Author Topic: Inside First Baptist Church Jacksonville  (Read 21537 times)


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Re: Inside First Baptist Church Jacksonville
« Reply #75 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 »


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Re: Inside First Baptist Church Jacksonville
« Reply #76 on: March 02, 2018, 02:49:55 PM »
I won't argue the merits of this church or any other, but there is one thing about this particular church that bothers me: They are and have been literally surrounded by homeless people for decades now. Maybe they have done a lot to help a helpless situation, but I haven't been able to find much evidence of that. They are on track to take in at least $50,000,000 this year, they pay very little in taxes, they have more buildings than they need, and they are still surrounded by hundreds of homeless people. Are they doing something about it and they just don't put it on their website? If grants were sought and fundraisers were held, a day resource center may even be a good business decision for the church.

Sorry for reopening the can of worms.