Ruth, don't you think it is a bit insensitive to tell us former second-generation members (ie, the ones who were born-and-raised into this group and never chose to be Christians) to "forgive and forget" when we are trying to seek justice for the abuse we suffered?
Her first comment was insensitive and overgeneralizing, I agree with you. She should have more specifically addressed Christians. She clarified this in her response to you, so there's no need to attack her for it again. Her counterresponse was just fine, and sensitive. If you are not a Christian (or attempting to be) then her post is not addressing you at all. Seeking justice is certainly very old testament (eye for an eye) but conflicts with the New Testament principles of Jesus such as 'turn the other cheek' and 'he who casts the first stone' and so forth. It is a legitimate query to those members.
If you seek to inform people about the Family and dismantle their organization to protect others from being victimized, that is certainly within the realm of Christian things to do, but not to hate or gripe or be spiteful. If such emotions enter into you, why not purge them and follow the path of a constructive emotion such as sympathy for the people you believe are being abused?
It is difficult to forgive and forget when the very people who abused you will not even acknowledge that they have done anything wrong to you. It is even more difficult when they go out of their way to call you a "liar" and denounce and "pray against" you. And then, to add insult to injury, we have people like you come along and tell us to just "move on" and "forgive and forget".
Something being difficult is not justification to avoid it. It is difficult to avoid sin, and also difficult to be Christlike. But these are things Christians desire. If they do not, they are not Christians.
I am, however, not an atheist; I am an agnostic. For me, there is insufficient evidence to prove that there is a god and there is, likewise, insufficient evidence to prove that there is no god.
Being an atheist means you don't believe there is a god, it doesn't mean you believe with 100% certainty there can't be one, just that you don't think it likely enough as to be convincing. I am tired of these extremist assumptions about atheisms, they are insulting. Why not just accept both labels? They apply equally.
an atheist==an ignorant person.
I would agree, insomuch that all people have some things that they are ignorant about. If you mean ignorant to mean to be more ignorant about things in comparison to the norm or comparison to their opposites (theists) I would have to greatly disagree with you, and in fact, my beliefs are the reverse of such a statement.
the fool hath said in his heart there is no god.
Hm, I wonder who 'the' fool is. Certainly many fools out there have said there's no god, but plenty of fools have also said there is one. If you mean to say there is something foolish about saying there's no god, I would sort of agree in that (in line with Thor's agnosticism point) it is too absolute a point, and to make crude statements of fact in regards to supernatural issues is somewhat arrogant. That being said, most people don't truly mean it that way, but are rather stating their conclusion. Such as how I might say "there are no unicorns" or "there is no teacup circling Pluto". I don't really know, I certainly can't prove it, I'm just stating it that way because it's easier.
I am not a bible scholar but this much I know.
Oh, but how do you know you know? :p Because the bibles tells you so of course! I wonder, if you had been raised reading a bible I wrote, if you would also believe it?
Oh i keep forgetting that you may not even believe what the bible says. maybe you can tell me what you believe in so I can get an idea what an atheist is.
The only unifying thing about atheists is they have not come to the conclusion that there is a deity and that they acknowledge this. Besides that, beliefs vary. Hell, there are atheists who believe in evolution, to ones who think aliens made us, haha.
Indian Joe wrote:
However, innocent children who were born into the group, and never had a choice but to live a life of abuse certainly have no failures to blame anyone for. They didn't fail, they were failed by their parents, and the adults around them.
What about being failed by others means you are unable to fail at things yourself? What Ruth might be trying to get at here is a critically of an observed (or imagined) tendancy to blame all of life's problems as caused by abuse which might not have been. This is a tendency with trauma since it is difficult to pinpoint causation. In general, you try to imagine your life under different circumstances, how this would make you an entirely different person (essentially not you) and how that person would not have such problems. Honestly, while I haven't been abused, I still make such comparisons like "what if my parents had been smarter or richer" and still have regrets about how my life might have been better.
All this essentially amounts to self-loathing and is very useless and it is good to move past regret.
People who have not had failures or have not been blaming them on the Family are not the target of R's criticism, from what I can tell. I admit, it is a bit rude, because to attempt to discern causality is a natural reaction and not something to hate on others for doing. Generally you want to be more nurturing in your criticisms.
That's an extremely arrogant statement and a fine example of the elitism and hypocrisy inherent in your disturbed faith. I also doubt that you are/were not a member of The Family cult.
While I agree with your assessment of the intentions behind the statement (though I put a clever spin on it to make it an acceptable statement, haha) I can't agree with your doubt, it seems premature. Being critical of critics does not make you one of the ones they are critical of being defensive. This is a very common assumption and logical error many come to in regards to sensitive topics and arguments especially when people think they involve 'sides' and their agendas.
It is surprisingly easy to get hold of false documentation. Berg and Zerbe often travelled on false passports.
In parts of Europe it is relatively easy to cross borders with or without documentation.
This is a legitimate observation, however if this was fraudulent, it would certainly have to be a very complex charade, look at all the documents and people contributing to them and verifying the same information consistantly, after all. You'd have to wonder why people would go to all that trouble. It doesn't mean everything's true, but it certainly leads you to not totally disregard their claims as conjecture before giving it a look see if you care to do so.
Well, mistakes made from ignorance are permissible IMO. Abusing children doesn't fit in that category.
I think it can, it's possible to abuse children from ignorance, as in you don't intend to but end up doing it. Negligence, for example, would fit this. Er, unless the word 'abuse' has a conscious component to it, like it doesn't mean just hurt but to hurt meaningfully. In which case, many things are called abuse which I don't think people believe are wrong, even if only because they were indoctrinated to believe so.
i think no one DESERVES forgiveness, but there are different reasons we forgive. Many times in my own cases, I forgive for my own benifit.
I agree with you, it's not just a matter of forgiveness, no one really 'deserves' anything. Deserve is technically just a concept we use to express how fairness might be held up. As in, people deserve compensation for labour, or they deserve justice for inconveniancing someone else, or they deserve a fair shot from the get go. I think it's very similar to the altruistically beginning tit for tat that won that Prisoner's Game computing contest.
Certainly you should only forgive for your own benefit, as a selfish individual. People who hold beliefs that they should consider others' welfare for their own or the public's wellbeing may disagree with us about that though. I can hold some benefit to public wellbeing since an improved society is of benefit to me.
James Massa wrote:
I sincerely believe xfamily.org was raised up by God to expose the darkness in The Family International, "Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them."(Ephesians 5:11). The truth is being exposed on this website, and God is using this website to shine the light on the truth.
Hm, I don't think it's necessary to have god do it, as humans are capable of being active against things they dislike on their own. Though having an omnipotent omniscient immortal on your hands would be pretty helpful, though if so He's certainly being subtle in acting through you rather than simply smiting evil like he did in the OT eh?
also, in many cases it's the abuser saying, "forgive and forget" or our parents or people we knew who we once loved. in both cases its hurtful and wrong for numerous reasons.
Hurtful sure, but that's irrelevant, being hurt isn't really a logical process after all. It is wrong though, and that's relevant. It's wrong to tell other people what to do. Whether someone forgives or tries to forget, that should be their own choice, people should not tell others how to feel or what to forget. This is presuming it is conveyed as a command statement which is how what you say comes off as. There's nothing wrong with saying "you might be better off forgetting" or "forgiving will help you get on with your life" of course though, that isn't really misleading and is true in some cases.
Personally, I disagree with both approaches, I don't think they're necessary to live a good life, and in either case they don't lead to a prime path of consciousness. I don't think we should try to forget anything. We should cling to all memories, they are precious and define existance for us, the good ones and the bad ones make us who we are. This is a reason why we shouldn't think so much about changing the past, we should accept who we are and if we envision a greater Us, pursue that from the present rather than thinking we can only do it by backtracking and redoing what was done differently or changing our fates.
As for forgiveness, like you said earlier, only if it is of benefit to you. Thing is, I don't think you really need to go so far as forgive. Rather, simply not dwell on it or let it control you. I guess to stop hating might be seen as the same as forgiveness, but I don't really think it is. I think it's more like recognizing that hatred isn't really inherantly useful, and if you're not harnessing the hatred for something useful, you may as well be done with it so you can think clearer and be in a better overall mood.
It's like, forgiveness is stopping hating someone for their benefit, whereas letting go is for yours. There's no 'giving' going on. With forgiveness, you let it go even though you still want to, with letting go, you just stop caring about hating because you get disgusted with that part of yourself which is dominating your thinking.