Links for purchasing Surrender of Sovereignty.

Dr. Clendenon's book "SURRENDER OF SOVEREIGNTY" is now avaible through major bookstores: Amazon.com, or Barnes & Noble, and is also available in the Kindle format compatible wtih PC, iMac, iPad, iPhone, 3G, Wi-Fi and Blackberry.

11/29/2010

Three Kinds Of Faith: Earned, Required, Invested

Faith is trust in or belief in someone or something.  There are different  kinds: earned faith, required faith, and invested faith.

Earned Faith
When I met my wife, I knew very little about her other than that she was cute, and she owned a car. We dated, we became engaged, and we married.  We have now been married for forty-two years.  I have a lot of faith in her.  She has earned my trust by consistently treating me with love, honesty, and honor.  I did not have that faith in her when I first met her.  She earned it.

Required Faith
When we are required to pay for something before we get it, it is more or less a required faith or trust.  We can sometimes check customer ratings to bolster our nerve a little, but basically we have to lay down the cash before we can get what we want.  It's not the way we would want it to be, but it's required.  If we don't pay the money, we don't even have a chance of getting what we want.  Like accepting the "terms of agreement" for a software we are downloading on the internet, it you don't accept the terms, you're not going to get the software.

Invested Faith (response to Required Faith)
When faith is required of us, we sometimes have to invest our faith.  Putting it out there, even though it hasn't been earned, hoping that we don't get burned and that our investment of faith and trust brings us the return we hoped for.   An interesting thing happens when we choose to invest our faith in an entity which requires it.  We want to believe that we made a wise investment.  Friends may tell us we're crazy for making that investment; but we tend to support the idea of our investment as well as the requiring entity, if for no other reason,  so that we do not look stupid and unwise in our investing.

Christianity is an interesting blend of these types.  Most Christians would say that their faith in God is earned: that God loved them, sent his Son and rescued them from sin and death.  But that is not really how it works.  I believe that the Christian experience starts with required faith, quickly followed by invested faith.  And then following a period of indoctrination and ethereal experimentation, it assimilates, retroactively, the false idea that the initially required faith,  responded to by the believer with invested faith, was actually EARNED.  We will dissect this idea in the next post.

I think if you choose to hold a differing view, my next post will clarify my position for you so that you can at least have a clear target.  Good day. :-)

11/28/2010

Will The Defendants, Jesus And The Bible, Please Rise?

If belief in the Bible, Christianity, the virgin birth, the Garden of Eden, the war in heaven or the resurrection of Jesus were put on trial, would there be enough evidence to get a conviction?  Or would we find that all real evidence is circumstantial at best, and that the evidence has been tampered with?  It is my belief that 99.9% of folks who are either born or raised under the canopy of faith in the Bible as God's word cannot look at these questions without bias.

Today, someone asked me, "Don't you believe the Bible?"  I answered, "No."  They countered, "But the Bible says that all scripture is given by inspiration of God."  It's like their minds have been warped.  Such an objection would never be taken seriously in court because the  Bible is stating within its pages that it is indeed inspired.  But in conversations, Christians do the same thing with regard to the existence of the Devil.  I tell them I do not believe that a being named Lucifer or Satan exists.  And they generally retort something like, "Where do you think sin came from?"  And I retort, "Sin is a concept taken from within the Bible.  I don't believe we are born sinful either."  They usually respond something like, "What about all the bad stuff that happens in the world?"  And I remind them that a lot of beneficial things happen in this world as well.  Why do things that we find unpleasant or counter-productive to our health and life have to be caused by some evil being?  And what about the resurrection of Jesus?  Is there any solid evidence that the historical man, Jesus, did actually resurrect?  Only the Bible says so.  The Bible also says, in Matthew 27:50-53, that when Jesus died, the graves of many saints were opened.  And then, three days later, when Jesus allegedly resurrected, it says that these saints, whose graves had been open for three days, resurrected and walked about in Jerusalem and showed themselves to many.  Of course this book, named Matthew and written by some believer 50-60 years after this alleged miraculous event, seems to readers today to be written at nearly the same time.  50 years later, some believer writes about this miraculous event, and yet nowhere in anyone else's journals or writings is such an event mentioned.  It looks made up.

When a person is raised within the confines of Christianity or other religions, proof never becomes an issue unless you are willing to question the beliefs you've always taken for granted.  And there is no greater deception than to portray a set of beliefs as being too holy to question.  Whatever entry level one comes into Christianity, the first step is usually an act of faith.  And how many are ever "sovereign" enough to ask why it is that faith is even necessary?

In the next post I will discuss faith.

11/24/2010

33 Miners Get Prayers Answered And 29 Miners Do Not

The song Unanswered Prayers certainly climbed to the top of the charts when singer Garth Brooks introduced it to country music.  Christians look back and see where they have asked God for something that, in retrospect, would not have had good results; and they proclaim that God knew what was best for them and chose not to answer their prayers.  That's all very convenient.  When they ask for something they think they actually need and the answered prayer is not forthcoming, even then, they will say God knows what is best; and they are okay with whatever his will dictates. Christians set the bar so low that God doesn't even have to exist or do anything, and they will believe he has heard their prayers.

Earlier this year, 33 miners, trapped for several months deep in the mines of Chile, came forth from their rocky tomb as the whole world watched and cheered.  God was given accolades for this miracle.  I personally heard people from Catholicism, Jehovah's Wittnesses and Seventh-day Adventism expressing pride that their churches has been instrumental in lifting the faith of these men and their families and praying for their safety.  God's grace seemed boundless as even a man who was cheating on his wife with other women was saved.

Now, in New Zealand, the tragic loss of 29 miners raises the same hopes and questions.  Why did God not see fit to save any of these miners?  If God evaluates each person individually, why did all 33 Chilean miners survive and all 29 New Zealand miners die?  Did God in his miraculous all-knowing way arrange these men into separate groups, one filled with men he was willing to save, and the other with men whom he was not?  I find this idea completely NOT REASONBLE amd RIDICULOUS.

I agree with Albert Einstein when he was speaking to Guy H. Raner, Jr, Sept. 28, 1949, and was quoted by Michael R. Gilmore in Skeptic Magazine, Vol. 5, No. 2.: "I have repeatedly said that in my opinion the idea of a personal God is a childlike one. You may call me an agnostic, but I do not share the crusading spirit of the professional atheist whose fervor is mostly due to a painful act of liberation from the fetters of religious indoctrination received in youth. I prefer an attitude of humility corresponding to the weakness of our intellectual understanding of nature and of our own being."


I don't believe God saved the 33 miners in Chile, and I don't believe God had anything to do with the deaths of 29 miners in New Zealand. I do believe that the hope of answered prayer is a cruel hoax that Christianity and other religions have foisted upon their wishful followers.  It really bothers me to see families in a situation like this, who, when their prayers go unaswered, are left to sort out why.  Was it their lack of faith?  Was it something they did?  Was it something they didn't do?  I do not perceive that God, if he, she or it exists, works in this human, cruel and selfish way.  I think the idea of a personal god is the concoction of wishful minds, and one that, in tragedy, can devastate a man, woman or family to their core.  I believe the 33 miniers in Chile lucked out and the efforts of many people and organizations made the rescue happen.  I do not deny that their faith in a personal God gave them confort and hope, unfounded though I believe it to be..  But I do not believe that God delivered them.  I believe the miners in New Zealand had bad luck in this case, and  poisenous gas claimed their lives on this particular day in a most dangerous profession.

Eight of the Unlucky New Zealanders
But the comparison of the 33 Chilean miners and the 29 New Zealander miners will haunt the families in New Zealand for many years to come as they wonder why God didn't answer their prayers but did answer the prayers of the Chilean families and miners.  The families of the Chilean miners will praise God and renew their faith, and the families of the New Zealander miners will sort throught the list:  Was it our faith?  Was it something our son or father did?  Was there something we did wrong and God wouldn't answer our faith?  Should we have gone to church more?  Was it because we haven't been paying enough tithes and offerings?  Maybe they secretly look at porn and God couldn't bless them?  Maybe they were having an immoral relationship and God couldn't bless them?  Maybe they had been dishonest and God was blocked from giving them the blessing?  Maybe this was a test of their faith, and like Jesus they will have to say, "Nevertheless, thy will be done?"  Hogwash!!!!!

This is precisely where I see Christianity as a harmful thing.  I know religion has its good points and good days, but the idea that God knows all of our thoughts, hears all of our prayers and answers some and doesn't answer some seems to me an idea so ridiculous and illogical that one can only believe it under the canopy of blind faith.

11/22/2010

If They Believe The Story Of Adam And Eve, They Might Buy These.

Holy Land Shoe Inserts

Step right up! Great gift for Christians who want that unusual gift for Christmas! You can claim the promise of Joshua 1:3: "Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon, to you have I given it."

Walk and stand on the Promised Land!  A reminder for the importance of Jerusalem, the land of Israel in history and in the time to come.  Perfect for times of prayer, pilgrimages and times of need.  The soil lasts for four months of daily walks. One size fits all. Package dimensions- 15 x 21 cm..

"For no matter how many promises God has made, they are "Yes" in Christ." 2 Corinthians 1:20 So walk on holy soil and Abraham's  blessing is yours.  

For the record, I do not believe this, but there are many who do. KC

11/13/2010

Unbelievable That God Would Send His Word To Us Through A Book

I really hate this picture.  I don't know the circumstances involved, but I cannot think of an acceptable one.  I'd like to find out who is responsible for this moment in this child's life and put a gun to their head.  


What kind of a person would do such a thing?  I think we would all agree that such a person must be a monster.


When it comes to the Bible, we have hallowed it for so long that many do not see the harm it causes.  When thinking of the Bible, most choose to see Jesus, peace, love, forgiveness, joy, hope and so on.


But the Bible, believed by most Christians to be God's Word, exists in printed form and is found everywhere.  The Gideons put it in hotel rooms.  Parents give them to their children for Christmas.  Many Christian churches pass them out on the street or in foreign nations for free.  Heck, I own about twenty of them in varying versions and formats.  It truly has been made available everywhere.  And if you're in Utah, you'll probably find a Book of Mormon in your hotel drawer as well.


My belief is that God would never send his "Word" to us through multiple human beings, let us translate it from language to language, put it out in every conceivable version, and still let it be his holy standard on Earth.  Putting the Bible into the hands of the general populace, in my opinion, can result in sad scenes like the picture up above.  Let me explain.


A recent example is the trial of the kidnap and rape of Elizabeth Smart in Utah.  Mormons believes that they are descendants of Israel.  Although they believe the book of Mormon to be more accurate than the  Bible, they promote both books.  Elizabeth's abductor, Brian David Mitchell, (influenced by both books-ed.) claims mental illness for this monstrous assault upon this little girl and her family.  Elizabeth testified recently, "Nine months of living with him and seeing him proclaim that he was God's servant and called to do God's work and everything he did to me and my family is something that I know that God would not tell somebody to do," she said. "God would never tell someone to kidnap her at knife point from their bed, from her sister's side ... never continue to rape her and sexually abuse her."  I agree.


Known as a homeless street preacher named "Immanuel," Mitchell's attorneys claim that he was influenced by a worsening mental illness and religious beliefs that made him think he was doing what God wanted.  Herein lies the problem.  The world is full of sicko's:  mental children if you will, people who cannot reason or evaluate well, and people who are more comfortable following a book or those who interpret the Book than reasoning from cause to effect or taking responsibility for their own lives.


My book , Surrender of Sovereignty, mentions other such cases where a deified book, the Bible, left in the hands of ordinary people can result in horrible scenarios: people being stoned to death, children being beaten to death with rocks, humans being killed and eaten and much more.  I do not believe that a benevolent or wise god, who I believe is responsible for the design we see in flowers, animals, or matter, would work that sloppily.  I encourage you to read my book to see why I decided not to accept the Bible as the Word of God.

11/09/2010

The Boldness, Hard Work And Benefits Of Laying A New Foundation


Dad had an old shack out behind his house that we thought would eventually be torn down.  The farmer who had lived here before my parents used this old shack for storing rusty old farm implement parts.  Discs, bolts, scraps of iron and old magazines filled this dilapidated old shack without electricity. The swinging door was nearly falling off it's hinges and could hardly be moved.  

But my father saw something else.  He saw a restored little building which could be useful.  We ridiculed him in fun for this idea, but over the years he accomplished his goal.  The first picture shows how he put the whole shack on blocks, lifted it up, and poured a new foundation.  That was amazing to me, even though I thought his idea was crazy.  

Then little by little he began to clear away all the rotten wood and shore the building up. Then he and my son put new shingles on the roof.  Then he ran water, electricity and sewer out to it.  Nowadays, we call it the White House and it is very useful.

It reminds me of my experience with religion and Christianity in particular.  One day I decided to take a close look at the foundation of my faith.  I was not comfortable with what I found.  The origin of the Bible was not the neatly inspired story I had believed for years.  The first parts of what became known as Genesis, Exodus and Numbers were written by a person in court of King David and Solomon.  Over the centuries that writing was added to, changed, and embellished.  Authorship of these books was very questionable, and the common Christian ascribed their authorship to men who had nothing to do with their writing.  My findings and conclusions are the substance of my book, Surrender of Sovereignty, which can be purchased at Amazon.com .  It took boldness and resolve to lay a new foundation, but I'm glad I did.  Have you taken a close look at your religious foundation, willing to see it as it is?  Or do you see it the way you've always been taught and are unwilling to take a fresh new bold appraisal of its validity?  I have found life to be much more enjoyable since I laid a better foundation.  My staff members tell me that I am much happier to be around.  I feel much more free to enjoy and get the most out of life.

11/06/2010

The Comfortable Pew of Never Questioning

Most folks who warm their comfortable pews each week in church don't pay much attention to things like the glaring contradiction in Da Vinci's painting The Last Supper.  

During the war, much of the building where the painting exists was destroyed. The painting on the wall was saved, and the building rebuilt.  In 1999 the painting underwent restoration, and it was found that underneath previous restorations existed Da Vinci's original work of art. 

The figure just to the right hand of Jesus, who has been traditionally considered the disciple John, turned out to obviously be a woman. Her features are very feminine.  She wears a necklace.  Even today we can read in Wikipedia,  "Peter looks angry and is holding a knife pointed away from Christ, perhaps foreshadowing his violent reaction in Gethsemane during Jesus' arrest. The youngest apostle, John, appears to swoon."  

Isn't it amazing how hard it is for folks to take a fresh look at something and admit they're wrong.  Once the paint covering up Da Vinci's original painting was cleaned off, the person to the right hand was obviously a woman.  Yet even in Wikipedia they insist that it is a man.  

First of all, I find this a very human trait.  We all do it. But having recently gone through the experience of opening my eyes and taking a fresh look at religion and Christianity, it seems also true that folks don't like changing their minds about what they have grown up to believe is true.   My book's case in point: The War In Heaven and The Garden Of Eden scenarios.  

Preposterous stories written around the 9th to 10th century BC in the court of David and Solomon depicting fantastic legends several thousand years earlier are still held by religious folks to be literally true today.  Stories about axeheads floating in water, woman being created from one of a man's ribs, a blind man killing 1000 men with the jawbone of an ass, folks going up to heaven in a cloud, a young man killing a giant with one shot from a slingshot, and many many more fantastic legends are considered true and not questioned.  

I think changing one's foundation once one has been living in their house for a while just threatens folks' security too much.  But it can be done.  In the next post, I'll discuss examining your foundation and laying a new one.  



11/03/2010

Freedom From Religion: Harry Potter Style

The Harry Potter book series, then the movies and now Universal Studios' The Wizarding World of Harry Potter are perceived by most Christians as the Devil's plot to captivate the minds of children and turn them into Wiccans and Devil worshipers.  Many of them are reasonably comfortable watching the 1939 classic The Wizard of Oz, which is all about good witches, bad witches and wizards; but the problem with Harry Potter is that is makes it look so harmless and so fun.

When one believes, as I do, that the Bible is a book of human origin and does not portray cosmic reality, there is freedom to experience enjoyable things that used to be taboo   If the Biblical concepts of the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit, angels, demonic spirits and the Devil are shown to be questionable and hard to believe, then worrying about make-believe characters like Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, Spiderman and Harry Potter cease being anything more than fictional tales for enjoyment. My posts for the months of April and May as well as my book, Surrender of Sovereignty, explain why I believe the idea of Satan was concocted to bring fear and drama into the Bible's narrative to compete with contemporary religions of that period of history.  Archfiends were common in nearly all religions at that time, and inclusion of a great adversary at war with God was popular and easy to sell.

But now, enjoying freedom from religious dogma and superstition, I am free to enjoy anything.  Restricted only by my ownership of the responsibility for my actions and my ideal for what person I wish to become, many harmless and enjoyable activities are no longer on my "can't do" list. 

This weekend I was able to go to  Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida while visiting our son and his wife.  I found the Wizarding World of Harry Potter harmless and very enjoyable.  Ollivander's Wand Shop was really well done and very fun.  Butterbeer was different and quite tasty.  But for all those who feel that this all plays into Lucifer's plans, I can only say that I don't agree. The wand I bought doesn't even spark or light up, but it is a fun souvenir.   But the make-believe world of Harry Potter was a lot of fun.  The rides made me sick to my stomach and reminded me that I'm getting older.  The Halloween festivities were scary and quite enjoyable in the evening. As the evening became darker, vacant Universal Studio movie sets that were prepared for Halloween became hazy and as you walked down the dark streets you might be charged by some fiend with a chainsaw in his hands.  It was all in good fun.   But since I do not believe in the Bible, good angels, bad angels, Satan, or evil spirits. it was nice to just enjoy the theme park without a lot of guilt or hangups.