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.

12/20/2010

The True Christmas Spirit of Christianity



Christians like to cloak their religion in love, helping the needy and poor etc.  This video demonstrates the underlying  malignity of religions that believe anyone who doesn't accept their way of thinking is going to hell and feel compelled to go out spreading the good news to the world.  Sure makes me feel like going out and joining them, NOT.

12/17/2010

Is God So Holy He Can't Directly Interface With Us?

It is the common belief of Christians that sin separates us from God.  Therefore, to them, it follows that they must believe in God by faith.  For as the Bible teaches, "Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."  This sounds very profound, and I rattled it off from memory at many occasions when I was a Christian.  But now I think it was only hopeful jargon I used to keep the unreasonable concept of faith from dying when my prayers seemed not to be answered or my life was failing in some area.

In Genesis 32, the Bible claims Jacob wrestled with God.  This was after the legendary Garden of Eden and the fall of mankind.  This was before Jesus lived on the earth, who Christians believe was born as God/Man to be a mediator between God and us. God's holiness seemed to be able to survive after contacting sinful Jacob.  And Jacob wasn't destroyed by God's brightness.  Maybe God cloaked his glory for Jacob.  But if he can cloak it for Jacob, why can't he cloak it for everyone everywhere.

Moses asked God to reveal himsef, and God agreed that if Moses would hide in a crevice in the rocks, he would pass by and cover Moses with his hand, and then as he was walking away, he would remove his hand and let Moses see his backward parts.  So apparently God is too glorious for Moses to see, but Jacob was able to have a wrestling match with him.

The yearly Israeli ritual of the Day of Atonement is an interesting tradition.  The books of Exodus, Numbers, Leviticus, and Deuteronomy lay out the complex rules for the ceremonial cleansing of the sins of Israel.  Suffice it to say, many lambs, goats, bulls, and birds were killed.  Blood was splattered everywhere, their bodies were burned, and as a finale to this ridiculous ceremony, the High Priest entered into the farthest room of the Tabernacle to go before God and cleanse himself and his nation of sin. The walls of the room where the high priest allegedly met with the glory of God had curtains that were 3 feet thick.  It was all very secret.  The priest wore a garment that had a hem of bells and pomegranates so that those outside could hear him when he was behind the curtain.  Nobody was allowed to go in there except the High Priest, and he could only enter once a year.  The legend says that the room had a cloud over it by day and a pillar of fire over it by night.  It's a great story, but again, there is no evidence that it is anything but legend.

The Illusion of the Wizard of Oz
It reminds me of the Wizard of Oz.  Remember when the man was hiding behind the curtain with a microphone and trying to convince his visitors how unapproachable he was.  This holiness and separation from God is  another Christian idea without proof.  And when the Bible speaks of who and how man has seen God, the stories don't match.  The Bible says no man has seen God.  It also says Jacob wrestled with God.  It also says that Moses spoke to God face to face as a friend would speak to a friend.  It also says we have been separated from God and the man who went into the Most Holy Place to speak to God had to burn incense to create a clouded room to protect him from God's glory, and sprinkle blood over all kinds of things in order to quell God's wrath.  God's unapproachable holiness is also another idea that has been unquestioned for so long that few even consider it.  There is no evidence that there was a war in heaven.  There is no evidence that mankind sinned and was separated from God in the Garden of Eden.  The idea that we must believe what we cannot see or prove is just a bogus idea that never gets questioned.

I certainly wouldn't stop communicating or visiting my children because they disobeyed me.  It's not a reasonable idea.  Faith is just a nice fuzzy idea that works well as a last resort when trying to hold together a system of belief that is unreasonable and contradictory.  When God is not personal and you're saying he is, you're going to need to throw in doctrines like" our separation from God's holiness" and our "need of faith", believing what we cannot see, in order to hold the masses in place and keep them giving offerings and keep them willing to sacrifice themselves when called upon.

When faith is earned, it is honorable and stabilizing.  When it is required by a book which doesn't agree with itself and influences lives to extent that Christianity does, it is an invested faith.  I for one don't think it's a good investment.  I spent years of my life dropping to my knees and praying to God, thanking him for this and that, and asking him for his intervention in life.  Of course, I never heard  him speak back to me, so I had to imagine that ideas and words that cropped up in my mind while I prayed were him communicating to me.  And when it seemed like I was speaking to a wall, I reminded myself that sin had separated me from God. My only way to communicate with him was to have faith that Jesus resurrected from the dead, for which there was no hard proof, and believe in what I could not see:  FAITH.

I challenged my wife for one month.  She continued praying to God in faith.  I prayed to the lamp in our living room.  We both kept track of our lives and prayers and compared our results at the end.  There was no difference.

This week I heard a woman whose daughter lived through a nasty accident praising God for his goodness in saving her daughter.  No doubt she was, as I would be, very happy her child had lived.  But what about  another family I saw recently who was in a head-on collision and the father was killed, the children were mangled, and the mother who is in Mexico can't even come here to console her children.  The poor children are bewildered.  The oldest teen said she did not understand why all this was happening to them.  I understand her bewilderment.  Why would an imaginary God in whom they believe, yet cannot see, and who they believe they communicate with, yet have to imagine his words, spare one child and not spare another?  Both were believers.  It does not make sense.  I believe such imaginary ideas of God do not deserve our faith, and yet Christianity's Bible requires us to invest faith without proof.  It may seem sacrilegious to question faith in God, but actually I'm questioning why any god would require faith rather than earn it. Why would God require faith, and dispense his system of belief though the corrupt channels of religion.  For me, it is not reasonable.

12/06/2010

Examining The Entry Levels For Christianity

The following post will be easier to relate to if you have read the previous post: Three Kinds Of Faith: Earned, Required, Invested.

There are numerous ways to enter the Christian faith.  Let's examine the mechanics of how people pass through a couple of the most common doors into Christianity.

Born Or Raised In A Christian Family

When a child is indoctrinated within a Christian family, he tends to continue on in that faith unless some condition arises that causes him to question his inherited belief system.  Parents who "talk the talk" but do not "walk the walk" and are abusive or hypocritical at home can cause children to question.  Once children begin to mature and have occasion to desire things that may seem unnecessarily  forbidden by their family's traditional faith, they may be motivated to question.  When life brings them into situations where church doctrine seems inhibitory and they find themselves judged by others according to the rules of their faith, the result can be distancing themselves from their traditional faith.

But many who are born or raised from the beginning of their lives in Christianity do not find much of a need to question their beliefs.  Their faith seems to be the glue that holds their family together; and if they have had a reasonably nice childhood, it has become part of their comfort zone.  Many times they attend Christian schools, and their friends are a part of this same comfortable association. Frequently as they mature and become adults and are involved in business, their Christian community becomes a natural client base.  You'll see advertisements with the little fish logos on  them letting potential customers know of their common ties. If a person has no major stimuli to cause serious examination of anything outside of what they were taught or raised in, the cycle tends to continue. Unquestioned, traditionally-held family faith is simply the progeny of some earlier parent, grandparent or ancestor who converted to Christianity. Children receive their indoctrination into the family faith through Bible studies or Catechism classes.  Rather than inspiring true investigation of the family's accepted doctrines, these classes tend to proceed with the assumption that the doctrines are true and study of the same is merely to bring the students up to speed so that they can take their anticipated stand in the kingdom of God.  Therefore it is rarely a true entry level at all, but a pseudo-portal into a family's Christian faith.  The true portal into Christianity was entered by the person who originally converted into the faith, and that may have happened recently or many years ago.

Converted Into The Christian Faith

When a person is not a Christian and then becomes one, usually something has brought him to the place where he wishes to investigate.  Perhaps an unexplainable experience, an act of kindness received from someone who is a Christian, fear of the future or guilt about something they have done in life makes them curious enough to investigate Christianity.  Once acquainted with the introductory concepts of Christianity such as forgiveness and eternal life, naturally an interest is generated.

Never mind that Christianity has no proof that there is a dispute going on between God and Satan.  Never mind that there is no proof that mankind fell into sin in the Garden of Eden.  Never mind that the remedy for sin is offered by the same religion who created the concept in the first place (conflict of interest).  Never mind that there is no indisputable proof that Jesus resurrected.  Never mind that there is no proof  that the offer of eternal life is true.  What usually influences these candidates for conversion the most is that some unexplainable experience or some person they respect led them to the Bible.  Having seen Christianity's showcase of shiny desirable doctrines, coupled with the fact that over half of the inhabitants of the world believe the Old Testament, many are willing to take the leap and join. 

But the Bible at this point requires faith.  Has this faith been earned? No, it hasn't.  It holds out the candy of salvation and eternal life, but it requires you to invest your faith.  It requires you to believe something for which you have no solid evidence.  A person may think she has evidence when looking at either their amazingly unexplainable experience or the  nice confident people who are encouraging them .  They may think they have evidence when forgiveness, salvation and eternal life are offered in a book that is partially accepted by half of the inhabitants of the world; but they don't.  To obtain any of the shiny concepts in Christianity's showcase requires one to invest faith in concepts that that are speculative and have been manipulated by many over thousands of years.

The Bible's Shekinah Glory
To me, an all-knowing, ever-present God would not require faith. To me, the faith required by the Bible belies its lack of credibility.  I know the argument Christians usually give about why God requires faith, and I shall address it in the next post: Is God So Holy He Can't Directly Interface With Us?

To review how the Bible is a compilation of many writers who borrowed religious ideas from the nations existing long before them as well as contemporary nations adjacent to them in order to fabricate its fantastic story, review some of this site's earlier posts from late April and early May of this year.  They can be found in the archive in the lower right column of this page.

12/02/2010

Christianity and the Bible: A Fertile Bed For Fanaticism

I know the feeling my tired canine friend!  I've promised my blog that in the next post I would address the entry levels of faith.  But the crazy Christian fanatics are making more news than I can keep up with.  One of the subjects I feel strongly about and have blogged multiple times before this is the fact that the Bible, being written by so many different people over such a long time is actually dangerous.  The Bible has been spread all over the world  and put into the hands of  the commoner as well as the theologian.  And in the hands of everyday people the Bible, that for me is an uninspired book embellished and pieced together by those with vested interest, becomes a tool for fanatics and creates chaos and division around the world.

Two current cases in point that I will call your attention to and not even comment upon are:

1. A young man who claims to have the Biblical gifts of the Holy Spirit, and will ask God questions for you and relay God's answer back to you for $150.  Here is the link.

2. A group that thinks they've got it all figured out and are teaching their followers and anyone else who will listen that the Saints will be raptured up to God on May 21, 2011, and that the end of the world will take place October 21, 2011.  Here's the link for these crazies.