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The Non End of The World

This may seem a bit late but instead of simply talking about, and poking fun at the fact that the world in fact did not end at 6pm in each timezone on the 22nd, I instead want to share my views on why I think that not only dose this sort of stuff continue to pop up in this day and age but why a surprising large number of "the faithful" seem to so incomprehensibly believe this sort of stuff often with out any question. I think that this has the power to reveal a fundamental issue with the direction that faith is taking in many places with America being a very prime example of this.

As I see it part of the problem is that with the spread not only of Televangelist but with some of the evangelical branches of faith, the idea and assumption that the bible is instead of a book written (and put together, translated and thus edited by man) is instead of being a vehicle for a message is instead a text where what is written is to be taken at face value, and to question what is said, why it is said, and if their was another meaning or if their is a deeper message hidden beneath the text is not just wrong but to do so is to some how not be of faith and instead be possessed to wander the "wrong path".  Add this into an environment where the value of personal reflection as part of the religious process and the use of personal understandings is much less important then in say other "mainstream" branches, in favor instead of the pastor preaching the "truth" to all those gathered.  This creates an environment where logic, reason and understanding are not encouraged but instead discouraged all together.  It almost creates a lazy version of faith, in that you don't actually have to go threw the effort of questioning the words that are being read to find a deeper meaning in them, you don't have to use reasoning based on an understanding and knowledge of the times in which these text where written. 

This is all made possible when one starts with the false assumption that the bible is the direct word of god, which is to mean that it is as if good him self where to have sat down and written the text himself.  The problem with this is that the bible is really a collection of stores, some can be called divinely inspired, but most are accounts of the events, thus they are stories told and written by man, and thus they are not infallible and can easily have the biases of man, and the falling of man contained in them.  This is one of the reasons at at least a fundamental understanding of the world and times in which these text where written is so vitally important.  In part because it allows you to help separate the effects of the environment in which it was written that have slept there way into the texts out of the message that the text are trying to convey.  Matter of fact there are many things in the bible on face value would seem fine, and approved of and moral that today we would find totally unacceptable and morally wrong to do to other people, and with the application of understanding you can see why those things are wrong, then with the knowledge of the times in which it was written you can also see how the environment and what was already seem as acceptable, had migrated its way in as something that was acceptable with out it having to be divinely inspired. The lack of these two very important things that are involved in questioning create a very one sided understanding of faith and one that is very off balance and easily toppled when confronted.

This one lopsided and unbalanced version of faith thus then brings about it the requirement that those that fallow it must not question and that they must believe no matter what points to the contrary, what they are being told by those that lead them.  Those that are supposed to have a deep understanding of the meanings of the text of the bible and it's message.  So then when these leaders that they trust come up with (what to those that do use reason and knowledge as part of their faith seems) a crazy hair brained idea, they are already conditioned to accept it on face value with out any questions, and to do what ever those leaders say must be done as part of their crazy scheme. This how ever is also why it is almost impossible to get threw to those that "truly believe" the fundamental flaws in what they are spotting.   This also explains the lack of many of these leaves to regurgitate biblical passages or even whole seasons of preaching with out even knowing what it is there are talking about or what other "teachings" are tied in with the ones that they are spouting.

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