Last post I asked if you believe it has an effect when you or a group pray for someone or a Mastermind group affirms positive things. The response was overwhelming on the side of these things having an effect.
I told you that I believe that one of the greatest gifts we received from God was our rational mind, and the free choice it allows. For the sake of our discussion, let’s not get bogged down with religious differences. (We can do that later!) So whether you believe it is a gift from God, think it’s Universal Law, or you’re an atheist who operates from rationality is not important to this discussion. Let’s just focus on our rational mind and the power of free choice – and what good they can do for us.
Now here’s the catch...
To do this, some of you will have to lose or suspend the belief you currently have about yourself. Namely, that you are a helpless, hapless, hopeless, sorry sinner - needing to pray to God to be ‘saved.’ And somehow after you are saved, God will reward you with good things.
Now this is a belief that millions of people were raised with. I get a lot of letters from fundamentalist Christians saying we are all born sinners, and by obedience and fear to God, we will be saved in the afterlife.
Let me tell you my problems with all that. Not from a religious or spiritual standpoint. Although I do have a problem with this belief from those standpoints, that’s not the focus here. I want to look at it from a HUMAN SELF-DEVELOPMENT AND GROWTH STANDPOINT.
Meaning, let’s leave out the philosophical arguments over what God decreed, what the Koran says, what your Rabbi taught you, the Bible scripture that “proves” your point, etc. There is no way to scientifically prove any of those arguments. Even atheists cannot win this one, since it’s impossible to prove that something doesn’t exist.
I am not attempting to challenge your faith, convert you to my religion or any such thing. What I do want to do, is to cause you to examine the belief that man is a helpless, pathetic creature that needs to acknowledge, pray to, sacrifice and prostrate himself before his God, to receive good things.
We have a history of doing this for thousands of years. We’ve sacrificed virgins into volcanoes, and a host of similar barbaric things for millenniums. In fact, some cultures around the world still do such things. We smirk at them, and say they are barbaric, uncivilized and ignorant. But is there really much different from the current dogma, doctrines and practices of many of today’s beliefs?
I don’t remember if it was Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell or Oral Roberts, because they are all the same to me – but one of those intellectual titans suggested that a hurricane was heading to Orlando, because God was going to kill all of the Gays there. This is very congruent with a great deal of Judeo-Christian thinking of a God who punishes. And they are not alone...
A great many religions view God as a cosmic Santa Claus, who is “making a list and checking it twice; gonna find out who’s naughty and nice...”
Think also of the common expression, “He’s a God-fearing man.” This is meant to signify the character of someone as an upstanding person. Or put another way, “It’s safe to do business with him. He’s so terrified of God, that he’d be afraid to cheat you.”
I see God as a benevolent being. In my faith, we believe that God is only good, and we view bad things not as God punishing us, but a case of man getting away from spiritual principles. I see man as a co-creator with God. In my church, we like to say, “God gives you the light, but you still have to turn on the light switch.”
Now if you see God as the one who takes care of all your needs, it doesn’t seem necessary to turn on the light switch. If you believe that everything is pre-determined and in God’s will, why bother doing those ab-crunches anyway? Just give me another piece of chocolate cake!
So this suggests two, very distinct possibilities...
Number one, things as I see them. God or Universal Law operates the universe. When we live by these universal laws, we manifest harmony, happiness and prosperity in our life. God doesn’t punish us; we just sometimes stray from the path, and get a “wake-up call” from the universe. Ex: You eat nothing but that chocolate cake, you gain 180 pounds and have a stroke. God gave us free choice and grace, and we choose how much good we are willing to accept.
Or, possibility number two. I am an egomaniacal heathen who doesn’t believe in the power of God, or think I’m greater than God. I am a lost sheep, who God may strike down with lightning at any moment. (So if you don’t see a post tomorrow, you’ll know what happened.) We are weak, hapless beings in need of salvation, and will get the good stuff in another place, at a later time. For now, we should concentrate on fearing God, to stay in his good graces.
Now – trying as hard as you can to leave your religious beliefs out of the equation – which of those two views do you think would be more empowering to you? And what effect would each have on your subconscious mind? Give me a shout below and we’ll look at it more on the next post.
When we were kids, my parents wanted to give my brother and I the freedom to choose which religion, if any, we practiced based on what resonated for each of us.
So we went to different churches in the area. Oddly enough, all of them were Christian.
In the end, my brother chose the God fearing, we are all heathens road, and I chose the 'God is good....ALL the time' path.
I love my life, and take full responsible for the choices I make, good, bad, or indifferent.
My brother...well, he doesn't seem happy at all, but doesn't do much about it as he believes it's what God has willed for him, and if he had been a better Christian early on, perhaps this isn't what he'd be dealing with right now.
We've talked about his church and my church (Unity) and for him, unless it has the whole doom and gloom and God will strike you down atmosphere, it isn't 'church'.
Oy. I just can't imagine being motivated based on fear. That doesn't create love, empowerment, or excitement for ones life. It just creates....well, more fear and resentment in the world.
I have always believed that we as humans were put here on earth to achieve greatness. As a Bible Belter I always sat in Church and wondered why anyone would want to be a Christain when most of the preachers I sat under were "hell fire and brimstone." The message was always negative and I just could not believe that God wanted me to live like this. I have always wanted to use my gifts to achieve great things and propser so that others would be interested in following Christ after viewing my life.
Randy, comment from -33 C Oulu, Finland!
Absolutely fantastic way and new approach to out come from the box. We, human beans are willing to stay at the center of the box where the nice, warm, cozy safe atmosphere is. And as we know there is no transform to better nor creativiness.
Let us light the candles - we can grow as a God creations - up to the point we are ment to grow. What we do in Our life, is only the iceberg of mountain which really is possible and possible to achieve - if we start lightning the candles!
Randy, prosperous new year 2010. I have written first sales & life coach book after +30 year path gone true. The book name is INSPIRE ME (written in Finnish, but will be translated in several languages) - If there is a will, there is a way! In Finland, too : )
Lot of inspirations - dare to be innovative and make things happen - The life is a wonderful opportunity to reach prosperous - everything when candle is having a light!
(sorry my bad English)
Finnish Entrepreneur, Author
CEO & Founder of Angelo Oy
have to say #1! He doesn't punish us, but he does take his hand of protection off of us. Rom 12:1 says there are 3 places we can be in his will...good, acceptable & perfect. we still have the choice! of course...i desire perfection, but i vacillate due to choices of my own free will.
i do not walk in fear as in that he will "smite" me if i am bad...i walk in fear as in awesome respect that he created me for him and i so appreciate that!
the word also says some of us have no conscious or it has been seared as with a hot iron. i think we will be out from under his "umbrella" of protection / grace then.
but....if we practice gluttony, abuses of all types....we reap the consequences of bad choices...not that God is punishing us!
the misconception alot of people have that once they get "saved" they are perfect and free from trials / troubles. i have had extremely difficult challenges, both while married and as a single woman for 15 years. i walk by faith, not by sight, but i keep walking. there is an enemy.....sometimes it is us!
i just know through grace i am saved by faith. i work at it daily & God has the choice to say "welcome / enter"!
i know in whom i have believed......i know my redeemer lives.....i know i am nothing without Him!
I'll go with #1. I think it's open to interpretation. I am totally against the fear and sin thing that most churchs preach (which is why I don't go to church), basically you're told you're a sinner and you suck. Thats outrageous to me. The God/ Universal Source created this entire deal...and to imply that I am less that perfect is to imply that God was less than perfect in making me. Now having been made perfect is different once you add personal will into the equation. We as human form from non-physical form, can make mistakes. Thats why we came here. It's like college. But inherently we came from a "good" Source who only wants good for us. We are the only ones who invent "evil" in our own lives.
The biggest problem I have with being a sorry sinner is that that ultimately allows...no correction...promotes victimhood. Now, I'll leave the religion part out and look strictly from a practical standpoint. I believe that if God gives us the ability to think something , then God also gives the abilty - through critical thinking (ah, another recent topic) to achieve. It may require some serious thought and it may require some prayer for wisdom and it may require some action, execution, but if we keep at "it", "it" will be manifested sooner than later.
How thought provoking and how wonderful!
I definatley believe in possiblilty number one, in fact it is the only one that empowers us the most.
In believing this way, our subconcious mind is more open to being co creators with God/Universal Law or whatever you believe. And from there, all things are possible!
Thank you so much for this Randy!
I studied to be a minister when I was a teenager, and even did some preaching. Odd that is NOT such a different life from today as CEO of startup in Asia.
20 years later I am still a student of the Gospel AND of man. I really enjoyed this discourse my points are as follows:
1) God created man with free will.
2) We are told to work, that is a big portion of our duty as men.
3) We are told to look at the Ants at how they work and be like them.
4) The Apostle Paul Worked and supported himself as a tent maker-Christ Was a Carpenter
5) There is a BIG difference in the Old and New Testaments(e.g. the values in the Old are Valid, but the Jewish Law is not).
6) We get caught up in doctrine and dogma= which is accepting the mental work of others as our own instead of doing the hard work ourselves. (yes even to all of you who butt kiss and accept everything from Randy, that said I heard he has a nice ass...)
7) The Stupid believers (Yes I said Stupid) don't understand Metaphor and the power of Parables or Myth, they read the parables but miss the point. Look at the story in Mathew about being trusted with Wealth, the Wealthy ones, made more money and were rewarded! Meanwhile the poor broke stupid ones BURIED their gift in case they 'Lost it' they were PUNISHED.
8) Yes We are saved by Grace, but Faith without Works is Dead.
9) Get off your ass and quit blaming God.
I am sure God is tired of us all whinging and complaining.
Walk by Faith, but WALK DAMNIT.
Quit trying to do what you want and have God Bless it, do what God is doing because it is already blessed.
I'm choosing to focus on our rational mind and the power of FREE CHOICE – and what good they can do for us.
"To do this, some of you will have to lose or suspend the belief you currently have about yourself. Namely, that you are a helpless, hapless, hopeless, sorry sinner..."
If man is a "helpless, pathetic creature that needs to acknowledge, pray to, sacrifice and prostrate himself before his God" to receive good things then he doesn't need to take responsibility as a co-creator with God. Man would expect God to takes care of all his needs. It wouldn't seem necessary to turn on the light switch. Believing you are helpless wound have negative effects on your subconscious mind. We would be stuck and unable to make changes in our lives. We would not be co-creators with God.
We can turn on the light switch. We have the choice to continue to learn and grow throughout our lives. We have to believe that we should desire prosperity and that prosperity is a blessing. You need to make the choice and do the work to change your thinking and ideas. Reading prosperity books, prayer or positive affirmations are some ways to change your belief about yourself. Self-Development and growth is a lifelong process. This has positive effects on the subconscious mind and we would be co-creators with God instead of being helpless.
I have chosen to make a lot of changes throughout my life. I am always learning and growing. It is my free-choice.
When we choose to live by the universal laws, we manifest harmony, happiness and prosperity in our life.
you touch on the very nerve that sets me apart from the "church". For years the church has used fear to keep people unempowered and in their control. When people like myself step out and say that is not what my Bible says they get rather defensive to say the least.
I believe that God does "set us straight" as any parent would do.. but He does not chase us around waiting to smack us upside the head when we do somthing wrong... "saved by grace".. a graceful God/person does not look for opportunities to punish.
I don't believe we are weak, as we were made in the image an likeness of God. However I do believe that prayer makes us stronger and allows us to see/hear what the best choices in our lives will be.
How are we to achieve the work of God if we are weak and living in fear? We are intended to be warriors NOT weiners.
God is good all the time...
he is gracious and loving...
But I have to do my part....I must sow good seeds every day in my mind...still I am the sower of seeds
100% agree with you Randy
I was raised a Catholic (with a heck of a hellfire & brimstone priest in our church) and have spent decades shaking off the entrenched guilt and victim mentality. I too am totally turned off by organised religion of any sort.
I have always believed in the Source that we have all come from, whatever you want to call, it God/dess, Buddha, Universe etc. I go direct to Source for guidance and inspiration not through some third party guide in the spirit world or priest/rabbi/whatever in the physical world.
One thing I realised from my religion that if God is meant to love us unconditionally then why would he judge us in any way? I soon realised that man created religion to control the people and broke away from it at age 15 and then legally at 18.
I choose the unconditionally loving, positive Source/Greater Power that anyone can tap into at any time.
Randy, I will agree that "God or Universal Law operates the Universe." I will go further in stating that this Universal Law we cannot change; however, many of us have done poorly in learning how to utilize the Law of God ( I am just getting the hang of it).
I do not believe we are sinners and God does not punish us. Ernest Holmes states that the 'Universe is for us and not against us." However, I do know we make errors, and in this Universal dimension there is the Law of Cause & Effect. This Law of Cause & Effect does not keep us from suffering or living happily, tormented or peaceful, poor or wealthy, sick or healthy. What I do get is that I choose every circumstance in my life whether it is good or not. In understanding this Law, I can NOT blame God/ the Universe, a co-worker, family member, or my neighbors for the mishaps in my life. I am accountable for all my thoughts/actions and accept responsibility for my outcomes.
In owning my choices, I have discover that my power is within me. This is where the subconscious mind comes into play. It is the secret to our ability to co-create with GOD/Universe. I do not remember where I heard this statement so I will paraphrase "This great mind we all have is as infinite as the Universe." WOW wee, can you imagine what we can create.
My faith is based on always expecting the GOOD and the ability to create GOOD in my life. This is where we are able to become the Great Work of Art we are meant to be and share our joy and peace of mind with others.
I will leave you readers with these words: "The most challenging experience in life is to unravel our own stuff and commit to a transformation."~ Leslie Esperanza Espaillat
P.S. Thank YOU Randy for your inspirational topic.
I say #1
I think God created the world and set up the ways things work..."the laws". I belive that you don't need to beleive in God to experience the fruits of the laws nor the consequences.
I think Christians (includeing myself) and Non-Christians lose out on a lot because we limit our mind. It seems people always point out how christian limit themselves too much but in reallity non-christians do just as much.
As far as God punishing us....well i believe there are no modern example to where God used a disaster as a way of punishment. I have my own ideas as to why our weather is so wacked. But I don't think disasters from the bible can be connected to mondern day disasters in the way some connect them. For example the natural disasters in the bible I am farmilar with...God saves His people. Now adays it there is no conection between evil and disaster.
Anyway...the best motto...."Love God, Love People". If you dont like the love God part at least Love People.
Dear Randy and all,
May Allah give all of you His light @hidayah in Islam.
Find the truth in Islam.
1.Say:He is Allah, the One and Only
2. Allah, the Eternal,Absolute
3.He begetteth not, nor is He begotten;
4. And there is none like unto Him.
You will find your soul.
Best Post Ever
I do believe in the Universal Law and God. And the simpliest mantra in my mind is the causal principle - I will harvest tomorrow what I sow yesterday and today. It also means that I am a co-creator to what happens to my life. God and Universal love me in the way I also love every things they created. So I try not to hurt anything but to heal them! Randy, my religious belief is clearer day by day thanks to your great stuffs!
So, to summarize, I chose number one.
It saddens me that in fact a platform has been made by professing Christians that "God hates fags" or anything of the sort. As I recall - one of our core foundations as a Christian is that "For God so loved the world..." The world has a lot of people each uniquely fashioned in it. It wasn't "God loves those that obey the rules, or that others say are loveable"... it's all the world.
That said - I'm not into focusing on the mess of who said what that went wrong... but rather I'm more interested in getting back to untainted purpose. I tend to rethink doctrine and theology that has been reworked by those that meant well but added to much of their own teachings on it.
As for God meeting our needs... it's possible that it will happen, but it's also possible that it won't. Personal effort is involved, but not always required.
Our wants though - that is a partnership. The desires of our heart have been part of our core being long before we could express them. Even new desires tend to follow who we are as a being already. Go after the desires that honor your being, as well as God's. Remain within the integrity you know internally, but go after the desires knowing that it is who you are. God already knows the desires, and if the desire remains congruent with the being state - it's just a matter of going for it. (note: be willing to change the course if it doesn't work, but never buy into failure).
"I like to picture Jesus in a tuxedo T-Shirt because it says I want to be formal, but I'm here to party"
Example number one is the one that I have always believed in and still do today. God doesn't make use eat all of that chocolate cake and gain that 180 pounds, we do that out of our own free will and the principle that God teaches is that we can eat that chocolate cake but not all of it because it will cause the 180 pound weight gain. We can take a slice of chocolate cake and again that would depend on the size of the slice whether it is a small, medium or large slice is again based upon how much of the cake we actually want to eat and that in turn leads us back to free will and where we may draw the line on how much of the cake we really want or need depending on ones personal views of the matter.
The universe does give us wake up calls and if we are so far off the path of being able to see or receive it we can miss what is being revealed to us. God is light and God provides light and it is our choice to decide on whether or not we want to turn that light on or keep it off and if in some way we can dim it. It is our responsibility to do the ab-crunches in order to loose that stomach that the eating of the chocolate cake and many of them over time that has been placed on our bodies and in another since it is still our responsibility to modify what and how we eat physically and spiritually so that our lives and health, mind and body can become heathier thereby giving way to a new mind frame and outlook on life as we may have known it then and turn it into what we are working toward now that we may never have believed possible before, prosperity and harmony into our lives, into my life like never before.
A big, loud, number 1!!!! 🙂
Playing the blame card is number 2. Saying you support number 1 while being a 2 in action suggests serious accidents are part of your future and none are on orders from God. The quest for GOD and Universal Principles, the ones all the other ones come from, is operating and being a number 1. Gravity does not care, it works whether you believe it or not, understanding why it works if you could would make even less difference.
Thank you Randy for taking on the point. It ain't easy being number one day after day. Thank you for taking it on.
Geneva... What if you are HIM?
Randy, I love it! Very well put and thought provoking. My message to those of you who are somewhat annoyed or who disagree with this, you must step outside of who you have been shaped to be and ask why do you believe what you believe. Many times we believe something because someone told us that's what we should believe...even if it doesn't really make sense.
Randy, you'd fit right in at the church my family and I go to in Spring Lake, MI. @ExerciseMan also attends.
For most of my life I was in category 1...believing my life my choices WERE my life choices. That I was free to do whatever I wanted, but that God did have certain rules that he asked us all not to break, for our own benefit.
When I was around 25, I worked with a family who thought the total opposite. They kept hammering into me that my life was all predestined, everything that happened to me was God's determined fate and that no matter what I did, God's will was what I would be destined to live out whether I accepted it or not.
Thinking they were a good, honest God-fearing family, I blindly believed it. And...it caused me the greatest handicap in my life. There is nothing more detrimental than believing that nothing is under your control. That every dollar you make has been predetermined for you, and whether you sit on your butt all day or go out there and work like crazy, you will still only make what God wants you to.
Three years ago I got copies of Randy's prosperity series and read them all in one plane ride...I couldn't put the darn things down! To be honest I thought I would hate them at first, because Randy's message seemed to conflict so much with my (erroneous) belief. Gradually I began to see how these new beliefs actually were more in line with how I originally used to think.
As I looked further and further into my own religion (Islam), I was surprised to find out how closely aligned Randy's views were with what I was discovering.
I discovered that God does give us an incredible amount of free will. He does ask us to live by certain laws, in order to get the best out of our own lives, and for our own benefit. He's not a God who is sitting their waiting to see us file into hell, but a God who uses his power for humans to have a prosperous life now and in the hereafter.
And most surprising of all, that often bandied word 'jihad', when it comes down to its basic meaning, is to 'improve yourself.' The prophet Mohammed said that working on improving yourself is the greatest jihad one can do. (Does that make Randy a jihadist lol?)
Today my outlook and thought process has totally changed and I feel like a whole new world has opened up to me.
And it's so refreshing to read every one of these blog posts knowing that more and more people are having their world opened too.
Your clarity of thought on the subject and concept of religion is priceless!
Thank you for sharing a sensitive subject with such candor. You are brilliant!
I choose door #1.
But then I'm not so sure about the Heathen thing........ LOL
I agree with the idea that man has free will to make his own choices. Whatever your set of beliefs may be, if you don't believe in man's free will to choose his actions then why get out of bed! I don't buy into the pre-determination philosophy. What I do with this life is up to me, and I must answer for my choices good or bad.
Man you make sense, Randy. It is SO much more empowering to believe that God's greatest gift was our ability to THINK FOR OURSELVES. Isn't that what separates us - or most of us anyway - from the beasts? We have the God-given power of free choice which we can use to better our life situation at any time we choose - powerful!
Best to you,
I was also raised Catholic and it never resonated with me at all. I am so horrified by the Catholics' idea of baptism in which you wash away an infant's "original sin" thus saving him from hell. How on earth do we see babies, who are nothing but pure love and joy, as sinners? They haven't even done anything yet, we're the ones that screw them up!
I have been away from the church now for 10+ years, but I do see the benefits of a spiritual community and I sometimes feel that something is missing in my life. It would be so wonderful to find a community of people like us who could support each other without the guilt and shame that most organized religions promote. Do you think that it is possible to benefit from something like that, or are you completely against any type of religion/faith group?
I am reminded of your recent post about critical thinking - there seems to be a major lack of it in organized religion. If more people stopped to think about the crap that is being fed to them, they would realize that it doesn't make a whole lot of sense. I believe it is religion that stops us from ever really developing critical thinking skills since they have been telling us what to think our whole lives.
I believe in scenario #1
If any of us are brave enough to ask them, and look within...then we will find the answers.
Good stuff as usual.
I'm of #1, not much for doom and gloom philosophies. Besides, what if you overcome your fears? What would motivate you then?
And as for being punished for your wrongs now, what about Job? He was smitten because he was loyal and being tested. Once again, free choice and joy is what I believe.
damn waste of virgins i'll tell you thats for sure.... lol
hehehe... i like that... god gives me the light but i have to turn on the switch, much like my housekeeper flipping the switch when i said, let there be light? hehehe... (from a later post... i am reading and commenting in archives) lol.....
this si funny... "possibility number two. I am an egomaniacal heathen who doesn’t believe in the power of God, or think I’m greater than God. I am a lost sheep, who God may strike down with lightning at any moment. (So if you don’t see a post tomorrow, you’ll know what happened.) "
or possibility three... possibility 2 is accurate but you are used to lightning strikes? hehehe just popped in my head....
man this post ROCKS.... reading these archives is like reading a good book... and i just cant stop.... :o)
plus like a moron i am still doing one on one coaching... i know i'm a caveman... and my client didnt show... so i am letting randy coach me for free via the blogs....
i'd send you the money for the coaching in the mail.... but i instructed the universe to withdraw from my universal account instead... ;o) come to think of it last time that happened AMEX for some unknown reason canceled my centurion card because their records said i was deceased... hehehe i better rethink that... i love that card... never really use it... but it look HOT... hehehe
love ya man... peace out...