Offering Refuge and HopeHow can you practically and prayerfully support refugees?
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I was born and raised a Christian and attended Christian schools. All our family and friends were Christians and we pitied and were a little afraid of anyone who was not a Christian. I tried to convert my friends. I lost many good friends. I have relatives who are missionaries, former friends who are missionaries (only former because I no longer know them), and attended church every single Sunday until late in my teens. I was a true believer!! When I was a teenager, I started to question what I believed, and found that people were not happy for me to do that because it made them uncomfortable, so they made me feel bad for daring to question God. I was told to have faith, that God works in mysterious ways, that we will never understand him, that we should not have to have proof, that God will not perform any more miracles because he shouldnt have to do that for us to believe in him, that everything is God's will, etc, etc. As I grew older, I realised that my faith was the only thing in life that I was not supposed to question, and that made me curious as to why, since my whole life revolved around it. I decided to find out the truth for myself. I read the bible properly, not just the nice passages that were picked out for me by the pastor, but the whole gruesome thing. I then read up on the history of religion, and the history of the world. I realised that dinosaur fossils were real, and not put there to test our faith! I learned that the bible was full of hippocrasy, contradictions and unnecessary bloodshed. I learned that Christians only follow the parts of the bible they like, and not the parts that do not make sense (eg any of you wear glasses??) or are hate filled. I learned that, while there may have once been a man called Jesus, he was not the son of God, and, in fact, God did not exist! This, of course, caused me great heartache and pain because I had strongly believed in God my whole life. It devastated me. It was like losing a parent. I mourned for a very long time. However, I am very strong in my beliefs, now, and very happy. I no longer waste my time praising an imaginary being and following a book that is no longer relevant in modern society. I spend my time enjoying other people, helping out my friends and family, etc. When I was a Christian, I was too busy going to church and church activities and spending time with my Christian friends to actually do anything for anyone else! And most of my Christian frends were the same. Just as Christians would like to spread the word around, I would like to think that you would be confident enough in your beliefs to allow me to share my beliefs with you. And if not, then maybe your belief should be challenged. - I believe that if God were to exist, he would not allow innocent children to die of starvation or to be molested. That he would prevent it from happening. - I believe that a God that allows any attrocities to happen to good, innocent people, is not a God that I would want to follow. - I believe that a God that can do something about it yet refuses to is far worse than any human allowing these things to happen, because for him there would be no repercussions. - I believe that the weather for your Sunday School picnic or your career could not possibly be more important than these things, so if God is not looking after the big stuff, why would he look after that? - I believe that people have the right to empower their own lives, to fulfil their own destiny, to go out and make things happen, rather than depending on or blaming 'God's will'. - I believe that to be human is to be learning all the time, finding out new things, new medicines, new technology, etc, and that to follow a bible that was written thousands of years ago goes against what being human is. - I believe that life is wasted praising an imaginary being and reading an obsolete book, rather than getting out and experiencing life and doing good things for other people. - I believe that for some people, being a Christian is a safety net, and that they are too scared to find out the truth for themselves, because that would be being radical, and would be frowned upon by the people they have grown up respecting and their families wouldnt like it. - I believe that most Christians have not undertaken any serious research on anything that would oppose what they are told to believe, and are therefore allowing themselves to be duped. - I believe that missionaries have caused the ruin of families and communities and the loss of important history, and that what they do is very wrong. - I believe that Christians, in general, do not respect the beliefs of others, and they pity those people who do not believe, and think that they have to be saved. - I believe that Christmas was a pagan festival taken over by the Christians for their own, and that Jesus was not born in December. - I believe that the first book of the new testiment was written 70 YEARS after the death of Jesus, and therefore cannot possibly be factual. - I believe that each book written after that has had embellishments, but that they are not in the bible in the order that they are written. - I believe that if you are interested in this, you should do your research to find out more. - I believe that religion has been the cause of most wars, and inhumane acts around the world. - I believe that religion was dreamt up by people thousands of years ago as a way to control the masses of people. - I believe that one of the biggest reasons why people still believe it today is because Jesus was written about in the bible, and most likely existed, and therefore since the bible mentions him, people rationalise that the whole thing must therefore be true. - I believe that no-one is better than anyone else - your church elders are not better than you and do not have authority over you. - I believe that it is important that if people are going to spend their whole lives believing in something, it would be wise to find out if it is actually true. I believe so many things, but I will stop here. I would like for people to be able to make up their own minds, and not just blindly believe, like a dumb sheep. I wish that someone had encouraged me to think for myself a long time ago, that someone had the courage to question what I so blindly just believed and to challenge that belief. That is what I hope to do for you. I hope that people have the wisdom to see what I am saying, and that you dont just dismiss it as a test of faith. I would love for anyone who has any questions about what I believe to ask me anything, and I will respond. I ask that, in the interests of an educated forum, people do not bombard me with isolated quotes from the bible or try to pity me, as I just find that ignorant and unintelligent.