Converting Scientologists to Christianity: A How-To Blog

TG1

Angelic Poster
I was a Southern Baptist. I was not born into it. I went to church at 12 years old and my mother, grandparents, great aunts and uncles followed. I left 4 years later and never looked back.
I did not get deep into the cult known as the CofS, but saw enough to know shit weren't right.

Now, I have no religion and do not want one. I am a spiritual being that has a wonderful relationship with God and I need no religious dogma or group validation.

Southern Baptists? Oh, goody. That's actually my specialty. But I do other dialects as well.

When you go up against Christianity, you're really inviting the big guns. Lots of them. Hundreds of millions. But fewer every year. :)

Let me just say, I'm actually down with Jesus. Cool guy. Tough guy. If you can believe the Bible, which is always an interesting debate.

But Christians, the whole mass lot of 'em? Not so much.

Of course, every once in a while I meet a very nice Christian who's exceptionally kind and unjudgmental and generous and everything you'd expect one of those cats to be. And I bet that person would act and be the same way if he or she were a (cough) Scientologist. Or an atheist. Or a Wiccan. Or a Martian.

A few months ago I was on a 2 1/2 hour flight with a guy who was determined to witness to me. I warned him not to. I told him I could quote him under the table. I told him I'd tell him everything he didn't know about his denomination. (Southern Baptist, of course.) But he insisted.

Questions?

TG1
 

TG1

Angelic Poster
Lulu,

I just realized I'm hijacking your thread.

You wanted to talk about Scientologists who become Christians. You don't need to listen to my rants about Southern Baptists and Christians.

I can rant on my own time.

TG1
 

guanoloco

As-Wased
I just read this earlier today and thought it pertinent:

"We all remember how many religious wars were fought for a religion of love
and gentleness; how many bodies were burned alive with the genuinely kind
intention of saving souls from the eternal fire of hell." --- Karl Popper

"When one person suffers from a delusion, it is called insanity. When many
people suffer from a delusion, it is called Religion."
--- Robert M. Pirsig

Either God wants to abolish evil and cannot, or he can but does not want to.
If he wants to but cannot he is impotent. If he can but does not want to, he
is wicked. If he neither can nor wants to, then he is both powerless and
wicked.
--- Epicurus, Greek philosopher, circa 300 B.C.

"Act of God" disasters like the Japanese earthquake expose the myth. Either
God can do nothing to stop catastrophes like this, or he doesn't care to, or
he doesn't exist. He is thus either impotent, evil, or imaginary.
--- CNN Belief Blog, 3-20-11

"With or without religion, you would have good people doing good things and
evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that
takes religion."
--- Steven Weinberg, quoted in The New York Times, April 20, 1999

"Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from
religious conviction." --- Blaise Pascal.

"Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false,
and by rulers as useful."
--- Seneca the Younger (4? BC - 65 AD)

"Religion once ruled the world. It was called the Dark Ages." --- Ruth
Green.

"Science flies you to the moon. Religion flies you into buildings." ---
Victor Stenger.

"I don't believe in God because I don't believe in Mother Goose." ---
Clarence Darrow

"As my ancestors are free from slavery, I am free from the slavery of
religion." --- Butterfly McQueen

"Religion was invented when the first con-man met the first fool." - Mark
Twain

"Faith is believing what you know ain't so." --- Mark Twain

"The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in
all fiction." --- Richard Dawkins

"Cult today, religion tomorrow."​

Aside from the God/Mother Goose reference I pretty much agree with everything. Seems to me that religion is manmade...in man's image, which is to say the ego. Spirituality appears to me to be a relationship with divinity devoid of the ego/religious aspect.

IMHO religions are a plague on our collective conscious.
 

Mick Wenlock

Admin Emeritus (retired)
...snip...

Now, I have no religion and do not want one. I am a spiritual being that has a wonderful relationship with God and I need no religious dogma or group validation.

well if you have a 'wonderful relationship with god" you just advanced a) a religion and b) a dogma.

:)
 

Lulu Belle

Moonbat
Lulu,

I just realized I'm hijacking your thread.

You wanted to talk about Scientologists who become Christians. You don't need to listen to my rants about Southern Baptists and Christians.

I can rant on my own time.

TG1


No, keep going.

I live in the South, work for a company which seems to employ a lot of religious zealots, and have a lot of trouble keeping my mouth shut.

Good to have like minded others to talk to. :)
 

Spirit

just another son of God
well if you have a 'wonderful relationship with god" you just advanced a) a religion and b) a dogma.

:)
A religion and a dogma arising out of a wonderful personal relationship with God? I guess it could be rationalized as so. So I have a personal religion and dogma to accompany it. So my peeve is with
the zealots that I am trying not to be.
 

Terril park

Sponsor
OK. So I have to say right off the bat that I'm not a Christian. (Or anything else, for that matter.)

So, those of you who are will be very offended by my opinion of this.....stuff.


There's three parts of this blog devoted to "how to turn Scientolgists into Christians".

http://faithandselfdefense.com/2012/

Here are some excerpts. This first piece has me bewildered. This is one of the most favorable pieces I've seen promoting Scientology's beliefs. But this guy thinks it's a bad thing?

............

Here are some of the “beliefs” of Scientologists. Knowing these will help you in sharing the Gospel with them.

“Man is an immortal spiritual being. His experience extends well beyond a single lifetime.His capabilities are unlimited, even if not presently realized.

Scientology further holds Man to be basically good, and that his spiritual salvation depends upon himself,his fellows and his attainment of brotherhood with the universe.

Scientology is not a dogmatic religion in which one is asked to accept anything on faithalone. On the contrary, one discovers for oneself that theprinciplesofScientology aretrueby applying its principles and observing or experiencing the results.

The ultimate goal of Scientology is true spiritual enlightenment and freedom for all.

Unlike religions with Judeo-Christian origins, the Church of Scientology has no set dogma concerning God that it imposes on its members. As with all its tenets, Scientology does not ask individuals to accept anything on faith alone. Rather, as one’s level of spiritual awareness increases through participation in Scientology auditing and training, one attains his own certainty of every dynamic. Accordingly, only when the Seventh Dynamic (spiritual) is reached in its entirety will one discover and come to a full understanding of the Eighth Dynamic (infinity) and one’s relationship to the Supreme Being. Scientologists take the maxim quite to heart that God helps those who help themselves. They believe that each person has the answers to the mysteries of life. All one requires is awareness of these answers, and this is what Scientology helps one achieve. Man is accustomed to asking for pat answers. Scientology requires that the person think for himself and thus help himself become more understanding, able, happy and healthy. (“Scientology Beliefs & Practices” – Scientology.org)

..................

Here's some more. Some of these I find hilarious, frankly.

................



If Paul visited your church today and you asked him about witnessing to Scientologists, what do you think he would say? Do you think Paul would view Scientologists as sinners who need to hear the Gospel of God’s Grace?

If Jesus visited your church today and you asked Him about witnessing to Scientologists, what do you think He would say? Do you think Jesus shed His Blood for Scientologists? Do you think He would want you to preach the Gospel to Scientologists? Do you think Jesus would want you to teach Scientologists to observe everything He has taught you?

I think the answers are clear. Yes, Jesus and Paul would want you and me to preach the Gospel to Scientologists, lead them to saving faith in Christ, and teach them to obey Jesus as their Lord and Savior.

So, what do you and I need to do to prepare our hearts and minds to witness to Scientologists?

1. Pray. You are entering supernatural territory. Ask God for wisdom. Pray for the Holy Spirit to guide you as you share the Gospel. Ask Jesus to reveal Himself as the Word of God as you talk about Him. Ask God’s Spirit to convict them of their sin and convince them of their desperate need for salvation.

2. Know what you believe about God and His Word. If you’re going to talk with a cultist about his or her need for salvation, you need to be very sure of what you believe. If you aren’t sure, get sure. You will need to know God’s Word well and rely on His Spirit often as you talk with cultists about Christ.

3. Feel God’s Love for the souls of Scientologists – just like He loved your soul before you were saved. Ask God to help you love like He Loves. If possible, develop friendly relationships with Scientologists so they understand you really care about them – and are not just trying to win them over to “your side.”

4. Ask Scientologists questions about what they believe to find out how deeply they are entrenched in Scientology. They may be new to the cult or have little knowledge. They may be very involved and have a lot of knowledge. Knowing where they are in their “faith” will help you steer the discussion in a direction that will be helpful to them.

5. Be prepared to share with them what you know about Scientology and L. Ron Hubbard. Scientologists are taught that Christians “don’t know,” are misled and need to be “cleared,” so they may not be open to general statements about what you believe. Be ready to document what you “know” about L. Ron Hubbard and Scientology. There are many books and websites with great historical information about the truth behind Hubbard and his “religion.”

6. Know enough about the claims of Scientology that you can “take the roof off” their beliefs. I like to use material straight from Hubbard’s writings and the official Scientology website (http://www.scientology.org/) so they can’t argue away my statements because I’m using what someone else says about Scientology beliefs. Quote to them from their own quotes. It’s a powerful technique that can make an opening for deeper discussions. Know enough about the terms Scientologists use so you can dig into the fallacy of their beliefs.

7. Scientology officially claims in its creed that Scientologists should respect all religions and the religious beliefs of others. Ask the Scientologists you’re witnessing to explain what that means to them. Listen respectfully and ask any questions that flow logically from their comments. Ask them if they respect Christianity and the beliefs of Christians. If they do, then share with them the basic beliefs of Christianity and ask them what they think about those beliefs. If they don’t respect the beliefs of Christians, ask them why not since that respect is part of the official creed of Scientology. Follow up with other questions and comments that lead to an opportunity to share the basics of Christian salvation.

8. Scientologists are taught that they have a special “knowledge of life” because of the insights that came to L. Ron Hubbard in 1951 after he observed people using Dianetics – “and found a commonality of experience and phenomena. After carefully reviewing all relevant research data, he isolated the answer: Man was neither his body nor his mind, but a spiritual being. This was the source of all that is good, decent and creative in the world: the individual being himself. With this discovery, L. Ron Hubbard founded the religion of Scientology, for he had moved firmly into the field traditionally belonging to religion—the realm of the human soul.” (www.scientology.org) Ask the Scientologist you are talking with why they trust the insights of one man, L. Ron Hubbard, as the sole authority for their eternal souls. You need to be ready to argue for the sole authority of the Bible. Hubbard’s life was built on lies. The Bible was built on Truth. Why would anyone want to trust their eternal soul to a liar instead of the Savior?

9. At some point during your conversation open your Bible to a particular passage and ask the Scientologist to read it. If they won’t touch the Bible or read from it, ask them why. Remind them that you have read the writings of Scientology to understand their beliefs and you’d like them to read portions of the Word of God to understand your beliefs. This is IMPORTANT to do because the God’s Word is “living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12) One of the most powerful weapons in your spiritual arsenal is God’s Word. Place your Bible in the hands of the person you are witnessing to and watch the power of God work. Tell them what the Bible says about God, life, death, sin, salvation, eternity, Heaven, and hell.

10. Many Scientologists will argue all day long with you about the authority of the Bible over the authority of L. Ron Hubbard’s teachings, but they will often listen to your personal story. Everybody has a personal story and many people like to hear the stories of others. Tell them who you used to be and what Jesus did for you. Tell them what salvation means to you and why you love Jesus with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength. Those four areas have a special interest to Scientologists because of the teaching of L. Ron Hubbard. Tell them how knowing Jesus has impacted your thinking, your emotions, your will, your inner strength, and your eternal soul. Tell them about Jesus dying because of their sins and being raised because of our justification (Romans 4:25). Tell them about the peace and joy you now experience in Christ. Share with them how they too can know that peace and joy through faith in Christ. Pray with them to “believe on the Lord Jesus Christ” for salvation (Acts 16:31).

Leading a Scientologist to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ is just the beginning. They will need a lot of help getting out of the cult. More about how to do that in the next part of our study.

In Christ’s Love and Grace,

...................

You sure this wasn't written by Hoaxie?
 

Spirit

just another son of God
No, keep going.

I live in the South, work for a company which seems to employ a lot of religious zealots, and have a lot of trouble keeping my mouth shut.

Good to have like minded others to talk to. :)
I live in the South too. I am surrounded by Southern Baptists and Pentecostals in my family and work.
I don't try to enforce my beliefs on them, but they often do not extend the same courtesy to me. And, yes, it is hard keeping my mouth shut!
 

Claire Swazey

Spokeshole, fence sitter
I know someone that came off heavy drugs to become a born again christian, she's more confused and unable to think for herself than any exscientologist I've ever met.

People need to be able to think for themselves not to get a new set of people doing their thinking for them.


I have mixed feelings about that. I get what you say in your last sentence and it's true. But I have seen people who were helped by their religion or philosophies.

Perhaps the difference is in that person's approach. Are they swapping one cult for another? I think one could treat a mainstream religion like a cult by making it a limiting and defining thing. And another adherent of the same religion might not.

I guess if a person's having everyone tell him or her what to do all the time, then no matter what religion he's into, it's like what you're talking about. But what if they don't do that?
 

TG1

Angelic Poster
No, keep going.

I live in the South, work for a company which seems to employ a lot of religious zealots, and have a lot of trouble keeping my mouth shut.

Good to have like minded others to talk to. :)

Thanks, Lulu.

"Religion" seems to spring forth when people are exploring the big moral, ethical and meaning of life questions: Who am I? What am I part of? Why does all this exist? What will happen in the future?

In some ways, religion is no different than a lot of other groups. Groups grow out of someone's idea and, eventually, the agreements that build when others find that idea appealing.

The trouble comes when those who like that idea start thinking their ideas make them superior to other folks.

More trouble enters when members of the religious group decide that others -- the guy who lives in the apartment next door and natives halfway around the world -- ought to agree with them, too.

Things get creepier when the religionists decide that those who don't agree with them just need to be persuaded a little harder and then decide that those who resist their persuasion are now dangerous to the religionists’ way of life.

Throw into the mix the idea that "God is on our side."

Finally, add the aristocracy, money guys, and power-hungry strivers who don't believe any of that religious stuff, but realize it's the best lever ever invented to manipulate events and consolidate their power.

And what do you get? Four major religions, a lot of minor ones, a 5,000 year history of "religious" wars, and global "No, U!"

The degree to which religionists try to convert others to their way of life and enforce their beliefs and required behaviors on others -- both those inside and outside their group -- is the degree to which I object to religion.

Otherwise, knock yourselves out.

TG1
 

Lulu Belle

Moonbat
"Religion" seems to spring forth when people are exploring the big moral, ethical and meaning of life questions: Who am I? What am I part of? Why does all this exist? What will happen in the future?


My husband says people have religion because they are the only species that knows that they will die.

It's all about the "what's gonna happen to me after I die?" thing.

I think he has a point.
 

TG1

Angelic Poster
Jimmy Carter's Resignation from the Southern Baptist Convention

Some of you may know that in 2000 Jimmy Carter resigned from the Southern Baptist Convention. In 2009, he again renounced and denounced Southern Baptist beliefs and policies in his statement: "Losing My Religion for Equality."

BTW, In the Southern U.S. the phrase "losing my religion" is an idiom that means: losing one's temper, flying off the handle, getting very upset about something.

Carter's comments may be helpful to you if you're thinking of engaging with Southern Baptists or others about these issues.

News coverage: http://abcnews.go.com/US/story?id=95311&page=1#.UVhyWkYo5jo

Carter's 2009 "Losing My Religion for Equality" statement: http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/losing-my-religion-for-equality-20090714-dk0v.html?page=-1

Response from President of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary: http://www.banneroftruth.org/pages/articles/article_detail.php?269

TG1
 

Freeminds

Bitter defrocked apostate
Nietzsche said:
Companions the creator seeks, not corpses, not herds and believers. Fellow creators the creator seeks -- those who write new values on new tablets. Companions the creator seeks, and fellow harvesters; for everything about him is ripe for the harvest.

Create: don't accept the diseased pap that was churned out by a mentally ill pulp sci-fi hack in the Cold War. You all deserve better. The real sin of Scientology is the way it prevents people from thinking for themselves.
 

TG1

Angelic Poster
OK, here's a subject:

Possibly relevant is the fact that I was brought up to think that two topics were off limits in polite conversation: religion and politics.

To this day, despite the hours I have spent at ESMB essentially debating religious topics -- mostly Scientology ones, when someone in my daily life brings up the subject of religion or asks questions like the ones below, I feel paralyzed and am never certain what words are going to tumble out of my mouth:

"You should visit our church -- you'd like it!"

"What church do you belong to?"

"But you're a Christian, right?"

"You know that God loves you, don't you?"

"Do you believe in heaven and hell?"

And my favorite ... "Have you accepted Jesus Christ as your personal savior?"

I don't have any well rehearsed lines that quickly extract me from those situations. I'm just as likely to say, "Sorry, but I don't discuss my religion" as I am to say, "I left the church a long time again" or "You are being inappropriate. Please leave."

I've lied and told Methodists I'm a Buddhist and told Baptists I am an Episcopalian. I actually tell some Episcopalians the truth -- that I'm an agnostic. Occasionally, I've gotten into conversations with earnest Christians who seem desperate to understand how I could think that way, and those conversations all end the same: they're sad, and I'm mad.

How do those of you who are not Christians handle these situations?

TG1

P.S. I live in a part of the world where the phrase "good person" means the same as "good Christian person."
 
I'm not so down on religion as some on this thread.

The claims of how horrible religion has been throughout history are exaggerated.

Religions have the distilled wisdom of centuries of mankind's search for meaning.

It is true that religious institutions have behaved poorly in certain times and certain places, but religion and faith reflect that rich quality of human nature that hopes for things unseen and the basic conviction that the evils in the world are not how things should be.

The Anabaptist Jacques
 

JBWriter

Happy Sapien
OK, here's a subject:

Possibly relevant is the fact that I was brought up to think that two topics were off limits in polite conversation: religion and politics.

To this day, despite the hours I have spent at ESMB essentially debating religious topics -- mostly Scientology ones, when someone in my daily life brings up the subject of religion or asks questions like the ones below, I feel paralyzed and am never certain what words are going to tumble out of my mouth:

"You should visit our church -- you'd like it!"

"What church do you belong to?"

"But you're a Christian, right?"

"You know that God loves you, don't you?"

"Do you believe in heaven and hell?"

And my favorite ... "Have you accepted Jesus Christ as your personal savior?"

I don't have any well rehearsed lines that quickly extract me from those situations. I'm just as likely to say, "Sorry, but I don't discuss my religion" as I am to say, "I left the church a long time again" or "You are being inappropriate. Please leave."

I've lied and told Methodists I'm a Buddhist and told Baptists I am an Episcopalian. I actually tell some Episcopalians the truth -- that I'm an agnostic. Occasionally, I've gotten into conversations with earnest Christians who seem desperate to understand how I could think that way, and those conversations all end the same: they're sad, and I'm mad.

How do those of you who are not Christians handle these situations?

TG1

P.S. I live in a part of the world where the phrase "good person" means the same as "good Christian person."

^^^^ My bold above.

All of the questions you cite above have been lobbed my way since as far back as I can recall. (Your answers/responses are probably very effective, too. At least, I hope so. :biggrin:) But, it certainly can be uncomfortable to try and interpret the question correctly and then use the best response that fits; selecting the one which (potentially) offends/harms the questioner the least can be tricky.

As for the bolded question above, I've only ever had one answer since childhood - although I'd like to think I'm able to support it a bit better with a genuine smile and no 'teenager smirk' that I *may* have mistakenly thought lent it additional support. :coolwink:

"I'm here. You're here. More than that, I'll have to see for myself." - JB, aged 4. (Dr. Seuss was still on the horizon, but I did know the alphabet to "L".)

Would it shock anyone to learn my parents/siblings thought the youngest one *might* be a handful? (FYI, when candy/toys/silver dollars/lectures didn't shake my li'l tree, the extended family gave it their best shot, too. Neighbors and friends were next, but by 9, it was pretty much a draw for all concerned. No winners = fair.)

Hope that helps,

JB.
 

auntpat

Patron with Honors
Hi, I think you all know, I am a Christian. I am religious. By religious I mean I have a relationship with God. By Christian, I mean Jesus is a personal friend. I do not attend any organized church, but I have in the past. I find them to restricting. I prefer to study on my own My religion gives me love, comfort, wisdom, confidence,peace, fellowship, and joy.

Yes, I wish you all had these things, not because I think I am better than you but because I so enjoy my religion and would like to share the joy with you

Much Love and Light,
Aunt Pat
 

This is NOT OK !!!!

Gold Meritorious Patron
OK, here's a subject:

Possibly relevant is the fact that I was brought up to think that two topics were off limits in polite conversation: religion and politics.

To this day, despite the hours I have spent at ESMB essentially debating religious topics -- mostly Scientology ones, when someone in my daily life brings up the subject of religion or asks questions like the ones below, I feel paralyzed and am never certain what words are going to tumble out of my mouth:

"You should visit our church -- you'd like it!"

"What church do you belong to?"

"But you're a Christian, right?"

"You know that God loves you, don't you?"

"Do you believe in heaven and hell?"

And my favorite ... "Have you accepted Jesus Christ as your personal savior?"

I don't have any well rehearsed lines that quickly extract me from those situations. I'm just as likely to say, "Sorry, but I don't discuss my religion" as I am to say, "I left the church a long time again" or "You are being inappropriate. Please leave."

I've lied and told Methodists I'm a Buddhist and told Baptists I am an Episcopalian. I actually tell some Episcopalians the truth -- that I'm an agnostic. Occasionally, I've gotten into conversations with earnest Christians who seem desperate to understand how I could think that way, and those conversations all end the same: they're sad, and I'm mad.

How do those of you who are not Christians handle these situations?

TG1

P.S. I live in a part of the world where the phrase "good person" means the same as "good Christian person."

I've returned to the Episcopal church of my youth since departing Scientology.

I would like to believe that any Episcopalians you talked to were fine with your agnostic defense. I know I am.

I've gone in and talked to one of the priests several times, most recently when feeling particularly blue whiile contemplating my 30 years in the cult. He told me that he was surprised that I kept showing up at all after what I'd been through.

When I first started to attend I had a chat with Kate, the main priest. Told her about the 30 years in and asked if there were any official advice or suggestions for someone like me. She said she would ask the bishop. A couple weeks later I ran into her on the street. She said the Bishop recommended I start with a large bottle of Scotch!

Who was that Bishop you say?

Gene Robinson http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gene_Robinson
 
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