Providence and the Art of Camel Care

photo credit: camellife.wordpress.com

Here is my talk from Sunday.  Listen if only because it has a cool name.  It answers a lot of questions people ask about God and it may even be biblical!  Providence and the Art of Camel Care

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Finding the way, telling the truth, living the life.

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Posted in Anthropology, Family, Marriage, Parenting, Religion, Self help, Spirituality, Theology, Uncategorized
6 comments on “Providence and the Art of Camel Care
  1. You’ll be pleased to know (or maybe not after this comment!) that I listened to your talk. If my comments come across as harsh then some of that is just my English natural matter of factness and how words can sometimes appear, it’s not intentional or meaning to seem harsh.

    I always find it interesting being trained as a psychotherapist to look inside a christians mind, hence listening to the above broadcast, it gives me a better insight into why christians think what they do.

    The first thing that struck me on listening is how much christians such as yourself fill in the gaps on passages from the bible. Characters are mentioned and then much is assumed about their motives and what they are thinking. It’s almost as christians insert their own analogy into biblical passages to spice it a little, for the sake of telling a better story. It’s almost like ‘Fred did this because he felt it was right and he’d had a bad day etc’. Things, thoughts, feelings are added to the bland characters in order to give them more relevance in today’s world. You talk about Genesis and this is one of the more ludicrous chapters in the bible, once you get past the begating (and there’s a lot of that) there’s very little personal information on the characters, apart from what they do, who they begat with and the silly ages they lived too, and where was the romance? If mankind had come from Adam and Eve (which even religion is turning it’s back on now) we would all be haemophiliacs. There’s nothing wise about the old testament, you have to remember it was written by men that thought the earth was flat, the sun revolved around the earth and most of the earth wasn’t discovered.

    You contradict yourself in the audio by saying that when talking to god and asking certain questions that god gave you a slap down and said don’t ask questions above your station, I refer to the peanut section. You later then go on to add, near the end, that god encourages learning and science. I ask, how can this be when you cannot ask questions freely of him? Which brings me to my last bit.

    Talking to god? Now I am pretty certain you are a human being just like me, you come across well vocally, even if a little bit over enthusiastic with your religious fervour. You strike me as being intelligent and articulate but not even for a split second do I think you can communicate with god. The first obvious answer is, being an atheist he doesn’t exist. Either you have some superhuman powers to talk to him – doubtful or the most rational explanation is he is more like an imaginary friend, your conscience with a hint of over active imagination. The only other way to look at it is that you have mental health issues, and after listening to you I don’t think that is the case at all.

    So, I put it to you plainly that you cannot speak or converse with god, if you think you can, and I am sure you do, then you need to wake up and smell the coffee. From my knowledge in psychotherapy I would say you have bought so far mentally into religion and faith that it is now really hard for you to disentangle yourself from it, belief in your world has become reality to the point where you now have what you think are rational conversations with yourself but god is now the voice of your reasoning and conscience, he’s part of the feedback sandwich you have created in your head, he is the comfort that an imaginary friend offers.

    • Thanks for listening; I’m honored. I especially appreciate your HONEST feedback. It’s the only kind which is any value!
      I have spoken with God and he with me. He longs for that kind of relationship with everyone. There are just some people who are too “smart” to listen. If you really want to see just how unhinged I can be, read my post entitled “Poker Face” https://spiritualsavant.wordpress.com/2012/03/19/poker-face/
      There have been a lot of us religious nut jobs through the centuries. Their experiences are pretty well documented. In your own country there was George Muller. In mine, I’m especially enamored with George Washington Carver – a scientist saint who reported that he had a conversation with God about peanuts. You could look into these guys, unless of course you are closed minded and dogmatic 😉
      Regarding the contradiction you mentioned, the fact that you see it as a contradiction is proof that you missed my main point. Perhaps you listened through high-biased earbuds? Here’s the bottom line, God has designed us with wonderful attributes which he wants us to use to discover more truth and advance our condition. He will step in to guide us but he is careful to do so within the parameters of our readiness and in ways which will promote rather than hamper our development as individuals and as a species. Okay, so I’m off to finish my coffee 🙂

  2. You sir have avoided my question. Explain to me how you communicate with god in clear and concise terms, how does this happen? What does he sound like, give me pointers as regards his personality and more importantly why does he insist on barbaric moral slavery?

    You mentioned differences in culture and country, your country started out as a secular one, tolerance of religion was evident because of the mass immigration, it wasn’t until the early 1950s and the cold war against Communism you decided to change direction, polar opposites and all that.

    God doesn’t guide us, we guide ourselves and have unsteadily done that from the beginning of time, we’ve actually got lots wrong especially when superstition is ahead of innate reality and morals. Let me give you an example. You probably think god or Jesus can return and destroy the world, and indeed they will on judgement day. Well they why set up a planet so beautiful as to destroy it in a capricious way? The fact is, we’ve beaten your god to the finishing post, humankind can and may destroy it with stockpiled nuclear weapons relatively easy, and if it does so, it will boil down to religion.

    To answer your earlier questions. I believe in the big bang theory, we know from scientists the universe is still expanding and will contract at some point, hopefully not too soon. We know from observed evidence new star systems are being created as this expansion happens. We know all of the elements that make up our DNA, bodies, environment are the exact same that makes stars and planets. If you question evolution, then look to the coccyx bone the little tapered tail at the bottom of your spine, yep the same one monkeys, lizards (and camels) and other creatures have, coincidence, I think not.

    So do we assume god is still at work, rolling out the universe in a seemingly random fashion, ever expanding for our scientists to observe, if so, what is his game plan? Oh i forgot, he moves in mysterious ways, the perennial answer when god is questioned.

    This of course begs the question of why does god let people like Anders Breivik shoot people, even when they prayed for their life they were executed. Why can people like Josef Fritzl lock his daughter up for 24 years and repeatedly rape her, do you for one second think she never prayed for help? How many disasters, murders, rapes, wars do I have to list to you to make you realise your god is IMPOTENT, in fact he is not there, and never was. When he was allegedly there all he was ever concerned about was submission and worship by a very small corner of the world. A world where China was more advanced than the Middle East (how do you explain that?), Greek philosophy had come and gone and the world was heading to blinkered darker times. The dark ages in Europe are aptly named because they were dominated by religion, death and superstition.

    Thankfully we are progressing, atheism is on the rise, pragmatism and common sense may yet prevail over ancient stories and the world will be a better place for it, yes I dare to think we can actually beat religion and banish it to where it belongs, the history books.

    And deep down my friend, despite your fervent belief there’s a little intelligent voice within you that says – he’s right.

    • Wow, that’s a lot of words. I don’t think I can address all of that point by point. Just a couple of things: First, I do think you are right about a lot of what you say and I appreciate you saying it. I like to be challenged. I have many questions about the way God works or seems not to work just as you do. I just come at the conclusions in a different way. In my own life there have been enough experiences of God to keep me between the ditches of naivete and skepticism.
      I hate to disappoint you but I don’t believe that atheism will win out. I have a missionary friend who has been invited to China by the government to teach Christian ethics to their best and brightest future leaders. So while western cynics might be rejecting the faith of their fathers, the new cultural centers in the east are just beginning to embrace that same faith.
      Regarding the separation of church and state, read my post, “You Can Keep It” to see where I stand.
      I hope I haven’t upset you. I hold you in very high regard and do hope for the best for you*

  3. Of course you haven’t upset me! I’ve read about Chinese interest in christianity and I guess it only seems natural that as they become more westernised they embrace other types of faith and ideologies etc. I worked in China briefly some years ago, I was based in Hong Kong but went over to mainland China and visited a few cities. Even then in the more educated southern cities people would refer to me and my friend as ‘Guilo’, it is Cantonese slang for what can only be translated as ‘white ghost’. They were amazed to see western people and got very excited. Once the excitement had worn off they seemed very amiable. Having experienced the culture and people there and the rapid changes they are going through my view is this; Christianity is just something new and will almost certainly gain some new converts but you’ll never see China become a christian nation, it’s far too diverse. Muslims can be found in the north, in most other areas they have their own gods and no doubt christianity may gain more of a foothold but the country is advancing so quick with technology and reforms that hopefully christianity will be nothing more than a brief diversion for some. They can trace their own history back, concisely and accurately far before biblical stuff so that will undermine it for starters, and we both know, as with the previous archaeological thread, once you begin finding holes in the bible you soon realise christianity rapidly falls down.

  4. Well, I certainly don’t want China to become a Christian nation either. I’m a staunch believer in the separation of church and state. Not because I worry for the state but for the church. The blend is so toxic that we’re still recovering from Constantine’s “conversion” are we not?
    However the reign of Jesus Christ has been coming into the lives and homes of the Chinese at an alarming (from your perspective) rate. Some estimate that the number of Chinese who are part of unregistered house churches there is around 10% of the total population. Regarding the impetus behind the government invitation of missionaries, check out this old article from PBS’s Frontline Magazine – http://www.pbs.org/frontlineworld/stories/china_705/interview/xiao.html
    Simply put, on a societal level, Christianity works; atheism doesn’t. That’s why those who have predicted its demise for the past 2000 years have been repeatedly been proven wrong.
    By the way, did you ever look into the life of George Muller? He’s part of the reason why archeology will not be able to dismiss God any more than an inability to find your birth certificate will nullify the fact that you were born. God is alive and doing things all around you. Did you take up my previous challenge to do primary research on the supernatural? Go to the pub and declare, “I’m a skeptic and I’d like to know if any of you have had what you would classify as a supernatural experience.” Then listen to the stories. Devote some time and take notes. Process what you hear. God, Jesus, the devil – they’re not just topics of historicity; they are public figures, though unseen – mostly.

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