Since the appearance of the written word, man has questioned the existence of god. And in questioning the existence of god, man also questioned god’s role in his life. It seems to be a staple in the human experience. “Why am I here? What is my purpose? What happens to me when I am gone?”. Man attempted to answer these questions and not everyone agreed. Thus, religion was born. Even within religion, there were disagreements. Each man stood on his own, with his own opinion on how things should be. Nothing made anyone’s opinion greater than that of another, that is until someone claimed to have spoken with god personally. Ah, now one man’s view on how things should be is validated by the almighty, making his view better, greater, and powerful. The need to record these personal revelations and inspirations gave rise to religious text.
Over the ages many people have written “god’s words” to guide man in life. All of them claiming to have been directed by god, with many different results and directions. But it would appear that god stopped directing his followers to write his words many centuries ago. Major religions have definitively decided on their sacred text and now only distribute and interpret god’s words. A curious thing it is, that god would all of a sudden stop speaking in a written format after doing so for so long. Or at least that is what the major religions would have you think. Other people, some of those religions, believe otherwise.
During my divergence from Christianity, I came across three books that claimed to be divinely inspired. Yet they offered radically different messages than that which is offered up in canonical religious text. What’s even more interesting about these “rouge” religious text that were written at different times, by different people, is that their messages have more similarity among each other, than the gods that are mentioned in other major religious text. I’d even venture to say that these three books have more in common than the christian Yahweh of the old testament, and plain ole god of the new testament.
These books boldly challenge religious reality and beg the question “Did god really stop talking to his people?”. Dismissing all judgement, rules, and damnation, the over arching theme of love and reason between these books are enough to get any devout follower’s panties in a bunch, and have done so. Each of these books have been considered controversial, at least, in their time. However, all of them have been best sellers. It would seem that the messages resonate with a considerable amount of people. It is for this reason that I submit them for your review today. If nothing else, these books deserve a once over for their message, even if the reader walks away a doubter of their authenticity.
Thomas Paine’s angry rants and aggravation with Christians and Christianity are hilarious if nothing else. He methodically breaks down the fallacy in the logic of practicing Christians and offers in it’s place god given reason and creation. Thomas Paine, also known as the “father of deism”, doesn’t hold any punches and uses strong language throughout the book. His bold stance surely ruffled a lot of feathers upon it’s release, and more than likely still do.
Just book one of the three part series is enough to cause any religious person to ball into a fetal position and cry. Neale Walsch claims to have come upon god’s voice while angrily writing a letter on a legal pad to the almighty after several calamitous occurrences in his life. The books work through almost every conceivable aspect of the human experience, continuously reiterating that there are no rules, there is no law, and that there is no such thing as “right”, “wrong”, “heaven”, or “hell”. Walsch is understandably controversial in his words, yet uniquely catchy. These books are a “steer clear of” for anyone that hopes to keep hold of their belief system. The message is sure to enrage and plant a seed of doubt in believers of any faith. For those that “know that they know, that they know” and claim to be steadfast in their beliefs, an endless battle of self reflection, at the very least, awaits upon hearing these words.
Wm. Paul Young tugs at the readers heart strings with the death of his young daughter to begin his story of meeting god face to face. Any believer, not on their guard, will surely be sucked into the story line if nothing else. He goes on to challenge the “Gandolf appearance” that man has concocted of god, while dismissing all preconceived notions of god’s plan for his people. He spends three days questioning and experiencing god as a triad, looking for answers as to why god’s plan included the tragic departure of his young daughter’s life, only to find the purpose of his own. Personally, the story reads like a well written “Lifetime” movie and provides one of the best “warm and fuzzys” I have ever had at the end of a book. Although the book is notably sold as a fiction novel, Young is very outspoken about his experience and it’s authenticity.
These books are just some of my favorites and serve as a constant reminder that I am not alone in my beliefs, or lack there of. As a natural skeptic, I pondered the motivation of these writers; but eventually came to the conclusion that even if they were “trolling”, or seeking financial gain, the end result was something truly divine. I challenge you to read through just one of these books and not question your belief system, if only a little. Who knows…you might even lose your religion.
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