Author Archives: startingoverwithchristianity

What Is God Like?

Our picture of God, what we think God is like, comes from what we believe about God.

The picture many Christians have of God is as the Great Rule Maker. God makes the rules and demands that we live by His rules. God marks down every time we break the rules, keeps account of it all, and one day He will use that against us.

Is that really what God is like? In this podcast, we look at that view of God. It is the way most Christians have been taught to think of God. But then we look at a completely different view of God, a view that says God is not the Great Rule Maker but is the One who wants the best for us. In fact, we consider that maybe what God wants most of all, above everything else, is the best for us.

This is a completely different way of looking at God’s commandments, and it paints a completely different picture of God.

For a transcript of this podcast, click here.

The Need for Rest

A look at the concept of the Sabbath. The Sabbath was originally intended as a day of rest. But then, religions bureaucrats got involved, in both Christianity and Judaism, and made it into something else. Especially during the Protestant Reformation, the concept of the Sabbath was completely changed.

In this podcast, we look at all that, all the changes made to the Sabbath over the years. Then, we consider the importance of the Sabbath as originally conceived. Finally, in doing that, we discover the most important thing in this entire podcast–a completely different way of looking at God’s commandments, one which most people have never thought of.

For a transcript of this podcast, click here.

Pain and Suffering in the Natural World

The natural world is full of horrible things. Animals rip other animals apart and eat them. The same thing happens in the oceans. The same thing happens in the insect world. The natural world is full of pain, horror, suffering, and death.

Did a good God create things this way? If not, why are things this way?

We look at these questions and discover an answer completely different than the answer traditionally given by Christianity.

For a transcript of this podcast, click here.

Unhappy With Yourself

Many people are unhappy with themselves.  They look themselves in the mirror in the mornings, and they don’t like what they see.  I’m not talking about physical appearance.  It ‘s that they don’t like the person looking back at them.

That is one of the main reasons for the epidemic of unhappiness in the United States today.  People don’t like the kind of person they are.

In this podcast, we examine the reasons for that.

 

For a transcript of this podcast, click here. 

Roadblocks to Belief

More and more Americans are rejecting Christianity.  They are deciding Christianity is not for them, and they’re leaving.  It’s not just that they’re leaving church.  They’re leaving Christianity.

Why is that so?

There are three main roadblocks to belief that are causing more and more Americans to reject Christianity.  Two of those come from Christianity itself; the other comes from society.

In this podcast, we examine those three roadblocks to belief.  They are:  the belief that God is absolutely powerful and is the ruler of all, the belief that God created everything, and what I like to call the “scientificazation” of society.  Those are the main reasons people today reject Christianity.

How are those roadblocks to belief, and, most importantly, what do we say in the face of those?

For a transcript of this podcast, click here.

What Is Our Purpose in Life?

Our purpose in life can be summarized in one word—success.  We should strive to be successful in our careers, to stand out from the crowd and be above the crowd.  With success comes the rewards of success—the finer things of life that make life worth living, and these are things that only those with money can enjoy.  Success brings financial security, and with financial security comes the ability to enjoy life.  If you’re looking for happiness, you’ll find it in one place only—success.

At least, that’s what we’re told.

And so people strive for success.  Some achieve it; others don’t.  Those who achieve it aren’t happy, and they don’t know why.  Those who don’t achieve it are convinced they’re unhappy because they aren’t successful enough.

We live in a society where achieving success is seen to be our purpose in life, and where success is seen as the path to happiness.  But yet Americans are among the most unhappy people in the world.  Americans say they find no meaning and purpose in life.  That must mean that Americans are among the most unsuccessful people in the world; Americans are total failures at achieving success.  It has to mean that, because if it doesn’t, then we’d have to question the belief that success is the purpose in life and the path to happiness.

And we just can’t do that, can we?

But what if we do?  What if we depart from what everyone’s saying in politics, Christianity, education, and whatever other field you might imagine, and dare to consider that the purpose in life and the path to happiness might lie in a completely different direction?

In this podcast, that’s exactly what we do.  We look at something from the Bible that Christians often either ignore or go to great lengths to try to explain away.  In doing that, we find a novel idea that Christianity hasn’t considered for a long, long time, an idea that, if we dare to, we might be able to consider as our real purpose in life.

For a transcript of this podcast, click here.

Searching for Happiness in America

Join us as we follow along with an American man for over 20 years as he searches for happiness in life.

Do you see yourself in there somewhere?

This is the third in our four-part series on suicide and unhappiness in the United States.  In the first episode, “Suicide and Christianity,” we looked at the increasing rate of suicide in the United States and Christian attitudes toward suicide.  In the second episode, “Suicide: Why Are Americans so Unhappy?,” we looked at how Americans are some of the most unhappy people in the world.  In this episode, we look at how people deal with unhappiness, at how people try to find happiness.

For a transcript of this podcast, click here.

Suicide: Why Are Americans So Unhappy?

Why Are Americans so Unhappy?

Various measures of happiness all point to the same thing—Americans are among the most unhappy people in the world, and they are getting even more unhappy.  The unhappiness epidemic affects all sectors of American society.  If affects the religiously devout as well as those who claim no religion.

Why is that so?

This podcast examines various measures of happiness in the United States.  We go behind the survey numbers and take them apart in an attempt to find what people are looking for that is so elusive.  We find we can nail it down to one thing, the one thing that people lack most of all.

That is something Christianity should provide, but yet it doesn’t.

How can we find that which makes for true happiness?  In thinking about that question, we stumble upon what Christianity is really all about.

 

For a transcript of this podcast, click here.

Suicide and Christianity

The suicide rate is increasing among all sectors of society in the United States.  Two recent suicides of celebrities have brought the issue of suicide into the limelight.

Suicide is most often seen as a mental health issue.  But is that what it really is?  Is lack of mental health treatment what’s causing the growing suicide problem in the United States?

In this podcast, the first of a two-part series, we look at suicide from a Christian perspective.  First, we look to see what the Bible says about suicide.  Then, we look at suicide from the perspective of self-murder.

We look at what determines whether any certain killing constitutes murder.  We look at how murder can be defined in Christianity, and in conjunction with that, we look at the concept of justified killing in Christianity.  We then consider the reasons so many Americans commit suicide.

For a transcript of this podcast, click here.

The Role of Fathers in Families

The idea of God as being like a father is unique to Christianity.  No other major religion has that image of God.  It originated with Jesus.  Jesus told people to think of God as being like a father.

The image of God as being like a father should play a major role in Christianity.  Unfortunately it doesn’t because it was obscured, overshadowed, and spoiled by the doctrine of the Trinity.  But, if we’re going to start over with Christianity, we need to recover the idea Jesus introduced of thinking of God as being like a father.

That’s hard to do in today’s world, though, because fathers aren’t seen as being important.

Why is that?

Are fathers truly unimportant?  Are they dispensable, except as a source of child support and an occasional week-end visit?  If not, what is the importance of fathers?  Has replacing fathers with others served the interests of society?

To think about those questions, we go a roundabout way that includes an interesting look at American society over the past 200 years.  Along the way we encounter a possibility you may not have thought about.  But if you’re open to considering it, you may find it explains a lot about the world we live in today.

For a transcript of this podcast, click here.