Essay: Jesus, Christianity and Other Religions

 From Stan Anonymous

 Many, many years ago, I was asked, by the "Arranging Brethren" not to attend the Christadelphians any more, because I was having severe doubts about my beliefs in the Bible.

I feel that it may be possible for me to help some who have come out of the Christadelphian error but who feel lost without some kind of faith (as I was, many years ago). So I have written an essay to help.

Note: I know that some leave the Christadelphians and are not really bothered about religion any more. These may find my essay interesting, but equally, they may find it irrelevant to their needs, also boring.

Also note that, although I should be willing to engage in a posting “conversation” with someone that seeks further information, I shall not want to be arguing with anyone about anything that they feel is erroneous in my essay. I simply would not have the time. It’s offered, warts and all, as it says in the preliminary notes.

For those interested, the essay can be found here.

15 comments:


  1. Well written, insightful, and compelling. I am not someone who still "believes," but I want to say that. To me, escaping from CDism and going into some other religious delusion is simply a lesser evil, but I will respect your choice.

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    1. Manny, I salute you. You actually, carefully, waded through 131 pages?

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    2. Mancott, I'm at page 11. I shall refrain from commenting until I have read the whole lot.

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  2. I agree it's long - longer than most of the things we discuss here (even longer than some of my posts 😉). I think the author made it clear it wasn't necessarily for everyone.

    The author is an ex-Christadelphian who wants to help others by sharing some of what they have learned. I salute them for that. We may never know what actual impact it has, or who it might help, but I think that is a good starting point.

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  3. I viewed the essay by clicking the link ("here"), and thought that the appearance of the text was rather shocking (it is a bit blurred, with the letters tending to run into one another). So, I went to the top of the window, extreme right, and downloaded it as a pdf. When the pdf file opened on my desktop, the print was crystal-clear — an enormous improvement. If anyone fancies reading my tome in a less laborious way, I would recommend the pdf download. With kind regards to all, Stan

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    1. Good thinking, I did similar, and then did an online conversion to a Kindle file, comes out much more legible. Not read it yet though, might take me a week or two.

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    2. 120 still to go, Joseph. Certainly, Stan Anon has produced a work of some magnitude, but I wonder how useful it would be for someone who had left the Cd`s and still felt they needed some kind of faith. I know of several Cds who have found themselves in such a position. They still felt the need for a faith, still held onto some of their Cd beliefs, but were unable to stomach the Cd stubborn attitude to facing up to difficult and clearly untenable explanations of certain events and statements, and who wouldn`t allow sensible discussion. Heads in the sand. I think having a breathing space is all that is necessary to allow the brain to rationalise matters. Then, if so inclined, investigate other places of worship to attend, if still in a mind to do so.
      My own thinking is that a fundamental exercise in checking out the historical, geographical and architectural details in the bible for accuracy is a better way to finding the truth of what is written there. If it is God`s Word, then all will be found to be true. If not, then move on from that point.

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    3. Mancott, I've made it through to page 30, but thus far have seen nothing particularly new or exciting. I'm in agreement with your points with regards to separation too. It's much like taking a "sabbatical" from work, I took two, a few years apart, and realised, confirmed after my second, that the career I had had for over 30 years, was of no further interest to me, and spent the next couple of years kicking myself that I hadn't realised sooner.
      Jumping from being a CD, to being some other type of Jesus follower, seems very much to be just easing the pain of realisation and leaving (Hassan might not like me for that).

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    4. Joseph, if someone, a Cd, wants to move to another brand of church, then are they not really worried about belief but simply wanting a pleasant social religious association with less control? After all, in the Cds you are supposed to be in The Truth, worshipping with those who think they have "got-it-right" belief-wise. I, too, have days when I want to kick myself for all those years spent in Cd land. More difficult to justly chastise yourself when you were indoctrinated from the cradle. It`s the break-time outside the bubble that is the answer to finding reality. And you are lucky if something triggers your desire to have that break -- and you have the courage to take it.

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  4. 'Not really worried about belief'? On the contrary I left because of exactly that, I could not accept the BASF 100%. The question is more whether one believes that God worries about what we believe. Was Dr Thomas right that its what you believe at the instant you are baptised that defines its effectiveness? Will God's judgement be more of a theological exam? Seemed not to me. The CDs demand 100% (or did for me), so I had 3 choices, - pretend to believe all the BASF (or at least say so), form my own Hassan's Church, or go somewhere else. I chose the latter. Most churches are not closed tight like the CDs, so at the time, holding the CD believe of the nature of God, and therefore being not fully trinitarian was no barrier to worshipping at trinitarian churches. So I dont dislike what Jo said, that is what it is for many and if its a route out so much the better, leaving a cult that tells you not only what to believe but also how to behave - cant do this (like join a trade union, be a policeman etc etc), must do that etc. is not easy so anything that makes the transition out is a good thing. It made it harder for me, my dad would have found it a lot easier had I left for atheism than going to the enemy, and the effect on my immediate family was the hardest part - he was devastated - I think he thought is somehow reflected on him.

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  5. Hassan, I've certainly wondered whether my family would have been happier with me joining a different denomination or becoming an atheist. I went the atheist route because it felt right and was what I believed. And to me it makes their job of "reclaiming" me harder, because I reject the Bible and so they can't appeal to it. But I'm sure me going to a different denomination would have had other upsides and downsides.

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  6. What I have found interesting reading your posts and blog is that the church you left is very different from the ecclesia I left. So I think your brothers and sisters in Christ would have had quite a different perspective than my brothers had (sisters could think what they wanted they were of no account). Mine were all about the Pope being the anti-christ, the doctrine of the trinity being the spirit of the anti-christ, all of christedom throughout all of history being astray. They frightened me half to death as a child with their signs of the times, Soviet Union, warsaw pact, Ros and Gog blah blah blah - 50 years on they spout the same old same old on BITN. 'What happens to me?' - the frighted 8 year old asks his father - oh came the reply 'you will be covered by the faith of your parents'. Even then I knew then that was not what they preached - idiots and children cant be saved. Now I understand the answer is you will be looked after by the angels, what nonsense. Family members of my parents generation have started dying, since I left the cult my punishment is to be invited to observe at the funeral - but not to take any part. I am preparing myself for the same thing when its my parents turn. I know some meetings are far more open, I went to a funeral at one of those a couple of years ago and they had the deceased work colleagues speaking, women too. But it wont be like that where my parents are....

    So I did not mix up the nasty teachings of the CDs with the gospel of christ. I at least was able to disentangle it, but it took me years.

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    1. Hassan, in my time in the Cds I had experience of three ecclesias as a member. All different, ranging from laid back and liberal, to stiff, starchy, unable to countenance discussion and very hot on members` behaviour; where they worked, places they visited, how they dressed. The latter experience was the trigger causing me to spend time away from them and do some thinking, and leading to them shoving me out for "long continuing absence from the etc etc".

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  7. Hassan, I did not mean to undermine or belittle your position. I understand it very well. This week's BITN is sort of interesting. Like they have finally woken up.

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  8. Joseph, I dont feel you undermined or belitted me or my position. I was just trying to point out that just because one has to ditch biblical literalism as a framework does not mean you have to jump to atheism, and leaving any controlling cult - whether JWs, CDs or those that sprang from orthodox Christianity like the Jesus Army and the 9 o'clock service, is to be applauded. I'll look at BITN and comment over on that thread if I have anything to add.

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