Author Topic: Inside First Baptist Church Jacksonville  (Read 19052 times)


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Re: Inside First Baptist Church Jacksonville
« Reply #75 on: February 11, 2018, 09:31:50 AM »
I visited the FBC once, several years ago, to view a visiting choir, which was rumoured to be quite the thing.  I stayed for about fifteen minutes, as it was crowded.  I feel uncomfortable in crowds and churches, both tending to avoid the best thinking of which humankind is capable.

Some individuals convey their belief in a god by saying something like … “You all need God”.  Being an atheist, I would always use the word “god” as … “there are millions of people who apparently believe in the existence of a god of some type.”  When one uses the word “god” as if the entity actually exists, such as … “And God said … “, then one not only conveys one’s belief in the existence of a god, but also, simply by the use of the phrase, a slight support is offered for the validity of the belief in the existence of a god for others, when there has been no evidence for the belief over the entire history of the world. 

One can imagine the existence of anything.  The sensible individual, of sober mind, will seek validation to support the reality of what is imagined.  Although one’s imagination can contrive possibilities … such as the existence of gods … the validation of the possibility endures an eternal wait.  For the individuals gaining from beliefs in gods, whether they gain power, money, or spiritual comfort, there is little pressure to restrain the imagination. 

Meanwhile, as has been the case through thousands of years, the individuals who believe are comforted in their belief, even though the belief is without support from the senses.  What appears to be from the senses …  as preached by church leaders …  is only from the imagination … and is without sound confirmation from any form of reality. 

However, just as one measures the good or bad consequences of a fantasy film upon the viewer; that is, as to whether the film positively or negatively impacts the mind of the viewer, one can ponder the ultimate impact upon an individual or a community, as rendered from the consequences of an established belief system such as Christianity.

Mental stability and comfort to the mind is a valuable state, sought in desperation by most at some time in their lives.  In desperation, many seek changes in partners, cities, homes, books, drugs, and belief systems promoting a particular religion or god.  For most, these prescriptions for mental sufferings are used only until stability is assured with some finality.

I ponder on occasion the ultimate effect ... subtle even ... on our city core .. and our entire city … our community ... as rendered by the FBC, and other churches of course.  Enduring the flu this morning … possibly affected by my consumption of a dose of NyQuill, I shall hesitate to engage the subject until I gain full sobriety.  I shall return with some further thoughts.  Meanwhile, does anyone have some thoughts on the subject?
« Last Edit: February 12, 2018, 07:27:45 AM by ronchamblin »


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Re: Inside First Baptist Church Jacksonville
« Reply #76 on: February 11, 2018, 02:43:34 PM »
A discussion about the qualities surrounding an institution such as a church or a religion can be awkward, even somewhat dangerous, as evidenced by millions killed over the centuries by religious enthusiasts.  Speaking truth against established powers can be dangerous, as evidenced by the assassinations of M. L. King, Malcolm X, both Kennedy’s and, further back in history, Giordano Bruno, who was burned at the stake in 1600 by the Catholics.  There are hundreds more.  Martin Luther, that bold soul who refused to recant, protected by strong princes, was lucky; and Galileo, who did, was shackled.

The lack of any sound evidences as to the merit of a belief system or a church can place any defenders at a loss, and thus to a kind of desperation, and to possible anger.  Surely most can see the benefit of a discussion, the goal of which is only to examine .. to explore some realities … to measure impacts on individuals and communities.   

Fantasy is candy for the mind, a pleasant mental exercise.  An imagination allowed to run wild will eventually settle upon necessary reality.  In the end, to achieve ultimate gain for the individual and for the community, reality must be recognized and engaged … fantasy must at some point surrender to reality.

Excesses in fantasy … the unrestrained imagination … might offer to the individual or the community a temporary comfort or stability, but the demands of long term stability, prosperity, and even survival, waits for the return of reality and truth.

Any system of thought … any teachings … such as those of a church ... that encourages the avoidance of the truths as offered by nature and the sciences, is to place the individual or the community in a position vulnerable to competition from that part of the world not shackled by the impairments of a belief system fortified by fantasy and illusion. 

To teach the young, thought habits encouraging the avoidance of the truths as offered by nature and the sciences, is an offense to the intellectual development of the young.  It is detrimental to the child’s long term goal of achieving a balanced and superior position in society.  An eloquent attorney could even argue that doing so is a subtle form of child abuse, as the church indoctrination infects the child with untruths and poor habits of thinking that will impair the mind over decades or a lifetime, if recovery isn't achieved.   

If the avoidance of some truths of nature is one negative consequence of beliefs in a religion or in church attendance, what might be the advantages to the individual or the community, as they consume and endure an association with the church and its religion?  Of course the advantages seem to be that of supporting a cohesive community … of having a place via a building, and via the mind ..  to meet and share a common belief … all of which encourages stability and soothes the minds of all. 

The inner peace offered by the church and its teachings, along with the social gatherings, comforts the mind at least once a week, so that when the effects wane, the next meeting arrives to bolster the spirit.  This occasional dip into the world of weekly religious injections to the mind precludes the necessity to gain secular knowledge, as in history, the sciences, and all the humanities and literature -- all of which usually encourage a cultivated and balanced mind.  The deluded followers of ministers and churches are happily drugged with the spirits of religion.

One might suggest that the church and its religion is needed to encourage proper behavior of the citizen.  The absurdity of this notion is evidenced by all the horrendous behaviors perpetrated by followers of religions over the many centuries of their existence.  All that is needed for humanity is the Golden Rule.  “Do Unto Others As You Would Have Them Do Unto You.”  Nothing else matters … nothing else is needed as a guide to behavior.     

One might ponder some possible detriments to the community, and to individuals affected, when a religion and its teachings … its thought habits … are encouraged upon individuals perpetually, when those thought habits are in question as to their ultimate benefit to the individual and the community.

Here of course, we engage the idea of a culture, created by and perpetuated by the sum of many individuals, as they live the way of life as encouraged by large systems of indoctrination, such as religions and churches. 

I shall leave the subject for a break … inviting anyone else to enter the conversation.

« Last Edit: February 14, 2018, 09:49:22 PM by ronchamblin »