Most conversions to a particular denomination, sect or cult (don't ask me the difference except one seems smaller than the others), take place between the ages of 10 and 25. I was 14 when my theological sensitivities were awakened and spent the prime years of 18-22 sitting in classes where older men who knew, told me amazing stories of things that have never happened again quite the same way since.They explain how God simply talked openly with humans and of Snakes that did the same.
I learned of a single family that built a huge ship to house all animal life on the planet so the flood, that engulfed the world over the highest mountains (that would be over 22,000 feet), saved the human race from this God's wrath at ever having made the first batch. I learned that ALL languages are the result of this God confusing the tongues of one race who had dared to make a really high tower to the heavens. Hmm, wonder if the flood thing scared them? Soon I learned that a brother, one of 12, got sold and dragged down to Egypt for being a jerk and became an almost Pharaoh. In time, his family grew so large and knew the one true God that they got chased out of Egypt with miracles galore, crossed the Red Sea on dry ground but the real Pharaoh and his entire army didn't do so well, and drown.
All of this stuff was skipped in Egyptian history. Too embarrassing I suppose.As we moved along I met prophets who raised the dead, multiplied food for widows, caused axeheads to float, flew up to heaven in fiery chariots, and tons of cool stuff that has never happened again, far as I can tell.
One great leader wanted more time to slaughter the bad guys who were in his way, man woman and child I think is the format, so he caused the sun to stop, or rather the earth to stop rotating to finish the battle in daylight. The only place this is recorded is in the Bible and no one else on the planet seemed to notice this day, but what the heck, it is IN the Bible after all, so it has to be true. Why even donkeys talked when necessary but that was no biggie as the snake had beat them to it. I did hear of a carp that spoke Hebrew recently in a fish market in NY, so it could happen I guess.Well, then I saw how God , who lives not in dwellings made with hands, moved into the Temple of Solomon in Jerusalem and just dared anyone to come into the Holy of Holies and expect to get out alive. Gabillions of animals had their throats cuts and blood must have have gushed from the Temple Mount as this God rejoiced in such things, all in his honor and all to atone for the sins of these bastard children who could never seem to obey very long.
Poor animals. I dug around such an altar at Megiddo in Northern Israel for a time and found some of those poor animal bones strewn around the altar. I even found one of the poor sinners who was forgiven with that animal slaughter buried under a floor a few hundred feet away. I wonder where he is now that his sins are forgiven.
He was Pagan and the altar was over 5000 years old, so we can't know for sure since he was not one of the true people. The Bible is about the true people and their struggle with the jerks. At least that's what I was told.
Well, I then studied about tons of kings who were either on God's side or not depending. Seems every other one went sour for some reason. There is no indication that they learned anything great enough about God to keep them in line for long.
So the next one kills the last one and the last one killed all his kids and the wife got shipped to Siberia. Stuff like that. Sometimes the kids slew, great word, the parents and sometimes the parents knocked off Grandpa. One King, when he found out he was dying,you know, the one that slew, great word, a really huge giant at age 12 or so, told his main man to be sure all those guys who double crossed him in life didn't live to see sunset. Whoa, when Beniah the Heavy fell on ya, you were fallen upon and your guts came out big time.
So the King died knowing all was well and Thou Shalt Do No Murder was for the commoners, not him. He went to heaven or somewhere good I think, or at least gets to be King again in the Resurrection of the Just Great. He'll be a great King again as times have not changed much.Well after this, I learned of babies born of virgins, stars that wandered around pointing out specific homes, Wisemen who saw a star in the east and walked west to follow it, Angels that made people speechless for not going with the program and mom's who fled with their baby knowing everyone else's were going to suffer slewing, great word, at the hands of a nut king who wanted the virgin born baby killed. I always imagined her leaving town singing to her neighbors, after the Angel said "RUN", "I know something you don't know," but I hope not.
Actually I don't really think it happened.I learned of blind people being healed and the diseased made well. I did wonder when woman touched the now grown baby, who went on to great things and he felt the power drain out his robe, but did not know who had touched him so asked. Hey, I thought he knew everything! I mean not long after that he walked right through a wall and never knocked. I learned that the sun went dark for about three hours when this man died. Since it was Passover, or so the say, it could not have been a solar eclipse since it's a full moon and the moon would not be covering the sun.
Besides, it is not total darkness that long anyway. If it was just clouds, then what's the thing with that. I grew up in New York where it was always cloudy. If it was.oh never mind.
Seems no one else on the planet noticed this event any more than the one where the guy, same name as this guy by the way, stopped the earth from rotating. Maybe the Sun went behind a building or something.Later I learned that the 12 guys who were students of this teacher disappeared into history and wrote nothing of the experience since the books with their names on them weren't named for a long long time after they disappeared. And of all things, along comes a guy who never met the teacher, never spent one minute with him in real time and never knew a thing he taught since he never quoted him, told a story about him, recounted a miracle he did or gave similar advice he gave. This guy met the teacher in a vision that no one around saw or heard, but did hear and not see, or saw but did not hear, depending. This guy really took off with the Jewish teacher's idea's, which he ignored for the most part, snagged them out of Jewish hands and went to the Gentiles bringing us most of what we have today called the Christian Church.
I always wondered if the teacher intended to have his 12 students disappear and this banty legged rooster of a Hellenistic convert come along and hijack the whole thing. He even said he could be anything others needed him to be to win over converts, so I was never quite sure who he really was. Anyway, I later learned he may have been exaggerating about his credentials a bit and not a well man.But I believed it all and now I wonder why? Why did it take so long to question everything from talking snakes and trees of life and death to seven headed and ten horned monsters who were symbols of things that I find it would just be easier to explain a bit more directly to the masses so they don't screw it up over and over with predictions of the end of this or that age? Like I said before, I have met at least 25 of the Two Witnesses of Revelation in my time. I can give names of at least two in Ohio! Why did I just sit in those classes, and never question how you get all the animals on the ark of Noah, including the Polar bears and Platypusses, or is it puss, into the ark, not to mention dinosaurs, which some of the more foolish dorks of religion just have to make room for? I never even wondered back then how these biggies survived the slide down Ararat! Ever see a picture of snow covered Ararat in Turkey? Boy a hippo would be toast by the time it tumbled it's way down and let's not even think of how the Brontosaurs or T-Rex ever got down.
Personally I think if they could not keep King Kong in the Ship at New York, then T-Rex prolly was not well contained either in the Ark, nor his bride.I NEVER questioned the stories because they were in the Bible and since they were in the Bible, they were save from scrutiny. That's the nature of the Bible. If it is IN the Bible, it is not subject to the laws of science or common sense. It is true because the Bible says it's true.
Though no one else saw or recorded the big events of the Bible, it is still true. Many humans have died horrible deaths in the past for even thinking to question the veracity of the Book, it's stories and literal history. You can be in the wrong place and live in the wrong time when waking up to something being suspect and having no ability to keep your mouth shut about it. I believed it all because it was in that mystical, yet inerrant book called the Bible. The book you carried with respect and kept neatly stored in the box it came in but taped nicely with one side cut out to slide it into.
Later there were leather Bible cases to be bought to protect it. Where I grew up, you didn't ever write in the Bible, though in school I did write much in my inspired margins soz I'd not forget what truth the teacher added to that particular scripture. Oh did I ever have great inspired margins. I read them now and wonder, what was I thinking? I even had snide inspired comments next to scriptures that the unsaved, uncalled and uncouth made fun of. I have since learned they were right.It's a big leap to go go from an almost mystical reverence for a physical book we call the Bible to being able to say that much of what is in that book is inaccurate, impossible and immoral.
Of course, true believers can "oh me of little faith" me and I have no defense against that. But back to the original question. What was I thinking when I dismissed that niggly "uh oh" or "hmmm" when it came to me in studying the Bible for years in preparation for the ministry? Why did I THEN never question what I know NOW to be untrue or suspect in the extreme?.
I guess I was thinking that they must know and I must not.
I guess I was thinking I was too young to know what they knew and would know it when I grew in the proper "grace and knowledge."
I guess I was thinking they had done their homework so I would not have to.
I guess I was thinking that being older made you smarter than those of us who were younger.
I guess I was thinking that certainly a God would never write a book that was confusing, inaccurate, finagled with and full of bad science and mythology.
I guess I was thinking that since I had traveled three thousand miles from home to go to this particular school that had the real truth of all matters and in fact was the One True Church, it had to be right. Truth could not have been in my backyard. It had to be a long ways away.
I guess I was naive.
I guess I was hopeful.
I guess you have to be out of the 10-25 year old bracket to have any chance for your brain not to be programmed by others who don't really know either, but think they do.What was I thinking? Looking back.I wasn't, I was just trusting others to do it for me. Big mistake in life. Don't you do it.
By: Dennis Diehl