A tale of two lions

 By Jon Morgan

Has anyone ever told you they had a message from God for you? If so, have you ever felt worried that you might be attacked by a lion if you responded wrongly?

The Bible contains two such stories - fairly close together, actually. I think they’re interesting in themselves, but even more interesting when compared.

Click here to read the rest of this article

41 comments:

  1. Scriptural inconsistencies, gibberish, contradictions. And if your child calls some godly man "baldy," it is God's justice and mercy that bears will come out of the woods and eat him.

    I beg to differ with that kind of "justice."

    Looked at in its entirety, the bible is a mish-mash of nonsense and convoluted "wisdom" and "moral instruction." Many of its teachings are incoherent. If a woman is raped and does not cry out, it means she enjoyed the intercourse, and was complicit in it. Take her out and stone her to death.

    Why do people then attach their lives to these "holy texts / instructions?" Because it is a part of their cultural tradition, or because they lack a more meaningful rationale to form their life around.

    ReplyDelete
  2. If that's your God, I'll attempt to find more compassion amongst mortals.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It`s a little confusing: is that one Anon making two separate comments, or two Anons` making one comment each?
      I do wish those commenting would at least make up a pseudonym and then we`d know who was whom.

      Delete
    2. Mancott, you may recall that a former editor here simply refused to debate or have anything to do with young earth creationists, on the basis that it was a pointless exercise. I am close to thinking the same about "anons", on the basis that if they are unable to concoct a fake name for themselves, and wish to hide as "anon", then they are unlikely to be mentally capable to adding anything constructive. Were I running or administering the site, I would simply delete all "anon" comments before publication, after a suitable warning post of course.

      Delete
  3. I wrote the longer of the two comments. I am still in an ecclesia. You are both forgetting the implications of being half in and half out of this religion. The consequences can be ugly. From now on, I'll make up a name.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I appreciate that position: I contributed here for many years first as anonymous, then under a pseudonym. I obviously can't tell you how many (if any) would have found out and asked awkward questions if I'd made comments under my real name, but it's not an easy position to be in.

      Looking back, I think I spent far too long in that twilight zone, though I'm not sure if I had my time again I'd actually make different decisions. Your reasons are your own, and I wouldn't want to force you to do anything you're uncomfortable with, but if you do think it possible that you'll officially quit one day, what I'd tell my younger self is "You can't just keep putting it off forever, and trying to do so is hurting you".

      Delete
    2. I think that if you can stay away for some time from (not being subject to, not being burdened by) the continuing closeness of ecclesial activities and members` belief-way-of-life-influence, then you will begin to be able to think more clearly, positively and rationally about what you were "in", and how relevant or otherwise to your life it was -- or, of course, if you still feel you should continue to stay "out". Your well-being is important.

      Delete
    3. Anon, 24/3/24 3:15PM, I for one have not forgotten the consequences of being half in and half out, and have seen, and suffered the ugly consequences. Why are you in this "limbo"? What has caused you to doubt and find yourself in this place?

      Delete
  4. Floundering Departing CDMarch 26, 2024 at 11:42 AM

    It is hard to make a clean break, when all of your immediate family is in the fold and they're hardcore fanatics. It is hard to make a clean break when your family has been in the sect for over a century. Hard when inheritances are involved. Hard when your friend group is entirely within the sect. Hard when you have business connections to people in the group. The bars on your cell door become thick.

    For all intents and purposes, I have mentally left the group for some time now. I've rejected all forms of religious belief; it seems to me they cloud the vision of rational humans. There is no evidence of any higher power or any life beyond death; it is simply a rationalizing of what we do not comprehend, and such things are the occupation of children, not adults. My reservations about the consequences of leaving are the occupation of an adult: I got stuck in a place by virtue of my genetics, and must now extricate myself with a minimum of damage to my psyche and my welfare and the welfare of others.

    I will make a clean break when the time is appropriate. I will probably start....with.........the..............slow......................fade.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Floundering Departing CD:
      We are listening. We are here. We will support you by being here. This may not seem to be much, but others will add to what I have posted.
      Stay with us.

      Delete
    2. I faced many, though not all, of those (and the first one still applies, as you can see from the conclusion of my post...), and I agree that each extra hook makes it harder to leave. Because of how much both I and my immediate and extended family were involved, I thought a slow fade would be difficult to do with no-one noticing, and so (eventually) chose the clean break, but if you can do the slow fade it's probably the better route. You know your own situation best, but it is a difficult situation, and you have my sympathy.

      One thing a former contributor here said which stuck with me was "Leave when the pain from staying is more than the pain from leaving". And on that basis I probably left it too late, but it was at least clear by that point that it was something I had to do, no matter what the cost. And in my case, some of my fears came true, but many of them didn't. Again, you know your situation better than any of us can. But you might find your family and other friends and associates actually take it better than your worst case scenarios (though obviously that's tough because any time you choose to tell you can't know how people will react until the cat is out of the bag).

      Delete
    3. Oh yes, one more thing that the same former contributor said which stuck with me was "Yes, it's difficult going through it, but it does get better". I wasn't sure whether to believe it or not, and so ended up making the clean break just because I couldn't go on with the status quo, but I found it was true a year or two after officially quitting: Life had changed a lot, and not all the changes were what I might have chosen, but overall it was a lot better.

      Delete
  5. Floundering Departing CDMarch 26, 2024 at 11:45 AM

    What started it all? The CD folks around me condoning the slaughter in Gaza. The wanton bloodletting, excusable because the bloody hands belong to "God's Chosen Ones." All resulting in 15,000 dead children crushed under apartment buildings....but that's okay. "It's God's divine Will."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Are they "condoning" it though, or just accepting the inevitable? When the Hamas leadership rubber stamped the activities of 7/10, what response where they anticipating? A shrug of the shoulders and a "fair enough, you got us there", and silence? Or what?
      If you read here regularly, you will know that I don't take sides on this matter, I see it as foreign religious people falling out with each other thousands of miles away, but, if you whack a wasps nest with a stick, or pull a cat's tail, or run about in a field of bulls with a red flag, just what should you expect, and who is responsible for the outcome?
      Christadelphians (and other religious people) are manipulators, who wish to validate their beliefs by bending you around to their warped way of thinking, and by doing so, justify and amplify their beliefs, but, you can step away and reject it. If you don't, then you will be just a number, a sacrifice, like the 15k kids that you quote.
      When "Christadelphians" is used in the same sentence as "business connections", you can be sure that Christadelphians are looking (as usual) to make a quick buck out of you, and then bury you like you never existed, and spend the proceeds on luxury goods, laughing in your face, whilst they convince themselves of their superior morals.

      Delete
  6. Floundering Departing CDMarch 27, 2024 at 1:07 AM

    I don't believe the Jews are "more chosen" than anyone else. And no one is going to convince me of that, just because their ancestors contended it in "sacred" documents that they, uncoincidentally, authored. There is also no context granted in the current discussions of the ongoing slaughter in Gaza. In the first British census in Palestine in 1920, roughly ten percent of the population of Palestine was Jewish. Go back a century prior, and it was significantly less, probably three or four percent of the total population. There are also entire centuries during which -- despite modern contentions -- there is no evidence of Jews being in the area at all.

    They colonized it, returning in small numbers from Europe starting in the 1880s. "We are a people without a land, for a land without a people," they claimed. And it was a lie. They shoved the natives out of the way, in time doing land grabs (just as they continue doing them even now in land mandated by the U.N. to be a Palestinian homeland). They are colonists, interlopers, occupiers, shoving Palestinians behind walls paid for by U.S. tax dollars, and brutalizing and executing them when they object.

    Who then created the hornet's nest, sir?

    For CDs to give all of the preceding oppression and bloodletting their blessing.....is nauseating to me. It is rubbish, similar to many other CD tenets. This was just the last straw for me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was born in, and live in, a colonised country: Australia. It is significantly different from what it was in, say, 1750 (it's also quite different from what it was in 1950, but that's a different story). I say that because, like me, a fair percentage of the population of the nation of Israel was born in Israel. Whether or not it should have been their ancestors' homeland, it is their homeland, just as Australia is mine. And yes, the same applies for Palestinians born there, whether in Gaza, in the West Bank, or in the rest of what is currently the nation of Israel. This is part of why I think fixing historic injustices becomes harder the longer they persist.

      My experience in Christadelphia was that Israel was always seen to be in the right, mostly because they were "God's chosen people", plus throwing in a bit of Promises to Abraham. In addition, any attempt for peace via a two state solution was usually condemned in scriptural terms as "dividing God's land".

      I don't know whether a two state solution could actually be made to work. I don't follow Israel's politics very closely any more, but it seems to me it hasn't even been seriously considered this century. The 1990s had a lot of negotiation but ended up not quite succeeding. What I object to in the CD position is ruling it out a priori on theological rather than practical grounds (and not even good theology at that...). Oh, and I also object to them treating Israel as God's chosen nation when it suits, but then snatching all the prophecies and applying them to Christadelphians whenever that suits (this isn't unique to Christadelphians, of course...).

      What some officials and ministers said here in Australia from shortly after the October attack was that Israel have the right of self-defence, but the way they defend themselves is important. I largely agree with that. And the clear sub-text is that the civilian casualties and other collateral damage caused by Israel's attack would be far too high even if they achieved their aim of eliminating Hamas (which doesn't seem very likely).

      I do also agree that history didn't start with that October attack, and Israel's many past actions go a long way to understanding (though not justifying) the Hamas attack. And in the same vein, I think Israel should be more worried than they seem to be about their continuing actions further radicalising Palestinians and continuing a cycle of bloodshed.

      Delete
    2. So, If we were to be able to roll the clock back, and and let the Austrian painter complete his work, then the Palestinians would all be living peaceful and industrious, fulfilled lives then, rather than being such a burden to their neighboring "brothers", that they will let NONE of them across their borders?
      Beats me why a disgruntled "generational" Christadelphian, deeply involved in "business" with his brethren, who joined up in FULL KNOWLEDGE of Christadelphian beliefs surrounding Israel, now wishes to come here throwing his opinions about. I suggest he heads off to his local meeting room on Sunday and lets them know what he thinks, rather than bothering us.

      Delete
    3. So, Joseph, still no horse in the race as you told me on another thread? It seems a few others do have a horse in the race by there comments.?? or at least show some compassion...
      It's good to hear some of their concerns about thousands being slaughtered.

      Delete
    4. No, SAM, nothing has changed, two lots of foreign people, with foreign religions are fighting and killing each other in a foreign country, thousands of miles away. None of my business. Meanwhile, in Ukraine, one lot of Slavs is killing another lot of Slavs over equally "none of my business" matters. Same in Nigeria, the Pakistan/ India border, all sorts of places. Nothing to do with me.
      Meanwhile, the UK Christadelphians stalk, and conspire with, and assist, and baptise 600+ young Iranian men into their ranks every year, such that the under 40's Christadelphians are now outnumbered by them, after (by their own admission) "decades" of single digit recruitment here. Where will brides for these young "Christadelphians" come from? How will the elderly cope with exhortations in Farsi?
      Far more important matters than foreigners fighting in foreign places, so, please air your views on those matters which are far more relevant to this site than jumping on the current left wing cause bandwagon. Also, please give the names of the "slaughtered" that particularly concern you, how you know them, and what your involvement with their lives is, at a personal level. Yes, I thought so.
      While we are at it, why do you suppose that local Christadelphians are so upset about their neighborhoods being "taken over" by foreigners? ( reported to me this very week by an insider), Surely they would be more welcoming?

      Delete
    5. Is it compulsory that i know the slaughtered personally? for me to feel sorry or think it's wrong when either side get innocent women and children killed? I don't really think that you are worried about Brides for Christadelphians are you???

      Delete
    6. If we watch the world news at all we can`t help but be made aware of the horror that the persecuted, bombed, shot-at, whatever, people in different parts of the world go through on a day-by-day basis. We may not be able to empathise with these people, but as we are humans as are they we can usually feel sympathy about their plight, and deprecate what has brought it about. Isn`t feeling this way towards others a normal human reaction, however distant they are from us? Or, if not, have a we developed a callus, knowingly or not, which protects us from such feelings?
      As for what is happening in Israel/Gaza being a Sign-of-The-Times, as is thought by (some ?) Christadelphians, a serious study of how the bible came about and what is written in it will show clearly that it is not so.

      Delete
    7. This is what I'm getting at, yes, it's called being Human, i don't understand why Joesph is so uptight about actually being Human. I don't care if you're an ex-Christadelphian or whatever. You don't need religion or ex religion to have human feelings of sadness and empathy.
      I don't know if it's a sign of the times or not. ?? my point has nothing to do whatever you want to dress it up as or call it.

      Delete
    8. SAM, Joseph (note the spelling of his name --type once - check twice -- post), is entitled to be "uptight", as you term it, though I think you might be mistaken to term him thus, because everybody is different. Everybody views the world differently. Everybody has the right to stand on one side from what is happening in the world, unless it directly affects them, or those near to them, or whether they feel they can help, or alter, and make "bad" things in the world "better".

      Delete
    9. Sam, I'm really not sure why you've made it your mission to convince Joseph he has to express the correct emotions in the correct ways. For the record, I suspect I would experience at least some of the emotions you think I should experience - but I also think those affected could reasonably say "That's great for you, but what good does it do for us?"

      But I also wonder whether there's crossing of wires here. I have taken Joseph's comments to be about whether one side is right and the other side wrong. Yes, clearly some of us do have opinions on that, but there is no necessity to have an opinion about the rights and wrongs of something far away from us, and it's also unlikely that our opinions will be completely informed (let alone actually, y'know, doing something to change the situation). The question of how much compassion to show and when is a completely different question, and I think when it's connected to opinions on right and wrong it's sometimes people feeling less compassion for those they consider on the wrong side because "they had it coming".

      Delete
    10. I have taken his comment to mean he doesn't care or feel any empathy about the 30 or thousand slaughtered. Yes all of you are correct. I cannot force anyone to feel empathy. I just thought it part of being human or natural human reaction that we do.If I'm.wrong so be it. I was brought up a Christo. I know that Israel can do no wrong in some people's minds.
      At the beginning of this I had heated arguments with the family. I stand by what I said at the beginning. I do not agree with innocent women/children on either side being slaughtered. That is my opinion on this topic how I feel. My opinion remains he same with family also.

      Delete
    11. SAM/sam, twice now, you have stated your objection to "innocent" women and children being killed in the conflict. Why are choosing to decide the value of human life based on age and gender? Could a man not also be innocent? Also, please define innocence as you see it. Is a woman who voted for the Hamas government, chants support for it's actions, and harbours her Hamas fighter husband covered under your definition of innocence?

      Delete
    12. Yes, an innocent man i would object to as well. My definition of innocent? Someone who just wants to get on with life, law abiding etc. Just as you will be all those things.





      Delete
    13. We've gotten away from the point in this discussion. The point was that CDs indulge in what one reader referred to as "Jew worship," meaning, Israel can slaughter crowds of Arabs/Moslems, including children and old people, and CDs will salivate that it is "all according to God's divine will" because it is all a precedent to Christ's return.

      Nonsense. Blood-soaked nonsense. And, after leaving the dank caverns of CD mythology, just as important, many CD defectors continue that mindset, one in which Zionist Israel can collapse apartment houses on the heads of thousands of children and still be cheered onward, because Jewish lives carry more value to them and the world than the lives of anyone else.

      Standing outside CDism, we should comprehend in the light of day that the Jews are no more "special" or "chosen" than any other group of human beings, and not more so because their ancestors wrote in a book that they hold a "chosen" status. That conclusion correctly means the genocidal slaughter of Palestinians -- and the removal of their means of survival -- is as damnable and vile at the hands of Jews as any of the other countless slaughters, purges, displacements, replacements, and exterminations visible throughout human history.

      Yes, damnable.

      What is invariably mentioned after this last comment arises? That Hamas attacked Israel first, in October of 2023. More nonsense, with zero contextualization. Most of the people in Gaza were refugees dumped into that confined area by Israel's War of Independence. While confined there, a huge border wall was built around them, using U.S. tax dollars. It has basically been a squalor-filled open air prison for the last 75 years. Gaza is one of the most confined and heavily populated areas on the planet. In essence, the people pushed into Gaza were pushed there as a result of U.S.-funded Israeli imperialism. The events of October 7 were Israel's chickens coming home to roost. That is the full context of the recent slaughter in Gaza and Israel.

      We've left the toxic brew of CDism. Don't be a cuckold for Zionism, for Israeli slaughters of the people who occupied Palestine for 2,000 years in their absence. The Palestinians deserve better. Humanity deserves better. Your respect for your own logic deserves better.

      Delete
    14. Alice, "The Palestinians deserve better". Look what happens when they are given better, in "Infidel" lands.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mYQ9ggO6Lhk

      However, I agree with you on one point, the CD legacy is indeed a toxic brew, still, it is being diluted by by adding 2600 former Iranian Muslims per year to their ranks here in the UK.

      Was denken Sie?

      Delete
    15. Joseph, Was ich denke, werde ich dir sagen: That the Cd`s need to be very careful, and consider very carefully what the consequences are likely to be by adding so much Iranian culture to their midst. I for one will watch with interest.
      Also: Should we, on this site. be concentrating more on trying to introduce topics which will align with the key purpose for the site, as listed on the reasons given in the header?

      Delete
    16. Since when is hypocrisy NOT a key reason for leaving Christadelphianism?

      Delete
    17. Mancott, have you read the recent (25th March) articles on Tidings.org with regard to the Iranian "situation"? I find much of it rather disturbing.

      Delete
    18. Joseph, yes, just speed-read through it, and agree with you, though it should be most disturbing for "home-grown" CDs. I thought the comment that this large number (would "deluge" be more accurate?) of "refugees" who have joined the CDs is what is keeping ecclesial "flickering" lights to remain alight.

      Delete
    19. Mancott, the leader article by Stephen Cox shocked me so much, that it probably deserves an article being written here about it. I have read it several times and each time have become ever more appalled at the attitudes expressed by both the Christadelphians and Iranians towards the UK. "Ungrateful" does not do it justice, for either party. That the Christadelphians are in the thrall of such people will surely hasten their now rapid decline.

      Delete
    20. The writer of the article claims that Iranian Christians choose to join the Cds because the Cds reject the doctrine on the Trinity, as do they. So why, I ask, do Iranians also flock to join other religions, such as the Baptists (and other religions and sects) who do believe in the Trinity?

      Delete
    21. I skimmed it last night. I wouldn't say I saw it as a big deal, though it would clearly significantly change the character of UK ecclesias, and I'm not sure whether that's a good thing or not. I personally wouldn't write anything about it, but Joseph, if you wanted to I could make it a post.

      Delete
  7. What right of self-defence did the Palestinians have, as millions of Jews regathered into Palestine to establish a nation identity? What right of self-defence have they had as more and more of their land was militarily occupied during Israel's existence? What right of self-defence do they have now, as tens of thousands of them are being slaughtered? Traditionally, they have fought high tech U.S. weaponry (bestowed to the tune of $4 billion annually to Israel) with rocks and vitriol and little else. While the world looked on in indifference.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wrote a lengthy response. It got eaten by Google. Tried bullet points this time round. Hopefully it makes sense and I've covered most of the same points.

      1. The right of self-defence I talked about is national, not personal. Early Jewish settlers came in under first the Ottoman Empire, then the British Mandate. I believe most (though probably not all) complied with all laws then present. You can argue whether it was moral or not, but individual Palestinians no more had a right to drive out those settlers than I have a right to try and drive out legal immigrants to Australia because I feel they're threatening my way of life or something.

      2. The original state of Israel was declared following a UN resolution, and recognised by many (though not all) UN states then, and by more since then. That did give them rights like national sovereignty, writing their own laws, and defending their borders.

      3. There were a number of major wars in the next 20 - 25 years. As you say, borders changed significantly as a result. There would be some dispute about how much each side was the aggressor in those conflicts, who invaded who, and what the final result should be. I don't know enough of the details.

      4. We're fifty years on from that. Even if you think it unjust (and yes, I'm confident there has been injustice) the longer it has gone on, in my opinion the harder it becomes to unpick that situation and remedy the injustice.

      5. It seems to me that Israel has been the one with the power in the relationship and the oppressor for at least most of my lifetime.

      6. In principle, yes, I think both Gaza and the West Bank should be self-governing with a right of self-defence. But the example of, say, Ukraine shows that in practice that right doesn't prevent a powerful neighbour from entering your borders, nor does it prevent you paying a high price to try and actually defend those borders.

      7. Until recent months I hadn't been aware how much the US supported Israel with weaponry (not just, say, words and security council vetoes). It does seem that they are the nation outside the Middle East with the best chance of doing something to change the current situation - if they want to. And I've seen arguments that they are required to, not just by the nebulously defined international law but also by US law. Not holding my breath on their action, though.

      8. I'm not sure it's fair to say that the world has looked in with indifference. I remember hearing Christadelphians complain about the UN being perpetually biased against Israel. There has been resolution after resolution. There have also been domestic protests in many nations. "The world has not solved the problem" would be true, but I think that shows the difficulty of solving the problem, not indifference.

      9. Think carefully: If you want it to go beyond words and UN resolutions (which Israel, on their own land - at least according to their law - and with their own armed forces does generally seem to ignore), what action do you want? Sanctions targeting Israel? Targeting the US for supplying weapons to Israel? Supplying weapons to Gaza and/or the West Bank, the same as many nations have supplied weapons to Ukraine? A peace-keeping force to be brought in, whether Israel likes it or not? A full-fledged invasion of Israel? Any of those things might have the desired effect - and they also might have many unintended consequences, up to and including nuclear war.

      All this to say: Thinking from my perspective in Australia and on the other side of the world, I'm not sure how much my government can do, but I'm certain it's not just a matter of "If Australia would have the courage of their convictions and see an obvious injustice, they could parachute in and save the day". But for me personally, saying there's nothing I can do feels like realism, not indifference.

      Delete
    2. One of the most objectionable parts of CDism, in my own experience, was what I designated in my own mind as "Jew worship." It is a common pathology in Christianity, and particularly in Protestantism, but in CDism it is a raging brain fever. It is evident even in the discussions of defectors, those who have largely rejected CDism's tenets, including individuals on this site. For that reason, this discussion and its commentary and criticisms are entirely germane.

      Delete
    3. Doris, one family at our Ecclesia in particular stick in my mind, and I have commented before, they walked about the local shops wearing star of David pendants, they actually thought they were Jews, or "super Jews", and despite being poorly educated low achievers, most certainly thought that they had a better grip on Biblical truth than the thousands upon thousands of genuine scholars that had gone before them, despite their homes and conversation containing no evidence whatsoever that they they had studied anything at all, never mind the religion that they were supposedly expert in, and is superior to all others.





























      Delete

Please do not comment as 'Anonymous'. Rather, choose 'Name/URL' and use a fake name. The URL can be left blank. This makes it easier to see who is replying to whom.