the Jewish Imperial system is as we know found in the Chinese New Year where with red paper on the door posts, fire works at midnight and the family going into the house they re enact Exodus 12. Then in Beijing Tian An Men (Heaven Peace Gate) we have up until 1911 twice a year the Emperor Below interacting with the Emperor Above (Shang Ti=God) to make ‘clean animal’ sacrifice as was done by Solomon. While finally as we Chinese EB’s know, we preach the gospel merely by explaining the pictures that make up Chinese Characters. So Chuan is a vessel with 8 mouths/people=a boat. Yi Righteousness is Wo-Myself and the Lamb-Yang with Wo being made up of Shou-hand and Ge-Spear so I killed the lamb for my own sins, only way we Chinese Brethrens can gain salvation, by the Blood of the Lamb.
    Sorry to bore you with that ancient be Christian gospel which I’m sure you know!
    However previously here in comments and else where I have refereed to Comrade Chi Hao Tian 2005 Speech Epoch Times version and said negative things which will impact on the reputation of Chinese Christians especially our Chinese Assemblies (I am not being as ridiculous as it may seem, Nee Dou Sheng -Watchman Nee visiting England broke bread with our EB Assemblies and a most significant exchange of letters can be read as to the position of Chinese Assemblies in respect of our Assemblies…)
    So while we in the days ahead maybe seen to be anti Chinese, because we understand the Atheistic ideas of Comrade Chi as expressed in his Speech and as a result would warn all Chinese people not to in any way associate with, have meals or be seen with Chinese people who have not yet broken fellowship with Comrade Chi due to fact that the PLA are planning to kill all us… it is not that we disrespect Chinese culture!!!!
    In the Nelson Museum Tyree Collection is a picture of a group of women wearing Chinese clothes. These are the nieces of Thomas Cawthron in Malaya, fluent Chinese speakers, who had gone out to take the gospel from Nelson Assemblies to the Chinese natives found in Malaya. The historian not understanding the grace of God nor the Blood of the Lamb gospel they had taken north from the Brethren heartland had penciled in on the back of the photograph the word-‘ nuns ?’ And so while Singapore lacks Exclusive Assemblies but most likely has my own Bush Brethren, we have in heaven quite reunion coming of both Chinese and nonChinese Brethrens- Be There!

    • ExEB says:

      You never ever do bore me Paul . I find lots that you dicuss to be interesting , even if maybe much goes above my level of knowledge or intellectual understanding .

      In my opinion i still say its a shame one would need to be anti anyone simple because they lack faith and as such happen to be atheist . I cant help feeling maybe ? this is the very same type of bigoted short sighted thinking that was what got right up Stalins nose when he and his fellow Georgian comrades , were exposed to attitudes of self rightous pompus children of clergy and nasty christian priests , one in particular whom obviously made such a horrid impression upon him he decided to name the pompus priest as the Black Spot

      Paul … in my opinion it seems to me ….that whenever and wherever faiths and God people do try claiming holding any high ground …Right away they ALWAYS automatically lose it ! and fall smack bang flat on their own faces in the process . What is hoped to be gained from that ? …. A guaranteed genuine infallible recipe for faiths final extinction ?

      Paul ….Lets be honest here …. I make mistakes …You make mistakes too right ? …..Stalin made mistakes ….The Chinese have/will make mistakes ….New Zealand has/will make many mistakes ….Same with England …And the U.S.A … also …as with plenty of others too

      So what ?.

      This is why theists and faiths have traditionally ALWAYS caused trouble .Their very nature of exclusive grouping is such , that its a given rule they will naturally need to try claiming higher ground by their very own nature of feeling need of forming a form of special exclusive group . Then when quite naturally this bigotry soon enough ends up abusing and offending people , the theists then try and claim persecution and try suggesting that those whom they have abused and offended , are they who are the ones lacking in learning how to be unconditionally loving and all inclusive

      Theists are the creators of their own destiny , and yet they like to wallow in feeling sorry for themselves with so called prophesys of persecution , and lay the blame on other folk for not ever learning how to be fully accepting of bigotry and abuse

      Stalin wasnt so completely wrong about faith .Traditionally faith and God groups by their very nature are bigots , who will ALWAYS be trying to claim high ground . There is no room for these type of people in a social society that could have any honest hope to ever learn to exist without bigotry.

      Where Stalin went very wrong is he tried to forcefully remove these people by psysical force . This gave these people the right to fraudulently claim a type of persecution .

      Modern atheism doesnt even NEED to revert to any psysical force .We will rather use the laws and modern democracies . And let the simply HONEST cold hard truth be our main strength and endless ammunition . Theist disgrace will become like our passive nuclear bombs that we will continually lob into the midst of these abusive bigoted groups , where their own youth can freely study and gain new enlightenment .

  3. Paul Darroch says:

    James George Deck established a new type of ‘Brethren movement’
    In the first undisturbed 14 years at the ends of the earth, outer reaches of the British Empire.
    His followers were ignorant of an irrelevant ‘Bethsada dispute’ until Darby and Wigram making the long journey brought ‘Division’. But until Taylor Senior made unacceptable rules in the early 1960s the distinction between Exclusive and Open among Nelson Brethren is not as clear or important as else where for a couple of reasons.
    1. Such a high percentage of the Nelson population up to and even in the early post WW2 baby boom were Brethren that young men and women married across the Exclusive/Open split, intermarrying large families. And thus blood ties are stronger than theological fades and stupid disputes or ‘rules’.
    2. The mountains and the sea lock in people into a small economically innovate and generally highly educated semi rural isolated region, which before Television could and did create a Pluralistic religious culture of agreeing to differ on ideology.
    3. Deck’s understanding of The Gospel lends itself easily to a Biblical mystical style, so that the Victorian insistence on experts who have ‘the facts’ , scientific knowledge, is easily undermined, by this strong Biblical approach to life and faith.
    4. So that while the EBs developed into a cult with a centralized leader, the democratic anarchistic, and strong individualistic features of the Brethren Movement were in various ways emphasized by the isolation of Nelson and the willingness of young men to do things contrary or different to views of some elders… Just history ????
    Let us pray: Dear Lord you saw the broken heart of JGD when he came to Nelson New Zealand and at Ngatimoti like with Moses in Midian or Joseph in Egypt you healed our ancestor and made his strong again in his eternal brokenness. Oh God! God of Joseph and Moses, God of JGD do in this day and age and even in the Nelson districts of New Zealand another miracle.
    God Your Reputation is at Stake! The nations is your reputation at the ends of the earth (Ps 2:8) Stir yourself from your throne in Zion, in your anger and once again shake both heaven and earth so that we who are tired and cynical will have faith. Amen, we who have suffered and been rejected pray this to you.

    • ExEB says:

      Thats very interesting , thanks for sharing that info Paul . By the way i love the homely feeling of Ngatimoti myself and to be honest have felt at home there at certain times once or twice in my life , along with the good feeling of the whole Nelson region , when being there for work during the fruit seasons.

      Its a great thing if the Deck brethren of the area managed to control the divisive nature of faith a little more . But in “my opinion” that still does very little to actually change the divisive nature of faith in general . During times of extra hardship or where ever situations exist that create isolation , human nature is such that these particular situations can force people to need to adapt . But “to me” this just seems to show that in all honesty its obvious these faiths often act only as fronts for people chosen egos .

      Paul if it looks like a duck , waddles like a duck , quacks like a duck , smells like a duck , tastes like a duck . What is to be gained by trying to dress it up a little to try and make it look like it might be a colourful pheasant ? . If it were ever HONEST that faith were not divisive by nature in general , then why do you suppose so very many different dominations and sects and religions and faiths and Gods and deities might have happened to have existed within the world , like they actually DO ? .

      Its a mighty fine thing that this man James George Deck managed to retain some natural human empathy to help him change that faith duck into a more friendly mallard . But its still a duck . And in general TRADITIONALLY these faith ducks have ALWAYS split and divided sooner or later . Its their nature of trying to hold onto possessing objective truths , when infact until God-/s DO actually arrive on the scene in person to provive some HONESTLY OBJECTIVE type flavouring . All truths will always remain relative to the culture of the group , whether that truth might be relative to a particular sub group or relative to the human group as a whole. Truths including moral truths can sometimes be found as being relative to humanity as a whole , just as the use of a round wheel rather than use of a square wheel is also found to also be very relative to general universal choice of humanity as a whole . Its all about what works best . Its a universal truth just as sharing two apples will remain as trying to share two apples between three people , universally , even if different cultures may call it while using a totally different language .

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