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575Writers of the Past (18)

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  • Ken
    Jul 20, 2011
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      This is a cross post from the group Escape From the Fellowship


      Here is a post by lokilad, aka, Perry, responding to a question about his present beliefs.  As many an ex member of Wayman Mitchell's fellowship have done, Perry changed his beliefs after leaving.  He remained a professing Christian for quite some time after he left the fellowship, but at one point he became an atheist, and also a Buddhist.  At one point he simply categorized himself as a skeptic. 

      He still writes here, from time to time, but is busy getting his PhD in computer science.  Perhaps he will find a moment to comment on how much his point of view on religious, spiritual, and metaphysical matters have changed or remained the same since he wrote this back in August of 2005.

      To date, Perry has written 2209 posts on this message board. 



      "What do you believe now in the spiritual sense?"

      Certainly not what I used to believe. I've been told by people on
      these boards that Pentecostal and Charismatic religion is not real,
      that the signs and wonders ended 19 centuries ago, that anything we
      experience must line up with scripture and that we shouldn't try to
      reverse that relationship. I've also been told that I previously
      backslid because I was never saved in the first place.

      I've thought a lot about these things.

      If I'm not to base my faith on my experiences, but rather on what I've
      read, then I can't see I have much to believe. Rejecting experience as
      a basis for faith leaves only mental acknowledgement of Biblical
      principles. That leads to nothing more than an academic profession of

      People who have a faith in God not based on experience are either born
      into a faith system or at some point make a decision to believe.
      People born into a belief system either have to one day make a
      conscious decision about what they believe or just simply continue in
      their blind faith.

      So the issue comes back to making a choice. With the option of
      experience taken away, the process is merely academic. There are some
      options available. One is that you can say the Bible is real because
      the Bible says so. That's not realistic, however. It's sophistry. It
      doesn't address the issue of why you believe.

      Another option is that enough of what you've read in the Bible makes a
      lot of sense and that your 'soul' or 'spirit' affirms this. But then
      Moslems, Hindus, Taoists, Buddhists, Rastafarians and Marxists, to
      name a few, can claim the same thing about their belief systems, with
      the same measure of conviction. This is a solid basis for faith, but
      why Christianity? The others can produce just as much conviction. Had
      I read the Koran as much as I'd read the Bible, I may have ended up a
      Moslem. So I reject the premise that personal mental affirmation of
      scripture is a basis for belief.

      People will say that while they don't base their faith in experience,
      what they have experienced subsequent to believing in God has affirmed
      their doctrine. But this still comes back to the issue that they first
      made a decision to believe, based on nothing more than academic
      profession of faith.

      I don't buy into the claims of people who have left Pentecostalism
      behind, but still believe. Even while they deny experience as a basis
      for faith, they have still retain a belief in the Bible as a basis for
      their faith.

      So I reject all of that. I see it as empty religion. I base none of my
      faith on what I experienced in the Potters House -- as that is a
      corrupt form of religion -- but have experienced some signs and
      wonders in other churches and in my own life outside of any churches.
      These have been the basis for my belief. Life in any churches that
      deny this would be pointless. The only purpose in evangelism would be
      to propagate a belief system with no power to affect anybody else,
      apart from mental profession in the belief system. It's a powerful
      meme, but that's all it is.

      That'll do for now.

      -- Loki


      August 21, 2005