a house built on sand 2

Think of the parable of the person who built his house on sand and another who built his house on rock. Floods came and the house built on sand was washed away and the house built on rock was not.

In this telling the sand represents magical thinking and the rock represents reason and science. The question is which to attach to, or can one use both?

So, what are the odds of an afterlife? It would be scary if the odds were 50/50. Some aggressive sand dwellers say “I’m either right or wrong, so the odds are at least 50% you are going to suffer in hell eternally if you don’t repent and trust God and keep the faith.” Are the odds so high for science and reason having substance and God not having substance it’s not even a contest? A million to one?

Are we naive when we believe any religious claims which include stories of magical acts or places? How does one choose between the tens of thousands of magical religious stories? Religions are claiming “we are the only true religion and the only way into a pleasant life everlasting.

And they are all so sincere! I know, I was a sand dweller. There’re lots and lots of happy folks in organized religion, and there’s also the very attractive built-in social network. It’s a good racket but can be easily abused.

How does one end up believing in magic? As children we usually think to ourselves at one time or another “That doesn’t seem possible, but all these adults think it really happened, and they are right about everything else, so they’re probably right about the miracles too.”

And later, when doubts come, we say to ourselves I’d be crazy to take the chance of being tortured forever.

We need to feel safe because we believe in an afterlife. Thinking…“I have this clear shot at eternal happiness, how could I ever give it up?”

The belief there’s an afterlife produces a powerful vision. How has it been used? Does the bad out weigh the good?

How does one give up the dream of an afterlife? Imagine a person born into a Hindu family in India. And he or she grew up Hindu. Wouldn’t that person sincerely feel only his or her religious ideas are correct and all other scriptures cannot measure up to Hindu scriptures.

As a Hindu, wouldn’t you feel your beliefs are true just as sincerely as a non-Hindu might feel about his or her different religious beliefs?

When one is wrong, isn’t that person sincerely wrong unless he or she is acting? Does this mean billions are sincerely believing in the wrong magical stories. Or, are all stories based on magic being real, false?

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the wooing of a lost world

During the next few days our Supreme Court will hear arguments on the question of the right of gay folks to marry and so receive the comforts and responsibilities of married life. Some comments…and questions.

Why is it that a great number of Christians have to support the taking away of important civil rights from people who are homosexual?

One reason might be because of their belief that every bit of their holy scriptures (the Bible) was written by their God using human beings as instruments to record God’s own actual thoughts: the recorded words of the all-powerful and all-knowing God, the only true and real God.

Where did the idea that all of the Bible is totally true and was originated by the only true God—come from?

The Bible proclaims itself to be God’s personal message to human kind, and since every word in it is believed to be the actual words of God, this literally has to be accepted by a great number of Christians. Their mantra is “the Bible is God’s word and cannot be questioned.” So I must ask…

Why then did God allow so many miracles and contradictions in the Bible? Did God intentionally include unbelievable passages to test the faith of believers? Is there another explanation for such a situation to exist if the Bible is actually God’s words?

Is it that if believers don’t follow the teachings of their God-given scriptures, they would be sinning just as they claim gays are sinning by not following God’s ideas about gay relationships?

Is it that we shouldn’t be too hard on those Christians who believe that being gay is a lifestyle choice because if it isn’t a choice, then comes the question: If God made them that way, what is all the fuss about?

Would believing that homosexuals are born gay put a crack in one’s faith or even destroy faith? Is it that nonbelievers don’t want to disparage anyone’s faith unless the faith is used for ill like killing and maiming innocent folks or trying to scare folks into believing in their religion because it’s the only way to avoid an eternity of torture or trying to undo the lack of prejudice against gays?

It’s true that Christians do a lot of good things, but is this gay issue a huge stumbling block? Are they caught in a terrible thought vice that’s squeezing the creditability out of their spiritual teachings?

Well, not so fast. They could become more liberal in their Christian beliefs rather than deserting the whole faith. There are many Christian churches which would welcome them with open arms.

The fundamentalists know this yet they stay where they are because they can’t admit that their God who controls and knows everything would create a gay person. Being so firmly set in the thought vice of their beliefs, they have to somehow support the belief that gayness is a personal choice.

They are literally forced by their teaching and interpretations of their perfect holy scriptures to take a sincere stance against gay relationships. So, why do they want to punish gays by trying to make them partial citizens?

It seems they must think God has put them up to this task of punishing the gays just as Christian leaders convinced knights and armies to take back Jerusalem from the infidels during the Crusades: a debacle which lasted from the 11th into the 13th century. What about all that unnecessary misery and death?

Christian teaching says God will punish the evildoers, and it also tells the followers not to judge, and in their not judging, they will avoid the risk of being judged.

By widely propagating their judgments (“Being gay is a choice.”) and actions against gay relationships (trying to keep gays from the comforts of marriage), conservative Christians have opened the door to be judged by any and everyone.

So why the persecution of gays? Do a large number of Christians think the gay evildoers will escape the just punishment of their all-knowing and all-powerful God?

Are these self-appointed judgers and punishers shouting to the world by their words and deeds that God can break the promise of dealing justly with evildoers?

Is the gay issue just one of the detour signs hindering Christianity’s true path: the wooing of a lost world?