Friday, April 1, 2011

"Just what do you believe?" Good Question!

"Just what do you believe?"   Good Question!

Dennis Diehl - EzineArticles Expert AuthorFirst of all let me say that I know it really doesn't matter what I personally believe.  Also, what I believe is no less important to me than what other's find important to them.  That's the nature of "I believe."  No one sets out to believe the wrong things and I have said many times, no one wants to attend the false Church or admits to being part of one.  Every Church one goes to in the course of their life is the true church during the time they spent going to it.  

But beliefs are also not truths.  For example, many believe Genesis 1-3 is the real story of how all life including humans really really came to be.  I don't believe that is the meaning that was meant to be assigned to those stories.  They have meaning, but just not the ones creationists assign to them.  However, they believe it does tell the true scientific truth of creation and so it is to them.

So I think we could all agree that we could go one forever shooting our beliefs back and forth at each other hoping to change a mind or point of view towards our thinking and perspectives.  It rarely happens.

It was fairly asked me, "since I don't believe .....just what do you believe? I thought I'd take a short time to ask myself that question and keep it positive. Since the majority of us were in WCG and either still are in some form or have moved on to other beliefs, we obviously all believe different things based on the journey we each have taken through this ordeal.  

So this is my "Present Truth" as opposed to "The Plain Truth."  I have at least learned the truth is rarely plain nor always the truth.  The New Testament uses the term "Present Truth" and that is a more realistic view in my opinion.  

How about to all of us who will post on this topic, also just do a "I believe...." as a response.  We don't have to waste time informing each other how lame each others beliefs are compared to the truth.  And yet I know how difficult it is for some few to resist.  I haven't been labeled "High Priest of Marduk" for nothing you know! :)  Actually I haven't had a title in over a decade so I appreciate the new one.  Makes me feel almost human again!

So here goes...

I believe that we are all small conscious parts of the one same big benevolent thing experiencing reality in a very limited way with a mere five senses housed in a carbon based wetsuit.  At least I'd like to believe this.

I believe humans are born right the first time and really don't need to be feared, guilted or shamed into atonement by execution.  The NT says without the shedding of blood there is NO forgiveness of sins.  Why not?  Why can't we or the Deity just say, "Ok, I believe you and I forgive you."

I believe we're all here to learn and there is not enough time in one life to learn it all.  Thus, if our spirit goes on, then I hope reincarnation is true.  I like the analogy of one candle passing it's flame on to the next and the next and the next until all is light.  

I believe that nothing in this life is for nothing and that there are no accidents.  Somehow, every experience we have is one we agreed to have for our growth.  The choice is to grow through or wither under it seems.  

I believe every human being is equal to every other human being.  There are no chosen people because to believe that some are chosen is to believe the rest are unchosen and thus inferior. This false view of the chosen people is the source of much suffering and carnage.

I believe the Bible has value and insights just as many other books of culture and human experience do.  I don't believe any Deity wrote or even inspired the Bible and it is not the best book ever written.  These are memes we learn growing up and are very hard to come up against if one wishes to get a bigger picture of what the Bible is.

I believe we are all on different parts of the same path to something amazing.  We all learn in different ways and through different experiences, but the path and the Journey is the same for all of us. 

I believe this moment and the present is the only real thing we have.  The past, which is the source of our internalized anger and depression is not real and exists only in our heads.  The future, wherein we find the fuel for our anxiety, is unknowable and when it arrives will merely be another present moment to live in.  

I believe the reality we see, touch, taste hear and smell is not the only reality there is.

I believe we are probably one universe on a cluster of universes in one vineyard of universes among many more vineyards.  

I believe our universe is teeming with life and would have developed in its own way based on its own circumstances and conditions. 

I believe i'm a conscious hairless ape that developed over millions of years having many amazing ancestors who were very successful for much longer than we probably ever can hope to be.  The more conscious and intelligent we become, the shorter our span of survival becomes as history seems to show us.  

I believe human consciousness developed as we see it today about 3000 years ago when writing came into being.  This explains the cold, robotic and non introspective thinking we see in people in the early pages of the Bible.  The OT is a great example of humans spanning the gap between the unconscious mind of man and the one waking up.  Great topic for another time.   As God disappears from view in the Bible, we find humans developing religion to answer the question of "where did he go?"   and "What do we have to do to regain His favor and attention?"

I believe I am responsible for every decision, event, disaster, choice and result that has occurred in my personal life.  That which I view as someone else's fault is also my fault.  I am not a victim of others in the bigger picture. 

I believe our children should be shown and encouraged to examine many ways of being and then make their own choices even if it is not our choice.  What's the chance you and I just happened to end up born into the very true truth in the universe.  Let them pick their own. 

I believe if all of us here commenting, no matter our beliefs, could probably have a great time over dinner and come to appreciate more than deprecate each other.

I believe it doesn't really matter what I believe, but to me it is comforting just as I know yours is to you. 

I believe I'll wrap it up now knowing there are always other things I believe that I will think of after I finish this...

What do you guys believe?


Anonymous said...

And no fair saying:

Dennis, I believe you are nuts
I believe you are delusional
I believe you are lost
I believe you are Lake of Fire material (already taken)
I believe you're off the track
I believe you'll think differently when Jesus returns with His rod of iron..etc.

Share a bit of your own positive sincerity.

Anonymous said...

I dreamed I had an interview with The Great Spirit.

"Come in," The Spirit said. "So, you would like to interview Me?"

"If you have the time," I said.

The Spirit smiled and said, "My time is eternity and it is enough to do everything; what questions do you have in mind to ask me?"

"What surprises you most about mankind?"

The Spirit answered;

"-That they get bored of being children, are in a rush to grow up, and then long to be children again.

-That they lose their health to make money and then lose their money to restore their health.

-That by thinking anxiously about the future, they forget the present, such that they live neither for the present nor the future.

-That they live as if they will never die, and they die as if they had never lived."

The Great Spirit's hands took mine and we were silent for a while and then I asked, "As a parent, what are some of life's lessons that children should learn?"

The Spirit replied with a smile;

"-To learn that they cannot make anyone love them. What they can do is to let themselves be loved.

-To learn that a rich person is not the one who has the most, but is one who needs the least.

-To learn that it only takes a few seconds to open profound wounds in persons we love, and that it takes many years to heal them.

-To learn that there are persons who love them dearly, but simply do not know how to express or show their feelings.

-To learn that two people can look at the same thing and see it totally different.

-To learn that it is not always enough that they be forgiven by others, but that they have to forgive themselves."

I sat there for awhile enjoying the moment. I thanked him for his time and for all that he has done for me and my family.

He replied, "Anytime. I'm here 24 hours a day.
All you have to do is ask for me, and I'll answer."

People will forget what you said.
People will forget what you did.
But people will never forget how you made them feel.

Allen C. Dexter said...

I personally believe that questions and possible answers have no end; that simplistic, dogmatic answers are very tempting but illusory.

There is much about this universe and life itself that we will probably never understand totally.

I personally believe that consciousness doesn't end at death. I can't prove it to anyone's satisfaction if they don't feel the same way, but the evidence seems to me to be overwhelming. The evidence can always be dismissed as "anecdotal." There is just too much anecdote for me to dismiss.

Does that mean that a god exists? Not necessarily. But, universal consciousness that has also evolved might. There are aspects of the universe and quantum mechanics that hint at such a thing.

I believe that final answers are not to be found in any one book humans have invented. All such books must be viewed as manifestations of the human struggle to understand and find meaning in it all. That quest is never ending.

Black Ops Mikey said...

I don't claim to be right; I just claim that pretty much everybody is wrong.

I could be right, but that doesn't matter.

If I am wrong, then I am wrong in a different way from pretty much everybody else.

I'm really sure and believe that people who are wrong are never going to look for the truth unless they realize that they can barely have only a small fraction of the truth, but it's worthwhile to figure out where you're wrong and try to fix it.

The Third Witness said...


Hope you’re keeping well (stay off the calamine!) It’s very difficult to say something meaningful without giving it a lot of thought. And then, trying to put it down in writing intelligibly is another matter. Anyway, for what it’s worth, here’s my attempt to express some of the main things I would say I believe right now:

I believe I exist. (But I’m willing to consider evidence to the contrary.)

I believe that you (all) exist.

I believe that the world around us is not (merely) an illusion. (I believe each person’s individual experiences of the world are subjective, but I don’t think that means the world isn’t real.)

I find it easier to believe in a God who has always existed rather than a universe that has always existed.

I no longer believe the conspiracy theory of church history.

I still have difficulty believing that I have any (absolute or universal) “rights”. The concept just doesn’t make sense to me.

I believe the cellist Pablo Casals was onto something when he said: “The main thing in life is not to be afraid to be human”.

I believe that Mother Teresa understood something profound when she advised: “Let no one come to you without going away better and happier”.

I believe Philip Yancey was right when he wrote: “There is nothing we can do to make God love us more. There is nothing we can do to make God love us less”.

I believe the maxim “Enjoy life! This is not a rehearsal” is interesting. I heartily agree with the first part, but I think the second part may be both true and not true at the same time.

I believe that most people (including myself) have very little idea what they are talking about most of the time.

And that’s one reason why I believe it’s important not to take ourselves too seriously.

Graham Buik
Brussels, Belgium

Anonymous said...

I believe this is interesting and positive, keep going.

Anonymous said...

I try to shy away from belief, considering it took me a long time to discover that my "beliefs" were baseless and false- from religion to politics to history to science to etc.

I prefer truth to belief now. I like knowing what is true. To me truth is much more comforting than belief in things for which there is no evidence. Why would you want to believe in something that very well may be a lie? What is wrong in saying, "there is no evidence, so I do not believe?"

I think people want to believe in some things so badly that the desire to believe overrides the desire for truth. I no longer desire to believe in something so badly that I am willing to lie to myself.

I too dream. I am not some automaton; I love fantastical fiction more than I do science. I think the world would be much more interesting if there were a supernatural realm, aliens, secret conspiracies, life after death. But so far, there is absolutely no evidence, and therefore I cannot, in good conscience, lie to myself by choosing to believe in such things. My approach is to be willing to accept the evidence if and when it does appear.

Paul Ray

Byker Bob said...

Paul Ray,

I, too, love science and science fiction, especially when that science fiction is used as a background to conduct a morality play, or to explore human nature.

But, I'm curious. How do you as an individual treat things which are theorized by science, but non-provable?


Anonymous said...

Such as? If you mean like wacky physics stuff, it's over my head and out of my area of interest- I don't really give it any thought and so I can't say that I "accept" it. Another thing about that area is that I don't know jack about physics, and while I don't place blind trust in the pronouncement of physicists (triple anti-matter exists because I saw it on the Discovery Channel), I have to be cautious when I approach the subject. I may not understand their experimental approaches, much less the hypothesis and the results. So there is leeway given....

But I find physics boring, and so I doubt I will ever study it.

Also, I tend to be skeptical of politically charged science, like global warming. Things like that, like evolution, I have to look at the actual hard data myself.

Paul Ray

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

What do we believe ...

It is only now, at age 58, that I have come to understand that virtually everything I have believed throughout my life was either a lie or a misrepresentation. That virtually everything needs to be throughly researched and, even then, you still cannot be 100% certain you have the truth. I have also learned that the more someone pounds something into your head, the greater the likelihood that it isn't true. The classic, "argument weak, yell louder." Why, I think that just summed up the entirety of the WCG !! Although same for politics, government, business, religion, marketing and advertising, and even the day-to-day gossip that we all hear.

Black Ops Mikey said...

I believe that I can pretty much prove Armstrongists are nuts.

James said...

I believe that the words attributed to Jesus, "What is truth?" explained that truth is in the eye of the beholder.

In science, truth is in the math.
In humanity it is ones "version" of reality. If two walk together and agree, it is there you will find a version of truth. Maybe not your truth, but someones else.

"I believe in science" and like science, one truth outstanding is that HWA was a drunken vagabond and his campaigns of malice and malignity may have been conceived in idealism, but they quickly degenerated into vainglorious, pompous stoicism.

Herb's follower are just like the old goat. They exhibit an air of superiority. You realize, of course, that's really just a defense mechanism to cover up their obvious inferiority. In theory, ignorant and highly emotional persons were frequently swayed by his bombast and fustian words. But in reality, he believed that people are pawns to be used and manipulated. What treachery!

Education is the answer, not putting your ears toward invidious, unholy mind games that masquerade as religion. If your eyes can see and ears hear, then you should be able to percieve that Armstrong-ism was and is nothing less than religious Gleichschaltung.

Michael D. Maynard said...

Hello again Mr. Ray,

"I too dream. I am not some automaton; I love fantastical fiction more than I do science."

Is this not what I previously pointed out to you and that you denied?



Michael D. Maynard said...

Anonymous said...

"Dennis, I believe you are nuts."

You think...?

Please commenter; don't encourage Him, that is what Dennis feeds on.

Dennis has no idea what he believes and wants followers in his religion called; "Confusionism.". You know, the ‘Misery loves company’ thing. If he really believed what he writes he would not be posting it at Banned. Maybe he still does because Atheists and Antichrist’s banned HIS stuff. Too wishy- washy for them. He just lacks the courage to go all the way.

Get a spine Dennis, get off the fence, make a stand!

On Monday he writes, those who believe in Jesus and God are delusional for they are but myth.

Tuesday he is expounding on prophecies from the Old Testament book of Isaiah explaining what a non-existent God (his view) really meant for a non-existent tribe of Israel called Ephraim.

Wednesday he is calling creationists deceived and foolish. Then the following Friday contradicts that.

Thursday he says the "Jesus myth" comes from pagan mythology, ignoring that the Jesus prophecy was millennia before the mythical characters he says the mythical Jesus was based on.

Friday he writes that He believes in a deity, he just calls him a "benevolent thing." And hopes that reincarnation is real so he has a second chance. (Christians call that the "resurrection' Dennis, there may be a third one)

Christians have a name for this "benevolent thing," His name is Elohim. Your name is Dennis. “Benevolent thing” is named Elohim. Didn’t you hear Jim? He carry it with Him everywhere He go.

“At least I'd like to believe this”…go ahead Dennis, believe it, you have my permission.

Why do I read Dennis' stuff? I enjoy Satire and Comedy. I can hardly wait for Saturday and Sunday!


Anonymous said...

"Is this not what I previously pointed out to you and that you denied?"

This would have been more apt:

"Paul, I think you are confusing science with fantastical fiction."

Paul Ray

Michael D. Maynard said...

"Paul, I think you are confusing science with fantastical fiction."

Yes i like that you put it your own words.


Black Ops Mikey said...

Unfortunately today, science with fantastical fiction is called Science Fiction, but the kind of science fantasy / fiction written by Armstrongists simply could not pass muster at Analog or Asimov's, nor Tor Publishing, for that matter.

The criteria is too restrictive to permit publishing of the distorted perceptions of the Armstrongist Community by well grounded publishers. In short, the fiction won't sell, particularly with people who know reality from the fiction -- in this case, called "scientists".

There's just no way they measure up.

Anonymous said...

Michael. I took a look at your site and can't seem to find even one comment on your proof texting approach to everything God. Is that because no one reads you or because no one cares to comment because you are such an offensive and smug Jesus person?

Get a spine as you say Michael and give me a call 864 905 5804 and we'll get aquainted. I'll report all your to me personally here.


Anonymous said...

Somehow Michael I knew it would be you who would be incapable of coming up with anything positive and personal in answering the question.

Rather than offer a few positive and non-judgmental comments about your own views, you simply make a constant fool out of yourself flapping your religious mouth

Michael D. Maynard said...


"I'll report all your to me personally here.".....What?

Dennis, I have dealt with many like try to intimidate others intellectually through whit and clever stories with what seems to be logic. I know you Dennis, and I don't need to know any more than I know now. I have spent a long career in sales and at the top of corporations and see right through people.

You feel uncomfortable with anyone who believes in absolutes because you lack faith. Ask for faith it is a gift. You were duped into going to Ambassador College, I ran the other way when I chose an education. Because I saw where it could lead, and I was correct.

You are a result of manipulation and brainwashing and now are trying to deal with the built up scars. I am sorry.

If you think I am smug you mistake smug for absolute, resolute, and unwavering in my faith. Dennis...I KNOW WHAT I BELIEVE IS REAL AND FACTUAL AND HAVE NOT ONE SINGLE DOUBT!!! Smug,NO...Beyond humbled to have been a Pharisee like Paul and now see Grace...Now I know why I was called to minister this way.

Sorry for you Dennis, but your dilemma is not my fault, and I will not share in any way in your guilt or confusion. I do not like you spewing your vomit on people who are trying to sort things out within their own faith.

As far as my blogs site. If only one Armstrongite is drawn out of the lie and into grace my efforts will be worth it. I talk to many I personally know...and they are upset at what I write and are shunning I know I am having the effect that I hoped for.

As far as proof texting, I am doing the opposite of that, I go to great length to site long passages and refer readers to the entire chapters. I am battling exactly the proof text religion of Armstrongism, the way you were trained.

I have no memory verses, I include all of the context or I don't use it.

Thanks for the phone number, I hope you don't get too many sales calls tonight.

But it's free country, so as you were.


Michael D. Maynard said...

"Somehow Michael I knew it would be you who would be incapable of coming up with anything positive and personal in answering the question."

That was not me alone Dennis, I was quoting the first commenter. He and I were on the same page on this issue.

Dennis, if there had been one point that had merit I would have.

And Dennis, If I am a fool for Christ, for be it!
I will wear that badge with honor!

I think you are coming unglued, please don't throw a tantrum here Dennis.


Anonymous said...

Michael...I WAS the first commenter. It started, "And no fair saying..."

Faith tends to be that which we exhibit before we get the facts eventually.

As for vomit, you would need to tell that to the many well understood, educated theologians who have made a career out of learning just what the Bible does say, and why, where it really comes from and why, who really wrote it and when, and politics of disagreement going on between the authors from Genesis to Revelation.

And don't pretend to know me without having spent anytime with me personally or discussing things face to face. You don't really know me anymore than I really know you.

Your faith and journey is yours alone as is mine and all those who have their filters through which they see it all, as do we all.

I write and share to process my own experience as Minister/member/man as I assume you are doing as well.


Anonymous said...

Michael--How about you give me a call and we get aquainted and I'll not say a word to another human being about what we we talk about?

It might be good for both of us on the journey.

My cell # is all over the internet with my practice etc, and has never been much of a problem. Besides maybe I need something sold to me I didn't know I just had to have..:)

Michael D. Maynard said...

Michael...I WAS the first commenter. It started, "And no fair saying..."

My bad, I missed that. I guess it was just too good to pass up, guess i pulled the trigger too quick and shot off my own toe. Oh well, it will grow back:<0

But this was special:

And no fair saying:
"I believe you are delusional"

If you make the rules they should be rules you play by all the time, shouldn't they? I believe you have tagged me with delusional at least once in prior debates.

Dennis, this is not 6th grade and you are not my 6th grade teacher, and I am a big boy now and don't need to follow your set of rules.

Like selling a refrigerator to an Eskimo? My personal ethics and love for my neighbor would prohibit that. Unless the Eskimo used it for a smoker:<]

Let me ask this. What would you say in a phone call or personal conversation that you have not already written of yourself. The things you write are the essential you, the character of the man on paper, or electronic images. I am not interested in your voice or personality. I judge a man by the content of what is on the inside, by what he believes. What comes from the mouth comes from the heart. Unless you are a con-man conning everyone here. What will you say to me, that all of this is a ruse and I am just yanking the chains of those smug Jesus people?


Anonymous said...

"I am not interested in your voice or personality. I judge a man by the content of what is on the inside, by what he believes. What comes from the mouth comes from the heart."

I wasnt interested in you hearing my voice or experiencing my personality. I was giving you an opportunity to judge a man by the content of what is on the inside. By what he believes. By getting to know more from the heart than I have written or spoken by mouth to anyone here.

Alas, skip it.

You are the only person here who refused to respond with anything positive however. You went after the writer and that is what I find typical of those who are not as open in their sharing and certainly would never say, "i have had my own doubts along the way, but here is what I believe in my heart."

Neither one of us can have the other's experience. We each have our own and it is what forms and informs us. And that's ok.

Michael D. Maynard said...

Dennis said;

"You are the only person here who refused to respond with anything positive however. You went after the writer and that is what I find typical of those who are not as open in their sharing and certainly would never say, "i have had my own doubts along the way, but here is what I believe in my heart."

Oh come on keep going around in circles. You know emphatically what I believe. Just glean that from my blog and all my past comments.

I am transparent to any who care to investigate. WYSIWG. Not an intellectual, need I mention. My agenda is clearly defined.

I have 'born my soul' in comments to your prior blogs to which I took grave exception and was personally attacked and had my intellect brought into question.

That Dog Don't hunt no more...I know you now and it is not "positive sincerity" you want to draw out of the is their bowels as you intellectually eviscerate them for their opposing view.

So your best reader seems to be one who is: 1)too timid to comment or, 2)stupid enough to comment, or 3) those of the same mind set(all three of them).

Here is the problem I have with your approach. You claim you are more expert on what you don't believe than what you do. That does not seem to be a very solid platform from which to condemn all others for what they do believe.

As I wrote earlier. If you were a devout atheist, I could respect your writings. Then when you called me deluded or believing a Jesus myth.I would know exactly where you are coming from.

But what you are doing now is not rational in any way and your inconsistency undermines your arguments.

Take a stand, declare some form of Deism, Agnostic,or be an devout Atheist. Until then, don't confuse me with your ambuity....maybe politics is your calling. You can be for and against every issue.


Michael D. Maynard said...

And Dennis I am not trying to hurt you or offend you in any way but I firmly stand on what I publish as my platform . It is what I sincerely believe.


Candid Answers said...

It does matter what I personally believe, because that reflects who I am.

Believer said...

Dexter said

"I personally believe that consciousness doesn't end at death. I can't prove it to anyone's satisfaction if they don't feel the same way, but the evidence seems to me to be overwhelming."

That evidence is called "faith."

I watched my own mother closely in 2009 as she lay in the casket. There is no consciousness beyond the grave, dead is dead.

The only hope is resurrection and for me the Messiah Yahushua who overcame death is the answer.

Allen C. Dexter said...

No, Believer, faith doesn't enter in for me, especially faith in any so-called savior.

I'm basing my belief on what I read and see on TV recounting the experiences of people who are obviously speaking and writing in sincerity about what they have persoanally experienced.

My former wife who died from lung cancer lived for about nine years in Tombstone. She operated a small business there that was locked up tightly every night with armored padlocks. In the morning, she would find numerous things she had sequstered in set spots the night before moved to another location and obvious signs that something had been going on during the previous night. Her daughter, my step daughter, worked in Big Nose Kates bar and had numerous hair raising experiences when she was alone there, involving touch and hearing by someone or something who called her by name.

Dismiss it all as anecdote if you must, but I cannot. I have noticed, however, that none of the things I refer have any connection with common ideas and doctrines about heaven or hell.

Unknown said...

I also believe consciousness goes on after departng the body.. If it were not so, why was the great Apostle Paul unsure if his heavenly vision was observed from "outside or inside his body"(2 Cor 12)?
You'd think if anyone would know what happens, it would be him.

Allen C. Dexter said...

"You'd think if anyone would know what happens, it would be him."

Maybe. Long ago, I quit taking things Paul (whoever he actually was -- could have been more than one) said seriously. Like you and me, he had his beliefs and convictions which may or may not have been factual or true. His letters carry no more authority in my eyes than Herb's old co-worker diatribes.