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southernwonder

Unequally Yoked?

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I just found the progressive Christianity website last night and am excited about this set of ideas. I grew up and still live in the Bible Belt of the Southeast US. I have been a member of a very fundamentalist Southern Baptist church since I was ten years old. My beliefs have been changing as I do not agree with much of the conservative ideas I am constantly confronted with in my social circles.

 

I am in a relationship with an atheist. We are not trying to change each others beliefs and we respect each other. I do have questions about "unequally yoked," and whether it is displeasing to God. I still have many feelings of guilt and that God is vindictive from my upbringing.

 

Is this a personal thing that I must reconcile? Or is there a clear cut answer?

 

Thank you,

SouthernWonder

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If God is a God of love, I fail to see how you loving an atheist could be a bad thing!

 

I'm probably not the best to ask because I don't believe in a God who is 'displeased' with humans as though we are little schoolchildren.

 

I've been there and done that with fundy Christianity and can only thank God that I saw the light and hightailed it out of there! :)

 

Peace and goodwill.

 

Paul

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SW,

 

Unfortunately those feelings still come back to haunt me every now and again, to this day. Indoctrination from childhood can have lasting ill effects!

 

I grew up in a fundy household but became the black sheep when at 18 I joined the police force and had my eyes opened to how many other people live. This made me question what I'd been taught about man choosing to sin and needing to wake up to himself and accept Jesus. I knew nothing of progressive Christianity 28yrs ago so mainly I felt anger towards God for being such an a#£hole! I couldn't reconcile God's 'justice', the way I had been taught, with what I was seeing.

 

Anyway, I turn 46 this year and I can't say that I never question the possibility of hell etc, but I usually easily satisfy my doubts by recalling what I have learnt from various biblical scholars, which reiterates for me that all this theology business is just mankind trying to express his/her way of experiencing God. It seems very different for different people (often culture related) and always subject to interpretation (with healthy doses of indoctrination and lack of questioning usually!).

 

It gets easier with time and education. Understanding the biblical scholarship of the last 200 years really helped for me, but I do wish PC was known to me then - I think it would have saved me a lot of pain.

 

Peace and goodwill.

Paul

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Southernwonder, It is so nice to see a true believer that is willing to go where the path leads. "Love your brother as yourself." This starts with loving yourself, forgiving, accepting and being.......................human. We can learn many things from Atheist. They emphasize being human after all we are human beings. I think Jesus was saying the same thing. I learned from Jesus that God doesn't want us to love Him so much as to love Him in others, the Divinity within. It is nice to see you on the forum and may we learn and grow together.

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SW,

 

Concerning unequally yoked....

I don't think God is hurt by those who don't believe in some particular concept of God . Is it more important that we say we believe in 'God' or more important that our actions demonstrate love for one another? You judge for yourself.

 

In my life i have found many wonderful human beings in spite of what they say they believe or don't believe. There may be rotten fruit in any particular basket but i have found there is much good fruit that can be found in all of them.

 

Just some thoughts,

Joseph

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I agree with you both, soma and JosephM. My beliefs are changing and I feel like the true religion IS loving others through our actions. I believe it says in the Bible somewhere that true religion is caring for orphans and widows, right?

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Thank you southernwonder, I like to ponder and think about these things on different levels, but it all comes down to love, accept and just hang out with the Divinity Within. Then loves pours out without a single word. I like what you said about you don't try to change your boy friend...........just love and hang out with the Divinity within...........no words necessary.

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What kind of person condemns another to eternal damnation simply because of the company they keep?

 

If one views grace and compassion as good, why would we accept less out of God?

 

I guess for me it came down to if the fundi's view of God is correct... I want no part of it.

 

Ill hang out with Gandhi, Confussious , the Dali Lama and _____________ in hell.

 

steve

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I just found the progressive Christianity website last night and am excited about this set of ideas. I grew up and still live in the Bible Belt of the Southeast US. I have been a member of a very fundamentalist Southern Baptist church since I was ten years old. My beliefs have been changing as I do not agree with much of the conservative ideas I am constantly confronted with in my social circles.

 

I am in a relationship with an atheist. We are not trying to change each others beliefs and we respect each other. I do have questions about "unequally yoked," and whether it is displeasing to God. I still have many feelings of guilt and that God is vindictive from my upbringing.

 

Is this a personal thing that I must reconcile? Or is there a clear cut answer?

 

Thank you,

SouthernWonder

 

Turn this around and see it from your Atheist friend's point of view. He could quite rightly think; why should he be unequally yoked with someone who is brainwashed by religion? After all, we hear stories of people who commit murder at the bequest of the voices in their heads. Anders Breivik of Norway killed 77 people based on his Christian beliefs:

 

 

 

His main stated goals were the eradication of Islam within Europe, a complete reorganization of Christian denominations, and an end to what he called "cultural Marxism." The end result would be to convert all of Europe into an exclusively conservative Christian region.

 

David Berkowitz, the Son of Sam killer in New York in the 70s claims that demons possessed his neighbor's dog and ordered him to murder people. Where did he get the idea of demon possession? Specifically; his Roman Catholic upbringing.

 

So, why do we presume that the unequalness is on the atheist side? If anything, becoming involved with someone who does not have religious baggage to carry around could be a balancing influence, and apply a healthy dose of rationalism should someone in your Bible study suggest the Christians call the question on Armageddon, and begin slaughtering the unrighteous now.

 

How could someone who is an atheist not think on such things?

 

I am an agnostic now, but I grew up in a Christian home. So, I don't think these things about Christians now. But, were I to not have this background, and I see what is going on around me with religious fighting in Ireland, Africa, and elsewhere in the world - I think I would be very concerned about being involved with someone who is religious.

 

Now, of course, I don't think for one minute that you are a dangerous person, nor do I think the above illustrations reveal anything sinister about Christianity in and of itself - I believe the above individuals suffered from mental maladies and just happened to be Christians, or influenced by Christianity. They could have just as easily been raised in non-religious homes and still become homicidal.

 

Still, when I hear one speak of the Christian being "unequally yoked," the presumption is always that the Christian should be alarmed rather than the reverse.

 

I think that if you are both open to it, you could learn from each other and become better people for the experience.

 

And, please. I mean no disrespect. I just challenge you to see it from another point of view.

 

NORM

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